Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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KALIYA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] A serpent king who had five heads, and dwelt in a deep pool of the Yamuna, with numerous attendant serpents. His mouths vomited fire and smoke and he laid waste all the country round.

Krishna, while yet a child, jumped into his pool, when he was quickly laced and entwined in the coils of the snakes. His companions and friends were horrified, but Balarama called upon him to exercise his divine power. He did so, and the serpents were soon overcome. Placing his foot on the middle head of Kaliya, he compelled him and his followers to implore mercy. He spared them, but bade Kaliya and his follwers to free the earth from their presence, and to remove to the ocean.

The Asura Kalanemi is said to have been animate in him.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM