Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 10 Chapter 17

The History of Kāliya

VERSE 10.17.1

śrī-rājovāca

nāgālayaṁ ramaṇakaṁ
kathaṁ tatyāja kāliyaḥ
kṛtaṁ kiṁ vā suparṇasya
tenaikenāsamañjasam

SYNONYMS

śrī-rājā uvāca — the King said; nāga — of the serpents; ālayam — the residence; ramaṇakam — the island named Ramaṇaka; katham — why; tatyāja — gave up; kāliyaḥ — Kāliya; kṛtam — was made; kim — and why; suparṇasya — of Garuḍa; tena — with him, Kāliya; ekena — alone; asamañjasam — enmity.

TRANSLATION

[Having thus heard how Lord Kṛṣṇa chastised Kāliya,] King Parīkṣit inquired: Why did Kāliya leave Ramaṇaka Island, the abode of the serpents, and why did Garuḍa become so antagonistic toward him alone?

VERSE 10.17.2-3

śrī-śuka uvāca

upahāryaiḥ sarpa-janair
māsi māsīha yo baliḥ
vānaspatyo mahā-bāho
nāgānāṁ prāṅ-nirūpitaḥ

svaṁ svaṁ bhāgaṁ prayacchanti
nāgāḥ parvaṇi parvaṇi
gopīthāyātmanaḥ sarve
suparṇāya mahātmane

SYNONYMS

śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; upahāryaiḥ — who were qualified to make offerings; sarpa-janaiḥ — by the serpent race; māsi māsi — each month; iha — here (in Nāgālaya); yaḥ — which; baliḥ — offering of tribute; vānaspatyaḥ — at the base of a tree; mahā-bāho — O mighty-armed Parīkṣit; nāgānām — for the serpents; prāk — previously; nirūpitaḥ — ordained; svam svam — each his own; bhāgam — portion; prayacchanti — they present; nāgāḥ — the serpents; parvaṇi parvaṇi — once each month; gopīthāya — for the protection; ātmanaḥ — of themselves; sarve — all of them; suparṇāya — to Garuḍa; mahā-ātmane — the powerful.

TRANSLATION

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: To avoid being eaten by Garuḍa, the serpents had previously made an arrangement with him whereby they would each make a monthly offering of tribute at the base of a tree. Thus every month on schedule, O mighty-armed King Parīkṣit, each serpent would duly make his offering to that powerful carrier of Viṣṇu as a purchase of protection.

VERSE 10.17.4

viṣa-vīrya-madāviṣṭaḥ
kādraveyas tu kāliyaḥ
kadarthī-kṛtya garuḍaṁ
svayaṁ taṁ bubhuje balim

SYNONYMS

viṣa — because of his poison; vīrya — and his strength; mada — in intoxication; āviṣṭaḥ — absorbed; kādraveyaḥ — the son of Kadru; tu — on the other hand; kāliyaḥ — Kāliya; kadarthī-kṛtya — disregarding; garuḍam — Garuḍa; svayam — himself; tam — that; bubhuje — ate; balim — the offering.

TRANSLATION

Although all the other serpents were dutifully making offerings to Garuḍa, one serpent — the arrogant Kāliya, son of Kadru — would eat all these offerings before Garuḍa could claim them. Thus Kāliya directly defied the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu.

VERSE 10.17.5

tac chrutvā kupito rājan
bhagavān bhagavat-priyaḥ
vijighāṁsur mahā-vegaḥ
kāliyaṁ samapādravat

SYNONYMS

tat — that; śrutvā — hearing; kupitaḥ — angered; rājan — O King; bhagavān — the powerful Garuḍa; bhagavat-priyaḥ — the dear devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vijighāṁsuḥ — desiring to kill; mahā-vegaḥ — the greatly swift; kāliyam — to Kāliya; samupādravat — he rushed.

TRANSLATION

O King, the greatly powerful Garuḍa, who is very dear to the Supreme Lord, became angry when he heard of this. Desiring to kill Kāliya, he rushed toward the serpent with tremendous speed.

VERSE 10.17.6

tam āpatantaṁ tarasā viṣāyudhaḥ
pratyabhyayād utthita-naika-mastakaḥ
dadbhiḥ suparṇaṁ vyadaśad dad-āyudhaḥ
karāla-jihrocchvasitogra-locanaḥ

SYNONYMS

tam — him, Garuḍa; āpatantam — attacking; tarasā — swiftly; viṣa — of poison; āyudhaḥ — who possessed the weapon; prati — towards; abhyayāt — ran; utthita — raised; na eka — many; mastakaḥ — his heads; dadbhiḥ — with his fangs; suparṇam — Garuḍa; vyadaśat — he bit; dat-āyudhaḥ — whose fangs were weapons; karāla — fearsome; jihvā — his tongues; ucchvasita — expanded; ugra — and terrible; locanaḥ — his eyes.

TRANSLATION

As Garuḍa swiftly fell upon him, Kāliya, who had the weapon of poison, raised his numerous heads to counterattack. Showing his ferocious tongues and expanding his horrible eyes, Kāliya then bit Garuḍa with the weapons of his fangs.

VERSE 10.17.7

taṁ tārkṣya-putraḥ sa nirasya manyumān
pracaṇḍa-vego madhusūdanāsanaḥ
pakṣeṇa savyena hiraṇya-rociṣā
jaghāna kadru-sutam ugra-vikramaḥ

SYNONYMS

tam — him, Kāliya; tārkṣya-putraḥ — the son of Kaśyapa; saḥ — he, Garuḍa; nirasya — warding off; manyu-mān — full of anger; pracaṇḍa-vegaḥ — moving with terrible swiftness; madhusūdana-āsanaḥ — the carrier of Lord Madhusūdana, Kṛṣṇa; pakṣeṇa — with his wing; savyena — left; hiraṇya — like gold; rociṣā — the effulgence of which; jaghāna — he struck; kadru-sutam — the son of Kadru (Kāliya); ugra — mighty; vikramaḥ — his prowess.

TRANSLATION

The angry son of Tārkṣya moved with overwhelming speed in repelling Kāliya’s attack. That terribly powerful carrier of Lord Madhusūdana struck the son of Kadru with his left wing, which shone like gold.

VERSE 10.17.8

suparṇa-pakṣābhihataḥ
kāliyo ’tīva vihvalaḥ
hradaṁ viveśa kālindyās
tad-agamyaṁ durāsadam

SYNONYMS

suparṇa — of Garuḍa; pakṣa — by the wing; abhihataḥ — beaten; kāliyaḥ — Kāliya; atīva — extremely; vihvalaḥ — distraught; hradam — a lake; viveśa — he entered; kālindyāḥ — of the river Yamunā; tat-agamyam — unapproachable by Garuḍa; durāsadam — difficult to enter.

TRANSLATION

Beaten by Garuḍa’s wing, Kāliya was extremely distraught, and thus he took shelter of a lake adjoining the river Yamunā. Garuḍa could not enter this lake. Indeed, he could not even approach it.

VERSE 10.17.9

tatraikadā jala-caraṁ
garuḍo bhakṣyam īpsitam
nivāritaḥ saubhariṇā
prasahya kṣudhito ’harat

SYNONYMS

tatra — there (in that lake); ekadā — once; jala-caram — an aquatic creature; garuḍaḥ — Garuḍa; bhakṣyam — his proper food; īpsitam — desired; nivāritaḥ — forbidden; saubhariṇā — by Saubhari Muni; prasahya — taking courage; kṣudhitaḥ — feeling hunger; aharat — he took.

TRANSLATION

In that very lake Garuḍa had once desired to eat a fish — fish being, after all, his normal food. Although forbidden by the sage Saubhari, who was meditating there within the water, Garuḍa took courage and, feeling hungry, seized the fish.

VERSE 10.17.10

mīnān su-duḥkhitān dṛṣṭvā
dīnān mīna-patau hate
kṛpayā saubhariḥ prāha
tatratya-kṣemam ācaran

SYNONYMS

mīnān — the fish; su-duḥkhitān — most unhappy; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; dīnān — wretched; mīna-patau — the lord of the fish; hate — being killed; kṛpayā — out of compassion; saubhariḥ — Saubhari; prāha — spoke; tatratya — for those living there; kṣemam — the welfare; ācaran — trying to enact.

