The Mahabharata
  Srimad Bhagavatam

  Rig Veda
  Yajur Veda
  Sama Veda
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  Bhagavad Gita
  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

  Brahma Sutra
  Sankara Bhashya I
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  Ramanuja SriBhashya


  Agni Purana
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  Markandeya Purana
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  Manu Smriti

  Bhagavad Gita
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See for the online version with illustrations, music and links to the previous translation: http://bhagavata.org/


"The Story of the Fortunate One" 


CANTO 10 - part III:

Summum Bonum

Chapter 46
Uddhava Spends the Night in Gokula Talking with Nanda

Chapter 47 The Gopî Reveals Her Emotions: The Song of the Bee

Chapter 48 Krishna Pleases His Devotees

Chapter 49 Akrûra's Mission in Hastinâpura

Chapter 50 Krishna Uses Jarâsandha and Establishes the City of Dvârakâ

Chapter 51 The Deliverance of Mucukunda

Chapter 52 The Lords Leap Down from a Mountain and Rukminî's Message to Lord Krishna

Chapter 53 Krishna Kidnaps Rukminî

Chapter 54 Rukmî's Defeat and Krishna Marries

Chapter 55 The History of Pradyumna

Chapter 56 How the Syamantaka Jewel Brought Krishna Jâmbavatî and Satyabhâmâ

Chapter 57 Satrâjit Murdered, the Jewel Stolen and Returned Again

Chapter 58 Krishna also Weds Kâlindî, Mitravindâ, Satyâ and Bhadrâ

Chapter 59 Mura and Bhauma Killed and the Prayers of Bhûmi

Chapter 60 Lord Krishna Teases Queen Rukminî

Chapter 61 Lord Balarâma Slays Rukmî at Aniruddha's Wedding

Chapter 62 Ûshâ in Love and Aniruddha Apprehended

Chapter 63 The Fever in Conflict and Bâna Defeated

Chapter 64 On Stealing from a Brahmin: King Nriga a Chameleon

Chapter 65 Lord Balarâma in Vrindâvana and the Stream Divided

Chapter 66 The False Vâsudeva Paundraka and His Son Consumed by Their Own Fire

Chapter 67 Balarâma Slays the Ape Dvivida

Chapter 68 The Marriage of Sâmba and the Kuru City Dragged Trembling of His Anger



 Chapter 46

Uddhava Spends the Night in Gokula Talking with Nanda

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The best adviser of the Vrishnis was Krishna's beloved friend Uddhava [see also 3.2], a direct disciple of Brihaspati of the finest intelligence. (2) To him, His dearmost unique devotee spoke some day the Supreme Lord Hari, who removes the distress of the surrendered, taking his hand into His. (3) 'Please Uddhava, o gentle one, go for the satisfaction of My parents to Vraja and relieve, by carrying My messages, the gopîs from the mental pain of being separated from Me. (4) They absorbed in Me, with their minds fixed on Me, made Me the purpose of their lives abandoning everything physical [of husband, home and children, see 10.29: 4]. Understanding those who for My sake left behind this world and its moral obligations, I sustain them who have Me alone as their beloved and dearmost Self. (5) The women of Gokula remembering Me, their dearest object of love being far away, my best, become stunned being overwhelmed by the anxiety of separation [see also B.G. 2.62-64]. (6) The cowherd women fully dedicated to Me, with My promises to return do with great difficulty hold on, somehow keeping their lives going.'

(7) S'rî S'uka said: 'With Him thus having spoken, o King, did Uddhava respectfully take the message of his Sustainer, mounted he his chariot and set he off to the cowherd village of Nanda. (8) Just as the sun was setting reached the fortunate one Nanda's pastures, passing unnoticed because of the dust of the hooves of the animals that were entering. (9-13) With the sounds of the bulls in rut fighting one another for the fertile ones, with the cows with filled udders running after their own calves, with the adorn of white calves capering here and there and with the milking and the loud reverberation of flutes, were the finely ornamented gopîs and gopas, auspiciously singing about the deeds of Balarâma and Krishna, resplendent. It all was most attractive with the homes of the gopas filled with incense, lamps and flowergarlands for the worship of the fire, the sun, the guests, the cows, the brahmins, the forefathers and the gods [see also 10.24: 25 ]. The forest on all sides flowering echoed of the swarms of bees, singing birds and the kârandava ducks and the swans crowding around the beautifying bowers of lotuses. (14) With him arrived approached Nanda the dear follower of Krishna and embraced he him happy to be of reverence with Lord Vâsudeva in his mind. (15) Having him fed with the finest food, comfortably seated on a nice sofa to be relieved of the fatigue and with his feet massaged and so on, inquired he: (16) 'O dear and most fortunate one, does our friend the son of S'ûra [Vasudeva] so devoted to his well-wishers, now that he is freed and joined with his children, fare well? (17) What a luck that the wicked Kamsa, who constantly hated the always righteous and saintly Yadus, because of his sins together with his followers has been killed! (18) Is Krishna still thinking of us, His mother, His well-wishers and friends, the gopas of Vraja of whom He is the master, the cows, Vrindâvana forest and the mountain [see 10.24: 25]? (19) Is Govinda coming back to see once more His folk so that we may glance upon His face, His beautiful nose, His nice smile and eyes? (20) By Krishna, that so very great Soul, were we protected against insurmountable mortal dangers like a forest-fire, the wind and rain, as also against a bull and a serpent. (21) The memory of Krishna's valorous deeds, playful sidelong glances, smiles and words, my dear, made us all forget our material concerns. (22) With those who see the locations where he played, the rivers, the hills and the different parts of the forest that were decorated by His feet, finds the mind total absorption in Him. (23) I think Krishna and Râma are, as confirmed by Garga [see 10.8: 12], of the demigods the two most elevated on this planet, there for a great and holy cause divine. (24) After all, have Kamsa, with the strength of a ten thousand elephants, the wrestlers and the king of the elephants as in a game been killed by Him and Râma, as simple as animals by the lion king. (25) A bow as solid as fifty centimeters thick [three tâlas] was by Him royal as an elephant broken like a stick and for seven days held He with one hand up a mountain! (26) Pralamba, Dhenuka, Arishtha, Trinâvarta, Baka and other demons who had conquered both sura and asura were by Them here killed with ease.'

(27) S'rî S'uka said: 'Nanda thus remembering again and again, fully immersed in Krishna became extremely anxious and fell silent overcome by the force of his pure love. (28) Mother Yas'odâ overhearing the descriptions of her son's activities gave way to her tears while her breasts got wet from her love. (29) Seeing the two of them in this condition of their supreme attraction of love for the Supreme Lord spoke Uddhava ecstatically(30) S'rî Uddhava said: 'The two of you are for sure, in your having developed a mentality like this for Nârâyana, the spiritual master of all, the most praiseworthy of all embodied beings in this world, o respectful one. (31) These two of Râma and Mukunda, indeed are the seed and the womb of the universe; They are the primeval Male Principle and His Creative Energy who accompany the living beings [confused] in all their diversity with knowledge and control. (32-33) That person who in his life divided within but for a moment immerses his mind [in Him] will at that time immediately eradicate all traces of karmic impurities and will head for the supreme destination in a spiritual form with the color of the sun. With your good selves giving Him, the Great Soul and Self that is the reason of existence of all, giving Him, Nârâyana, the Ultimate Cause in a mortal frame, by all means the utmost purest love, what good deeds then would there remain for you to perform? (34) In not too long a time will Acyuta, [as] the Lord Supreme, the Master and Protector of the Devotees, to give satisfaction to His parents, return to [the full vision within the people of] Vraja. (35) Having killed Kamsa, the enemy of all Yadus, in the arena, [and all other evil in the world...] will Krishna be true in that what He told You of His turning back. (36) Please do not falter o most fortunate ones, you will see Krishna in the near future; He is present within the hearts of all living beings like fire in firewood. (37) No one indeed is specially dear or not dear to Him, nor does He, free from false pride being of the same respect for all, hold anyone superior or inferior [compare S'ikshÂshthaka and B.G. 9.29,]. (38) For Him there is no father and no mother, no wife, no children and so forth; no one is related to Him, nor is anyone an outsider and there is no [material] body or birth to Him either [compare 10: 3]. (39) For Him there is no karma in this world to appear in wombs pure or impure or mixed and yet for the sake of pastimes He appears in order to redeem His saintly devotees [see B.G. 3: 22; 4: 7; 13: 22]. (40) Though being beyond the modes called goodness, passion and ignorance accepts He, being transcendental, to play by the modes, thus as the Unborn One creating, maintaining and destroying. (41) Just as in one's vision, when one whirls around, the ground seems to be whirling, so too seems, when one thinks of oneself as being the body, the self to be the doer, while it is the mind that is acting [compare B.G. 3: 27]. (42) He is not the son of the two of you alone, He is the Supreme Lord Hari who is the son, the very self, the father ànd the mother; He is the Lord of Control. (43) What is seen or heard, what is in the past, the present or in the future; what is stationary, mobile, large or small can not at all be said to be a thing apart from Acyuta; He alone, manifesting as the Supersoul, is everything.'

(44) As Nanda and Krishna's servant were thus speaking came that night to an end, o King, lighted the women rising from sleep lamps in worship before their deities and started they churning for butter. (45) The women illumined by the lamps pulling the ropes, with the rows of bangles on their arms, with their jewels and with their faces red of the kunkum glowing of their earrings and necklaces, shone as their hips and breasts were moving. (46) As the women of Vraja with their eyes like lotuses with the reverberation of their loud singing mixed with the sounds of churning for the butter were touching the sky, was all inauspiciousness in every direction dispelled. (47) When the supreme master of the sun rose saw the residents of Gokula the golden chariot outside the house of Nanda and asked they 'To whom does it belong? (48) Maybe Akrûra has come, that agent to the purpose of Kamsa by whom Krishna with His lotus eyes was brought to Mathurâ. (49) Would he then, with his master satisfied, be here to celebrate the death rituals with us?' and as the women were thus speaking came there Uddhava, having finished his morning duties.



Chapter 47

The Gopî Reveals Her Emotions: The Song of the Bee

(1-2) S'rî S'uka said: 'When the women of Vraja saw him, the servant of Krishna, with his long arms, being so young, with his lotuseyes, wearing a yellow garment and a lotusgarland and with his effulgent lotuslike countenance and polished earrings, wondered they quite astonished from where this handsome man had come and to whom he, wearing Krishna's clothes and ornaments, belonged. With all of them talking like this crowded they eagerly around him who was sheltered by the lotus feet of Uttamas'loka [the Lord Praised in the Scriptures]. (3) In proper respect bowing down to him in humility and shyly smiling to their glances, sweet words and all, inquired they with him, having taken him separate and seated on a pillow, as they understood that he was an envoy of the Master of the Goddess of Fortune. (4) 'We know that you arrived here as the personal associate of the chief of the Yadus who as your Master has sent you here to satisfy by your mediation His parents. (5) We wouldn't know what there would be else for Him worth to remember in these cow-pastures; the bonds of affection with one's relatives are even for a sage difficult to relinquish. (6) The interest in others manifests itself as friendship for as long as it takes; it is a pretense as good as the interest that bees show for flowers or that men show for women. (7) Prostitutes abandon a penniless man, citizens an incompetent king, graduates abandon their teacher and priests one abandons after compensating them. (8) Birds do so with a tree rid of the fruits and guests with the house where they ate; animals abandon the forest that burned down and likewise does a lover so once he has enjoyed an enamored woman.'

(9-10) The gopîs with Uddhava, the messenger of Krishna, having arrived in their midst, thus indeed with their speech, bodies and minds aiming at Krishna, put aside their worldly concerns, singing and crying without restraint in the intense memory of the youth and childhood activities of their Sweetheart. (11) One [noted as Râdhâ, see also *] seeing a honeybee while meditating the association with Krishna imagined it a messenger sent by her Beloved and spoke the following: (12) The gopî said: 'O honeybee, you friend of a cheater, don't touch my feet with your whiskers carrying the kunkum from His garland that rubbed off from the breasts of our rival; He who has sent a messenger such as you is derided in the assembly of the Yadus - let the Lord of Madhu [Himself instead] be of mercy with the women! [prajalpa **] (13) Once He made us drink the nectar from His own bewildering lips, has He suddenly abandoned us like we were some flowers; I wonder why, like you [o bee], the goddess of fortune [Padmâ] serves His lotusfeet - that must be so because, alas, by the chitchat of Krishna her mind for sure has been stolen [parijalpa ***]. (14) O mister sixlegs, why are you singing here so much about the Master of the Yadus in front of us, old friends of the Friend of Vijaya [Arjuna], who abandoned their homes; you better sing of His topics before the [present] girlfriends of whom He [now has] relieved of the pain of their breasts - His sweethearts will provide you the charity you seek [vijalpa *4]. (15) What women in heaven, on earth and below would not be available to Him so deceptive with His charming smiles and arching eyebrows; what is, when the wife of the Fortunate One is of worship with the dust of the feet, the value of us, we for whom being so wretched indeed He at least is there by the sound of 'Uttamas'loka' [ujjalpa *5]? (16) Keep your head off My foot! I know you, you expert who as a messenger from Mukunda learned the diplomacy of flatter! Why should I reconcile with Him who so ungrateful abandoned us, who for His sake in this life have abandoned their children, husbands and everything else [sañjalpa *6]? (17) Against the rules shot He [as Râma, see 9.10 & 11] as cruel as a hunter the king of the monkeys [Vâlî], was he won by a woman [Sîtâ], did He disfigure a woman driven by lust [S'ûrpanakhâ, the sister of Râvana] and did He, after consuming his tribute [as Vâmana], bind Bali up like a crow [see 8.21]; so therefore enough of that Black Boy whom of all friendships is so hard to give up when we lose ourselves in the topics about Him [avajalpa *7]. (18) The ears, just once partaking of a drop of the nectar of the pastimes He constantly performed, do remove one entirely from the duality and ruin the personal duties right away, because of which, rejecting their miserable homes and families, many people out here like birds pursue the livelihood of begging [abhijalpa *8]. (19) We, taking His deceptive speech for true, as foolish doe wives of the black deer trusting the hunters song, repeatedly experienced this sharp pain of lust caused by the touch of His fingernails; o messenger, I beg, speak of another subject [ajalpa * 9]! (20) O sweet friend, have you by my Beloved once again been sent here - please choose whatever you wish, you are to be honored by me my dearest - why are you bringing us here that twofold with Him that is so impossible to give up; o gentle one, isn't there always present at His side His consort, the goddess of fortune S'rî, to His chest [pratijalpa * 10]? (21) It certainly is regrettable that the son of Nanda now resides in Mathurâ; does He remember the household affairs of His father, His friends and the cowherd boys so now and then, o great soul, or..., does He still in talks relate to us, the maidservants? When do we have a chance that He will lay His aguru-scented hand on our heads [sujalpa * 11]?'

(22) S'rî S'uka said: 'Uddhava, having heard how the cowherdgirls were hankering after the sight of Krishna, then to pacify them spoke of the messages of their Sweetheart. (23) S'rî Uddhava said: 'You who in this manner dedicated your minds unto the Supreme Lord Vâsudeva, are for sure to be worshiped by all people as you indeed fulfilled the purpose of your good selves [of modeling our emotions of relating to Him]. (24) By donating, vows [of poverty, celibacy and fasting], sacrifices, the rosary [japa], by study, and by turning inward concentrating and meditating, and by all kinds of other auspicious practices [see also yama, niyama, vidhi and bhâgavata dharma] is indeed unto Krishna the bhakti, the devotional service, realized. (25) By your good selves unto the Supreme Lord, who is glorified in sublime poetry, have you - my congratulations - established an unexcelled devotion hard to attain even for the sages. (26) To your good fortune you chose to leave your sons, husbands, physical comforts, relatives and homes to associate with that superior male personality named Krishna. (27) By your rightfully claiming your wholehearted love in separation from Adhokshaya, o glorious ones, have you done me [the Lord and everyone] a great favor. (28) Please, good ladies, hear what the message from your Beloved for you is for which I as a faithful follower of my master's orders have come.

(29) The Supreme Lord has said: 'You women are actually never separated from Me, there ever as the Soul of All; just as all the elements, the ether, the fire, the air, the water and the earth are part of all beings, am I likewise, to the elements of the mind, the life air, the senses, and their natural modes [guna, rasa and jalpa] there as their harbor. (30) Within Me do I Myself indeed by Myself create, destroy and sustain through the power of my deluding potency made up by the elements, the senses and the modes. (31) The soul full of pure spiritual knowledge is to the effect of the modes uninvolved in what is perceived by the functions of deep sleep, dream sleep and waking consciousness. (32) What one meditates by the senses running after the objects is false, like a dream is upon awakening; staying alert should one bring under control that what [in the mind] gathers by the senses [compare B.G. 2: 68 and 6: 35-36]. (33) This, like all rivers ending in the ocean, is of the intelligent the end conclusion to all vedic studies, yoga, analysis, renunciation, penance, sense-control and truthfulness [compare B.G. 2: 70]. (34) The fact then that I, so dear to your eyes, indeed am situated so far away from yours, is of My desire that you, in your solicitude towards Me, are attracted in the mind. (35) For the minds of women remain absorbed when the one dearest to them is far away and not so the minds of them who have him present before their eyes. (36) Your minds totally absorbed in Me, having given up on all the restlessness because of constantly remembering Me, will soon obtain Me. (37) Those remaining here in Vraja, while I was sporting at night in the forest [see 10.29.9], and thus not experienced the râsadance, were fortunate as they achieved Me by concentrating on my heroic acts.'

(38) S'rî S'uka said: 'The women of Vraja hearing the instructions of their Beloved given in this fashion, did, pleased by the message to again remember, speak to Uddhava. (39) The gopîs said: 'Fortunately has the cause of the suffering, the enemy of the Yadus Kamsa, together with his followers been killed. How good that Acyuta at present happily lives with His well-wishers who have attained all they desired. (40) O gentle one, perhaps is the elder brother of Gada [Krishna, see 9.24: 46] giving the women of the city, revering Him affectionate and bashful with inviting smiles and glances, the love that belongs to us. (41) How will our Darling, so versed in all the things of love, not become bound by the bewildering gestures and words of the city women, who are also [just as we] constantly of worship? (42) And... does Krishna, o pious one, remember us; does He ever mention us, village girls, when He freely talks within the society of the city women? (43) Does He recall those nights in which He enjoyed in Vrindâvana, so enchanting of lotus, jasmine and the moon, together with us His beloved girlfriends, who ever glorify Him by His charming stories, dancing with jingling ankle bells? (44) Will that descendant of Das'ârha come here to bring, perhaps with His touch, back to life us tormented with the sorrow He Himself gave rise to, like Indra would to [replenish] a forest with his clouds? (45) But why would Krishna come over here now that He, surrounded by all His well-wishers, is happy having attained a kingdom, killed his enemies and married the daughters of kings? (46) What unto Him, the great Soul and husband of the goddess of fortune whose every desire is already fulfilled, would there be to fulfill as a purpose for us, forest-dwellers, or for other women; He's complete in Himself! (47) The highest happiness indeed is found in not hoping for anything, so even stated Pingalâ [a courtesan, see 11.8], yet for us aware of that being focused on Krishna is it difficult not to hope. (48) Who can bear to give it up to entertain a preconceived notion with Uttamas'loka, from whose body the goddess, even though He's not desiring, never moves away. (49) With Sankarshana for His companion lived Krishna, o prabhu, by the rivers, the hills and places in the forest, the cows and the sounds of the flute. (50) Ah!, over and over do they with the divine markings of His feet remind us of the son of Nanda we can never forget indeed. (51) O, how can we, whose hearts were stolen by His gait, His playful glances, His generous charming smiles and nectarean words, forget Him? (52) O Master, Master of the Goddess, Master of Vraja, o Destroyer of the Suffering, o Govinda lift Gokula up from the ocean of misery it is submerged in!'

(53) S'rî S'uka said: 'They, with their fever of separation removed by Krishna's messages, then worshiped him recognizing him as Adhokshaja Himself. (54) Remaining there for some months singing the topics of Krishna's pastimes, gave he joy to Gokula dispelling the sorrow of the gopîs. (55) All the days that Uddhava dwelled in Nanda's cowherd village passed for the residents of Vraja in a single moment, because they were all filled with discussions about Krishna. (56) Seeing the rivers, forests, mountains, valleys and flowering trees, took the servant of the Lord pleasure in inspiring the people of Vraja about Krishna. (57) Noticing all this and more of the gopîs' total absorption in Krishna and their agitation with it, was Uddhava extremely pleased and sang he, offering them all respect, the following: (58) 'These women, with success maintaining their bodies on this earth as cowherdwomen exclusively for Govinda, the Soul of All, on themselves achieved perfection in their loving ecstasy - a love that is desired as well as by us as by the sages who fear a material existence; what use is it to be blessed with the [three] births of a brahmin [from his mother, his guru and his sacrifices] if one has the taste for the topics of the Unlimited Lord? (59) Where is one compared to these women who, impure in their conduct towards Krishna, wander in the forests; where is one compared to this stage of perfect love for the Supreme Soul? - certainly is the Controller to the one who is of constant worship, even though not being learned, directly bestowing the highest good, that imbibed works like the very best of all medicines [that is: irrespective of the person]. (60) This was, o pity, not to the goddess on His chest so intimately related, this was not the favor for the women of heaven with the aroma and luster of a lotus flower, and much less was it for others to have the blessing of the arms of Lord Krishna around their necks, as the beauties of Vraja happened to achieve in the râsa-dance [10.33]. (61) Oh, let me be devoted to the dust of the lotusfeet of the gopîs in Vrindâvana, let me be any of the bushes, creepers or herbs [there in relation] to them who, in worship of the feet of Mukunda, for whom one searches with the help of the Vedas, gave up the family members so difficult to leave behind and the path of civil correctitude. (62) The feet of the Supreme Lord of which the goddess, the unborn one, and the other gods, even being accomplished as masters of yoga, can only think of, were by them indeed in the gathering of the râsa-dance placed on their breasts, so that by that embrace their anguish was vanquished. (63) To the dust of the feet of the cowherdwomen of Vraja, of whose loud chanting the stories of Krishna the three worlds are purified, my respects again and again.'

(64) S'rî S'uka said: 'Then taking permission to leave of the gopîs, of Yas'odâ and Nanda as also of the gopas, mounted the descendant of Das'ârha, ready to take off, his chariot. (65) Approaching him, as he was riding out, with various items of worship in their hands, spoke Nanda and the others affectionately with tears in their eyes. (66) 'May our mental faculties always take to the shelter of the lotusfeet of Krishna, may our words express His names, and may our bodies bowing and all that, so act for His sake. (67) Wherever we for our work to the will of the Controller are being made to wander, may there, of what we do and give away in charity, be the auspicious in our attachment to Krishna our Lord.'

(68) After the gopas thus had honored him with Krishna-bhakti, o first among men, turned Uddhava back to Mathurâ that was now under the care of Krishna. (69) Before Krishna falling down to pay his respects, told he Him of the intense devotion of the residents of Vraja and gave he the gifts of tribute to Vasudeva, Balarâma and the king [Ugrasena].   


 * : To substantiate the claim that this concerns Râdhâ, quotes S'rîla Jîva Gosvâmî the following verses from the Agni Purâna:  "At dawn the gopîs inquired from Krishna's servant, Uddhava, about the Lord's pastimes and recreation. Only S'rîmatî Râdhârânî, immersed in thought of Krishna, withdrew Her interest in the talks. Then Râdhâ, who is worshiped by the residents of Her Vrindâvana village, spoke up in the midst of Her girlfriends. Her words were full of pure transcendental knowledge and expressed the ultimate portion of the Vedas."

**: S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî points out that this and the following nine verses exemplify ten kinds of impulsive speech [citra-jalpa or strange chatter] spoken by a lover as expressions of godconscious folly or divine madness [divyonmâda]. S'rîla Rûpa Gosvâmî in the Ujjvala-nîlamani (14.182) says to this expression: "Prajalpa is speech that denigrates the tactlessness of one's lover with expressions of disrespect. It is spoken in a mood of envy, jealousy and pride."

