Bhagavatam - Tenth Skandha , Chapter 17

Kalia's Story ( contd.)

(Why did Kaliya leave Ramanaka Island and what did serpent do to earn the enmity of Garuda?)


Story of Kaliya

King Parikshit asked Mahamuni,' oh respected one, why did Kaliya leave Ramanaka Island and why was Garuda displeased with that serpent? “

Suka Deva replied.

‘ Oh mighty Parikshit , To be free of fear from Garuda, the serpent race once made a deal to make monthly offerings which are to be left at the base of a tree . Each serpent was to make its own offerings. But Kaliya, the son of Kadru, because of his strength would eat all the offerings made by other serpents disregarding the deal. Thus Kaliya became a direct enemy of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. Coming to know of this Garuda rushed to kill Kaliya. While Kalia made a valiant effort, Garuda wounded him so much that Kaliya left Ramanaka Island and entered Yamuna River, knowing full well that Garuda cannot come near Yamuna.

King Parikshit again asked “O Brahman! Why is it that Garuda could not approach that part of Yamuna?'

Suka Deva continued.

‘This is because once Garuda being very hungry took courage and ate the King of fish in the forbidden part of the river Yamuna. All the fish were feeling wretched at the death of the Lord of the fish. Seeing their sorrow Saubari spoke for the welfare of all other living creatures there in the lake. He said,' if Garuda enters this area and eats fish, he will immediately lose his life. What I am saying is the truth ‘. Kaliya knew of this curse and hence took residence in Yamuna as he will be free from fear of Garuda.'

After the departure of Kalia, Lord Krishna came out of the lake wearing the garlands and clothes and ornaments respectfully presented by Kalia before departure. Seeing Krishna coming out, all the cowherds too came back to senses and embraced him with affection. Yashoda, Rohini, and other Gopa ladies went up to him. Even the dried up trees came back to life. Lord Balaram too embraced Achyuta, knowing full well his potency. The Brahmans and respectable personalities came up to Maharaj Nanda and told him Krishna has been freed from the grip of Kaliya by Providence. For the safety of Krishna, they advised Maharaj Nanda to give charity to Brahmans. Maharaj Nanda satisfied in his mind, gave many cows and gold as gifts to all.

Oh most exalted King! That night weakened by hunger, thirst and fatigue, the people of Vrindavan along with their cows spent the night on the banks of river Yamuna. Then in the middle of the night, because of summer, a great fire raged in the forest, surrounding the people of Vraja. Waking up agitated and about to be burnt, the people of Vraja went to Krishna for shelter. “Oh Krishna, Krishna, the possessor of unlimited power, this most terrible fire is devouring us who are your devotees. Please protect us from the fire of death.

Seeing the disturbed condition of his devotees the Ananta, the Lord Krishna, drank the fire, protecting his devotees


 (Seeing the disturbed condition of his devotees the Jagadisvara, the possessor of infinite power drank the fire!)