The Mahabharata
  Srimad Bhagavatam

  Rig Veda
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  Sankara Bhashya
  By Edwin Arnold

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  Ramanuja SriBhashya


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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 IV:

Summum Bonum


Chapter 69 Nârada Muni's Vision of Krishna in His Household Affairs

Chapter 70 Krishna's Routines, Troubles and Nârada Pays Another Visit

Chapter 71 The Lord to the Word of Uddhava Travels to Indraprastha

Chapter 72 Jarâsandha Killed by Bhîma and the Kings Freed

Chapter 73 Lord Krishna Blesses the Liberated Kings

Chapter 74 The Râjasûya: Krishna the First and S'is'upâla Killed

Chapter 75 Concluding the Râjasûya and Duryodhana Laughed at

Chapter 76 The Battle Between S'âlva and the Vrishnis

Chapter 77 S'âlva and the Saubha-fortress Finished

Chapter 78 Dantavakra Killed and Romaharshana Beaten with a Blade of Grass

Chapter 79 Lord Balarâma Slays Balvala and Visits the Holy Places

Chapter 80 An Old Brahmin Friend Visits Krishna

Chapter 81 The Brahmin Honored: Lord Krishna the Godhead of the Brahmins

Chapter 82 All Kings and the Inhabitants of Vrindâvana on Pilgrimage Reunite with Krishna

Chapter 83 Draupadî Meets the Queens of Krishna

Chapter 84 Vasudeva of Sacrifice to the Sages at Kurukshetra Explaining the Path of Success

Chapter 85 Lord Krishna Instructs Vasudeva and Retrieves Devakî's Sons

Chapter 86 Arjuna Kidnaps Subhadrâ, and Krishna Instructs Bahulas'va and S'rutadeva

Chapter 87 The Underlying Mystery: Prayers of the Personified Vedas

Chapter 88 Lord S'iva Saved from Vrikâsura

Chapter 89 Vishnu the Best of Gods and the Krishnas Retrieve a Brâhmin's Sons

Chapter 90 The Queens Play and Speak and Lord Krishna's Glories Summarized



 Chapter 69

Nârada Muni's Vision of Krishna in His Household Affairs

(1-6) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing that Lord Krishna had killed Naraka [see 10. 59] and that He singly had married with so many women wanted Nârada to see that [and thought:]: 'How wonderful this with a single body simultaneously being married, in sixteen thousand separate residences alone with the women.' Thus eager to take a look came the sage of the gods to Dvârakâ, flowery with its parks and pleasure gardens resounding with flocks of birds and swarms of bees. Blooming blue lotuses [indîvaras], day-blooming ones [ambhojas], white esculent ones [kahlâras], moonlight-blooming lotuses [kumudas] and water lilies [utpalas] filled the lakes noisy with the sounds of swans and cranes. There were, embellished with crystal glass, silver and great emeralds, nine hundred thousand palatial mansions splendorously furnished with gold and jewels. Systematically laid out with many avenues, roads, intersections and squares; with assembly houses and charming temples for the gods, were its paths and courtyards, shopping streets and patios, all sprinkled with water and was the sun warded off by banners waving from the flagpoles. (7-8) In the city there was an opulent quarter saluted by all the different authorities where Tvashtâ [the architect Vis'vakarmâ], for the Lord, in full had exhibited his expertise. There he entered one great palace of the sixteen thousand residences for S'auri's wives that beautified it. (9-12) It was supported by coral pillars excellently covered by vaidûrya ['cat-eye' gemstone], had walls bedecked with sapphires and an ever shining floor, was built with canopies by Tvashtâ constructed with hangings of pearls and had seats and beds made of ivory decorated with the finest jewels. There were well-dressed, adorned maidservants with lockets around their necks and finely clad men with turbans and armor, jewels and earrings. Many gem-studded lamps dispelled with their light the darkness and on the carved eaves, my best, danced the peacocks crying loudly in taking the aguru-smoke curling through the latticed windows for clouds. (13) Inside saw the man of learning the Lord of the Sâtvatas together with His wife fanning Him with a yak-tail fan with a golden handle, who at every moment was supported by a thousand maidservants equal to her in personal qualities, beauty, youth and fine dress. (14) The Supreme Lord, the Best of All Subservient to the Dharma, noticing him, immediately rose from S'rî her couch and bowing down with joined palms made him sit on His own seat. (15) Even though being the Supreme Guru of the Living Being, washed He his feet and carried He that water on His head; [the water to which] He as the Master of the Saintly justly carries the name of 'the Lord for the Brahmins' [Brâhmanya deva] since it is from the holy shrine of His feet that the complete bathing is found [see also the stories of the Ganges 5.17 & 9.9]. (16) As enjoined by the scriptures having been of full worship with the devarishi did the Greatest Sage, the Original Nârâyana, the friend of Nara, converse with him in measured words sweet as nectar and asked: 'O Master what may We do for the Fortunate One?'.

(17) S'rî Nârada said: 'It raises no wonder at all for You, o Almighty Ruler of All the Worlds who subdues all the envious, [yet] to be of friendship with the people, for You, widely acclaimed, are well known out of Your own will to have descended for the highest good of the continuation and the protection of the Living Being [*]. (18) Having seen Your pair of feet, that for Your devotees are the path of liberation upon which lord Brahmâ and the other gods with their unfathomable intelligence meditate in the heart and which for those who are fallen in the well of a material existence are the shelter for deliverance, I ask for Your blessing to remember You so that I in my travels can constantly think of You.'

(19) Next entered Nârada, my dear, another residence of a wife of Krishna, with the desire to know the mystical power of illusion [yoga-mâyâ] of the Master of All Masters of Yoga. (20-22) And there indeed he saw Him as well, with Uddhava playing a game of dice, being of worship with transcendental devotion and standing up in order to seat him and so on, asking him, as if He didn't know, 'When has your good self arrived? How can those [householders] who are not so complete, as We are, do what should be done for those [sannyâsîs] who are complete? Anyway, please tell Us, o brahmin, how to be a success in this birth', but Nârada, astonished, standing up went silently to another palace. (23) And there he saw Govinda coddling His small children. Then, in another house, he saw Him preparing for a bath. (24) Here he saw Him offering oblations and there worshiping the five sacrificial fires [see mahâ-yajñas] with the obligatory rituals; then He fed the twice-born and somewhere else He ate the remnants. (25) Somewhere of sunset-worship chanted He controlling His speech the mantra [see gayâtri and japa] and elsewhere moved He about with His sword and shield in the lanes of practice. (26) Here the Elder Brother of Gada, rode horses, elephants and chariots and there He was lying on His sofa by bards being praised. (27) This place He was consulting with advisers, Uddhava and others and that place was He engaged sporting in the water surrounded by dancing girls and other women. (28) Somewhere He gave excellent cows well ornamented to the twiceborn and elsewhere listened He to the auspicious classical stories [purânas] and epic histories [itihâsas]. (29) Laughing and joking with His beloved in this mansion, practiced He elsewhere the religion [dharma], the economy [artha] and the [kâma] physical lusts [to be regulated, see also purushârthas]. (30) Sitting alone in a place to meditate on the Original Person Transcendental to the Material Nature, rendered He in another place menial service to the elders being of worship with the things of desire. (31) Planning for war with certain people here and elsewhere making peace, were Kes'ava together with Râma elsewhere heartening the welfare of the pious. (32) [He saw Him] arranging opulent weddings of daughters and sons at the right time according the vidhi with wives and husbands compatible to them. (33) [He saw how] with the people in wonder with great celebrations the children of the Master of the Masters of Yoga were sent away from home and brought back. (34) With elaborate sacrifices in worship of all the gods being busy here was He there according the dharma in civil service arranging for wells, parks and monasteries and such. (35) For a hunting expedition He this place mounted His horse from Sindhî while He that place, surrounded by the most valorous Yadus, killed the animals to be offered in sacrifice [see **]. (36) Some place moved the Yogamaster in the vicinity about in disguise in the homes of His ministers, eager to find out with each of them what their mentality was. (37) Thereupon said Nârada to Hrishîkes'a, constraining his laughter to what he had seen unfolding of His yogamâyâ of assuming the human role: (38) 'Perceived by the service to Your feet we [now] know of Your mystical potencies, that even for the great mystics are hard to envision, o Lord of Yoga, o Supreme Soul. (39) Permit me to follow in humility, o Godhead, I'll wander about Your places flooded with the fame, loudly singing Your pastimes that purify all the worlds.'

(40) The Supreme Lord said: 'O brahmin, I am the speaker of it, the performer of it and the sanctioner teaching it to the world; situated in this, o son, do not be disturbed.'

(41) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus he saw [as no one else could see ***] Him present in one form in all the mansions performing the purifying spiritual duties for householders. (42) Having witnessed Krishna's unlimited prowess in the elaborate repeated manifestation of His yogamâyâ, fell the seer filled with wonder in amazement. (43) With the artha, kâma and dharma [of household life, see also 7.14] thus by Lord Krishna's faithful heart thoroughly honored, went he pleased indeed away keeping Him in mind. (44) Thus following the path of human beings did Nârâyana, for the welfare of everyone having manifested His potencies, my dear, enjoy, being satisfied by the shy affectionate glances and laughter of sixteen thousand of the finest consorts. (45) Whoever, my dear, but chants, listens or appreciates [reads of] the sensual activities which, inimitable in this world, are performed by Him who is the cause of the dissolution, generation and ongoing business of the universe, will develop devotion for the Supreme Lord, the path to liberation indeed.


* The paramparâ adds here: 'As pointed out by S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî, all living beings are in fact servants of the Lord. The âcârya quotes the following verse from the Padma Purâna to elucidate:

a-kârenocyate vishnuh
s'rîr u-kârena kathyate
ma-kâras tu tayor dâsah
pañca-vims'ah prakîrtitah

"[In the mantra aum] the letter a signifies Lord Vishnu, the letter u signifies the goddess S'rî, and the letter m refers to their servant, who is the twenty-fifth element." The twenty-fifth element is the jîva, the living being. Every living being is a servant of the Lord, and the Lord is the true friend of every living being. Thus even when the Lord chastises envious persons like Jarâsandha, such punishment amounts to real friendship, since both the Lord's chastisement and His blessing are for the benefit of the living being.'

** Though this activity by the vidhi rule of dayâ is forbidden to the common people and the brahmins, in order to basically be compassionate with all living beings, is it in certain cases allowed to kill animals in the vedic order. S'rîla Prabhupâda comments: "According to Vedic regulations, the kshatriyas were allowed to kill prescribed animals on certain occasions, either to maintain peace in the forests or to offer the animals in the sacrificial fire. Kshatriyas are allowed to practice this killing art because they have to kill their enemies mercilessly to maintain peace in society." [see also e.g. 4: 26, 7.15, 10.1: 4, 10.56: 13,10.58: 13-16 and 10.58: 13-16].

*** The paramparâ adds to this: 'As stated in Text 2 of this chapter, all the Lord's activities in the many palaces were performed by the Lord's single spiritual form (ekena vapushâ), which manifested in many places at once. This vision was revealed to Nârada because of his desire to see it and the Lord's desire to show it to him. S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî points out that the other residents of Dvârakâ could see Krishna only in the particular part of the city they themselves occupied, and not anywhere else, even if they would sometimes go to another precinct on some business. Thus the Lord gave a special view of His pastimes to His beloved devotee Nârada Muni.'



Chapter 70

Krishna's Routines, Troubles and Nârada Pays Another Visit

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Then, as dawn was approaching, were the roosters crowing cursed by the wives of the Sweet Lord who, with their heads being held by their husbands [the One Yogamâyâ Lord in Many], were disturbed over [the consequent] separation. (2) Birds roused from sleep by the breeze from the parijâta trees with their bees woke Krishna noisily singing like they were the poets at the court. (3) But Vaidarbhî [Rukminî] didn't like that most auspicious time of the day because it would deny her the arms of Krishna around her. (4-5) Rising during the brahma-muhûrta [the hour before sunrise] did Mâdhava touch water and clear His mind meditating on the unequaled, exclusive, self-luminous Self beyond all dullness of matter that, infallible by its [His] own nature perpetually dispels the impurity and, known as Brahman by the causes of its [His] own energies of creation and destruction to this [universe], manifests the joy of existence [see also 3.29: 31 & 36-37, B.G. 7: 5 & 6 and *]. (6) Then, according the vidhi having bathed in pure water, performed He, the most truthful One, first dressing in lower and upper garments, the entire sequence of the worship at dawn and such and chanted He, following oblations in the fire, quietly controlling His speech the vedic mantra [the Gâyatrî, see also **]. (7-9) Consequent to His own nature in worship of the rising sun propitiating His own expansions - the gods, the sages and forefathers, His elders and ones of learning with due respect, donated He day by day many, many good-natured cows with gold on their horns, silver on front of their hooves and pearl necklaces, who were rich with milk and had only one calf born from them. They, nicely caparisoned were to the ones of learning presented with linen, deerskins, sesame seeds and ornaments [see also ***]. (10) Paying His respects to the cows, the men of learning, the godly, the elders, the spiritual teachers and to all living beings who were but expansions of Himself, touched He [giving darshan, all persons and] things auspicious. (11) He, the very ornament of society, decorated Himself with the clothes, divine garlands, colors and jewelry fitting for Him. (12) Caring as well for the ghee [used in the sacrifices] as the mirror attended He to the cows, the bulls, the twice-born, the gods and the objects of desire, in arranging for gifts to the satisfaction of all societal classes living in the city and the palace and greeted He His ministers answering in full to all their needs. (13) First distributing garlands, betel nut and sandalwood paste to the learned, [and then] to His friends, His ministers and His wives, would He next partake of them Himself. (14) His driver, by then having brought His supremely wonderful chariot yoked with the horses Sugrîva and so on [see 10.53: 5], stood bowing before Him. (15) Holding the charioteer his hands He then joined by Sâtyaki and Uddhava mounted it like He was the sun rising over the mountains in the east. (16) With difficulty parting of the palace women looking at Him with glances shy and loving, He left, showing a smile that took their minds. (17) Awaited by all the Vrishnis He entered the assembly hall known as Sudharmâ [see also 10.50: 54] which for those who entered wards off the six waves, my dear [see shath-ûrmi]. (18) The Almighty One, the Best of the Yadus seated there high on His throne in the midst of the Yadus, the lions among men, illuminated all the quarters in His effulgence shining like the moon in the sky surrounded by the stars. (19) There the jesters, o King, with various forms of amusement served the Almighty, just as professional entertainers [like magicians] and women dancing energetic dances did on their turn. (20) They danced to the sounds of vînâs, mridangas and muraja-drums, flutes, cymbals and conches while the bards, storytellers and panegyrists sang and offered praise. (21) There some brahmins sitting spoke fluently vedic mantras while others recounted stories of kings from the past famous for their piety.

(22) Some day was the arrival announced of a person, o King, who, given access to the Fortunate One by the doorkeepers, had never been seen there before. (23) After his reverence with joined palms before Krishna, the Supreme Lordship, submitted he the suffering of the kings held captive by Jarâsandha. (24) During a conquest by him of all directions were all those kings who did not accept him in complete subservience - about twenty thousand of them - by force detained in the fortress of Girivraja. (25) The kings relayed: 'Krishna, o Krishna, o immeasurable Soul, o You who takes away the fear of the surrendered; being so different in mentality do we, afraid in our material existence, come to You for shelter! (26) The whole world prone to doing it wrong is bewildered about the duties out here that are beneficial in the worship of You to Your command that, in so far one is doing one's own of this, are the power of existence serving longevity and hope; may there be the obeisances to Him, the Ever Vigilant ['unblinking of Time'] who all of a sudden cuts this all off [at the time of one's death]. (27) You, the predominating authority of this universe, have descended with Your expansion [Balarâma] to protect the saintly and to subdue the wicked; we do not understand o Lord how any other person in transgression with Your law [like Jarâsandha] or else by dint of his own creativity [like us] would achieve that. (28) The conditional happiness of kings, o Lord, is like a dream, always being full of fear with the burden of this mortal frame; in rejecting that happiness of the soul that is obtained by selfless service unto You, do we, with Your bewildering material reality of mâyâ out here, suffer the greatest misery. (29) Therefore, o Goodness whose pair of feet remove the sorrow, please release us, the surrendered, who were bound in the fetters of karma by him carrying the name of Maghada who, like the king of the animals with sheep, alone wielding the prowess of a ten thousand mad elephants imprisoned us in His residence. (30) Eighteen times having raised Your cakra and crushed him defeated he You, who sure in Your unlimited power were absorbed in human affairs, only once in battle [see 10.50: 41 & 10.52: 7]; and now, filled with pride, he torments us, Your subjects, o Unconquerable One; please rectify that!' (31) The messenger said: 'Thus do the ones held captive by Jarâsandha surrendered to the base of Your feet hanker for the sight of You; please bestow Your welfare on these poor souls'

(32) S'rî S'uka said: 'When the envoy of the kings thus had spoken, appeared the supreme rishi [Nârada] who with his yellowish mass of matted locks had an effulgence like that of the sun. (33) Seeing him offered the Supreme Lord Krishna, the supreme Controller of the Controllers of All the Worlds, with His head His respects, gladly standing up along with His followers and the members of the assembly. (34) With his acceptance of a seat with him having been of worship according the rules, spoke He with truthful pleasing words of reverence gratifying the sage: (35) 'It is a fact that today the three worlds are completely rid of all fear, for that is the quality of the great and fortunate one [of you] traveling the worlds. (36) There isn't anything unknown to you with the three worlds as arranged by their Controller indeed; so, therefore, let's hear from you what the plans of the Pândavas are.'

