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Krsna Book Audio Dictation - Chapter 12

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Next chapter, number twelve: "The Killing of the Aghāsura Demon."

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Sometimes the Lord desired that He would go with all His cowherds boys friend to the forest early in the morning and there, all assembled together, would take the lunch. Thinking this, as soon as He got up from the bed, immediately He bugled His buffalo horn bugle and called all His friends together, and keeping all the calves before them, they started for the forest, taking their meals packed up in bundles. In this way, Lord Kṛṣṇa assembled thousa nds of His cowherds boyfriends, and they were all of them equipped with a stick, with their flute and horn bugle, as well as their luncheon baggage, and each of them were taking care of thousands of calves. In this way, in a great procession, Lord began to start for the forest.

While all the boys were going to the forest, keeping the calves in front, they appeared very much jolly and happy in their excursion. In this way, all the cowherds boys, including Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, was taking care of the calves in different places of the forest. But each and every one of the boys were attentive to take care of their personal calves respectively. All the boys were fully decorated all over the body with various kinds of golden ornaments, and still, out of sporting propensities, all of them began to pick up nice flowers, flower leaves and twigs, as well as peacock feathers and red clay from different places of the forest, and began to dress themselves in different way to become more beautiful and decorated.

In this way, while passing through the forest, one boy will steal other boy's lunch package and pass it to the third boy. And when the boy whose lunch package was stolen will come to know, he will try to take it from the boy, but the boy will throw it and pass it to another boy. In this way, there was sportive playing between the boys as childhood pastimes.

When Lord Kṛṣṇa will go ahead to some distant place in order to see some specific scenery spot, the boys behind Him would try to run first and touch Kṛṣṇa. In this way, there was great competition of running between themselves. Somebody would say, first of all, "I would go there and touch Kṛṣṇa"; other would say, "Oh, you cannot go. I shall go and touch Kṛṣṇa first." In this way, there was a great competition just to touch Kṛṣṇa.

In their sportive habits some of them will play on their flute, some of them vibrate the bugle made of buffalo horn, some of them gladly follow the peacocks, and some of them will imitate the onomatopoetic sounds of cuckoo. While the birds were flying on the sky, the boys would try to follow the shadow of the bird on the ground and try to follow exactly the course. Some of them will go to the monkeys and silently sit down by their side, and some of them would imitate the dancing of the peacocks. Some of them will catch the tail of the monkeys and play with him, and when the monkey will jump over the tree, the boy also follow him and jump over the tree. When the monkey will show its face and teeth to the boy, the boy will also imitate and show all teeth…, of teeth to the monkey and exactly try to jump like the monkey on the trees.

Some of the boys will play with the frogs on the bank of the Yamunā, and when the frogs, out of fear of the boys, will go down in the water, the boys also, imitating the frog, immediately dive into the water. Sometimes coming out, when they saw their own shadow, they would imitate several caricatures and laugh. Sometimes they go to the empty well and make a loud sound, and when the revibration will be there, they would call by some ill names and laugh.

In this way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā by Him personally, that He is realized proportionately by transcendentalists as Brahma, Paramātmā and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So here, to confirm the same statement Lord Kṛṣṇa, who gives the impersonalists the pleasure of Brahma realization by His bodily effulgence, and He also gives pleasure to the devotees as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and those who are under the spell of external energy, māyā, they took Him as the most beautiful child; but after all, He gave pleasure to the cowherds boy who were playing with Him, after accumulating heaps of resultant pious activities, and now promoted to be personally associated with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, who can estimate the transcendental fortune of the residents of Vṛndāvana, because they were personally visualizing the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, whom many yogins, even after undergoing severe austerities outside, could not find Him where He is sitting within his heart?

The same thing is also confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā, that anyone may search out Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, through the pages of the Vedas, but it is difficult to find Him through Upaniṣads and Vedas. But if anyone is fortunate enough to associate with a devotee, he can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face as the cowherds boy, after accumulating their pious activities in many, many previous life, were seeing Kṛṣṇa face to face—not only seeing face to face but were playing with Him as friends. They could not understand that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they were playing as their intimate friend with intense love for Him.

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In this way, when Lord Kṛṣṇa in His childhood pastimes was enjoying with His cowherds boyfriends, one Aghāsura demon become too much impatient. Practically he was unable to see Kṛṣṇa playing in that happy attitude, and therefore one day he appeared before them with his desire to kill all the boys. This Aghāsura was so dangerous demon that even the denizens in the heaven were afraid of him. Although the denizens of heaven, they drink nectar daily to prolong their span of life, still they were afraid of this Aghāsura and daily wishing "When the demon shall be killed?" In other words, even the denizens used to drink nectar for becoming immortal, actually they were not confident of their immortality of life, whereas the cowherds boys who were playing with Kṛṣṇa, they had no such fear from the demons; they were free. In other words, any material arrangement for protecting ourself from death is always not sure, but if you be in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then our immortality is confidently assured.

The demon Aghāsura, just appearing before Kṛṣṇa and His cowherds boys friend, began to think that "This Kṛṣṇa has killed my two brothers and sisters." This Aghāsura happened to be the younger brother of both Pūtanā and Bakāsura. So he began to think that Kṛṣṇa had killed two of his brothers and sisters, "Now I shall kill Kṛṣṇa, along with all His friends and calves." This Aghāsura was instigated by Kaṁsa, so he came there with such determination.

Aghāsura also began to think within himself that when he would offer grains and water in memory of his brother and sister by killing Kṛṣṇa and all the cowherd boyfriends, then automatically all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana will be without their life. Because generally, for the householders, the children are their life breathing force. So when all the children would die, naturally they would also die on account of strong feeling of affection for them. It is just like when the life force from the body is gone...

Kṛṣṇa, tape number thirteen. Stop. Time space number 132 and 133, paragraph beginning.

Aghāsura, thus deciding within himself about the death of all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, expanded himself by mahimā yogic siddhi. The demons are generally expert in achieving almost all kinds of mystic powers. So in the yoga system, there is one perfection called mahima-siddhi. By the mahima-siddhi one could expand himself as long as possible. So this demon Aghāsura, by the yogic mystic power, expanded himself up to eight miles and assumed the shape of a very big, fat snake. With this wonderful body, he stretched his mouth just like a mountain cave, and desiring to swallow all the boys, including Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, all at a time, he sat down quietly on the path.

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The Aghāsura, who was lying just like a big, fat serpent, expanded his lips from land to the sky. His lower lip was touching the ground, and his upper lip was touching the cloud in the sky. His chin appeared to be a big cave of mountain, without any limitation, and his teeth appeared to be just like mountain summits. His tongue appeared to be a broad trafficway, and he was breathing just like a hurricane. The focus of his eyes were just like blazing fire. All the cowherds boys first of all thought that the whole figure was some beautiful statue in Vṛndāvana. But after that, they saw it that it was just like a big serpent widening the mouth, lying down on the road. Then they began to talk amongst themselves, "My dear friends, this figure appears to be a great animal, and he is sitting in such a posture just to swallow up all of us. Is it not a big snake who has widened his mouth to eat all of us?"

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One of them said, "Yes, what you say it is true, because this animal's upper lips appear to be just like red sunshine, and the lower lips appear to be reflection of the red sunshine on the ground. My dear friends, just look to the right-hand and left-hand side of the mouth of the animal. They appear to be like big caves of the mountain, and the height of the mouth cannot be estimated, just like a big mountain, and the chin is raised just like a mountain summit. My dear friends, the long way-like thing appears to be his tongue, and inside the mouth of the serpent is as dark as it is in the cave of the mountains. The hurricane-like hot wind that is blowing, that is his breathing, and the fishy bad smell coming out from his mouth is the smell of his intestines within the belly."

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They then consulted amongst themselves that "If we all at a time enter into the mouth of this great serpent, is it possible that it will be able to swallow us—all of us? But even it is able to swallow all of us at a time, but it cannot swallow Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa immediately will kill him, as He did in the case of Bakāsura." While talking like this, all the boys began to see the beautiful lotus-like face of Kṛṣṇa and began to clap and smile. And in this way, they marched forward within the mouth of the big snake.

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While the boys were thinking like that, Kṛṣṇa, who is the Supersoul in everyone's heart, could understand that the big statue-like figure was a demon. The speculative statements made by the boys were all false. Actually it was a demon; therefore when the boys were trying to enter into the mouth of the demon, Kṛṣṇa made His plan how to stop destruction of His intimate friends, thus began to think within Himself. In this way, while all the cowherds boy along with their calves and cows entered within the mouth of the big serpent, Kṛṣṇa did not enter, and the demon was just waiting for Kṛṣṇa's entrance because he was thinking that "Everyone has entered except Kṛṣṇa," who had killed his brother and sister.

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Kṛṣṇa is the bestower of assurance for safety to everyone, but when He saw that His friends are already out of His hands and they are lying within the belly of the great serpent, He became for the time being aggrieved and also became struck with wonder how the external energy is working wonderfully. He therefore began to think within Himself how the demon should be killed, at the same time all the boys and calves within the belly of the demon may be saved. Although there was no concern for Kṛṣṇa in this connection, still He was thinking like that. And after deliberate consideration, He also entered within the mouth of the demon.

