The Killing of the Demon Putana
A summary of the Sixth Chapter is as follows: when Nanda Maharaja, following the instructions of Vasudeva, was returning home, he saw a great demoniac woman lying on the road, and then he heard about her death.
While Nanda Maharaja, the King of Vraja, was thinking about Vasudeva's words concerning disturbances in Gokula, he was a little afraid and sought shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Hari. Meanwhile, Kamsa sent to the village of Gokula a Raksasi named Putana, who was wandering here and there killing small babies. Of course, wherever there is no Krsna consciousness, there is the danger of such Raksasis, but since the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself was in Gokula, Putana could accept nothing there but her own death.
One day, Putana arrived from outer space in Gokula, the home of Nanda Maharaja, and by displaying her mystic power, she assumed the disguise of a very beautiful woman. Taking courage, she immediately entered Krsna's bedroom without anyone's permission; by the grace of Krsna, no one forbade her to enter the house or the room, because that was Krsna's desire. The baby Krsna, who resembled a fire covered by ashes, looked upon Putana and thought that He would have to kill this demon, the beautiful woman. Enchanted by the influence of yogamaya and the Personality of Godhead, Putana took Krsna upon her lap, and neither Rohini nor Yasoda objected. The demon Putana offered her breast for Krsna to suck, but her breast was smeared with poison. The child Krsna, therefore, squeezed Putana's breast so severely that in unbearable pain she had to assume her original body and fell to the ground. Then Krsna began playing on her breast just like a small child. When Krsna was playing, the gopis were pacified and took the child away to their own laps. After this incident, the gopis took precautions because of the attack of the Raksasi. Mother Yasoda gave the child her breast to suck and then laid Him in bed.
Meanwhile, Nanda and his associates the cowherd men returned from Mathura, and when they saw the great dead body of Putana, they were struck with wonder. Everyone was astonished that Vasudeva had foretold this mishap, and they praised Vasudeva for his power of foresight. The inhabitants of Vraja cut the gigantic body of Putana into pieces, but because Krsna had sucked her breast, she had been freed from all sins, and therefore when the cowherd men burned the pieces of her body in a fire, the smoke filled the air with a very pleasing fragrance. Ultimately, although Putana had desired to kill Krsna, she attained the Lord's abode. From this incident we gain the instruction that if one is attached to Krsna somehow or other, even as an enemy, one ultimately attains success. What then is to be said of devotees who are naturally attached to Krsna in love? When the inhabitants of Vraja heard about the killing of Putana and the welfare of the child, they were very much satisfied. Nanda Maharaja took the baby Krsna on his lap and was filled with satisfaction.
nandah pathi vacah saurer
na mrseti vicintayan
harim jagama saranam
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; nandah--Nanda Maharaja; pathi--on his way back home; vacah--the words; saureh--of Vasudeva; na--not; mrsa--without purpose or cause; iti--thus; vicintayan--while thinking about inauspiciousness for his little son, Krsna; harim--unto the Supreme Lord, the controller; jagama--took; saranam--shelter; utpata--of disturbances; agama--with the expectation; sankitah--thus being afraid.
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, while Nanda Maharaja was on the way home, he considered that what Vasudeva had said could not be false or useless. There must have been some danger of disturbances in Gokula. As Nanda Maharaja thought about the danger for his beautiful son, Krsna, he was afraid, and he took shelter at the lotus feet of the supreme controller.
Whenever there is danger, the pure devotee thinks of the protection and shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is also advised in Bhagavad-gita (9.33): anityam asukham lokam imam prapya bhajasva mam. In this material world there is danger at every step (padam padam yad vipadam). Therefore a devotee has no other course than to take shelter of the Lord at every step.
kamsena prahita ghora
sisums cacara nighnanti
kamsena--by King Kamsa; prahita--engaged previously; ghora--very fierce; putana--by the name Putana; bala-ghatini--a Raksasi who killed; sisun--small babies; cacara--wandered; nighnanti--killing; pura-grama-vraja-adisu--in towns, cities and villages here and there.
While Nanda Maharaja was returning to Gokula, the same fierce Putana whom Kamsa had previously engaged to kill babies was wandering about in the towns, cities and villages, doing her nefarious duty.
na yatra sravanadini
kurvanti satvatam bhartur
yatudhanyas ca tatra hi
na--not; yatra--wherever; sravana-adini--the activities of bhakti-yoga, beginning with hearing and chanting; raksah-ghnani--the sound vibration to kill all danger and bad elements; sva-karmasu--if one is engaged in his own occupational duty; kurvanti--such things are done; satvatam bhartuh--of the protector of the devotees; yatudhanyah--disturbing elements, bad elements; ca--also; tatra hi--there must be.
My dear King, wherever people in any position perform their occupational duties of devotional service by chanting and hearing [sravanam kirtanam visnoh], there cannot be any danger from bad elements. Therefore there was no need for anxiety about Gokula while the Supreme Personality of Godhead was personally present.
Sukadeva Gosvami spoke this verse to mitigate the anxiety of Maharaja Pariksit. Maharaja Pariksit was a devotee of Krsna, and therefore when he understood that Putana was causing disturbances in Gokula, he was somewhat perturbed. Sukadeva Gosvami therefore assured him that there was no danger in Gokula. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung: namasraya kari' yatane tumi, thakaha apana kaje. Everyone is thus advised to seek shelter in the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and remain engaged in his own occupational duty. There is no loss in this, and the gain is tremendous. Even from a material point of view, everyone should take to chanting the Hare Krsna mantra to be saved from all kinds of danger. This world is full of danger (padam padam yad vipadam). Therefore we should be encouraged to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra so that in our family, society, neighborhood and nation, everything will be smooth and free from danger.
sa khe-cary ekadotpatya
sa--that (Putana); khe-cari--who traveled in outer space; ekada--once upon a time; utpatya--was flying; putana--the demon Putana; nanda-gokulam--at the place of Nanda Maharaja, Gokula; yositva--converting into a very beautiful woman; mayaya--by mystic power; atmanam--herself; pravisat--entered; kama-carini--one who could move according to her own desire.
