Dantavakra was the king of Karusha, which is said to have been situated in the southern province of Kalinga which was in modern day Orissa, although there was also an ancient kingdom called Kurusha near Kashi (Varanasi). The Puranas reveal that Dantavakra was Krishna’s cousin, but unfortunately due to his envious and demoniac nature, right from his very birth, he was envious of Krishna and bore Him great enmity throughout his life.
After the death of his friend Sishupala at the hands off Krishna, Dantavakra was very upset; but when Krishna killed his most dear friend Salva, the king of Kashi, Dantavakra became furious and in order to avenge his friend’s death, he took a solemn vow that he would kill Krishna.
By the will of providence, Dantavakra received news that Krishna was arriving from Dwaraka to meet all the Vrajavasis in Vrindavana and therefore Dantavakra immediately rushed to Datiha in order to challenge Krishna to a fight. The foolish Dantavakra was so furious and overcome with rage that he forgot his chariot, his bow, his armor, and even his helmet, and hurriedly rushed onto the battlefield with only his club.
Seeing Dantavakra approach, Lord Krishna quickly picked up His club, jumped down from His chariot and stopped His advancing opponent just as the shore holds back the ocean.
Raising his club, the reckless King of Karusha said to Lord Mukunda, "What luck! What luck - to have You come before me today! You are our maternal cousin, Krishna, but You committed violence against my friends, and now You want to kill me also. Therefore, fool, I will kill You with my thunderbolt club. Then, O unintelligent one, I who am obliged to my friends will have repaid my debt to them by killing You, my enemy disguised as a relative, who are like a disease within my body."
Thus trying to harass Lord Krishna with harsh words, as one might prick an elephant with sharp goads, Dantavakra struck the Lord on the head with his club and roared like a lion. Although hit by Dantavakra's club, Lord Krishna, the deliverer of the Yadus, did not budge from His place on the battlefield. Rather, with His massive Kaumodaki club the Lord struck Dantavakra in the middle of his chest. His heart shattered by the club's blow, Dantavakra vomited blood and fell lifeless to the ground, his hair disheveled and his arms and legs sprawling. A most subtle and wondrous spark of light then [rose from the demon's body and] entered Lord Krishna while everyone looked on, O King, just as when Sisupala was killed.
But then Dantavakra's brother Viduratha, immersed in sorrow over his brother's death, came forward breathing heavily, sword and shield in hand. He wanted to kill the Lord. O best of kings, as Viduratha fell upon Him, Lord Krishna used His razor-edged Sudarsana disc to remove his head, complete with its helmet and earrings.
Having thus destroyed Salva and his Saubha airship, along with Dantavakra and his younger brother, all of whom were invincible before any other opponent, the Lord was praised by demigods, human beings and great sages, by Siddhas, Gandharvas, Vidyadharas and Mahoragas, and also by Apsaras, Pitas, Yakshas, Kinnaras and Caranas. As they sang His glories and showered Him with flowers, the Supreme Lord entered His festively decorated capital city in the company of the most eminent Vrishnis.
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