Srimad bhagavata by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyāsa

Chapter Six The Killing of the Demon Putana


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Chapter Six The Killing of the Demon Putana

1. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, while Nanda Maharaja was on the way home, he considered that what Vasudeva had said could not be false or useless. There must have been some danger of disturbances in Gokula. As Nanda Maharaja thought about the danger for his beautiful son, Krsna, he was afraid, and he took shelter at the lotus feet of the supreme controller.

2. While Nanda Maharaja was returning to Gokula, the same fierce Putana whom Kamsa had previously engaged to kill babies was wandering about in the towns, cities and villages, doing her nefarious duty.

3. My dear King, wherever people in any position perform their occupational duties of devotional service by chanting and hearing [sravanam kirtanam visnoh], there cannot be any danger from bad elements. Therefore there was no need for anxiety about Gokula while the Supreme Personality of Godhead was personally present.

4. Once upon a time, Putana Raksasi, who could move according to her desire and was wandering in outer space, converted herself by mystic power into a very beautiful woman and thus entered Gokula, the abode of Nanda Maharaja.

5-6. Her hips were full, her breasts were large and firm, seeming to overburden her slim waist, and she was dressed very nicely. Her hair, adorned with a garland of mallika flowers, was scattered about her beautiful face. Her earrings were brilliant, and as she smiled very attractively, glancing upon everyone, her beauty drew the attention of all the inhabitants of Vraja, especially the men. When the gopis saw her, they thought that the beautiful goddess of fortune, holding a lotus flower in her hand, had come to see her husband, Krsna.

7. While searching for small children, Putana, whose business was to kill them, entered the house of Nanda Maharaja unobstructed, having been sent by the superior potency of the Lord. Without asking anyone's permission, she entered Nanda Maharaja's room, where she saw the child sleeping in bed, His unlimited power covered like a powerful fire covered by ashes. She could understand that this child was not ordinary, but was meant to kill all demons.

8. Lord Sri Krsna, the all-pervading Supersoul, lying on the bed, understood that Putana, a witch who was expert in killing small children, had come to kill Him. Therefore, as if afraid of her, Krsna closed His eyes. Thus Putana took upon her lap Him who was to be her own annihilation, just as an unintelligent person places a sleeping snake on his lap, thinking the snake to be a rope.

9. Putana Raksasi's heart was fierce and cruel, but she looked like a very affectionate mother. Thus she resembled a sharp sword in a soft sheath. Although seeing her within the room, Yasoda and Rohini, overwhelmed by her beauty, did not stop her, but remained silent because she treated the child like a mother.

10. On that very spot, the fiercely dangerous Raksasi took Krsna on her lap and pushed her breast into His mouth. The nipple of her breast was smeared with a dangerous, immediately effective poison, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, becoming very angry at her, took hold of her breast, squeezed it very hard with both hands, and sucked out both the poison and her life.

11. Unbearably pressed in every vital point, the demon Putana began to cry, "Please leave me, leave me! Suck my breast no longer!" Perspiring, her eyes wide open and her arms and legs flailing, she cried very loudly again and again.

12. As Putana screamed loudly and forcefully, the earth with its mountains, and outer space with its planets, trembled. The lower planets and all directions vibrated, and people fell down, fearing that thunderbolts were falling upon them.

13. In this way the demon Putana, very much aggrieved because her breast was being attacked by Krsna, lost her life. O King Pariksit, opening her mouth wide and spreading her arms, legs and hair, she fell down in the pasturing ground in her original form as a Raksasi, as Vrtrasura had fallen when killed by the thunderbolt of Indra.

14. O King Pariksit, when the gigantic body of Putana fell to the ground, it smashed all the trees within a limit of twelve miles. Appearing in a gigantic body, she was certainly extraordinary.

15-17. The Raksasi's mouth was full of teeth, each resembling the front of a plow, her nostrils were deep like mountain caves, and her breasts resembled big slabs of stone fallen from a hill. Her scattered hair was the color of copper. The sockets of her eyes appeared like deep blind wells, her fearful thighs resembled the banks of a river, her arms, legs and feet seemed like big bridges, and her abdomen appeared like a dried-up lake. The hearts, ears and heads of the cowherd men and women were already shocked by the Raksasi's screaming, and when they saw the fierce wonder of her body, they were even more frightened.

18. Without fear, the child Krsna was playing on the upper portion of Putana Raksasi's breast, and when the gopis saw the child's wonderful activities, they immediately came forward with great jubilation and picked Him up.

19. Thereafter, mother Yasoda and Rohini, along with the other elderly gopis, waved about the switch of a cow to give full protection to the child Sri Krsna.

20. The child was thoroughly washed with cow urine and then smeared with the dust raised by the movements of the cows. Then different names of the Lord were applied with cow dung on twelve different parts of His body, beginning with the forehead, as done in applying tilaka. In this way, the child was given protection.

21. The gopis first executed the process of acamana, drinking a sip of water from the right hand. They purified their bodies and hands with the nyasa-mantra and then applied the same mantra upon the body of the child.

