Krishna avatar had avowedly appeared on the Earth to rid the world of rakshasas. His own uncle – Devki’s brother Kansa – had the rakshasa blood in his veins. Kansa’s mother, the beautiful Rani Padmavati, was duped by an influential rakshasa, Drumila, into having coitus with him. Kansa was the result of that illicit union. Even though Padmavati’s husband, the Vrishni King, Urgrasena, had accepted Kansa as his own son, the latter remained a rakshasa in his deeds as well as alliances.
Suman K Sharma
Now, one of Kansa’s staunch supporters was the rakshasi, Pootna, who pledged to kill baby Krishna and liberate Kansa from the looming fear of death at the hands of his nephew.Being an adept impersonator, she assumed the form of a charming, motherly woman and arrived at Nanda’s residence in Gokula. The big house was in a celebratory mood. Gopis from all over the village made a beeline to the place to have a look at the new-born.Of course, they did not know that Yashoda’s baby-girl had been secretly exchanged with a baby-boy born at the same time to Devki in Mathura’s prison across the Jamuna. The sight of the chubby blue-skinned baby bewitched the simple natured women. Ma Yashoda was cheerfully running around to welcome the unending stream of guests and ply each one of them with the daintiest goodies.
In such a hectic atmosphere, it was not difficult for Pootna to slip in unnoticed to the room where lay little Krishna in an ornate cradle. She picked Him up and thrust her poisoned nipple into His toothless mouth. But she had not bargained for what happened the following moment. The innocent looking babe, who was in fact the destroyer of all the demonic spirits, began sucking out the life-blood of the rakshasi. The harder she struggled to set herself free, the more intense grew the infant’s suckling.
In desperation, Pootna cried out for help. Ma Yashoda and all the women came running to see what had happened. In vain did they coo to the baby and divert its attention with colourful toys and music, but Krishna did not let go of Pootna’s breast. It all ended when she gave one last shriek. The women gathered there had an unforgettable spectacle before their eyes. The woman who was feeding Krishna so gently only a few moments ago turned into the horrifying shape of a rakshasi in her death throes.
At last, Krishna let go of Pootna’s teat as she lay dead. Ma Yashoda picked Him up with great concern, lest He should have come to any harm. Little Krishna gave her a beatific smile. That godly smile took away all her worries and she could not help smiling back at Him.
Godhead willingly accepts the poison of all the negativities that bedevil His devotees. Infant Krishna could well be taken as a metaphor for a child-like faith in Him, and the wicked Pootna as the one who is intent upon putting an end to that faith. In the end, it is the simple faith that does away with the sophistry of disbelief.