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The Excellences of Hari, Part XIII

While Balaram and Krishna wandered through

The forest pastures with their retinue,

Another fiend came in a fair disguise,

So no one could the demon recognize.

Wicked Pralamba, for that was his name,

To kidnap the two brothers thither came;

But Krishna his disguise could penetrate,

The demon’s confidence did cultivate,

Still pondering what means he might employ,

The pernicious Pralamba to destroy.

So Hari, the past master of all games,

With feigning friendship Pralamba detains;

His comrades in two parties did divide,

Rama lead one, and he the other side.

In a mock battle all the boys did play;

The vanquished on their shoulders must convey

The victors to a certain spot, and then

Begin the playful mock combat again.

And so it chanced that Rama’s party won

The victory, which meant Yashoda’s son

Must Sridama upon his shoulders bear,

But mighty Musali, who mocked at fear,

Mounted Pralamba’s back, quite unaware

Of what the wicked demon thought to dare.

Now when Pralamba ran beyond the bound

Where he should put him down, Haladhar found

The demon did his monstrous form resume;

At first Rama was wonderstruck, but soon

With his clenched fist he smote him on the head,

And crushed Pralamba’s skull, who then fell dead.

Rohini’s dear son did Pralamba kill,

Like Indra smashing down a mighty hill.

Thus, Rama having this great triumph won,

The cowherds all exclaimed, “Bravo! Well done!”

The gods in heaven also raised the cry,

“Well done!” and showered flowers from the sky.

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