Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 10 Chapter 17:1-13

Book 10: Seventeenth Chapter (First Half)

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 10: Chapter 17: Verses 1-13
The Lord rescues the inhabitants of Vraja from a wild fire

The king (Pariksit) submitted : Wherefore did Kaliya leave Ramanaka, the home of the Nagas, and what wrong was done by him alone to Garuda? Sri Suka resumed : On every Amavasya (the day preceding a new moon) for their own protection all the Nagas gave to the high-minded Garuda their own share of offerings which was brought for them from month to month as previously arranged to the foot of a tree (at Ramanaka) by the worshippers of the Nagas, who served as food for the latter (and were consequently in constant terror of them), 0 mighty-armed one[1]! Puffed up with pride resulting from (superabundance of) venom and strength, however, Kaliya, son of Kadru, would disregard Garuda and consume the offerings itself. Seized with wrath to hear this, the glorious Garuda (the favourite of the Lord) swooped on Kaliya with tremendous speed with intent to make short work of it, 0 king l With its many hoods raised and its fiery eyes wide open, the cobra (which had poison for its weapon) advanced to meet Garuda--who was rushing with (great) speed-and bit him hard with its fangs, using them as its weapon, wagging its fearful tongues.
Pushing it back, the wrathful Garuda (son of Kasyapa), who serves as a seat of Lord Visnu (the Slayer of the demon Madhu) and is possessed of a terrible speed and formidable prowess, struck the son of Kadru with his left wing, brilliant as gold. Beaten by the wing of Garuda, Kaliya felt extremely agitated and entered the aforesaid pool of the Kalindi, which was inaccessible to Garuda and could not be easily entered (because of its great depth). In that pool once upon a time (during the reign of Emperor Mandhata) Garuda forcibly carried away, though stopped by the sage Saubhari, an aquatic creature (a large fish), his favourite food, hungry as he was. Seeing the (other) fish sore afflicted and miserable consequent on their leader having been killed, the sage Saubhari compassionately declared (as follows) with a view to ensuring the security of that pool (against the onslaughts of Garuda):- "If entering this pool the famous Garuda eats the fish (here), he will immediately be deprived of his life; I utter this (bare) truth." Kaliya alone was aware of this utterance, no other serpent knew it. Afraid of Garuda he was living there and was now expelled by Sri Krsna. Finding Sri Krsna come out of the pool adorned with an ethereal garland, bedaubed with a weird sandal paste and clad in heavenly raiment, decked all over with a number of large gems and graced with gold ornaments.



  1. In a commentary on Srimad Bhagavata we read how Garuda- who bore a standing and inveterate grudge against the serpent race for the cruelty perpetrated on his mother Vinata by the latter's mother, Kadru-used to devour indiscriminately whatever serpent he could lay his hands on. Perceiving the imminent extermination of their race, the Nagas sought the protection of Brahma, who summoned Garuda and brought about peace between the two parties by laying it down-with mutual consent-that whatever was brought as an offering to the Nagas at the foot of a tree in the realm of the Nagas on every Amavasya should be collected and offered as food to Garuda, who should satisfy his hunger with those offerings and desist from killing the snakes:-

    अमायां वृक्षमूले तु नागलोकेषु यद्‍ भवेत्। एकस्मिन् दिवसे तावदेकत्र स्थापयन्तु हि॥
    ततो हि गरुडस्तस्मिंस्त्द् भुक्त्वा नैव पीडयेत्। इति व्यव्स्थायां सर्पा मासि मासि बलिं ददु:॥