(37) S'rî Nârada said: 'Many times I witnessed Your insurmountable mâyâ, o Almighty One, Bewilderer of [even] the Creator of the Universe [see 10.14]; for me it is not amazing, o All-encompassing One, that You by Your own energies move among the created beings like a fire which light is covered. (38) Who is able to properly understand the purpose of You who by His own energy creates and withdraws this universe which manifests [for its beings] to exist in relation to You; obeisances unto Him, to You inconceivable in Your nature. (39) He who for the individual soul in samsara, not knowing liberation from the trouble that the material body brings, by His avatâras for His pastimes lights His own torch of fame; You, that Lord, I approach for shelter. (40) Nonetheless will I tell You, o Highest truth imitating the human ways, what Your devotee the king [Yudhishthhira], the son of Your father's sister intends to do. (41) The king, the son of Pându, desiring the top position for Your sake wants the greatest sacrifice known as Râjasûya, please give that Your blessing. (42) O Lord to that best of all sacrifices will all enlightened souls and alike as well as the kings of glory eager to see you come. (43) When from hearing, chanting and meditating about You, the Full of the Absolute, the ones dropped out find purification, what then to speak of those who see You and touch You? (44) The spotless fame of You expanding [like a canopy] in all directions is disseminated in heaven, in the lower regions and on the earth, o Bringer of Good Fortune to All the Worlds, and is called Mandâkinî with the divine, Bhogavatî below and Ganga here on earth - it is the water from Your feet that purifies the whole universe.'

(45) S'rî S'uka said: 'When His own supporters [the Yâdus] did not agree because they wanted to defeat [Jarâsandha] spoke Kes'ava smiling to His servant Uddhava with a charming use of words. (46) The Fortunate One said: 'You indeed as the apple of Our eye and well-wishing friend thus perfectly knows what expression would be of use in this regard, please tell what should be done, We have full faith and will carry that out.'

(47) Thus requested by his Maintainer acting as if He, all-knowing, was puzzled, did Uddhava taking the order on his head, give a reply.' 


* Concerning the matter of Brahman relating to the person of Krishna adds the paramparâ: 'One who is favored by the Lord's internal potency can understand the nature of the Absolute Truth [or Brahman]; this understanding is called Krishna consciousness'.

** According S'îdhara Svâmî would Lord Krishna in this before sunrise first offering oblations and then doing the mantra follow to the disciplic succession from Kanva Muni [mentioned in 9.20].

*** With the M.W. dictionary confirming to the term badva used here the meaning of 'a great number' quotes S'rîdhara Svâmî several Vedic scriptures to show that in the context of Vedic ritual, a badva here refers to 13,084 cows and further gives evidence that the usual practice for great saintly kings in previous ages was to give 107 such badva, or groups of 13,084 cows. Thus the total number of cows given in this sacrifice, known as Mañcâra, could have amounted to 14 lakhs, or 1,400,000.



 Chapter 71

The Lord to the Word of Uddhava Travels to Indraprastha

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing thus what was stated by the deva-rishi, spoke the gifted Uddhava understanding the stance taken by the royal assembly and Krishna. (2) S'rî Uddhava said: 'O Lord, You should do what the rishi said, and be of assistance to him, Your father's son, who intends to perform sacrifice and as well be of protection for those [the kings] who seek their refuge. (3) Since the Râjasûya sacrifice should be performed by the one who conquered full circle the directions o Almighty One, will You, in my opinion, with conquering the son of Jarâ be serving both purposes. (4) By this there will be great gain for us and for You, o Govinda who will release the kings imprisoned, that'll be glory this way. (5) He [Jarâsandha] a king in strength as strong as a thousand elephants is invincible indeed for other men of power, except then for Bhîma who is equally strong. (6) Only chariot-to-chariot can he be defeated, not by a hundred akshauhinî's together; also will he, devoted to the brahminical, never refuse what the learned ask from him. (7) Wearing the dress of a brahmin going to him must Bhîma beg for charity and without hesitation kill him in Your presence in a one-to-one fight. (8) Hiranyagarbha ['the one of the golden light' or Brahmâ] and S'arva [he who kills by the arrow, viz. S'iva, see 7.10: 67], are of the Controller of the Universe, Your formless of Time, but the instrument in creation and annihilation. (9) In their homes do the godly wives of the [imprisoned] kings sing of Your spotless deeds for Your killing their enemy and delivering them; just as the gopîs [missing You, see 10.31] and the lord of the elephants [Gajendra being captured see 8.3], just as the daughter of Janaka [Râmacandra's Sîtâ, see 9.10] and Your parents [when in Kamsa's prison, see 10.3], just as the sages having obtained your shelter [see e.g. 9.5] as well as we do. (10) The killing of Jarâsandha, o Krishna, surely will bring us an immense advantage: the consequent excellence [of the kings] ànd the sacrifice favored by You.'

(11) S'rî S'uka said: 'The words of Uddhava thus stated, in every way auspicious and infallible o King, were by the deva-rishi, the yadu elders and by Krishna as well praised in response. (12) The Almighty Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, taking permission from His superiors [in imitating the human ways], then ordered His servants Dâruka, Jaitra and others to prepare for His departure. (13) Sending away His wives and sons for the baggage and taking leave of Sankarshana [Balarâma] and the yadu king [Ugrasena], o killer of the enemies, mounted He His chariot brought by His driver, waving the flag of Garuda. (14) Then, surrounded by His chiefs and fierce guards, chariots, elephants, infantry and cavalry - His personal army - moved He out with from all sides vibrating the sounds of mridangas, bherî horns, gomukha horns, kettledrums and conchshells. (15) In golden palanquins carried by men, came following in fine clothes, ornamented, with perfumed oils and garlands, Acyuta's wives along with their children well guarded by soldiers with shields and swords in their hands. (16) The well ornamented women of the household and the courtesans came along with human carriers, camels, bulls, buffalo, donkeys, mules, bullock carts and she-elephants fully loaded with grass-huts, blankets, clothing and more items like that. (17) The huge army with a choice of flagpoles, banners, sunshades, yak-tail fans, weapons, jewelry, helmets and armor for the day in the rays of the sun brilliantly shining, was with the tumult of its sounds like an ocean restless with timingilas and waves. (18) After having heard and approved of His plan, bowed the muni [Nârada], being honored by the Lord of the Yadus and feeling happy over the meeting with Mukunda, down to Him and went he, placing Him in his heart, away through the sky. (19) The messenger of the kings was by the Supreme Lord, to please him with His word, addressed with: 'Do not fear, o envoy, all fortune to you [and your kings]. I'll arrange for the killing of the king of Mâgadha.'

(20) Thus being addressed departed the messenger and informed he the kings in detail, upon which they, eager for their liberation then waited to meet with S'auri. (21) Crossing through Ânarta [the region of Dvârakâ], Sauvîra [eastern Gujarat], Marudes'a [the Rajasthan desert] and Vinas'ana [the district of Kurukshetra], passed the Lord through hills, rivers, cities, villages, cow pastures and quarries. (22) Mukunda first crossing the river Drishadvatî then crossed the Sarasvatî, then passed through the province of Pañcâla and Matsya and finally reached Indraprastha. (23) Hearing that He, so rarely seen by human beings, had arrived, came he whose enemy never was born [king Yudhishthhira] out surrounded by his priests and relatives. (24) With the abundant sounds of songs and instrumental music and the vibration of hymns went he forth to Hrishîkes'a as reverential as the senses tuned to life. (25) The heart of the Pândava seeing Lord Krishna after so long a time melted with affection whereupon he embraced Him, his dearmost friend, over and over. (26) The ruler of man closing in his arms the body of Mukunda, the faultless abode of Ramâ, found all his ill-fortune destroyed and achieved the highest bliss, exhilarated with tears in his eyes forgetting the illusory affair of being embodied in the material world. (27) Bhîma filled with joy embracing Him, his maternal nephew, laughed out of love with eyes brimming with tears and also of the twins [Nakula and Sahadeva], and of Kirîtî ['he with the helmet' or Arjuna] flowed profusely the tears as they with pleasure embraced Acyuta, their dearmost friend. (28) Having been hugged by Arjuna, and of the twins having received their obeisances bowed He, according the etiquette, before the brahmins, the elders and the honorable Kurus, Sriñjayas and Kaikayas. (29) The bards, the chroniclers, the singers of heaven, the eulogists and jesters with mridangas, conches, kettledrums, vînâs, small drums and gomukha horns, all sang, danced and glorified with hymns the Lotus-eyed one as also did the brahmins. (30) The Supreme Lord, the Crest Jewel of the Renown of Piety, thus being glorified by His well-wishers around Him, entered the decorated city. (31-32) In the city of the king of the Kurus He saw the roads sprinkled with water fragrant of the mada [the rut-liquid] of elephants, colorful flags, gateways decorated with golden pots full of water and young men and women all in new apparel with ornaments, flower garlands and sandalwood on their bodies. In each home lamps were lit and offerings of tribute displayed with the smoke of incense drifting through the latticed windows and banners waving from the roofs that were adorned with golden domes with large silver bases. (33) Hearing of the arrival of the Reservoir for the Eyes of Man to Drink from, went the young women, to look on, onto the king's road immediately abandoning their households or their husbands in bed, with the knots in their hair and dresses loosened in their eagerness. (34) There, very crowded with elephants, horses, chariots and soldiers on foot, caught they the sight of Krishna with His wives, and scattered, embracing Him in their minds, the women, having climbed to the tops, flowers in giving Him a heartfelt welcome, broadly smiling to their glances. (35) Seeing Mukunda's wives on the road like stars around the moon, exclaimed the women: 'What did they do for the Diadem of Men to bestow for their eyes with the small portion of His playful smiles and glances the [complete] festival? (36) Here and there approached citizens with auspicious offerings in their hands and performed the masters of the guilds, who banned their sins, worship for Krishna. (37) As He entered the king's palace approached the members of the royal household all in a flurry to greet, full of love with blossoming eyes, Mukunda. (38) Prithâ [queen Kuntî] when she saw her brother's son, Krishna, the Controller of the Three Worlds, rose with a heart full of love from her couch together with her daughter-in-law [Draupadî] to embrace Him. (39) The king bringing Govinda, the Supreme God of All Gods, to His quarters could, overwhelmed by his great joy, not remember anymore what all to do for the reverential display of worship. (40) Krishna performed an offering of obeisances to His fathers sister and the elderly women, o King, and so also did His sister [Subhadrâ] and Krishnâ [Draupadî] bow down to Him. (41-42) Prompted by her mother-in-law [Kuntî] worshiped Krishnâ with clothing, flower garlands, jewelry and so on, all Krishna's wives: Rukminî, Satyabhâmâ, Bhadrâ, Jâmbavatî, Kâlindî, Mitravindâ the descendant of S'ibi, the chaste Nâgnajitî as well as the others who had come. (43) The king of the dharma [Yudhishthhira] comfortably accommodating Janârdana with His army, His servants and ministers and His wives saw to it that they were provided each and every moment. (44-45) Staying several months to His desire to please the king, went He, sporting with Arjuna and surrounded by guards, out riding with His chariot and satisfied He, accompanied by Arjuna, the fire-god with the Khândava forest to which Maya [a demon] whom He then saved, built a celestial assembly hall [in Hastinâpura].'  


Chapter 72  

Jarâsandha Killed by Bhîma and the Kings Freed

(1-2) S'rî S'uka said: 'Once seated in his court surrounded by the sages, the nobles, the popular personalities, the business men and his brothers, took Yudhishthhira the word, with all the âcâryas, the family, the elders, his blood relatives, in-laws and friends that way listening, saying the following: (3) S'rî Yudhishthhira said: 'O Govinda, I wish to honor the manifold glory of You with the purifying king of all fire sacrifices named râjasûya; please allow us that to happen o Master. (4) They who constantly in full service meditate upon and glorify Your slippers, which cause the destruction of all things inauspicious, are purified; they, and not other persons, o You whose Navel is like a Lotus, obtain the cessation of a material existence or obtain, in case they cherish wishes, the objects of their desire. (5) Therefore o God of Gods, let the populace see the power in this world of service to the lotus feet; please show, o All-powerful one, the status of those Kurus and Sriñjayas who worship You like this, relative to the status of those who do not worship. (6) In Your mind of Absolute Truth can there be no difference of what's Your own and what is of others as You are the Soul of All Beings, equal in Your vision experiencing within Yourself the happiness; for those who properly serve are You like the desire tree granting the desired results in accordance with the service - in this [answering to desires of Yours] there is no contradiction.'

(7) The Supreme Lord said: 'This you have decided perfectly o King, by this will all the world witness your auspicious fame, o tormentor of the enemies! (8) For the sages, the forefathers, the gods and the friends also, o master of Us, as well as for all living beings is this king of sacrifices [the literal meaning of râjasûja] desirable. (9) Bringing the earth under control, conquering all the kings and collecting all the necessities, [you must thereafter] execute the great sacrifice. (10) These brothers of yours, o King, were born as individual parts of the demigods ruling the worlds [see family-tree], and I , unconquerable to those not in control with themselves, am won by you being self-controlled. (11) No person, not even a demigod or what to say of a earthly ruler, can by his strength, beauty, fame or might overcome in this world one who is dedicated to Me.'

(12) S'rî S'uka said: 'With a face blossoming like a lotus, pleased to hear the song [the Gîtâ] of the Supreme Lord, engaged he, invigorated with the potency of Vishnu, his brothers in the conquest of all the directions. (13) Sahadeva with the Sriñjayas he sent to the south, Nakula with the Matsyas in the western direction, Arjuna with the Kekayas to the north and Bhîma with the Madrakas to the east. (14) They, the heroes, with their personal strength subduing many kings brought from everywhere an abundance of riches to him of whom, intent on performing the sacrifice, the enemy wasn't born, o King. (15) The king pondering over the news that Jarâsandha was not defeated, was by the Original Person of the Lord enlightened on the means which thereto had been mentioned by Uddhava [in 10.71: 2-10]. (16) And so went Bhîmasena, Arjuna and Krishna wearing the guises of brahmins all three to Girivraja, my dear, where the son of Brihadratha [Jarâsandha] resided. (17) At the hour appointed for the uninvited going to his residence begged the nobles, appearing as brahmins, with the religious householder who was of respect for brahmins: (18) 'O King, know, guests in need have arrived that came from afar; wishing you all the best, please grant us all that we desire. (19) What would for the patient one be intolerable, what all is for the impious impossible to do, what not can the generous donate, who would leave out those equal of vision? (20) He indeed is contemptible and pitiable who, for himself being capable, with the temporary body does not acquire the lasting fame as sung by the saintly. (21) Many like Haris'candra, Rantideva, Uñchavritti Mudgala, S'ibi, Bali, and the legendary hunter and pigeon [see*] indeed, went from the impermanent to the permanent.'

(22) S'rî S'uka said: 'However from their voices, their physical stature and the marks of bowstrings on their arms even, he recognized them as nobles, as members of the family he had seen before: (23) [he thought:] 'These relatives of the royal class wearing the insignia of brahmins I should give whatever they ask for; even my own body so difficult to forsake. (24-25) Is it not heard of Bali that the glories spread wide in all directions from the spotless of his position of rule, even though he was brought down by Lord Vishnu [Vâmana] who, in the guise of a brahmin appearing as a twiceborn one of Vishnu, wanted to take away Indra's opulence. Though aware of it gave he away the whole earth, even though the daitya king [Bali] had been denied that [by his guru, see 8.19]. (26) What use at all is it for a fallen kshatriya to live, by his perishable body not endeavoring for the benefit, the greater glory, of the brahmins? (27) Thus broad minded he said to Krishna, Arjuna and Vrikodara ['wolf-belly' or Bhîma]: 'O men of learning, ask me whatever you want, I'll even give my own head to you!'

(28) The Supreme Lord said: 'Please High King, give us battle in a one-to-one fight if you like; we, members of the royalty, have come here wishing a fight and don't want anything else. (29) That one is Bhîma the son of Prithâ and this other one indeed is Arjuna and I, I am Krishna their maternal cousin, your enemy you must know [see 10.50].'

(30) Thus invited had the king of Magadha to laugh out loud indeed and said he contemptuously: 'In that case, I'll give you battle, you fools! (31) But I won't fight with You, who cowardly, falling short in strength in the battle, abandoned Your own city Mathurâ leaving for a safe place in the ocean. (32) As for this one, Arjuna, he, not as old nor very strong either, is no match for me and shouldn't be the contender; Bhîma is the one equal in strength to me.'

(33) Saying this gave he Bhîma a large club and went he, himself taking another one, outside of the city. (34) Then, engaged in the fighting area, stroke the two heroes each other with their lighting-bolt like clubs, by the fight driven to mad fury. (35) Skillfully circling left and right appeared the two, moving around in the fight, splendidly like actors on a stage. (36) Next swung they their clubs, in collision with a sound resembling the crash of lightning, o King, clattering like the tusks of elephants. (37) Infuriated vigorously fighting like a pair of elephants got, with the rapid force of their arms powerfully swinging them against one another's shoulders, hips, feet, hands, thighs and collarbones, the maces in the contact crushed like they were some arka branches. (38) With their clubs thus ruined pummeled the two great heroes among man angry each other with their fists iron to the touch, to which, with them two striking elephants, the sound raised by the slapping of their hands grew as harsh as claps of thunder. (39) With the two, equally trained and strong in stamina, thus striking was the fight undecided en continued it unabated, o King. [**] (40) Knowing of the birth and death of the enemy and how he was brought to life by Jarâ [see 9.22: 8 and ***], empowered Krishna the son of Prithâ with His own power of thought. (41) Having determined the means to kill their enemy showed He whose Vision is Infallible it to Bhîma by tearing apart a twig as a sign. (42) Understanding that seized the immensely strong Bhîma, the best of fighters, his enemy by the feet and made he him fall to the ground. (43) Standing with his foot on top of one leg took he with both hands hold of the other and tore he, as a great elephant does with a tree branch, him apart from the anus upward. (44) The king's subjects saw two pieces with each one leg, thigh, testicle, hip, backside, shoulder, arm, eye, eyebrow and ear. (45) A great cry of lamentation arose with the lord of Magadha being killed, while Arjuna and Acyuta both in congratulation embraced Bhîma. (46) By the Unfathomable One Supreme Lord and Sustainer of All Living Beings was his son Sahadeva correlated as the lord and master of the Magadhas and were the kings imprisoned by the king of Magadha released.


* The story goes that the pigeon and his mate gave their own flesh to a hunter as a show of hospitality, and thus they were taken to heaven in a celestial airplane. When the hunter understood their situation in the mode of goodness, he also became renounced, and thus he gave up hunting and went off to perform severe austerities. Because he was freed of all sins, after his body burned to death in a forest fire he was elevated to heaven.  

** Some âcâryas include the following two verses in the text of this chapter, and S'rîla Prabhupâda has also translated them in 'Krishna':

evam tayor mahâ-râja
yudhyatoh sapta-vims'atih
dinâni niragams tatra
suhrid-van nis'i tishthhatoh
ekadâ mâtuleyam vai
prâha râjan vrikodarah
na s'akto 'ham jarâsandham
nirjetum yudhi mâdhava

"Thus, O King, they continued to fight for twenty-seven days. At the end of each day's fighting, both lived at night as friends in Jarâsandha's palace. Then on the twenty-eighth day, O King, Vrikodara [Bhîma] told his maternal cousin, 'Mâdhava, I cannot defeat Jarâsandha in battle.' "

*** S'rîla Prabhupâda writes "Jarâsandha was born in two different parts from two different mothers. When his father saw that the baby was useless, he threw the two parts in the forest, where they were later found by a black-hearted witch named Jarâ. She managed to join the two parts of the baby from top to bottom. Knowing this, Lord Krishna therefore also knew how to kill him."


Chapter 73

Lord Krishna Blesses the Liberated Kings

(1-6) S'rî S'uka said: 'The twenty thousand eight hundred [kings] who in battle were defeated came out of the fortress of Giridronî [the capital] dirty and with dirty clothes. Emaciated of hunger, with dried up faces and of their imprisonment greatly weakened drank they in with their eyes and were they as if licking with their tongues, as if smelling Him with their nostrils and embracing Him with their arms, the One dark gray like a cloud, in yellow clothing, marked by the s'rîvatsa, by four arms, charming eyes pinkish as the whorl of a lotus, a pleasant face, the gleaming makara [seamonster shaped] earrings; with a lotus, a club, a conchshell and a disc in His hands; a helmet, necklace, golden bracelets, a belt and armlets decorating Him and with the splendid brilliant jewel and a forest flower garland around His neck. They, whose sins were destroyed, bowed, with their heads down at his feet. (7) As the kings with joined palms with their words praised the Master of the Senses was by the ecstasy of seeing Krishna the weariness of the imprisonment eradicated.

(8) The kings said: 'Obeisances to You, o God of the Gods, o Lord of the Surrendered and Remover of Distress, o Inexhaustible One; please o Krishna save us, surrendered ones despondent from the terrible of a material existence. (9) O Mâdhava, we do not point our finger, o master, at the ruler of Magadha since it is by Your furthering of the good, o Almighty One, that kings [in defiance] fall from their position. (10) Exhilarated with the sovereignty and opulence clamoring does a king, deluded by Your mâyâ thinking the temporary assets to be permanent, not obtain the real benefit. (11) The same way as a child considers a mirage a reservoir of water, do those lacking in discrimination see the illusory subject to transformation as substantial. (12-13) We who before by lusting for the wealth, having lost their sight quarreled with one another for conquering this earth, very merciless harassed our own citizens, o Master, and have with death in front of us arrogantly disregarded You. They, we indeed o Krishna, have been forced to part from our opulence in our pride destroyed by the mercy of Your personal form, the irresistible power of Time moving so mysteriously; may we please live in memory of Your feet. (14) Henceforward we no longer hanker for a kingdom that appearing like a mirage must constantly be served by the material body that subject to demise is a source of disease; nor do we, o Almighty One, hanker for the fruit of pious work in an hereafter so attractive to the ears [compare B.G. 1.32-35]. (15) Please instruct us in the means by which we may remember Your lotuslike feet, even though we time and again keep returning to this world [see B.G. 8: 14]. (16) Over and over our obeisances for Krishna the son of Vasudeva, the Lord and Supersoul of the ones of salute; to Govinda, the Destroyer of the Distress.'

(17) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord, the Giver of Shelter, commendably praised by the kings freed from their bondage, my dear, mercifully spoke to them with gentle words. (18) The Supreme Lord said: 'I assure you, as from now, o Kings, as you wish will rise your very firm devotion to Me, the Self and Controller of All. (19) Your resolve is fortunate, o rulers, as I see you truthfully speak of the clamoring infatuation with the opulence and power so maddening to the human being. (20) Haihaya [or Kârtavîryârjuna 9.15: 25], Nahusha [9.18: 1-3], Vena [see 4.14], Râvana [9.10], Naraka [or Bhauma 10.59: 2-3] and others came to fall from their positions as gods, demons and men because of their being intoxicated by the opulence. (21) You, understanding that this material body and such is subject to birth and an end, should, connected to Me in worship with sacrifices, protect your citizens according the dharma. (22) Encountering happiness and distress, birth and death, you should go about begetting generations of progeny, with minds fixed in acceptance of Me. (23) Neutral to the body and all that and firm to the vows satisfied within, will you, fully concentrating the mind upon Me, in the end reach Me, the Absolute of the Truth [compare B.G. 4: 9; 8: 7; 9: 28; 12: 3-4].'

(24) S'rî S'uka said: 'Krishna, the Supreme Lord and Controller of All the Worlds, thus instructing the kings engaged menservants and women in the work of bathing them. (25) O descendent of Bharata, he had Sahadeva [Jarâsandha's son] serve them befittingly with clothing, ornaments, garlands and sandalwood paste. (26) Properly bathed and well decorated were they fed with excellent food and bestowed with various pleasures worthy of kings like betelnut etc. (27) Honored by Mukunda shone the kings freed from their distress splendidly with their gleaming earrings like they were the planets at the end of the rainy season. (28) Having them mount chariots with fine horses adorned with gold and jewels sent He, gratifying them with pleasing words, off to their own kingdoms. (29) They, the greatest of personalities, thus by Krishna liberated from all difficulty went away exclusively meditating on the deeds of Him, the Lord of the Living Being that is the Universe. (30) To their ministers and other associates they spoke of the activities of the Supreme Personality and as the Lord had instructed so they carried it out without laxity. (31) Having had Jarâsandha killed by Bhîmasena, departed, being worshiped by Sahadeva, Kes'ava, accompanied by the two sons of Prithâ. (32) Arriving in Indraprastha blew they their conchshells bringing discomfiture to the enemies they defeated and [now] delight to their well-wishers. (33) The residents of Indraprastha pleased in their heart to hear that, understood that Jarâsandha was put to rest and that the king [Yudhishthhira] his objectives were met. (34) To the king then offering their respects told Arjuna, Bhîma and Janârdana about everything they had done. (35) The king of the dharma hearing that couldn't speak a word, shedding tears out of love in ecstasy of Krishna's mercy.



Chapter 74

The Râjasûya: Krishna the First and S'is'upâla Killed

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Yudhishthhira, the king, thus hearing of the killing of Jarâsandha and the display of power of the almighty Krishna, pleased with that addressed Him. (2) S'rî Yudhishthhira said: 'All the spiritual masters, inhabitants, and great controllers there are of the three worlds, carry the indeed rarely obtained command [of You] on their heads. (3) That He, the Lotus-eyed Lord Yourself, takes directions of those to the day living people [like us] who presume themselves to be controllers, is, o All-pervading One, the greatest annoyance. (4) Like with the sun indeed, does of the One without a Second, the Absolute Truth, the Supersoul, the power not increase nor diminish by [His] activities [see: B.G. 2: 40]. (5) O Mâdhava, the perverted mentality of setting apart 'you and yours' and 'I and mine', as if one is of the animals, is verily not Yours, o Unconquerable One, nor of your bhakta's.

(6) S'rî S'uka said: 'Speaking thus chose the son of Prithâ, at the time right for the sacrifice, with the permission of Krishna the priests appropriate, the brahmins that were vedic experts: (7-9) Dvaipâyana [Vyâsa], Bharadvâja, Sumantu, Gotam, Asita, Vasishthha, Cyavana, Kanva, Maitreya, Kavasha, Trita, Vis'vâmitra, Vâmadeva, Sumati, Jaimini, Kratu, Paila, Parâs'ara, Garga, Vais'ampâyana as also Atharvâ, Kas'yapa, Dhaumya, Râma of the Bhârgavas [Pâras'urâma], Âsuri, Vîtihotra, Madhucchandâ, Vîrasena and Akritavrana. (10-11) Also invited were others like Drona, Bhîshma, Kripa and Dhritarâshthra with his sons, and the highly intelligent Vidura; kings with their royal entourages, brahmins, kshatriyas, vais'yas and s'ûdras, all came there eager to attend the sacrifice, o King. (12-13) Then did the brahmins with plowshares of gold furrow the place of worshiping the gods, and inaugurated they there the king according the injunctions. (14-16) The utensils were of gold indeed like in the past with Varuna [compare 9.2: 27]. The rulers of the worlds headed by Indra, including Brahmâ and S'iva; the perfected and heavenly singers with their attendants; the scholars, the great serpents [v.i.p.'s, egos], the sages, the wealth keepers and wild men; the birds of heaven [see khaga], the mighty, the venerable and the earthly kings invited, as also the wives of the kings came from everywhere to the Râjasûya sacrifice which they, unsurprised, for a devotee of Krishna deemed quite appropriate. (17) On the day for extracting the soma-juice worshiped the king very attentively the sacrificers and the exalted personalities of the assembly. (18) The members seated in the assembly pondering over who of them deserved to be worshiped first could not arrive at a conclusion as there were many [who qualified]; then Sahadeva [the Pândava] spoke up: (19) 'Acyuta for sure deserves the supreme position, He is the Supreme Lord, the leader of the Sâtvatas, He doubtlessly covers all the demigods as well as the place, time and necessities and such. (20-21) This universe as well as the great sacrificial performances, the sacred fire, the oblations and the incantations are founded upon Him and the analytic and the yoga are aiming at Him. He is the One alone without a second upon whom the Living Being builds; the Unborn One relying on Himself alone, o members of the assembly, who creates, maintains and destroys. (22) He generates the various activities out here; to His grace does the whole world endeavor and follow its ideals known as the religiosity and so on [the purusharthas]. (23) Therefore should the greatest honor be given to Krishna, the Supreme One; if we do it this way, will we be honoring all living beings as well as ourselves. (24) It is to be given to Krishna, the Soul of all beings who sees no one as separate; to the One of Peace Perfectly Complete who for him who desires the reciprocal, is the Unlimited [the Infinite of Return].'

(25) Sahadeva thus speaking fell silent and all the best and truthful hearing this, knowing well the influence of Krishna, said happily: 'This is excellent, very fine!'

(26) Hearing what the twiceborn pronounced, worshiped the king, pleased to know of the contentment of the members of the assembly, overwhelmed by love in full Hrishîkes'a. (27-28) Washing His feet and taking the water that purifies the world on his own head and carrying it with pleasure to his wife, his brothers, his ministers and family, was he, with precious yellow silken garments and jewelry honoring Him, with his eyes filled with tears unable to look straight at Him. (29) Seeing Him honored this way exclaimed all the people with joined palms: 'Obeisances to You, all victory to You!' and to that bowing down to Him fell showers of flowers.

(30) The son of Damaghosha [S'is'upâla, see 10.53] hearing this rose, aroused by the descriptions of Krishna's qualities, from his seat angrily waving with his arms and said, resolutely addressing the Fortunate One with harsh words, this in the middle of the assembly: (31) 'The vedic word of truth that Time is the unavoidable controller, has been proven true since even the intelligence of the elders could be led astray by the words of a boy! (32) All of you know best who's the most praiseworthy; please, all you leaders of the assembly, pay no attention to the statements of the boy that Krishna should be chosen for being honored. (33-34) Passing over leaders in the assembly, topmost sages dedicated to the Absolute Truth held high by the local authorities, who by spiritual understanding, austerity, vedic knowledge and vows eradicated their impurities - how can a cowherd, the disgrace of His family, no more than a crow deserves the sacred rice-cake, deserve it to be worshiped? (35) How can He, acting independently and devoid of kula [a proper upbringing] varna [vocational propriety] and âs'rama [sense of duty to one's age], missing the qualities, deserve it to be worshiped? (36) With their [Yadu-] dynasty cursed by Yayâti [see 9.18: 40-44], being ostracized by well-behaved persons [see 10.52: 9] and wantonly addicted to drinking [e.g. 10.67: 9-10], how can such a [Yadu] one deserve the worship? (37) Abandoning the lands [of Mathurâ] graced by the brahmin sages took these ones to a fortress in the sea [10.50: 49] where the brahminical is not observed [10.57: 30], as thieves causing trouble to the people [e.g. 10.61].'

