The following episode from Bhagavatam clearly says that Krishna got angry on washerman and then killed him.

SB 10.41.30: Brāhmaṇas standing along the way honored the two Lords with presentations of yogurt, unbroken barleycorns, pots full of water, garlands, fragrant substances such as sandalwood paste, and other items of worship.

SB 10.41.31: The women of Mathurā exclaimed: Oh, what severe austerities the gopīs must have performed to be able to regularly see Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, who are the greatest source of pleasure for all mankind!

SB 10.41.32: Seeing a washerman approaching who had been dyeing some clothes, Krishna asked him for the finest laundered garments he had.

SB 10.41.33: [Lord Krishna said:] Please give suitable garments to the two of Us, who certainly deserve them. If you grant this charity, you will undoubtedly receive the greatest benefit.

SB 10.41.34: Thus requested by the Supreme Lord, who is perfectly complete in all respects, that arrogant servant of the King became angry and replied insultingly.

SB 10.41.35: [The washerman said:] You impudent boys! You're accustomed to roaming the mountains and forests, and yet You would dare put on such clothes as these! These are the King's possessions You're asking for!

SB 10.41.36: Fools, get out of here quickly! Don't beg like this if You want to stay alive. When someone is too bold, the King's men arrest him and kill him and take all his property.

SB 10.41.37: As the washerman thus spoke brazenly, the son of Devaki became angry, and then merely with His fingertips, He separated the man's head from his body.

SB 10.41.38: The washerman's assistants all dropped their bundles of clothes and fled down the road, scattering in all directions. Lord Krishna then took the clothes.

SB 10.41.39: Krishna and Balarama put on pairs of garments that especially pleased them, and then Krishna distributed the remaining clothes among the cowherd boys, leaving some scattered on the ground.

Krishna didn't tell that he killed to give moksha. There should be a genuine reason for killing a person and the quarrel with Krishna is absolutely not a genuine reason to do such killing (I feel).

It's nice if the answers avoid the following trivial ones(unless strongly referred):

  1. To give moksha.

  2. Being almighty god.

  3. Due to quarrel and anger.

Is there any other genuine reason for killing an ordinary washerman, who is not even a Kshatriya? Does any other text(s) explain this incident in detail?

  • 2
    I had heard that the washerman was a rebirth of Rama's minister Arya Sumantra, and he was being punished for Arya Sumantra telling Rama to banish Sita or something. I'm not sure if that has a scriptural basis, though. Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 6:07
  • 5
    @keshavsrinivasan What I heard is that washerman was the person who started spreading nagetive thoughts about Sita's abduction. Because of him people started to discuss about this. Besides Aryasumantra was like father to Lord Rama. Lord can never punish a person whom he gave respect like own father.
    – Vishvam
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 10:46
  • 1
    Where is it said that he gave Moksha to the washerman?
    – Surya
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 14:43
  • 2
    @hanugm That is about Moksha to the weaver not the washerman.
    – Surya
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 16:41
  • 1
    I think He was in a Killing mood while coming to face Kansa.Bhagavatam also writes: tejiyasaam na doshaaya ie Tejasvins can do no wrong.And if someone is killed by God, he wd surely be liberated.
    – user17294
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 10:05

2 Answers 2


Yes, there is a genuine reason for killing the washerman. Krishna killed the washerman to stop his blasphemy and then to give Moksha. The washerman talked bad words regarding Rama's relationship with Sita during his previous birth but Rama didn't choose to punish the washerman for that.

The particular story regarding washerman is found in the following passages from Garga Samhita

Shri Bahulashva said: Although my heart has already heard Lord Krishna's sacred pastimes from your mouth, it thirsts to hear them again. Although it has already drunk this nectar, it thirsts to drink it again. I have already heard from you the description of the deeds of Kamsa in his previous birth and the deeds of Keshi and other demons in their previous births. Who was the washerman in his previous birth? Why did Lord Krishna kill him? Why did his spiritual effulgence merge in Lord Krishna's body?

Shri Narada said: O king of Videha, in Treta-yuga, in Lord Rama's kingdom, in Ayodhya, as Lord Rama's spies overheard, this same washerman said to his wife: I will not maintain you, a sinner that returns at dawn from another's house. Ramacandra, who is greedy to enjoy with His wife, may continue to maintain His Sita, but I am not like Him. Hearing from many mouths that the people were criticizing Him, Lord Ramacandra at once exiled Sita to the forest. Lord Ramacandra had no wish to punish him, and in due course this person became a washerman in Mathura at the end of Dvaspara-yuga. To stop his blasphemy, however, Lord Krishna killed him. Then the Lord, who is an ocean of mercy, gave him liberation.

[1-8, Chapter 10, Canto 5, Garga Samhita]

  • You answered your own question?
    – Wikash_
    Commented Jun 16, 2019 at 16:54
  • @Wikash_ yeah.. Found today...
    – hanugm
    Commented Jun 16, 2019 at 16:56
  • Good answer I will upvote it. How did you find this?
    – Wikash_
    Commented Jun 16, 2019 at 16:58
  • @Wikash_ I started reading Samhitas... It is present in them..
    – hanugm
    Commented Jun 16, 2019 at 17:00

In his discourses, Satya Sai baba explains the reason.


For question 54,

When Balarâma and Krishna were proceeding towards the palace of Kamsa, they saw the royal washerman carrying a bundle of royal robes. Krishna snatched the bundle, opened it, gave one robe to His brother and dressed Himself with another. The washerman got angry and entered into a quarrel. Krishna gave him a hard slap on the cheek. He died on the spot. Balarâma could not understand and asked Krishna to explain. Krishna replied that He had killed the washerman because he wished to die in His hands. He was the same washerman who had been responsible for mother Sîtâ's exile (reborn). Later he regretted and requested Râma to kill him for the unpardonable sin he had committed. Râma assured him that his wish would be fulfilled only by the next Avatâra in Dwapara Yuga

  • 1
    So even God cannnot clear the sin from inside. He has to kill.Very surprising!
    – user17294
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 14:58
  • If someone wants to get killd, he will be killed-- its that simple!!
    – user17294
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 15:00
  • I looked in SB but could not find that Balarama asked Krishna why he did this. Can anyone find the source?
    – Wikash_
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 15:10
  • @Wikash_hindu sai baba could have connected some other purana. After all if it is in bhagavata, there would be no question to ask here.
    – user17821
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 15:11
  • That makes sense indeed but I wonder which purana it is then.
    – Wikash_
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 15:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .