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Kaliya

Kaliya (black) In Hindu mythology, a serpent king subdued by Krishna, an incarnation of the god Vishnu. Kaliya lived in a pool that he poisoned with venom from his five heads. All the surrounding countryside was being destroyed by his fire and smoke. One day the boy Krishna went to the pool and was trapped by Kaliya in his coils. Kaliya, however, could not hold the boy, whose body miraculously expanded, causing the snake to lose his hold. Krishna then performed a dance of death on the heads of the serpent, causing blood to flow “copiously from his mouths.” After this, Kaliya surrendered and worshipped Krishna, who did not kill him but merely sent him to another river to live. Kaliya is an incarnation of the archdemon Kalanemi, who had been earlier killed by Krishna.

Taken from the Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

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