(38) Before him whose good fortune was ruined, speaking such and more harsh words, did the Supreme Lord not say a thing, like a lion silent to a jackals cry. (39) Hearing that intolerable criticism, covered the members of the assembly their ears and went they away cursing the king of Cedi angrily. (40) A person dedicated to Him who does not leave the place where criticism of the Supreme Lord is heard; he indeed goes down, fallen away from his good deeds. (41) The sons of Pându, the Matsyas, Kaikayas and S'rinjayas then, angered raising their weapons, stood up ready to kill S'is'upâla. (42) Thereupon, o scion of Bharata, took S'is'upâla undaunted up his sword and shield, insulting the kings in the assembly that were the proponents of Krishna. (43) The Supreme Lord just then rising stopped His devotees and angrily attacking severed the head of His enemy with His sharp-edged disc. (44) With S'is'upâla killed there was a huge tumult of uproar as the kings siding with him fled the audience fearing for their lives. (45) Before all of the living to see rose from the body of S'is'upâla a light that entered Krishna like it was a meteor from the sky falling to earth [see also 10.12: 33]. (46) Extending through three births obsessed with a mentality of enmity, was meditating thus Oneness with Him attained [B.G. 4: 9]; verily, one's attitude is the cause of one's rebirth! [see B.G. 8: 6 & Jaya and Vijaya] (47) The emperor gave in gratitude the priests and the members of the assembly abundant gifts, respecting them all properly according the scriptural injunctions, and performed the avabhritha ceremony [of washing of himself and the utensils to conclude the sacrifice]. (48) Krishna, the Controller of the Controllers of Yoga, seeing to it that the sacrifice of the king was performed, stayed a couple of months [in Indraprastha] on the request of His well-wishers. (49) Then asking permission with a reluctant king, went the son of Devakî, Is'vara, with His wives and ministers away to His own city. (50) The tale of the two vaikuntha residents that due to the curse of the learned ones had to be born again and again, has by me been related to you in detail [see 3.16]. (51) King Yudhishthhira in the midst of the brahmins and kshatriyas bathing at the avabhritha of the Râjasûja shone as brilliant as the king of the demigods. (52) All the gods, humans and beings in the sky [the lesser gods, the pramâthas] honored by the king happily returned to their own domains, full of praise for Krishna and the sacrifice. (53) [All were happy], except for the sinful Duryodhana, the pest of the Kuru dynasty and personification of the Age of Quarrel, who, faced with the flourishing of the opulence, couldn't stand that of the Pândavas.

(54) He who recites these activities of Lord Vishnu, of the deliverance of the kings, the sacrifice and the killing of the king of Cedi and such, is delivered from all sin.



Chapter 75

Concluding the Râjasûya and Duryodhana Laughed at

(1-2) The honorable king said: 'All the gods of men, o brahmin, that assembled at the râjasûya sacrifice of Ajâtas'atru [he whose enemy was never born, or Yudhishthhira], were delighted with the great festiveness that they saw: the kings, the sages and the godly, thus I heard my lord, except for Duryodhana; please enlighten us on the reason for that.

(3) The son of Vyâsa said: 'At the râjasûya sacrifice of the great soul of your grandfather were the family members bound in divine love, engaged in humbly serving him. (4-7) Bhîma was in charge of the kitchen, Duryodhana supervised the finances, Sahadeva did the reception and Nakula procured the needed items. Arjuna served the preceptors, Krishna washed the feet, the daughter of Drupada served the food and the magnanimous Karna handed out the gifts. Yuyudhâna,Vikarna, Hârdikya, Vidura and others like the sons of Bâhlîka headed by Bhûris'ravâ and Santardana, were, eager to please the king, found to be engaged in the diversity of duties at the time of the elaborate sacrifice, o best of kings. (8) The priests, the ones prominent officiating, the highly learned and all the best well-wishers, being well honored with pleasing words, auspicious offerings and gifts of gratitude, executed, after the king of Cedi had entered the feet of the master of the Sâtvatas, the avabhritha bathing in the river of heaven [the Yamunâ]. (9) To begin with the avabhritha celebration sounded the music of a variety of gomukha horns, kettledrums, large drums, mridanga's, smaller drums and conchshells. (10) Women dancers danced and singers sang joyfully in groups as the loud sound of their vînâs, flutes and hand cymbals touched the heavens. (11) The kings with necklaces of gold took off [to the Yamunâ] with footsoldiers, flags and banners of different colors, excellent majestic elephants, chariots and horses finely caparisoned. (12) The Yadus, Sriñjayas, Kâmbojas, Kurus, Kekayas and Kos'alas with their armies, with put in front [the king,] the performer of the sacrifice, made the earth tremble. (13) The ones officiating, the priests, the brahmins, excelling in the Vedas with an abundant sound, the gods and sages, the forefathers and singers of heaven, recited praises as the flowers rained down. (14) Men and women well adorned with sandalwood paste, garlands, jewelry and clothes, smearing and sprinkling played with various liquids. (15) The courtesans were by the men playing, smeared with yogurt and perfumed water with plenty of turmeric and vermilion powder, and so smeared they in return. [*] (16) The queens guarded by soldiers went, just as the wives of the gods in their celestial chariots in the sky, out to witness this firsthand and as they by their cousins and friends were sprinkled, appeared they splendid with faces blossoming with shy smiles. (17) They, their brothers-in-law, their friends and so on, all squirted with syringes to which their arms, breasts, thighs and waists due to the excitement became visible with their dresses drenched and loosened, and the braids of small flowers in their hair slipped; and so did they in the process of their charming play agitate the ones impure of mind. (18) He, the emperor mounted his chariot with excellent horses and shone, hung with gold, forth with his wives as the king of sacrifices, the râjasûya with all its rituals, in person. (19) After having executed the patnî-samyâja [**] and avabhritha ceremonies, made the priests him perform the âcamana of sipping water for purification, and bathe in the Ganges together with Draupadî. (20) The kettledrums of the gods resounded together with those of the human beings as the godly, the sages, the forefathers and the humans released downpours of flowers. (21) After this bathed all humans of all classes and orders there, the way even the greatest sinner can instantly be freed from all contamination. (22) The king next putting on a new set of silken garments, nicely ornamented honored the priests, the ones officiating and the brahmins with jewelry and clothing. (23) In diverse ways did the king, devoted to Nârâyana, go at lengths in proving his respects to the kings, his friends, well-wishers, direct family, more distant relatives as also others. (24) All the men, jeweled with earrings, wearing flowers and turbans, jackets and silks as well as the most precious pearl necklaces, shone like the demigods; just as did the women who with the beauty of their faces adorned with pairs of earrings and locks of hair wearing golden belts, radiated brilliantly. (25-26) Then, with his permission, did the priests highly respected, the officials, the vedic experts, the brahmins, the kshatriyas, vais'yas, s'ûdras and the kings who had come and, o king, along with their followers, the local rulers, the spirits, the forefathers and demigods had been worshiped, go back to their own abodes. (27) Like mortal man drinking the amrita were they indeed never sated glorifying the great celebration of the râjasûya-sacrifice of the saintly king, the servant of Lord Krishna. (28) Pained on being separated from Krishna checked king Yudhishthhira as said [in 10.74: 48] out of love his family members and relatives. (29) My dear, acting for his pleasure stayed the Supreme Lord there, to that sending off the yadu-heroes thus headed by Sâmba to Dvârakâ. (30) This way was the king, the son of Dharma [Yamarâja or Dharma, the lord of the duties]  successfully crossing over the difficult to overcome ocean of his desires, through Krishna freed from the fever [see also 10.63: 23].

(31) Duryodhana was pained once he saw within the palace the opulence of the râjasûya and the greatness of him [Yudhishthhira] whose very soul was Acyuta. (32) In it were manifest the variegated opulences of the kings of men, the kings of demons and the kings of the godly; they indeed provided by the cosmic architect [Maya Dânava], served the daughter of king Drupada with her husbands [the Pândavas], over whom the heart of the Kuru-prince in attachment was lamenting. (33) The thousands of queens of the lord of Mathurâ were at the time there present, most attractive with their waists and heavy hips, moving around slowly with their feet charmingly tinkling, with their pearl necklaces reddened by the kunkuma from their breasts and with their beautiful faces richly adorned with earrings and locks of hair. (34-35) In the assembly hall constructed by Maya it so happened that the son of Dharma, the emperor in person, accompanied by his attendants, his family and Krishna, his Very Eye, as well, was seated on a throne of gold like he, with the opulences of supreme rulership, was Indra, joined and being praised by the court poets. (36) There, o King, then entered Duryodhana surrounded by his brothers, proud, wearing a crown and necklace, with a sword in his hand angrily insulting [the doorkeepers]. (37) Bewildered by the magic of Maya thinking the solid floor he saw was water, held he the end of his garment high, but further up fell he in water which he mistook to be a solid floor. (38) Bhîma seeing it laughed as also did the women, the kings and the rest, who, my dear, even though they were checked by the king, had the approval of Krishna. (39) He [Duryodhana], burning with anger, embarrassed holding his face low, went, innerly in turmoil, off to Hastinâpura to which from the truthfull rose a very noisy 'Alas alas!', Ajâtas'atru was a little disheartened and the Supreme Lord, from whose glance the bewilderment rose, was silent, being ready to remove the burden from the earth [see also 1.15: 25-26, 10.2: 38 en 10.63: 27].

(40) To what you've asked me, o King, regarding the depravity of Duryodhana during the great râjasûya sacrifice, have I now spoken.'


*: Present day India knows the tradition of the holi-celebrations, the festival of colors once year on the morning after the full moon in early March every year, where one plays this game. It celebrates the arrival of spring and the death of the demoness Holika. Holika was the sister of Hiranyakasipu who fighting Prahlâda couldn't succeed in killing him [see 7.5]. She, said to be fire resistant,sitting with him in a fire couldn't harm him. He remained unscathed, but she burns in the fire to ashes. Thus are with holi the night before great bonfires lit to commemorate the story. Although holi is observed all over the north, it's celebrated with special joy and zest at Mathurâ, Vrindâvana, Nandgaon, and Barsnar (the places where Lord Krishna and S'ri Râdhâ grew up. Lord Krishna, while growing up in Vraja, popularized the festival with His ingenious pranks. The Gopîs of Vraja responded with equal enthusiasm and the festivities have continued ever since. Role reversal with travesty, feminism etc. are accepted customs for the duration of the festival. Men and women of Vraja clash in a colorful display of a mock battle of the sexes. A naturally occurring orange-red dye, Kesudo, is used to drench all participants.

**: The patnî-samyâja ritual is the ritual performed by the sponsor of the sacrifice and his wife, consisting of oblations to Soma, Tvashthâ, the wives of certain demigods, and Agni.



Chapter 76

The Battle Between S'âlva and the Vrishnis

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Please, o King, now hear how Krishna, in His body playing the human, in yet another wonderful deed of His killed the lord of Saubha. (2) He with the name of S'âlva, came, as a friend of S'is'upâla to Rukminî's wedding and was by the Yadus defeated in battle together with Jarâsandha and others [see 10: 54 and also 10.50]. (3) Before all the kings listening he made the pledge: 'Wait and see, I'll rid the earth of the Yâdavas with all I can.'

(4) The foolish king vowed with this eating once a day a handful of dust, worshiped as his master the lord protecting the animallike [pictured as Pas'upati or S'iva with S'âlva praying as a boy together with Yama]. (5) At the end of a year gave the great lord quickly pleased [Âs'utosha], the master of Umâ, S'âlva, who had approached him for shelter, the choice of a benediction. (6) He chose a vehicle terrifying to the Vrishnis with which he could travel at will and which would be indestructible to the gods, the demons, the humans, the singers of heaven, the serpents and the wild men. (7) With the lord of the mountain saying 'so be it' was Maya Dânava, there for outdoing the cities of the enemies [see 7.10: 53], commissioned to construct for, and offer to S'âlva a [flying] fortress made of iron named Saubha. (8) When he obtained the vehicle that, as an abode of darkness, moving to his liking, was unassailable, went S'âlva to Dvârakâ, bearing in mind the enmity shown by the Vrishnis. (9-11) O best of the Bharatas, S'âlva, besieging the city with a large army, laid in ruins the parks, the gardens and all the towers, gateways, mansions, outer walls, outlook posts and recreational areas surrounding it. From that finest vimâna of his there fell torrents of weapons, stones and trees as also thunderbolts, snakes and hailstones, while with the rise of a fierce whirlwind all the directions were covered with dust. (12) The city of Krishna thus terribly tormented by Saubha could, just as the earth with Tripura [see 7.10: 56], o King, find no peace.

(13) The Great Lord Pradyumna seeing how His subjects were being harassed then said to them: 'Do not fear!', after which the great hero of untold glory mounted His chariot. (14-15) Sâtyaki, Cârudeshna, Sâmba, Akrûra and his younger brothers, Hârdikya, Bhânuvinda as also Gada, S'uka and Sârana and other eminent leaders of the leading warrior bowmen, went out in armor protected by chariotry, elephantry, cavalry and infantry. (16) Then a hair-raising battle commenced between the Yadus and the followers of S'âlva, that was as tumultuous as the battle between the demons and the demigods [zie 8:10]. (17) Like the darkness of night dissipates by the warm rays of the sun, were by the son of Rukminî in an instant with weapons divine the magical tricks destroyed of the master of Saubha. (18-19) With twenty-five iron-tipped, in their joints perfectly smoothened arrows with golden shafts struck He S'âlva's commander-in-chief [Dyumân], with a hundred he pierced S'âlva, with one each his soldiers, with ten each his charioteers and with three each of the carriers [elephants, horses]. (20) Seeing that amazing, mighty feat of Pradyumna, the great personality, was He honored by all of his and the enemy soldiers. (21) Then seen in many forms, then seen as one only and then not being seen at all, had that magical illusion created by Maya turned into something that could impossibly be located by the opponent. (22) Moving hither and thither like a whirling firebrand, from one moment to the next seen on the earth, then in the sky, on a mountain top and then in the water, remained that Saubha never in one place. (23) Wherever S'âlva with his soldiers appeared with his Saubha, did there and then the army commanders of the Yadus release their arrows. (24) S'âlva of the enemy, lost his bearings when his army and fortress unbearably had to suffer the arrows hitting like fire and sun that in contact were as snake-venom. (25) Though the vrishni-heroes, eager for the victory in this world and the next, were extremely pained by the floods of weapons from the commanders of S'âlva, did they not leave their positions. (26) S'âlva's companion named Dyumân - previously hurt by Pradyumna - confronting with a club of maura-iron, stroke with a powerful roar. (27) Pradyumna, the subduer of the enemies, who had his wits blown out by the mace, was then by His chariot driver, a son of Dâruka, well-known with the duties removed from the battlefield.

(28) In a moment regaining consciousness, said the son of Krishna to His chariot driver: 'How wrong of you, driver, to take Me away from the battlefield! (29) Except for Me, has no one born in the house of Yadu ever been known to have abandoned the field; I'm blemished because of a driver thinking like a eunuch! (30) What now must I say meeting with My fathers Râma and Krishna, altogether having fled from the battle? What if asked would then fit on My behalf? (31) Certainly My sisters-in-law will deride Me saying: 'How o how, o hero, could Your enemies turn You into a coward in battle?'

(32) The charioteer said: 'O Long-lived One, what I did happened was done in good faith of dharma, o Lord; a driver should protect the master that ran into difficulty, just as the master should protect the driver. (33) Knowing this were You, by the enemy his club factually struck unconscious, removed from the field by me thinking You were hurt!'



Chapter 77

S'âlva and the Saubha-fortress Finished

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Touching water, fastening His armor and picking up His bow He [Pradyumna] said to His charioteer: 'Take Me to where the warrior Dyumân is.'  (2) With Dyumân devastating His troops struck the son of Rukminî back with a smile, counterattacking with eight nârâca arrows [iron types]. (3) He struck with four for the four horses, one for the driver, with two for the bow and flag and with one for his head. (4) Gada, Sâtyaki, Sâmba and others finished off the army of the master of Saubha; all inside Saubha fell into the ocean with their necks cut through. (5) The fight between the Yadus and the followers of S'âlva striking one another, that was thus tumultuous and fearsome, went on for twenty-seven days and nights. (6-7) Krishna as called by the son of Dharma gone to Indraprastha [see 10.71] then, with the râjasûya completed, S'is'upâla being killed and noticing very bad omens, took leave of the Kuru-elders, the sages and Prithâ and her sons, and went to Dvârakâ. (8) He said to Himself: 'With Me accompanied by My illustrious elder brother coming to this place, may the kings siding with S'is'upâla well be attacking My city.' 