When Kṛṣṇa entered within the mouth of the demon, all the demigods, who were hiding themselves to see the fun within the clouds in the sky, began to express their feelings with the words "Alas! Alas!" At the same time, all the friends of the Aghāsura, especially Kaṁsa, who were all accustomed to eat flesh and blood, began to express their jubilation, understanding that Kṛṣṇa had also entered the mouth of the demon. While the demon was trying to smash Kṛṣṇa and all the boys and calves, his companions, Kṛṣṇa, hearing the demigods crying, "Alas! Alas!" immediately began to expand Himself within the throat of the demon.

Thus when the throat of the demon, although he had gigantic body, began to be choked up by the expanding method of Kṛṣṇa, at that time his big eyes began to move violently. Thus being choked up by suffocation, his air of life could not come out from any source, and ultimately the hole on the upper skull became burst out. Then the air of his life passed off. In this way, when the great demon became lifeless, Kṛṣṇa, by His transcendental glance only, brought all the boys and calves into consciousness again, and along with them, He came out of the mouth of the demon. So long Kṛṣṇa was within the mouth of the demon, his spirit soul came out like a dazzling light, illuminating all direction, and was waiting in the sky. As soon as Kṛṣṇa with His friends and calves came out of the mouth, that glittering effulgence light immediately merged into the body of Kṛṣṇa within the vision of all demigods in the sky.

At that time, all the demigods became so much overwhelmed with joy that they began to shower flowers on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, and thus they worshiped Him. The denizens of heaven and beautiful angels all began to dance in jubilation, sang very sweet, and the denizens in the Gandharvaloka began to offer various kinds of prayers to the Lord. Drum beaters began to beat the drums in jubilation, the brāhmaṇas began to recite Vedic hymns, and all the devotees of the Lord began to chant with the words "Jaya! Jaya! All glories to the Supreme Personality of Godhead!"

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When Lord Brahmā heard those auspicious vibration of sound all over the higher planetary system, he immediately came down to see what had happened, and when he saw that the demon was killed, he was struck with wonder by seeing the uncommon glorified pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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The gigantic mouth of the demon remained in that position for many days, and gradually it became dried up and remained a spot of pleasure pastimes of all the cowherds boy for many days.

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This incidence of killing the Aghāsura took place when Kṛṣṇa and all His cowherds boyfriends were under five years old. Children within five years old are called kaumāra, and after five years up to tenth year it is called paugaṇḍa, and after tenth year up to fifteenth year it is called kaiśora. After fifteenth year, the boys are called youths. So for one year there was no discussion of the incidence in the village of Vraja, but when they attained sixth year, they informed the incidence with great wonder to their parents.

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For Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is far greater than such demigods as Lord Brahmā, it is not at all difficult to award the opportunity of merging into His body to Aghāsura. Aghāsura was certainly the most sinful living entity, and for sinful living entity it is not possible to merge into the existence of the Absolute Truth. But in this particular case, Aghāsura, on account of Kṛṣṇa's entering into his body, became fully cleansed of all sinful reaction. The reason is that a person constantly thinking of this eternal form of the Lord in the shape of Deity or in the shape of mental form are awarded the transcendental reward of entering into the kingdom of God and associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And what to speak of such living entity like Aghāsura, in whose body the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa personally entered. The idea is great sages, meditators and devotees are constantly keep the form of the Lord within the heart or see the Deity form of the Lord in the temples. In that way, they become liberated from all material contamination and at the end of this body enter into the kingdom of God. This perfection is possible simply on account of keeping the form of the Lord either mentally or as Deity within the mind of the devotee. But in the case of Aghāsura, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa personally entered. So Aghāsura's case was still more strong than the ordinary devotees or the greatest yogis, who always keep the form of the Lord within the heart.

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Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who was engaged in hearing the transcendental pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who saved the life of Mahārāja Parīkṣit while he was in the womb of his mother, he became more and more interested to hear about Him, and thus he inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who was reciting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam before the king.

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King Parīkṣit was a little bit astonished to understand that the incidence which was executed by Lord Kṛṣṇa along with his cowherds boy in the matter of killing the Aghāsura demon, why it was not discussed for one year, and why, after they passed over their kaumāra age and when they attained their paugaṇḍa age, the matter was disclosed and discussed. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was very much inquisitive to learn this uncommon factor, and he was sure that such incidence was one of the important incidence of His different energy.

Generally, the kṣatriyas, or the administrator class of men in the society, are always busy with their political affairs, and they have very little chance to hear about the transcendental pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. But Parīkṣit Mahārāja, while he was hearing the transcendental pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he considered himself as very fortunate because not only he was hearing, but also he was doing so from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the greatest authority in the matter of speaking Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Thus being requested by Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued to speak about the transcendental pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the matter of His form, quality, fame and other paraphernalia.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Twelfth Chapter of Kṛṣṇa in the matter of "Killing Aghāsura."