*** Ujjvala-nîlamani (14.184): 'Parijalpa is that speech which, through various devices, shows one's own cleverness by exposing the mercilessness, duplicity, unreliability and so on of one's Lord.'

*4 Ujjvala-nîlamani (14.186): "According to learned authorities, vijalpa is sarcastic speech that is addressed to the killer of Agha and that openly expresses jealousy while at the same time hinting at one's angry pride."

*5 Ujjvala-nîlamani (14.188): "The declaration of Lord Hari's duplicitous nature in a mood of spite born of pride, together with jealously spoken insults directed against Him, has been termed ujjalpa by the wise."

*6 Ujjvala-nîlamani (14.190): "The learned describe sañjalpa as that speech which decries with deep irony and insulting gestures the beloved's ungratefulness and so on."

*7 Ujjvala-nîlamani (14.192): "Saintly persons have concluded that when a lover, impelled by jealousy and fear, declares that Lord Hari is unworthy of her attachment because of His harshness, lustiness and dishonesty, such speech is called avajalpa."

*8 Ujjvala-nîlamani (14.194): "When a lover indirectly states with remorse that her beloved is fit to be given up, such speech, uttered like the plaintive crying of a bird, is called abhijalpa."

*9 Ujjvala-nîlamani (14.196): "A statement spoken in disgust, describing how the male lover is deceitful and brings one misery, and also implying that He gives happiness to others, is known as âjalpa."

*10 Ujjvala-nîlamani (14.198): "When the lover humbly states that although she is unworthy of attaining her beloved she cannot give up hoping for a conjugal relationship with Him, such words, spoken with respect for her beloved's message, are called pratijalpa."

S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî explains that the goddess of fortune, S'rî, has the power to assume many different forms. Thus when Krishna enjoys other women, she stays on His chest in the form of a golden line. When He is not consorting with other women, she puts aside this form and gives Him pleasure in Her naturally beautiful form of a young woman.

*11 Ujjvala-nîlamani (14.200): "When, out of honest sincerity, a lover questions S'rî Hari with gravity, humility, unsteadiness and eagerness, such speech is known as sujalpa."



 Chapter 48

Krishna Pleases His Devotees

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord, the Soul of All and Seer of Everything, with understanding wishing to please [as He had promised 10.42: 12], went to the house of the serving girl [Trivakrâ] who was troubled by lust [see 10.42: 10]. (2) It was rich with expensive furnishings, replete with sensual articles and was beautified with strings of pearls and banners, canopies, beds and seats as also fragrant incense, oil lamps, flower garlands and sandalwood. (3) She, seeing Him arriving at her house, at once indeed rose in a hurry with her female companions to welcome properly Acyuta who was respectfully greeted with an excellent seat and so on. (4) Uddhava also worshiped, saintly as he was, touched the seat [offered to him] and sat on the floor, and Krishna, faithful to the ways of human society, without delay laid Himself upon a luxurious bed [in the inner chambers]. (5) She by bathing, anointing, dressing up with ornaments, garlands and perfume, bethel nut and drinking fragrant fluids and so on, prepared her body and then shy and with playful smiles approached Mâdhava with tempting glances. (6) Calling forward the lovely woman, who fearful of the new contact [as a virgin] was shy, seized He her two hands ornamented with bangles and placed He the beauty on the bed to enjoy with her whose only proof of piety had been the offering of ointment. (7) Smelling the feet of the Unlimited Lord, embracing within her arms, between her breasts, her Lover, the Personification of All Ecstasy, wiped the pain away that because of Cupid burned in her breasts, chest and eyes, so that she could let go of her so very long standing distress. (8) She with having offered Him, the Master of Enlightenment, body ointment, had obtained the Controller so hard to obtain, and begged, oh how unfortunate [compare 4.9: 31], the following: (9) 'Please stay here together with me for a few days o Beloved, take pleasure, I cannot bear to give up Your association, o Lotusflower-eyes.'

(10) He With Respect for Others, in respect of her, promising to come back to that later granted her the boon of her material desire after which the Lord of All, together with Uddhava, went back to His supremely opulent residence. (11) He who in full worship of Vishnu, the Controller of All Controllers, who is so difficult to keep in mind, as a benediction chooses for something easy to the mind is of that obtaining an insignificant result a person slow of intelligence [see also 7.15: 36].

(12) Krishna, the Master, who wanted some things to be done then with Uddhava and Râma went to the home of Akrûra with also the desire to please Akrûra. (13-14) When he saw Them, the greatest of illustrious personalities from a distance, rose he joyfully with his relatives to embrace Them for a welcome. Bowed down to Krishna and Râma was he greeted by Them and was he of worship according the injunctions after They had taken their seats. (15-16) The water he had used to wash Their feet he sprinkled over all his head, o King, after which he presented gifts, the finest clothing, sandalwood, garlands and excellent ornaments. With his head bowed down being of worship placed he His feet on his lap for a massage, and addressed he face down with humility Krishna and Râma as follows: (17) 'To our good fortune have the two of You killed the sinful Kamsa together with his brothers and followers and has this dynasty of Yours been delivered from endless troubles and made prosperous. (18) You two are the principal persons who of the Universe are the cause and the substance apart of whom there is not a single cause or effect to be found. (19) This universe created by You, You subsequently entered by Your own energies so that You can be perceived in many forms knowable by hearing from the scriptures and direct experience. (20) The way indeed the earth- and other elements manifest themselves variously in species of beings mobile and immobile, do You, the Single One Self-reliant Self, the Supersoul, the same way in various forms of life appear to be manifold among them. (21) You create and then destroy; You protect the universe but are by Your qualities, the personal energies, the modes of passion, ignorance and goodness or by their material activities not bound to this world; for when You are knowledge itself, what would for You then be a cause of bondage? (22) Because You are not determined by the coverings of the body and so on is there no literal birth or duality to Your Self and therefore exists there no bondage for You, nor in fact any liberation [compare 10.14: 26]; and if they show is that to Your sweet will [see e.g. 10-11: 7] so or either of our erroneous notions about You [like in 10.23: 10-11]. (23) For the benefit of this universe did You proclaim the ancient path of the Veda and do You assume a form in the mode of goodness at the time the path is obstructed by the wicked ones adhering to godlessness. (24) You as that very same person o Master, has now descended in the home of Vasudeva with Your Own plenary portion [Balarâma] to remove from this earth here the burden of the hundreds of armies by killing their kings [see also 1.11: 34], who are expansions of the adversaries of the god-fearing [see e.g. 7.1: 40-46], and to spread the fame of the [Yadu-]dynasty. (25) Today, o Lord, is our residence indeed extremely fortunate with You, Adhokshaja, having entered; You, the Spiritual Master of the Universe, the God of all the forefathers and living beings, the humans and the gods; You as the embodiment of Him from whose feet has washed the water [of the Ganges, see 5.17] that purifies the three worlds. (26) What other scholar is there but You; to whom else should we turn for shelter but to You, the well-wisher who in Your words of love for Your devotees are always true; to You who, grateful to the devoted who positive with You are of worship, gives all that is desired, even Yourself - You to whom there is never diminution or increase [see also B.G. 2: 40]. (27) To our fortune have we here with us before our eyes You who even for the masters of yoga and the rulers of the godly are a goal hard to reach; please swiftly cut through our ties of delusion given by Your material energy: our children, wife, wealth, honorable friends, our home, body and so on.'

(28) Thus worshiped profusely by His devotee smiled Krishna the Supreme Lord at Akrûra and spoke He with words that as good as swept him of his feet. (29) The Supreme Lord said: 'You, our paternal uncle and praiseworthy friend, are our spiritual master and always are We your dependents to be protected, maintained and graced. (30) People like your good self are of the worshipable ones the most eminent, worthy to be served by men who desire the most saintly, highest good, as while demigods are always after their own interests, are the saintly devotees not so. (31) Not to deny the sacred places consisting of water or either deities made of clay and stone: they purify in the course of time, but the saints do so being seen only once. (32) Of all our well-wishers are You no doubt the very best; I want you please to go for Us to the city named to the elephant [Hastinâpura] and find out what for the sake of their welfare for the Pândavas needs to be done. (33) When their father died were they as young boys together with their mother in distress by the king [Dhritarâshthra] brought to his own capital city, where they thus are residing, so I've heard. (34) Toward the sons of his bother [Pându] was the king, the son of Ambikâ [see 9.22: 25], so wretched of mind, really not equally disposed, blind of vision being under the control of his wicked sons [one hundred of them lead by Duryodhana, 9.22: 26]. (35) Go and learn whether he in his actions at present is good or evil so that to that knowledge we can arrange for what is to the benefit of our dear friends.'

(36) In full instructing Akrûra with these words went the Supreme Lord, the Supreme Personality of Control, with Uddhava and Sankarshana then to His own residence.  


Chapter 49

Akrûra's Mission in Hastinâpura

(1-2) S'rî S'uka said: 'He [Akrûra] going to Hastinâpura, the city standing out with the glory of the kings of the Pûru-dynasty [see family-tree], saw there the son of Ambikâ [Dhritarâshthra, see 9.22: 25] together with Bhîshma, Vidura and Prithâ [Kuntî], as also Bâhlika and his son [Somadatta], Dronâcârya and Kripâcârya, Karna, Duryodhana, the son of Drona [As'vatthâmâ], the Pândavas and other friends. (3) After the son of Gândinî [Akrûra, see 9.24: 15] appropriately had greeted his relatives and friends inquired they with him for news about their kin and asked he on his turn how they were faring. (4) He stayed there a couple of months to find out what the king, weak of determination with his wicked sons, all did tending to the desires of the mischievous [like Karna]. (5-6) Both Vidura and Kuntî told him everything indeed of the unbecoming, like the administering of poison, that the sons of Dhritarâshthra had done intolerantly being disposed to the influence, skill, strength, bravery, humility and so on of the the sons of Prithâ, for whose excellent qualities the citizens had great affection. (7) Prithâ having her [Vrishni-]brother Akrûra before her, approaching him said, as she, with tears in her eyes, remembered her place of birth [Mathurâ]: (8) 'O gentle one, do our parents and brothers, my sisters, nephews and the women of the family as well as my [old girlhood] friends remember us still? (9) Do my brother's son, Krishna, the Supreme Lord, the caring shelter to the devotees and Râma with His lotuspetal eyes, still think of the sons of His fathers sister? (10) And... will He with His words console me, who with young boys deprived of their father in the midst of enemies is lamenting like a doe between wolves? (11) Krishna, o Krishna, o Greatest of Yoga, o Soul and Protector of the Universe, please watch over this surrendered soul who along with her children is drowning in distress, o Govinda! [see also 1.8: 17-43] (12) For mankind in fear of death and rebirth I see no other shelter than the lotusfeet of You, the Controller imparting liberation. (13) My obeisances unto Krishna, the pure Absolute Truth and Supersoul, the Controller of Yoga and Unifier of Consciousness; You whom I've approached for shelter.'

(14) S'rî S'uka said: 'This way did, o King, your very great-grandmother, remembering her relatives and Krishna, the Controller of the Universe, loudly cry over her being unhappy. (15) Akrûra, equal in distress and happiness, and the illustrious Vidura both consoled Kuntî explaining the [divine] origins of her sons births [see family-tree]. (16) When it was about time to leave went he up to the king sitting among his supporters who so impetuously was biased for his sons, in order to speak with him about what in friendship was communicated by his well-wishing relatives [Krishna and Râma]. (17) Akrûra said: 'O dear, beloved son of Vicitravîrya [9.22: 21-25], you to the greater glory of the Kurus have, with your bother Pându having passed away, now assumed the throne. (18) To the dharma protecting the earth and the citizens will you, delighting by good character, achieve perfection and renown remaining equally disposed to your relatives! (19) Acting to the contrary however will you, being condemned in this world, land in darkness; so therefore remain equipoised toward the Pândavas and the ones born from you. (20) For whomever is there no enduring association with anyone in this world, o King, not even with one's own body; so what to say about a wife, children and so on? (21) One is born alone and alone one also meets one's end, and alone one enjoys one's merit as surely also one's demerit. (22) As an unintelligent person in need of support is by others in disguise [as relatives] the wealth stolen that was acquired against the dharma, just like to an aquatic the water [the territory, is occupied by its own offspring]. (23) Indulging against the dharma, thinking uneducated the things one feeds on to be one's own, is he in his purpose frustrated by them in loss of his life-air, wealth, children and others [see 4.31 6.15: 21-23 and 7.15]. (24) By them abandoned taking the load upon him, not properly knowing the purpose of life enters he with his goals unfulfilled blind to his own religious duty indifferent the deepest darkness [see also 3.30; 5: 26; 6.1: 40]. (25) Therefore, with seeing this world, o King, as a dream, as something magical, as a thing of mind, bring the mind with intelligence under control and become equal and peaceful, prabhu.'

(26) Dhritarâshthra said: 'As you speak these words so auspicious, o charity master, can I, as a mortal, never get enough; they are like the nectar of immortality! (27) However pleasing though, o gentle one, are they, like lightening in a cloud, not fixed in my heart which is unsteady, with me being prejudiced by the affection for my sons. (28) What way would there ever be for a person to escape from what is ordained by the Controller, who to diminish the burden of the earth has descended in the Yadu-family? [see B.G. 9: 8] (29) He whose path is inconceivable, creates this universe by His own creative energy, distributes the modes and enters into it; unto Him, unfathomable in the purport of His pastimes, the Supreme Controller from whom we find liberation from the cycle of birth and death, my obeisances.'

(30) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus convincing himself of the mentality of the king, was Akrûra by his well-wishers permitted to leave and went he back again to the city of the Yadus. (31) To the purpose for which he was sent, reported he to Râma and Krishna what the position was that Dhritarâshthra had taken in relation to the Pândavas, o descendant of Kuru.


Chapter 50

Krishna Uses Jarâsandha and Establishes the City of Dvârakâ

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Asti and Prâpti, the two queens of Kamsa, o hero of the Bhâratas, unhappy that their husband had been killed, went distressed to their fathers house. (2) Their father, the king of Magadha named Jarâsandha [see also 1.15: 9, 9.22:8, 10.2: 1-2, 10.36: 36], they told all about the cause of their widowhood. (3) He hearing those bad tidings, full of sorrow and indignation, o King, embarked upon the extreme endeavor of ridding the earth of the Yâdava's. (4) With twenty-three akshauhinîs amassed he around Mathurâ to besiege the royal capital of the Yadus on all sides. (5-6) Krishna, the Supreme Lord Hari, who saw how by his force, like an ocean having overflowed its boundaries, His city lay under siege and His subjects were confounded of fear, considered as the Ultimate Cause in a Human Form what to the purpose of His decent into this world would be right to the time and place: (7-8) 'For sure I will annihilate his army, this burden upon the earth, gathered by the King of Magadha in which he brought together all who subservient assumed leadership and now can be counted in akshauhinîs of infantry, cavalry, chariotry and elephantry; Jarâsandha however, I should spare so that he again will try to assemble an army. (9) This is the purpose of My descent: that from this earth the burden is removed, the saintly are fully protected and those waging in opposition are killed. (10) Other bodies as well are by Me as well assumed for the protection of the dharma whenever in the course of time injustice predominates [see also 2.7 and B.G. 4: 7 ].'

(11) While meditating in this manner appeared the very instant from the sky [from Vaikuntha] two chariots with an effulgence like the sun complete with drivers and equipment. (12) So did also on their own accord the Lord His weapons ancient and divine, and seeing them said the Lord of the Senses to Sankarshana: (13-14) 'Please take notice, o Respected One, of this immediate danger for the Yadus who are protected by You, Prabhu, and of this chariot that has arrived with Your favorite weapons. For this purpose indeed have We been born: to act, o Lord, to the benefit of the saintly; so please remove now the burden of these twenty-three armies from this the earth.'

(15) Thus inviting Him did the two descendants of Das'ârha, in armor resplendent with their weapons, ride out from the city in their chariots accompanied by a very small contingent. (16) The Supreme Personality with Dâruka at the reins riding out, blew His conchshell which caused the hearts of the enemy soldiers to tremble in terror. (17) Jarâsandha looked at the two of Them and said: 'Krishna you worst of persons, I do not desire to contest with You, a boy only, hiding in shame! With a fool like you I won't fight, get lost You murderer of relatives! (18) And if You, Râma, have the guts to fight: then muster the courage; either you drop your body cut by my arrows and go to heaven or You kill me!'

(19) The Supreme Lord said: 'Truly, heroes don't have to vaunt, they simply show their prowess; how can we take the words serious, o King, of a man delirious of his impending death?'

(20) S'rî S'uka said: 'The son of Jarâ, with his gigantic flood of mighty forces then marched forward to the two descendants of Madhu, who were then surrounded by the soldiers, chariots, flags, horses and charioteers like the wind covers the sun with clouds or a fire with dust. (21) When Hari's and Râma's two chariot banners marked by the palm tree and Garuda could not be seen anymore in the battle, did the women of the city positioned in the watchtowers, palaces and gateways, swoon stricken by grief. (22) When the Lord saw how His army was harassed by the savage clouds of arrows the enemy forces repeatedly rained upon them, twanged He who is worshiped by sura and asura, S'ârnga, His most excellent bow. (23) From His quiver then fixing, pulling back and releasing floods of sharp arrows, stroke He, like a burning torch whirled around, the chariots, elephants, horses and footsoldiers relentlessly. (24) Elephants fell with their foreheads split open, many a horse of the cavalry and the chariots at a time had their necks and flags severed by the arrows and the charioteers, their masters and the foot-soldiers had their arms, legs and shoulders cut. (25-28) Of the limbs of the two-legged ones, the elephants and the horses being cut, flowed the blood in hundreds of streams that were filled with arms looking like snakes, people's heads that were like turtles, dead elephants like islands and dead horses like crocodiles. Replete with hands and thighs as fish, human hair like waterweeds, bows like waves and weapons as separate bushes were the chariot wheels like frightening whirlpools and the precious gems and fine jewelry as the stones and gravel. Terrifying to the timid and inspiring the intelligent with joy, stroke Sankarshana, with His unbounded potency, one after the other His furious enemies down with His plow. Those troops supervised by the king of Magadha for destruction, my dear, that were unfathomable, frightening and insurmountably limitless like the ocean, were to the Lords of the Universe, the two sons of Vasudeva, not more than a plaything. (29) It raises no wonder when He, of Unlimited Qualities, Who effects the maintenance, creation and annihilation of the three worlds, subdues a party in opposition, but still [in response to philosophers who proclaim His being unconcerned] is it described as a game of His in imitation of the human ways. (30) The so very strong Jarâsandha, whose army had been destroyed and who deprived of his chariot was left with his breath only, was seized by Râma as forcibly as one lion would seize another lion. (31) But, in the process of tying up, with the ropes of Varuna [compare 5.24: 23] and of normal man, him who had killed so many adversaries, was He checked by Govinda as He needed him to fulfill another purpose.

(32-33) He, honored by heroes, was ashamed to be released by the two Lords of the Universe and thought of performing austerities, but was in his resolve half way home stopped by the rest of the royalty who explained him in clear terms, meaningful words as also with practical arguments: 'This being defeated by the Yadu's has accrued of your own karmic bondage'. (34) The son of Brihadratha with all his soldiers killed and left alone by the Supreme Lord, then arrived depressed back in Magadha.

(35-36) Mukunda with His forces unbroken having crossed the ocean of the armies of His enemy, was showered with flowers by the servants of the three worlds in praise. Being met by the people of Mathurâ, who with their fever allayed felt great joy, was His glory sung by bards, heralds and panegyrists. (37-38) As He entered the city with its sprinkled roads and many a banner, resounded conchshells, kettledrums, drums and horns all together with vinâs, flutes, and mridangas [two-sided devotional drums] and chanted the elated citizens loudly vedic verses at the festively decorated gateways. (39) With eyes wide open full of love gazing affectionately covered the woman Him with flowergarlands, yogurt, parched rice and sprouts. (40) The countless valuables of the heroes fallen on the battlefield were by the Lord all together presented to the king of the Yadus [Ugrasena]. (41) And so it happened this way seventeen times that the king of Magadha with his akshauhinîs fought the Yadus who were protected by Krishna's military strength. (42) The Vrishnis by the power of Krishna entirely destroyed the king his force: every time his soldiers were dead was he deserted and went he away again. (43) Just as the eighteenth battle was about to take place appeared a foreign fighter [Kâlayavana] sent by Nârada. (44) Having heard about the Vrishnis arrived he there with three crores of barbarians [mlecchas] and besieged he Mathurâ, as he among man had found no one to match him. (45) Seeing him thought Krishna with Sankarshana His helper: 'Ah, from two sides; a great problem indeed has risen for the Yadus! (46) This yavana in opposition with us today is of the same great strength as Jarâsandha, who will also get here either today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. (47) While the two of Us are fighting with him will the son of Jarâ, when he comes, kill our relatives or else move them to his own stronghold. (48) Let's therefore today kill the barbarians and build us, for our intimates to settle there, a fortress impenetrable to the two-legged.'

(49) The Supreme Lord thus deliberating arranged for a fortress twelve yoyanas [around] within the sea where he had a city [called Dvârakâ or 'many-gated', see also 1: 11] with everything wonderful. (50-53) Within it could the science of the architecture of Tvashthâ [Vis'vakarma] be admired who with his expertise constructed the main avenues, courtyards and service-roads to the ample plots of land. It contained splendid gardens and parks with the trees and creepers of the godly and gateways of quartz with upper levels that with turrets of gold touched the sky. The service buildings with silver and brass were decorated with pots of gold, had jeweled rooftops and the houses had floors with precious emeralds. The households occupied by the four varnas of people had temples for their presiding deities and were constructed with watchtowers; and most beautiful to it were the residences of the Yadu godhead. (54) Lord Indra delivered to the Lord the pârijâta [coral-]tree and the Sudharmâ-hall ['good law'] situated in which a mortal is not affected by the laws of mortality. (55) Varuna delivered horses swift as the wind colored white and exclusively dark-grey; the treasurer of the godly delivered the eight mystic treasures [see nidhi] and each of the local rulers brought in their own opulences. (56) Whatever powers of control the Supreme Lord had given as their own perfections were all offered back to Krishna, now He had come to earth. (57) Krishna after bringing over there by the power of His yoga all His subjects [*], then on the advise of Balarâma, the protector of the citizens, unarmed went out of the city gate, wearing a garland of lotus flowers.


 * S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî to this quotes the following verses from S'rî Padma Purâna, Uttara-khanda: "In the middle of the night, as the citizens of Mathurâ slept, Lord Janârdana suddenly removed them from that city and placed them in Dvârakâ. When the men awoke, they were all amazed to find themselves, their children and their wives sitting inside palaces made of gold."



Chapter 51

The Deliverance of Mucukunda

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Seeing Him coming out [see 50: 57] like the moon rising, most beautiful to behold, with a dark complexion, a yellow silk garment, the s'rîvatsa on His chest, the brilliant kaustubha-gem decorating His neck, His mighty, long four arms and eyes as pink as newly grown lotuses; His always effulgent, clean, joyful smile to His beautiful cheeks, His lotuslike face and the display of His shark-shaped earrings, thought he [Kâlayavana]: 'This person indeed must be Vâsudeva with the s'rîvatsa, the four arms, the lotus-eyes, the wearing of forest-flowers and with the great beauty. From the marks Nârada mentioned can He be no one else, going there without weapons on foot; I'll fight Him without weapons!' The yavana thus decided, pursuing wanted to catch Him, who had His face turned away and fled; He, who is unattainable even to the mystic yogi's. (7) With every step He brought Himself almost within the reach of his hands and thus going far confronted He that lord of the yavanas with a mountain cave. (8) In his pursuit insulting Him with words like 'Fleeing is for You being born in the Yadu-dynasty improper!', could he, whose mischief had not found its end [yet], not reach Him. (9) Even though He was thus abused, entered the Supreme Lord the mountain cave and as he also entered saw he lying there another man. (10) 'And now, bringing me this long distance is He lying down here like a saint!' and thus erroneously thinking him to be Acyuta, struck he him full force with his foot. (11) He, awaking after a long period of sleep, slowly opened his eyes and, looking about in every direction, saw him standing at his side. (12) O descendant of Bharata he as such, was by the glance, the angered man cast on him, in a moment burnt to ashes by a fire that generated from within his own body [*].'

(13) The honorable king [Parîkchit] said: 'Who in particular was that person, o brahmin, of which family was he and of what powers; why had he gone into the cave to sleep and of whose seed was he born that destroyer of the yavana?'

(14) S'rî S'uka said: 'He is known as Mucukunda, born in the Ikshvâku dynasty as a son of Mândhâtâ [see 9.6: 38 and 9.7]; a great personality devoted to the brahminical and true to his vow in battle. (15) He, on the request of the godly headed by Indra who were terrified of the asuras, was for a long time of service to assure them their protection. (16) They, obtaining Guha ['from the cave'; Skanda or Kârttikeya] as their protector of heaven, then said to Mucukunda: 'O King, please desist from the trouble your good self has to protect us. (17) You forgetting all your personal desires have, with abandoning a kingdom in the world of man, for our protection removed those [asura] thorns, o hero. (18) Your children, your queens and your other relatives, ministers, advisers and subjects are not alive now, are not of this time anymore; time separates. (19) Time, more powerful than the powerful, is the Supreme Inexhaustible Lord in Control who, playing a game of herdsman and flock, sets the mortal beings in motion. (20) All good fortune to you, choose today any benediction from us except for the one of liberation, as only the Supreme Inexhaustible Lord S'rî Vishnu is capable of that.'

(21) He, for his great fame thus addressed indeed by the demigods, respectfully saluted them and laid himself down in a cave to enjoy the sleep the gods had granted him [**]. (22) After the barbarian was turned into ashes revealed the Supreme Lord, the great hero of the Sâtvatas, Himself to the wise Mucukunda. (23-26) Looking at Him - dark as a cloud, in a yellow silk garment, the s'rîvatsa on His chest, the brilliant kaustubha gem glowing, the four arms and the beautifying vaijayantî garland; His attractive calm face and glittering shark-shaped earrings, His affectionate smile appealing to all mankind, His glance, His youthful handsome form, His noble gait and fire like that of a lion - was he, so highly intelligent, overwhelmed by His effulgence, which was a splendor unassailable indeed, and posed he in doubt hesitantly a question. (27) Sr'î Mucukunda said: 'Who are You to join me in the forest in a mountain cave, with Your feet like the petals of a lotus walking the thorny ground. (28) Maybe you're the Supreme Lord, the origin of all empowered beings, or else the god of fire, the sungod, the moongod, the king of heaven or perhaps a ruler from another planet? (29) I think You're the God of the three personalities of the demigods, the Greatest, because You dispel the darkness of the cave [the 'heart'] like a lamp with its light. (30) O Most Eminent Among Man, if you like, if you can, veraciously describe for us eager to hear, Your birth, activities and lineage. (31) We from our side, o tiger among men, are descendants of Ikshvâku, a family of kshatriyas with me, born from the son of Yuvanâs'va, called Mucukunda o Lord. (32) Because I remained awake for a long time was I, fatigued in my senses and overwhelmed by sleep, to my comfort lying in this solitary place and have I now been awakened by someone. (33) That person turned to ashes indeed out of his own sinful conduct only, and Your good Self so glorious, o Chastiser of Enemies, I saw following immediately thereafter. (34) Because of Your unbearable effulgence are we, diminished in our faculties, not able to behold You, o most Gracious One; You are to be honored by all embodied beings!'

(35) Thus addressed by the king replied the Supreme Lord and Origin of All Creation, smiling broadly, with words deep as the rumbling of clouds. (36) The Supreme Lord said: 'My births, activities and names are there by the thousands, My dearest, limitless as they are they cannot even be enumerated by Me! (37) Some time, after many lives, one might count the particles of dust on earth, but never ever so My many qualities, activities, names and births. (38) Not even the greatest sages counting My births and activities taking place to the three of time [past, present, future], o King, can reach the end of them [compare 8.5: 6 and 8.23: 29]. (30-40) Nonetheless, o friend, just hear from Me about the current one, this Speaker. In the past I was beseeched by Lord Brahmâ [see 3.9 and also 10.14] to secure the dharma and destroy the demons who are a burden to the earth, and so I descended into the Yadu-dynasty in the home of Vasudeva and do the people indeed call Me Vâsudeva, the son of Vasudeva. (41) Kâlanemi I killed [see 10.8: 56], Kamsa [10.44], Pralamba [10.18] and others envious of the virtuous, and this yavana, o King was burned by your scorching glance. (42) I, that very same person caring for the devotees, approached this cave for the sake of favoring you as you before have often prayed for it. (43) Just choose your benedictions, o saintly King, I will give you all that you desire; any person who has satisfied Me, never again needs to lament.'

(44) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus being addressed bowing down to Him spoke Mucukunda reminiscent of the words of Garga [***], filled with joy knowing He was Nârâyana the [original] Godhead. (45) S'rî Mucukunda said: 'This person, not of worship for You, can, bewildered by Your own mâyâ o Lord, not see his own benefit when he, wishing for happiness, gets cheated as a family man or woman entangled going for things that bring misery. (46) The person that somehow or other attaining to what is rarely obtained in this world - a human form and not the paws, but not worshiping not tries, o sinless one, for Your lotuslike feet, has, impure in his mentality, like an animal fallen in the blind well of his home. (47) O Unconquerable One, wasting my time in this, I built a kingdom and opulence now all gone; intoxicated as an earthly ruler who mistakes the mortal frame for himself, suffered I endless anxieties getting attached to children, wives, riches and land. (48) Minding this body, which is a confinement like a pot or a wall, I thus thought myself to be a god among man, surrounded by chariots, elephants, horses, infantry and generals traveling the earth without seriously regarding You in my great pride. (49) Forgetful about what needs to be done, hankering for sense objects endlessly ruminating with an ever growing greed, is one suddenly confronted with You, the one that does mind; the death to a mouse in front of a hungry snake licking its fangs. (50) Previously named 'the king' riding chariots furnished with gold or fierce elephants is that same one unavoidably with the Time of Your body called 'feces', 'worms' and 'ashes' [see also 16.4: 2-6]. (51) Full circle Having conquered the directions with no opposition to fear seated on a throne and praised by kings alike is the person in his home like a pet led about, sexually borrowing his happiness from women, o Lord. (52) In that with an odd eye reaching for more, one with penance performs one's duties strictly avoiding pleasures, but thinking of himself as 'I the greater sovereign' can he, whose urges are so pronounced, not attain happiness. (53) When it happens that the wandering person reaches the end of his material existence will at that time o Infallible One, the association of the good and honest [the sat-sanga] be found after which next the devotion is born for Him who for the virtuous is the only goal as the Lord of the Higher [cause] and Lower [effects]. (54) I think o Lord that, with the spontaneous removal of the attachment to my kingdom, you've been of mercy with me: for that do the saintly rulers of endless stretches of land pray when, wishing to be on themselves, they enter the forest. (55) I do not desire anything other but the service to Your feet who to those not desiring a material life are the object of desire, the boon sought, o Almighty one; what faithful man of worship for You, the Bestower of the Path of Emancipation, o Lord, would as a boon choose for that which causes his bondage? (56) Therefore o Lord, entirely putting aside the worldly blessings from which one is entangled in the modes of passion, ignorance and goodness, am I approaching You, the Original Person of Pure Knowledge free from mundane designations Who is nondual and supreme above the modes. (57) For long was I full of remorse distressed in the world being tormented by disturbances; with my six enemies [the senses and the mind] never satiated there was no way to find peace o Bestower of the Shelter, please o Lord protect me who facing these dangers, o Supreme Soul, approached Your lotusfeet, the truth free from sorrow ridding of fear.'

(58) The Supreme Lord said: 'O great King, emperor of all, even though being tempted with benedictions were you capable of mind spotless in not being spoiled by desires. (59) Please know that the fact that you were enticed with benedictions was to prove your freedom from bewilderment; never is the exclusive[-ly to Me devoted] intelligence of the bhakta's diverted by material blessings. (60) With those who, not devoted to Me, occupy themselves with breath-exercises and such, is, since they did not eliminate the traces of material desire [the vâsanâs], o King, observed that again their minds awaken [to sense-gratification]. (61) Wander this earth as you like and may, with your mind fixed in Me, there thus always be the devotion to Me for you that does not fail. (62) Following the dharma of the ruling class you've killed living beings as you were hunting and with other actions; that sin you should eradicate fully concentrated in penances taking shelter of Me. (63) In the birth immediately hereafter o King, will you, becoming a supreme well-wisher to all living beings, be a fine brahmin and indeed will come to Me only [see also B.G. 5: 29].


* Mucukunda, the man asleep, as stated hereafter fought for a long time on behalf of the demigods and finally took as his benediction the right to sleep undisturbed. The paramparâ by S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî quotes the Hari-vams'a that explains he secured the further benediction of being able to destroy anyone who disturbed his sleep. He further elucidates that Mucukunda made this rather morbid request to scare Lord Indra, who, so Mucukunda thought, might otherwise wake him up repeatedly to request his help in fighting Indra's cosmic enemies. Indra's consent to Mucukunda's request is described in the S'rî Vishnu Purâna as follows: "The demigods declared, 'Whoever awakens you from sleep will suddenly be burnt to ashes by a fire generated from his own body.' "  

** S'rîla Bhaktisiddhânta Sarasvatî Thâkura gives the following lines from an alternate reading of this chapter. These lines are to be inserted between the two halves of this verse:

nidrâm eva tato vavre
sa râjâ s'rama-karshitah
yah kas'cin mama nidrâyâ
bhangam kuryâd surottamâh
sa hi bhasmî-bhaved âs'u
tathoktas' ca surais tadâ
svâpam yâtam yo madhye tu
bodhayet tvâm acetanah
sa tvayâ drishtha-mâtras tu
bhasmî-bhavatu tat-kshanât

"The King, exhausted by his labor, then chose sleep as his benediction. He further stated, 'O best of the demigods, may whoever disturbs my sleep be immediately burned to ashes.' The demigods replied, 'So be it,' and told him, 'That insensitive person who wakes you in the middle of your sleep will immediately turn to ashes simply by your seeing him.

*** The paramparâ states: 'S'rîla S'rîdhara Svâmî informs us that Mucukunda was aware of the prediction of the ancient sage Garga that in the twenty-eighth millennium the Supreme Lord would descend. According to Âcârya Vis'vanâtha, Garga Muni further informed Mucukunda that he would personally see the Lord. Now it was all happening.'  



Chapter 52

The Lords Leap Down from a Mountain and Rukminî's Message to Lord Krishna

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'In this manner, my dear, being graced by Krishna circumambulated the descendent of Ikshvâku Him bowing down and went he out the mouth of the cave. (2) Noticing that the human beings, the animals, plants and trees were all in a poor condition concluded he that kali-yuga had arrived and went he in the northern direction [compare 1.15: 44]. (3) Attaching faith to penance was he, serious detached from material association, freed from doubts in fixing his mind upon Krishna as he came to the mountain Gandhamâdana ['the nice smell']. (4) Reaching Badarikâs'rama [see e.g. 3.4: 4; 4.12: 16; 5.4: 5; 7.11: 6], the residence of Nara-Nârâyana, worshiped he tolerating all duality the Lord in peace with his austerity.

(5) The Supreme Lord returned again to His city Mathurâ that was surrounded by the yavanas and brought, after killing the barbarian army, their riches to Dvârakâ. (6) As Acyuta by oxen and men was engaged in taking the wealth, arrived there Jarâsandha leading twenty-three armies. (7) Seeing the powerful waves of the enemy armies ran the two Mâdhavas, adopting a human course, o King, quickly away. (8) Abandoning the load of goods as cowards afraid, but actually being unafraid, covered They with Their lotuspetal feet many yojanas. (9) Seeing the Two were fleeing laughed the mighty ruler of Mâghada loudly and pursued he with charioteers and soldier the Lords, not being quite aware of Their special nature. (10) Exhausted of full speed having run a long distance, climbed They a very high mountain known as Pravarshana ['the rainy one'] where the mighty one [Indra] is always raining. (11) Knowing that They were hiding on the mountain but not able to find where, o King, set he, with firewood igniting fires on all sides, the mountain ablaze. (12) Hastily leaping down from it being eleven yoyanas high and burning on all sides, fell They down to the ground. (13) Not being seen by Their enemy or his followers returned the two finest Yadus back to their own city which had the ocean as its moat, o King. (14) The king of the Magadhas on his side falsely thought that Balarâma and Kes'ava had burned in the fire and went to Magadha pulling back his huge force. (15) As previously stated gave the opulent sovereign of Ânarta, Raivata, on the order of Brahmâ Balarâma his daughter named Raivatî in marriage [9.3: 33-36]. (16-17) Govinda the Supreme Lord indeed, married, o hero among the Kurus, to her own choice Vaidarbhî [Rukminî] the daughter of Bhîshmaka, a plenary portion of the goddess of fortune. By force overruling S'âlva and other kings in support of S'is'upâla, He did so [by stealing her away] before the eyes of all the people to see, like son of Târkshya [Garuda, stole] the nectar of heaven.'

(18) The honorable king said: 'In the manner of a râkshasa [by kidnapping thus], so I heard, did the Supreme Lord thus marry Rukminî, the daughter of Bhîshmaka with the charming face. (19) O lord, I'd like to hear about how Krishna stole away the bride, with His immeasurable potency defeating such kings as Jarasândha and S'âlva. (20) O brahmin! Who can ever all understand what is said and get enough of hearing about the always new [see 10.45: 48] propitious, sweet topics of Krishna which remove the contamination of the world?

(21) The son of Vyâsa said: 'There was a king named Bhîshmaka, the great ruler of Vidarbha, of whom there were five sons and one daughter with an exceptionally pretty face. (22) Rukmî was the first born son, followed by Rukmaratha, Rukmabâhu, Rukmakes'a and Rukmamâlî; Rukminî their sister was of a saintly character [rukma means: 'what is bright or radiant']. (23) She, from hearing Mukunda's beauty, prowess, character and opulences being sung by those who came to her family home, deemed Him a suitable husband. (24) Krishna, finding her as a repository of intelligence, auspicious marks, magnanimity, beauty, good behavior and other qualities a suitable wife, made up His mind to marry her. (25) Even though the family wanted to give the sister to Krishna, o King, did Rukmi, who hated Krishna, prevent them from doing so; he thought of S'is'upâla. (26) The princess of Vidarbha with her dark eyes unhappy to know that, pained her mind and sent with haste a certain dependable brahmin to Krishna. (27) He, arriving at Dvârakâ, brought in by the gatekeepers saw the Original Person seated on a golden throne. (28) The Lord Good to the Brahmins seeing him got down from His throne, seated him and performed worship the way the residents of heaven worship Him. (29) With him having eaten en rested approached the Goal of the Saintly Devotees him to massage with His hand his feet and asked He him patiently: (30) 'My best, are the religious practices sanctioned by your first-class, twiceborn seniors, proceeding without too much difficulty and are you ever contented of mind? (31) When a brahmin satisfied carries on with whatever [comes his way], not falling short in his religious duty, will those [practices] for him every way be the cow of plenty. (32) Dissatisfied will he, even though he is the master of the godly, again and again end up in various worlds; but satisfied will he, even though destitute, rest with all his limbs free from pain and fever. (33) To the learned satisfied by their own gain [their self-realization] I bow My head again and again as they, void of false ego, are of the saintly and of all living beings, peaceful the best well-wishers [see also B.G. 2: 71, 12: 13-14]. (34) Is your king all well, o brahmin, as the king whose subjects are happy to live protected in the state is very dear to Me. (35) From where, crossing the [sea of] trouble, did you arrive here and for what purpose; please tell Us everything, if its not a secret; what is the thing We may do for you?'

(36) With the Supreme Being, who for the sake of His pastimes assumes His bodies, thus asking these questions, related the brahmin everything to Him: (37) 'S'rî Rukminî has said: 'O Most Beautiful One of all the Worlds, hearing that for all those who hear about Your qualities You, entering through the openings of their ears, remove the distress in their bodies and that they who have eyes to see the beauty of You, obtain the complete fulfillment of all desires, have I without shame installed You in my mind! (38) Who, o Mukunda, is Your equal in aristocratic background, character, beauty, knowledge, youth, property and influence? What sober and marriageable lady would at her time not choose as her husband You of such a good family, o lion among men, so delightful to the minds of all mankind? (39) Therefore has Your good Self, dear Lord, by me been chosen as a husband indeed and do I here offer myself as a wife to You, o Omnipotent One, please accept me; may the king of Cedi [S'is'upâla] never, like a jackal away with what belongs to the king of the animals, touch what is allotted to the hero. (40) Let with the Supreme Lord, the Highest Controller sufficiently worshiped by means of pious works, sacrifices, charity, observances, vows, honoring the gods, the gurus and the learned and other activities, the elder brother of Gada [9.24: 46] come and take my hand and not the son of Damaghosha or others alike. (41) The day before the marriage is taking place You must come to Vidharbha, o Invincible One, in secret surrounded by Your officers to crush fighting the armed resistance of the kings of Caidya and Magadha and take me in marriage in the râkshasa-style as the reward for Your valor. (42) How to carry me, moving within my quarters, away without killing my relatives, You might say; let me tell You how to: on the day before is there for the presiding deity of the family a large ceremonial procession outside in which the new bride approaches the goddess Girijâ [Ambikâ]. (43) Great souls, like the husband of Ûma [S'iva], in order to overcome their own ignorance hanker to bathe in the dust of Your lotusfeet; when I, o Lotus-eyed One, cannot obtain Your mercy I ought to give up my vital force being weakened by vows, so that It [finally] might be so after a hundred births more.' (44) [The brahmin ended with:] This is the confidential message brought by me, o Lord of the Yadus, so please consider what immediately following in this matter needs to be done.'  


Chapter 53

Krishna Kidnaps Rukminî

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Descendant of Yadu [Krishna] then hearing the confidential message of the princes of Vidarbha, took the hand of the messenger into His and said smiling the following. (2) The Supreme Lord said: 'I also am the same way in My mind fixed on her and cannot sleep at night; I know that Rukmî in his enmity is against Me for a marriage. (3) I'll bring her, that indisputable beauty deeming Me the best, over here and crush in battle that half-breed royalty, like one gets the flames of setting wood afire!'

(4) S'rî S'uka said: 'And known with the exact time of Rukminî's marriage told Madhusûdana His charioteer: 'Dâruka, immediately get the chariot ready'. (5) He accordingly bringing the chariot with the horses named S'aibya, Sugrîva, Meghapushpa and Balâhaka [*], next stood in front with folded palms. (6) S'auri together with the brahmin mounting His chariot drove swiftly with His horses in a single night to the Vidarbha kingdom. (7) King Bhîshmaka in affection, answering to the wishes of his son [Rukmi], ready to give his daughter away to S'is'upâla, saw to it that the required duties were performed. (8-9) The city thoroughly cleansed and with its avenues, streets and intersections abundantly sprinkled with water, was decorated with banners on flagpoles and with archways. With their homes aromatic of aguru arrayed the women and men of the city in spotless clothing, hung with jewels, fragrant and decorated with flowers and other ornaments. (10) To the rules correctly worshiping the forefathers and the demigods, o King, and feeding the scholars as was proper, had he [Bhîshmaka] chanted auspicious mantras. (11) The bride properly bathed and with her teeth washed had her auspicious marriage-thread put on, as also a brand-new set of clothes and an adornment of the most excellent jewels. (12) For the protection of the bride were, by the best of the twiceborn, mantras chanted from the Sâma, Rig and Yajur Veda and poured the priest expert in the Atharva mantras justly oblations of ghee for the peace of the ruling planets. (13) As the best of the ones known with the vidhi donated the king gold, silver, clothing and sesame seeds mixed with raw sugar to the brahmins. (14) The same way had the lord of Cedi, king Damaghosha, for his son [the bridegroom] indeed by the knowers of the mantras everything done conducive to his prosperity. (15) He traveled to Kundina [Bhîshmaka's capital] accompanied by hordes of elephants dripping of the mada and arrays of golden chariots decorated with garlands and crowded by armies of foot soldiers and horses. (16) The master of Vidarbha part of the way meeting him with pleasure settled him honorably in a specially constructed place to stay. (17) S'âlva, Jarâsandha, Dantavakra and Vidûratha taking to the side of S'is'upâla, came along with Paundraka and thousands of others. (18-19) Those inimical towards Krishna and Râma were thus prepared: 'In order to secure the bride for S'is'upâla will we, should Krishna accompanied by Râma and other Yadus come to steal her, join to fight Him together', and thus decided had all the kings come complete with a transport of their forces.

(20-21) When Lord Balarâma heard of these hostile preparations of the kings and that Krishna had set off alone to steal the bride, went He, fearing a fight, filled with love for His brother swiftly to Kundina together with a mighty force of elephants, horses, chariots and soldiers on foot. (22) The daughter of Bhîshmaka with her lovely hips awaiting the arrival of Krishna, not seeing the brahmin return, then wondered: (23) 'Alas, three yamas [nine hours] are left before I, lacking in fortune, will marry; the Lotus-eyed One does not come and I don't know for what reason, nor did as yet return the carrier of my message. (24) Perhaps sees the One Faultless in Mind and Body, prepared as He for sure originally is, something contemptible in me, not having come to take my hand. (25) How unfortunate, the creator is not favorably disposed towards me, nor is the great Lord S'iva, or maybe has Devî his consort, [known as] Gaurî, Rudrânî, Girijâ or Satî turned against me.'

(26) Ruminating thus did the young girl, whose mind had been stolen by Krishna, close her eyes brimming with tears, knowing the time [that was left]. (27) As the bride was thus awaiting Govinda's arrival, o King, twitched her left thigh, arm and eye foretelling something desirable. (28) Just then came that purest of the twiceborn to the command of Krishna, to see the divine daughter of the king staying in the inner chambers of the palace. (29) Noticing his joyful face and the relaxed movements of his body did she, as an expert in the signs, inquire with a pure smile. (30) He told her of the arrival of that Child of the Yadus and related the words He had said in assurance of Him getting married to her. (31) Concluding that He had arrived, gladdened the mind of Vaidarbhî, upon which she knew nothing but to bow down to the dear brahmin. (32) Hearing that He, eager to witness his daughter's marriage, had arrived came he [king Bhîshmaka] resounding instruments with abundant offerings to Râma and Krishna. (33) As prescribed performed he worship with desirables as honey-milk [madhu-parka] and brought he new clothes. (34) Generously arranging for an opulent place to stay afforded he Them, together with their soldiers and associates, proper hospitality. (35) Thus was he according each his power, age, strength and wealth with all that was wanted of respect for the kings who had assembled. (36) The residents of Vidarbha-pura hearing that Krishna had come, all came to drink in His lotus face with the cupped palms of their eyes [and said]: (37) 'He, whose body is just as flawless, alone deserves Rukminî as a wife, and no one else; He's the most suitable husband for princess Bhaishmî! (38) May, with whatever of all our good deeds, the Creator of the Three Worlds be as merciful, that Acyuta takes the hand of Rukminî.'

(39) Thus overflowing with love spoke the citizens in fascination and left the bride protected by guards the inner palace for the temple of Ambikâ [see also 10.52: 42]. (40-41) And she, going out on foot to see the lotuspetal feet of Bhavânî, kept, totally absorbed in mediating Krishna's lotusfeet, silent in de midst of her mothers and female companions. Guarded by the valiant, armed soldiers of the king, ready with their weapons raised, were cymbals and mridangas, conchshells, horns and other wind instruments played. (42-43) Accompanying the bride were there the wives of the twice-born, well ornamented, thousands of prominent chosen ones with various items of worship and presents, flowergarlands, fragrances, clothing and jewelry; singers singing and offering prayers, musicians as also bards, chroniclers and heralds. (44) Reaching the temple of the goddess washed she her feet and lotuslike hands, sipped she water for purification and entered she the presence of Ambikâ sanctified and peaceful. (45) The indeed young girl was by the elderly wives of the learned, well known with the injunctions, led in offering respects to Bhavânî the wife of S'iva there together with Bhava [his other name]: (46) 'I along with your children repeatedly offer my obeisances to you o Ambikâ, please allow Krishna the Supreme Lord to be my husband.'

