[Symbolism in the Kaliya Mardana]
Theosophist, April, 1880
Article selection from “Kaliya Mardana, or the Crushing of Kaliya—the Great Serpent by Krishna”, by Rao Bahadur Dadoba Pandurang | Note by H.P.B.
The sixteenth chapter of the First Division of the tenth Skandha of the Shrimad Bhagavata contains a very romantic description of the manner in which Krishna overcame the fury of the great Hydra, named Kaliya, who had one hundred and one heads and lived in a deep part of the river Yamuna. . . .
[Here the author recounts the tale, followed by analysis of its meaning.]
. . . Krishna is not, like Hercules, represented herein as effecting the destruction of his foe in toto, as it was absolutely in his power to do is he chose; but he only permits Kaliya when completely overpowered; and when he besought his mercy and protection, to change his quarters somewhere else, in the wide ocean, never to annoy and disturb the peace and happiness of his own people and the creatures of his favorite Vrandavan; showing thereby, that God only protects them from evil who devote themselves to Him, and not the wide world abroad, which is astray and alienated from Him.1
1. Or again, does not the permission granted to the serpent to betake himself to the fathomless depths of the sea, indicate that, though we may purge our individual natures of evil, it can never be extirpated but must still linger in the whole expanse of the Kosmos, as the opposing power to active goodness which maintains the equilibrium in Nature—in short, the equal balancing of the scales, the perfect harmony of discords?—ED. THEOS. [H.P.B.]