Journey to Spiritual Places with Radhanath Swami

Killing of Keshi demon at Keshi Ghat

on September 28, 2011 in Vrindavan Articles with 1 Comment

Radhanath Swami narrated this beautiful pastime of Krishna killing the Keshi demon on one of his pilgrimages to Vrindavan as follows:

Kamsa, maternal uncle of Lord Krishna, kept on sending many powerful mystic demons, the best of all in the universe like Putana, Shakatasura, Trinavrata, Aghasura, Bakasura, Vyomasura, Vastasura etc., to murder little child Krishna. Both Krishna and Balarama effortlessly killed them to the surprise of Kamsa. Kamsa thus highly frustrated in his attempts to kill Krishna, sent a mighty powerful mystic demon named Keshi. Keshi assumed the form of a gigantic mad horse. He came galloping towards Vrindavan. He ran at the speed of mind. His hooves seemed to tear the earth apart and cause earthquakes. His tail reached so high in the sky that it was scattering the clouds.

Right there in Vrindavan, unaware of what is there in store for them, the cowherd boys were grazing the cows and playing blissfully with Lord Krishna. Madhumangala, one of the cowherd boys, who is fond of Laddus (delicious sweet), joked with Krishna saying, “Hey Krishna! My dear friend, you are so dear to inhabitants of Vrindavan, they all love you and please you by offering delicious food. Lend me your beautiful peacock feather, flute and effulgent and gorgeous yellow clothing. Thus dressed like you, I will procure Laddus and eat them to my heart’s content”. Out of affection for His friend, Krishna personally decorated His friend and sent him.

Meanwhile Keshi demon was searching in Vrindavan for the boy who wore peacock feather, playing flute and wearing yellow garments as per orders given by Kamsa. Seeing Madhumangala dressed as Krishna, Keshi furiously attacked him. Madhumangala was frightened to see this ghastly demon and immediately called out to Krishna for help. Just at that time Krishna came to the scene to rescue His friend and challenged Keshi for a duel with Him. Infuriated by the challenge, Keshi opened his mouth to devour Krishna. When he approached Krishna he began to kick Krishna with his front legs. Krishna grabbed those legs, whirled him around and threw him away to a long distance of more than 100 yards. Keshi fell to the ground unconscious. But he came back to the consciousness, madder than ever before.

Now Keshi’s eyes were blazing with anger. He charged towards Krishna with his gigantic mouth kept open to devour the Lord. Krishna with a big smile on His lotus face, effortlessly pushed His hand in Keshi’s mouth and broke all of his teeth. Keshi felt Krishna’s lotus hand stuck within his throat to be red-hot like fire. Krishna’s hand expanded, expanded and expanded until Keshi could no longer breathe. Finally he got choked up and suffocated and started kicking his legs. His eyeballs exploded out of the sockets. He passed stool and urine simultaneously, slipped over and fell to the ground dead. Shri Krishna Bhagvan ki Jay!!!

Cowherd boys were very happy. They cried out, “Well done Krishna! Well done!”  And the demigods from heaven showered flowers upon His head. Because His hand was stuck in Keshi’s dirty mouth, Krishna came down to the ghat on the banks of the Yamuna to take His bath after killing Keshi. From then on this ghat came to be known as Keshi Ghat. From that time onwards great devotees of the Lord have been reciting this wonderful pastime of Krishna killing Keshi at Keshi Ghat.

– Radhanath Swami

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