(47-48) With various offerings and gifts of water, fragrant substances, whole grains, incense, clothing, garlands, necklaces, ornaments and an array of lamps, performed each of the brahmin ladies equipped with these articles as also with savories, cakes, prepared betel nut, sacred threads, fruits and sugar cane, worship. (49) After they gave her the remnants and their blessings bowed the bride down to them and to the deity and accepted she the remnants. (50) Then, ending her vow of silence, left she the temple of Ambikâ, with her hand beautified by a jeweled ring holding on to a maidservant. (51-55) As if she were the illusory potency [Mâyâdevî, zie ook 8.12: 38-40; 10.2***] of the Lord herself that even bewilders the sober ones, became, with seeing her earrings decorating the virginal beauty of her face, the jewel-studded belt around her hips, her budding breasts, her eyes shy to the locks of her hair, her pure smile and teeth reddened by the glow from her bimba lips, her jasmine-bud feet walking, her gait gracious as a royal swan and the tinkling of her skillfully fashioned anklebells beautifying [her feet] with their effulgence, the assembled, respectable heroes entranced and rose with these kings upon the sight of her broad smiles, shyness and mindboggling glances a lust of which distressed their hearts were torn apart and their weapons dropped to the ground. Sitting on their horses, elephants and chariots they, loosing it, fell down to the ground as she on the pretext of the procession was offering her beauty to Lord Hari, slowly walking, putting one before the other the two whorls of her lotus flowers in eager expectation of the arrival of the Supreme Personality. Throwing aside her hair with the nails of her hand saw she, as she coyly looked from the corners of her eyes at those present, Acyuta and while His enemies were looking on, seized Krishna the king's daughter ready to mount the chariot. (56) Lifting her onto His chariot marked with [the flag of] Garuda drove He back the circle of kings and left He, with Balarâma in front, from there slowly as a lion would remove a portion from the midst of jackals. (57) The adversaries headed by Jarâsandha, conceited as they were, could with their honor ruined not bear the defeat: 'Damned are we, the honor of the archers, with those cowherds stealing like a bunch of puny animals from us lions!'


* S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî quotes the following text of the Padma Purâna describing Lord Krishna's chariot horses: "S'aibya was green like a parrot's wings, Sugrîva yellow-gold, Meghapushpa the color of a cloud, and Balâhaka whitish."  


 Chapter 54

Rukmî's Defeat and Krishna Marries

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'They all thus [realizing their being robbed] most angry in armor mounted their means of transport and came, each surrounded by his own troops, after them, holding their bows. (2) When the Yâdava army spotted them in their pursuit, held the officers to face them, o King, and twanged they their bows. (3) From horseback, elephant shoulders and from the chariot seats released those [enemy] masters in arms clouds of arrows that rained like water does over the mountains. (4) When the slender waisted girl saw the army of her Lord covered by heavy rains of arrows looked she at His face embarrassed with eyes full of fear. (5) The Supreme Lord laughing said: 'don't be afraid, o beautiful eyes, right now will this enemy force be destroyed by your troops'. (6) That display of power of them could by the heroes Gada [Krishna's younger brother] Sankarshana and the others not be tolerated and so struck they with arrows of iron down the horses, elephants and chariots. (7) Of those riding the chariots, the horses and the elephants fell by the thousands the heads to the ground complete with earrings, helmets and turbans. (8) There were the heads of humans, horses, donkeys, mules, elephants and camels as well as [loose] hands with swords, clubs and bows, hands without fingers, thighs and legs. (9) The kings headed by Jarâsandha who eager for the victory saw their armies annihilated by the Vrishnis, then left discouraged. (10) They approached and addressed S'is'upâla who with his wife to become being stolen away, dispirited was perturbed with a dried up face with all its color gone. (11) [Jarâsandha said:] 'O Sir, tiger among men, please give up this dark state of mind, for the embodied ones is there to the wanted and unwanted no permanence to be found. (12) As a woman made of wood dances to the desire of a puppeteer is the same way this world, concerned with joy and sorrow, controlled by the Controller. (13) I myself with twenty-three armies lost seventeen times over in battles with S'auri [Krishna] and only one I won. (14) Nonetheless I do not lament or rejoice - not ever; knowing that the world is driven by time and fate combined. (15) Even now are we all, leaders of the leaders of heroes, defeated by the meager entourage of Yadus under the protection of Krishna. (16) Now, with our enemies having conquered, works the time in their favor and then shall we conquer when the time has turned to our side.'

(17) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus persuaded by his friends went S'is'upâla with those of his followers who had remained from the slaughter back to his city and so did each of the kings return to his own city. (18) The mighty Rukmî however, hating Krishna unable to bear his sister's râkshasa-style marriage, pursued Krishna surrounded by an entire akshauhinî. (19-20) Rukmî, mighty armed with his bow in his armor, most angry in refusal swore to all the kings listening: 'Let me tell you this in truth: I will not return to Kundina without having killed Krishna in battle and bringing back Rukminî'. (21) Thus speaking climbed he his chariot and told he his charioteer: 'Quickly, drive the horses to where Krishna is, there must be a fight between Him and me. (22) Today will I, with my sharp arrows, baffle the madness of that most wicked Cowherd who had the temerity to violently abduct my sister!' 

(23) Thus foolishly vaunting not knowing what Krishna was all capable of, said he next from a single chariot calling out to Krishna: 'Stand and fight!' (24) Drawing his bow he most firmly struck Krishna [or His chariot] with three arrows and said: 'Wait a minute, You corrupter of the Yadu-dynasty! (25) Wherever You might go having stolen my sister like a crow stealing the sacrificial butter; I'll put an end today to Your false pride, You foolish cheater, You devious fighter!!' (26) If You want my arrows not to you kill You, lay off and release the girl', but Krishna with a smile struck Rukmî, with six arrows breaking his his bow. (27) With eight arrows at his four horses, with two at his charioteer and with three at his flagpole, took he up another bow and pierced he Krishna with five. (28) Though hit by these floods of arrows broke Krishna the bow again just as the Infallible One broke another one that he picked up. (29) The spiked bludgeon, the trident, the lance, the shield and sword, the pike, the javelin or whatever weapon he took up were all by Him, the Lord, broken. (30) Then leaping from his chariot sword in hand ran he, intent to kill Krishna, forward as furious as a bird in the wind. (31) With His arrows breaking in pieces the sword and shield of him attacking, took He, prepared to kill Rukmî, up His own sharp sword. (32) Witnessing the effort to kill her brother, fell the saintly Rukminî beset in fear at the feet of her husband and spoke she lamenting. 

(33) S'rî Rukminî said: 'O Controller of Yoga, o Inscrutable Soul, o God of Gods, o Master of the Universe, o Auspicious One, please don't kill my brother, o Mighty-armed One.' 

(34) S'rî S'uka said: 'With His feet held by her of whom in total fear the limbs were trembling, the mouth was drying up in sorrow, the throat was choked and the golden necklace in her agitation was disheveled, desisted He in compassion. (35) With a strip of cloth tying him up, shaved He the evildoer making a mess of him leaving some of his hair and mustache, as meanwhile the extraordinary army of the Yadu-heroes had crushed their opponents like elephants crush a lotus flower [compare 1.7]. (36) Getting near Krishna saw they there Rukmî in his sorry condition as good as dead, upon which the almighty Supreme Lord Sankarshana, feeling pity, released the one bound up and said to Krishna: (37) How improper of You, o Krishna; this clipping of Yours, of his mustache and hair so badly; is as terrible as the death of a family member!' 

(38) [To Rukminî:] 'O saintly lady, please don't be angry with Us disfiguring your brother; there is to the matter of who brings happiness and grief no one else responsible, since a man picks the fruit of his own actions.' 

(39) [And to Krishna again:] Even though a relative because of his wrongdoing deserves to be killed, should he by a relative not be killed, but instead be banned [from the family]; why should he who is killed by his own fault, be killed a second time?'

(40) [To Rukminî:] 'The sacred code of warriors as established by the founding father [Brahmâ] is that a brother even has to kill his own brother; which then is something most dreadful.'

(41) [Back to Krishna again:] Those being proud of a kingdom, land, riches, women, honor and power or something else [other than the soul] do, blinded by their infatuation for the opulence, for that reason commit offenses indeed.' 

(42) [And to Rukminî again:] 'In this attitude of yours toward all living beings, of wishing evil to the ones inimical and good to well-wishers, are you partial as an ignorant person. (43) By the illusory power of God is caused that people in their ways are bewildered about the Real Self so that they, who thus take the body for the soul, speak in terms of having a friend, an enemy or someone neutral. (44) Those who are bewildered perceive the One and Only Supreme Soul of each and all embodied being as being many, just like one does with the stars [not recognized as a cohering galaxy] or the sky [as seen different also existing outside, see also B.G. 18: 20-21 and 1.2: 32]. (45) The physical body having a beginning and an end is - composed of the physical elements, the senses and the modes of nature - in its being imposed on the self by material ignorance cause of experiencing the cycle of birth and death. (46) For the soul in contact with anything else, o chaste one, is there no separation because of the originating from it [as with the individual soul] or untruth because of being revealed by it [as a physical form]; like it is also with the sun in relation to the seeing and the form seen. (47) Birth and such are but transformations of the body, not of the soul ever, just as the phases of the moon do not imply that it has died on the day of a new moon. (48) Like a sleeping person experiences himself, sense-objects and results of action even though not being real, undergoes the same way the unintelligent one his material existence [see also 6.16: 55-56]. (49) Therefore, o you with the pristine smile, please be yourself again [as the goddess of fortune] with the knowledge of the essence dispelling the sadness born of ignorance of which you dried up and were confounded.' 

(50) S'rî S'uka said: 'The slender-waisted one thus enlightened by Balarâma, the Supreme Lord, gave up her abasement and regained her composure with intelligence. (51) Left with only his life air, expelled by his enemies and deprived of his strength and luster was he [Rukmî] remembering his disfigurement frustrated in his personal desires and built he for his residence a large city named Bhojakatha ['having experienced the vow']. (52) Having said 'Without killing the evil-minded Krishna, without retrieving my sister,I will not return to Kundina', took he angry right on that spot up his residence. (53) The Supreme Lord, thus defeating the earthly rulers, brought the daughter of Bhîshmaka to His capital and married with her according the vidhi, o protector of the Kurus. (54) At that time there was great rejoicing in each and every home of the Yadu-city were, o King, the people had no one but Krishna, the leader of the Yadus, as their object of love. (55) The men and women joyful with shining jewels and earrings respectfully presented wedding gifts to the ones celebrated, wonderfully dressed. (56) The city of the Vrishnis appeared beautiful with the festive columns raised, the variety of flower garlands, the banners, the gems and the arches with at every doorway an arrangement of auspicious items as pots full of water, aguru incense and lamps. (57) It's streets were sprinkled with the help of the with mada flowing elephants of the popular personalities invited and at the doorways, to further enhance the beauty, were placed plantain and betelnut stem.  (58) The members of the Kuru, Sriñjaya, Kaikeya, Vidarbha, Yadu and Kunti families enjoyed in that being together in the midst of the people excitedly running about. (59) Hearing about the kidnapping of Rukminî which was being sung all around, became the kings and their daughters greatly amazed. (60) O King, in Dvârakâ were all the citizens overjoyed to see Krishna, the Master of all Opulence joined with Rukminî, the goddess of fortune.


Chapter 55

The History of Pradyumna

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Cupid [Kâmadeva], an expansion of Vâsudeva who previously got burned by the anger of Rudra, in order to again obtain a body, indeed returned to Him [see also 3.1: 28 and 8.10: 32-34 and B.G. 10.28]. (2) He from the seed of Krishna begotten in the daughter of the king of Vidarbha [Rukminî] was thus known as Pradyumna ['the preeminently mighty one', see also vyûhas] and was in no respect inferior to His Father. (3) S'ambara ['the juggler' see 7.2: 4-5, 10.36: 36], who could assume forms at will, stole the child not yet ten days old, but he, recognizing Him as his enemy, threw Him in the sea and returned home. (4) He was swallowed by a mighty fish that together with others trapped in a huge net was caught by fishermen. (5) The fishermen presented it being so amazing to S'ambara who had the cooks bring the offering to the kitchen where its was cut open with a knife. (6) Seeing a child in its belly it was given to Mâyâvatî to whom being astonished Nârada related the facts about the child its birth and how it had ended up in the belly of the fish. (7-8) She, who by S'ambara was appointed to prepare rice and vegetables, was in fact Cupids famous wife named Rati who [after pleading with Lord S'iva being directed to S'ambara ] was waiting for her burned husband to attain a new body. Understanding that the infant was Kâmadeva she developed love for the child. (9) Not so long thereafter gave He, the son of Krishna, attaining full youth, rise to enchantment with the woman looking at Him. (1o) My best, lovingly approached she with a bashful smile, raised eyebrows and glances and gestures of sexual attraction Him, her husband, the most beautiful one in the society with His long arms and eyes spread wide like a lotus. (11) To her said the Supreme Lord as Krishna's own son: 'O mother in your attitude differently acting like a girlfriend you overstep the mood of motherly affection.'

(12) Rati replied: 'You are the son of Nârâyana stolen by S'ambara from Your home and I am Your legitimate wife Rati, o Cupid my Master! (13) You not yet ten days old were by him, that demon S'ambara, thrown into the ocean where a fish devoured You of which belly we obtained You here o master! (14) Please kill Your hard to approach and conquer enemy who knows hundreds of magic spells; that You can do with the bewilderment of magic and such! (15) Your poor mother with her son gone, pitiful distressed like a cow without her calf, is overwhelmed by love for her child crying like an osprey.'

(16) Thus speaking gave Mâyâvatî that great soul Pradyumna the mystic knowledge of Mahâmâyâ ['the great bewildering potency'] that puts an end to all deluding spells. (17) He then approaching S'ambara for battle, reviled him with intolerable insults to incite a fight. (18) He offended by the harsh words with eyes turned red as copper infuriated like a snake struck by a foot came out holding a mace. (19) Whirling his club swiftly threw he it at Pradyumna the Great Soul, producing a sound as sharp as a stroke of lightning. (20) It was in its flight by the Supreme Lord with His club knocked away, o King, upon which He angered hurled His own club at His enemy. (21) He, the demon, resorting to the daitya magic he had learned from Maya Dânava, released from up in the sky a downpour of weapons over the son of Krishna [compare: 3.19: 20]. (22) Harassed by the rain of weapons did the powerful warrior, the son of Rukminî, implement the great charm rooting in goodness which overcomes all magic. (23) The demon then used hundreds of weapons belonging to Kuvera's guardians [Guhyakas], the heavenly singers [Gandharvas], the ogres [Pis'âcas], the celestial snakes [Uragas ] and the man-eaters [Râkshasas], but the son of Krishna stroke all of these down. (24) Drawing His sharp-edged sword severed he with force S'ambara's head, complete with his helmet, earrings and red mustache from his body. (25) Being showered by the gods above, of praise scattering flowers, was he by his wife traveling through the sky brought to the city [of Dvârakâ]. (26) The inner palace most exquisite, o King, crowded with hundreds of women was by Him with His wife entered from the sky like a cloud with lightning. (27-28) Seeing Him dark as a cloud, dressed in yellow silk, with long arms, reddish eyes, a pleasing smile, His charming countenance; His nicely decorated lotuslike face and the bluish-black curling locks became the women, thinking He was Krishna, bashful and took they off to hide themselves here and there. (29) By and by realized the ladies slight differences in appearance and came they delighted and surprised near Him there together with [Rati,] that jewel among women. (30) The breasts of the sweet-voiced and dark-eyed Rukminî, remembering her lost son, there then flowed of affection.

(31) [She thought:] 'Who indeed would this gem among men be, whose son is He and what lotuseyed woman has carried Him in her womb, and even more, who is this woman won by Him? (32) If my son lost from the maternity room were alive some where, He'd be of the same age and appearance. (33) How could He have acquired the same appearance in body, gait, limbs,voice, smile and glance as that of the wielder of S'ârnga [Krishna's bow]? (34) Considering my great affection for Him and the trembling in my left arm, He's no doubt - He must be - for sure, the child I carried in my womb!'

(35) While the daughter of the king of Vaidarbha was thus conjecturing arrived the Lord Hailed in the Scriptures there together with Devakî and Ânakadundhubi. (36) Even though the Supreme Lord understood the matter remained He, Janârdana, silent; it was Nârada who recounted everything beginning with the kidnapping by S'ambara. (37) The women of Krishna's residence hearing of that great wonder then cheered in ecstasy to the one lost for so many years as if someone had returned from death. (38) Devakî, Vasudeva, Krishna, Balarâma as also the women and Rukminî embraced the couple and rejoiced. (39) The residents of Dvârakâ hearing that Pradyumna being lost had returned thus declared: 'O providence, the child we thought dead has really come back!'

(40) If not at all amazing they - they who indeed repeatedly thought of the likeness of His father as their master - in being His mothers in the full of their attraction backed off in respect of Him, the way He appeared before their eyes indeed as a reflection of the Shelter of the Goddess of Fortune His form, as Cupid the God of Love in person, then what would one expect of other women?  


Chapter 56

How the Syamantaka Jewel Brought Krishna Jâmbavatî and Satyabhâmâ

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Satrâjit ['always victorious', see 9.24: 13] having been offensive with Lord Krishna gave for his elevation his daughter together with the jewel known as Syamantaka.'

(2) The honorable king said: 'What offense committed Satrâjit against Krishna, o brahmin, from where came Syamantaka and why gave he his daughter to the Lord?

(3) S'rî S'uka said: 'The sungod who was Satrâjit's best friend affectionate with him gave, to his satisfaction with his devotee, the jewel called Syamantaka. (4) He, wearing that jewel shining as brilliant as the sun around his neck, having entered Dvârakâ, o King, was because of the effulgence not recognized. (5) The people, by the glare robbed of their vision seeing him from a distance, presuming that Sûrya had arrived reported that to the Supreme Lord who was playing dice: (6) 'O Nârâyana, with obeisances unto You, o Holder of Club, Cakra and Lotus, o Dâmodara, o Lotus-eyed One, o Govinda, o beloved of the Yadus! (7) Savitâ ['the radiant one'], who with the intense radiation of his radiating disc steals the vision of men, has come to see You, o Lord of the Universe. (8) It must be so that of the most exalted of the gods of wisdom seeking out Your path, the one not born [Sûrya], knowing that You now hide among the Yadus, has come to see You.'

(9) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing these innocent words said He with the Lotuslike Eyes smiling: 'This one's not Ravideva, it's Satrâjit glowing of his jewel.'

(10) He [Satrâjit] arriving at his opulent home executed with festivity auspicious rituals in the temple room where he with the help of the learned installed the jewel. (11) Day after day would it bring him eight bhâras [of about 9.7 kg] of gold, o prabhu, and none of the inauspicious of famines, premature deaths, catastrophes, snakebites, mental and physical disorders and cheaters would take place there in the presence of the gem properly worshiped. (12) Some day asked S'auri [Krishna] on behalf of the king of the Yadus [Ugrasena] for the gem, but, he, greedy for the wealth, saw no offense in it not to hand it over. (13) One day, hanging the intensely radiating jewel around his neck, mounted Prasena [Satrâjit's brother] a horse and went he hunting in the forest. (14) Prasena along with his horse were killed and taken away by a lion who on his turn entering a cave was killed by Jâmbavân ['he from the Jambu-trees'] who wanted the jewel. (15) He then in the cave made the jewel a toy for his kid as meanwhile not seeing his brother, brother Satrâjit got deeply troubled: (16) 'My brother gone to the forest wearing the jewel around his neck is probably killed by Krishna', and what he thus said was what the people heard whispering in one another's ears. (17) The Supreme Lord who came to hear of it then, to clear Himself of the gossip to His infamy, together with the citizens followed the path taken by Prasena. (18) Seeing that he and his horse were killed by a lion in that forest, discovered they that the lion had been killed too by Riksha at a mountain side. (19) Stationing the people outside of the terrifying cave of the king of the rikshas [the bears] entered the Supreme Lord alone the place covered in pitch-dark. (20) When He saw that that most precious of jewels was used as a child's plaything, decided He to take it away and got He Himself over there close to the child. (21) Seeing the stranger cried the nurse in fear so that Jâmbavân, that best one of the strong, hearing it ran forward in rage. (22) He indeed, thinking Him a worldly person, unaware of His position fought with Him, the Supreme Lord, his own Master [compare 5.6: 10-11 and B.G. 16: 18]. (23) A very furious fight ensued between the two who each tried to win with the help of stones, trees, their arms and with weapons as if they were two hawks fighting over some meat. (24) Day and night without a pause continued for twenty-eight days the fight with blows hard as lightening of fists against fists. (25) With the muscles of his huge body pummeled by the blows of Krishna's fists, perspired he, diminished in strength, all over and addressed he Him in great amazement: (26) 'I know You, You are the life air, the physical and mental strength of all living beings, Lord Vishnu, the Primeval Personality, the All-powerful Supreme Controller. (27) You indeed are the Creator who of All Creators and the Created of the Universe art the Essence, who of the subduers art the Subduer, the Lord, the Soul Supreme to all the Souls [compare 3.25: 41-42]. (28) You are the One of whose little evidence of anger with Your glances the ocean and the crocodiles and whale-eating whales [timingilas] agitated gave way for building a bridge; You are the one famous for setting Lankâ afire; of You fell the heads of the râkshasa to the ground that You cut off with Your arrows [see 9: 10].'

(29-30) O King, Acyuta, the lotus-eyed Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, then in great compassion for His devotee with a voice as deep as the [rumbling] clouds spoke to the king of the bears who thus had understood the truth, touching him with the hand that bestows all blessings: (31) 'O lord of the bears, we came here to the cave because of the jewel, in order to dispel the false accusation with this jewel held against Me.' (32) Thus addressed presented he along with the jewel happily as a respectful offering his maiden daughter named Jâmbvatî to Krishna.

(33) Not seeing S'auri who had entered the cave coming out, went the people after waiting for twelve days unhappy back to their city. (34) Devakî, Rukminî devî, Vasudeva and all His friends and relatives lamented over Krishna not coming out of the cave. (35) They, the residents of Dvârakâ sorrowfully cursing Satrâjit then worshiped Durgâ, the fortune of the moon [the deity called Candrabhâgâ] in order to retrieve Krishna. (36) After the worship of the goddess granted she in response to them the benediction after which, creating joy, the Lord having achieved His purpose appeared with His [new] wife. (37) Greatly aroused on finding out that Hrishikes'a had come with a wife and the jewel around His neck, they all rejoiced as if someone had risen from the dead. (38) Satrâjit, summoned by the Supreme Lord to the royal assembly, was in the presence of the king informed of the recovery of the jewel which then was presented to him. (39) And he took extremely ashamed, head down, the gem and went home from there full of remorse about his sinful behavior. (40-42) Pondering over that evident offense and fearing a conflict with the ones in power thought he: 'How will I cleanse myself of the contamination and how can I satisfy Acyuta? What good should I do so that the people won't curse me for being narrow-minded, petty, befooled and avaricious after the wealth? I'll give the [Syamantaka-]jewel to Him as well as my daughter, a jewel among women; that's the way to make it up with Him and nothing else!'

(43) Thus intelligently deciding set Satrâjit himself to it and presented he his fair daughter and the jewel to Krishna. (44) She, Satyabhâmâ, sought by many men for being endowed with the qualities of a fine character, beauty and magnanimity, married the Lord according the customs. (45) The Supreme Lord said: 'We do not desire back the jewel, o King, let it remain with you being of devotion with the godhead [Sûrya] so that We may also be the enjoyers of its fruits.



Chapter 57

Satrâjit Murdered, the Jewel Stolen and Returned Again

(1) The son of Vyâsa said: 'Though aware of what factually had transpired went Krishna, hearing [of the rumor] that the sons of Pându and queen Kuntî had burned to death [in the house of lac], in order to answer to His family obligations together with Balarâma to the Kuru kingdom. (2) Meeting with Bhîshma, Kripa, Vidura, Gândhârî and Drona They equally sorrowful said: 'Ah how painful this is!'

(3) Getting the chance, o King, said Akrûra and [the Bhoja] Kritavarmâ [meanwhile in Krishna's absence in Dvârakâ] to S'atadhanvâ ['hundredbow', a bad character]: 'Why not take the jewel? (4) He who promised each of us his gem of a daughter, gave her, ignoring us, to Krishna; why then should Satrâjit not follow his brother [in death, see 10.56: 13 and footnote*]? (5) Thus influenced by the two killed that most wicked man, in his sinfulness shortening his lifespan, out of greed Satrâjit as he was sleeping [compare 1.17: 39]. (6) While the women helplessly cried calling for help took he, after having killed like a butcher does animals, the jewel and took he off.

(7) Satyabhâmâ after seeing her father killed, thrown in grief lamented: 'O father, alas o father, with you being killed I am killed!' and then fainted. (8) Putting the corpse in a large vessel of oil she went to Hastinâpura to Krishna who [already] was aware of the situation, and related sorrowfully the murder of her father. (9) The Lords hearing that, o King, imitating the human ways both lamented, eyes full of tears: 'Oh what a tragedy fell upon us!'

(10) The Supreme Lord returned from there to His capital with his His wife and elder brother, prepared to kill S'atadhanvâ and take the jewel from him. (11) He, learning that, in fear also readied himself to save his life and entreated for assistance Kritavarmâ who told him: (12-13) 'I cannot be of any offense with the Lords Râma and Krishna; how can he who causes Them trouble indeed be of good fortune? Kamsa and his followers in their hatred of waging against lost their wealth and lives and Jarâsandha from seventeen battles became bereft [even] of his chariot!'

(14) He, turned down, next begged Akrûra for help but he also said: 'Who, knowing the strength of the Lordships, can can oppose? (15-17) He who maintains, creates and destroys this universe as a play; He whose purpose is not even known to the secondary creators [headed by Brahmâ] being bewildered by His invincible potency [of mâyâ]; He who playing as a child of seven years of age uprooted a mountain that He held up with a single hand like a boy does a mushroom [see 10.25]; Him, Krishna the Supreme Lord to whose wondrous acts there is no end I do worship; Him who as the source of all existence is the Supreme Soul, the immovable center, I offer my obeisances.'

(18) He, S'atadhanvâ also by him refused, left the precious jewel with him, mounted a horse that could cover a hundred yojanas and departed. (19) Krishna and Râma mounting the chariot with the emblem of Garuda followed with the swiftest horses, o King, the murderer of Their guru [Their father-in-law as a teacher]. (20) In a Mithilâ suburban park abandoning his horse that had fallen, ran he on foot terrified with a furious Krishna speeding after him likewise. (21) With him on the run severed the Lord on foot with the sharp edged disc his head, and searched He his upper and lower garments for the stone. (22) Not finding the gem said Krishna approaching His elder brother getting near: 'S'atadhanvâ was killed uselessly, the jewel is not with him.'

(23) Balarâma then said: 'S'atadhanvâ must have left the rock with some person, so go [back] to the city [of Dvârakâ] and search him out. (24) l wish to see the king of Videha [the later Janaka, see 9.10:11] most dear to Me', and thus having spoken entered the descendant of Yadu, o King, Mithilâ [the capital of Videha]. (25) Seeing Him the king of Mithilâ immediately rose with a mind full of love and honored Him being worshipable, as was prescribed with all there was to it. (26) There in Mithilâ did He, the Mighty One, honored by the affectionate Janaka, the great soul, live for several years for the time teaching Duryodhana to wield the club.

(27) Kes'ava the All-powerful getting to Dvârakâ, told to the comfort of His beloved [the grieving Satyabhâmâ] of the demise of S'atadhanvâ and the failure to get hold of the jewel. (28) He, the Supreme Lord together with all the well-wishers one may so have at the end of one's life, then made sure to have the obsequies performed for the deceased relative [Satrâjit]. (29) The ones responsible, Akrûra and Kritavarmâ, hearing of the killing of S'atadhanava, seized by fear went into exile from Dvârakâ. (30) With Akrûra in exile ill omens arose indeed for the residents of Dvârakâ that gave them by higher powers [natural disasters included] and other living beings [compare 1.14; 1.17: 19], constantly trouble in body and mind [**]. (31) Thus, my dear, were some in conjecture forgetting what of old had been described by the sages as following His residence; how could with His presence any calamity arise? (32) [They said:] 'When Indra withheld the rains gave the king of Benares [Kâs'î, see also 9.17: 4] his daughter Gândinî to S'vaphalka [Akrûra's father, 9.24: 15] who came to him, after which it then indeed did rain in Kâs'î. (33) Wherever indeed he, Akrûra, his son, having his [fathers] powers stays, will lord Indra shower rains and will there be no painful disturbances or untimely deaths.'

(34) Hearing of the elders these words ordered Janârdana, with the thought that this was not the only cause of the matters at hand [***], that Akrûra should be brought back. (35-36) Greeting him with respect and honor and pleasantly discussing topics, smiled He, fully aware of everything that went on in his heart, and said: 'We of course, o master of charity, arealready known with the fact that you indeed at present hold the opulent syamantaka-jewel that S'atadhanvâ put under your care. (37) Since Satrâjit had no sons is it his daughter's sons [she and her sons] who after presenting water, offerings and having cleared his remaining debts, should receive his inheritance. (38-39) Nevertheless should the jewel, as it is impossible to hold by others, remain with you, o trustworthy keeper of the vows. However, My brother does not completely believe Me concerning the gem. Please, to bring peace to My relatives, show it Us now, o most fortunate soul who with your altars of gold uninterrupted continues with your sacrifices. (40) Thus won over by the conciliatory words took the son of S'vaphalka the gem hidden in his garment and gave he it, shining as brilliant as the sun. (41) After showing Syamantaka to His relatives, [and thus] doing away with the emotions [of the accusations held] with Him, offered the Master it back to him again. (42) Whoever recites, hears or remembers this narration which indeed, rich with the prowess of the Supreme Controller Vishnu, most auspiciously removes the reactions to sin, will attain peace and drive away his badness and bad reputation.


* Being pure devotees, they could not actually be unhappy about this match, nor could they become jealous rivals of the Lord. Therefore they had an ulterior motive in behaving like His rivals. So there are speculations in the paramparâ about Akrûra's being cursed for his taking Krishna away from Gokula [zie 10.39] or Kritavarmâ's being a member of Kamsa's family, or that the two might have been angry with the victim for his spoiling Krishna's good name slandering that He would have killed his brother.

** According to S'rîla S'rîdhara Svâmî, reasoning after verse 32 and 35-36, took Akrûra the Syamantaka jewel and went to reside in the city of Benares, where he became known as Dânapati, "the master of charity." There he executed elaborate fire sacrifices on gold altars with assemblies of qualified priests.

*** Also in this there are speculations on why there could have been this trouble despite of the Lord His gracious presence. Some suggest that Krishna would give the bad times because of being compromised by Akrûra taking the jewel elsewhere in competion to His rule, at the other hand it is not unusual that murder in a community to the rule of God and Krishna gives that community a bad time, as one also can observe generally taking place after major wars as evidenced in the Bhâgavatam describing the bad times when Krishna Himself departed for His abode after the great Kuru-war [1.14].



Chapter 58

Krishna also Weds Kâlindî, Mitravindâ, Satyâ and Bhadrâ [*]

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Once, to see the sons of Pându, went the Supreme Personality Visible to the Eye, the Possessor of all Opulence, to Indraprastha accompanied by Yuyudhâna [Sâtyaki, His charioteer] and others. (2) Seeing Him, Mukunda, the Controller of All having arrived, stood the heroes all up at once, as if the chief of their senses, their life-air, had returned. (3) The heroes embracing Acyuta by the contact with His body found all their sins destroyed and experienced the joy of beholding His face smiling affectionately. (4) After offering at the feet of Yudhishthhira and Bhîma His obeisances [since they were older] and firmly embracing Phâlguna [or Arjuna, being only eight days older] He next greeted respectfully the twin brothers [Nakula and Sahadeva, who were younger]. (5) Sitting on an elevated seat was Krishna, a bit shy and slowly approached by the newly wed, sinless one of Krishna [Draupadî] to offer her obeisances. (6) Similarly was Sâtyaki welcomed, honored and seated by the sons of Prithâ and were also the others honored and seated around. (7) Going to Kuntî offering His obeisances was He embraced with her eyes wet of her extreme affection [see also 1.8: 18-43]; informing after the welfare of her and her daughter-in-law [Draupadî], inquired she as the sister of His father [Vasudeva] in detail about His relatives. (8) With tears in her eyes and with a throat choked up in her love for Him who shows Himself to dispel the distress, said she, remembering the many trials and tribulations: (9) 'Only then was our well-being set in progress when by You as a protector remembering us, Your relatives, o Krishna, my brother [Akrûra] was sent [see 10.49]. (10) For You, the Well-wisher and Soul of the Universe, there is never the delusion of 'ours' and 'theirs'; nonetheless do You, situated in the heart put an end to the sufferings of those who remember [You] continuously [see also B.G. 9: 29].'

(11) Yudhishthhira said: 'I don't know what good deeds we, of doubtful intellect, all have performed to [be allowed to] see You, o Supreme Controller whom the Controllers of Yoga rarely [get to] see.'

(12) Thus by the king invited stayed He, the Almighty, happily, during the months of the rainy season [see also: 10.20] for the eyes of the residents of Indraprastha generating bliss. (13-14) Some day [**] in armor mounting his chariot with the monkey[or Hanumân]-flag and taking up his Gândîva [his bow] and two inexhaustible quivers of arrows, entered Arjuna, the slayer of enemy heroes, to sport together with Krishna a large forest filled with many beasts of prey [see also B.G. chapter 1]. (15) There he shot with his arrows tigers, boars, wild buffalo, rurus [sort of antelopes], s'arabhas [sort of deer], gavayas [sort of oxen], rhinoceroses, black deer, rabbits and porcupines [see also 4.28: 26 and 5.26: 13]. (16) Servants to the king carried them to be sacrificed at a special occasion [otherwise the hunt would have been forbidden, see 9.6: 7-8] and overcome by thirst went Bibhatsa ['the revolting one', Arjuna] fatigued to the Yamunâ. (17) When the two great chariotfighters took a bath there and drank the clear water, saw the two Krishnas [see B.G. 10: 37] a maiden walking charming to behold. (18) Sent by his Friend, approached Phâlguna the exquisite woman who had fine hips and teeth and an attractive face, and inquired: (19) 'Who are you, to whom do you belong, o fine-waisted girl, from where are you or what are your plans; I think you're looking for a husband, tell me all about it, o beauty!'.

(20) S'rî Kâlindî said: 'I am the daughter of the demigod Savitâ [the sungod], engaged in severe austerities desiring Vishnu, the most excellent granter of boons, for my husband [see also gâyatrî]. (21) I want no other husband but Him, o hero, may the Abode of S'rî [the goddess], He the Supreme Lord Mukunda, the shelter of the helpless, be satisfied with me. (22) Until I meet Acyuta, am I living in a mansion built by my father in the Yamunâ-waters and am I thus named Kâlindî [see also bhajan verse 2 and 10.15: 47-52].' (23) So Gudâkes'a put this before Vâsudeva who fully aware of it all lifted her up in His chariot and drove off to king Dharma [Yudhishthhira].

(24) For the sons of Prithâ had Krishna [in the past], the moment He was asked, by Vis'vakarmâ constructed a most amazing colorful city [Indraprastha]. (25) The Supreme Lord residing there for the pleasure of His devotees desired to give to Agni the Khândava ['sugar-candy'] forest [at Kurukshetra] and became he for that purpose [burning down the forest] Arjuna's charioteer. (26) Pleased with that gave Agni to Arjuna a bow and a chariot with white horses, o King, two inexhaustible quivers of arrows and an armor impenetrable to whatever armed opposition. (27) Maya [the demon] delivered from the fire presented [in gratitude] an assembly hall to his friend [Arjuna] in which Duryodhana confused the water he saw therein for a solid floor [so that he fell in, see 10.75]. (28) He [Krishna] by him [Arjuna] and His well-wishers permitted to leave went back to Dvârakâ accompanied by Sâtyaki and the rest of His entourage [see also 1: 10]. (29) But now did He, supremely auspicious, marry Kâlindî at a day the seasons, the stars and the other luminaries were most favorable for spreading the greatest happiness among His people.

(30) Vindya and Anuvindya, two kings from Avantî [Ujjain] subservient to Duryodhana, obstructed their sister [Mitravindâ] who was attracted to Krishna, in her svayamvara [choice for a husband]. (31) Mitravindâ, the daughter of Râjâdhidevî, His fathers sister [9.24:28-31], was with force, as the kings were watching, taken away by Krishna, o King [compare 10.53].

(32) Of the most religious ruler of Kaus'alya [Ayodhyâ, see 9.10: 32] named Nagnajit there was a divine daughter Satyâ also called Nagnajitî, o King. (33) None of the kings was capable of marrying her without defeating seven uncontrollable bulls with the sharpest horns who vicious had no tolerance for the smell of warriors. (34) Hearing of her being attainable for him who conquered the bulls, went the Supreme Lord, the Master of the Sâtvatas, to the Kaus'alya capital surrounded by a large army. (35) The lord of Kos'ala standing up, and worshipful seating Him with substantial offerings and so on, was in return also greeted. (36) The daughter of the king seeing that the suitor longed for had arrived prayed: 'May, provided my keeping to the vows, the fire [of sacrifice] make my hopes come true; let Him, the Husband of Ramâ become my husband! (37) He of Whose lotuslike feet the one from the lotus [Brahmâ] and the master of the mountain [S'iva] together with the various rulers of the world hold the dust on their heads, He Who for His pastime with the desire to protect the codes of religion that He Himself instigated each time [that He's around] assumes a body, with what can He, that Supreme Lord, by me be pleased?'

(38) He [Nagnajit] said to the One worshiped further the following: 'O Nârâyana, o Lord of the Universe, what may I so insignificant do for You Filled with the Happiness of the Soul?'

(39) S'rî S'uka said: 'O child of the Kurus, the Supreme Lord pleased to accept a seat with a smile spoke to him in a voice deep as a [rumbling] cloud. (40) The Supreme Lord said: 'O ruler of man, for a member of the royal order following his own dharma is begging a thing condemned by the learned; nevertheless do I beg for your friendship with an eye at your daughter for whom We, indeed, offer nothing in return.'

(41) The King said: 'Who else next to You, o Superior Lordship, would in this world be a groom desirable for my daughter; You, on Whose body the Goddess resides and never leaves, are the only One harboring the qualities! (42) But, by us has before a condition been set, o best of the Sâtvatas, for the purpose of testing the prowess of the suitors of my daughter desirous after a husband. (43) These seven wild bulls, o hero, are untamable; a great number of princes have broken their limbs being defeated by them. (44) If they are subdued by You o descendant of Yadu, have You my approval as the groom for my daughter, o Husband of S'rî. (45) Thus hearing of the condition set, tightened the Master His clothes and did He, turning Himself into seven, subdue them like it was a simple game. (46) Tying them up with ropes dragged S'auri them broken in their pride and strength behind Him like He was a boy playing with a wooden toy. (47) The astonished king pleased then gave Krishna his suitable daughter who by the Supreme Lord, the Master, was accepted according the vedic injunctions. (48) The queens, with Krishna as the dear husband to obtain the princess, felt the highest ecstasy upon which great jubilation took hold of them. (49) Conches, horns and drums resounded, songs and instrumental music; the twice-born pronounced blessings and joyful men and women finely dressed adorned themselves with garlands. (50-51) As a wedding gift gave the mighty king ten thousand cows, three thousand excellently dressed maidens with golden ornaments around their necks, nine thousand elephants, a hundred times as many chariots with a hundred times as many horses as chariots and to that a hundred times as many men than horses. (52) He, the king of Kos'ala, with his heart melting of affection had the couple mounted on their chariot and then sent them off surrounded by a large army. (53) Hearing of this blocked the [rival] kings, in their strength broken by the Yadus as the bulls were before, most intolerant the road along which He was taking His bride. (54) They, charging volleys of arrows, were by Arjuna, the wielder of Gândîva acting like a lion to please his Friend, driven back like puny animals. (55) The son of Devakî, the Supreme Lord and Chief of the Yadus, taking the dowry and arriving in Dvârakâ lived there happily with Satyâ.

(56) Bhadrâ a princess of Kaikeya and daughter of S'rutakîrti, His father's sister, was by her brothers headed by Santardana [see 9.24: 38] given in marriage to Krishna.

(57) After killing Bhaumâsura [***] became thousands of others just like these, who being beautiful in appearance by him were taken captive, Krishna's wives.


 * In sum Krishna wed 16008 wives: 1: Rukminî, 2 Jâmbavatî, 3 Satyabhâmâ, 4 Kâlindî, 5 Mitravindâ, 6 Satyâ (Nagnajitî), 7 Bhadrâ, 8 Lakshmanâ, as discussed in 10.83 and the 1600o wives held captive by Bhaumâsura.

** A date after the burning of the Khândava forest that is referred to later in verse 25.

*** A demon according the Vishnu-purâna born as a consequence of Lord Varâha touching mother earth lifting her up from the ocean [see 3.13: 31].


Chapter 59

Mura and Bhauma Killed and the Prayers of Bhûmi

(1) The honorable king said: 'Please tell me of this adventure of the wielder of S'ârnga [Krishna]: how was Bhauma, who captured these women, killed by the Supreme Lord?'

(2-3) S'rî S'uka said: 'Informed by Indra, whose parasol [or badge of royalty] of Varuna and a place [called Mani-parvata] on the mountain of the gods [Mandara hill, see 8.6: 22-23] had been stolen and whose relative [mother Aditi, see 8.17] had been robbed of her earrings, went He [Lord Krishna answering ] to what Bhaumâsura all had done together with His wife [Satyabhâmâ see *] seated on Garuda to the city of Prâgjyotisha [Bhauma's capital now Tejpur of Assam], which lay protected surrounded by mountains and weapons, fire, water and wind and was fortified by a [mura-pâs'a] fence consisting of tens of thousands of tough and dreadful wires on all sides. (4) With His club broke He through the rock fortifications, with His arrows defeated He the weapon systems, with His disc He broke through the fire, water and wind defense and with His sword came He likewise trough the fence. (5) With the resounding of His conchshell breaking the seals [of the fortress] and the hearts of the brave warriors, broke Gadâdhara with His heavy mace through the ramparts. (6) Hearing the vibration of the Lord His Pañcajanya, that sounded like the thunderclap at the end of the universe, rose up the five-headed demon Mura who lay asleep in the water [of the moat]. (7) Raising his trident, most difficult to behold with an effulgence as terrible as the fire of the sun, attacked he, as if he with his five mouths would swallow the three words, like the son of Târkshya [Garuda] attacks a snake. (8) Whirling about his trident threw he it with great force at Garuda with the roaring of his five mouths penetrating the earth, the sky and outer space in all directions so massively that the egglike shell of the universe reverberated. (9) Lord Krishna then with two arrows broke the trident flying at Garuda in three pieces and next struck him forcefully in his faces with more arrows, upon which the demon in anger hurled his club at Him. (10) That club flying at Him was by the Elder Brother of Gada [Gadâgraja, Krishna] on the battlefield broken into thousands of pieces and as he with his arms raised rushed at Him, sliced the unconquerable One with ease the heads off with His disc. (11) As he lifeless fell into the water with his heads severed as if Indra with his force had split off a mountain peak, roused his seven sons angered into action to retaliate, feeling greatly distressed upon their fathers death.

(12) Engaged by Bhaumâsura came Tâmra, Antariksha, S'ravana, Vibhâvasu, Vasu, Nabhasvân and Aruna the seventh with Pîthha leading as their general out to the battlefield carrying their weapons. (13) In attack they angry and fierce used swords, clubs, spears, lances and tridents against the Invincible One, but at no time in his prowess frustrated by their mountain of weapons cut the Supreme Lord them with His arrows into smithereens. (14) Them, headed by Pîthha, He sent to the abode of Yamarâja cutting off their heads, thighs, arms, legs and armor so that Bhauma, the son of mother earth, seeing how his army and leaders succumbed to the arrows and disc of Krishna, unable to bear that came out with mada exuding elephants born from the milk ocean. (15) Seeing Lord Krishna with His wife sitting upon Garuda like lightning to a cloud above the sun, released he his S'ataghnî [spiked missile] at him and attacked at the same time all his soldiers. (16) The Supreme Lord, the Elder Brother of Gada, turned their bodies - and at the same time the bodies of the horses and elephants - with diversely feathered sharp arrows into [a heap of] severed arms, thighs and necks. (17-19) Each of the sharp and shafted weapons that the warriors employed, o hero of the Kurus, were by Krishna with three arrows at a time cut to pieces. Carried by the great winged one, Garuda, striking with both his wings, were the elephants beaten. The elephants because of his wings, beak and talons distressed moved back into the city while Naraka ['hell' or Bhauma] continued the battle. (20) Bhauma, tormented to see how by Garuda the army was forced in retreat, struck him with the spear that [once] withstood the thunderbolt [of Indra], but he wasn't shaken by it like an elephant isn't being hit with a flower. (21) To kill Krishna took Bhauma, frustrated in his endeavors, up His trident, but before he could even release it, cut the Lord with the razor-sharp edge of His cakra off the head of Bhaumâsura as he sat on his elephant. (22) Brilliant, shining decorated with earrings and a nice helmet, fell it all together to the ground, and worshiped [exclaiming] 'Alas, alas' and 'Bravo, bravo!' the sages and ruling gods Lord Krishna showering Him with flowers.

(23) Next then approaching Krishna presented mother earth golden earrings glowing with shining jewels, a vaijayanti garland of forest flowers and gave she the parasol of Varuna and the Great Gem [the peak of Mandara]. (24) The goddess then, o King, with a mind full of devotion folding her palms and bowing down, praised the Lord of the Universe who is worshiped by the best of the gods. (25) Bhûmi said: 'To You my obeisances o God of Gods, o Lord, holder of the conch, the disc and the club, Who to the desire of Your devotees has assumed Your forms, o Supreme Soul; let there be the praise unto You. (26) My homage is for Him with the lotuslike depression in his belly, my reverence for the One with the garland of lotuses, my respects for He whose glance is as cool as a lotus, my praise unto You with the feet that are like lotuses [as in 1.8: 22]. (27) My obeisances unto You, the Supreme Lord, Vâsudeva, Vishnu, the Original Person, the Seed and Full of Knowledge, unto You my salutations. (28) May there be the veneration for You, the Unborn Progenitor, the Unlimited Absolute, the Soul of the energies higher and lower, the Soul of the Creation, the Supersoul! (29) You, desiring to create o Master stand out Unborn indeed [as Brahmâ], for annihilation adopt the ignorance [as S'iva] and are for maintenance [manifest as] the goodness [as Vishnu-avatâras] of the Universe [and yet are You] not covered [by these modes], o Lord of Jagat [the Living Being that is the Universe]; being Kâla [time], Pradhâna [the original state of matter] and Purusha [the complete as the Original Person] are You yet separate therefrom. (30) This self of mine, the water, the fire and the air, the ether, the sense objects, the demigods, the mind, the senses, the doer, the total material energy, in sum everything that moves around or doesn't move, is [on itself] perplexity o Supreme Lord, as this all resides within You, the One Without a Second [see also siddhânta]! (31) This son of him [Bhauma's son, Bhûmi's grandson] afraid has approached the lotusfeet of You who removes the distress of those who take shelter; please protect him and place on his head Your lotushand eradicating all sins.'

