“After consulting with his demonic ministers, Kamsa instructed a witch named Putana, who knew the black art of killing small children by ghastly sinful methods, to kill all kinds of children in the cities, villages and pasturing grounds. Such witches can play their black art only where there is no chanting or hearing of the holy name of Krishna.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 6)
Friend1: I was reading the Putana story from the Krishna book the other day, and something struck me in relation to modern day life.
Friend2: What is that? How a stranger could arrive in the home and breastfeed someone else’s child?
Friend1: Well, that was certainly an eye-opener the first time I read the story! But after some deliberation, you can understand.
Friend1: Because this is about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You hear talk today about the values from growing up in a small town. The people tend to be nicer. They say “hello” when meeting on the street, even to strangers. They take care of one another. There is less envy.
Friend2: It’s true. They tend to be more in the mode of goodness when contrasted with the bustling city environment.
Friend1: Which is more or less, “Get out of my way, I have places to go.”
Friend2: Jam into the crowded train car, grab a quick bite to eat, like dollar pizza slices, from a place that doesn’t even provide seating.
Friend1: Eat while standing up. Don’t smile at anyone. Maintain your guard.
Friend2: I guess everyone gets used to their environment.
Friend1: This was Vrindavana, the sacred land where the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared. The people should be the nicest you will find in the entire universe. I guess they were trusting of Putana entering the home since she looked so beautiful.
Friend2: Which was a false form. This is the tactic of the demon class. Deception. Cheating. Dishonesty.
Friend1: Putana was there to feed poison to baby Krishna. She got her wish, and a special surprise after that.
Friend2: Krishna sucked the life out of her.
Friend1: As that was going on, the false form evaporated. She became incredibly large. When she fell down dead, Krishna was crawling on her body. It was like this massive tree that fell to the ground.
Friend2: Really incredible, if you think about it. The people were amazed that baby Krishna survived.
Friend1: What got me thinking is imagining if something similar happened today.
Friend2: A witch being killed by God?
Friend1: Someone displaying the false form. A person with such a dramatic change. From normal human being to this giant. I think people would be fooled into assuming some sort of Divinity.
Friend2: You mean that since such and such person can alter their shape so dramatically, they must be God?
Friend1: Exactly. Can we really deny that? I’m wondering why the people of Vrindavana weren’t similarly amazed. Why didn’t they think Putana was someone sent from above?
Friend2: For starters, she didn’t survive. Secondly, the people understood the potential abilities from mystic yoga practice. And they also knew that the bad guys misuse these abilities to deceive people.
Friend1: Wow. This means that the people were very intelligent.
Friend2: The most intelligent. That is one of the reasons Krishna chose to live there. These were not innocent village fools, who get tricked by this and that. They knew of God the person as Vishnu, and they understood that since the beginning of time there have been strong challengers to Vishnu.
Friend1: Strength reaching the limits the material world has to offer.
Friend2: You could be the wealthiest person in the world. You could change your shape at a moment’s notice. You could command the entire population, but none of this means that you are God or even a good person.
Friend1: That is valuable information. Though reading such a story today you would be tempted to equate with mythology, we see that there is so much valuable information.
Friend2: Krishna’s lila has this impact. It purifies the consciousness. You can hear repeatedly. There is no loss of potency. You begin to see everything clearly and you will be less vulnerable to illusion.
After sucking breast so,
Putana’s form to grow.
To that like giant tree,
Fell to ground amazing to see.
Why not the people then amazed,
That issue of Divinity raised?
Because of asura potency knowing,
Not fooled by false display showing.