Lord Krishna's Punishment is Purifying

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

Lord Krishna's pastime of chastising the serpent Kaliya, who contaminated the waters of the Yamuna river wit his fiery poison, is simply wonderful. To restore the purity of the Yamunas waters, the Lord jumped into the water and began fearlessly playing within the water like a mad elephant. Kaliya could not tolerate Krishna's tresspassing his personal residence, and the serpent quickly went up to the Lord and bit Him on the chest. Then Krishna expanded His body greatly and forced the serpent to loosen his grip and release Him. Then the Lord trampled the serpent's hoods until his body slackened. Vomiting blood from his mouths, Kaliya finally understood that Krishna was the primeval personality and he took shelter of Him. On hearing the prayers of the Naga patnis, Krishna released Kaliya and when Kaliya acknowledged his offence, Krishna told him to leave the Yamuna and gave him the assurance that because Kaliya was now marked with Krishna's footprints, Garuda will no longer try to eat him.

We find that Kaliya had actually committed grave offences by polluting the waters and thus posing danger to the lives of the cows and cowherd boys who are extremely dear to the Lord. On top of that, the envious Kaliya furiously bit Lord Krishna on the chest. If somebody gives so much of pain physically and emotionally, immediately we tend to become extremely revengeful. Here we find that Krishna showed so much tolerance and he did not retaliate, even though He could have killed Kaliya for all the offences. Krishna's punishment was only to the extent of purifying Kaliya's heart.

The wives of the Kaliya serpent pray in Srimad Bhagavatam 10.16.34

anugraho ’yaṁ bhavataḥ kṛto hi no
daṇḍo ’satāṁ te khalu kalmaṣāpahaḥ
yad dandaśūkatvam amuṣya dehinaḥ
krodho ’pi te ’nugraha eva sammataḥ

What You have done here is actually mercy for us, since the punishment You give to the wicked certainly drives away all their contamination. Indeed, because this conditioned soul, our husband, is so sinful that he has assumed the body of a serpent, Your anger toward him is obviously to be understood as Your mercy.

Krishna, being the Supreme father loves all the living entities. Just as a father becomes angry and gives some punishment to the unruly child, just so that he will behave nicely, the so called punishment by the Lord is only for bestowing mercy upon the conditioned living entities to purify them and bring them to the right consciousness. There is no enmity or hatred or revengeful attitude behind that. The Lord had so kindly forgiven Kaliya once he repented for his offence and also as the most merciful father, assured him of his future safety from being attacked by Garuda.

In the material world, we are subject to so many agitating situations when people are inimical and envious. In those situations, we always tend to react and retaliate and also carry the revengeful attitude within us. But the Lord shows by this pastime that we should remain tolerant and be ready to forgive and forget and not develop an inimical attitude. We can see that while submitting to the Lord, Kaliya says in SB 10.16.58,-"O Supreme Personality of Godhead, among all the species within Your material creation, we serpents are by nature always enraged. Being thus deluded by Your illusory energy, which is very difficult to give up, how can we possibly give it up on our own?"

Thus when different people act differently thus agitating us, we should remember Srila Prabhupada's statement in his purport to SB 1.5.10, "Nature has influenced different species of life with different mentalities, and it is not possible to bring them up into the same rank and file."

We have to realize that on our own we can never become free from the mentality to be envious or to instantly react negatively to any situation. We have to just beg for the mercy of the Lord who can only free us from all these undesirable tendencies.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.