(32) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord, with these words entreated by Bhûmi with devotion and humility, entered, to take away the fear, the residence of Bhauma rich with all opulences. (33) There the Lord saw sixteen thousand [**] maidens of the royal order that by Bhaumâsura by force were stolen from the kings. (34) The women seeing Him, the most excellent of all men, entering, enchanted chose for Him, who was brought by fate, as the husband they desired. (35) Absorbed in Krishna thinking: 'May providence make that He becomes my husband', installed they Him thus all individually in their hearts. (36) Them, well-cleaned and in spotless clothes, He sent in palanquins off to Dvârakâ together with great treasures, chariots and horses and a great number of other valuables.  (37) Kes'ava dispatched also sixty-four swift and white elephants with four tusks from the family of Airâvata [Indra's elephant]. (38-39) Going to the abode of the king of the gods and giving Aditi her earrings was He together with His beloved [Satyabhâmâ] worshiped by Indra the head of the [chief] thirty demigods and the great king his wife. Urged by His wife He uprooted the pârijâta, placed it on Garuda and brought it, defeating the demigods [who fought that], to His city. (40) Planted beautified it the garden of Satyabhâmâ's residence to where it was followed by the bees from heaven greedy for its sweet fragrance and juice. (41) After he [Indra] had bowed down with the tips of his crown touching His feet and had begged Acyuta to fulfill his purpose, did he, that great soul indeed of the demigods, having achieved his purpose, quarrel with Him [over the pârijâta]; damned that wealth of them, what an ignorance! [see also: 3.3: 5]. (42) Then at the right time married the Supreme Lord, being the same in various residences, those women properly, as the Imperishable One assuming as many forms [see 10.58: 45, 10.69: 19-45 and B.G. 9: 15; 13: 3]. [see B.G. 9: 15; 13: 31 and 10.58: 45]. (43) Constantly remaining in their residences performed He inconceivable, unequaled and unexcelled, absorbed in His love His deeds enjoying the pleasing women, like any other man carrying out the duties of a householder [see also 1.11: 37-39]. (44) The women in this manner obtaining the Husband of Ramâ and knowing means to attain that not even Brahmâ and the other gods know, shared in an ever-increasing pleasure the always fresh loving attraction of associating in smiles and glances, intimate talks and bashfulness. (45) Approaching Him, offering a seat, being of first-class worship, washing His feet, serving with betelnut, massages and fanning, fragrances, garlands, dressing His hair, arranging His bed, bathing and presenting gifts were they, though having hundreds of maidservants, [personally] of service to the Almighty Lord.' 


* The âcâryas explain that Satyabhâmâ would accompany Krishna to give permission to kill Bhauma despite of the promise He once made to Bhûmi, the earth-goddess, not to hurt her son Bhauma without her permission. She would also come along to procure the pârijâta flower tree Krishna had promised her after He brought Rukminî one such flower [see also 10.50: 54 and 3.3: 5]

** As to the number of Krishna's queens there is no absolute agreement. Here is written 16000. The Vishnu Purâna V.19 - 9.31 mentions 16100 while even others speak of 16001. Not counting the verse 10.90: 29 which again mentions over 16100 of them, would reasoning from the Bhâgavatam stories only, there be 16008 queens [see also previous footnote].


Chapter 60

Lord Krishna Teases Queen Rukminî

(1) The son of Bâdarâyana [of Vyâsa] said: 'Once comfortably sitting, positioned on her bed was He, the Spiritual Master of the Universe, served by Rukminî who fanned Him, the Husband, together with her female companions. (2) This then was His play: that He, as the Supreme Controller that sends forth, protects and devours the universe, indeed was born to defend His own rule [*] as the Unborn Lord among the Yadus [see also 6.3: 19]. (3-6) In that private part of the palace so brilliant, hung with strings of pearls and resplendent with a canopy, with lamps made with jewels, with jasmine flower garlands swarming with humming bees, with the light of the spotless moon filtered through the openings of the lattice windows, with the fragrance carried by the wind from the grove of pârijâta trees wafting the atmosphere of the garden and with the exciting scent produced from aguru escaping from the window openings, o King, served she her Husband, the Controller of All Worlds, comfortably seated on an excellent pillow of the bed that shone white as the foam of milk. (7) Taking a yak-hair fan with a jeweled handle from the hand of a maidservant fanned the goddess her Master with it performing worship. (8) Next to Krishna with the rumour of her ankle bells she appeared beautiful with her rings, bangles and fan in her hand and her garment with its tip concealing her breasts red of the kunkum, the glow of her necklace and the priceless belt she wore on her hips. (9) Seeing her appearing as the goddess of fortune having no other goal, she who pleased and smiling with her locks, earrings and jewels around her neck and her bright and happy face, for the sake of His pastime corresponds with bodies to His assuming of forms [**], gave the Lord a nectarine smile and spoke.

(10) The Supreme Lord said; 'O princess you were desired by kings, rulers of the world of beauty, strength and generosity who were abundantly endowed with great powers, influence and opulence. (11) Rejecting those suitors at hand like S'is'upâla and others who mad of Cupid were handed by your brother and father, do I wonder why you've chosen Us so unlike them. (12) Afraid of the kings, o lovely-browed one, and gone to the ocean for shelter [to Dvârakâ], have We, of enmity with the ones in power, practically abandoned the royal see. (13) O beautiful eyebrows, women usually have to suffer who take to men whose behavior is uncertain in following a path not acceptable to normal society. (14) We without a thing always very dear to those who also have nothing are therefore as a rule indeed not so popular with the rich, they rarely worship Me, o fine-waisted lady. (15) Marriage and friendship is there between two people equal in property, birth, influence, physique and prospects and never ever between a superior and an inferior [in this]! (16) O princess of Vidarbha, this, not able to look into the future, you didn't know, having chosen Us so void of good qualities Who are praised by beggars out of their mind! (17) Now please accept for yourself a husband that indeed is suitable, a first class noble by whom you can get all your wishes fulfilled in this life and the next. (18) S'is'upâla, S'âlva, Jarâsandha, Dantavakra and other kings all hate Me, o beautiful thighs, and so does your elder brother Rukmî. (19) To dispel of them, blinded by the intoxication of their power, the pride and arrogance were You by Me taken in a marriage, o good one; We did it to remove the power from the wicked [see also B.G. 4: 7]. (20) We indifferent to home and body indeed do not hanker for wives, children and wealth; We remain completely satisfied within Ourselves like a light engaged in no activity.'

(21) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord, saying this much as the destroyer of the pride of her who as His beloved thought her selves inseparable, then stopped. (22) From the Master of the Lords of the Three worlds, her own Beloved, had she, the goddess, never before heard such an unpleasant thing, and with a growing fear at heart started she, trembling with a terrible anxiety, to sob [see s'ikshâshthaka verse 6 &7]. (23) With her most delicate foot glowing red of her nails scratching the earth, and with her tears smearing her eye makeup and sprinkling the red kunkuma powder on her breasts, stood she still, face downward, with her speech checked by her extreme sorrow. (24) Of her great grief, fear and anguish not thinking clear anymore, slipped her bangles and fan from her hand and fell, with her mind disrupted swooning, her body suddenly to the ground with her hair scattering, like she was a plantain tree blown over by the wind [see rasa]. (25) Seeing what, not being understood, the full import of His joking meant to the bondage of divine love of His beloved, felt the Supreme Lord, merciful Krishna, sorry for her. (26) Stepping down from the bed picked He, with four arms, her quickly up and wiped He, gathering her hair, her face with His lotus hand. (27-28) Wiping her tear-filled eyes and breasts smeared by her tears, put He, o King, His arm around her who chaste had no other object of desire. The Master, the Expert in Pacification, consoled compassionately her who, so pitiable with her mind confounded of His clever joking, had not deserved this with the Goal of the Pure Ones. (29) The Supreme Lord said: 'O Vaidarbhî, don't be unhappy with Me, I know you're fully dedicated to Me, My dearest, I acted in jest to hear what you would say. (30) I so wanted to see the face of love with lips trembling in agitation, glances cast from the corners of reddish eyes and beautiful brows knit together. (31) To spend time joking with one's beloved is indeed for a mundane householder the greatest thing to achieve in family life, o timid one of temperament.'

(32) S'rî S'uka said: 'She, Vaidarbhî, o King, thus completely pacified by the Supreme Lord, understanding His words to be jocular gave up her fear of being rejected by her Beloved. (33) Bashfully with a charming smile looking the Supreme Lord in the face addressed she, o descendant of Bharata, with affectionate glances the Best of All Men. (34) Srî Rukminî said: 'Well so be it indeed with this what You said o Lotus-eyed One; where, unequal to the Supreme Lord, am I in comparison to the Almighty One who takes pleasure in His own glory, to the Controller, the Supreme Lord of the Three [principal deities] - where do I myself stand whose feet because of her material qualities are held by fools? (35) True, You did, o Urukrama [Lord of the Greater Order], as if You'd be afraid of the modes, lay Yourself down in the ocean, always in the pure awareness of the Supreme Soul battling against the badness of the material senses and have, just as Your servants, rejected the position of a king  as being of blind ignorance [see also Sadgosvâmy Âshthaka verse four and s'ikshâshthaka verse 4]. (36) For sages who relish the honey of Your lotuslike feet is Your path, that for animals in a human form for sure is impossible to comprehend, not quite clear because - [so one may wonder] - are they, otherworldly posing with activities to the Supreme Controller [of Time], o All-powerful One, therefore following You [as a person]? (37) You indeed are without possessions, You beyond Whom there is nothing and to Whom even the enjoyers of tribute headed by Brahmâ pay tribute; persons physically satisfied do, blinded by their status, not know You as their death, but to the great enjoyers are You the One most dear as they just the same are also to You [see also 1.7: 10]. (38) You indeed are the ultimate goal comprising all the goals of human life, You are the very Self longing for Whom intelligent persons discard everything; Your association, o Omnipotent one, is appropriate to them and not to a man and woman in lust being happy and unhappy. (39) You, the Supreme Soul of all the Worlds giving away Your Self, of Whose prowess speak the sages who gave up on the staff [of wandering, becoming Paramahamsa's, see 5.1*], have thus by me been chosen in rejection of those masters of heaven, born on the lotus [Brahmâ] and ruling existence [S'iva], whose aspirations are destroyed by the force of Time generated from Your eyebrows. What [then would I, next to You, have] of others? (40) Foolish those words of You taking shelter in the ocean out of fear, o Gadâgraja, You who by twanging Your S'ârnga drove back the kings in taking me, Your proper tribute, away the way a lion snatches his share away from the animals [see also jalpa 10.47: 12-21]. (41) For want of You have the kings Anga [father of Vena, 4.13: 47], Vainya [Prithu, 4.23], Jâyanta [Bharata, 6.7: 11], Nâhusha [Yayâtî, 9.19], Gaya [15.15: 6-7] and others abandoning their crown, their absolute sovereignty over their kingdoms, entered the forest, o Lotus-eyed One; how could they, fixed on Your path in this world, be of trepidation? (42) What woman would take shelter of another man, once having smelled the by the saints described aroma of Your lotus feet where Lakshmî resides and that for all people bestow liberation; what mortal woman with the insight to ascertain what's best for her, would not take You seriously as the Abode of All Qualities, and go for one who is always in great fear [of his false ego]? (43) For Him, You Yourself, have I chosen as the Ultimate Master and Supreme Soul of All Worlds to fulfill our desires in this life and the next [see last verse s'ikshâshthaka]; may there for me who wandered on different paths be the shelter of Your feet which, indeed approaching their worshiper, award with liberation from the untrue. (44) Let the kings You mentioned, o Acyuta, be of those women in whose homes they are like asses, oxen, dogs, cats and slaves and whose ears never came close to the core of You Who vex Your enemies; You Who are sung and discussed in the scholarly assemblies of Mrida [the gracious one or S'iva] and Viriñca [the pure one beyond passion or Brahmâ]. (45) The woman who's not smelling the honey of Your lotus feet has a totally bewildered idea; she worships as her partner a living corpse covered by skin, whiskers, bodily hair, nails and head-hair with inside flesh, bones, blood, worms, stool, mucus, bile and air. (46) Let there be, o lotus-eyed one, my steady attraction to the feet of You more taking pleasure in the True Self than in me, You who for the increase of this universe assume an abundance in passion and with Your glance in that looking at me indeed show us the greatest mercy [see also 10.53: 2]. (47) Factually I don't consider Your words false o Killer of Madhu, it is sure often so that with a maiden [as I with the kings] the attraction raises as it once happened to Ambâ [daughter of the king of Kas'ito attracted to S'alva, see Mahâbhârata and note 9.22: 20*]. (48) A promiscuous woman is even married attracted to newer and newer men; being intelligent should one [as You mavbe] not keep to an unfaithful woman as with keeping her one will be fallen in both cases [of this and the next life, see also 9.14: 36]. '

(49) The Supreme Lord said: 'All that you replied is correct indeed; what I have said fooling you, o princess, was for My want of hearing you on this, o saintly lady! (50) Whatever benedictions you hanker for to be freed from lust, o fair one, are there, o auspicious one, always for you indeed being exclusively devoted to Me. (51) O sinless one, I've seen your pure love and adherence in vows to the husband; as far as words could upset you, could your mind attached to Me, not be diverted. (52) Those falling for civil status who worship Me with penances and following vows, are, lusty of nature, bewildered by the illusory energy of Me, the Controller of the Final Beatitude. (53) O reservoir of love, for those who with obtaining Me, the Treasure of Emancipation, less fortunate desire of Me, the Master of that, only material treasures which are there even for persons living in hell, is it, because they are obsessed with sense gratification, [then also] hell what suits them best [see also 3.32, and 7.5: 32]. (54) Fortunately, o mistress of the house, were you rendering the constant faithful service to Me that gives liberation from a material existence, the service which especially for tricky women with bad intentions, caring for their own lifebreath only and delighting in cutting off [relations] is something most difficult to do. (55) In my palaces can I find no wife as loving as you, o respectful one; you who at the time of her own marriage disregarded the kings that had arrived; you by whom, having heard the true stories, a brahmin carrier was sent to Me with a confidential message. (56) When your bother was disfigured being defeated in battle [10.54] and on the appointed day of the marriage ceremony [of Aniruddha, her grandson, see next chapter] got killed during a gambling match, you suffered unbearable sorrow from Us, but afraid of separation you didn't say a word and by that were We conquered by you. (57) When, with the messenger sent with the most confidential bidding to obtain My person, I was delayed, wanted you, thinking this world all empty, to give up this body that would be suited for no one else [see 10.53: 22-25]; may that [fortitude] stand in you with Us rejoicing in response.'

(58) S'rî S'uka said: 'This way in conjugal conversations imitating the human world took the Supreme Lord pleasure in enjoying Himself with Ramâ. (59) Similarly behaving like a householder in the residences of the other queens, did the Almighty Lord and Spiritual master of All the Worlds carry out the duties of a family man.'  


* The Sanskrit word used here is setu: it means bridge, dam, boundary limit, thus in this context His guidance, religion, rule and law.

** Spoken by S'rî Parâs'ara in the Vishnu Purâna there is, so S'rîla S'rîdhara Svâmî reminds us, a verse confirming this one:

devatve deva-deheyam
manushyatve ca mânushî
vishnor dehânurûpâm vai
karoty eshâtmanas tanum

"When the Lord appears as a demigod, she [the goddess of fortune] takes the form of a demigoddess, and when He appears as a human being, she takes a humanlike form. Thus the body she assumes matches the one Lord Vishnu takes."  



Chapter 61

Lord Balarâma Slays Rukmî at Aniruddha's Wedding

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Each of the wives of Krishna gave birth to ten sons no less than their Father in all His personal opulence. (2) Never seeing Acyuta leaving their palaces considered every one of the princesses herself the one most dear; the women didn't know the truth about Him. (3) Fully enchanted by the Supreme Lord His face beautiful as the whorl of a lotus, His long arms, His eyes and loving glances, witty approach and charming talks could the women, with their appeal, not conquer the mind of the One All-powerful. (4) In spite of their romantic signs beamed from their arched brows, hidden looks and coy smiles, so enchanting displaying their intentions, were the sixteen thousand wives by their arrows of Cupid and other means not able to agitate the senses [of Krishna]. (5) These women this way obtaining as their spouse the Lord of Ramâ, relating to whom not even Lord Brahmâ and the other gods know the means to attain, partook eagerly anticipating for the ever-fresh intimate association with pleasure, smiles and glances in the incessant and increasing loving attraction [as in 10:59: 44]. (6) Though having hundreds of maidservants were they, [personally] approaching Him, offering a seat, being of first-class worship, washing His feet, serving with betelnut, giving massages and fanning Him, with fragrances, garlands, dressing His hair, arranging His bed, bathing and presenting gifts to Him, of service to the Almighty Lord [as in 10.59: 45]. (7) Of those [16008 *] wives of Krishna previously mentioned who each had ten sons there were eight principal queens of whom I'll recite their sons headed by Pradyumna.

(8-9) By the Lord begotten in Rukminî [see 10.54: 60] there were, no way inferior to Him, [with Pradyumna first] Cârudeshna, Sudeshna and the powerful Cârudeha; Sucâru, Cârugupta, Bhadracâru and another one called Cârucandra as well as Vicâru and Câru, the tenth. (10-12) The ten sons of Sathyabhâmâ [10.56: 44] were Bhânu, Subhânu, Svarbhânu, Prabhânu, Bhânumân and Candrabhânu; as also Brihadbhânu, the eight one Atibhânu and S'rîbhânu and Pratibhânu [bhânu means lustre, splendor]. Sâmba, Sumitra, Purujit, S'atajit and Sahasrajit; Vijaya and Citraketu, Vasumân, Dravida and Kratu were the sons of Jâmbavatî [10.56: 32]. It were indeed these ones headed by Sâmba that were their Father's favorites [see also 7.1: 2 & 12]. (13) Vîra, Candra and As'vasena; Citragu, Vegavân, Vrisha, Âma, S'anku, Vasu and the so very beautiful Kunti were the sons of Nâgnajitî [or Satyâ, see 10.58: 55]. (14) S'ruta, Kavi, Vrisha, Vîra, Subâhu, the one called Bhadra, S'ânti, Dars'a and Pûrnamâsa were, with Somaka as the youngest, the sons of Kâlindî [10.58: 23]. (15) Praghosha, Gâtravân, Simha, Bala, Prabala, and Ûrdhaga were with Mahâs'akti, Saha, Oja and Aparâjita the sons of Mâdrâ [see *]. (16) Vrika, Harsha, Anila, Gridhra, Vardhana, Unnâda, Mahâmsa, Pâvana and Vahni were with Kshudhi the sons of Mitravindâ [10.58: 31]. (17) Sangrâmajit, Brihatsena, S'ûra, Praharana, Arijit, Jaya and Subhadra were together with Vâma, Âyur and Satyaka the sons of Bhadrâ [10.58: 56]. (18) Dîptimân, Tâmratapta and others were the sons of Lord Krishna and Rohinî [*]. O King, from Pradyumna was, as He was living in the city of Bhojakatha [Rukmî's domain] then, begotten in Rukmavatî, the daughter of Rukmî, the greatly powerful Aniruddha born [see also 4.24: 35-36]. (19) Of these sons and grandsons were born tens of millions, o King, as the mothers of the descendants of Krishna numbered sixteen thousand.'

(20) The king said: 'How could Rukmî give his daughter to the son of his Enemy in marriage? Defeated by Krishna in battle awaited he the opportunity to kill Him. Please explain to me, o learned one, how this marriage between the two enemies could be arranged. (21) Yogis [like you] are perfectly able to see the past, the present, as well as what has not happened yet; things far away, things blocked by obstacles and things beyond the senses.'

(22) S'rî S'uka said: 'At her svayamvara ceremony did she [Rukmavatî] choose the Cupid manifest [that was Pradyumna] who with a single chariot in battle defeating the kings assembled took her away. (23) Rukmî, even though always remembering the enmity with Krishna who had insulted him [10.54: 35], granted, to do his sister a favor, his daughter the son of his sister. (24) The young large-eyed daughter of Rukminî, Cârumatî, married, so is said, o King, the son of Kritavarmâ named Balî. (25) Rukmî, despite of his being bound in enmity to the Lord, gave to his daughter's son, Aniruddha, his granddaughter named Rocanâ; aware that the marriage was against the dharma [of not siding as such with the enemy], wished he, constrained by the ropes of affection, to please his sister with that marriage. (26) To the occasion of that happy event, o King, went Rukminî, Balarâma and Kes'ava [Krishna], Sâmba, Pradyumna and others, to the city of Bhojakatha.

(27-28) When the marriage was over spoke some arrogant kings led by the ruler of Kalinga to Rukmî: 'You should defeat Balarâma with a game of dice. Indeed not so good at it is He, o King, nevertheless greatly fascinated by it', thus they said and so inviting Balarâma played Rukmî a game of dice with Him. (29) In that match accepting a wager of first a hundred, then a thousand and then a ten thousand [gold coins] was it Rukmî though who won, whereupon the king of Kalinga loudly laughed at Balarâma baring his teeth freely. This could the Carrier of the Plow not forgive him. (30) Rukmî next accepted a bet of a hundred thousand which then by Balarâma was won, but Rukmî, resorting to deception, said 'I've won!'

(31) With a mind boiling like the ocean on the day of a full moon accepted the handsome Balarâma, whose naturally reddish eyes were burning with anger, a wager of a hundred million. (32) Balarâma fairly won that game also but Rukmî again resorting to deceit said: 'It's won by me. May these witnesses confirm that!'.

(33) Then a voice spoke from the sky: 'It indeed was Balarâma who won the wager, the words Rukmî spoke are a blunt lie!'

(34) Discarding that voice did the prince of Vidarbha, urged on by the wicked kings on a crash course, in ridicule say to Sankarshana: (35) 'You cowherds indeed are good at roaming in the forest, not at playing dice; to sport with dice and arrows is for kings, not for the likes of you!

(36) This way in the auspicious assembly [of the marriage], by Rukmî insulted, being the laughingstock of the kings present raised He angered His club and struck He him dead. (37) Quickly seizing the king of Kalinga in his tenth step, knocked He in rage out the teeth of him who laughing had bared his teeth [see also 4.5: 21]. (38) Other kings tormented by Balarâma's club got their arms, legs and heads broken and fled drenched in blood terrified. (39) With his brother-in-law, Rukmî, slain, o King, did the Lord, afraid to break the bond of affection with Rukminî and Balarâma, neither applaud nor protest. (40) Then, headed by Râma, placed the descendants of Das'ârha the groom together with His bride on His chariot and set they, of whom under the shelter of Madhusûdana all purposes had been fulfilled, off from Bhojakatha to Kus'asthalî [another name of Dvârakâ].  


* This one called Mâdrâ is the eighth principal wife of Krishna not mentioned before; she is the daughter of the ruler of Madra, called Brihatsena, and also known as Lakshmanâ. From the Bhâgavatam knowing her story as told in 10.83: 17, is it clear that she belonged to the eight queens He married before. Thus there were the 16008 of them. Rohinî [not to confuse with Balarâma's mother who has the same name], not to be considered as a principal wife, seems to have been the one heading the sixteen thousand princesses. So taking Mâdrâ as the cause for speaking of 16001 wives in stead of 16000, do we in sum have: 1 Rukminî, 2 Jâmbavatî, 3 Satyabhâmâ, 4 Kâlindî, 5 Mitravindâ, 6 Satyâ (Nagnajitî), 7 Bhadrâ and 8 Mâdrâ (Lakshmanâ) and then the sixteen thousand headed by Rohinî who came second [see also footnote 10.59** and the list of them in 10.83].


Chapter 62

Ûshâ in Love and Aniruddha Apprehended

(1) The honorable king said: 'Bâna's daughter named Ûshâ ['dawn'] married the best of the Yadus [Aniruddha] to which a great and terrible battle took place between the Lord and S'ankara [S'iva as 'the auspicious']; o great yogî, I give it to you to explain all this.'

