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Putana: The demoness who tried killing Krishna

The story of Putana does not start with her. It starts with Kamsa, the cruel uncle of Krishna.

Kamsa wanted to kill Krishna, but Yogmaya arranged for the escape of Krishna right after his birth and helped his father Vasudev to take him to Yashoda.

Kamsa came to know that Krishna was somewhere around his kingdom.

Kamsa told Putana that he was not aware of the exact location of the child. So he ordered her, “Go and kill any kid that you find less than ten days old in the entire Kingdom”.

Being a heartless woman herself, Putana willingly accepted the job.

Putana had long messy hair and long, curling nails. She had long, pointing canines coming out of her mouth. She had a tongue as red as blood. She wore animal skin and was as tall as a full-grown giraffe. As soon as Kamsa gave her the task, she flew away in search of kids. She heartlessly started killing all the kids in Kamsa’s kingdom. She started killing kids in neighbouring kingdoms as well. Secretly entering houses, she would pick up the babies when their mothers were asleep and fly away with them. People of Mathura and neighbouring kingdoms were terrified after losing their babies.

Putana reaches Gokul

In her hunt to kill all the kids in the kingdom, Putana reached Krishna’s village, Gokul. She entered the village after the sunset so that no one could recognise her. Wherever she went, she overheard people talking of Yashoda’s newborn baby. Everyone seemed to be pleased by the beautiful presence of that little one. Putana knew at once that this was the child she was searching for. She decided to spend the night outside the village and visit Krishna’s house in the morning.

Putana was a demoness and had many magical powers. In the morning, she turned herself into a beautiful lady. When she entered the village, all the villagers were stunned. They thought she was a Goddess who had come to bless Yashoda and Nandraj’s son.

She asked the villagers, “ Please take me to Nandraj’s house, I am here to bless their newborn”. The villagers showed her the way.

On reaching Nandraj’s house she saw Krishna sleeping in a cradle. In one glance she knew that the boy was not ordinary, but she remembered Kamsa’s orders. She was careful as Krishna was surrounded by the ladies of the house. She introduced herself and asked Yashoda to allow her to feed Krishna. Just like others, Yashoda thought Putana was some Goddess and agreed to her request. She left the room with other ladies and let Putana be with the child.

Putana lifted little Krishna in her arms. She stepped into the backyard and started feeding him with the poisonous milk. She thought within minutes Krishna would be lifeless. But to her horror, she started feeling as if the tiny boy was sucking life out of her. She was in tremendous pain. She tried to free herself from Krishna but she failed. The little boy held her tightly. Putana started screaming and flew higher to scare Krishna. But Krishna would not let her go and slowly sucked the life out of her. The lifeless body of Putana fell to the ground.

Soon the villagers gathered around, they were amazed to see the little boy playing happily on the lifeless body of the demoness. Yashoda almost fainted seeing her son with that dangerous creature. The villagers realised too, that Krishna was no ordinary child.

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