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 Slaying of Pundraka

There was a king named Poundraka who suffered from the illusion that he was Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu on earth. He adopted the name of Vasudeva and sent a messenger to Krishna saying, “Stop pretending that you are Vishnu. It is I who am Vasudeva. Come to me and beg for your life.”

Poundraka was a friend of the king of Kashi. Krishna told the messenger tha the would leave for Kashi the very next day.

Hearing the message, Poundraka got ready with his army. Krishna arrived in Kashi on Garuda. Krishna killed the enemy soldiers with his arrows, mace and chakra. He sliced Poundraka’s body with his chakra and eventually killed him with a mace. He also killed Poundraka’s friend, the king of Kashi. He cut of fthe king’s head with his arrows and flung it into the city of Kashi. After that, Krishna returned to Dvaraka.

When the head of the king of Kashi fell inside the city, the inhabitants were surprised at this strange phenomenon. But the king’ son found out that Krishna was responsible for this and prayed to Mahadeva. When as a result of the yajna Mahadeva appeared before him, the son begged, “Please create a demon that will kill Krishna, my father’s murderer.”

Mahadeva agreed and created such a demon fromt he fire of the yajna. This demon arrived in Dvaraka wishing to kill Krishna. Flames issued out of its mouth and its hair was also like fire. Krishna flung his sudarshana chakra at the demon. The demon turned and ran, but whereever the demon went, the chakra followed. Finally, the demon arrived in Kashi. But the chakra followed it there and burnt up the entire city. All the kings, servants, horses, elephants and cattle thee were burnt.

Having achieved its purpose, the chakra returned to Krishna.

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