(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Black Lord [Krishna], the Almighty One, seeing the black waters contaminated by the black snake wanted the purification of the river and put an end to that serpent.'
(2) The king said: 'How did the Supreme Lord subdue the serpent in the deep waters and how could it reside there for so many ages o learned one, please explain. (3) O brahmin, who can be sated partaking of the nectar of the magnanimous pastimes of Him, the Supreme Unlimited Lord, who as a cowherd boy acted on His own authority.'
(4) S'rî S'uka said: 'To the Kâlindi of Kâliya [the name of the serpent] there was a certain lake that boiled from the fire of his poison; birds flying over it would fall into its waters. (5) In contact with the poisonous vapor, which from the waves was carried by the wind, died all plant and animal life on the shore. (6) Seeing how the river was contaminated by his terribly effective, powerful poison, climbed Krishna, who had descended to subdue the wicked, up a kadamba tree, slapped His arms, tightened His belt and jumped into the poisoned water. (7) By the force of the fall of the Essential Person overflowed the water of the serpent's lake, in turmoil because of the poison the snake was vomiting, on al sides so that its fearsome waves came to flow over a hundred bow lengths; what an immeasurable strenght indeed! (8) My best, hearing the sound that He produced as He was playing with His mighty arms like a mighty elephant that swirls around the waters, rushed he [the snake] forward unable to tolerate the trespassing of his abode. (9) As He fearlessly was playing, so attractive in His yellow garments and as delicate as a glowing white cloud, with the S'rîvatsa, His smiling beautiful face and with His feet which resembled the inside of a lotus, was He by him angrily bitten in the chest and enveloped in his coils. (10) Seeing Him, immobilized in the grip of the snake its coils, were His dear friends, the tenders of the animals [and all who happened to be present further], greatly disturbed and fell they, bewildered in their intelligence, in pain and full of remorse and fear to the ground, for they had offered themselves, their relations, their wealth, wives and objects of desire all to Krishna. (11) The cows, the bulls, the she-calves, cried out loudly in great distress, having their eyes fixed on Krishna, afraid lamenting in shock.
(12) Most fearsome, ominous disturbances then arose in Vraja in three kinds: signs could be seen in the sky, upon the earth and in the living beings that all announced imminent danger. (13-15) Seeing these signs were the cowherds who were headed by Nanda, agitated by fear knowing that Krishna had gone herding the cows without Balarâma. They, not knowing His prowess, could, from those bad omens overwhelmed by pain, grief and fear, think of nothing but Him, He who was their very breath of life. All of them, the children, the elderly and the ladies, my best, feeling as wretched as a cow missing her calf, anxiously set out to look for Krishna. (16) Balarâma the Sweet Supreme Lord seeing them that distressed gently smiled and didn't speak a word, knowing well the power of His younger brother. (17) They in search for their dearmost Krishna followed the trail marked by the symbols of the Lord His footprints leading to the bank of the Yamunâ. (18) Here and there, dispersed between other footmarks on the cow path, seeing the lotus, barleycorn, elephant goad, thunderbolt and flag adorned footprints of the master of their community, hurried they along, my best. (19) Seeing Krishna motionless within the lake enveloped in the coils of the snake body, the cowherd boys laying unconscious with the flooded waters and the animals all around them crying out loud, were they in their distress delivered to the greatest despair. (20) The gopîs with their minds so attached to Him, the Supreme, Unlimited Personality, remembering His loving smiles, glances and words, were now that their most dear was seized by the serpent, tormented by the greatest agony and experienced, deprived of their darling, all the three worlds as being empty [see also S'rî S'rî S'ikshâshthaka verse seven]. (21) They, together with the equally pained mother of Krishna fixing their vision upon her son, held firm retaining their flood of emotions while each of them brought up stories about the Darling of Vraja as they were standing there nailed to the ground staring at Krishna's face. (22) Nanda and his men seeing Krishna, their life and soul, were by the All-powerful Lord Balarâma who knew well the might of Krishna, withheld to enter the lake. (23) When He, the only one they had, for some time being caught in that position, saw how His cowherd folk was standing there together with the women and children in utter despair on His behalf, put He an end to the illusion of His mortality and rose He up from the coils of the serpent. (24) Expanding Himself