Once upon a time, Putana Raksasi, who could move according to her desire and was wandering in outer space, converted herself by mystic power into a very beautiful woman and thus entered Gokula, the abode of Nanda Maharaja.
Raksasis learn mystic powers by which they can travel in outer space without machines. In some parts of India there are still such mystical witches, who can sit on a stick and use it to fly from one place to another in a very short time. This art was known to Putana. Assuming the feature of a very beautiful woman, she entered Nanda Maharaja's abode, Gokula.
mano harantim vanitam vrajaukasam
gopyah sriyam drastum ivagatam patim
tam--her; kesa-bandha-vyatisakta-mallikam--whose arrangement of hair was decorated with a garland of mallika flowers; brhat--very, very big; nitamba-stana--by her hips and firm breasts; krcchra-madhyamam--whose slim waist was overburdened; su-vasasam--nicely painted or very attractively dressed; kalpita-karna-bhusana--of the earrings arranged on her ears; tvisa--by the brilliance; ullasat--very attractive; kuntala-mandita-ananam--whose beautiful face was surrounded by black hair; valgu-smita-apanga-visarga-viksitaih--by her casting her smiling glance on everyone very attractively; manah harantim--everyone's attention was attracted (by her); vanitam--an especially attractive woman; vraja-okasam--of the inhabitants of Gokula; amamsata--thought; ambhoja--holding a lotus flower; karena--with her hand; rupinim--very beautiful; gopyah--the gopi inhabitants of Gokula; sriyam--the goddess of fortune; drastum--to see; iva--as if; agatam--had come; patim--her husband.
Her hips were full, her breasts were large and firm, seeming to overburden her slim waist, and she was dressed very nicely. Her hair, adorned with a garland of mallika flowers, was scattered about her beautiful face. Her earrings were brilliant, and as she smiled very attractively, glancing upon everyone, her beauty drew the attention of all the inhabitants of Vraja, especially the men. When the gopis saw her, they thought that the beautiful goddess of fortune, holding a lotus flower in her hand, had come to see her husband, Krsna.
bala-grahas tatra vicinvati sisun
yadrcchaya nanda-grhe 'sad-antakam
dadarsa talpe 'gnim ivahitam bhasi
bala-grahah--the witch, whose business was to kill small babies; tatra--standing there; vicinvati--thinking of, searching for; sisun--children; yadrcchaya--independently; nanda-grhe--in the house of Nanda Maharaja; asat-antakam--who could kill all demons; balam--the child; praticchanna--covered; nija-uru-tejasam--whose unlimited power; dadarsa--she saw; talpe--(lying) on the bed; agnim--fire; iva--just like; ahitam--covered; bhasi--within ashes.
While searching for small children, Putana, whose business was to kill them, entered the house of Nanda Maharaja unobstructed, having been sent by the superior potency of the Lord. Without asking anyone's permission, she entered Nanda Maharaja's room, where she saw the child sleeping in bed, His unlimited power covered like a powerful fire covered by ashes. She could understand that this child was not ordinary, but was meant to kill all demons.
Demons are always busy creating disturbances and killing. But the child lying on the bed in the house of Nanda Maharaja was meant to kill many demons.
vibudhya tam balaka-marika-graham
caracaratma sa nimiliteksanah
anantam aropayad ankam antakam
yathoragam suptam abuddhi-rajju-dhih
vibudhya--understanding; tam--her (Putana); balaka-marika-graham--a witch very expert in killing small babies; cara-acara-atma--Krsna, the all-pervading Supersoul; sah--He; nimilita-iksanah--closed His eyes; anantam--the Unlimited; aropayat--she placed; ankam--on her lap; antakam--for her own annihilation; yatha--as; uragam--a snake; suptam--while sleeping; abuddhi--a person who has no intelligence; rajju-dhih--one who thinks a snake to be a rope.
Lord Sri Krsna, the all-pervading Supersoul, lying on the bed, understood that Putana, a witch who was expert in killing small children, had come to kill Him. Therefore, as if afraid of her, Krsna closed His eyes. Thus Putana took upon her lap Him who was to be her own annihilation, just as an unintelligent person places a sleeping snake on his lap, thinking the snake to be a rope.
In this verse there are two perplexities. When Krsna saw that Putana had come to kill Him, He thought that since this woman was present with motherly affection, although artificial, He had to offer her a benediction. Therefore He looked at her with a little perplexity and then closed His eyes again. Putana Raksasi also was perplexed. She was not intelligent enough to understand that she was taking a sleeping snake on her lap; she thought the snake to be an ordinary rope. The two words antakam and anantam are contradictory. Because of not being intelligent, Putana thought that she could kill her antakam, the source of her annihilation; but because He is ananta, unlimited, no one can kill Him.
tam tiksna-cittam ativama-cestitam
vara-striyam tat-prabhaya ca dharsite
niriksyamane janani hy atisthatam
tam--that (Putana Raksasi); tiksna-cittam--having a very fierce heart for killing the child; ati-vama-cestitam--although she was trying to treat the child better than a mother; viksya antara--seeing her within the room; kosa-paricchada-asi-vat--like a sharp sword within a soft sheath; vara-striyam--the very beautiful woman; tat-prabhaya--by her influence; ca--also; dharsite--being overwhelmed; niriksyamane--were seeing; janani--the two mothers; hi--indeed; atisthatam--they remained silent, without prohibiting.
Putana Raksasi's heart was fierce and cruel, but she looked like a very affectionate mother. Thus she resembled a sharp sword in a soft sheath. Although seeing her within the room, Yasoda and Rohini, overwhelmed by her beauty, did not stop her, but remained silent because she treated the child like a mother.
Although Putana was an outsider and although she personified fierce death because the determination within her heart was to kill the child, when she directly came and placed the child on her lap to offer the child her breast to suck, the mothers were so captivated by her beauty that they did not prohibit her. Sometimes a beautiful woman is dangerous because everyone, being captivated by external beauty (maya-mohita), is unable to understand what is in her mind. Those who are captivated by the beauty of the external energy are called maya-mohita. Mohitam nabhijanati mam ebhyah param avyayam (Bg. 7.13). Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah (Bhag. 7.5.31). Here, of course, the two mothers Rohini and Yasoda were not maya-mohita, deluded by the external energy, but to develop the pastimes of the Lord, they were captivated by yogamaya. Such maya-moha is the action of yogamaya.
tasmin stanam durjara-viryam ulbanam
ghorankam adaya sisor dadav atha
gadham karabhyam bhagavan prapidya tat-
pranaih samam rosa-samanvito 'pibat
tasmin--in that very spot; stanam--the breast; durjara-viryam--a very powerful weapon mixed with poison; ulbanam--which was fierce; ghora--the most ferocious Putana; ankam--on her lap; adaya--placing; sisoh--in the mouth of the child; dadau--pushed; atha--thereupon; gadham--very hard; karabhyam--with both hands; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; prapidya--giving her great pain; tat-pranaih--her life; samam--along with; rosa-samanvitah--being very angry at her; apibat--sucked the breast.
On that very spot, the fiercely dangerous Raksasi took Krsna on her lap and pushed her breast into His mouth. The nipple of her breast was smeared with a dangerous, immediately effective poison, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, becoming very angry at her, took hold of her breast, squeezed it very hard with both hands, and sucked out both the poison and her life.
Lord Krsna was not angry at Putana for His own sake. Rather, He was angry because the Raksasi had killed so many small children in Vrajabhumi. Therefore He decided that she should be punished by having to forfeit her life.
sa munca muncalam iti prabhasini
vivrtya netre caranau bhujau muhuh
prasvinna-gatra ksipati ruroda ha
sa--she (Putana Raksasi); munca--give up; munca--give up; alam--suck my breast no longer; iti--thus; prabhasini--crying; nispidyamana--being pressed severely; akhila-jiva-marmani--in every center of her vitality; vivrtya--opening wide; netre--her two eyes; caranau--two legs; bhujau--two hands; muhuh--again and again; prasvinna-gatra--with her body perspiring; ksipati--throwing; ruroda--cried severely; ha--indeed.
Unbearably pressed in every vital point, the demon Putana began to cry, "Please leave me, leave me! Suck my breast no longer!" Perspiring, her eyes wide open and her arms and legs flailing, she cried very loudly again and again.
The Raksasi was severely punished by Krsna. She threw her arms and legs about, and Krsna also began to kick her with His legs to punish her properly for her mischievous activities.
sadrir mahi dyaus ca cacala sa-graha
rasa disas ca pratinedire janah
petuh ksitau vajra-nipata-sankaya
tasyah--of the great Raksasi Putana; svanena--by the vibration of the sound; ati--very; gabhira--deep; ramhasa--forceful; sa-adrih--with the mountains; mahi--the surface of the world; dyauh ca--and outer space; cacala--trembled; sa-graha--with the stars; rasa--below the planet earth; disah ca--and all directions; pratinedire--vibrated; janah--people in general; petuh--fell down; ksitau--on the surface of the world; vajra-nipata-sankaya--by suspecting that thunderbolts were falling.
As Putana screamed loudly and forcefully, the earth with its mountains, and outer space with its planets, trembled. The lower planets and all directions vibrated, and people fell down, fearing that thunderbolts were falling upon them.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks that in this verse the word rasa refers to the planetary systems below the earth, such as Rasatala, Atala, Vitala, Sutala and Talatala.
nisa-carittham vyathita-stana vyasur
vyadaya kesams caranau bhujav api
prasarya gosthe nija-rupam asthita
vajrahato vrtra ivapatan nrpa
nisa-cari--the Raksasi; ittham--in this way; vyathita-stana--being severely aggrieved because of pressure on her breast; vyasuh--lost her life; vyadaya--opening her mouth wide; kesan--bunch of hairs; caranau--her two legs; bhujau--her two hands; api--also; prasarya--expanding; gosthe--in the pasturing ground; nija-rupam asthita--remained in her original demoniac form; vajra-ahatah--killed by the thunderbolt of Indra; vrtrah--Vrtrasura; iva--as if; apatat--fell down; nrpa--O King.
In this way the demon Putana, very much aggrieved because her breast was being attacked by Krsna, lost her life. O King Pariksit, opening her mouth wide and spreading her arms, legs and hair, she fell down in the pasturing ground in her original form as a Raksasi, as Vrtrasura had fallen when killed by the thunderbolt of Indra.
Putana was a great Raksasi who knew the art of covering her original form by mystic power, but when she was killed her mystic power could not hide her, and she appeared in her original form.
patamano 'pi tad-dehas
curnayam asa rajendra
mahad asit tad adbhutam
patamanah api--even while falling down; tat-dehah--her gigantic body; tri-gavyuti-antara--within a limit of twelve miles; druman--all kinds of trees; curnayam asa--smashed; rajendra--O King Pariksit; mahat asit--was quite gigantic; tat--that body; adbhutam--and very, very wonderful.
O King Pariksit, when the gigantic body of Putana fell to the ground, it smashed all the trees within a limit of twelve miles. Appearing in a gigantic body, she was certainly extraordinary.
Because of the grievous hurt imposed upon her by Krsna's sucking her breast, Putana, while dying, not only left the room but abandoned the village and fell down in the pasturing ground in her gigantic body.
santatrasuh sma tad viksya
gopa gopyah kalevaram
purvam tu tan-nihsvanita-
isa-matra--like the front of a plow; ugra--fierce; damstra--the teeth; asyam--having a mouth in which; giri-kandara--like mountain caves; nasikam--the nostrils of whom; ganda-saila--like big slabs of stone; stanam--the breasts of whom; raudram--very fierce; prakirna--scattered; aruna-murdha-jam--whose hair was the color of copper; andha-kupa--like blind wells; gabhira--deep; aksam--eye sockets; pulina-aroha-bhisanam--whose thighs were fearful like the banks of a river; baddha-setu-bhuja-uru-anghri--whose arms, thighs and feet were strongly built bridges; sunya-toya-hrada-udaram--whose abdomen was like a lake without water; santatrasuh sma--became frightened; tat--that; viksya--seeing; gopah--the cowherd men; gopyah--and the cowherd women; kalevaram--such a gigantic body; purvam tu--before that; tat-nihsvanita--because of her loud vibration; bhinna--were shocked; hrt--whose hearts; karna--ears; mastakah--and heads.
