Five Asuras That Lord Krishna Defeated
Below is a list of five powerful Asuras who met their end at the hands of Krishna.
Krishna, as every Hindu knows, is the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, who was born on earth to restore peace to a world where chaos reigned. Krishna’s mission was to slay the tyrant, Kamsa, who was also his maternal uncle. Kamsa, the son of King Ugrasena of Mathura, had deposed his father and ascended the throne. After hearing a divine prophecy that his sister Devaki’s 8th child would kill him, he imprisoned her and her husband, Vasudeva, in a dungeon, and killed their children one by one, the moment she gave birth to them. But Krishna, who was born at midnight, could not be killed by Kamsa as Vasudeva escaped from prison with the baby due to several miracles that happened on that night and left him at his friend, Nanda’s house in Vrindavan, without anyone’s knowledge. So Krishna grew up in Vrindavan as a cowherd and later killed Kamsa. Krishna also played a major role in the Mahabaratha. He helped his cousins win the Kurukshetra war and also made a discourse to Arjuna on the battlefield when he hesitated to attack his own kith and kin, who were the Kauravas, even though they had done great injustice to them. His discourse is known as the Bhagawad Gita.
The purpose of Krishna’s life was to restore Dharma in the world. During his time on earth, he had to deal with many Asuras or demons. Below is a list of five powerful Asuras who met their end at the hands of Krishna.
Putana was a powerful demoness and witch who liked to kill children. When Kamsa heard that his nemesis might have escaped death, he left no stone unturned to kill the child who was destined to kill him. He sent Putana to kill all the babies who had been born around the time Devaki had delivered her child. Putana, after killing many infants, reached Krishna’s house in Gokul, disguised as a beautiful maiden. She was so pretty that no one suspected anything amiss when she entered the house. She spotted baby Krishna lying on the bed and picked him up. Placing him on her lap, she began to breastfeed him. She had smeared poison on her nipples to kill Krishna as he suckled at her breast. But Krishna bit her nipple hard and sucked the life out of her. Putana fell down and screamed in agony. She also assumed her original form. The sound of Putana’s screams led people to think that thunderbolts were falling from her demonic body. The gopis ran to Krishna and plucked him from Putana’s breast, and handed him over to Yashoda, his mother. The news of Putana’s death at Krishna’s hands spread like wildfire.
Trinavarta, the Hurricane
Despite Putana’s terrible end, Kamsa continued to send his evil emissaries to kill his nephew. On his first birthday, baby Krishna destroyed Shakatasura with one kick. The demon had disguised himself as a cart. Some days later, Trinavarta, who was a servant of Kamsa, appeared before Krishna as a hurricane. He picked up Krishna and kept him on his shoulders before raising a storm all over Gokul. The storm forced people to close their eyes, so no one saw what was happening. Yashoda began to cry as she couldn’t see Krishna. Meanwhile, Trinavarta had flown to a great height carrying Krishna on his back. Suddenly, to his surprise, Krishna became very heavy, until finally, Trinavarta could not bear the weight anymore. It was as though he was carrying a mountain on his shoulders. Then, baby Krishna caught Trinavarta by the neck and slew him. His eyes popped out of his face as he fell to his death.
Vatsasura, the Calf
One day, Krishna, his brother, Balarama, and some of their friends were herding their cows on the banks of the Yamuna river. A demon called Vatsasura assumed the form of a calf and joined the other calves. But Krishna’s sharp eyes noticed the new calf, and he slowly approached it. He knew it was a demon, so he caught the ‘calf’ by its hind legs and spun him around several times. He did it so fast that he ended up killing the calf. Krishna hurled the dead calf away, and it landed on top of a wood-apple tree. The dead calf turned into Vatsasura’s original form, and many trees were crushed under his weight.
Bakasura, the Crane
As Krishna and his friends became older, they began taking the older cattle to the jungle to graze. One day, they were standing near a lake when they spotted a bird that resembled a huge crane. It had a very sharp beak. This bird was actually a demon called Bakasura, and he was a friend of Kamsa who had been deputed to kill Krishna. Bakasura attacked Krishna with his sharp beak and managed to swallow him. On seeing this, his friends were terrified and fainted. But after swallowing Krishna, Bakasura felt a burning sensation in his throat, and he vomited. Then Krishna came out of his mouth. Bakasura tried to kill Krishna by clamping his beak together, but Krishna forced open Bakasura’s beak and broke his jaw with ease. Thus, yet another demon on a mission to kill Krishna met his doom.
Aghasura, the Snake
Aghasura was the brother of Bakasura and Putana, who had already been disposed of by Krishna. He was so powerful that even the Gods were terrified of him. Determined to avenge his dead siblings, he turned into a fierce serpent and set out to put an end to Krishna and his clan.
He stretched himself to the utmost and lay in wait on the path where Krishna and his friends used to play. When he opened his mouth wide, it looked like a cave in a mountain, and his eyes burned bright like coals. Unaware of the danger waiting for them and having complete trust in Krishna’s powers, the Yadava clan and their cattle entered Aghasura’s mouth. His mouth remained open until Krishna entered it, and then he swallowed them all.
That’s when Krishna began his Leela. Inside the demon’s mouth, Krishna began to grow larger and larger until he filled the demon’s throat. Suffocated, Aghasura’s eyes began to bulge from his sockets, and soon he choked to death. After he died, Krishna, the cowherds, and their cows came out of the dead demon’s mouth, unscathed.