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By Swami Harshananda

Dantāvakra literally means ‘One with un-shaped teeth’ or ‘One whose mouth is full of teeth,’ i.e., one with protruded teeth.

Dantāvakra was the prince of the country of Kanṣa (in Kaliṅga, identified with the modern Orissa). He was a nephew of Vasudeva, father of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In his previous birth, he was Jaya (one of the two gate keepers of Vaikuṇṭha) who was cursed by by one of the Sanatkumāra sages.

He was a close friend of Siśupāla and invaded Dvārakā along with Sālva. He was killed in the ensuing battle by Śrī Kṛṣṇa. At the time of his death, it was reported that a light emerged out of his body and was merged with Śrī Kṛṣṇa.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore