Thursday, August 25, 2016


After the demise of Śiśupāla, Śālva and Pauṇḍra, another foolish demoniac king of the name Dantavakra wanted to kill Kṛṣṇa in order to avenge the death of his friend Śālva. He became so agitated that he personally appeared on the battlefield without the proper arms and ammunition and without even a chariot. His only weapon was his great anger, which was red-hot. He carried only a club in his hand, but he was so powerful that when he moved, everyone felt the earth tremble. When Lord Kṛṣṇa saw him approaching in a very heroic mood, He immediately got down from His chariot, for it was a rule of military etiquette that fighting should take place only between equals. Knowing that Dantavakra was alone and armed with only a club, Lord Kṛṣṇa responded similarly and prepared Himself by taking His club in His hand. When Kṛṣṇa appeared before him, Dantavakra's heroic march was immediately stopped just as the great, furious waves of the ocean are stopped by the beach.
At that time, Dantavakra, who was the King of Karūṣa, stood up firmly with his club and spoke to Lord Kṛṣṇa as follows: "It is a great pleasure and fortunate opportunity, Kṛṣṇa, that we are facing each other eye to eye. My dear Kṛṣṇa, after all, You are my eternal cousin, and I should not kill You in this way, but unfortunately You have committed a great mistake by killing my friend Śālva. Moreover, You are not satisfied by killing my friend, but I know that You want to kill me also. Because of Your determination, I must kill You by tearing You to pieces with my club. Kṛṣṇa, although You are my relative, You are foolish. You are our greatest enemy, so I must kill You today just as a person removes a boil on his body by a surgical operation. I am always very much obliged to my friends, and I therefore consider myself indebted to my dear friend Śālva. I can only liquidate my indebtedness to him by killing You."

As the caretaker of an elephant tries to control the animal by striking it with his trident, so Dantavakra tried to control Kṛṣṇa simply by speaking strong words. After finishing his vituperation, he struck Kṛṣṇa on the head with his club and made a roaring sound like a lion. Although struck strongly by the club of Dantavakra, Kṛṣṇa did not move even an inch, nor did He feel any pain. Taking His Kaumodakī club and moving very skillfully, Kṛṣṇa struck the chest of Dantavakra so fiercely that the heart of Dantavakra split in twain. As a result, Dantavakra began to vomit blood, his hairs became scattered, and he fell to the ground, spreading his hands and legs. Within only a few minutes all that remained of Dantavakra was a dead body on the ground. After the death of Dantavakra, just as at the time of Śiśupāla's death, in the presence of all persons standing there, a small particle of spiritual effulgence came out of the demon's body and very wonderfully merged into the body of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Demons Killed

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Sri Caitanya Siksamrita describes the demons Krishna killed in His Vrindavana pastimes and the anarthas (unwanted things) that they represent.

1. Putana - the pseudo guru.

2. Sakatasura (the cart demon) - carrying the burden of a cart-load of old and new bad habits, lethargy and vanity.

3. Trinavarta (the whirlwind demon) - false pride that comes from material scholarship, which leads to bogus philosophies.

4. Deliverance of Nalakuvara and Manigriva (breaking the twin arjuna trees) - Arrogant pride that comes from puffed-up prestige, which is rooted in madness for wealth.

5. Vatsasura (the calf demon) - a childish type of mentality which gives rise to a type of greediness, which results in a wicked type of mischievousness.

6. Bakasura (stork demon) - Cunning duplicity, deceptiveness and false types of behavior.

7. Aghasura (the snake demon) - Cruelty and violence.

8. Brahma-vimohana Pastime (Lord Brahma steals the cowherd boys and calves) - mundane activities and speculative scholasticism.

9. Dhenukasura (the ass demon) - gross materialistic intelligence, ignorance of spiritual knowledge.

10. Kaliya (chastising the Kaliya serpent) - brutality and treachery.

11. Extinguishing the Forest Fire - inter-communal discord among Vaishnavas.

12. Pralambasura (killing the Pralamba demon) - lusty inclinations; desire for personal gain and honor.

13. Second Forest Fire - disturbance of religious principles and interference with religious people who are atheist.

14. Brahmanas Performing Sacrifice - indifference toward Krishna caused by pride because of one’s status (position) in varnasrama.

15. Overcoming the Pride of Indra - demigod worship, and the tendency to think, “I am Supreme.”

16. Nanda Maharaja Captured by Varuna - thinking that spiritual life can be enhanced by intoxication.

17. Nanda Maharaja Swallowed by Vidyadhara (the snake) - rescuing the truth of Krishna consciousness from being swallowed by the impersonalists.

18. Sankhacuda (killing the conch-shell demon and getting the jewel that was stolen by him) - proneness toward acquiring name and fame, and desire for sensuous enjoyment, under the plea of devotion.

19. Aristasura (the bull demon) - pride arising from indulging in false religions invented by cheaters which causes neglect of devotional service (bhakti).

20. Kesi (the horse demon) - The feeling that “I am a great devotee and spiritual master.”

21. Vyomasura (the demon in the sky) - associating with thieves and other rascals, and with people who put themselves forward as avataras.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura says: “The devotee who worships the holy name should first petition the Lord for the strength to cast out all these unfavorable tendencies—and should pray thus before Lord Hari on a daily basis. By doing this regularly, the devotee’s heart will eventually become purified. Sri Krishna has killed a number of demons which may arise in the kingdom of the heart—so in order to destroy these problems, a devotee must cry very humbly before the Lord and admit defeat—then the Lord will nullify all contaminations.”