TRANSLATION

Seeing how the unfortunate fish in that lake had become most unhappy at the death of their leader, Saubhari uttered the following curse under the impression that he was mercifully acting for the benefit of the lake’s residents.

VERSE 10.17.11

atra praviśya garuḍo
yadi matsyān sa khādati
sadyaḥ prāṇair viyujyeta
satyam etad bravīmy aham

SYNONYMS

atra — in this lake; praviśya — entering; garuḍaḥ — Garuḍa; yadi — if; matsyān — the fish; saḥ — he; khādati — eats; sadyaḥ — immediately; prāṇaiḥ — of his force of life; viyujyeta — will become deprived; satyam — truthfully; etat — this; bravīmi — am speaking; aham — I.

TRANSLATION

If Garuḍa ever again enters this lake and eats the fish here, he will immediately lose his life. What I am saying is the truth.

VERSE 10.17.12

tat kāliyaḥ paraṁ veda
nānyaḥ kaścana lelihaḥ
avātsīd garuḍād bhītaḥ
kṛṣṇena ca vivāsitaḥ

SYNONYMS

tam — that; kāliyaḥ — Kāliya; param — only; veda — knew; na — not; anyaḥ — other; kaścana — any; lelihaḥ — serpent; avātsīt — he dwelt; garuḍāt — of Garuḍa; bhītaḥ — afraid; kṛṣṇena — by Kṛṣṇa; ca — and; vivāsitaḥ — expelled.

TRANSLATION

Of all the serpents, only Kāliya came to know of this affair, and in fear of Garuḍa he took up residence in that Yamunā lake. Later Lord Kṛṣṇa drove him out.

VERSE 10.17.13-14

kṛṣṇaṁ hradād viniṣkrāntaṁ
divya-srag-gandha-vāsasam
mahā-maṇi-gaṇākīrṇaṁ
jāmbūnada-pariṣkṛtam

upalabhyotthitāḥ sarve
labdha-prāṇā ivāsavaḥ
pramoda-nibhṛtātmāno
gopāḥ prītyābhirebhire

SYNONYMS

kṛṣṇam — Lord Kṛṣṇa; hradāt — from out of the lake; viniṣkrāntam — rising up; divya — divine; srak — wearing garlands; gandha — fragrances; vāsasam — and garments; mahā-maṇi-gaṇa — by many fine jewels; ākīrṇam — covered; jāmbūnada — with gold; pariṣkṛtam — decorated; upalabhya — seeing; utthitāḥ — rising up; sarve — all of them; labdha-prāṇāḥ — which have regained their vital force; iva — just as; asavaḥ — senses; pramoda — with joy; nibhṛta-ātmānaḥ — being filled; gopāḥ — the cowherds; prītyā — with affection; abhirebhire — embraced Him.

TRANSLATION

[Resuming his description of Kṛṣṇa’s chastisement of Kāliya, Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued:] Kṛṣṇa rose up out of the lake wearing divine garlands, fragrances and garments, covered with many fine jewels, and decorated with gold. When the cowherds saw Him they all stood up immediately, just like an unconscious person’s senses coming back to life. Filled with great joy, they affectionately embraced Him.

VERSE 10.17.15

yaśodā rohiṇī nando
gopyo gopāś ca kaurava
kṛṣṇaṁ sametya labdhehā
āsan śuṣkā nagā api

SYNONYMS

yaśodā rohiṇī nandaḥ — Yaśodā, Rohiṇī and Nanda Mahārāja; gopyaḥ — the cowherd ladies; gopāḥ — the cowherd men; ca — and; kaurava — O Parīkṣit, descendant of Kuru; kṛṣṇam — Lord Kṛṣṇa; sametya — meeting; labdha — having regained; īhāḥ — their conscious functions; āsan — they became; śuṣkāḥ — dried up; nagāḥ — the trees; api — even.

TRANSLATION

Having regained their vital functions, Yaśodā, Rohiṇī, Nanda and all the other cowherd women and men went up to Kṛṣṇa. O descendant of Kuru, even the dried-up trees came back to life.

