Bhagavatam - Tenth Skandha , Chapter 43

The Wrestling matches

Then Krishna and Balaram having completed their morning ablutions, hearing the drums resounding, they approached the wresting arena to see.


The Wrestling Matches

Suka Deva continued

O King! Then hearing the resounding drums Krishna and Balaram having completed their morning ablutions approached the wresting arena.

On reaching the wrestling arena Krishna saw the elephant Kuvalayapida at the gate blocking their way. Tightening his clothes in readiness for the fight, Krishna spoke to the elephant keeper. “Oh Elephant keeper move aside and give us the way. If not I will send you together with the elephant to the abode of death”.

Thus threatened, the elephant keeper angered the enraged elephant and goaded the elephant looking like Yama towards Krishna. The Lord of the elephants running violently towards the Lord, tried to seize him with his trunk. But Krishna slipped away, struck with his fist and disappeared under his legs. Infuriated and not seeing him, searching for him by his sense of smell, Kuvalayapida took hold of Krishna with his trunk. But again the Lord came out free. Then grabbing the elephant by his tail the Lord threw Kuvalayapida twenty five lengths as playfully as a Garuda might with do with a snake. Then Krishna pulled the elephant with his tail. Then coming face to face, Krishna struck the elephant with his hands and ran around. Kuvalayapida pursued the Lord managing to touch him with each step. Though outmaneuvered he made Krishna fall. Krishna too, playfully falling on the ground and suddenly getting up, made Kuvalayapida strike the earth with his tusks. Thus with his prowess being thwarted, yet urged on by his keeper, Kuvalayapida charged Krishna again. This time holding him by his trunk Krishna threw him to the ground. Then climbing on the elephant with his feet Krishna pulled out one of his tusks. Then he killed the elephant stabbing repeatedly with the tusk. Leaving the dead elephant Krishna entered the wrestling arena with a tusk in his hand.

Seeing that Kuvalayapida was killed, feeling that the two brothers are invincible. Kamsa was overwhelmed with anxiety.

The two brothers shone in the arena with different garments, ornaments and garlands. They overpowered the minds of the onlookers. Seeing both of them the people from the viewing galleries the city people as well as the people from the country side were overjoyed. Having heard about his deeds the people in the arena started describing to each other what they knew of the Lord.

” These two are directly the forms of Bhagavan Narayana. They have descended to this world in the home of Vasudeva. This one is certainly born from the womb of Devaki, and brought up in Gokul. So far he has been living in Nanda's House .The Putana was brought to her end by him, so also the whirlwind, the demon, the twin Arjun trees, the demon Sankahchuda, the demon Kesi, Dhenuka and others. He saved the Cows and cowherds from the fire. Subdued the Kaliya serpent. Removed the false pride of Indra. With one hand held the Hill for seven days protecting the residents of Gokul from rain and storm. The Gopis of Vrindavan were always happy seeing his lotus face. It is said by many that under him the Yadu clan will achieve riches of power and glory. His elder brother Lord Balaram killed Pralamba, Vatsasura and Bakasura.”

Thus as the people were talking and the musical instruments were sounding high notes, Chanura addressed Krishna and Balaram. “Hey son of Nanda and Hey Balaram, you two are well respected heroes and skillful in wrestling. Having heard that the king wanted to see, people indeed acquire good fortune or the opposite of it too by executing the pleasure of the king with their minds, words and deeds. The cowherds tending to the calves and playfully wrestling are always happy. Therefore for Kings Pleasure let us do what he desires. All living beings will be pleased with us. “

Hearing this Lord Krishna spoke as appropriate to the time and place. “Although wandering in the forests, we are subjects of King Bhoja. We must execute his pleasure always. That will be greatest benefit to us .We are young Boys. We will play with those who are equal in strength. The wrestling matches shall go on so that Adhrama does not touch the members of the audience.”

Chanura said ”you are not a boy or a youth. Balaram is the strongest of the strong. After all you killed an elephant with the strength of one thousand elephants. Therefore you two should fight with those who are strong. There is certainly no injustice. You, descendent of Vrishni fight with me and Balaram shall wrestle with Mushtika.”


Therefore you two should fight with those who are strong . There is certainly no injustice. You descendent of Vrishni with me and Balaram with Mushtika.