Faith

Grace bestowed

Krishna’s dealing with the menace caused by the serpent Kaliya is celebrated as an exceptional manifestation of His mercy that chastises and pardons, said Kalyanapuram Sri R. Aravamudhachariar in a discourse.

Once when Balarama was away, Krishna and the cowherds go to graze the cows near the banks of the Yamuna river where the deadly serpent Kaliya resides. Such is the deadly effect of its poison that all the trees on its banks do not bloom and any bird flying above drops down dead.

The boys urge Krishna to teach Kaliya a lesson. Krishna climbs up a leafless Kadamba tree to jump into the river.

Krishna’s leap causes the river to swirl with waves of water and the river seems to overflow with greater turbulence. The boys on the river bank get agitated as time goes on and there is no sign of Krishna.

In the deep waters, Krishna confronts the deadly Kaliya who emits fumes of poison from his flaming eyes. The serpent tries to cover Krishna by coiling around Him as if to restrict His movements. But Krishna releases Himself from the coils and appears above the waters with a smiling face, poised on Kaliya’s hoods.

On this soft stage of the serpent’s head the master of all arts dances to perfection, with the brilliance from the gems in its crown acting as the flash lights and the combined background music from the waves of the Yamuna and of tinkling of the His anklets and bangles providing the sound effects.

As Kaliya is subdued, the wives seek pardon on his behalf. Krishna spares him and asks him to live in the island Ramanaka with the assurance that Garuda would not attack him.


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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 3:23:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/grace-bestowed/article6608669.ece

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