VERSE 10.17.16

rāmaś cācyutam āliṅgya
jahāsāsyānubhāva-vit
premṇā tam aṅkam āropya
punaḥ punar udaikṣata
gāvo vṛṣā vatsataryo
lebhire paramāṁ mudam

SYNONYMS

rāmaḥ — Lord Balarāma; ca — and; acyutam — Kṛṣṇa, the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead; āliṅgya — embracing; jahāsa — laughed; asya — His; anubhāva-vit — knowing well the omnipotence; premṇā — out of love; tam — Him; aṅkam — up on His own lap; āropya — raising; punaḥ punaḥ — again and again; udaikṣata — looked upon; gāvaḥ — the cows; vṛṣāḥ — the bulls; vatsataryaḥ — the female calves; lebhire — they attained; paramām — supreme; mudam — pleasure.

TRANSLATION

Lord Balarāma embraced His infallible brother and laughed, knowing well the extent of Kṛṣṇa’s potency. Out of great feelings of love, Balarāma lifted Kṛṣṇa up on His lap and repeatedly looked at Him. The cows, bulls and young female calves also achieved the highest pleasure.

VERSE 10.17.17

nandaṁ viprāḥ samāgatya
guravaḥ sa-kalatrakāḥ
ūcus te kāliya-grasto
diṣṭyā muktas tavātmajaḥ

SYNONYMS

nandam — to Nanda Mahārāja; viprāḥ — the brāhmaṇas; samāgatya — coming up; guravaḥ — respectable personalities; sa-kalatrakāḥ — along with their wives; ūcuḥ — said; te — they; kāliya-grastaḥ — seized by Kāliya; diṣṭyā — by Providence; muktaḥ — freed; tava — your; ātma-jaḥ — son.

TRANSLATION

All the respectable brāhmaṇas, together with their wives, came forward to greet Nanda Mahārāja. They said to him, “Your son was in the grips of Kāliya, but by the grace of Providence He is now free.”

VERSE 10.17.18

dehi dānaṁ dvi-jātīnāṁ
kṛṣṇa-nirmukti-hetave
nandaḥ prīta-manā rājan
gāḥ suvarṇaṁ tadādiśat

SYNONYMS

dehi — you should give; dānam — charity; dvi-jātīnām — to the brāhmaṇas; kṛṣṇa-nirmukti — the safety of Kṛṣṇa; hetave — for the purpose of; nandaḥ — Nanda Mahārāja; prīta-manāḥ — satisfied within his mind; rājan — O King Parīkṣit; gāḥ — cows; suvarṇam — gold; tadā — then; ādiśat — gave.

TRANSLATION

The brāhmaṇas then advised Nanda Mahārāja, “To assure that your son Kṛṣṇa will always be free from danger, you should give charity to the brāhmaṇas.” With a satisfied mind, O King, Nanda Mahārāja then very gladly gave them gifts of cows and gold.

VERSE 10.17.19

yaśodāpi mahā-bhāgā
naṣṭa-labdha-prajā satī
pariṣvajyāṅkam āropya
mumocāśru-kalāṁ muhuḥ

SYNONYMS

yaśodā — mother Yaśodā; api — and; mahā-bhāgā — the greatly fortunate; naṣṭa — having lost; labdha — and regained; prajā — her son; satī — the chaste lady; pariṣvajya — embracing; aṅkam — upon her lap); āropya — raising; mumoca — she released; aśru — of tears; kalām — a torrent; muhuḥ — repeatedly.

TRANSLATION

The greatly fortunate mother Yaśodā, having lost her son and then regained Him, placed Him on her lap. That chaste lady cried constant torrents of tears as she repeatedly embraced Him.

VERSE 10.17.20

tāṁ rātriṁ tatra rājendra
kṣut-tṛḍbhyāṁ śrama-karṣitāḥ
ūṣur vrayaukaso gāvaḥ
kālindyā upakūlataḥ

SYNONYMS

tām — that; rātrim — night; tatra — there; rāja-indra — O most exalted of kings; kṣut-tṛḍbhyām — by hunger and thirst; śrama — and by fatigue; karṣitāḥ — weakened; ūṣuḥ — they remained; vraja-okasaḥ — the people of Vṛndāvana; gāvaḥ — and the cows; kālindyāḥ — of the Yamunā; upakūlataḥ — near the shore.

TRANSLATION

O best of kings [Parīkṣit], because the residents of Vṛndāvana were feeling very weak from hunger, thirst and fatigue, they and the cows spent the night where they were, lying down near the bank of the Kālindī.

VERSE 10.17.21

tadā śuci-vanodbhūto
dāvāgniḥ sarvato vrajam
suptaṁ niśītha āvṛtya
pradagdhum upacakrame

SYNONYMS

tadā — then; śuci — of the summer; vana — in the forest; udbhūtaḥ — arising; dāva-agniḥ — a conflagration; sarvataḥ — on all sides; vrajam — the people of Vṛndāvana; suptam — sleeping; niśīthe — in the middle of the night; āvṛtya — surrounding; pradagdhum — to burn; upacakrame — began.

TRANSLATION

During the night, while all the people of Vṛndāvana were asleep, a great fire blazed up within the dry summer forest. The fire surrounded the inhabitants of Vraja on all sides and began to scorch them.

VERSE 10.17.22

tata utthāya sambhrāntā
dahyamānā vrajaukasaḥ
kṛṣṇaṁ yayus te śaraṇaṁ
māyā-manujam īśvaram

SYNONYMS

tataḥ — then; utthāya — waking up; sambhrāntāḥ — agitated; dahyamānāḥ — about to be burned; vraja-okasaḥ — the people of Vraja; kṛṣṇam — to Kṛṣṇa; yayuḥ — went; te — they; śaraṇam — for shelter; māyā — by His potency; manujam — appearing like a human being; īśvaram — the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

TRANSLATION

Then the residents of Vṛndāvana woke up, extremely disturbed by the great fire threatening to burn them. Thus they took shelter of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, who by His spiritual potency appeared like an ordinary human being.

VERSE 10.17.23

kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa mahā-bhaga
he rāmāmita-vikrama
eṣa ghoratamo vahnis
tāvakān grasate hi naḥ

SYNONYMS

kṛṣṇa — O Kṛṣṇa; kṛṣṇa — O Kṛṣṇa; mahā-bhāga — O Lord of all opulence; he rāma — O Lord Balarāma, source of all happiness; amita-vikrama — You whose power is unlimited; eṣaḥ — this; ghora-tamaḥ — most terrible; vahniḥ — fire; tāvakān — who are Yours; grasate — is devouring; hi — indeed; naḥ — us.

TRANSLATION

[Vṛndāvana’s residents said:] Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, O Lord of all opulence! O Rāma, possessor of unlimited power! This most terrible fire is about to devour us, Your devotees!

VERSE 10.17.24

su-dustarān naḥ svān pāhi
kālāgneḥ suhṛdaḥ prabho
na śaknumas tvac-caraṇaṁ
santyaktum akuto-bhayam

SYNONYMS

su-dustarāt — from the insurmountable; naḥ — us; svān — Your own devotees; pāhi — please protect; kāla-agneḥ — from the fire of death; suhṛdaḥ — Your true friends; prabho — O supreme master; na śaknumaḥ — we are incapable; tvat-caraṇam — Your feet; santyaktum — to give up; akutaḥ-bhayam — which drive away all fear.

TRANSLATION

O Lord, we are Your true friends and devotees. Please protect us from this insurmountable fire of death. We can never give up Your lotus feet, which drive away all fear.

VERSE 10.17.25

itthaṁ sva-jana-vaiklavyaṁ
nirīkṣya jagad-īśvaraḥ
tam agnim apibat tīvram
ananto ’nanta-śakti-dhṛk

SYNONYMS

ittham — in this manner; sva-jana — of His own devotees; vaiklavyam — the disturbed condition; nirīkṣya — seeing; jagat-īśvaraḥ — the Lord of the universe; tam — that; agnim — fire; apibat — drank; tīvram — terrible; anantaḥ — the unlimited Lord; ananta-śakti-dhṛk — the possessor of unlimited potencies.

TRANSLATION

Seeing His devotees so disturbed, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the infinite Lord of the universe and possessor of infinite power, then swallowed the terrible forest fire.