22-23. [Sukadeva Gosvami informed Maharaja Pariksit that the gopis, following the proper system, protected Krsna, their child, with this mantra.] May Aja protect Your legs, may Maniman protect Your knees, Yajna Your thighs, Acyuta the upper part of Your waist, and Hayagriva Your abdomen. May Kesava protect Your heart, Isa Your chest, the sun-god Your neck, Visnu Your arms, Urukrama Your face, and Isvara Your head. May Cakri protect You from the front; may Sri Hari, Gadadhari, the carrier of the club, protect You from the back; and may the carrier of the bow, who is known as the enemy of Madhu, and Lord Ajana, the carrier of the sword, protect Your two sides. May Lord Urugaya, the carrier of the conchshell, protect You from all corners; may Upendra protect You from above; may Garuda protect You on the ground; and may Lord Haladhara, the Supreme Person, protect You on all sides.

24. May Hrsikesa protect Your senses, and Narayana Your life air. May the master of Svetadvipa protect the core of Your heart, and may Lord Yogesvara protect Your mind.

25-26. May Lord Prsnigarbha protect Your intelligence, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead Your soul. While You are playing, may Govinda protect You, and while You are sleeping may Madhava protect You. May Lord Vaikuntha protect You while You are walking, and may Lord Narayana, the husband of the goddess of fortune, protect You while You are sitting. Similarly, may Lord Yajnabhuk, the fearful enemy of all evil planets, always protect You while You enjoy life.

27-29. The evil witches known as Dakinis, Yatudhanis and Kusmandas are the greatest enemies of children, and the evil spirits like Bhutas, Pretas, Pisacas, Yaksas, Raksasas and Vinayakas, as well as witches like Kotara, Revati, Jyestha, Putana and Matrka, are always ready to give trouble to the body, the life air and the senses, causing loss of memory, madness and bad dreams. Like the most experienced evil stars, they all create great disturbances, especially for children, but one can vanquish them simply by uttering Lord Visnu's name, for when Lord Visnu's name resounds, all of them become afraid and go away.

30. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami continued: All the gopis, headed by mother Yasoda, were bound by maternal affection. After they thus chanted mantras to protect the child, mother Yasoda gave the child the nipple of her breast to suck and then got Him to lie down on His bed.

31. Meanwhile, all the cowherd men, headed by Nanda Maharaja, returned from Mathura, and when they saw on the way the gigantic body of Putana lying dead, they were struck with great wonder.

32. Nanda Maharaja and the other gopas exclaimed: My dear friends, you must know that Anakadundubhi, Vasudeva, has become a great saint or a master of mystic power. Otherwise how could he have foreseen this calamity and predicted it to us?

33. The inhabitants of Vraja cut the gigantic body of Putana into pieces with the help of axes. Then they threw the pieces far away, covered them with wood and burned them to ashes.

34. Because of Krsna's having sucked the breast of the Raksasi Putana, when Krsna killed her she was immediately freed of all material contamination. Her sinful reactions automatically vanished, and therefore when her gigantic body was being burnt, the smoke emanating from her body was fragrant like aguru incense.

35-36. Putana was always hankering for the blood of human children, and with that desire she came to kill Krsna; but because she offered her breast to the Lord, she attained the greatest achievement. What then is to be said of those who had natural devotion and affection for Krsna as mothers and who offered Him their breasts to suck or offered something very dear, as a mother offers something to a child?

37-38. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is always situated within the core of the heart of the pure devotee, and He is always offered prayers by such worshipable personalities as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. Because Krsna embraced Putana's body with great pleasure and sucked her breast, although she was a great witch, she attained the position of a mother in the transcendental world and thus achieved the highest perfection. What then is to be said of the cows whose nipples Krsna sucked with great pleasure and who offered their milk very jubilantly with affection exactly like that of a mother?

39-40. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is the bestower of many benedictions, including liberation [kaivalya], or oneness with the Brahman effulgence. For that Personality of Godhead, the gopis always felt maternal love, and Krsna sucked their breasts with full satisfaction. Therefore, because of their relationship as mother and son, although the gopis were engaged in various family activities, one should never think that they returned to this material world after leaving their bodies.

41. Upon smelling the fragrance of the smoke emanating from Putana's burning body, many inhabitants of Vrajabhumi in distant places were astonished. "Where is this fragrance coming from?" they asked. Thus they went to the spot where Putana's body was being burnt.

42. When the inhabitants of Vraja who had come from distant places heard the whole story of how Putana had come and then been killed by Krsna, they were certainly astonished, and they offered their blessings to the child for His wonderful deed of killing Putana. Nanda Maharaja, of course, was very much obliged to Vasudeva, who had foreseen the incident, and simply thanked him, thinking how wonderful Vasudeva was.

43. O Maharaja Pariksit, best of the Kurus, Nanda Maharaja was very liberal and simple. He immediately took his son Krsna on his lap as if Krsna had returned from death, and by formally smelling his son's head, Nanda Maharaja undoubtedly enjoyed transcendental bliss.

44. Any person who hears with faith and devotion about how Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, killed Putana, and who thus invests his hearing in such childhood pastimes of Krsna, certainly attains attachment for Govinda, the supreme, original person.

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