(9) Kes'ava, when He saw king S'âlva's Saubha and the destruction going on of all of His, arranged for the protection of the city and said to Dâruka: (10) 'Bring Me My chariot, o driver, and quickly take me near S'alva; and mind, don't fall victim getting bewildered of this lord of Saubha, he's a great magician.'

(11) Thus commanded taking control drove he forward the chariot and saw, [with Him] entering there, each of His own men and the opposing party the emblem [of Garuda]. (12) S'âlva, as the master of a practically completely destroyed army seeing Lord Krishna on the battlefield, hurled his spear with a scary roar at Krishna's charioteer. (13) Flying forward illumining all directions like it was a great meteor, was it by Krishna midair swiftly cut in a hundred pieces. (14) Like the sun with its rays in the sky, pierced He him with six penetrating arrows and the Saubha-fortress moving about with torrents of them. (15) But when S'âlva struck S'auri's left arm, the arm with His bow, fell, most amazingly, the S'ârnga from the hand of S'ârngadhanvâ. (16) As from all living beings witnessing arose a great cry of dismay, roared the lord of Saubha, saying this to Janârdana:  (17-18) Since by You, o fool, right from under our eyes the bride of Your brother [nephew factually], a friend [S'is'upâla], was stolen [10.53] and he, my friend thus, in his heedlessness by You within the assembly was killed [10.74], will You Yourself, so convinced of Your invincibility, today with my sharp arrows be sent to the land of no return, if You dare to stand in front of me!' 

(19) The Supreme Lord said: 'You, moron, boast in vain not seeing death at hand; heroes rather demonstrate their prowess, they don't prattle!'

(20) Speaking thus struck the Supreme Lord S'âlva infuriated with frightening power and speed with His club on the collarbone so that he trembling vomited blood. (21) But when the club was withdrawn had S'âlva disappeared and came a moment later a man bowing his head before Krishna who crying spoke the words: 'Mother Devakî has sent me! (22) Krishna, o Krishna, o Mighty-armed One so affectionate with Your parents, Your father has been captured and taken away by S'âlva, like a butcher seizing a domestic animal.'

(23) Hearing these disturbing words spoke Krishna, having assumed the nature of a human being, out of love with compassion disconsolate, like He was a normal man: (24) 'With Balarâma never confounded, invincibly defeating sura and asura, how could that petty S'âlva abduct My father; how mighty fate is!' 

(25) With Govinda speaking thus came the master of Saubha up to Krishna as if he was leading Vasudeva and said he the following: (26) 'This is the one who begot You and for whose sake You live in this world; I'll kill him right before You; save him if You can, You child!' 

(27) The magician thus vilifying cut off the head of 'Ânakadundubhi' and climbed, taking the head, in the Saubha-vehicle hovering in the sky. (28) Then, though fully cognizant, for a moment being absorbed in the normal keeping to His affection for the ones dear to Him, recognized He, with His great powers of perception, that as the demoniac illusory magic utilized by S'âlva to the designs of Maya Dânava. (29) Alert on the battlefield, like in a dream seeing there nor the messenger nor His father's body, and noticing His enemy sitting in his Saubha moving through the sky, prepared Acyuta to kill him. (30) And so is it said by some sages, o seer among the kings, who don't reason correctly; they for sure are contradicted by their own words if they fail to remember the way it is [compare e.g. 10.3: 15-17; 10.11: 7; 10.12: 27; 10.31: *; 10.33: 37; 10.37: 23; 10.38: 10; 10.50: 29; 10.52: 7 en 10.60: 58].  (31) What of the lamentation, bewilderment, affection or fear all born out of ignorance, relative to the infinite perception, knowledge and opulence of the Infinite One? (32) He by whose feet those harnessed by service in self-realization dispel the misidentification to the beginningless Self and attain in a personal relationship the eternal glory - how in the world can there be bewilderment for Him, the Supreme Destination of the Truthful? (33) As S'âlva with great force was attacking Him with torrents of weapons, pierced Lord Krishna unerring in His prowess, with His arrows his armor, bow and crest-jewel and smashed He with His club the Saubha-vehicle of His enemy. (34) Shattered into thousands of pieces by the club wielded by Krishna's hand, fell it into the water whereupon S'âlva abandoning it standing on the ground took up his club and rushed forward in attack of Acyuta. (35) Running toward Him carrying his club was his arm severed with a bhalla cutting arrow and held He, shining like a mountain against the rising sun, in order to kill S'âlva next up His disc-weapon that appeared exactly like the burst of light at the end of time. (36) With it the Lord proceeded to remove the head of that master of great magic, complete with earrings and crown, just like lord Indra with his thunderbolt did with Vritrâsura [see 6.12]; to which from his men rose a loudly voiced 'Alas, Alas!'. 

(37) With the sinner fallen and the Saubha-fortress destroyed by the club, sounded kettledrums in the sky, o King, played by groups of demigods, while Dantavakra angry, out to revenge his friends, ran forward.



Chapter 78

Dantavakra Killed and Romaharshana Beaten with a Blade of Grass

(1-2) S'rî S'uka said: 'As an act of friendship to the deceased, S'is'upâla, S'âlva and Paundraka who had left for the next world, was all by himself, on foot with a club in his hand, o great king, the wicked one [Dantavakra, see 9.24: 37] seen who infuriated in his sheer physical power made the earth tremble under his feet. (3) Seeing him coming His way took Lord Krishna quickly His club leaping down from His chariot and called He him to a stop like the shore does with the sea. (4) Raising his club said the king of Karûsha besotted to Mukunda: 'What a luck, what a luck to have today the sight of You approaching on my path. (5) You as our maternal cousin Krishna, having been of violence with my friends, wish to kill me; therefore, You nice guy, will I kill You with my thunderbolt club. (6) Only then, ignoramus, will I, who cares for his friends, with killing the enemy in the form of a family member that is like a disease in one's body, have paid my debt to my friends.'

(7) Thus with harsh words harassing Krishna like one does an elephant with goads, roared he like a lion and stroke he Him with his club on the head. (8) Despite of being hit by the club did Krishna, the deliverer of the Yadus, not move an inch on the battlefield and dealt He with His Kaumodakî [His club] him a heavy blow in the middle of his chest. (9) With his heart shattered by the club vomiting blood fell he lifeless to the ground with his hair, arms and legs spread wide. (10) Then, o king, entered before all living beings to see, just as with S'is'upâla [see 10.74: 45], an amazing, very subtle light Lord Krishna. (11) Next came Vidûratha, his brother, plunged in sorrow about his relative, with sword and shield forward, breathing heavily in his desire to kill Him. (12) Of him attacking did Krishna following with the razorsharp edge of His cakra, o king of kings, slice off the head with its helmet and earrings. (13-15) Thus having killed the for others insurmountable S'âlva and his Saubha-fortress along with Dantavakra and his younger brother Vidûratha, was He praised by gods and men, sages and the perfected, heavenly singers and scientists, the great of excellence and the dancing girls, the forefathers and the keepers of the wealth as well as the venerable and the mighty who all sang His glory showering flowers as He with the most eminent Vrishnis around Him entered His decorated capital. (16) It is thus that the Controller of Yoga, Krishna the Supreme Lord and Master of the Living Being is victorious; it is to those whose vision is as of animals that He seems to suffer defeat [*].

(17) Lord Râma hearing of the preparations of the Kurus and Pândavas for battle, known as a neutral, departed saying He would bathe in holy places. (18) Having bathed at Prabhâsa and having honored the demigods and sages, forefathers and human beings, went He surrounded by brahmins to the Sarasvatî where she flows westward to the sea. (19-20) O son of Bharata, He visited the broad body of water of Bindu-saras, Tritakûpa, Sudars'ana, Vis'âla and Brahma-tîrtha, Cakra-tîrtha, the Sarasvatî where she flows eastward and all [the holy places] along the Yamunâ and the Ganges as well as the Naimisha forest where the rishis were involved in the performance of an elaborate sacrifice [see also 1.1: 4]. (21) Recognizing Him on His arrival greeted they who were engaged in the sacrifice Him, properly standing up and bowing down to pay homage. (22) When He together with His entourage had been worshiped and had accepted a seat, noticed He that the disciple [Romaharshana, see also 1.4: 22] of the greatest of sages [Vyâsa] had remained seated. (23) Upon seeing that the sûta [a son of a mixed marriage of a brahmin father and kshatriya mother] who hadn't bowed down or joined his palms, was sitting higher than the rest of the learned, became the sweet Lord angry: (24) 'Because he, born a pratiloma, sits higher than these learned ones and also higher than Me, the Protector of the Religion, deserves he it, being so arrogant, to die. (25-26) After as a disciple of the Lord among the sages [Vyâsa thus] in full having studied the many itihâsas, purânas and s'âstras about the religion, has he, not in control with himself, vainly missing the humble and not having subdued his mind thinking himself a scholarly authority, become like an actor not leading to good qualities in making a sham of them. (27) It is for this purpose indeed that I descended in this world: to annihilate those who pose as religious but factually are most sinful.'

(28) Saying this much, did the Supreme Lord, as He [being on a pilgrimage] also had stopped to kill the impious, inevitable as it was, beat him with the tip of a blade of grass that He as the Master held in His hand. (29) 'Ohhh, ohhh' said all the sages and told disturbed of mind to Sankarshana deva: 'You committed an irreligious act o Master. (30) Along with a long life and freedom from physical worries have we granted him the masters seat untill the sacrifice is completed, o Darling of the Yadus. (31-32) Though of course, for You, Master of Mystic Power, scriptural injunctions are not the regulator, have You unknowingly perpetrated something that equals the destruction of a brahmin; but if for this killing of a brahmin You atone, o Purifyer of the World, will the people in general, being inspired by no other, benefit by Your example.'

(33) The Supreme Lord said: 'I, desirous to show compassion to the common people, will perform the atonement for the damage done; please do tell Me what the prescribed ritual coming first would be. (34) Oh, please say the word, and by My mystic power I shall effect the long life, strength and sensory power which you promised.'

(35) The sages said: 'Please, o Râma, arrange it so that as well the potency of the death by Your [kus'a-] weapon as what we said remains intact.'

(36) The Supreme Lord said: 'The child born, so instruct the Veda's, is one's self indeed, therefore should his ['byproduct', son, pupil or purâna, in this case Sûta Gosvâmî , see 1.2: 1] be the speaker endowed with a long life, strong senses and physical power [see also **]. (37) O best of sages, please tell Me what you desire, I shall do it, and again, please o intelligent ones think of what the proper atonement would be for Me who indeed knows not.'

(38) The rishis said: 'Ilvala's fearsome son named Balvala as a demon contaminates our sacrifice getting here every new moon. (39) The best service to us is to defeat that sinner, o Descendant of Bharata, who pours down pus, blood, feces, urine wine and meat. (40) Thereafter You should, for twelve months performing penances, in all serenity go around the land of Bhârata [India] getting purified bathing at the holy sites.'


* It is here thus that the Bhâgavatam says that one has the vision of an animal if one thinks that the Lord would ever suffer defeat as with Krishna fleeing from Jarâsandha [10.52], Krishna acting impressed by S'âlva's tricks [10.77: 27-32], the Buddha being food-poisoned or Jesus Christ being crucified; in the end is there to His evanescence the victory, the enlightenment, the resurrection, the second birth in acceptance of the teaching.

** To illustrate the principle enunciated here by Lord Balarâma is by the paramparâ in the person of S'rîla S'rîdhara Svâmî quoted the following Vedic verse, appearing in as well the S'atapatha Brâhmana ( as the Brihad-âranyaka Upanishad (6.4.8) :

angâd angât sambhavasi
hridayâd abhijâyase
âtmâ vai putra-nâmâsi
sañjîva s'aradah s'atam

"You have taken birth from my various limbs and have arisen from my very heart. You are my own self in the form of my son. May you live through a hundred autumns."


Chapter 79

Lord Balarâma Slays Balvala and Visits the Holy Places

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Then, on de day of the new moon, arose a fierce wind scattering dust, o King, with the smell of pus everywhere. (2) Following came there upon the sacrificial arena down a rain of abominable things produced by Balvala, after which he appeared carrying a trident. (3-4) The sight of that immense body looking like a heap of soot with a topknot and beard of burning copper, fearsome teeth and a face with contracted eyebrows, made Râma think of His club, tearing asunder opposing armies, and His plow, subduing the daityas, that both forthwith stood at his side. (5) With the tip of His plow pulling Balvala moving in the sky close, struck Balarâma angry the harasser of the brahmins with His club on the head. (6) He, releasing a cry of agony, fell with his forehead cracked open gushing blood to the ground like a red mountain struck by a thunderbolt. (7) The sages together of praise awarded Râma with unfailing benedictions, in ceremony sprinkling Him with water, like the great souls did with the killer of Vritrâsura [Indra, see 6.13]. (8) They gave Râma a vaijayantî flower garland of unfading lotuses homing S'rî and a divine pair of garments with divine jewelry.

(9) Then given leave by them came He together with the brahmins to the Kaus'ikî river where they bathed and went He from there to the lake from which the Sarayû flows. (10) Following the course of the Sarayû coming to Prayâga bathed He there propitiating the demigods and such and went He to the hermitage of Pulaha Rishi [see also 5.7: 8-9]. (11-15) Having immersed Himself in the Gomatî, the Gandakî, the S'ona and Vipâs'â river, He went to Gayâ, to worship His forefathers and to the mouth of the Ganges for ritual ablutions. At Mount Mahendra seeing and honoring Lord Paras'urâma He next bathed in the Saptagodâvarî ['seven Godâvarîs'] as well as in the rivers the Venâ, the Pampâ and the Bhîmarathî. After seeing Lord Skanda [Kârttikeya] visited Râma S'rî-s'aila, the residence of of Lord Giris'a [S'iva], and saw the Master in Dravida-des'a [the southern provinces] the hill most sacred, the Venkatha [of Balajî]. After the cities of Kâmakoshnî and Kâñcî went He to the river the Kâverî and to the greatest of them all, the most holy S'rî-ranga, where the Lord manifested [as Ranganatha]. Going to the place of the Lord the mountain Rishabha, He went to southern Mathurâ [Madurai where the goddess Mînâkshî resides] and to Setubandha [Cape Comorin], where the gravest sins are destroyed. (16-17) There gave the Wielder of the Plow, Halâyudha, a great number of cows away to the brahmins. Going to the rivers the Kritamâlâ and Tâmraparnî and the Malaya mountain range, He bowed down paying respect to Âgastya Muni who sitting there in meditation gave Him his blessings. Leaving with his permission He went to the southern ocean to Kanyâkumârî ['chaste girl'] where he saw the goddess Durgâ [known as Kanyâ]. (18) Then reaching Phâlguna and taking a bath in the sacred lake of the five Apsaras where Lord Vishnu manifested, touched He a myriad of cows [giving them away in charity]. (19-21) Next the Supreme Lord traveled through Kerala and Trigarta and then came to Gokarna [northern Karnataka], a place sacred to the manifestation of Dhûrjathi ['he with a load of matted locks'], S'iva. Seeing the honored goddess [Pârvatî] residing on an island off the coast went Balarâma to S'ûrpâraka touching the waters of the Tâpî, the Payoshnî and the Nirvindhyâ. Next entering the Dandaka forest went He to the Revâ where the city of Mâhishmatî is found, touched He the water of Manu-tîrtha and came He back to Prabhâsa.

(22) From the brahmins He heard that in a battle [at Kurukshetra] between the Kurus and the Pândavas all the kings were being annihilated, to which He concluded that the earth was finding relief of the burden [see also e.g. 10.50: 9]. (23) He, the beloved Son of the Yadus, then went to the battle intending to stop Bhîma and Duryodhana who were fighting each other on the field with clubs [see also 10.57: 26]. (24) But when Yudhishthhira, the twins Nakula and Sahadeva, Krishna and Arjuna saw Him, were they silent in offering their obeisances with the burning question: 'What does He, coming here, want to tell us?' (25) Seeing the two with clubs in their hands, skillfully moving in circles, furiously striving for the victory, said He this: (26) 'O King, o Great Eater, the two of you warriors are equal in prowess; one I think is of a greater physical power, while the other one is technically of a better training. (27) I do not see how from any of you here, equal in prowess, then a victory or the contrary could be seen; so stop this useless fighting.'

