“O King Parikshit, when the gigantic body of Putana fell to the ground, it smashed all the trees within a limit of twelve miles. Appearing in a gigantic body, she was certainly extraordinary.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.6.14)Download this episode (right click and save)
The news media is interesting. They begin by building someone up. That someone is noteworthy for some reason. They excel in something in the public eye, like sports, entertainment, or politics. That person gets praised for their good work; at least as judged by the writers of news.
Later on, however, that same person is vilified. They messed up. They were caught cheating. Or maybe they got intoxicated one night and made disparaging remarks about a minority group. Perhaps their political leanings have been learned. Maybe they don’t like certain religions.
The same media that praised the person can’t wait to bring them down. They are quite eager to use headlines that include the phrase, “epic fail.” A meteoric rise followed by a catastrophic fall. Whatever amazing downturns we see today pale in comparison to what is described in Vedic literature. Those who were against the Supreme Personality of Godhead had some of the hardest falls from grace ever witnessed.
This was a case of a gigantic physical fall. In Mathura a long time ago, the king was Kamsa. He was evil by nature; though at the core, at the soul level, every individual is pure bliss. When in a material realm the nature gets covered up. There is a material kind of nature accepted at the time of birth, determined by the type of gross and subtle elements that cover the soul.
Kamsa was your bad guy’s bad guy. How bad? He had already killed several infants. He threw them against a stone slab right after they emerged from the womb of his sister Devaki, whom he had imprisoned along with her husband Vasudeva.
Kamsa did this out of fear, of course. He was told previously that his sister’s eighth child would be his demise. Why take chances? Well, the eighth child slipped away, to the neighboring town of Gokula. Kamsa didn’t know exactly where to find this child, so he sent a few deputies to take care of the task.
One of them was Trinavarta. This asura, or demon-like person, had the mystic ability to transform into a giant whirlwind, something like a tornado. He went to Gokula and picked up baby Krishna, the adorable foster child of mother Yashoda and Maharaja Nanda. Krishna was actually that eighth child, born to Devaki and Vasudeva. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan.
Krishna is always Bhagavan, in whatever form He manifests. Trinavarta did not know this. He took the child, who was light in comparison, and went high in the sky. Suddenly, Krishna showed that He can be both heavier than the heaviest and lighter than the lightest. He became so heavy that Trinavarta could no longer hold Him. The demon fell from high in the sky and hit the ground. Baby Krishna survived, while Trinavarta did not.
This is another physical fall. Putana was a witch-like lady sent to Gokula by Kamsa. She was known for killing newborn children. She masked her form and managed to enter the area where baby Krishna was lying. She was ready to feed Him milk from her breast that had been smeared with poison.
To her surprise, nothing happened to Krishna. He started to suck so hard on the breast that the witch revealed her true, hideous and gigantic form. Finally, the life was sucked out of her and her massive body fell to the ground, making a very loud sound. Krishna was then found playfully crawling on that body, unharmed.
He was the king of Mathura. People listened to him. He could send wicked characters to neighboring towns to get his work done. He could imprison innocent people. He was at the height of power. All of that came crashing down. Krishna eventually went to Mathura and took care of His uncle. Invited to a wrestling match, Krishna and His brother Balarama defeated their opponents. Then Krishna went to where Kamsa was sitting and killed the king with a single punch, ending his reign of terror.
This was another great king described in Vedic literature. He was so powerful that even the residents of the heavenly realm feared him. From boons granted by Lord Brahma, Hiranyakashipu was immune from all sorts of attacks and death at different situations. He thought he was immune enough to be immortal. But just one percent vulnerability is enough to be exploited by the intelligent mind of the Supreme Lord. God arrived on the scene in a special half-man/half-lion form to both protect the five year old devotee Prahlada and take care of the boy’s demoniac father, Hiranyakashipu.
Infamous from the Ramayana poem of Maharishi Valmiki, Ravana was the king of the Rakshasas. He lived on the island of Lanka, where he had so many beautiful queens. Wine flowed and meat was available in abundance. Sex, intoxication and every kind of food. The people should have been happy, no? Isn’t Ravana’s situation the goal for every materialist?
Kama, or sense gratification, never leads to lasting happiness. When it goes completely unchecked, there is wrath followed by loss of intelligence. Ravana’s demise started when he decided to steal another man’s wife, in secret. Ravana could have fought for her fairly, as he had tremendous physical strength. He had scared away so many kings already.
Sita was Rama’s wife, and she refused all of Ravana’s advances. She warned him that death was indeed coming for him, since he was acting in ways that invited death. Sure enough, Sita’s husband Rama would arrive and deliver arrows to make Ravana fall to the ground for good. The king of Lanka previously had everything. He was on top of the world. But due to offending a devotee of the Supreme Lord, he had likely the most epic fall of all time.
Against her wishes to Lanka to haul,
In end to have most epic of fall.
For Hiranyakashipu fate the same,
Offended son of Prahlada the name.
Trinavarta to kill Krishna to try,
Crashed to ground from up on high.
Putana gigantic body showing,
So everyone her true nature knowing.