The Raksasi's mouth was full of teeth, each resembling the front of a plow, her nostrils were deep like mountain caves, and her breasts resembled big slabs of stone fallen from a hill. Her scattered hair was the color of copper. The sockets of her eyes appeared like deep blind wells, her fearful thighs resembled the banks of a river, her arms, legs and feet seemed like big bridges, and her abdomen appeared like a dried-up lake. The hearts, ears and heads of the cowherd men and women were already shocked by the Raksasi's screaming, and when they saw the fierce wonder of her body, they were even more frightened.
balam ca tasya urasi
gopyas turnam samabhyetya
balam ca--the child also; tasyah--of that (Raksasi Putana); urasi--on the upper portion of the breast; kridantam--engaged in playing; akutobhayam--without fear; gopyah--all the cowherd women; turnam--immediately; samabhyetya--coming near; jagrhuh--picked up; jata-sambhramah--with the same affection and respect they always maintained.
Without fear, the child Krsna was playing on the upper portion of Putana Raksasi's breast, and when the gopis saw the child's wonderful activities, they immediately came forward with great jubilation and picked Him up.
Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead--Krsna. Although the Raksasi Putana could increase or decrease her bodily size by her mystic abilities and thus gain proportionate power, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is equally powerful in any transcendental form. Krsna is the real Personality of Godhead because whether as a child or as a grown-up young man, He is the same person. He does not need to become powerful by meditation or any other external endeavor. Therefore when the greatly powerful Putana expanded her body, Krsna remained the same small child and fearlessly played on the upper portion of her breast. Sadaisvarya-purna. Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is always full in all potencies, regardless of whether He is present in this form or that. His potencies are always full. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate. He can display all potencies under any circumstances.
samam balasya sarvatah
raksam vidadhire samyag
yasoda-rohinibhyam--with mother Yasoda and mother Rohini, who principally took charge of the child; tah--the other gopis; samam--equally as important as Yasoda and Rohini; balasya--of the child; sarvatah--from all dangers; raksam--protection; vidadhire--executed; samyak--completely; go-puccha-bhramana-adibhih--by waving around the switch of a cow.
Thereafter, mother Yasoda and Rohini, along with the other elderly gopis, waved about the switch of a cow to give full protection to the child Sri Krsna.
When Krsna was saved from such a great danger, mother Yasoda and Rohini were principally concerned, and the other elderly gopis, who were almost equally concerned, followed the activities of mother Yasoda and Rohini. Here we find that in household affairs, ladies could take charge of protecting a child simply by taking help from the cow. As described here, they knew how to wave about the switch of a cow so as to protect the child from all types of danger. There are so many facilities afforded by cow protection, but people have forgotten these arts. The importance of protecting cows is therefore stressed by Krsna in Bhagavad-gita (krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam vaisya-karma svabhavajam). Even now in the Indian villages surrounding Vrndavana, the villagers live happily simply by giving protection to the cow. They keep cow dung very carefully and dry it to use as fuel. They keep a sufficient stock of grains, and because of giving protection to the cows, they have sufficient milk and milk products to solve all economic problems. Simply by giving protection to the cow, the villagers live so peacefully. Even the urine and stool of cows have medicinal value.
raksam cakrus ca sakrta
go-mutrena--with the urine of the cows; snapayitva--after thoroughly washing; punah--again; go-rajasa--with the dust floating because of the movements of the cows; arbhakam--unto the child; raksam--protection; cakruh--executed; ca--also; sakrta--with the cow dung; dvadasa-angesu--in twelve places (dvadasa-tilaka); namabhih--by imprinting the holy names of the Lord.
The child was thoroughly washed with cow urine and then smeared with the dust raised by the movements of the cows. Then different names of the Lord were applied with cow dung on twelve different parts of His body, beginning with the forehead, as done in applying tilaka. In this way, the child was given protection.
angesu karayoh prthak
nyasyatmany atha balasya
gopyah--the gopis; samsprsta-salilah--touching a cup of water and drinking; angesu--on their bodies; karayoh--on their two hands; prthak--separately; nyasya--after placing the letters of the mantra; atmani--on their own; atha--then; balasya--of the child; bija-nyasam--the process of mantra-nyasa; akurvata--executed.
The gopis first executed the process of acamana, drinking a sip of water from the right hand. They purified their bodies and hands with the nyasa-mantra and then applied the same mantra upon the body of the child.
Nyasa-mantra includes acamana, or first drinking a sip of water kept in the right hand. There are different visnu-mantras to purify the body. The gopis, and in fact any householders, knew the process for being purified by chanting Vedic hymns. The gopis executed this process first to purify themselves and then to purify the child Krsna. One executes the process of anga-nyasa and kara-nyasa simply by drinking a little sip of water and chanting the mantra. The mantra is preceded with the first letter of the name, followed by anusvara and the word namah: om namo 'jas tavanghri avyat, mam mano manimams tava januni avyat, and so on. By losing Indian culture, Indian householders have forgotten how to execute the anga-nyasa and are simply busy in sense gratification, without any advanced knowledge of human civilization.