(2) S'rî S'uka said: 'Bâna ['arrow'], the eldest son of the one hundred sons born from the semen of Bali ['gift'] - the great soul who donated the earth to the Lord in the form of Vâmana [see 8.19-22] -, was, respectable and magnanimous, intelligent and truthful in his vows, always fixed in devotion to Lord S'iva. In the charming city known as S'onita ['resin'] made he his kingdom, where the immortals served him as if they were his servants for in the past S'ambhu ['the beneficent' or S'iva] had been pleased by him as he, having a thousands arms, had played musical instruments while Mrida [S'iva as 'the gracious'] was dancing. (3) He, the great lord and master of all created beings, the compassionate giver of shelter to his devotees, rewarded him with a benediction to his choice and he chose for him [S'iva] as the guardian of his city. (4) He, intoxicated by his strength, with a helmet bright as the sun once present at his side said to Giris'am [S'iva as the lord of the mountain] touching his lotusfeet: (5) 'I bow down to you Mahâdeva [great god], o controller and spiritual master of the worlds who like a tree from heaven fulfills all wishes of the people unfulfilled. (6) The one thousand arms you gave me have become but a burden to me and except for you do I in the three worlds not find an equal opponent. (7) With my arms itching to fight the elephants of all directions I went, o primeval one, to pulverize mountains, but even they ran away terrified.'

(8) Hearing that said the great lord incensed: 'Your flag will be broken when, o fool, your pride is vanquished in battle with someone equal to me.' (9) Thus addressed did the poorminded one delighted enter his home, o king, not so intelligent awaiting his heroism to be crushed as the lord of the mountain had predicted [compare 2.1: 4].

(10) His virgin daughter named Ûshâ in a dream had an amorous encounter with the son of Pradyumna while never before having seen or heard of the lover she had found [see *]. (11) She, not seeing him [anymore] in her dream, disturbed arose while in the midst of her girlfriends and was saying 'Where are you my lover?', greatly embarrassed. (12) A minister of Bâna, Kumbhânda, his daughter Citralekhâ ['the fine sketch-artist'] then as a companion most curiously questioned Ûshâ her girlfriend. (13) 'Who is it you're looking for o beautiful eyebrows, what is the nature of your hankering as we as yet haven't seen anyone taking your hand, o princess.'

(14) 'In my dream I saw a certain man with a dark complexion, lotuslike eyes, yellow garments and mighty arms - one of the kind touching a woman's heart. (15) Him I am seeking, that lover who made me drink the honey of His lips and who, gone to somewhere, has thrown me, hankering for Him, in an ocean of distress.'

(16) Citralekhâ said: 'I'll take away your distress; if He's to be found anywhere in the three worlds, I'll bring Him to you, that husband-to-be, that thief who stole your heart - please point Him out to me.'

(17) Speaking thus she accurately drew demigod and heavenly singer, the one perfected, the venerable one and the lowlife serpent, the demon, the magician, the supernatural and the human. (18-19) Of the humans she drew Vrishnis like S'ûrasena, Vasudeva, Balarâma and Krishna but seeing Pradyumna Ûshâ became bashful and with Aniruddha being drawn she bent down her head in embarrassment, o great lord, and said smiling: 'That's Him, that one here!'. (20) Citralekhâ, the yoginî, recognizing Him as Krishna's grandson [Aniruddha] then went, o King, through the skies [the mystical way] to Dvârakâ, the city under the protection of Krishna. (21) Pradyumna's son asleep on a fine bed did she, using her yogic power, take from there to S'onitapura to show her girlfriend her Beloved. (22) On seeing Him, that most beautiful man, lit her face up and enjoyed she in her private quarters, a place forbidden to the sight of men, together with the son of Pradyumna. (23-24) With priceless garments, garlands, fragrances, lamps, sitting places and such; with beverages, liquid and solid food and with words she worshiped him in faithful service so that continuously keeping him hidden in the maiden quarters He, by her greatly increasing affection, did not notice the days, in His senses being diverted by Ûshâ. (25-26) She thus, in breaking her vow [of chastity] enjoyed by the Yadu-hero, could not conceal the symptoms of her extreme happiness that were noticed by her governesses who reported [to Bâna, her father]: 'O King, we've noted of your daughter the for an unmarried girl faulty conduct that besmirches the family. (27) Well guarded by us within the palace and never having left, o master, have we no idea how she, hidden from the looks of men, could foul.'

(28) Bâna upon hearing of the defilement of his daughter most disturbed quickly headed for the maiden quarters where he upon his arrival saw the most eminent of the Yadus. (29-30) Amazed he beheld sitting in front of her that son of Cupid, the exclusive beauty of all the worlds, dark-skinned in yellow clothes, with His lotuseyes, mighty arms, earrings and locks, smiling with the glow and glances from His adorned face, playing dice with His all-auspicious sweetheart, wearing between His arms a garland made of springtime jasmines smeared with the kunkuma of touching her breasts. (31) Seeing him entering surrounded by many an armed guard raised the Sweet Lord His club made of muru [a type of iron] standing firm, ready to strike like death personified with the rod of punishment. (32) They, closing in from all sides to apprehend Him, He struck like a dominant boar faced with a pack of dogs so that they all being hit ran to escape from the palace with their heads, arms and legs crushed. (33) But as He was striking down the guards, did the son of Bali, furiously, himself capture Him with the [mystical] snake-ropes [of Varuna, see also 8.21: 28], upon which Ûshâ utterly defeated and discouraged, overwhelmed by sorrow cried bitter tears hearing of the arrest.

* Here S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî Thâkura quotes the following verses from the Vishnu Purâna, which explain Ûshâ's dream: 'O brâhmana, when Ûshâ, the daughter of Bâna, happened to see Pârvatî playing with her husband, Lord S'ambhu, Ûshâ intensely desired to experience the same feelings. At that time Goddess Gaurî [Pârvatî], who knows everyone's heart, told the sensitive young girl, 'don't be so disturbed! You will have a chance to enjoy with your own husband.' Hearing this, Ûshâ thought to herself, 'But when? And who will my husband be?' In response, Pârvatî addressed her once more: 'The man who approaches you in your dream on the twelfth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month Vais'âkha will become your husband, O princess.'


 Chapter 63  

The Fever in Conflict and Bâna Defeated

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Then, o son of Bharata, did Aniruddha's relatives, thus not seeing Him, in lamentation pass the four months of the rainy season. (2) Hearing from Nârada the news of what He had done and that He had been captured, went the Vrishnis, who had Krishna as their worshipable deity, to S'onitapura. (3-4) The best of the Sâtvata's knowing Pradyumna, Yuyudhâna [Sâtyaki], Gada, Sâmba, and Sârana; Nanda, Upananda, Bhadra and others, following Râma and Krishna assembled with twelve akshauhinîs and besieged on all sides the entirety of Bâna's city. (5) Seeing the city gardens, the city walls and watchtowers ravaged came he, filled with anger, out for them with an army just as big. (6) Bhagavân S'iva rode out on Nandi, his bull, together with his son [Kârtikeya, his general] and was accompanied by the Pramathas [his different mystic attendants] to fight with Râma and Krishna for Bâna's sake. (7) What took place, o King, was a tumultuous, astonishing and hair-raising fight of Krishna against S'ankara and Pradyumna against Kârtikeya. (8) Kumbhânda and Kûpakarna had a fight with Balarâma, Sâmba with the son of Bâna and Satyâki with Bâna himself. (9) Headed by Lord Brahmâ came to witness in their celestial vehicles the leaders of the godly, the sages, the perfected and the venerable; the singers and dancing girls of heaven as well as the spirits. (10-11) Discharging sharp-pointed arrows from His bow, the S'arnga, drove S'auri [Krishna] away the Bhûtas [spirits of the dead], the Pramathas [mystic spirits], the Guhyakas [the wealth-keepers of Kuvera], the Dâkinîs [female imps of Kâli], the Yâtudhânas [practicioners of black magic], Vetâlas [vampires], the Vinâyakas [demons of education, distracters, humiliaters], the Pretas [ghosts, hobgoblins], the Mâtâs [demoniac mothers], the Pis'âcas [child-demons], the Kushmândas [meditation-disturbers, diseasing demons] and the Brahmâ-râkshasas [fallen brahmins as in 9.9: 25] who followed S'ankara. (12) The holder of the trident [Pinâkî or S'iva] using different types of weapons against The Wielder of S'arnga saw them neutralized with counterweapons; they couldn't daunt the Carrier of S'arnga. (13) He used a brahmâstra against a brahmâstra, a mountain-weapon against a windweapon, a rain-weapon against a fire-weapon and His nârâyanâstra [His personal weapon] against S'iva's [personal] pâs'upatâstra [the 'beaststrap'-weapon]. (14) Then bewildering lord S'iva making him yawn with a yawning weapon, struck S'auri Bâna's army with His sword, club and arrows. (15) Kârtikeya distressed of Pradyumna's arrows raining from all sides, fled on his peakcock-carrier from the battlefield, exuding blood from his limbs. (16) Kumbhânda and Kûpakarna tormented by the club came to fall and their armies, whose leaders were killed, fled in all directions.

(17) Bâna seeing his troops torn apart, left Sâtyaki whom he was fighting aside, crossed with his chariot the battlefield and most furiously attacked Krishna. (18) Bâna in a frenzy of the fighting fixing two arrows on each, simultaneously bent the complete of his fivehundred bows. (19) These bows were by Bhagavân all at once split and after hitting the chariot, the horses and the charioteer, blew He His conchshell. (20) [then] Hoping to save her son's life, positioned his mother, named Kotharâ, herself naked, with her hair loosened, in front of Krishna. (21) When Lord Gadâgraja then turned His face away not to look at the naked woman, took Bâna without his chariot and with his bow broken, the opportunity to escape into the city. (22) But with S'iva's followers driven away rushed Jvara, the [personification of S'iva's hot] fever with three heads and three feet, forward to the descendant of Dâs'arha like setting fire to the ten directions [see *]. (23) Lord Nârâyana, seeing him, thereupon released His fever [of extreme cold instead] so that the two Jvaras of Mâhes'vara and Vishnu came to fight each other. (24) The one of Mâhes'vara cried it out tormented by the force of the one of Vishnu and not finding a safe refuge anywhere started Mâhes'vara's Jvara thirsting for protection devout to praise Hrishîkes'a with folded hands. (25) The Jvara said: 'I bow down to You, the Supreme Lord Unlimited in His Potencies, the Soul of All of Pure Conciousness, the Cause to the totality of the universe it's creation, dissolution and maintenance; You the Absolute Truth of Perfect Peace to whom the Vedas indirectly refer. (26) You as the negation of this mâyâ of Time, fate, the workload of karma, the propensities to it, the subtle elements, the field that is the body, the life-air, the sense of I, the transformations [the eleven senses] and the aggregate of all of this [as the subtle body, the linga], that is there in a constant flow of seed and sprout, I do approach. (27) You with various intentions indeed are there to take up missions of divine engagement [lîlâs] to maintain the godly, the sages, and the codes of conduct in the world and put to death the ones that left the path and live by violence; Your incarnating like this is there to relieve the earth of its burden [see also B.G. 9: 29 and 4: 8]. (28) By Your power that unbearably cold yet is burning, am I for long tormented with this most terrible fever, for indeed as long as the embodied souls do not serve the soles of Your feet must they suffer, continually being bound in desires.'

(29) The Supreme Lord said: 'O three-headed one, I am satisfied with You, may your fear raised by My fever leave you; anyone who remembers our conversation will have no reason to fear you.'

(30) Thus addressed bowed the Mâhes'vara's Jvara down to Acyuta and went away, but Bâna, riding his chariot, came forward with the intent to fight Janârdana. (31) Thereupon, o King, with his thousand arms carrying numerous weapons, released the demon, fuming of anger, arrows at Him Whose Weapon was the Cakra. (32) Of him, over and over hurling weapons, cut the Supreme Lord with the razor-sharp edge of His disc the arms as if they were the branches of a tree. (33) As Bâna's arms were being severed, approached the great lord Bhava [- of existence, S'iva] out of compassion for his devotee and spoke he to the Wielder of the Disc. (34) S'rî Rudra said: 'You alone are the Absolute Truth, the Light of the Supreme that lies hidden in the language expressed of the Absolute [of the Veda]; they whose hearts are spotless see You, pure as the blue sky. (35-36) You with the atmosphere as Your navel, fire as Your face, water as Your semen, heaven as Your head, the directions as Your sense of hearing, the earth as Your foot, the moon as Your mind; Whose sight is the sun, Whose awareness of self I am, with the ocean as Your abdomen and Indra as Your arm; You with the plants as the hair on Your body, the clouds as the hair on Your head, with Viriñca as Your intelligence, with the prajâpati as Your genitals, Whose heart is the religion; Your good self indeed art the Purusha from whom all the worlds originated. (37) You of an unbounded glory are in this decent there to defend the dharma to the benefit of the Complete of the Living Being and we all manifest and develop enlightened by You the seven worlds [see dvîpa]. (38) You are the Original Supreme Person without a second, the Transcendental Self-manifesting Cause without a prior cause, the Ruler; yet are You, for the sake of the full manifestation of Your qualities, just as well perceived in the various transformations [of the different lifeforms, gods and avatâras] of Your illusory potency. (39) Just as the sun in its own shade hidden from sight illumines the forms visible, do You, o All-mighty One, similarly self-luminous, illumine the qualities of the covering modes of matter for the beings with these qualities. (40) Those who, fully entangled in respect of their children, wife, a home and so on, in their intelligence are bewildered by mâyâ do in the ocean of misery [alternately] rise to the surface and sink [again, see B.G. 9: 21]. (41) By the grace of God attaining this human world is he, who uncontrolled in his senses is not willing to honor Your feet, lamentable indeed someone who fools himself. (42) The mortal who in opposition for the sake of the sense-objects rejects You, his True Self and dearmost Guide, eats the poison and avoids the nectar. (43) I, Brahmâ as well as the demigods and the sages have a consciousness pure wholeheartedly being surrendered to You, the Master, the dearmost Self. (44) Let us be of worship for the Godhead of You, the cause of the rise, the maintenance and the demise of the Living Being that is the Universe; He who perfectly at peace equipoised is the unique, unequalled Friend, True Self and worshipable Lord of all the worlds and all the souls, the shelter for the completion of a material life. (45) This one [Bâna] is my favored and most dear follower, by me awarded with fearlessness, o Lord, please grant him Your grace therefore, the way You were also of mercy with the master of the daityas [Prahlâda].'

(46) The Supreme Lord said: 'What you've told us, o great lord, We'll do, I fully concur with that what you determined to be your pleasure. (47) He, this son of Virocana [Bali], will indeed be spared by Me, as I gave Prahlâda the benediction: 'Your descendants will not be killed by Me' [see 7.10: 21]. (48) To subdue his pride were his arms severed by Me and was the huge military force slain which had become a burden to the earth. (49) The asura keeping four of his arms, will, not aging and immortal, of you be a principal associate who has nothing to fear on any account.'

(50) Thus attaining freedom from fear did the asura bow his head down to Krishna, placed he the son of Pradyumna with His wife on His chariot and led he them forward. (51) He [Krishna] putting Him and His wife, ornamented and with fine clothes, in front, then with the permission of S'iva left, surrounded by an aksauhinî. (52) Entering His capital fully decorated with flags, arches of victory and with the streets and crossroads sprinkled, was He respectfully with the resounding of conchshells, side drums and kettledrums welcomed by the people of the city, His relatives and the twiceborn. (53) For the one who, rising at dawn, remembers thus the victory of Krishna in the battle with S'ankara, will there be no defeat.


* Here S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî Thâkura quotes the following description of the S'iva-jvara: "The terrible S'iva-jvara had three legs, three heads, six arms and nine eyes. Showering ashes, he resembled Yamarâja at the time of universal annihilation."


Chapter 64

On Stealing from a Brahmin: King Nriga a Chameleon

(1) The son of Vyâsa said: 'One day [in their youth], o King, went the yadu-boys Sâmba, Pradyumna, Câru, Bhânu, Gada and others to a park to play. (2) Playing for a long time there looked they thirsty for water and discovered they in a dry well an amazing creature. (3) There they saw a chameleon as big as a mountain and with a mind filled with wonder about it made they, moved by compassion, the effort to lift it up. (4) Attaching straps of leather and twisted ropes were the boys not able to lift out the creature and so reported they it excitedly to Krishna. (5) The Lotus-eyed Supreme Lord, the Maintainer of the Universe, going there saw it and picked it with His left hand easily up. (6) Being touched by the hand of Uttamas'loka, was immediately the chameleon form given up for the one of a heavenly being beautiful with a complexion of molten gold and wonderful ornaments, clothes and garlands. (7) Though well aware of the cause of this asked Mukunda, so that the people in general might know: 'Who are You, o fortunate one, from your excellent appearance I dare say you're an exalted demigod! (8) What action brought you to this condition, which you certainly didn't deserve, o good soul; please tell Us, eager to know, all about yourself - that is, if you think it's the right time to speak about it here.'

(9) S'rî S'uka said: 'The king thus as such questioned by Krishna whose forms are unlimited, with his helmet as brilliant as the sun bowed down to Mâdhava and spoke to Him. (10) Nriga said: 'I, the ruler of man named Nriga [see 9.1: 11-12, 9.2: 17], am a son of [S'raddha next to the elder brother] Ikshvâku, o master, maybe Your ear caught that I am counted among the men of charity. (11) What indeed would be unknown to You o Master, Witness of the Mind of all Beings, Whose vision is undisturbed by time; yet I 'll speak as You order. (12) As many grains of sand there are on earth, as many stars there are in the sky or as many raindrops there are to a shower of rain, that many cows have I donated. (13) I gave cows complete with milk, being young , sweet, of beauty and endowed with other qualities; brown and fair, together with their calves, adorned with gold on their horns, silver on their hooves, fine cloth and garlands. (14-15) I, of pious works and performing worship with fire sacrifices, did adorn nicely and gave in charity to the saintly, young, exceptional brahmins, dedicated to the truth, well-known for their austerity and vast learning in the Vedas, who with their families in need were of good qualities and character: cows, land, gold, houses, horses and elephants; marriageable girls with maidservants, sesame seeds, silver, bedding and clothing; jewels, furniture and chariots. (16) I unknowingly, gave of a certain first class dvija [a brahmin not accepting gifts anymore, see 7.11] away to another twice-born soul a cow, which being lost had mingled with my herd. (17) She being led away was spotted by her master who said: 'She's mine', whereas he who had accepted the gift said: 'Nriga gave this one to me!'

(18) The two learned ones arguing in defense of their own interest said to me: 'You sir, as a giver were a thief!' to the hearing of which I fell in perplexity.

(19-20) Embarrassed indeed in my religious duty I supplicated with both the men of learning with 'Please give me this one cow, I'll give you a hundred thousand of best quality! You both, please be of mercy with your servant who was unaware; save me from the danger of falling down into a dirty hell!'

(21) 'I'm not in want at all o King!' thus spoke the owner and went away.

'Not even the additional countless cows I want', said the other one and left.

(22) To this occasion was I by the messengers of Yamarâja taken to his abode and there by the Lord of Death and Retribution [as follows], o God of Gods, o Master of the Universe [see also 5.26: 6, 6.1: 31 and 6.3] asked the question: (23) 'Do you first want to experience your bad deeds, o King, or rather your good deeds; as I see no end to the shining world of what you religiously gave in charity.'

(24) I thus said: 'I'll first take my bad deeds o Godhead', and so said he: 'Then fall!' and as I was falling, o Master, saw I myself as a chameleon! (25) Being Your servant generous towards the brahmins, o Kes'ava, has me not even today left the memory of the audience of You that I lost and hanker for [see also 5.8: 28]. (26) How, o Almighty One, can You in person be visible to me; You, the Supreme Soul who meditated by the masters of yoga are visible to the eye of a spotless heart - how, o Adhoks'aja, can I, whose intelligence was blinded by severe troubles, be allowed to perceive what is for those whose material life out here is completed? (27-28) O, God of Gods, Master of the Universe, Lord of the Cows, Supreme Personality; o Path Laid out for Man, Master of the Senses, Grace of the Verses, Infallible and Undiminishing One, please permit me to leave, o Krishna, for the world of the gods, o Master; may wherever I reside my consciousness be of the shelter of Your feet! (29) My obeisances unto You the Source of All Beings, the Absolute of the Truth and the Possessor of Unlimited Potencies; I offer to the Spiritual Pleasure of His Attraction, Krishna [*], the son of Vasudeva, the Lord of All forms of yoga [all forms of uniting in the consciousness], my respects.'

(30) Thus having spoken and circumambulating Him got he, touching His feet with his crown, permission to leave and boarded he, before all humans to see, a most excellent celestial chariot. (31) Krishna, the Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, the God and Soul of Dharma devoted to the brahmins, addressed His personal associates and was thus of instruction to the royalty in general. (32) If even for one more potent than fire but the little property consumed [stolen or denied] of a brahmin indeed is indigestible; what then to say of kings who imagine themselves to be controllers? (33) The hâlâhala [that was churned with Mandâra] I do not consider poison as it knows a counteraction [namely S'iva, see 8.7]; what belongs to a brahmin [though] I call poison indeed [once being misappropriated] as for that there is no antidote in the world. (34) Poison destroys the one who ingests it; fire is extinguished with water, but the fire that burns with the kindling wood of the belongings of brahmin burns one's community down to the root. (35) A brahmins property enjoyed without permission destroys three persons [in line see **] but by force [like by governance or corporate interests] enjoyed [is that true for the honor of] ten previous and ten subsequent generations [see also 9.8]. (36) Members of the royalty, blinded by royal opulence [see also B.G. 1: 44] do not foresee their own fall in hell childishly hankering for the property of a good natured brahmin. (37-38) As many particles of dust touched by the teardrops of generous brahmins who for their association do cry over their means of support being stolen, that many years will the kings and the other members of the royal family as usurpers of the brahmin's share missing the control be cooked in the hell called Kumbhîpâka [5.26: 13]. (39) He then who steals what a brahmin owns, whether it was given by oneself or someone else, is for sixty thousand years born as a worm in feces. (40) Let the wealth of a brahmin not come my way; the desire for that makes people short-lived, defeats them and deprives them of the kingdom, turning them into snakes that trouble others. (41) Dear followers, do not be inimical towards a man of learning, not even when he has sinned; even striking you physically time and again or cursing you, should you always offer him your obeisances. (42) As I carefully bow down to the learned ones all the time, should also all of you; he who does otherwise is a candidate for being punished by Me. (43) The property indeed taken away from a brahmin leads to the fall-down of the taker, even done unknowingly as, as we saw, happened to the person of Nriga with the cow of the brahmin.'

(44) The Supreme Lord Mukunda, the Purifier of All Worlds, thus having educated the residents of Dvârakâ, entered His palace.


* In the Mahâbhârata (Udyoga-parva 71.4), is stated to the name of Krishna: "The word krish is the attractive feature of the Lord's existence, and na means 'spiritual pleasure.' When the verb krish is added to na, it becomes krishna, which indicates the Absolute Truth."

** According to S'rîla S'rîdhara Svâmî, does tri-pûrusha, the Sanskrit term used here, refer to oneself, one's sons and one's grandsons.  


Chapter 65

Lord Balarâma in Vrindâvana and the Stream Divided

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'O best of the Kurus, the Supreme Lord Balarâma mounted [one day] His chariot eager to see His friends and traveled to Nanda's cowherd village. (2) By the gopas and gopîs, who for a long time had missed Him indeed, was Râma embraced and offering His respects to His parents was He joyfully greeted with prayers: (3) 'O descendant of Das'ârha, please always protect us together with Your younger brother, the Lord of the Universe', and saying this pulling Him close on their laps embraced they Him wetting Him with the water from their eyes. (4-6) Then going up to the cowherd men with smiles taking their hands and being seated comfortably and so on, asked they, who had dedicated all their good fortune to lotus-eyed Krishna and had gathered from all sides, with Him at ease with voices faltering of love questions in regard to the well-being of their dear ones. (7) 'O Balarâma are all our relatives well? Do all of You, wives, children and all, still remember us, o Râma? (8) To our fortune was the sinful Kamsa killed and were our relatives freed; thank heaven were our enemies killed and conquered and found they shelter in a fortress [Dvârakâ]!' (9) Honored to see Râma in their midst the gopîs asked with a smile: 'Is Krishna, the darling of the city women, living happily?' (10) Does He still think of His folk, His [foster] father and His mother; will He indeed also ever once come to see His mother Himself and does He with His mighty arms remember our enduring service? (11-12) For His sake have we, o Lord, abandoned our own people so difficult to give up; our mothers, fathers, brothers, husbands, children and sisters, o descendant of Das'ârha. Suddenly rejecting, leaving us, these ones, broke He off the friendship; what woman would not believe now then being addressed? (13) How indeed would those smart city women take heed of the words of Him so unsteady of heart in His breaking up; they verily are, with His wonderful talks and beautiful smiles, brought to life by the rouse of lust. (14) What use has it for us to discuss Him, o gopîs, please speak of other topics; if He passes His time without us, then we will do likewise [see also 10.47: 47].'

