Radhanath Swami on Putana

Krishna slains demon putana

Later when Nanda Maharaj had gone to Mathura to pay his taxes, he met Vasudeva. Vasudeva told Nanda Maharaja to get back to Gokul really soon to take care of his two children. Meanwhile Kamsa called for his allies to help him kill the child who would be the cause of his death. Many of them had great mystic powers. This was 5000 years ago before Kaliyuga set in. Mystic powers could either be used for the greatest good or to perform the most terrible deeds.

One of Kamsa’s allies was a Raksasi named Putana. She came to Gokul as a very beautiful lady. She was so beautiful that everyone mistook her to be a heavenly damsel or the goddess of fortune who had come to bless little Krishna. Her intent however, was to murder the baby. She had smeared her breasts with deadly poison that could kill hundreds of grown up men. Little Krishna began to suck her breast. He first sucked all the poison, then her milk and finally her very life air. Crying out in pain she assumed her original form, which was 12 miles long. Just to increase the experience of purification Krishna began to squeeze Putana with His tender little fingers. Experiencing agonizing pain, Putana tried to rip Krishna off, but Krishna stayed there and finally Putana fell to the ground dead. The Vrajvasis chopped her body into pieces and burnt them. The smoke coming from her burning body was extremely fragrant. This was because Krishna had sucked out her life air and purified her. Her body had become His mahaprasad. The Gopis then brought Krishna back to Yashoda mayi who showered Him with her love and affection.

This is Krishna’s love. He liberated Putana from her misdeeds. The pain she suffered, cleansed her of all her sins she had ever committed and all of her sinful tendencies as well. But because she had offered Krishna service as a mother, Krishna awakened motherly affection in her heart and gave her the position of a nurse in the spiritual world.

Bhakti Vinod Thakura explains that the demons killed by Krishna represent different obstacles on the path of pure bhakti. Putana represents false cheating spiritual teachers or Gurus. Such teachers appear to be giving us nourishing milk like knowledge. But their concoctions, speculations or vices are like the poison mixed with the milk. So we must be careful to receive transcendental knowledge from pure sources.

– Radhanath Swami

Krishna slains demon putana