avyad ajo 'nghri manimams tava janv athoru
yajno 'cyutah kati-tatam jatharam hayasyah
hrt kesavas tvad-ura isa inas tu kantham
visnur bhujam mukham urukrama isvarah kam
cakry agratah saha-gado harir astu pascat
tvat-parsvayor dhanur-asi madhu-hajanas ca
konesu sankha urugaya upary upendras
tarksyah ksitau haladharah purusah samantat
avyat--may protect; ajah--Lord Aja; anghri--legs; maniman--Lord Maniman; tava--Your; janu--knees; atha--thereafter; uru--thighs; yajnah--Lord Yajna; acyutah--Lord Acyuta; kati-tatam--the upper part of the waist; jatharam--abdomen; hayasyah--Lord Hayagriva; hrt--the heart; kesavah--Lord Kesava; tvat--Your; urah--chest; isah--the supreme controller, Lord Isa; inah--Surya, the sun-god; tu--but; kantham--neck; visnuh--Lord Visnu; bhujam--arms; mukham--the mouth; urukramah--Lord Urukrama; isvarah--Lord Isvara; kam--head; cakri--the carrier of the disc; agratah--in front; saha-gadah--the carrier of the club; harih--Lord Hari; astu--may He remain; pascat--on the back; tvat-parsvayoh--on both sides; dhanuh-asi--the carrier of the bow and the sword; madhu-ha--the killer of the demon Madhu; ajanah--Lord Visnu; ca--and; konesu--in the corners; sankhah--the carrier of the conchshell; urugayah--who is well worshiped; upari--above; upendrah--Lord Upendra; tarksyah--Garuda; ksitau--on the surface; haladharah--Lord Haladhara; purusah--the Supreme Person; samantat--on all sides.
[Sukadeva Gosvami informed Maharaja Pariksit that the gopis, following the proper system, protected Krsna, their child, with this mantra.] May Aja protect Your legs, may Maniman protect Your knees, Yajna Your thighs, Acyuta the upper part of Your waist, and Hayagriva Your abdomen. May Kesava protect Your heart, Isa Your chest, the sun-god Your neck, Visnu Your arms, Urukrama Your face, and Isvara Your head. May Cakri protect You from the front; may Sri Hari, Gadadhari, the carrier of the club, protect You from the back; and may the carrier of the bow, who is known as the enemy of Madhu, and Lord Ajana, the carrier of the sword, protect Your two sides. May Lord Urugaya, the carrier of the conchshell, protect You from all corners; may Upendra protect You from above; may Garuda protect You on the ground; and may Lord Haladhara, the Supreme Person, protect You on all sides.
Even in the houses of the cultivators, who were not very advanced in the modern ways of civilization, the ladies used to know how to chant mantras to give protection to children with the help of cow dung and cow urine. This was a simple and practical way to give the greatest protection from the greatest dangers. People should know how to do this, for this is a part of Vedic civilization.
pranan narayano 'vatu
mano yogesvaro 'vatu
indriyani--all the senses; hrsikesah--Lord Hrsikesa, the proprietor of all the senses; pranan--all kinds of life air; narayanah--Lord Narayana; avatu--may He give protection; svetadvipa-patih--the master of Svetadvipa, Visnu; cittam--the core of the heart; manah--the mind; yogesvarah--Lord Yogesvara; avatu--may He give protection.
May Hrsikesa protect Your senses, and Narayana Your life air. May the master of Svetadvipa protect the core of Your heart, and may Lord Yogesvara protect Your mind.
prsnigarbhas tu te buddhim
atmanam bhagavan parah
kridantam patu govindah
sayanam patu madhavah
vrajantam avyad vaikuntha
asinam tvam sriyah patih
bhunjanam yajnabhuk patu
prsnigarbhah--Lord Prsnigarbha; tu--indeed; te--Your; buddhim--intelligence; atmanam--Your soul; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; parah--transcendental; kridantam--while playing; patu--may He protect; govindah--Lord Govinda; sayanam--while sleeping; patu--may He protect; madhavah--Lord Madhava; vrajantam--while walking; avyat--may He protect; vaikunthah--Lord Vaikuntha; asinam--while sitting down; tvam--unto You; sriyah patih--Narayana, the husband of the goddess of fortune (may protect); bhunjanam--while enjoying life; yajnabhuk--Yajnabhuk; patu--may He protect; sarva-graha-bhayam-karah--who is fearful to all evil planets.
May Lord Prsnigarbha protect Your intelligence, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead Your soul. While You are playing, may Govinda protect You, and while You are sleeping may Madhava protect You. May Lord Vaikuntha protect You while You are walking, and may Lord Narayana, the husband of the goddess of fortune, protect You while You are sitting. Similarly, may Lord Yajnabhuk, the fearful enemy of all evil planets, always protect You while You enjoy life.
dakinyo yatudhanyas ca
kusmanda ye 'rbhaka-grahah
kotara revati jyestha
unmada ye hy apasmara
vrddha bala-grahas ca ye
sarve nasyantu te visnor
dakinyah yatudhanyah ca kusmandah--witches and devils, enemies of children; ye--those who are; arbhaka-grahah--like evil stars for children; bhuta--evil spirits; preta--evil hobgoblins; pisacah--similar bad spirits; ca--also; yaksa--the living entities known as Yaksas; raksah--those known as Raksasas; vinayakah--those by the name Vinayaka; kotara--by the name Kotara; revati--by the name Revati; jyestha--by the name Jyestha; putana--by the name Putana; matrka-adayah--and evil women like Matrka; unmadah--those who cause madness; ye--which others; hi--indeed; apasmarah--causing loss of memory; deha-prana-indriya--to the body, life air and senses; druhah--give trouble; svapna-drstah--the evil spirits that cause bad dreams; maha-utpatah--those causing great disturbances; vrddhah--the most experienced; bala-grahah ca--and those attacking children; ye--who; sarve--all of them; nasyantu--let be vanquished; te--those; visnoh--of Lord Visnu; nama-grahana--by the chanting of the name; bhiravah--become afraid.
The evil witches known as Dakinis, Yatudhanis and Kusmandas are the greatest enemies of children, and the evil spirits like Bhutas, Pretas, Pisacas, Yaksas, Raksasas and Vinayakas, as well as witches like Kotara, Revati, Jyestha, Putana and Matrka, are always ready to give trouble to the body, the life air and the senses, causing loss of memory, madness and bad dreams. Like the most experienced evil stars, they all create great disturbances, especially for children, but one can vanquish them simply by uttering Lord Visnu's name, for when Lord Visnu's name resounds, all of them become afraid and go away.
As stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.33):
advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam
adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam ca
vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
"I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, who is the original person--nondual, infallible, and without beginning. Although He expands into unlimited forms, He is still the original, and although He is the oldest person, He always appears as a fresh youth. Such eternal, blissful and all-knowing forms of the Lord cannot be understood by the academic wisdom of the Vedas, but they are always manifest to pure, unalloyed devotees."
While decorating the body with tilaka, we give protection to the body by chanting twelve names of Visnu. Although Govinda, or Lord Visnu, is one, He has different names and forms with which to act differently. But if one cannot remember all the names at one time, one may simply chant, "Lord Visnu, Lord Visnu, Lord Visnu," and always think of Lord Visnu. Visnor aradhanam param: this is the highest form of worship. If one remembers Visnu always, even though one is disturbed by many bad elements, one can be protected without a doubt. The Ayurveda-sastra recommends, ausadhi cintayet visnum: even while taking medicine, one should remember Visnu, because the medicine is not all and all and Lord Visnu is the real protector. The material world is full of danger (padam padam yad vipadam). Therefore one must become a Vaisnava and think of Visnu constantly. This is made easier by the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended, kirtaniyah sada harih, param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam, and kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet.
payayitva stanam mata
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; iti--in this way; pranaya-baddhabhih--who were bound with maternal affection; gopibhih--by the elderly gopis, headed by mother Yasoda; krta-raksanam--all measures were taken to protect the child; payayitva--and after that, feeding the child; stanam--the nipple; mata--mother Yasoda; sannyavesayat--made to lie down on the bed; atmajam--her son.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami continued: All the gopis, headed by mother Yasoda, were bound by maternal affection. After they thus chanted mantras to protect the child, mother Yasoda gave the child the nipple of her breast to suck and then got Him to lie down on His bed.
When a baby drinks milk from the breast of his mother, this is a good sign of health. So the elderly gopis were not satisfied with chanting mantras to give protection to Krsna; they also tested whether their child's health was in order. When the child sucked the breast, this confirmed that He was healthy, and when the gopis were fully satisfied, they had the child lie down on His bed.
tavan nandadayo gopa
mathuraya vrajam gatah
tavat--in the meantime; nanda-adayah--headed by Nanda Maharaja; gopah--all the cowherd men; mathurayah--from Mathura; vrajam--to Vrndavana; gatah--came back; vilokya--when they saw; putana-deham--the gigantic body of Putana lying dead; babhuvuh--became; ati--very much; vismitah--struck with wonder.
Meanwhile, all the cowherd men, headed by Nanda Maharaja, returned from Mathura, and when they saw on the way the gigantic body of Putana lying dead, they were struck with great wonder.
Nanda Maharaja's wonder may be understood in various ways. First of all, the cowherd men had never before seen such a gigantic body in Vrndavana, and therefore they were struck with wonder. Then they began to consider where such a body had come from, whether it had dropped from the sky, or whether, by some mistake or by the power of some mystic yogini, they had come to some place other than Vrndavana. They could not actually guess what had happened, and therefore they were struck with wonder.
nunam batarsih sanjato
yogeso va samasa sah
sa eva drsto hy utpato
nunam--certainly; bata--O my friends; rsih--a great saintly person; sanjatah--has become; yoga-isah--a master of mystic power; va--or; samasa--has become; sah--he (Vasudeva); sah--that; eva--indeed; drstah--has been seen (by us); hi--because; utpatah--kind of disturbance; yat--that which; aha--predicted; anakadundubhih--Anakadundubhi (another name of Vasudeva).
Nanda Maharaja and the other gopas exclaimed: My dear friends, you must know that Anakadundubhi, Vasudeva, has become a great saint or a master of mystic power. Otherwise how could he have foreseen this calamity and predicted it to us?
This verse illustrates the difference between ksatriyas and innocent vaisyas. By studying the political situation, Vasudeva could see what would happen, whereas Nanda Maharaja, the king of the agriculturalists, could only guess that Vasudeva was a great saintly person and had developed mystic powers. Vasudeva actually had all mystic powers under his control; otherwise he could not have become the father of Krsna. But in fact he foresaw the calamities in Vraja by studying Kamsa's political activities and thus warned Nanda Maharaja to take precautions, although Nanda Maharaja thought that Vasudeva had predicted this incident through wonderful mystic powers. By mystic powers gained through the practice of hatha-yoga, one can study and understand the future.
chittva tat te vrajaukasah
kalevaram--the gigantic body of Putana; parasubhih--with the aid of axes; chittva--after cutting to pieces; tat--that (body); te--all of those; vraja-okasah--inhabitants of Vraja; dure--far, far away; ksiptva--after throwing; avayavasah--different parts of the body, piece by piece; nyadahan--burned to ashes; kastha-vestitam--covered by wood.
The inhabitants of Vraja cut the gigantic body of Putana into pieces with the help of axes. Then they threw the pieces far away, covered them with wood and burned them to ashes.
It is the practice that after a snake has been killed, its body is cut into various pieces for fear that it may come to life again simply by interacting with air. Merely killing a serpent is not sufficient; after it is killed, it must be cut to pieces and burned, and then the danger will be over. Putana resembled a great serpent, and therefore the cowherd men took the same precautions by burning her body to ashes.
dahyamanasya--while being burnt to ashes; dehasya--of the body of Putana; dhumah--the smoke; ca--and; aguru-saurabhah--turned into saintly scented smoke of the aguru herb; utthitah--emanating from her body; krsna-nirbhukta--because of Krsna's having sucked her breast; sapadi--immediately; ahata-papmanah--her material body became spiritualized or relieved of all material conditions.
Because of Krsna's having sucked the breast of the Raksasi Putana, when Krsna killed her she was immediately freed of all material contamination. Her sinful reactions automatically vanished, and therefore when her gigantic body was being burnt, the smoke emanating from her body was fragrant like aguru incense.
