Krishna Chastises the Kaliya Serpent
Within the river Yamuna there was a lake inhabited by the many-headed serpent Kaliya. Kaliya's poison was so strong that the waters boiled and birds flying over the contaminated water would fall down into it. Seeing how terribly polluted it was, Lord Krishna decided to jump into the water and subdue the envious Kaliya. Krishna climbed to the top of a very high kadamba tree and prepared Himself for battle. When the Lord jumped into the water and began splashing His mighty arms, Kaliya immediately came forward and bit Krishna on the chest. Then he wrapped Krishna tightly in his coils. The inhabitants of Vrndavan saw Krishna in the snakes coils and they became overwhelmed with anguish. Nanda Maharaja and some of the cowherd men were ready to enter the poisoned lake, but Lord Balarama restrained them. Balarama was fully aware of Krishna's extraordinary power and knew that His brother was not in danger. Krishna saw the acute distress of everyone on the shore and He rose out of the coils of the serpent. Kaliya raised his hoods and breathed heavily in anger. Krishna playfully circled around him so skillfully that Kaliya could not find a single opportunity to bite the Lord. Then Krishna pushed Kaliya down and stood up on his broad heads. Krishna began to dance, and when one of Kaliya's heads would not bow down, Lord Krishna would strike down the stubborn head with His feet. Krishna trampled and broke all of Kaliya's hoods with his dancing. The serpent Kaliya, after vomiting blood and experienceing extreme misery, finally recognized Krishna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead and he then took shelter of Him within his mind. -Summarized from Srimad Bhagavatam 10.16Painted in 1977.