KRISHNA AND INDRA
In the country of India, there is a little town called Brindavan. It is a
famous and a very holy place for it is associated with the birth of Lord
Krishna. The holy God was born there 5000 years ago. He was born on the
earth as an ordinary human being, to punish the wicked and protect the good.
It was the rainy season. The sun was smiling weakly behind dark clouds.
Brindavan, then a charming village, was transformed into a lush heaven with
healthy, greener vegetation and plenty of rains for the people. Everyone in
the village was happy.
Krishna woke up with a start. It was not yet morning, but the sounds coming
from the streets were loud and noisy enough to wake one up. Curious, he got
up and peeked outside his window.
A crowd had gathered before his house. Several men and women were sweeping
the streets clean. The roads were being decorated with garlands and lamps.
Krishna was surprised at the sight, as he had seen since his birth that in
the rainy season, the villagers slept till late in the morning.
"Is it a festival today? Or is anybody getting married?" he wondered. But he
couldn't remember any such occasion.
He left his home to take a bath in the river. While coming back, he saw his
father Nanda overseeing the men in the streets.
"Father, what is happening on the streets?" Krishna asked his father.
"The Gopalas are preparing to celebrate a festival to worship Lord Indra,"
said Nanda. "This year, there has been a rainfall more generous and
everybody is happy with the fertile crops. Since Indra is the God of rains,
we should thank Him for being so gracious in his blessings!"
"How do you say that Lord Indra is the one who's causing rains, Father?"
Krishna frowned in disagreement.
Nanda looked at his son in alarm.
"Of course it's Indra who's causing the rains, son. He is surely the reason
for our good fortune. He's the God of the Clouds and he rules them... so he
is the one who has blessed us with good rain this year," he replied
hesitantly to his son.
"No, father!" refused Krishna firmly, "you're all mistaken. Govardhan
Mountain is our real friend. More than the clouds above, the mountain in our
village has helped us."
"How can you say that?" asked Nanda, looking at his son in disbilief.
"The fertile mountain sends the signals in the air and creates clouds that
drift over the Brindavan and give us rains." replied Krishna. "So whom
should we praise and worship? Not Indra, but Govardhan!"
Nanda and the other Gopalas at work gasped in surprise. How could Krishna
dismiss Lord Indra, God of the Clouds and direct them to worship a mere
mountain instead! This was the first time that they heard about such a
"Yes, father," continued the boy. "Who gives us medicine in the form of
magical herbs and plants? Who sends us clean water and air from the top of
"And who gives us good grass for our cows, so that they give us milk that's
sweeter than honey? It is Govardhan!"
The initial surprise and doubts of the Gopalas were beginning to disappear.
They now began to see Krishna's point.
"So why should we not worship the mountain?" Krishna continued. "It is wiser
to give thanks to something which is right before us, rather than some deva
who lives comfortably in the heavens."
Hearing Krishna's words, the Gopalas were totally convinced. They all agreed
to worship Govardhan that year, instead of Lord Indra. But Nanda was
apprehensive, for he feared that this shifting of loyalty might incur the
wrath of God upon them.
And his fear came true. Up in the skies, Lord Indra was listening to this
conversation in anger and fury. "So that little cowherd boy has stopped the
celebrations in my honour!" he thought in indignation.
Lord Indra's pride was insulted by the Gopalas' decision to worship
Govardhan, instead of him. In his anger, he decided to punish the people of
"All these years I have heard their plea and helped them to prosper. And is
this what I get in return? It's time they know who the real God is here!
I'll send the most dangerous rains and thunderstorms to Brindavan," he
thought cruelly. "They will destroy the whole village of Brindavan. Let them
see who saves them then!"
What he thought he soon realised in action. Using his divine powers, Lord
Indra created clouds that seemed to be darker than the midnight sky. They
looked devilish and fearsome.
"Go and destroy Brindavan!" he ordered.
And they heeded their Master's command. Without any delay, they grouped
together to form a menacing army of clouds and raced towards the village
where Krishna and several innocent families lived.
"This will be enough for them" thought Indra and laughed aloud.
After a delicious lunch, the people of Brindavan were dozing in their homes.
Suddenly they heard a terrible sound.
