Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 10 Chapter 17
The History of Kāliya
kathaṁ tatyāja kāliyaḥ
kṛtaṁ kiṁ vā suparṇasya
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 vā — and why; suparṇasya — of Garuḍa; tena — with him, Kāliya; ekena — alone; asamañjasam — enmity.
[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?
māsi māsīha yo baliḥ
svaṁ svaṁ bhāgaṁ prayacchanti
nāgāḥ parvaṇi parvaṇi
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.
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.
kādraveyas tu kāliyaḥ
svayaṁ taṁ bubhuje balim
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.
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.
tac chrutvā kupito rājan
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.
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.
tam āpatantaṁ tarasā viṣāyudhaḥ
dadbhiḥ suparṇaṁ vyadaśad dad-āyudhaḥ
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.
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.
taṁ tārkṣya-putraḥ sa nirasya manyumān
pakṣeṇa savyena hiraṇya-rociṣā
jaghāna kadru-sutam ugra-vikramaḥ
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.
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.
kāliyo ’tīva vihvalaḥ
hradaṁ viveśa kālindyās
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.
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.
garuḍo bhakṣyam īpsitam
prasahya kṣudhito ’harat
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.
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.
mīnān su-duḥkhitān dṛṣṭvā
dīnān mīna-patau hate
kṛpayā saubhariḥ prāha
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.
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.
atra praviśya garuḍo
yadi matsyān sa khādati
sadyaḥ prāṇair viyujyeta
satyam etad bravīmy aham
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.
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.
tat kāliyaḥ paraṁ veda
nānyaḥ kaścana lelihaḥ
avātsīd garuḍād bhītaḥ
kṛṣṇena ca vivāsitaḥ
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.
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.
kṛṣṇaṁ hradād viniṣkrāntaṁ
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.
[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.
yaśodā rohiṇī nando
gopyo gopāś ca kaurava
kṛṣṇaṁ sametya labdhehā
āsan śuṣkā nagā api
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.
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.
rāmaś cācyutam āliṅgya
premṇā tam aṅkam āropya
punaḥ punar udaikṣata
gāvo vṛṣā vatsataryo
lebhire paramāṁ mudam
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.
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.
nandaṁ viprāḥ samāgatya
ūcus te kāliya-grasto
diṣṭyā muktas tavātmajaḥ
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.
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.”
dehi dānaṁ dvi-jātīnāṁ
nandaḥ prīta-manā rājan
gāḥ suvarṇaṁ tadādiśat
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.
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.
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.
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.
tāṁ rātriṁ tatra rājendra
ūṣur vrayaukaso gāvaḥ
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.
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.
dāvāgniḥ sarvato vrajam
suptaṁ niśītha āvṛtya
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.
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.
tata utthāya sambhrāntā
kṛṣṇaṁ yayus te śaraṇaṁ
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.
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.
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa mahā-bhaga
eṣa ghoratamo vahnis
tāvakān grasate hi naḥ
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.
[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!
su-dustarān naḥ svān pāhi
kālāgneḥ suhṛdaḥ prabho
na śaknumas tvac-caraṇaṁ
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.
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.
tam agnim apibat tīvram
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.
Seeing His devotees so disturbed, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the infinite Lord of the universe and possessor of infinite power, then swallowed the terrible forest fire.