Bhagavatam - Tenth Skandha , Chapter 15

Dhenuka's death.


"On attaining the age of Pauganda the two of them became cowherds tending to the cows. Walking along with their friends and cows they sanctified all the places in Vrindavan".


Dhenuka's Death

Suka Deva continued:

On attaining the age of Pauganda , the age of six to nine years, the Krishna and Balaram became cowherds being allowed to tend to cows in addition to the calves. Walking along with their friends and leading the cows in the Vrindavan they made all those places sanctified by their presence.

Once as usual Krishna entered the forest herding the cows. He entered the forest playing the flute and surrounded by the cowherd boys singing his glories. The forest was rich with flowers and full of nourishment for the cows. The forest was resounding with music of birds, bees and animals. The charming forest had a lake with lotuses having hundred petals, whose fragrance was carried afar by the wind. The clear waters of the lake resembled the great minds seeped in clarity adding to the beauty of the natural surroundings.

Pleased by the natural beauty all around and seeing the lordly trees, laden with fruits and flowers touching the ground, Krishna laughingly said to Balaram, “ Oh dear Brother! these trees are bowing to your lotus feet worshipped even by the Demigods, offering fruits and flowers to eliminate the darkness of their ignorance which is the original cause of their birth as trees.

Oh! Balarama, these bees following you must all be great sages and most elevated devotees of your self. For they are following you singing your glories even when you are hidden in this forest. Oh! Lord these peacocks are dancing with joy. These female deer are glancing at you very much like the Gopis looking at you with love. The cuckoos are singing songs like Vedic prayers. All these fortunate residents of this forest are acting as though they are receiving a Great soul.

Oh Brother!, this earth with grass and bushes is receiving the touch of your feet. This forest with creepers and trees is receiving the touch of your fingers. These mountains , rivers, birds and animals are receiving your glances. Indeed they have all become fortunate with your touch and glances. “

Suka Deva continued.

Lord Krishna was so pleased with the nature around the Vrindavan forest on the banks of Yamuna he would some times imitate the chattering of a parrot. Sometimes he would imitate the call of a cuckoo with a sweet voice, and sometimes imitate the cooing of swans. Some times he would dance like peacocks making other Gopas laugh. He would call out the names of the cows straying far away from the herd, thus enchanting one and all. Some times when his elder brother is fatigued and is resting with head in the lap of other Gopas , Krishna would relieve his fatigue by massaging his feet. When the Gopas , while moving about singing and dancing, start fighting Balaram and Krishna would laugh and praise them to dissuade them from fighting. When Krishna grew tired from all the activities, he would lay down with his head resting in the lap of a Gopa . Other Gopas would serve him by massaging his legs, and yet others would fan the supreme Lord with love and affection.

One cowherd boy, by name Sridama, spoke to Krishna and his friends Subala, Stoka Krishna and others. ”Oh Rama , the destroyer of miscreants, not far from here is a forest by name Talavana. This is filled with rows of palm trees. There many ripe fruits which have fallen on the ground and more are falling too. Yet they are not touched and are under the control of an evil demon Dhenuka. That Dhenuka is a very powerful demon supported by his friends who are equal to him. That Dhenuka has killed men who tried to taste the fruits. Even birds and animals have abandoned that place out of fear. The fruits there, have not been tasted by anybody and yet we can smell the fragrance of those fruits from afar. The fragrance of those fruits is also increasing the desire. Oh Krishna please get us those fruits. We shall go there, if you think it is a good idea.”

Hearing the words of their friends, and with a desire to please them, the two of them, Rama and Krishna along with other Gopas went to that forest Talavana. Balaram with his mighty arms started shaking the palm trees making the fruits fall. Hearing the sound of falling fruits, Dhenuka in the form of an ass came running, making the earth under his feet tremble. Making a fierce sound Dhenuka hit Balaram with his two hind legs. Balaram , true to his name ‘Bala' the strength, seizing Dhenuka by his legs and twirling him in the air violently killed him instantly and then threw him on the top of the Palm tree. Seeing this the close friends of Dhenukathen ferociously attacked Krishna and Balaram. Seizing them one by one, Krishna and Balaram, the two brothers, killed all the demons.

Hearing the great act of the two brothers even the demigods were pleased and showered petals of flowers from the heavens. With the Talavana forest free from Dhenuka and free from fear, the people could freely enjoy the fruits of Talavana and the cows too could graze in the Talavana.

Thereafter Lord Krishna along with brother Balaram returned to Vraja, amid singing of his glories by his friends. Krishna playing flute, with hair covered by the dust raised by the hooves of the cows, with peacock feather and forest flowers in his hair and a beautiful smile on his lips, returned to Vrindavan to a warm welcome by all Gopis who seem to be only waiting for him leaving all their household chores. Mothers too were overcome with pride and affection, showering all their love made them bath and fed them with all special food preparations. The children too were fully satiated with the love and affection of all the residents of Vraja.

Suka Deva continued

O Rajan, thus Krishna wandered around Vrindavan .

One day Krishna went to Kalindi river with all his cowherd friends without Balaram. There distressed by the glaring Sun, the cowherds and the cows too drank the water , not knowing that water is contaminated with poison. By simply touching the water all of them fell down unconscious as if by an act of God. Oh Great Kuru ! seeing them all in such a condition , the master of Yoga, brought them back to life by his yogic power. Regaining the consciousness the cows and the cowherds too stood up out of the water looking astonished. They realized that though they drank poisonous water, they were brought back to life by the mere glance of the Lord !.



"Oh Rajan, subsequently the cowherd boys thought only due to the benevolence of Lord Govinda, they stood up on their own even after drinking poison"