Such are the effects of Krsna consciousness. If one somehow or other becomes Krsna conscious by applying his senses in the service of the Lord, one is immediately freed from material contamination. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah (Bhag. 1.2.17). Hearing about the activities of Krsna is the beginning of purified life. Punya-sravana-kirtanah: simply by hearing and chanting, one becomes purified. Therefore, in discharging devotional service, sravana-kirtana (hearing and chanting) is most important. Then, with purified senses, one begins to render service to the Lord (hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam). Bhaktir ucyate: this is called bhakti. When Putana was somehow or other, directly or indirectly, induced to render some service to the Lord by feeding Him with her breast, she was immediately purified, so much so that when her nasty material body was burnt to ashes, it gave off the fragrance of aguru, the most agreeably scented herb.
stanam dattvapa sad-gatim
kim punah sraddhaya bhaktya
yacchan priyatamam kim nu
raktas tan-mataro yatha
putana--Putana, the professional Raksasi; loka-bala-ghni--who used to kill human children; raksasi--the she-demon; rudhira-asana--simply hankering for blood; jighamsaya--with the desire to kill Krsna (being envious of Krsna and having been instructed by Kamsa); api--still; haraye--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; stanam--her breast; dattva--after offering; apa--obtained; sat-gatim--the most elevated position of spiritual existence; kim--what to speak of; punah--again; sraddhaya--with faith; bhaktya--by devotion; krsnaya--unto Lord Krsna; paramatmane--who is the Supreme Person; yacchan--offering; priya-tamam--the dearmost; kim--something; nu--indeed; raktah--those who have an affinity; tat-matarah--Krsna's affectionate mothers (offering the beloved child their breasts); yatha--exactly like.
Putana was always hankering for the blood of human children, and with that desire she came to kill Krsna; but because she offered her breast to the Lord, she attained the greatest achievement. What then is to be said of those who had natural devotion and affection for Krsna as mothers and who offered Him their breasts to suck or offered something very dear, as a mother offers something to a child?
Putana had no affection for Krsna; rather, she was envious and wanted to kill Him. Nonetheless, because with or without knowledge she offered her breast, she attained the highest achievement in life. But the offerings of devotees attracted to Krsna in parental love are always sincere. A mother likes to offer something to her child with affection and love; there is no question of envy. So here we can make a comparative study. If Putana could attain such an exalted position in spiritual life by neglectfully, enviously making an offering to Krsna, what is to be said of mother Yasoda and the other gopis, who served Krsna with such great affection and love, offering everything for Krsna's satisfaction? The gopis automatically achieved the highest perfection. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommended the affection of the gopis, either in maternal affection or in conjugal love, as the highest perfection in life (ramya kacid upasana vrajavadhu-vargena ya kalpita).
angam yasyah samakramya
bhagavan api tat-stanam
yatudhany api sa svargam
kim u gavo 'numatarah
padbhyam--by the two lotus feet; bhakta-hrdi-sthabhyam--which are always thought of by pure devotees, in whose heart the Lord is therefore situated constantly; vandyabhyam--which are always to be praised; loka-vanditaih--by Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, who are praised by all the inhabitants of the three worlds; angam--the body; yasyah--of whom (Putana); samakramya--embracing; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; api--also; tat-stanam--that breast; yatudhani api--although she was a witch (whose only business was to kill small children and who had tried to kill Krsna also); sa--she; svargam--the transcendental abode; avapa--achieved; janani-gatim--the position of a mother; krsna-bhukta-stana-ksirah--therefore, because their breasts were sucked by Krsna, who drank the milk flowing from their bodies; kim u--what to speak of; gavah--the cows; anumatarah--exactly like mothers (who allowed their nipples to be sucked by Krsna).
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is always situated within the core of the heart of the pure devotee, and He is always offered prayers by such worshipable personalities as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva. Because Krsna embraced Putana's body with great pleasure and sucked her breast, although she was a great witch, she attained the position of a mother in the transcendental world and thus achieved the highest perfection. What then is to be said of the cows whose nipples Krsna sucked with great pleasure and who offered their milk very jubilantly with affection exactly like that of a mother?
These verses explain how devotional service rendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whether directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly, becomes successful. Putana was neither a devotee nor a nondevotee; she was actually a demoniac witch instructed by Kamsa to kill Krsna. Nonetheless, in the beginning she assumed the form of a very beautiful woman and approached Krsna exactly like an affectionate mother, so that mother Yasoda and Rohini did not doubt her sincerity. The Lord took all this into consideration, and thus she was automatically promoted to a position like that of mother Yasoda. As explained by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, there are various roles one may play in such a position. Putana was immediately promoted to Vaikunthaloka, which is also sometimes described as Svarga. The Svarga mentioned in this verse is not the material heavenly planet, but the transcendental world. In Vaikunthaloka, Putana attained the position of a nurse (dhatry-ucitam), as described by Uddhava. Putana was elevated to the position of a nurse and maidservant in Goloka Vrndavana to assist mother Yasoda.
payamsi yasam apibat
tasam aviratam krsne
na punah kalpate rajan
payamsi--milk (coming from the body); yasam--of all of whom; apibat--Lord Krsna drank; putra-sneha-snutani--that milk coming from the bodies of the gopis, not artificially but because of maternal affection; alam--sufficiently; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; devaki-putrah--who appeared as the son of Devaki; kaivalya-adi--like liberation or merging into the Brahman effulgence; akhila-pradah--the bestower of all similar blessings; tasam--of all of them (of all the gopis); aviratam--constantly; krsne--unto Lord Krsna; kurvatinam--making; suta-iksanam--as a mother looks upon her child; na--never; punah--again; kalpate--can be imagined; rajan--O King Pariksit; samsarah--the material bondage of birth and death; ajnana-sambhavah--which is to be accepted by foolish persons ignorantly trying to become happy.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is the bestower of many benedictions, including liberation [kaivalya], or oneness with the Brahman effulgence. For that Personality of Godhead, the gopis always felt maternal love, and Krsna sucked their breasts with full satisfaction. Therefore, because of their relationship as mother and son, although the gopis were engaged in various family activities, one should never think that they returned to this material world after leaving their bodies.
