The Vishnu Purana (abridged)

27,616 words

The Vishnu Purana (Viṣṇu Purāṇa) is a religious Hindu text and one of the (most important) eighteen Mahapuranas. It is also known as Puranaratna ("gem of Puranas"). Presented as a dialogue between Parashara and his disciple Maitreya, the major topics discussed include creation, stories of battles fought between asuras and devas, the Avat...

The Killing of Pralamba

After killing Dhenukasura, Krishna and Balarama reached a banyan tree. They played and plucked flowers. They wore garlands. Ropes for tying cattle were round their shoulders. Their clothes were in golden and black hues.

Sometimes they rode on swings, sometimes they wrestled, sometimes they flung stones.

An asura known as Pralamba adopted the form of a cowherd and joined the games. Pralamba thought that Krishna might be too strong to kill, so he decided to kill Balarama. The boys were playing at a special sort of race then. Two boys would race upto a point and whoever was the loser would have to run again with the winner on his shoulders. Krishna defeated Shridama at this race. And when Balarama and Pralamba raced, Balarama defeated Pralamba. This meant that Pralamba would have to carry Balarama upon his shoulders. But as soon as Balarama got up on Pralamba’s shoulders, Pralamba began to run away. He adopted the size of a huge mountain and his eyes were as large as cart-wheels.

Balarama cried out, “Krishna, I am being kidnapped. What will I do?”

“Why ask me,” Krishna replied. “You are strong enough. Kill the asura.”

Balarama’s eyes became red with anger. He beat down on the asura’s head with his fists and the asura died. Blood flowed out of his mouth.

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