(28) The two though sensible, did, fixed in their enmity in constant remembrance about each others harsh words and misdeeds, not take heed of His words, o King. (29) Deciding that it was their fate went Râma to Dvârakâ were He was greeted by a delighted family headed by Ugrasena. (30) With Him returning again to Naimishâranya engaged the sages Him, the Embodiment of All Sacrifice having renounced all warfare, with pleasure in all the different sorts of rituals [*]. (31) The Supreme Lord, the Almighty, bestowed upon them the perfectly pure spiritual knowledge by which they indeed could perceive this universe as residing within Him as well as Himself pervading the creation. (32) Together with His wife [Revatî: see 9.3: 29-33] having taken the concluding ritual avabhritha bath appeared He, well dressed, nicely adorned and surrounded by His family members and other relatives and friends, as splendid as the moon with its own light [the stars].

(33) Of this sort [of pastimes] of the mighty, unlimited and unfathomable Balarâma, who by His illusory energy appears as a human being, there sure are countless others. (34) Whoever regularly remembers at dawn and dusk the activities of Râma which are all amazing, will become dear to Lord Vishnu.' 


* S'rîla Prabhupâda writes here: 'Actually Lord Balarâma had no business performing the sacrifices recommended for ordinary human beings; He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore He Himself is the enjoyer of all such sacrifices. As such, His exemplary action in performing sacrifices was only to give a lesson to the common man, to show how one should abide by the injunctions of the Vedas'.


 Chapter 80

An Old Brahmin Friend Visits Krishna

(1) The honorable king said: 'My lord, I would like to hear what more valorous deeds there are, o master, of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Soul of Unlimited Powers. (2) Who indeed, disgusted with running after material desires knowing the essence, o brahmin, can desist, repeatedly having heard the transcendental topics of the Lord Hailed in the Scriptures? (3) The actual power of speech is the one describing His qualities, the hands are the ones that do His work, the mind is the mind that remembers [Him] dwelling with the moving and unmoving, and what hears is the ear to His sanctifying topics [compare 2.3: 20-24]. (4) It is the head that bows to both the manifestations [moving/nonmoving] of Him, it is the eye indeed that sees Him only, it are the limbs which regularly honor the water that washed the feet of Vishnu or His devotees'."

(5) Sûta [1.2: 1] said: "Well questioned by Vishnurâta [Parîkchit as being Vishnu-sent] spoke the powerful sage, the son of Vyâsa fully absorbed in Vâsudeva, his heart. (6) S'rî S'uka said: 'There was a certain friend of Krishna [called Sudâmâ, 'giving well', not the same as mentioned in 10.41: 43], a brahmin well versed in the Vedas, who peaceful of mind and in control with the senses was detached from the sense objects. (7) Existing as a householder by what came on its own accord was his wife, just like him, poorly dressed and emaciated of hunger. (8) With her face dried up, distressed of the poverty all trembling, approached she, faithful to her husband, him and said: (9) 'Isn't it, o brahmin, that your friend, o master of devotion, is the Husband of S'rî Compassionate with the Brahmins and as the best of the Sâtvatas is willing to give shelter? (10) Approach Him, my most gracious, and He, the Ultimate Shelter of the Saintly, will give wealth in plenty to you suffering to maintain a family. (11) If the Lord of the Bhojas, Vrishnis and Andhakas now present in Dvârakâ, gives even Himself to the one who remembers the lotusfeet of Him, the Master of the Universe; what then of the, to the ones of worship, not so desirable of economic success and sensual gratification?'

(12-13) The one of learning this way time and again by his wife extensively entreated thus thought: 'The sight of Uttamas'loka indeed is the highest attainment', and having made up his mind to go he asked her: 'Is there any gift in the house my good woman, please give it to me!' (14) Begging four fists of husked and parched rice from the learned, she wrapped them in a piece of cloth and gave it as a gift to her husband.

(15) He, the best of the learned, taking them, went to Dvârakâ thinking: 'How will this audience with Krishna ever happen to me?' (16-17) Passing with [some other] twice borns three gates and guard stations, walked he between the houses of Acyuta's faithful followers, the Andakas and Vrishnis, where one normally couldn't go and felt he, entering one of the opulent eighteen-thousand residences of the Lord His queens [*], as if he had attained the bliss of the Pure Spirit. (18) Acyuta sitting on His consort's bed, seeing him from a distance immediately rose and came forward to close him gladly in His arms. (19) The Lotus-eyed One, in contact with His dear friend's saintly and wise body, extremely ecstatic released affectionately some teardrops from His eyes. (20-22) Next having him seated on the bed came He up with some items to honor his friend and wash his feet. The water took the Supreme Lord of All the Worlds on His head, o King, after which the Purifier anointed him with divinely fragrant sandalwood and aloe-wood [lignaloes or aguru] paste and kunkuma. Gladly worshiping His friend with aromatic incense and series of lamps, said He welcome, offering betelnut and a cow. (23) Carefully fanning with a yak's tail the dirty and poorly dressed emaciated twice-born, whose veins could be seen, was the goddess [Rukminî] personally of service. (24) The people in the palace seeing Krishna spotless in His glory, fell in amazement about the intense love with which he so repudiate [the avadûta] was honored: (25-26) 'What pious deeds did he, this unclean, condemned and lowly mendicant, deprived of all prosperity in the world, perform to be served with reverence by the Spiritual Master of the Three worlds, the abode of S'rî. Sitting on her bed embraced He him as an elder brother leaving aside the goddess!'

(27) Taking hold of each other's hands, o King, they discussed the topics of the past they sat together in the school of their spiritual master [see 10.45: 31-32]. (28) The Supreme Lord said: 'O brahmin, after the guru received his remuneration from you and, o knower of the dharma, you returned, did you marry a suitable wife or not? (29) With your mind occupied by household matters is it non-desire that drives you, neither, so I know to be true, do you take much pleasure, o wise one, in the pursuit of material happiness. (30) Some people execute their worldly duties, in their minds not being disturbed by desires; just as I do to set an example, do they shake off the propensities that naturally rise. (31) Do you, o brahmin, still remember our staying in the gurukula, from which a twiceborn person, understanding what needs to be known, experiences that what is transcendent to the ignorance? (32) The first birth of someone twice born, my friend, is this material life, that indeed under the direct supervision of a spiritual master, the bestower of spiritual knowledge who is as Myself, is sanctified [in a 'second birth'] by the duties he teaches for all spiritual orders [see as'râmas and 7.12]. (33) For sure are of those engaged in the varnâs'rama system [see also B.G. 4.13] in this world they the expert knowers of the true welfare, o brahmin, who cross over the ocean of a material existence through the words of Me as the spiritual master. (34) I, the Soul of All Beings, am not as satisfied by ritual worship, brahminical initiation, austerity or self-control as I am by faithful service [compare 7.14: 17]. (35-36) O brahmin, do you remember what we, living with our spiritual master, did when we once by the wife of our guru were sent to fetch firewood? Having entered a big forest arose, o twice born one, all out of season, a fierce harsh thundering wind and rain. (37) With the sun having set overcome by darkness could with all the water around no direction, high or low land, be recognized. (38) We, constantly heavily besieged by the great wind and water there, were in the flooding unable to make out which way to go and then, wandering distressed in the forest, held each other's hands. (39) Knowing this did our guru Sândipâni, as the âcârya in search for us disciples at sunrise, find us in distress: (40) 'Oh you children, how much have you suffered for our sake; in disregard of the body that indeed to all living beings is most dear, were you dedicated to me! (41) For certain is this alone the truth to be respected by disciples: to repay, perfectly pure in one's love, one's debt to the guru offering the spiritual master one's self and one's property. (42) Satisfied I am, my dear ones, o best of brahmins, may your desires be fulfilled and may in this world as well as in the next that what evolves from your attraction [your words, your mantras] never fade [compare 10.45: 48]. (43) There were many things like this when we were living in the home of the guru; simply by the mercy of the spiritual master is a person fulfilled in his quest for peace.'

(44) The brahmin said: 'What have we not achieved, o God of Gods, o Guru of the Universe, when I was living at the guru's house with You whose all desires are fulfilled. (45) O Almighty One within whose body, that is the fertile field of all welfare, is found the praise [the Veda's] relating to the Absolute Truth; Your residing with spiritual masters is all an imitation [see also e.g. 10.69: 44 and 10.77: 30]!' 


* S'rîla Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî quotes from the Padma Purâna, Uttara-khanda, which says that the brâhmin actually entered the palace of Rukminî: 'sa tu rukminy-antah-pura- dvâri kshanam tûshnîm sthitah'; 'He stood for a moment in silence at the doorway of Queen Rukminî's palace'.



Chapter 81

The Brahmin Honored: Lord Krishna the Godhead of the Brahmins

(1-2) S'rî S'uka said: 'He, Bhagavân Krishna, the True Goal of the Devotees, the Lord Knowing Perfectly the Minds of All Beings, in this manner conversing with the best of brahmins, then spoke, in His dedication to the brahmins with a loving glance looking, smiling and laughing at His dear friend, to the brahmin. (3) The Supreme Lord said: 'What gift did You bring Me from your home, o brahmin; even the slightest thing offered by devotees in pure love turns into something immense to Me, whereas not even the hugest presented by non-devotees is capable to serve My satisfaction. (4) Whoever offers Me a leaf, a flower, a fruit and water with devotion, that offer brought from the heart by a soul of good habits I accept [same as in B.G. 9.26].'

(5) The twice one born though, thus being addressed, was, bowing down his head, too embarrassed with Him, the Husband of the Goddess of Fortune, and didn't offer the few hands of ricegrains, o King. (6-7) As the direct Witness in the heart of all living beings fully cognizant of the reason why he had come thought He: 'He, worshiping Me in the past, never desired the opulence; however since he, My friend, for securing the satisfaction of his chastely to her husband devoted wife, now came to Me, will I give him riches unobtainable [even] for the immortals [see also B.G. 9.22 ].' (8) Thinking like this snatched He Himself from the garment of the twice born one away the ricegrains tied up in a bundle, saying: 'What is this? (9) Have you brought this to My pleasure My dear friend? These ricegrains satiate Me and the whole universe [that I am]!'

(10) Thus speaking took He a handful to eat and a second one, whereupon S'rî [Rukminî devî] devoted to Him, the One Supreme, seized His hand [as the grains were hard to digest]. (11) 'That, o Soul of the Universe, is enough for a person after Your satisfaction to prosper with all opulence in this world or else a next one.'

(12) The brahmin following that night, residing in Acyuta's palace eating and drinking to his fill, felt as if he had attained heaven. (13) The next day went he honored by Him, the Self-satisfied Maintainer of the Universe, off to his own residence, my dear, all in delight walking the road. (14) Though he, embarrassed on his own accord not begging for it, had received no wealth from Krishna, was he on his way home filled with joy of the audience with the Great One. (15) 'Ah, to have seen the extend of the devotion to the brahmins òf the Godhead of the Brahmins; He who carries Lakshmî on His chest embraced the poorest man! (16) Who am I? Someone poor and sinful! And who is Krishna? The temple of S'rî! And I, this brahmin's friend, was just like that closed in His arms! (17) Just as brothers being seated on the bed used by His love, was I, fatigued, fanned by His queen with a hair-fan in her hand. (18) With sincerity served and with the feet massaged and such was I like a demigod worshiped by the God of Gods, the Godhead of the Learned! (19) The worship of His feet is the root cause of all perfections and opulence that a person may find in heaven, in emancipation, in the lower regions and on earth. (20) If this poor one obtains riches will he, delighting in excess, not remember Me', He must have thought, compassionately not giving me the slightest of wealth.'

(21-23) Thus innerly occupied with these thoughts arriving at the vicinity of his home was he confronted with high rising palaces, rivaling the sun, the fire and the moon, on all sides surrounded by wonderful courtyards and gardens swarming with hordes of cooing birds, reservoirs of water full of lilies and night- and daytime blooming lotuses white and fully open, and well adorned and ornamented men and women with deer-like eyes. 'What is this, whose place is this, how could this come about?' (24) That way paining his mind was he welcomed by the men and women with complexions effulgent like the demigods, who most fortunately loudly sang with instrumental music. (25) Hearing that her husband had arrived, came his excited wife extremely jubilant, quickly out of the house like the Goddess of Fortune manifesting herself from her abode. (26) Seeing the husband she was so devoted to, bowed she with her eyes, tearful with the spur of love, closed, solemnly her head down, embracing him within her heart. (27) Seeing his wife appearing as effulgent as a goddess in a vimana, shining in the midst of maidservants with golden lockets around their necks, was he stunned. (28) Pleased himself to be joined by her saw he, having entered, how his home with its hundreds of gem-studded pillars looked like the palace of the great Indra. (29-32) There were ivory beds ornamented with gold [with bedding] white as foam and couches with golden legs, yaktail-fans, golden chairs with soft cushions and canopies hung with strings of pearls. Seeing the sparkling clear quartz walls inlaid with precious emeralds as also the jeweled lamps and the women decorated with jewels, made the brahmin there, free from agitation with all the flourishing opulence, reason to himself about the unexpected prosperity: (33) 'It must be so that the cause of the prosperity of this one, me who poverty stricken was always so unfortunate, can be nothing else indeed but the glance of Him, the Best of the Yadus, the One of the Greatest Opulence. (34) After all, gave He, my Friend, the most exalted among the Das'arhas, with me being in the presence of Him, the Enjoyer of All Wealth, saying nothing to my intention to beg, as plentiful as a cloud when He took notice. (35) As opposed to the little that He makes of the great that He Himself gives is the insignificant given by a well-wishing friend by Him turned into something great; that is how the Supreme Soul with pleasure accepted the palmful of ricegrains brought by me. (36) Let there indeed life after life repeatedly be my love [sauhrida], friendship [sakhya], sympathy [maitrî] and servitude [dâsya] with Him, the Supremely Compassionate Reservoir of Transcendental Qualities, and may I become firmly attached to the valuable association of His devotees. (37) Upon His devotee does the Supreme Lord not bestow the wonderful opulences - a kingdom and material assets - when he, not born again [see 10.80: 32], falls short in understanding because He in His wisdom sees how the intoxication [the mada] leads to the downfall of the wealthy.'

(38) This way firmly fixed with intelligence most devoted to Janârdana, enjoyed he together with his wife free from inordinate desire, keeping in mind the renunciation of the objects of the senses. (39) Of Him, the God of Gods, Hari, the Master and Lord of Sacrifice are the brahmins truly the masters; there is no greater deity to be found than them [see also 7.11: 14, 7.14: 17-18, 10.24: 25, 10.45: 32]. (40) Thus seeing the Unconquerable One as conquered by His own servants [see also 9.4: 63 and 10.9: 19] was he, the learned friend of the Supreme Lord, by the momentum of his meditation upon Him untied in his bondage to the [material] self and attained he soon His abode, the destination of the truthful. (41) A man hearing of this sympathy for the brahmins of the Godhead of the brahmins, finds love for the Supreme Lord and becomes freed from the bondage of fruitive labor [see also 7.11: 35].



