Srimad bhagavata by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyāsa

Chapter Thirty-Six The Slaying of Arista, the Bull Demon


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Chapter Thirty-Six The Slaying of Arista, the Bull Demon

1. Sukadeva Goswami said: The demon Arista then came to the cowherd village. Appearing in the form of a bull with a large hump, he made the earth tremble as he tore it apart with his hooves.

2. Aristasura bellowed very harshly and pawed the ground. With his tail raised and his eyes glaring, he began to tear up the embankments with the tips of his horns, every now and then passing a little stool and urine.

3-4. My dear King, clouds hovered about sharp-horned Aristasura’s hump, mistaking it for a mountain, and when the cowherd men and ladies caught sight of the demon, they were struck with terror. Indeed, the strident reverberation of his roar so frightened the pregnant cows and women that they lost their fetuses in miscarriages.

5. The domestic animals fled the pasture in fear, O King, and all the inhabitants rushed to Lord Govinda for shelter, crying, “Krsna, Krsna!”

6. When the Supreme Lord saw the cowherd community distraught and fleeing in fear, He calmed them, saying, “Don’t be afraid.” Then He called out to the bull demon as follows.

7. You fool! What do you think you’re doing, you wicked rascal, frightening the cowherd community and their animals when I am here just to punish corrupt miscreants like you!

8. Having spoken these words, the infallible Lord Hari slapped His arms with His palms, further angering Arista with the loud sound. The Lord then casually threw His mighty, serpentine arm over the shoulder of a friend and stood facing the demon.

9. Thus provoked, Arista pawed the ground with one of his hooves and then, with the clouds hovering around his upraised tail, furiously charged Krsna.

10. Pointing the tips of his horns straight ahead and glaring menacingly at Lord Krsna from the corners of his bloodshot eyes, Arista rushed toward Him at full speed, like a thunderbolt hurled by Indra.

11. The Supreme Lord Krsna seized Aristasura by the horns and threw him back eighteen steps, just as an elephant might do when fighting a rival elephant.

12. Thus repulsed by the Supreme Lord, the bull demon got up and, breathing hard and sweating all over his body, again charged Him in a mindless rage.

13. As Arista attacked, Lord Krsna seized him by the horns and knocked him to the ground with His foot. The Lord then thrashed him as if he were a wet cloth, and finally He yanked out one of the demon’s horns and struck him with it until he lay prostrate.

14. Vomiting blood and profusely excreting stool and urine, kicking his legs and rolling his eyes about, Aristasura thus went painfully to the abode of Death. The demigods honored Lord Krsna by scattering flowers upon Him.

15. Having thus killed the bull demon Arista, He who is a festival for the gopis’ eyes entered the cowherd village with Balarama.

16. After Aristasura had been killed by Krsna, who acts wonderfully, Narada Muni went to speak to King Kamsa. That powerful sage of godly vision addressed the King as follows.

17. [Narada told Kamsa:] Yasoda’s child was actually a daughter, and Krsna is the son of Devaki. Also, Rama is the son of Rohini. Out of fear, Vasudeva entrusted Krsna and Balarama to his friend Nanda Maharaja, and it is these two boys who have killed your men.

18. Upon hearing this, the master of the Bhojas became furious and lost control of his senses. He picked up a sharp sword to kill Vasudeva.

19. But Narada restrained Kamsa by reminding him that it was the two sons of Vasudeva who would cause his death. Kamsa then had Vasudeva and his wife shackled in iron chains.

20. After Narada left, King Kamsa summoned Kesi and ordered him, “Go kill Rama and Krsna.”

21. The King of the Bhojas next called for his ministers, headed by Mustika, Canura, Sala and Tosala, and also for his elephant-keepers. The King addressed them as follows.

22-23. My dear heroic Canura and Mustika, please hear this. Rama and Krsna, the sons of Anakadundubhi [Vasudeva], are living in Nanda’s cowherd village. It has been predicted that these two boys will be the cause of my death. When They are brought here, kill Them on the pretext of engaging Them in a wrestling match.

24. Erect a wrestling ring with many surrounding viewing stands, and bring all the residents of the city and the outlying districts to see the open competition.

25. You, elephant-keeper, my good man, should position the elephant Kuvalayapida at the entrance to the wrestling arena and have him kill my two enemies.

26. Commence the bow sacrifice on the Caturdasi day in accordance with the relevant Vedic injunctions. In ritual slaughter offer the appropriate kinds of animals to the magnanimous Lord Siva.

27. Having thus commanded his ministers, Kamsa next called for Akrura, the most eminent of the Yadus. Kamsa knew the art of securing personal advantage, and thus he took Akrura’s hand in his own and spoke to him as follows.

28. My dear Akrura, most charitable one, please do me a friendly favor out of respect. Among the Bhojas and Vrsnis, there is no one else as kind to us as you.

29. Gentle Akrura, you always carry out your duties soberly, and therefore I am depending on you, just as powerful Indra took shelter of Lord Visnu to achieve his goals.

30. Please go to Nanda’s village, where the two sons of Anakadundubhi are living, and without delay bring Them here on this chariot.

31. The demigods, who are under the protection of Visnu, have sent these two boys as my death. Bring Them here, and also have Nanda and the other cowherd men come with gifts of tribute.

32. After you bring Krsna and Balarama, I will have Them killed by my elephant, who is as powerful as death itself. And if by chance They escape from him, I will have Them killed by my wrestlers, who are as strong as lightning.

33. When these two have been killed, I will kill Vasudeva and all Their lamenting relatives—the Vrsnis, Bhojas and Dasarhas.

34. I will also kill my old father, Ugrasena, who is greedy for my kingdom, and I will kill his brother Devaka and all my other enemies as well.

35. Then, my friend, this earth will be free of thorns.

36. My elder relative Jarasandha and my dear friend Dvivida are solid well-wishers of mine, as are Sambara, Naraka and Bana. I will use them all to kill off those kings who are allied with the demigods, and then I will rule the earth.

37. Now that you understand my intentions, please go at once and bring Krsna and Balarama to watch the bow sacrifice and see the opulence of the Yadus’ capital.

38. Sri Akrura said: O King, you have expertly devised a process to free yourself of misfortune. Still, one should be equal in success and failure, since it is certainly destiny that produces the results of one’s work.

39. An ordinary person is determined lo act on his desires even when fate prevents their fulfillment. Therefore he encounters both happiness and distress. Yet even though such is the case, I will execute your order.

40. Sukadeva Gosvami said: Having thus instructed Akrura, King Kamsa dismissed his ministers and retired to his quarters, and Akrura returned home.

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