Prambanan: Krishna and Balarama killing demons

Bas-relief depicting Krishna and Balarama killing demons

Bas-relief depicting Krishna and Balarama killing demons

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Krishna and Balarama killing demons
The image shows three sections of the Krishnayana bas-reliefs carved on the inner walls of the Vishnu Temple in Prambanan, which is located 11 miles northeast of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The Krishnayana bas-reliefs are based on episodes from Krishna’s childhood and youth narrated in Hindu epics.

The Krishnayana bas-relief in this section depicts two different stories. The left section depicts Krishna taming Kaliya, a vicious serpent who lived in the Yamuna River and roamed on its banks. According to the legend, Kaliya was poisoning the Yamuna River and creating havoc among the people living in Vrindavana. One day, when Krishna was playing with a ball in Vrindavana, it falls into the Yamuna River. As Krishna dives into the river to retrieve the ball, Kaliya swoops on Krishna and tries to bite him. Krishna overpowers Kaliya and is about to tear apart his jaws to kill him, Kaliya’s wives come begging to Krishna to spare his life. Krishna listens to their pleas and forgives Kaliya, but banishes him and his family to Ramanaka Dweepa, an island far away from Vrindavana.

The story on the right section is about Balarama killing Dhenukasura, an asura (demon) who assumed the form of a donkey. When Dhenukasura attacks Krisha and Balarama for eating fruits in the Talavava forest, Balarama wheels Dhenukasura’s body around by holding his hind legs and then swings it on the top of trees and kills him.

Related Pages
Prambanan, Borobudur, Bali, Indonesia
Angkor Wat, Angkor Wat Bas-Reliefs, Banteay Srei, Cambodia

Copyright © 2019 Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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