Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

“kaa-dhūmasya saurabhyam
avaghrāya vrajaukasa

kim ida
kuta eveti
vadanto vrajam āyayu

Killing of the Demon- Putana

“ Upon smelling the fragrance of the smoke emanating from Putanas burning body many inhabitants of Vrajabhumi in distinct places were astonished. Where is this fragrance coming from? They asked. Thus, they went to the spot where Putana’s body was being burnt.

te tatra varita gopai


śrutvā tan-nidhana svasti

śiśoś cāsan suvismitā

When inhabitants of Vraja had come from distant places, heard the whole story of how Putana had come and then been killed by Krishna they were certainly astonished and they offered their blessings to the child for His wonderful deed of killing Putana. Nanada Maharaj, was of course was very much obliged to Vasudev, who had foreseen this incident by and simply thanked him thinking how wonderful Vasudev was.

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

Krishna means that the Personality of Godhead is all attractive, He is all auspicious. All auspicious indicates that all auspiciousness, all attractiveness are all contained within Him. Therefore, whatever comes in contact with Krishna becomes auspicious and is attracted to Him. For Krishna there is neither good nor bad. Krishna is above the dualities of this world. He is completely transcendental in every respect and here the evidence is given, Putana by all material calculations was a very bad person evil, envious, violent, she was a murderer she had already killed large number of innocent baby children by feeding them her poison. We cannot even imagine somebody so evil within this society, if somebody murders one or two people we consider “this person is very bad “what to speak to somebody who rapes women and murders them, we consider this as very bad so imagine how bad Putana was, she approached hundreds, perhaps thousands of innocent babies and ruthlessly killed them without even a second thought, if there was anyone in this world today, they would have set the world record as the greatest serial murderers. Is that what they call in India too? Serial Murderers? Where there is one after another after another??  Jack the ripper, The Boston strangler. These people were just small time neophyte murderers before Putana.  Thousands one after another after another unsuspecting.

What to speak of the Indian government they have their most wanted terrorists they are trying to capture apprehend, kill somehow get them out of society. In the paper sometimes we read that some terrorist has been killed and he was responsible for 32 terrorist murders. Terrorism means this innocent people unsuspecting are just killed, Putana was the supreme most terrible terrorists, thousands innocent unsuspecting babies were murdered by her.  We cannot even imagine what a dark and black heart she had. Although she was a mystic yogi she obviously must have performed the yogic process very very severely to develop such powers but the problem is by performing these mystic processes although acquiring great powers they do not necessarily purify our hearts and therefore the greater the opulence you have the more dangerous you become if your heart is not pure, if your heart is envious . so for Putana she was a very expert terrorist and her great power was in her ability to deceive people by getting people’s trust, by getting people’s faith through her material ability to present herself in certain ways and then to Use the opportunity to terrorize, to murder, such a terrible person, such a wicked heart and yet when she came in contact with Krishna who was all pure “Pavitra “, who was all auspicious, who was all attractive. Simply by coming in contact with Krishna Putana became purified and how she was purified is a wonderful explanation:

Putana’s encounter with Krishna

First when she came in contact with Krishna, Krishna created a condition in her life where when He began to suck from her body, she could feel the very life air coming out. She was struck with fear and then she was suffering terrible pain and she was trying to resist by all means this process of purification. First thing that happened when Putana saw Krishna she was attracted to this child, she killed so many babies but when she saw Krishna she became very attractive. In fact, in her heart she was thinking that this child is so attractive this child must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead but I still have to try to murder, whoever, it is this is my Swadharma to murder babies. This is the prescribed duty given to me by the Rakshasas. So first thing she was attracted and then she was purified.

Putana’s purification – Steps of purification in Krishna Consciousness

How was she purified? Because she approached Krishna, He started drawing all the poison from her. The first step of Krishna consciousness is to become purified, I mean to become little attracted, the second we take to the association of devotees- Sincere devotees and then we start sincerely chanting the holy name which is non-different than Krishna and then what happens is the poisons within our heart, everything starts coming out and Oh my God, how painful that is! It’s a terrible condition of suffering but it is the part of purification and after all the poison came out she died, she lost her identity. This is also what happens to all of us, after all the poison comes out the finest grain of poison within our heart is “Ahankar- false ego”, this misconception of our identity that I am this body, I am the enjoyer. Of all the things related to this body are mine “janasya moho yam aham mameti

The great Acharyas tell us “Die to live.” Until you learn to die in this life, you cannot learn what spiritual happiness is. That means our false ego must die and that is the most painful thing, all the poisons come out that means all our lust, all our envy, all our anger our greed, all our pride, all our illusion that are stored in our hearts, just so deeply stored in our mind, they all start just pouring out, gradually they just start pouring out as we become purified by Krishna’s association.

Kaliya’s encounter with Krishna

Also Kaliya, kaliya was very much similar to Putana, Krishna started dancing on his heads. What was the first thing that had happened?? All his poison started coming out. He was just vomiting, all ugly black poison was just being spit everywhere. It was a terrible site to see. First from his mouth came were burning flames which were brilliant like the sun. It was such an opulent demon- Kaliya and then those burning flames got less and less and less until they were extinguished and then what was left was just poison, black terrible poison just vomiting. You can imagine the terrible smell there must have been when he was just vomiting and vomiting with hundreds of heads all at the same time vomiting poison and it was terribly painful for him.

Lesson’s from Kaliya’s purification process

Krishna was very gracefully dancing but every time Krishna’s lotus foot touched him it felt like a thunderbolt crushing into his head breaking his skull, this is the process of Purification. Putana went through the same type of purification and every devotee to some extent has to go through the same type of purification. Whether Krishna is sucking our breasts or dancing on our heads somehow or other Krishna if we come in genuine contact with Him, real contact with Him, through the grace of Guru and the Vaishnavas chanting His names, then He will dance on your heads and suck out all our poison.  The poison starts coming out, it’s an ugly matter to see what we really are inside, to see who we are really inside, it’s a painful situation but the devotee has to have faith, has to trust that the fact that this is happening means that the process works. We should not think Oh, I am becoming more impure, we should think I am becoming purified. I am already impure there is no question of being more impure, we have no idea of the extent to which we are impure until we start becoming purified but the last stage is the death of our ego our false ego, after everything else is cleansed from our heart “Anartha Nivritti “, at that time, the last time the powerful blow of purification is, Krishna just smashes to death our false ego.

Process of Krishna Consciousness- Die to live

Putana was screaming for her life, she understood that everything was about to be finished and then she died but did she really die? At the time of Putana’s death she attained life.  All of her illusion was finally finished, killed. She thought that I am this body, I loved to drink the blood of the children, I love to kill, I love to cause sorrow in the hearts of others. I love to see how people are so much completely controlled by my prowess. She was very egoistic in this way, that ego was all she knew is in regard to her whole life. So when Krishna killed that ego, killed that false sense of identity, at that time she was liberated and her soul, it is explained in the previous verse, her soul attained the position of mother Yasoda’s confidential assistant, in the role of a nurse in the spiritual world of Vrindavan she became Krishna’s mother “Sachitananda”, she attained her eternal form of eternity bliss and knowledge, so did she die?? In her death, she was given eternal life because through the purification, her false ego, all her desires that were loaded over material existence died, at the time of that death, she was born into eternal life. This is the process of Krishna Consciousness- “Die to live”.

Until we are willing to put ourself at the disposal of Krishna and his representatives and we are willing to let Him kill us, kill our false conceptions, kill our false ego, we cannot learn what real life is, real life means spiritual life, real life means our eternal relationship with Krishna. So did Krishna kill Putana?  No, He granted her eternal life in the Spiritual world. He simply killed her false ego. He killed that identity, that thought, she was Putana and in the process he awakened from the core of her heart, where the soul resides the understanding and the realization that she was really Krishna’s loving servant. How she was Krishna’s loving servant? By being the servant of the servant, the assistant of mother Yasoda, so nurse Golok Vrindavan and her body, as it was been burnt this terrible looking ugly body that I believed that it was 12 miles long. Can you imagine a body 12 miles long? If she fell dead in Bombay just to drive from one end to the other and the type of traffic would probably take an hour and a half just to drive from her head to her feet, you can imagine how big she was and terrible . What an ugly form she had and the cowherd men how could they live in Vrindavan with such a gigantic enormous form that’s taking up so much of the pasture lands where the cows eat grasses but they had to do something with her so they started chopping her up and putting her on fire and as they were burning her such a miraculous experience took place, the fragrance coming from her body was like nectar it was sweet it was like the most ambrosial incense, why is that? Because she had been touched by Krishna because she had been cleansed completely by Krishna that even the body she left behind was completely purified by connection to Krishna, for this is the faith the devotees have, Krishna is like the sun,

