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Krishna Destroys the Demon Agha
Page from a dispersed series of the Bhagavata Purana

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Kota, Rajasthan, India, Asia

c. 1740-1750

Opaque watercolor on paper

Image: 4 1/4 × 12 5/16 inches (10.8 × 31.3 cm) Sheet: 5 1/8 × 12 7/16 inches (13 × 31.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Stella Kramrisch, 1984

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As five-year-old Krishna played with his brother Balarama and the young cowherds in the forest near Vrindavan, the demon Agha spied them. Like his sister, the demoness Putana, Agha had been sent by King Kansa to assassinate Krishna. Agha transformed into a great snake and lay in wait for the children, his huge mouth open to resemble a mountain cave. The boys stepped inside with their cows, but Krishna knew the truth. Here he swells to enormous size inside the snake's jaws until the creature explodes from its own pent-up gasses. Retrieving the bodies of the boys and cows, divine Krishna revives them, showing his duality as child and God.