Everybody was alarmed and came out of their homes. What they saw outside
took their breath away.
It was noon in Brindavan, but nobody could say it was so. The whole village
had become pitch dark. The sun was nowhere to be seen. Instead, black and
terrible looking clouds had invaded the village. They enveloped the whole
place in a thick mist, darkening the day, making it gloomy.
The clouds looked evil and menacing, but they stood suspended in air and
didn't rain. It seemed as if the clouds were waiting for somebody, or
rather, for some signal.
The people of Brindavan watched in fear and awe. They were spellbound.
Nothing like this had ever happened in their lives!
Krishna heard the frightened voices of the villagers. He was curious and
came out of his house. But as soon as he stepped out, there was a great roar
and the black clouds poured rains over Nanda's house. It seemed as if this
was what the monstrous clouds had been waiting for.
The demonic clouds seemed to have some fiendish scheme. From Nanda's house,
they quickly spread themselves over the town. The dark sky seemed to open
with a vengeance. Hard rain came down in torrents, flushing away the cattle
and the frail huts. The mere thatched roofs were no match for the terrible
"Run!� screamed a man in terror and people started to run for their lives.
They ran in all directions, to save their family and belongings. But even
escape seemed difficult for the Brindavan people. The hard and blinding rain
lashed over their faces, as if giving slaps for some unknown offence.
Nowhere could they take any shelter for nothing seemed to be strong enough
against this mighty cloudburst. The innocent and helpless people wailed in
the face of such a calamity. They prayed for some divine help.
But the clouds were merciless. They now had the support of blinding
lightning and ear-splitting thunder.
Every now and then, lightning struck a fertile tree and destroyed it.
Thunder rumbled throughout the ordeal, shaking' people's nerves and
panicking them. Nanda felt helpless on seeing his people panic.
"Do you see, son? This is no ordinary rainstorm. This seems to me to be the
punishment of our transgression. It is difficult to escape the wrath of
Gods. That is why we worshipped Lord Indra all these years, Krishna," he
said to his son gravely. "Because we decided to ignore Lord Indra this year,
he's punishing us. Now, innocent people are suffering because of your
idea... what to we do now?"
Krishna looked at the skies. "Ah, vain Indra!" he thought in fury. "I
understand your plan. You want to teach us a lesson, don't you? But first,
you need one! And soon I will crush your ego."
Thinking so, Krishna laid a reassuring arm on his father.
"First, we need to focus on making the people see reason, Father," he said
and walked to the centre of the town. Using his most commanding voice, he
"O people of Brindavan. Look at me. Do not run. Do not panic!"
The Gopalas looked at Krishna miserably. They had known the boy for long.
They knew that he was not an ordinary mortal and possessed some mysterious
But what can the boy possibly do in such a situation?
"This is all our fault!" somebody murmured. "We insulted Indra and now he's
punishing us," continued another.
"Yes uncle Guran, what you say is right. This is indeed an evil plot of Lord
Indra," replied Krishna, looking at the man. "But like before, Govardhan
would help us once again. Come this way and I will show you how!" he
declared and led them to the mountain.
Krishna looked up and smiled at the clouds. And in a blink of the eye, he
lifted Govardhana Mountain, like an umbrella over the people.
People forgot to breathe. A small boy had lifted a mountain on his little
Up above, Indra was bewildered. "How can a mere child lift a mountain?" he
thought. He hadn't ever seen such a feat achieved by anybody, leave alone a
"You should have understood it by now. But you did not. Pride and arrogance
has clouded your common sense, Indra!" sounded the voice of Brahma.
Lord Indra looked at the God of Creation in confusion.
"Don't you know that Krishna is a divine child?" continued Brahma. "Aren�t
you aware that he�s an incarnation of Lord Vishnu? Shame on you!"
Indra was humbled and stopped the rains. As a sign of his apology, he
ordered the clouds to shower rose petals from the skies. Then the applause
Every Gopala whooped in delight at their darling boy for his strength and
wisdom. They now saw what a godly child lived amidst them. They composed
songs in praise of the Lord, singing of this miraculous feat. Shouts of
"Long Live brave Krishna!" seemed to echo everywhere.
And it continues even today.