krishna — suryasamamaya haya andhakara

yahan krishna, tahan nahi mayara adhikara

It is described in shastra that the sun is so purifying that whatever it touches through its energy the sunshine becomes purified but the sun never becomes contaminated. just like stool according to the shastra when stool when it is new and fresh it is very contaminating, terribly contaminating but if its left to be in the sun the sun purifies it, the sun takes away all the bad odours, the sun takes away all the qualities of messiness in it and actually after roasting in the sun for sometime its actually nice, nobody minds it, if you step on someone’s stool that has been sitting in the sun for a week then no body cares but if you step on it before if its in the sun for a week  then you become very disturbed, you feel very contaminated and ultimately the sun will make it disappear altogether. Even the most contaminated thing it will just finish disappear. So in this way the sun purifies whatever it comes in contact with  but the sun is never  contaminated by  whatever it  comes in contact with, simply purifies causelessly profusely everything so Krishna is like that, Krishna can never be contaminated but  anything that comes simply in contact with Krishna becomes purified . so therefore what is the path of Bhakti it is to always remain in contact with Krishna , to always remain in the association of those things which are dear to Krishna even demons Kamsa ,Shishupal  they were purified simply because of their connection with Krishna in envy , fear and hate off course it  was a very terribly painful process of purification their whole life they were in misery worrying about Krishna killing them they were in mental distress ultimately physically terribly in distress but still they were purified even if  they connected to Him unfavorably what to speak of a devotee who approaches Krishna with a desire to serve Him and to love Him. How much anxious Krishna is to purify such a devotee, so by chanting the holy names sincerely by associating with devotees sincerely we could learn to always remember Krishna with a sincere devotional attitude with a service attitude and this meditation, this remembrance ,this connection will purify us whatever our situation of life is, it may take time and we may according to Krishna’s will we may have to go  through a process of all poisons coming out, we may have to experience the deadly blow of our ego being killed, it may go through that process that is Krishna’s arrangement but we should have faith that it is all our purification. A devotees only concern should be Am I properly following Guru maharaj’s instruction ??  if I am sincerely trying my best then I don’t have to think or worry about anything else Krishna will take care of the rest whether I am feeling polluted?? Whether I am feeling ecstatic?? these things will always change like the seasons. whether I am being adored and appreciated or whether I am being misunderstood all these things are always changing we should not be so concern with these things. If we know as a fact that we are sincerely and honestly trying our best to serve the order of Guru then we are becoming purified, How are we becoming purified? We may understand or  may not you don’t even have to try just remain in that connection remain in that contact and you will become completely purified that is Krishna’s guarantee because the spiritual master is teaching us how to properly always think of Krishna, Krishna says always think of Me “ 

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto

mad-yaji mam namaskuru

mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam

atmanam mat-parayanah

to always think of Krishna is the supreme process of purification if we are simply learning in a humble spirit “ Hari prasnena sevaya “ how to always think of Krishna then whether it takes a hundred years, whether it takes a hundred days, whether it takes a hundred minutes or a hundred seconds that is Krishna’s desire accordingly, we simply have to know we are rightly situated. Srila Prabhupada was always very much concerned not with what type of tests the devotees were going through but that they just always remain rightly situated because he knew they simply remain rightly situated they are going to go back to Godhead, complete faith we must have in this. Through that association of Krishna even the most wicked and black becomes purified. In One sense we are all like little Putana’s we are all in the guise of devotees wearing tilak and kanthi mala, dhotis all these other forms of devotional paraphernalia we are identifying ourselves with but still that element of Putana is still in our heart to deceive, to exploit that poison but if we simply remain striving to just simply be  humble instruments in the hands of Guru and parampara then that will put us directly in connection with Krishna then all these poisons they will be removed “(sanskrit… nirvirti) “ and ultimately our false ego will die and then real life, life of pure devotional service ecstatic love awakens within our hearts. so if we understand the process very carefully then we will not be bewildered , we will not misunderstand what is taking place and that is why it is very important that we must tread the path of Krishna consciousness under very very carefull guidance of mature and wise devotees who could help us to understand what is happening why ? only to keep us serious and committed to the path of bhakti through the transformations that may take place in our lives.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Today even people when they think of Putana they think of the most terrible gross witch, but the soul that was in putana’s body that’s in Goloka Vrindavan. She knows that in this world she has a terrible reputation. 5000 years later we are still repulse by the activities of this witch but she doesn’t care , she is with Krishna. Let the people of this world misunderstand me anyway they want but Krishna likes me and all the residents of Vrindavan like me they don’t care what type of witch I was. The people in the material world , the demons want to become like Putana and the neophyte devotees they think she was a terrible person her reputation is eternally bad but she doesn’t care anything about her reputation. She’s only concerned with one thing Krishna likes what I am doing, I am pleasing Krishna and that’s what matters. And if my reputation in this world being a terrible demon witch if it helps devotees to understand how to come to the loving service of the lord then let them all remember me in this way. Krishna is the sun and he is always wanting to illuminate the glories of his devotees.

Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.