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Krsna Slays Kuvalayapida

"After taking Their baths and finishing all other morning duties, Krsna and Balarama could hear the beating of the kettledrums in the wrestling camp. They immediately prepared Themselves to proceed to the spot to see the fun. When Krsna and Balarama reached the gate of the wrestling camp, They saw a big elephant of the name Kuvalayapida being tended by a caretaker riding on its head. The caretaker was deliberately blocking Their entrance by keeping the elephant in front of the gateway. Krsna could understand the purpose of the caretaker, and He prepared Himself by tightening His dress before combating the elephant. He began to address the caretaker in a very grave voice, as resounding as a cloud: "You miscreant caretaker, give way and let Me pass through the gate. If you block My way, I shall send you and your elephant to the house of death personified."

The caretaker, being thus insulted by Krsna, became very angry, and in order to challenge Krsna, as was previously planned, he provoked the elephant to attack. The elephant then moved before Krsna like inevitable death. It rushed towards Him and tried to catch Him with its trunk, but Krsna very dexterously moved behind the elephant. Being able to see only to the end of its nose, the elephant could not see Krsna hiding behind its legs, but it tried to capture Him with its trunk. Krsna again very quickly escaped capture, and He again ran behind the elephant and caught its tail. Holding the elephant by its tail, Krsna began to pull it, and with very great strength He dragged it for at least twenty-five yards, just as Garuda drags an insignificant snake. Krsna pulled the elephant from this side to that, from right to left, just as He used to pull the tail of a calf in His childhood. After this, Krsna went in front of the elephant and gave it a strong slap. He then slipped away from the elephant's view and ran to its back. Then, falling down on the ground, Krsna placed Himself in front of the elephant's two legs and caused it to trip and fall. Krsna immediately got up, but the elephant, thinking that He was still lying down, tried to push an ivory tusk through the body of Krsna by forcibly stabbing it into the ground. Although the elephant was harassed and angry, the caretaker riding on its head tried to provoke it further. The elephant then rushed madly towards Krsna. As soon as it came within reach, Krsna caught hold of the trunk and pulled the elephant down. When the elephant and caretaker fell, Krsna jumped up on the elephant's back and broke it and killed the caretaker also. After killing the elephant, Krsna took the ivory tusk on His shoulder. Decorated with drops of perspiration and sprinkled with the blood of the elephant, He felt very blissful, and thus He began to proceed towards the wrestling camp. Lord Balarama took the other tusk of the elephant on His shoulder. Accompanied by Their cowherd boyfriends, They entered the arena.

When Krsna entered the wrestling arena with Balarama and Their friends, He appeared differently to different people according to their different relationships (rasas) with Him. Krsna is the reservoir of all pleasure and all kinds of rasas, both favorable and unfavorable. He appeared to the wrestlers exactly like a thunderbolt. To the people in general He appeared as the most beautiful personality. To the females He appeared to be the most attractive male, Cupid personified, and thus increased their lust. The cowherd men who were present there looked upon Krsna as their own kinsman, coming from the same village of Vrndavana. The ksatriya kings who were present saw Him as the strongest ruler. To the parents of Krsna, Nanda and Yasoda, He appeared to be the most loving child. To Kamsa, the king of the Bhoja dynasty, He appeared to be death personified. To the unintelligent, He appeared to be an incapable personality. To the yogis present, He appeared to be the Supersoul. To the members of the Vrsni dynasty He appeared to be the most celebrated descendant. Thus appreciated differently by different kinds of men present, Krsna entered the wrestling arena with Balarama and His cowherd boyfriends. Having heard that Krsna had already killed the elephant, Kuvalayapida, Kamsa knew beyond doubt that Krsna was formidable. He thus became very much afraid of Him. Krsna and Balarama had long arms. They were beautifully dressed, and They were attractive to all the people assembled there. They were dressed as if They were going to act on a dramatic stage, and They drew the attention of all people.

The citizens of Mathura City who saw Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, became very pleased and began to look on His face with insatiable glances, as if they were drinking the nectar of heaven. Seeing Krsna gave them so much pleasure that it appeared that they were not only drinking the nectar of seeing His face, but were smelling the aroma and licking up the taste of His body and were embracing Him and Balarama with their arms. They began to talk among themselves about the two transcendental brothers. For a long time they had heard of the beauty and activities of Krsna and Balarama, but now they were personally seeing Them face to face. They thought that Krsna and Balarama were two plenary incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, who had appeared in Vrndavana."

Krsna Book, Chapter 43

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Excerpted from text and purport of HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.