The advantage of Krsna consciousness is described herein. Krsna consciousness gradually develops on the transcendental platform. One may think of Krsna as the supreme personality, one may think of Krsna as the supreme master, one may think of Krsna as the supreme friend, one may think of Krsna as the supreme son, or one may think of Krsna as the supreme conjugal lover. If one is connected with Krsna in any of these transcendental relationships, the course of one's material life is understood to have already ended. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (4.9), tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti: for such devotees, going back home, back to Godhead, is guaranteed. Na punah kalpate rajan samsaro jnana-sambhavah. This verse also guarantees that devotees who constantly think of Krsna in a particular relationship will never return to this material world. In this material world of samsara, there are the same relationships. One thinks, "Here is my son," "Here is my wife," "Here is my lover," or "Here is my friend." But these relationships are temporary illusions. Ajnana-sambhavah: such a consciousness awakens in ignorance. But when the same relationships awaken in Krsna consciousness, one's spiritual life is revived, and one is guaranteed to return home, back to Godhead. Even though the gopis who were friends of Rohini and mother Yasoda and who allowed their breasts to be sucked by Krsna were not directly Krsna's mothers, they all had the same chance as Rohini and Yasoda to go back to Godhead and act as Krsna's mothers-in-law, servants and so on. The word samsara refers to attachment for one's body, home, husband or wife, and children, but although the gopis and all the other inhabitants of Vrndavana had the same affection and attachment for husband and home, their central affection was for Krsna in some transcendental relationship, and therefore they were guaranteed to be promoted to Goloka Vrndavana in the next life, to live with Krsna eternally in spiritual happiness. The easiest way to attain spiritual elevation, to be liberated from this material world, and to go back home, back to Godhead, is recommended by Bhaktivinoda Thakura: krsnera samsara kara chadi' anacara. One should give up all sinful activities and remain in the family of Krsna. Then one's liberation is guaranteed.
kim idam kuta eveti
vadanto vrajam ayayuh
kata-dhumasya--of the smoke emanating from the fire burning the different parts of Putana's body; saurabhyam--the fragrance; avaghraya--when they smelled through their nostrils; vraja-okasah--the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi in distant places; kim idam--what is this fragrance; kutah--where does it come from; eva--indeed; iti--in this way; vadantah--speaking; vrajam--the place of Nanda Maharaja, Vrajabhumi; ayayuh--reached.
Upon smelling the fragrance of the smoke emanating from Putana's burning body, many inhabitants of Vrajabhumi in distant places were astonished. "Where is this fragrance coming from?" they asked. Thus they went to the spot where Putana's body was being burnt.
The aroma of the smoke emanating from a burning fire is not always very favorable. Therefore upon smelling such a wonderful fragrance, the inhabitants of Vraja were astonished.
te tatra varnitam gopaih
srutva tan-nidhanam svasti
sisos casan suvismitah
te--all those persons who arrived; tatra--there (in the vicinity of Nanda Maharaja's estate); varnitam--described; gopaih--by the cowherd men; putana-agamana-adikam--everything about how Putana the witch had come there and played havoc; srutva--after hearing; tat-nidhanam--and about how Putana had died; svasti--all auspiciousness; sisoh--for the baby; ca--and; asan--offered; su-vismitah--being struck with great wonder because of what had happened.
When the inhabitants of Vraja who had come from distant places heard the whole story of how Putana had come and then been killed by Krsna, they were certainly astonished, and they offered their blessings to the child for His wonderful deed of killing Putana. Nanda Maharaja, of course, was very much obliged to Vasudeva, who had foreseen the incident, and simply thanked him, thinking how wonderful Vasudeva was.
nandah sva-putram adaya
murdhny upaghraya paramam
mudam lebhe kurudvaha
nandah--Maharaja Nanda; sva-putram adaya--taking his son Krsna on his lap; pretya-agatam--as if Krsna had returned from death (no one could even imagine that from such danger a child could be saved); udara-dhih--because he was always liberal and simple; murdhni--on the head of Krsna; upaghraya--formally smelling; paramam--highest; mudam--peace; lebhe--achieved; kuru-udvaha--O Maharaja Pariksit.
O Maharaja Pariksit, best of the Kurus, Nanda Maharaja was very liberal and simple. He immediately took his son Krsna on his lap as if Krsna had returned from death, and by formally smelling his son's head, Nanda Maharaja undoubtedly enjoyed transcendental bliss.
Nanda Maharaja could not understand how the inhabitants of his house had allowed Putana to enter the house, nor could he imagine the gravity of the situation. He did not understand that Krsna had wanted to kill Putana and that His pastimes were performed by yogamaya. Nanda Maharaja simply thought that someone had entered his house and created havoc. This was Nanda Maharaja's simplicity.
ya etat putana-moksam
srnuyac chraddhaya martyo
govinde labhate ratim
yah--anyone who; etat--this; putana-moksam--salvation of Putana; krsnasya--of Krsna; arbhakam--the childhood pastimes; adbhutam--wonderful; srnuyat--should hear; sraddhaya--with faith and devotion; martyah--any person within this material world; govinde--for the Supreme Person, Govinda, Adi-purusa; labhate--gains; ratim--attachment.
Any person who hears with faith and devotion about how Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, killed Putana, and who thus invests his hearing in such childhood pastimes of Krsna, certainly attains attachment for Govinda, the supreme, original person.
The incident in which the great witch attempted to kill the child but was killed herself is certainly wonderful. Therefore this verse uses the word adbhutam, meaning "specifically wonderful." Krsna has left us many wonderful narrations about Him. Simply by reading these narrations, as they are described in Krsna, the Supreme personality of Godhead, one gains salvation from this material world and gradually develops attachment to and devotion for Govinda, Adi-purusa.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Tenth Canto, Sixth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "The Killing of the Demon Putana."