Dhenuka Asura (धेनुकासुरः)

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Dhenuka, also known as Dhenukasura, was an asura (demon) killed by Balarama, the elder brother of Krishna.

The Harivamsa states that Dhenuka with his host of attendant demons, all in the form of donkeys, as ruled over a forest of tala or palms trees, situated on the banks of the Yamuna River, north of mount Govardhana. Once, Balarama, Krishna and cowherds wandered into this forest, captivated by the fragrance of the fruits of the palm trees. When Krishna commented on the possible sweet taste of the fruit, Balarama shook the trees and the fruits fell on the ground. A jealous Dhenuka charged at Balarama and bit him and kicked him with his hind legs. Balarama caught hold of Dhenuka's legs and whirled him towards a tree, shattering his chest, neck and waist as the tree fell with the demon. Balarama killed Dhenuka's demon attendants and set the forest open for the cowherds.[1]


  1. Bhattacharya p. 32