3. Sri Lanka

Krishna and Balarama continued their journey riding on Karimukha the elephant. Karimukha travelled easily through thick forests and mountains, crossing the river Thungabhadra and then Kaveri. Then it reached the Agasthya hills. One small and beautiful river called Thamiraparani emanated from the thick rainforests and flowed towards the east. Karimukha followed the course of that river and reached Pandya’s seaport Korkai.

They saw god Hanuman of Ramayana fame doing thapas chanting the mantra Rama, Rama! They went near him. Hanuman, the son of Vayu (wind god) and Anjana opened his eyes, and could not understand who they were. Krishna carried only his flute in his hand.

Krishna entreated Anjaneya to see them carefully. Hanuman then concentrated and scrutinized them with his searching eyes. Then he realized that they were none other than his Rama and Lakshmana who had appeared in different forms. Then he started to dance around them singing Ram! Ram! Jaya Ram!

After knowing Krishna’s wish for a global tour and visit to Sri Lanka as the first destination, he was enthralled.

“My Lord! I have also got a wish to revisit Ravana’s country Sri Lanka. I myself will take you on my shoulders as I used to do in your previous Avathar! (holy previous birth) Enthusiasm bubbled in Hanuman’s words.

Balarama asked Krishna what was the instruction for Karimukha the elephant.

Krishna said, “Let Karimukha become Karingila (blue whale) and travel in the sea to come to the northern part of the country and wait for us to proceed further.”

Anjaneyah carried Krishna and Balarama on his mighty shoulders and flew to Sri Lanka’s capital of Anuradhapura situated in the middle of the island country.

The ruler of Sri Lanka during this period was Subeeshanathunga. He was a king hailing in the line of Vibeeshana who was the younger brother of Ravana. After killing Ravana in the epic war Rama made him the king of that country. Another person named Dhuttagama, who hailed from his ancestor Ravana was ruling the eastern part of the country. He had an ambition of destroying Subeeshana and become Emperor of the whole island country. When Hanuman approached Anuradhapura they could see there was a severe war. Subeeshana was fighting a defensive war from within his fort, and Dhuttagama’s army was making the onslaught from outside the fort.

On seeing Krishna in blue colour and Balarama in fair complexion riding on Hanuman, Dhuttagama’s army became terrified – they were sure that Rama and Lakshmana are coming again to help Vibeeshana’s descendants.

Realising the mindset of his soldiers Dhuttangama roused his troops to attack the new comers first. In the meantime Hanuman landed on the wall of the fort with Krishna and Balarama – Dhuttagama’s soldiers concentrated their attack on them and rained arrows on them from all directions.

Krishna used his new weapon, the Sudharsana chakra (a rotating magic disc with sharp edges) for their defence. The flying arrows were no match for the fast rotating chakra – they simply bent, broke and fell down. In the meantime Subeeshana came to know that Rama and Lakshmana with Anjaneya have come to his rescue. He came quickly in his chariot to their aid and fell at their feet.

Then Krishna counseled Subeeshana that it is better to fight the enemy in open rather than from the fort. Subeeshana accepted this tactics. The doors of the fort were opened. The army of Subeeshana took the offensive and attacked the enemy. Krishna and Balarama got their own chariots and proceeded like thunder bolt on the army of Dhuttagama.

Dhuttagama aimed his chariot towards Subeeshana and challenged him. Both of them stepped down from their chariots and fought with their Gadhas (Club). Dhuttagama could not sustain the attack. He slowly retreated and accepted his defeat. His army was demoralized by the lightning attack of Krishna and Balarama and ultimately they were defeated and they fled.

A jubilant celebration took place in Anuradhapura in which Krishna and Balarama were the honoured guests. Subeeshana came to know all about Krishna and Balarama in their new incarnation. He requested them to stay in their place for a few days and took them around the emerald island which is Sri Lanka. Hanuman took leave and flew back to his abode Kishkindha. Subeeshana took Krishna and Balarama in the caparisoned royal elephant and went north upto Kangesan Thurai.

Karimukha was waiting for them. Naradha descended from the heavens with his Narayana Slogan. The soldiers of the king and the people adored their saviors with song and dance. Krishna and Balarama started their journey riding on Karimukha. Karikukha walked to the sea into the depth and transformed as blue whale and carried them. The people of Sri Lanka witnessed this with wonder.

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