This sculpture depicts Krishna’s victory dance after vanquishing Kaliya, a poisonous demon-serpent (naga) living in the Yamuna River. One day Kaliya’s poison was boiling and bubbling the Yamuna as Krishna and his friends played ball near the riverbank. Their ball rolled into the Yamuna and Krishna jumped in after it. Kaliya rose out of the river with his hundred and ten hoods, vomiting poison, and wrapped himself around Krishna’s body, but Krishna made himself huge and the naga had to release him. Krishna then leapt onto Kaliya’s head and assumed the weight of the whole universe as he danced on the naga’s heads. Kaliya started vomiting blood and began to die, and it was then the naga’s wives came and prayed to Krishna to have mercy on their husband. Krishna pardoned him and let him go free, but on condition Kaliya exile himself to Ramanaka Dwipa. (note; scholars identify Ramanaka Dwipa as Fiji)
Krishna’s right-hand gestures protection and blessing (abhyamudra) while Kaliya’s grateful wife gestures her thanks in anjalimudra.
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18 in / 46 cm
11.2 lbs / 5.1 kgs