was He given up by the serpent that had to suffer because of His transcendental body; he raised his hoods high in anger, breathed heavily through his nostrils that were like two vessels of boiling poison and looked the Lord in the face, standing still with his firebrand eyes fixed. (25) He with his double-pointed tongue to and fro between his two lips and his look indeed so terrible full of poisonous fire eagerly spying for an opportunity to strike, was by Him playfully encircled as He moved around him like the king of the birds [Garuda]. (26) This way moving around him wore He him out and made He him bend down his high raised shoulders; climbing on top of the broad heads, began He as the Original One, the First Spiritual Master of All the Arts, to dance, with His lotusfeet in touch [with the snake] reddened by the many jewels on the heads. (27) Taking notice of Him engaged in His dancing arrived that very moment His servants: the heavenly singers and perfected souls, the sages and the venerable ones with their wives who all were greatly pleased to join Him with two-sided clay drums, tabours and large drums, songs, flowers and other forms of praise. (28) Whichever of the one hundred-and-one heads he had that wouldn't bow down, my best, were right away kicked asunder; the Lord who with His feet coming down punishes the evil ones, made the serpent, still moving but with his life running out, spit horrible [poisonous] blood from his mouth and nostrils so that he experienced the greatest anguish. (29) Poison oozed from his eyes and whichever vomiting head that would rise breathing heavily in anger, was, dancing, with His foot forced down in submission by Him, and for every instance that happened was He with flowers worshiped for being the Original Person. (30) Profusely vomiting blood with his numerous hoods broken and his body defeated by His peculiar dancing, o ruler of man, remembered he the oldest person, Lord Nârâyana, the spiritual master of all moving and nonmoving entities and turned he within his mind to Him for shelter. (31) Seeing that the serpent got tired of the heavy weight of the heels of Lord Krishna in whose abdomen the entire universe is found and that his umbrellalike hoods were shattered by His trampling, approached his wives, distressed and with their clothing, ornaments and locks of hair in disarray, the Original Lord. (32) They, totally upset within, approaching for shelter, laid their bodies and children on the ground before Him, the Lord and Refuge of All Creatures, and bowed down saintly folding their hands together to solicit the liberation of their sinful husband.
(33) The wives of the serpent said: 'Fair is factually the punishment for this person who acted in offense; You descended in this world to subdue, with an equal vision to sons and foes, the wicked and administer punishment with the purpose of a positive result. (34) This chastising of the untrue You inflicted upon us is actually a form of mercy because dispelling their contamination, as You did with his appearance as a serpent, You even being angry are of grace in accepting the ones embodied. (35) Of what austerity properly performed has he in his former lives been, free from pride and thinking of others, religious or else of compassion with all people, from which You, the Good Self of all living beings, are satisfied? (36) We don't know what of him led to this result o Lord of ours; to be qualified to touch the dust of Your lotusfeet is something for which the goddess of fortune, the best of all women, has performed austerities, has given up all desires for a long time keeping to her vow. (37) Heaven nor rulership over all, not to be the topmost creator nor the master of the world, not the perfections of yoga or freedom from rebirth do they desire who have attained the dust of the feet [see also S'rî S'rî S'ikshâshthaka verse 4]. (38) He, born from ignorance under the sway of anger, has achieved that what is so difficult for others to achieve; by it [the dust] manifests for the ones, who encapsulated wander within the cycles of material existence, all opulence itself. (39) For You, the Supreme Lord of the Original Person, the Greater Soul, the Shelter of All that Exists and the Supreme Primordial Cause, for the Supreme One of the Beyond, our obeisances. (40) For the Ocean of Spiritual Knowledge and Wisdom, for the Absolute Truth of an unlimited potency, for Him free from as well the modes as from all change of form, for You the Prime Mover, our reverence. (41) For the Time, for the Secure of Time, for the Witness to the divisions of Time, for Him in the Form of the Universe, for the One Watching It Over, for its Creator; for the Final Cause of the Universe [our reverential homage]. (42-43) Of the created of the senses, the life air, the mind, the intelligence and the consciousness You are the ground of perception, that Ultimate Soul that by the modes of nature causes the misconception of falsely identifying one's true self with its cover. Our obeisances for the Unlimited Lord supremely subtle, fixed in the center, the Omniscient One sanctioning the diverse philosophies, the One Potency of expressing ideas and words. (44) Our respects again and again for the basis of all authoritative proof, for the author of the revealed scriptures, for the source of the passages inciting and restricting. (45) We bow before Lord Krishna and Lord Râma [Sankarshana], the sons of Vasudeva, and to Pradyumna and Aniruddha [see 4.24: 35-36]; our obeisances to the Master of the Sâtvatas. (46) Our salutations to Him who, manifesting the various qualities, disguises Himself by the modes and [yet] by the functioning of the modes can be ascertained; He who by His devotees is known as the separate witness to the modes. (47) O Controller of the Senses, let there be unto You, so inscrutable in Your pastimes displayed for the realization of all creation, our obeisances; unto You, acting so silently to the silent. (48) Unto Him the Knower of the Destinations Higher and Lower, the Regulator of All things, unto You, standing apart from the universe and yet being the universe itself, for the Overseer of That and Root Cause of this all, our worship. (49) You indeed are the Almighty Lord of Creation, Maintenance and Destruction of this universe who, beginningless with the potency of Time by the modes art the employer uninvolved; awakening by Your glance the distinctive dormant characteristics of each of them [modes] You play Your game impeccable. (50) The peaceful, the restless and those born in slowness are of it [of the Time] Your material manifestations in the three worlds; [but] for the peace-loving ones and the saintly out here whom You hold dear, are You there, in Your desire to maintain the dharma to protect them. (51) For once should by the master the offense committed by his own subject be tolerated; You o Peace Personified, should forgive it this foolish one [our husband] who failed to understand You. (52) O Supreme Lord have mercy, the serpent is breathing his last; we women are pitied by the saintly, the husband [thus] should be restored to life. (53) Please tell us, Your maidservants, what should be done; by Your command faithfully executed will one for sure be freed from all fear.'
(54) S'rî S'uka said: 'He, the Supreme Lord, thus extensively praised by the wives of the snake, released him whose heads were defeated by His trampling feet. (55) Slowly with difficulty regaining his senses and life-air spoke Kâliya, breathing loudly, wretched and submissive to Krishna. (56) Kâliya said: 'We so vicious and ignorant by birth are with a constant anger of a nature that is difficult to give up for normal folk who thereof take to the untrue, o master! (57) This universe created by You, o Sustainer of the modes and the variety of creation, is there, of the womb and seed, in forms and mentalities, personal natures, different talents and physical strengths. (58) And we out here o Supreme Lord, are from the nature of the serpent species absorbed in anger; how can we on our own accord give up now Your deluding matter which is so impossible to forsake being bewildered? (59) Let there be the certain of that what You, of Your good self as the cause therein, the Knower of All, the Controller of the Universe, will arrange for us, be it of favor or of punishment.'
(60) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus hearing the words then spoke the Supreme Lord, in the role of a human being: 'You, serpent, must not stay here any longer; go directly to the ocean with your folk, your children and women; let the wealth of the river be enjoyed by the human beings and the cows. (61) Any mortal being who remembers this command of Mine for you and recites it at the beginning and the end of the day will not get afraid of you. (62) He who at the place of this pastime of Mine bathes and with the water gratifies the gods and all, will, observing a fast with his worship, be freed from all sins. (63) Afraid of Garuda you abandoned the island Ramanaka and took shelter of this pool; but now that you are marked by My feet will he not devour you.'
(64) The honorable sage said: 'Freed by Krishna, the Supreme Personality whose actions are so wonderful o King, worshiped the serpent together with his wives Him with pleasure and reverence. (65-67) With the finest clothing, strings of flowers and jewels most valuable as also with ornaments, heavenly scents and ointments and with a wreath of lotuses worshiping and satisfying the Lord of the Universe, was he by Him who has Garuda in His flag permitted to leave, contented as He was being circumambulated and respected by him and his wives, children and friends. As he went to the island in the ocean became that very instant the nectarean water of the Yamunâ by the grace of the Supreme Lord, who for His pastimes had assumed a human form, free from poison.'