Chapter 82

All Kings and the Inhabitants of Vrindâvana on Pilgrimage Reunite with Krishna

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Then, as Râma and Krishna were living in Dvârakâ, was there one day [*] an eclipse of the sun as impressive as the end of the day of Brahmâ. (2) The people knowing that beforehand, o King, came from everywhere to the field of Samanta-pañcaka ['the five lakes' at Kurukshetra] in the hope to benefit therefrom. (3-6) It is the place where Lord Paras'urâma, the greatest wielder of weapons, having rid the earth of its rulers, with the streams of blood of the kings, created the great lakes [see 9.16: 18-19]. Bhagavân Paras'urâma to that, even though untouched by karmic reactions, was as the Controller to instruct the world in general of worship there like he was another [a common] person wishing to dispel the sin. So came, o son of Bharata, for the occasion a great number of people of Bhârata there on a holy pilgrimage. The Vrishnis, including Akrûra, Vasudeva, Âhuka [Ugrasena] and others wishing to eradicate their sins, went all to that holy place while Gada, Pradyumna and others with Sucandra, S'uka and Sârana and the army commander Kritavarmâ, remained for guarding at home. (7-8) Like effulgent vidyâdharas came they in chariots resembling the seats of the gods, moving in waves with horses and bellowing elephants and masses of foot soldiers. Resplendent with their wives, with golden necklaces, flower garlands, attire and armor, appeared they as supremely divine and majestic on the road as the travelers of the sky. (9) The greatly pious Yâdavas bathing and fasting there, with careful attention for the brahmins donated cows, garments, garlands, gold and necklaces. (10) In the lakes of Paras'urâma as prescribed once more taking a bath [the next day to conclude their fast], prayed the Vrishnis, feeding the twiceborn sumptuously with the finest food: 'Let there be our devotion unto Krishna.' (11) Then did the Vrishnis, with Krishna as their exclusive deity, with His permission eat, to their comfort sitting down in the cool shade of the trees. (12-13) They, having arrived there, saw their friends and relatives, the kings of the Matsyas, Us'înaras, Kaus'alyas, Vidarbhas, Kurus, Sriñjayas, Kâmbojas, Kaikayas, Madras, Kuntîs, Ânartas, Keralas and others as also hundreds of allies and adversaries, o King, as well as their friends, the gopas and gopîs headed by Nanda for so long anxious [to see them]. (14) Seeing one another embraced they, from the emotions with their hearts and faces blooming as beautiful as lotuses, them tightly with streams of tears, goose-pimpels and a choked-up voice experiencing the greatest delight. (15) The women seeing one another, with great eyes of purity filled with tears of love, smiled with the greatest friendship and closed each other in their arms pressing breast to breasts smeared with kunkum paste. (16) Next proving their respects to their elders and receiving obeisances from younger relatives, inquired they after their well-being and the comfort of their journey and started they amongst each other to talk about Krishna.

(17) Kuntî seeing her brothers and sisters and their children, as well as her parents, her sisters-in-law and Mukunda, gave up her sorrow as she talked to them. (18) Kuntî said: 'O respectable one, o brother, I feel myself frustrated in my desires as indeed you all most saintly, didn't think of what happened to me being so unfortunate [see also 1.8: 24]! (19) Friends, relatives - sons, brothers and parents even - do not remember those belonging to them whom Providence is unfavorable.'

(20) S'rî Vasudeva said: 'Dearest, don't be cross with us, men are the playthings of fate, for a person, acting on his own or directed by others, is under the control of the Lord. (21) Severely troubled by Kamsa we all went away in various directions [see 10.2.7 and 10.4]; only now are we by Divine ordinance brought back to our proper positions, o sister.'

(22) S'rî S'uka said: 'All the kings there honored by Vasudeva, Ugrasena and the other Yâdavas, found peace in the supreme ecstacy of seeing Acyuta. (23-26) Bhîshma, Drona, the son of Ambikâ [Dhritarâshthra], Gândhârî with her sons as also the Pândavas and their wives, Kuntî, Sañjaya, Vidura and Kripa; Kuntîbhoja and Virâtha, Bhîshmaka, the great Nagnajit, Purujit, Drupada, S'alya, Dhrishthaketu, and he, the king of Kâsi; Damaghosha, Vis'âlâksha, the kings of Maithila, Madra and Kekaya, Yudhâmanyu and Sus'armâ and Bâhlika and others with their sons, and, o best of kings, many other kings resorting under Yudhishthhira, were all amazed to see the abode of S'rî, the personal form of S'âuri, along with His wives. (27) They then, duely from Râma and Krishna having received proof of respect, filled with joy, enthusiastically praised the Vrishnis, the personal associates of Krishna: (28) 'O master of the Bhoja's [Ugrasena], you've taken a birth worthwile among men in this world, because you repeatedly see Krishna, who even by the yogîs is rarely seen. (29-30) His fame as vibrated by the Vedas, the water washing from His feet and the words of the revealed scriptures [the s'âstric] thoroughly purifies this universe [see also B.G. 15: 15]; by the touch of His lotuslike feet has, even though her good fortune was ravaged by Time, the vitality of the earth awakened and does she abundantly rain upon us all that we desire. With seeing Him, touching Him and walking, conversing, lying down, sitting, eating, being married to and connected as a blood-relative with Him, have you traveling the [normally] hellish path of family life now found Vishnu, the cessation [of the quest for], heaven and liberation in person [see also 5.14 and 7.14 and B.G. 11: 41-42].'

(31) S'rî S'uka said: 'Nanda finding out that the Yadus with Krishna going first had arrived there, went to see Him, accompanied by the gopas with their belongings on their wagons. (32) Delighted to see him sprung the Vrishnis to life as if awakened from death and embraced they him firmly, all exited with the presence after so long a time. (33) Vasudeva, beside himself of love overenjoyed embracing, remembered the troubles created by Kamsa because of which he had to leave his sons in Gokula [see 10.3 & 10.5]. (34) Krishna and Râma embracing their [foster] parents offered Their respects and said, with throats filled with tears of love, nothing, o greatest hero of the Kurus. (35) Raising their sons on their laps holding Them in their arms gave the so very fortunate two, he and Yas'odâ, up their sorrow [of being separated]. (36) Rohinî and Devakî next embracing the queen of Vraja with in mind what she had done [for them] in friendship, addressed her with throats full of tears: (37) 'What woman can forget the unceasing friendship of the two of you, o queen of Vraja; not even obtaining the wealth of Indra would do to repay you in this world. (38) Before these Two could see their parents received They, residing with the two of you as their parents, the education and affection, nourishment and protection, my good lady; in the custody of you saints, strange to no one and as good as eyelids to the eyes, had They nothing to fear.'

(39) S'î S'uka said: 'The gopîs after so long a time seeing Krishna, their object of desire - for seeing whom they'd curse the maker of their eyelids [see 10.31: 15] - all took with their eyes Him into their hearts to embrace Him to their satisfaction and attained the ecstatic absorbtion that even for the ones constantly engaged in meditation is difficult to attain. (40) The Supreme Lord approaching them more privately informed, embracing them, after their health and said, laughing, this: (41) 'Dear girlfriends, do you still remember Us, who intent on destroying the party of Our enemies, for that duty stayed away so long? (42) Maybe you hold Us in contempt suspecting that We'd put you out of Our mind - but in fact is it the Supreme Lord who brings together and separates the living beings. (43) As the wind bringing together masses of clouds, grass, cotton and dust, again throws them apart, is likewise the Creator of the living dealing with His beings [compare 10.5: 24-25]. (44) By the love for Me that in good fortune developed on the part of your good selves, have You obtained Me; and indeed is it the devotional service to Me what leads the living to immortality [compare B.G. 9.33]. (45) Like the ether, the water, the earth, the air and the fire of material things, o ladies, am I indeed inside and outside, the beginning and end of all created beings [see also e.g. 10.9: 13-14]. (46) These material entities, this manner indeed existing within the elements of creation and [as well] as the âtmâ [the Soul, self and person] in its own true identity being pervasive [to them], you should see as both manifested within Me, that is, the Imperishable, Supreme Truth [see also e.g. 1.3: 1, 3.26: 51, 10.59: 29, B.G. 9.15 and siddhânta].'

(47) S'rî S'uka said: 'The gopîs, thus with instruction about the âtmâ being taught by Krishna, eradicated by constant meditation on Him the subtle covering of the soul [see linga, 7.2: 47 and 4.29] and came to understand Him. (48) They said: 'With that what You said o Lord with the lotusnavel, we wish that the minds of us, however engaged in household affairs, are ever wakefull to Your lotusfeet which, by the great yogîs and highly learned philosophers kept within their heart to meditate upon, are the only shelter to cross over for those who fell in the dark well of a material existence [see also 7.5: 5, 10.51: 46, 7.9: 28, 7.15: 46].'  


* According S'rîla Sanâtana Gosvâmî in his Vaishnava-toshanî commentary would this event, described in retrospect, have occurred after Balarâma's visit to Vraja (10.65) and before Mahârâja Yudhishthhira's Râjasûya sacrifice (in 10.74) as directly after the sacrifice the enmity within the Kuru family, the exile of the Pândavas and the ensuing war at Kurukshetra arose.



Chapter 83

Draupadî Meets the Queens of Krishna

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord, the spiritual master and goal of the gopîs, this way showing His favor, then with Yudhishthhira inquired after the welfare of all [of His family] and His well-wishers. (2) They, by seeing His feet having their sins destroyed, thus questioned by the Lord of the World felt very honored and replied gladly: (3) 'From where would there be inauspiciousness to those who of Your lotuslike feet ever drank the intoxicating nectar poured out by the minds and mouths of the great souls, to those who with the drinking cups of their ears drank to their fill, o Master, Destroyer of the forgetfulness about the Doer of the materially embodied. (4) Indeed by the light of Your personal form are the three material conditions [or the miseries, originating from oneself, others and nature] as created by material consciousness dispelled, and are we, totally immersed, of spiritual happiness, having bowed down to You, the goal of the perfected saint [the paramahamsa], who for the protection of the unlimited and ever fresh vedic knowledge under the threat of time, by the power of Your illusion has assumed this form.' 

(5) The great sage said: 'As His people were thus glorifying the crest jewel of all personalities hailed in the scriptures, met the women of the Andhaka and Kaurava clans to discuss among one another the topics of Govinda sung in the three worlds; please listen as I describe them to you. (6-7) S'rî Draupadî said: 'O Vaidarbhî [Rukminî], Bhadrâ, Jâmbavatî and Kaus'alâ [Nâgnajitî]; o Satyabhâmâ, Kâlindî, S'aibyâ [Mitravindâ], Rohinî [see 10.61*] and Lakshmanâ [Mâdrâ] and other wives of Krishna, please tell us this: how was it that Acyuta, the Supreme Lord Himself, by His own mystic power following the ways of the world, got married to you?' 

(8) S'rî Rukminî said: 'Like a lion taking his share from a herd of goats and sheep, took He who puts the dust of His feet upon the heads of invincible fighters, me away when the kings with their bows stood ready in order to offer me to S'is'upâla; may the feet of Him, the abode of S'rî, be my object of worship [see 10.52-54].' 

(9) S'rî Satyabhâmâ said: 'To my father whose heart was distressed with the death of his brother, returned He, being accused, to clear His name, the jewel back after defeating the king of the bears [Jâmbavân]; afraid because of this offered my father me to the Lord although I was spoken for already [see 10.56]. 

(10) S'rî Jâmbavatî said: 'The maker of this body unaware of Him, the Husband of Sîtâ , as being his master and worshipable deity, fought for twenty-seven days with Him. Having come to his senses recognizing Him he presented me together with the jewel taking hold of His feet; I'm His maid-servant [see also 10.56].

(11) S'rî Kâlindî said: 'Knowing that I with the desire of touching His feet was executing penances, came He together with His friend [Arjuna] and took He my hand; I am the one cleaning His residence [10.58: 12-23]. 

(12) S'rî Mitravindâ said: 'During my svayamvara coming forward stole He me away the way the enemy of the elephants [a lion] claims his share from a pack of dogs; after defeating the kings and my brothers insulting Him, took He me to His capital where S'rî resides; may there for me, life after life, be the service of washing His feet [10.58: 31]. 

(13-14) S'rî Satyâ said: 'Seven great bulls most strong and vital with the sharpest horns, by my father arranged to test the prowess of the kings, destroyed the pride of the heroes; but they were quickly subdued and tied up by Him with the ease of children playing with young goats. This way paying for me with His valor took He me, protected by maid-servants, with Him, with an army of four divisions along the road defeating the kings; may there be my servitude to Him [10.58: 32-55]. 

(15-16) S'rî Bhadrâ said: 'With me in love with Him, o Krishnâ [Draupadî], gave my father, on his own accord inviting my maternal cousin Krishna, me to Him together with female companions and a guarding akshauhini of troops; let there for me, birth after birth wandering of my karma, be that betterment of myself in touching His feet [10.58: 56].

(17) S'rî Lakshmanâ said: 'O Queen, time and again hearing Nârada glorifying Acyuta's births and activities became my heart fixed upon Mukunda, He who after due consideration in rejection of the rulers of the world, indeed was chosen by her [the goddess S'rî] holding the lotus. (18) My father known as Brihatsena, o saintly lady, knowing of my state of mind arranged being affectionate with his daughter, a means to this end. (19)  Just as in your svayamvara, o Queen, was a fish being used [hung high as a target] that to be won by Arjuna, hidden from sight however, was only to be seen as a reflection in water [in a pot below]. (20) Hearing of this came from everywhere all the kings expert in the art of shooting and wielding other weapons to my father's city along with their thousands of teachers. (21) My father honored in full all of them, each according his strength and age, after which they who had set their minds upon me, in the assembly took up their bow and arrows to take a shot. (22) Some of them after lifting [the bow] were unable to string it and some having pulled the bowstring came to fall being hit by it. (23) Other heroes, the kings of Magadha [Jarâsandha], Cedi [S'is'upâla] and Ambashthha as well as Bhîma, Duryodhana and Karna, managed to string but couldn't determine its [the targets'] location. (24) Managing to locate it, took Arjuna, aiming carefully looking at the reflection of the fish in the water, a shot, but the arrow not piercing, only touched it. (25-26) When the proud kings defeated in their pride had given up, did the Supreme Lord, playfully taking up the bow, stringing it and then fixing an arrow on it, pierce the fish with its shaft, with the sun situated in Abhijit [in 'victory', or at noon] only once having looked at it in the water. (27) Kettledrums resounded in the sky together with the sound of 'Jaya' of the godly on earth who overwhelmed with joy released torrents of flowers. (28) Next did I, with a shy smile on my face and a wreath of flowers in my hair, enter the arena with gently tinkling anklebells on my feet, wearing a necklace of gold with brilliant jewels and a pair of fine silken, new garments held together with a belt. (29) Lifting my face with its many locks of hair and the cheeks effulgent of the earrings, looked I all around at the kings with a cool smile casting sidelong glances and placed I slowly my necklace around the neck of Murâri who had captured my heart. (30) At that moment resounded conchshells, mridangas, tabors, kettle drums and wardrums and such, and sang the singers as male and female dancers danced. (31) My thus having chosen for the Supreme Lord as my master could by the leading kings not be tolerated, o Draupadî; they became quarrelsome upset with a heart of abuse. (32) At that point lifting me in the chariot with its four gems of horses stood He, preparing His S'ârnga and donning His armor, on the battleground with His four arms [displayed in full]. (33) Before the kings to see drove Dâruka the chariot trimmed with gold, o Queen, as if He was the king of animals before animals. (34) They, the kings, like village dogs with a lion, went after Him, while some of them to check Him on the path, stood ready with their bows raised. (35) From the floods of arrows shot from S'ârnga fell some of them with their arms, legs and necks severed, while some others, gave it up and fled. (36) Then entered the Lord of the Yadus like the sun reaching his abode [or the western horizon] Dvârakâ, His city glorified in heaven and on earth, profusely decorated with wonderful archways and banners on flagpoles blocking the sun. (37) My father honored his friends, immediate relations and other family members with the most valuable clothing and jewelry and with beds, thrones and other furniture. (38) Along with maidservants endowed with all riches, infantry, elephantry, chariotry and cavalry, gave he the Lord of the Complete [Pûrnasya] out of devotion the most valuable weapons. (39) By the austerity of the abrupt breaking off of our material association have we indeed all become these maidservants in the home of Him, the One Satisfied Within Himself.

(40) The other queens said [by mouth of Rohinî]: 'Killing the demon Bhauma along with his followers in battle knew He us, by him being imprisoned, as the daughters of the kings defeated during his conquest of the earth; releasing us, constantly remembering His lotusfeet as the source of liberation from a material existence has He, the One Fulfilled in All His desires, married us. (41-42) O saintly lady, we do not desire rulership over the earth, a heavenly kingdom, unlimited pleasures even or mystic power, to be the supreme divinity, immortality or the abode of Hari, we desire to carry on our heads the dust of the divine feet of the Wielder of the Club, enriched by the fragrance of the kunkuma from the bosom of S'rî [see also 10.47: 60 , ** and the s'ikshâshtaka verse 4]. (43) We desire the same as what the Pulinda women [the gopîs] desire, as what the grass and the plants and the grazing cows and the gopas of Vraja desire: the contact of the feet of the Supreme Soul.'


* The one called Rohinî here is not Rohini, the mother of Balarâma, but the one queen representing the 16000 queens that Krishna wed next to his eight principal queens.

