Naraka Chaturdashi: Story & Significance

Naraka Chaturdashi

This day celebrates the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura. Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of the month of Karttika is known as Naraka Chaturdashi.

Bhaumasura, who was also known as Narakasura was the son of Dharitri, the earth goddess, by the Lord Himself.

But he became a demon due to the bad association of Bana, another demon. An atheist is called a demon, and it is a fact that even a person born of good parents can turn into a demon by bad association. Narakasura kidnapped many daughters of great kings and kept them imprisoned in his palace.

Narakasura was powerful and he took pleasure in terrorizing the inhabitants of the three worlds. Narakasura would raid and plunder the kingdoms of the three worlds. He did not even leave the women and would kidnap them.

Narakasura heard that Indra, the king of the devas, had thousands of divine elephants in his army. Now Narakasura who was greedy wanted to possess everything, so he attacked the heavens.

After Narakasura stole Lord Varuna’s umbrella, mother Aditi’s earrings, and the playground of the demigods known as Mani-parvata, Indra, feeling humiliated at his loss and even worse that his mother was assaulted, wanted revenge and he knew that there was only one person who was a match for Naraka.

It was Krishna. Indra went to Dvaraka and described the demon’s transgressions to Lord Krishna. Krishna who was in the company of Satyabhama was enraged that Narakasura might lay his hands on mother Aditi and said that Naraka must die for his insolence.

Satyabhama looked annoyed because Krishna was about to leave her. Wanting to please both Satyabhama and Indra, Krishna decided to take Satyabhama with him into battle.

Together with Queen Satyabhama, the Lord mounted His carrier Garuda and traveled to the capital of Narakasura’s kingdom.

On a field outside the city He decapitated the demon Mura with His disc. Then He fought Mura’s seven sons and sent them all to the abode of death, after which Narakasura himself entered the battlefield on the back of an elephant.

Narakasura threw his sakti lance at Sri Krishna, but the weapon proved ineffective, and the Lord cut the demon’s entire army to pieces. Finally, with His sharp-edged disc Krishna cut off Narakasura’s head.

Bhoomi Devi then sang hymns in praise of Krishna and begged Him to take Narakasura’s son Bhagdatta under His protection. Krishna placed Bhagdatta on the throne and then freed all of Narakasura’s prisoners. The devas showered Krishna with flowers from the heavens.

The earth-goddess, Prithvi, then approached Lord Krishna and gave Him the various items Narakasura had stolen. She offered prayers to the Lord and presented Naraka’s frightened son at Lord Krishna’s lotus feet.

After pacifying the demon’s son, Krishna entered Narakasura’s palace, where He found sixteen thousand one hundred young women. As soon as they caught sight of the Lord, they all decided to accept Him as their husband.

The Lord sent them to Dvaraka along with a great quantity of treasure and then went with Queen Satyabhama to the abode of Indra. There He returned Aditi’s earrings, and Indra and his wife, Sachi-devi, worshiped Him.

On Satyabhama’s request, Lord Krishna uprooted the heavenly parijata tree and put it on the back of Garuda.

After defeating Indra and the other demigods who opposed His taking of the tree, Krishna returned with Queen Satyabhama to Dvaraka, where He planted it in a garden adjacent to Satyabhama’s palace.