Faith

Hard-hearted Putana

Putana reduced her size to that of a normal woman and came neatly dressed to give poisoned milk to Krishna. As she entered Gokula she was seen talking to herself. The Tamil word used to describe her is “alavalai,” which means a talkative person. In this respect she was like Krishna, whose life she wanted to take. Krishna too spoke a lot, said M.A. Venkatakrishnan, in a discourse.

On the battlefield, all that Arjuna wanted to know was why he had to fight. Krishna could just have told him that it was his duty to fight, no matter who the opponent was. But instead He gave him elaborate advice, detailing three paths to reach Him. Putana had donned the garb of a loving mother and picked up Krishna to feed Him. Usually, when one dresses up like a person, it is likely that one begins to behave like that person. This is what happened in the case of Ravana. Ravana had been cursed that if he tried to touch any woman without her permission, he would die. So he tried to reason with Sita, who paid no heed to him. So Ravana asked Mareecha for advice. Mareecha said Sita would not look at anyone but her husband Rama. So Ravana disguised himself as Rama and approached Sita. But his plan failed, because the moment he took on the role of Rama, his characteristics changed. He no longer lusted after Sita. His heart was full of thoughts of his wife Mandodari. So even if we change our garb for the sake of playacting, we become a little like the person we try to impersonate. But this did not happen in the case of Putana. She was dressed like a loving mother, but there was no love in her heart. Even her attire did not soften her heart. And she went ahead with the task entrusted to her by Kamsa. She fed Krishna her milk and lost her life in the process.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 5:09:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/hard-hearted-putana/article37858314.ece

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