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For raga, see Dhenuka (raga).

In Hindu mythology Dhenuka, also known as Dhenukasura and Asura Dhenuka, was a demon killed by Balarama, the elder brother of Krishna.[1][2]

DHENUKA. A demon killed by Bala-rama. Krishna and Bala-rama, as boys, picked some fruit in a grove belonging to Dhenuka, when he took the form of an ass, and running to the spot began to kick Bala-rama. The young hero seized him by the heels, whirled him round till he was dead, and cast his- carcase on to the top of a palm-tree. Several ofhis companions who ran to his assistance were treated in the same way, so that "the trees were laden with dead asses."

John DowsonA classical dictionary of Hindu mythology and religion, geography, history, and literature[3]

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.[4]

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