The story of the great dance while playing flute on the hoods of Kalia is very famous.
The poisonous snake, Kalia had created a havoc in Mathura. Kalia chased Krishna and coiled himself around the little boy but Krishna was very swift and in the chase, Krishna very easily escaped Kalia. Krishna climbed over the rock and jumped on the tired snake’s enormous hood. With great ease, Krishna placed his foot on the snake’s sensitive head and started to dance. When the heels of Krishna strike the hoods, some break off and then get replaced by new ones. All the while Krishna keeps playing his sweet flute.
Kalia accepted defeated. Krishna could have easily killed Kalia and scared off all the evil powers but he did not. Krishna instead let Kalia go.
Why did Krishna not kill Kalia? Here are the insights:
Snake Kaliya had numerous hoods when one broke, the other one aroused. The hoods of Kalia are a symbolic representation of the numerous desires we have. When one desire gets fulfilled, another arises, just like the new hoods of Kaliya.
The hoods keep vanishing and forming, but Krishna this doesn’t affect Krishna. He keeps playing his flute, denoting Krishna’s wisdom and his focus on the attainment of real bliss in life.
Krishna agreed to spare Kalia also did not snatch his poison but on the condition of leaving that place and going somewhere else where perhaps he would learn to use venom only when absolutely necessary.
This shows that the aim is not to eliminate desire, anger, greed, and delusion that trouble you, but to change their course. The orientation of your yearning, when changed, can lead you to peace and bliss in life.
In this manner, your wisdom will be put to good use. If you re-channelize your desires, that will lead to godliness.
For example, if greed overpowers you, then channelize it towards greed for doing more meditation, more knowledge, more acts of benevolence. The same goes for other attachments and passions.
Therefore, one should yearn for real joy, the bliss of self, the Atman.
This is the hidden meaning of the story of Krishna and Kalia.