(15) Thus speaking of the laughter, the conversations, the attractive glances and remembering the gait and the loving embrace of S'âuri, the women cried. (16) Sankarshana, the Supreme Lord, being an expert in different kinds of conciliation, consoled them with Krishna's confidential messages that touched their hearts. (17) Râma then resided there for the two months of Madhu and Mâdhava [the first two from the vernal equinox], indeed also during the nights bringing [amorous] delight to the gopîs [see also 10.15: 8]. (18) In a grove near the Yamunâ [known as S'rîrâma- ghaththa] with by the wind the fragrance of kumuda [night-blooming] lotuses, enjoyed He, bathing in the light of the full moon, it to be served by the many women. (19) Sent by Varuna flowed from the hollow of a tree the divine [intoxicating spirit] Vârunî that with its aroma made the entire forest even more fragrant. (20) Balarâma, smelling the fragrance of that honeyflow carried over by the wind, went to where it was and drank from it together with the women. (21) Kettledrums resounded in the sky, the Gandharvas with joy rained down flowers and the sages praised Râma in His heroic deeds. (22) As the singers of heaven sang the glory enjoyed He, beautified by the circle of young women, just like Indra's bull elephant in a herd of females. (23) With His pastimes being sung by the women wandered Halâyudha [Balarâma as 'armed with the plow'] through the forest inebriated with his eyes overcome by the intoxication.

(24-25) With flowers, with one earring, mad with joy and carrying His Vaijayantî garland and with His smiling, lotuslike face covered with perspiration like snowflakes, called He for the Yamunâ with the purpose to play in the water, but when the river ignored His drunken words therewith, was she by Him with the tip of His plow dragged angrily for not coming: (26) 'You sinful one do not come, being called by Me, and because of disrespecting Me moving as you like, will I bring you in a hundredfold with the tip of My plow!'

(27) Yamunâ thus chided, afraid fallen at His feet, o King, spoke trembling to the Yadu-child the words [*]: (28) 'Râma, Râma, o mighty armed one, I don't know the prowess of You by whose single portion [of S'esha] the earth is sustained, o Master of the Universe. (29) Please, o Lord Supreme, let go of me, who has surrendered, I had no knowledge of the status of [You as the] Supreme Personality, o Soul of the Universe so compassionate with Your devotees!'.

(30) Entreated released Balarâma, the Supreme Lord, the Yamunâ and then submerged Himself with the women in the water like he was the elephant king with his wives. (31) Having played to His liking and risen from the water presented Kânti ['the female beauty, the brightness of the moon', a name of Lakshmî] a pair of blue garments, most valuable ornaments and a splendid necklace. (32) Dressing up with the blue clothes and putting on the golden necklace appeared He, excellently ornamented and anointed, as resplendent as great lord Indra his elephant. (33) Even today are, o King, the currents of the Yamunâ pulled by Balarâma unlimited in His potency, seen as evidence of His prowess. (34) Thus passed for Râma, in His mind enchanted by the exquisite women of the cow-community, all the nights that He enjoyed in Vraja, like a single one.


 * The paramparâ comments: 'According to S'rîla Jîva Gosvâmî, the goddess who appeared before Lord Balarâma is an expansion of S'rîmatî Kâlindî, one of Lord Krishna's queens in Dvârakâ. S'rîla Jîva Gosvâmî calls her a "shadow" of Kâlindî, and S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî confirms that she is an expansion of Kâlindî, not Kâlindî herself. S'rîla Jîva Gosvâmî also gives evidence from S'rî Hari-vams'a - in the statement pratyuvâcârnava-vadhûm - that Goddess Yamunâ is the wife of the ocean. The Hari-vams'a therefore also refers to her as sâgarânganâ.'



Chapter 66

The False Vâsudeva Paundraka and His Son Consumed by Their Own Fire

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'With Balarâma gone to Nanda's cowherd village sent the ruler of Karûsha [Paundraka], o King, foolishly thinking 'I am Vâsudeva', a messenger to Krishna. (2) Childish people had alluded: 'You are Vâsudeva, the Supreme Lord descended as the Master of the Universe!', and so he imagined himself to be the Infallible One. (3) Like a boy of little intelligence appointed king by children did he, being silly, send a messenger to Krishna Whose Path is Inscrutable in Dvârakâ. (4) The envoy arriving in Dvârakâ then in the royal assembly relayed to Krishna Almighty with the Lotuspetal Eyes the message of his king: (5) 'I Vâsudeva, the one and only without a second, have descended to this world with the purpose of showing mercy to the living beings. You however, have to give up your false title! (6) O Sâtvata, giving up our symbols, which you carry out of delusion, You better come to me for shelter; if not so, give me battle instead.'

(7) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing that boasting of Paundraka so poor of intelligence, laughed the members of the assembly headed by Ugrasena loudly. (8) The Supreme Lord, after the joking was done, said to the messenger: 'I'll hurl you, o fool, the symbols you so boast about. (9) The shelter of dogs you'll be, o ignoramus, lying dead with that face of yours covered by herons, vultures and vathas all around.'

(10) Thus addressed carried the messenger those insults completely over to his master and went Krishna, riding His chariot, to Kâs'î [Vârânasî]. (11) The mighty warrior Paundraka upon observing His preparations quickly came forth from the city joined by two akshauhinî's. (12-14) The Lord saw Paundraka followed behind by his friend, the master of Kâs'î, with three akshauhinî's, o King, as he was carrying a conch, a disc, a sword and a club, a S'ârnga and the mark of a s'rîvatsa and other symbols, including a kaustubha-gem and the decoration of a forest flower garland. Wearing a pair of fine silken yellow garments and in his banner Garuda wore he a valuable crown and had he gleaming shark-shaped earrings as his ornament. (15) The sight of him dressed up as His spitting image, like he was an actor on a stage, made the Lord laugh heartily. (16) With tridents, clubs and bludgeons, pikes, blades, barbed missiles, lances, swords, axes and arrows was the Lord attacked by the enemies. (17) Krishna however with His club, sword, disc and arrows fiercely tormented that military force of elephants, chariots, horses and infantry of Paundraka and the king of Kâs'î, like He was the fire at the end of the world to the different kinds of living entities. (18) That battlefield, strewn with the by His disc cut to pieces chariots, horses, elephants, bipeds, mules and camels, shone like the horrible playground of the Lord of the Ghosts [Bhûtapati, or S'iva], bringing pleasure to the wise. (19) S'auri then said to Paundraka: 'Those weapons you spoke of to Me through the words of your messenger, I now discharge at you. (20) I'll make you renounce My name and all, that you falsely assumed, o fool; as for the day [as you wanted] taking to the shelter of You, if not wishing the battle.'

(21) Thus deriding, with His sharp arrows driving Paundraka out of his chariot, lopped He with His disc off his head, like Indra with his thunderbolt would cut a mountain top. (22) So too severed He with His arrows the head of the king of Kâs'î from his body, sending it flying into Kâs'î-puri like the wind transporting a flowercup of a lotus. (23) Thus killing the envious Paundraka together with his friend, entered the Lord Dvârakâ being hailed by the perfected singing the nectarean stories about Him. (24) And so did he [Paundraka] of whom by his constant meditation upon Him in assuming the personal form of the Lord all bondage was completely shattered, become fully absorbed in Him [viz Krishna conscious], o King [see sârûpya]. (25) Seeing the head with the earrings fallen at the palace gate doubted the people: 'Whose head would this be?' (26) Recognizing it as the head of the king, the ruler of Kâs'î, cried his queens, his sons and other relatives and the citizens out loud to it: 'Alas master, o master, o King, we're killed!' (27-28) His son named Sudakshina for the father executing the funeral rites, made up his mind and decided: 'In order to avenge my father I'll kill my father's murderer.' and so worshiped he as su-dakshina, 'the excellence of the reward', together with priests with great attention Mahes'vara [Lord S'iva]. (29) At [the holy place of] Avimukta offered the great lord him satisfied a choice of benedictions, upon which he as his benediction with the mighty demigod chose for a means to slay the Killer of his father. (30-31) [S'iva said: ] 'With brahmins and the original priest be of service to the dakshina [southern] fire with an abhicâra ['hurting'] ritual of use against an enemy of the brahmins, so that surrounded by the Pramathas [see also 10.63: 6] your desire is fulfilled', and thus instructed did he with the purpose to harm Krishna observe the vows. (32-33) Then rose up from the fire of the altar pit, an impressive figure most horrendous with a tuft of hair, beard and mustache like molten copper, hot radiating cinders of eyes, terrible teeth and a harsh face with arched and furrowed eyebrows, who, with his tongue licking the corners of his mouth, naked shook with a blazing trident [see also 4.5: 3 and 6.9: 12] (34) With legs as big as palm trees shaking the earth's surface ran he accompanied by ghosts to Dvârakâ burning the directions. (35) Seeing him, created from the abhicâra fire, approaching were all the residents of Dvârakâ like animals with a big forest fire struck with fear. (36) Distraught went they in panic to the Supreme Personality of Godhead who in the royal court was playing a game of dice [and said]: 'Save us, save us from the fire burning up the city, o Lord of the Three Worlds!'

(37) Hearing this clamor of the people and seeing how upset His own men were, laughed S'aranya, the Protector, loudly and said: 'Do not be afraid of this, I'll protect you!'

(38) The Almighty Lord, the Witness within and without everyone, understood the creature to be of Mahes'vara and aimed to his demise His cakra positioned at His side. (39) That weapon, the sudars'ana cakra of Krishna, like a million suns blazing with an effulgence like the fire at the end of the universe tormented with its heat the sky, the heavens and the earth in the ten directions as well as the fire [of the demon; see also 9.4: 46]. (40) He, the fire that was created, frustrated by the power of the weapon of Him with the Disc in His Hand turned around, o King, and in his deference from all sides closed in on Vârânasî and burned to death Sudakshina and all his priests with the abhicâra he had called for himself. (41) So also did the cakra of Vishnu in pursuit enter Vârânasî with its gateways and watchtowers and its many raised porches, assembly halls, market places, warehouses and the buildings housing the elephants, horses, chariots and grains. (42) Having laid in ashes all of Vârânasî went Vishnu's sudars'ana disc back to the side of Krishna Whose Actions are Effortless. (43) The mortal human who concentrated recounts or hears this heroic pastime of the Supreme One Praised in the Verses will be released of all sins.


Chapter 67

Balarâma Slays the Ape Dvivida

(1) The honorable king said: 'I wish to hear further of Râma the Unlimited and Immeasurable One whose activities are so amazing; what else did the Prabhu do?'

(2) S'rî S'uka said: 'There was a certain ape named Dvivida ['the double-minded one'], a friend of Naraka [or Bhaumâsura, see 10.59], who as the mighty brother of Mainda had been Sugrîva [the monkey-chief, see also 9.10: 32] his adviser [*]. (3) The ape to avenge his friend [who was killed by Krishna] wreaked havoc setting fire to the cities, villages, mines and cowherd communities of the kingdom. (4) Some day he tore loose rocks and devastated with them all the lands of the province of Ânarta, especially there where the Killer of His friend, the Lord, dwelt [in Dvârakâ]. (5) The other day stood he at the shore in the midst of the ocean to churn with a force of ten thousand elephants with his arms the ocean its water and flooded he the coastal regions. (6) At the âs'ramas of the exalted seers he, wicked, broke down the trees and fouled the sacrificial fires with urine and stool. (7) Like a wasp hiding an insect, threw he brutally men and women in a mountain valley in caves which he sealed with large boulders. (8) Thus ravaging the lands and [even] defiling woman of standing went he, [some day] hearing the sweetest music, to the mountain named Raivataka. (9-10) There he saw Balarâma the Lord of the Yadus wearing a lotus garland, most attractive in all His limbs in the midst of a bevy of women rolling eyes singing, intoxicated of drinking vârunî [see also 10.65: 19], with His body brilliantly glowing like an elephant in rut. (11) The mischievous tree-dweller climbed on a branch and presented himself by shaking the tree and crying out fanatically. (12) Seeing his impudence laughed Baladeva's consorts, as women fond of fun being thoughtless, loudly. (13) The ape ridiculed them with odd gestures of his eyebrows and such and showed right in front of them as Râma was watching, his arse to them. (14-15) Balarâma, the best of launchers, threw angry a rock at him, but the rascal ape making fun of Him dodging it seized the jar of liquor and further raised His anger by wickedly laughing breaking the jar and pulling the ladies' clothes; and thus was he, so powerful, full of false pride with his insults in offense with the Strong One. (16) Faced with his rudeness and the lands disrupted by him, took He angry up His club and plow, decided to kill the enemy. (17) Dvivida also of great talents uprooted a s'âla tree with one hand and approaching swiftly with it struck Balarâma on the head. (18) But Sankarshana like a mountain unshaken most strongly took hold of it as it descended on His head and struck him back with Sunanda [his club]. (19-21) Hit by the club on his skull with the downpour of blood looking as nice as a mountain red of oxide, charged he, ignoring the blow, uprooting and stripping with another one violently again, but Balarâma infuriated by it shattered it in a hundred pieces just as another one, which he next smashed furiously, was broken in hundred. (22) Thus fighting, by the Supreme Lord time and again being beaten and beaten, denuded he the forest from everywhere uprooting the trees. (23) When he, frustrated, next released a hail of stones over Baladeva, pulverized the Wielder of the Club them all with ease. (24) With both his arms as big as palm trees clenching his fists, did the champion of the apes, confronting the Son of Rohinî with them, beat Him on the chest. (25) The Great Lord of the Yadus thereupon threw aside His club and plow and hammered with His hands him enraged on the collarbone so that Dvivida came to fall vomiting blood. (26) Of the impact of him shook the mountain with all its cliffs and trees, o tiger among the Kurus, like it was a boat in the water tossed by the wind. (27) Sounding 'Jaya!', 'All glories!' and 'Excellent!', poured the enlightened, the perfected and the great sages residing in heaven down a shower of flowers.

(28) Thus having finished Dvivida who wreaked havoc in the world, was the Supreme Lord entering the city by the people glorified in song.'  


* According to S'rîla Jîva Gosvâmî, the Mainda and Dvivida mentioned in this verse are empowered expansions of these Ramâyana deities, who as residents of Lord Râmacandra's Vaikunthha domain fell because of an offense with Laksksmâna. S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî compares the fall, in bad association with Nakara, of Dvivida and Mainda - whom he considers eternally liberated devotees - to that of Jaya and Vijaya.  


 Chapter 68

The Marriage of Sâmba and the Kuru City Dragged Trembling of His Anger

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'O King, the daughter of Duryodhana named Lakshmanâ was by Sâmba ['with the mother'], the son of Jâmbavatî always victorious in battle, abducted from her svayamvara. (2) The Kauravas said angered: 'How ill-behaved this boy insulting us by force taking the maiden against her will. (3) Arrest him who is so undisciplined; what can the Vrishnis do who through our grace acquired the land we gave them to enjoy? (4) If they, learning that their son was captured, get down here, will the Vrishnis, broken in their pride attain the peace like the senses will properly brought under control.'

(5) Having said this set Karna, S'ala, Bhûri, Yajñaketu [or Bhuris'ravâ] and Duryodhana, with the permission of the Kuru-eldest [Bhîshma], out to fight Sâmba. (6) The great warrior Sâmba seeing the followers of Dhritarâshthra rushing toward him, took up his splendid bow and alone stood his ground like a lion. (7) Determined to capture him said they, headed by Karna, full of anger: 'You stand, stand and fight', upon which the bowmen, getting before him, showered him with arrows. (8) He the son of the Yadus, o best of the Kurus, unjustly [with the lot of them] attacked by the Kurus, as the child of the Inconceivable One [Krishna] didn't tolerate that anymore than a lion would tolerate such of lower animals. (9-10) Twanging His wonderful bow pierced the hero all by himself, at the same time, each of the six of Karna and their chariots with as many arrows: with four arrows for each team of four horses and with one arrow each their charioteer and warrior; and for that was he by the great bowmen honored. (11) With four of them after his horses, one after his charioteer and one splitting his bow, drove they him out of his chariot. (12) Once they in the fight had the young boy out of his chariot, bound the Kurus him up and entered they, with their girl, victoriously their city.

(13) Hearing Nârada Muni's words on this, o King, awakened [with the Yadus] the anger against the Kurus [see also 10.49: 27] and prepared they, urged on by Ugrasena, for war. (14-15) But Râma, He who removes the contamination of the Age of Quarrel [Kali-yuga], not wishing a quarrel between the Vrishnis and Kurus, calmed down the Vrishni heroes and went with His chariot effulgent like the sun to Hastinâpura, surrounded by brahmins and the elders of the family like he was the moon with the seven planets [then known, see also 5.22]. (16) Getting to Hastinâpura stayed Râma outside in a park and sent He Uddhava to find out what Dhritarâshthra had in mind. (17) He, offering his respects to the son of Ambikâ [Dhritarâshthra], to Bhîshma and Drona, Bâhlika and Duryodhana, informed them that Râma had arrived. (18) They, extremely pleased to hear that He, Balarâma, their Dearest Friend had arrived, all, after duly paying him their respects, went forth with auspicious offerings in their hands. (19) Going up to Balarâma presented they as was proper cows and water to welcome Him and did those who knew of His power bow down their heads. (20) Inquiring with one another to hear whether their relatives were hale and hearty spoke Râma next forthright the words: (21) 'Hearing with undivided attention what Ugrasena our master, the ruler of the rulers of the earth, has demanded of you, should you without delay act to that: (22) Your in defiance of the rules with the many of you defeating and binding but a single one who did follow the codes [of war], I do, among relatives desiring the unity, tolerate... [but I do not wish to see that continued].'

(23) Hearing the words of Baladeva that befitting His own power were filled with potency, courage and strength answered the Kauravas enraged: (24) 'Oh what a great wonder this is, the inescapable movement of Time; what is a shoe wants to climb on top of the head that is ornamented with a crown! (25) These ones the Vrishnis connected in marriage, sharing our beds, seats and meals were by us brought to equality and given their thrones. (26) By our looking the other way could they enjoy the pair of yak-tail fans, the conchshell, the white sunshade, the crown, throne and royal bed [compare: 10.60: 10-20]. (27) Enough with the symbols of the gods among men for the Yadus which to the giver [that we are] work as adverse as giving nectar to snakes; the Yadus who could prosper by our grace, now commanding have lost all shame indeed. (28) How would even Indra appropriate that what is not given by Bhîshma, Drona, Arjuna or the other Kurus: it's like a sheep claiming a lions kill!'

(29) The son of Vyâsa said: 'They who in their arrogance of the birth, relations and the opulences that made them great, o best of the Bharatas, as rude men with harsh words made this clear to Râma, disappeared into the city. (30) Faced with the bad character of the Kurus and hearing their unbecoming words said the Infallible Lord inflamed with rage, laughing repeatedly and difficult to behold: (31) 'Clearly by various passions clamoring are these dishonest people, indeed not desiring the peace, to be pacified with physical punishment like animals to be beaten with a stick! (32-33) Oh, desiring the peace for these ones I came here, tentatively having calmed the Yadus boiling with rage as also Krishna being angry; and those very ones dull-headed addicted to quarreling do wicked in disrespect of Him - Myself, conceited abide by the use of harsh words!! (34) And Ugrasena would no way be fit to command the Bhojas, Vrishnis and Andhakas while S'akra ['the powerful one' or Indra] and other rulers follow his orders!!! (35) And He [Krishna], sitting in Sudharmâ [the heavenly council-hall], of Whom the pârijâta tree brought down from the immortals is enjoyed [see 10.59: 38-39], that same One wouldn't even be fit an elevated seat??? (36) He, the Ruler of the Complete, whose two feet the goddess of Fortune herself worships; He, truly the Lord of S'rî, wouldn't deserve the paraphernalia of a human king?!?! (37) He of whom all the exalted rulers of the world on their helmets hold the dust of His lotuslike feet; the place of worship of all holy places of whom Brahmâ, S'iva and I also next to the goddess, as portions of a portion, also constantly carry the dust with care; where would His royal throne be?????! (38) The Vrishnis, they enjoy but a limited parcel of land granted by the Kurus and We ourselves, as the shoes so called, that would be us - but the Kurus would be the head?!!!? (39) Ah those proud madmen intoxicated with their would-be power of rule, what man in command can tolerate their inconsistent, dismal drivel? (40) Today I'll rid the earth of the Kauravas', and thus speaking enraged taking His plow rose He as if to set fire to the three worlds.'

(41) With the tip of His plow He infuriated tore close the city of Hastinâpura and dragged it with the intent to cast it in the Ganges. (42-43) When the Kauravas saw how the city, about to fall in the Ganges, being dragged tumbled about like a raft, got they into a flurry and went they, to remain alive, with their families to the Master for shelter, putting Lakshmanâ and Sâmba in front with folded hands: (44) 'Râma, o Râma, o Foundation of Everything [Akhilâdhâra], we the infatuated, bad of understanding not knowing Your Majesty, should be forgiven the offense. (45) Of the continuance, generating and reuniting are You alone the cause without any other; the worlds accordingly are, so one says, the playthings of your playing, o Heavenly Lord. (46) You alone, o Unlimited one, carry on Your head playfully the globe of the earth, o Thousand-headed One [see also 5.25] and in the end are You the One who, within Your own body having withdrawn the universe, lie down to remain the One Without a Second [see also 6.16: 29-64]. (47) The anger of You meant for the instruction of everyone, o Bhagavân, Sustainer of the Mode of Goodness, is not there out of hatred or envy but there for the purpose of the continuance and protection of the living being. (48) Obeisances to You, o Soul of All Beings, o Holder of All Energies, o Inexhaustible One, Maker of the Universe; let there be the reverence for You to whom we came for shelter.'

(49) S'rî S'uka said: 'Lord Bala thus propitiated by the surrendered in great distress of the quaking of their place of residence, very calm and graciously saying 'Do not be afraid' relieved them of their fear. (50-51) As a dowry for his daughter gave Duryodhana in fatherly affection away twelve hundred sixty-year-old elephants and hundred-and-twenty thousand horses, sixty-thousand golden chariots shining like the sun and a thousand maidservants with jeweled lockets around their necks. (52) The Supreme Lord, the chief of all the Sâtvatas, accepting that, departed with His son and daughter-in-law, bid farewell by His well-wishers. (53) Then, having entered His city and meeting the relatives in their hearts bound to Him, the Wielder of the Plow, related He in the midst of the assembly of leaders of the Yadus everything He had enacted with the Kurus. (54) And for true, even today shows this city the signs of Râma's prowess down by the Ganges seen prominently elevated to the south. 


Thus ends the third part of the tenth Canto of the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam named: 'Summum Bonum'. 


Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/c/8/AnandAadhar.html

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/ 

For this original translation next to the Sanskrit dictionary and the Vedabase of the BBT offering the work that Svâmi Prabhupâda's pupils did to complete his translation of the Bhâgavatam, has a one-volume printed copy been used with an extensive commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedânta Swami Prabhupâda. ISBN: o-91277-27-7 . See the S'rîmad Bhâgavatam treasury: http://bhagavata.org/treasury/links.html for links to other sites concerning the subject.

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