** The paramparâ points out that the S'rî referred to here is the supreme goddess of fortune as identified by the 'Brihad-gautamîya-tantra':

devî krishna-mayî proktâ
râdhikâ para-devatâ
sarva-lakshmî-mayî sarva
kântih sammohinî parâ

"The transcendental goddess S'rîmatî Râdhârânî is the direct counterpart of Lord S'rî Krishna. She is the central figure for all the goddesses of fortune. She possesses all the attractiveness to attract the all-attractive Personality of Godhead. She is the primeval internal potency of the Lord."


Chapter 84

Vasudeva of Sacrifice to the Sages at Kurukshetra Explaining the Path of Success

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Prithâ, the daughter of the king of Subala [Gândhârî] and Draupadî, Subhadrâ and the wives of the kings as well as His gopîs, hearing of the loving attachment [of the wives] to Krishna, Lord Hari, the Soul of All, fell all, with tears filling their eyes, in great amazement. (2-5) As the women were thus conversing with the women and the men with the men, arrived, eager to see Krishna and Râma at the place, the sages Dvaipâyana, Nârada, Cyavana, Devala and Asita; Vis'vâmitra, S'atânanda, Bharadvâja and Gautama; Lord Paras'urâma and his disciples, Vasishthha, Gâlava, Bhrigu, Pulastya and Kas'yapa; Atri, Mârkandeya and Brihaspati; Dvita, Trita, Ekata and the sons of Brahmâ [the four Kumâras] as also Angirâ, Âgastya, Yâjñavalkya and others headed by Vâmadeva. (6) Seeing them stood the Pândavas, Krishna, Râma, the kings and others till then seated, immediately up to bow down to those honored throughout the universe. (7) They all, including Râma and Acyuta, properly worshiped them with greetings, sitting places, water to wash their feet and to drink, flower garlands, incense and sandalwood paste. (8) The Supreme Lord in the flesh defending the dharma, addressed in the with rapt attention listening assembly the great souls being comfortably seated. (9) The Supreme Lord said: 'We altogether who got born now obtained the fruit of it: the sight of the masters of yoga rarely won even by the demigods. (10) How is it that human beings with eyes for God as the temple-deity, now in audience may touch, ask questions, bow down and be of worship at the feet and such? (11) Purified by just seeing you, the saints, are it not the holy places consisting of water nor the deities made of clay that take so long for it to happen [1.13: 10]. (12) Not the fire, nor the sun, the moon nor the firmament, not the earth, the water, the ether, the breath, the speech nor the mind take, being worshiped, away the sins of the one setting things apart; they are wiped out by a few moments of service to the men of [brahminical] learning. (13) He with the idea of himself as being the body stinking with its three elements [of mucus, bile and air], with the notion of a wife and that all as being his property, with the view of clay as being something worshipable, with the thought of water as being a place of pilgrimage, is, [going for appearances but] never to the wise in men, indeed like a cow or an ass.'

(14) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing this being said by the Supreme Lord Krishna Unlimited of Wisdom, were the learned silent, confounded by the words hard to follow. (15) The sages for some time pondering over the Supreme Controller and [His assuming] the position of being controlled, concluding that it was meant to enlighten the people, smiling addressed Him, the Spiritual Master of the Universe. (16) The honorable sages said: 'Ah, we the best knowers of the truth and chief creators of the universe, are bewildered by the power of the material illusion of the activities of the Supreme Lord, who so amazingly covert in His operations pretends to be the one controlled. (17) Effortless He creates, all by Himself, the manifold of this universe and maintains and destroys without getting entangled, indeed just like the earth does not in its transformations having many forms and names; ah, what a pretense the activities of the Almighty [see also 8.6: 10]! (18) Nonetheless does Your good Self, the Original Personality of the Soul, at times, to protect Your people and to chastise the wicked, assume the mode of goodness, by Your pastimes maintaining the eternal vedic path of the varnâs'rama statusoriëntations [see also sanâtana dharma]. (19) The spiritual [the 'brahma'] is Your pure heart in which by austerities, study and turning inward in concentrated meditation the eternal manifest and unmanifest is realized as also the transcendental to that [see also: B.G. 7: 5]. (20) For that reason do You, o Absolute of the Truth, prove Your respect for the community of the brahmins, through the perfect of whom the revealed scriptures are realized, and so are You the leader of those in respect of the brahminical. (21) Today there is [indeed] the fruition of our birth, education, austerities and vision; with You to obtain association is the goal of the saintly since You are the Limit, the Ultimate of all Welfare. (22) Our obeisances to Him, the Supreme Lord ever fresh in His wisdom, [You] Krishna, the Supersoul who by His yoga-mâyâ covered His own greatness. (23) None of these kings enjoying with You, nor the Vrishnis know You, cloaked by the curtain of mâyâ, as the Supreme Soul, the Time and the Controller [B.G. 6: 26]. (24-25) The way a sleeping person envisioning himself an alternate reality with names and forms with what he manifests through his mind does not know of a separate reality beyond it, does one with You similarly having names and forms, by the activity of the senses of Your mâyâ getting bewildered in one's consciousness, have no clue because of the discontinuity of one's memory [compare B.G. 4.5 and 4.29:1b, 10.1: 41 and 7.7: 25]. (26) That of You, the feet, the source of the Ganges, washing away floods of sins, have we seen today; [with them] well installed in the heart is by those whose yoga practice matured and the devotional service fully developed, the material mentality, the covering of their individual souls, destroyed and the destination of You attained - so please, show Your devotees Your mercy.'

(27) S'uka said: 'With this taking permission to leave Dâs'ârha [Krishna], Dhritarâshthra and Yudhishthhira, o sage among kings, contemplated the sages their return to their hermitages. (28) Seeing this approached the greatly renown Vasudeva them and took he bowing down hold of their feet expressing the following careful choice of words. (29) S'rî Vasudeva said: 'My obeisances to you representing all the gods [*], o seers, please listen, tell us this: how can we be purged of karma by doing work?'

(30) S'rî Nârada said: 'O learned ones, this with the desire to learn asking of Vasudeva about the highest good for himself, is not so surprising, given the fact that he thinks of Krishna as being a child [of his, his son]. (31) For mortals to be close out here is a cause of disregard as e.g. with someone living at the Ganges leaving to purify elsewhere. (32-33) [The Lord] His awareness is for no reason, nor on its own nor due to some other agency, in its qualities ever disrupted by the destructive and creative that is caused by the time of this [universe, see B.G. 4.14 and 10.30]; He, the Controller without a Second, whose consciousness is unaffected by hindrances, material activities and their consequences and the modes and their flow of changes [kles'a, karma and guna], is by someone else [ignorantly] considered as being covered by His own expansions of prâna and other elements, just like the sun is being covered by clouds, snow or eclipses.'

(34) Then, o King, said the sages, addressing Vasudeva with all the kings as also Acyuta and Râma listening: (35) 'As correct has been ascertained that the karma is counteracted by this work: that one with faith with sacrifices [sprightly, as in a kirtan] worships Vishnu, the Lord of all Sacrifices. (36) This indeed is what the scholars through the eye of the s'âstras demonstrated as the easiest way to pacify the mind; it is the yoga-dharma which brings pleasure to the heart. (37) The one twice-born performing sacrifices at home should pure and selfless with the entrusted possessions be of worship for the Personality of Godhead; this is the path that brings success [**]. (38) One who is intelligent should renounce the desire for wealth by sacrifices and charity, the desire for a wife and kids by engaging in household affairs and the desire for a world for himself [or an other life], o Vasudeva, by means of the Time [in studying its effects, see also 9.5 and B.G. 3: 16]; all the ones sober renounced their desires for a household life and went for penance into the forest [see also B.G. 2: 13]. (39) Prabhu, someone twiceborn is born with three debts: the debt to the gods, the sages and the forefathers; not liquidating them by [respectively] sacrifice [celibacy e.g.], studying the scriptures and with byproducts [children, pupils or books see ***] will he, leaving the body, fall down [again into the material world]. (40) But with you verily freed from the two of them to the sages and the forefathers, o magnanimous one, may you now, to be without debt, relieve yourself by sacrificing to the gods and renounce your homestead. (41) O Vasudeva since He took the role of your son must your good self [in a previous life] indeed with devotion thoroughly have been of worship for the Supreme Lord and Controller of All Worlds [see also 1o.3: 32-45 and 11.5: 41].'

(42) S'rî S'uka said: 'Having heard their words thus spoken, chose Vasudeva the sages as his priests, propitiating them by bowing his head. (43) The rishis, o King, being chosen by him so religiously to the principles with that, engaged him in fire rituals at the holy field [of Kurukshetra] with superfine ritual arrangements. (44-45) When the initiation of him was about to begin, came joyfully the Vrishnis, bathed and well-dressed, wearing garlands and being elaborately ornamented, together with their queens with lockets around their necks, in the finest clothes and smeared with sandalwood paste to the sacrificial pavilion, o King, with items of worship in their hands. (46) Clay tom-toms and tabors, kettle drums and drums, conchshells and other musical instruments sounded, male and female dancers danced and bards and panegyrists sang sweet voiced along with the female singers of heaven and their husbands. (47) According the scriptures by the priests sprinkled with sacred water [for his initiation], looked he with his eyes decorated black and his body smeared with fresh butter, with his eighteen wives [see 9.24: 21-23 & 45] as if [he was the moon] surrounded by the stars. (48) With them all finely decorated wearing silk sârîs and bangles, necklaces, ankle bells and earrings shone he, initiated being wrapped in deerskin, brilliantly. (49) O great King, his supervisors and priests radiated with their jewels and garments of silk as if they were standing in the sacrificial arena of the killer of Vritra [Indra, see 6.11]. (50) At that time did also the two Lords Râma and Krishna appear as splendid, each accompanied by Their own might of wives, sons and family members as expansions of Themselves. (51) He to the rules worshiped with each kind of sacrifice characterized as primary [to the s'ruti] and secondary [modified to other sources, see *4], with offerings in the fire and so on the Lord of the Paraphernalia, the Mantras and the Rituals. (52) Next gave he, at the designated time, to the priests already richly decorated, gifts of gratitude decorating them even more, as also marriageable girls, cows and land of great value. (53) Having executed the ritual performed by the sponsor [patni-samyâja] and the concluding ritual [avabhrithya] bathed the great sages, placing the learned and the sponsor of the yajna in front, in the lake of Lord Paras'urâma [9.16: 18-19]. (54) Having bathed gave he jewelry and clothing to the bards and the women and honored he next in his finest apparel all the classes of people and even the dogs with food. (55-56) With the wealth of gifts did his relatives and their wives and children, the leaders of the Vidarbhas, Kos'alas, Kurus, Kâs'îs, Kekayas and Sriñjayas; the supervisors, the priests, the different types of enlightened souls, the ordinary humans, the paranormal ['the ghostly'], the forefathers and the venerable ones, all take leave from the Abode of S'rî to depart filled with praise for the sacrifice performed. (57-58) The immediate family members Dhritarâshthra and his younger brother [Vidura], Prithâ and her sons [Arjuna, Bhîma and Yudhishthhira], Bhîshma, Drona, the twins [Nakula and Sahadeva], Nârada, and Bhagavân Vyâsadeva and other relatives embracing their friends and relatives, the Yadus, then, with hearts melting of affection on the separation, with difficulty returned to their respective places as did also the rest of the guests. (59) Nanda together with the cowherds out of affection for his relatives stayed and was by Krishna, Râma, Ugrasena and the rest in worship honored most generously. (60) Vasudeva with ease having crossed over the ocean of his great ambition [see also 10.3: 11-12], felt most pleased and addressed, surrounded by his well-wishers, Nanda, touching his hand as he spoke.

(61) S'rî Vasudeva said: 'The by God forged bond of men which is named affection is, I think, for warriors as difficult to relinquish as for yogîs. (62) Even though the friendship offered by you so very saintly is not reciprocated by us so forgetful of what you did, does it never cease as it is beyond compare. (63) Formerly [sitting in Kamsa's prison] were we incapable to act on your behalf and now well-to-do, o brother, do we with you right in front of us fail to see you with our eyes blind intoxicated of the opulence. (64) Let there for a person after the real benefit of life never arise the fortune of kings, o respectful one, as he with his vision clouded by that doesn't even see his own kinsmen or friends [compare 10.10: 8].'

(65) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus with tears filling his eyes remembering what he all had done in friendship, had Ânakadundubhi, with his heart softened by the intimacy, to weep. (66) Nanda then to his overtly affectionate friend, out of love for Govinda and Râma thus saying 'I'll go later, I'll go tomorrow', remained, honored by the Yadus, for three months. (67-68) Satiated with desirables like the most valuable ornaments, finest linen and various priceless pieces of furniture, he thereafter, seen off by the Yadus, departed together with the people of Vraja and his family, taking with him the gifts given by Krishna, Uddhava and others. (69) Nanda, the gopas and the gopîs being unable to put Govinda's lotus feet out of their minds, accordingly [many a time] looking back, returned to Mathurâ. (70) With their relatives departed went the Vrishnis who had Krishna as their Godhead, seeing that the rainy season was about to begin, back to Dvârakâ. (71) To the people [there] they gave an account of the great festivity and all that of the lord of the Yadus [Vasudeva] had taken place and of all the well-wishers they had seen during the pilgrimage [see 10.82].


* This statement, reminds us the paramparâ, is confirmed in the authoritative s'ruti-mantras, which declare 'yâvatîr vai devatâs tâh sarvâ veda-vidi brâhmane vasanti': "Whatever demigods exist, all reside in a brâhmana who knows the Veda."

** The paramparâ adds: 'Both S'rîdhara Svâmî and S'rî Jîva Gosvâmî here agree that the ritual karma of Vedic sacrifices is particularly meant for attached householders. Those who are already renounced in Krishna consciousness, like Vasudeva himself, need only cultivate their faith in the Lord's devotees, His Deity form, His name, the remnants of His food and His teachings, as given in Bhagavad-Gîtâ and S'rîmad-Bhâgavatam'.

*** The word putra used here usually refers to child, but also means doll or any other artificial thing to care for like a home, or works of art, a book or another byproduct as Prabhupâda and his pupils called it as e.g. in 3.28: 38 and 11.20: 27-28. It literally means 'preserving from the hell called Put', the place where the ones childless reside.

*4 The paramparâ explains: 'The Brâhmana portion of the Vedic s'ruti specifies the complete step-by-step procedure of only a few prototype sacrifices, such as the Jyotishthoma and Dars'a-pûrnamâsa. These are called the prâkrita, or original, yajñas; the details of other yajñas must be extrapolated from the patterns of these prâkrita injunctions according to the strict rules of the Mîmâmsâ-s'âstra. Since other yajñas are thus known by derivation from the prototype sacrifices, they are called vaikrita, or "changed".'



Chapter 85

Lord Krishna Instructs Vasudeva and Retrieves Devakî's Sons

(1) The son of Vyâsa said: 'Then, one day, came Sankarshana and Acyuta, the two sons of Vasudeva, to him who, after They had honored his feet, greeting Them spoke affectionately. (2) Having heard the words of the sages referring to the powers of his two sons, had with him in regard of their valorous deeds the conviction developed and said he, addressing Them by name: (3) 'Krishna, o Krishna, o greatest yogî, o eternal Sankarshana, I know You two are directly the primary nature [or pradhâna] and male principle [the purusha or person] out here. (4) Whatever, however or whenever, in, by, from, of or unto this [universe] comes into existence, is all directly the Predominator, the Supreme Lord, the primary nature and person, (5) This variegated universe created from Yourself, o Lord of the Beyond, do You, o Unborn One, entering it by Yourself, maintain as the Supreme Soul and principle of vitality and individuality. (6) Of both [the animate, and inanimate] entities which, different as they are, all belonging to the Supreme are thus dependent, are You the One that sets into motion the creative factors and potencies of the life air and that all in the universe [see also 2.5: 32-33]. (7) The glow, brilliance, luminosity, the particular of the moon, the fire, the sun, the stars and the lightning [B.G. 15: 12], the permanence of the mountains and the fragrance and sustaining power of the earth, are all in truth You Yourself. (8) The quenching, the life-giving of water as also the water itself and its taste are You o Lord; o Controller, Yours is the body heat, the vigor mental and physical, the endeavor and the movement [that are all said to be] of the air [see also B.G. 11: 39]. (9) You are the directions their spaces, the ether all around, the elemental sound there based, the primeval vibration that is the syllable of AUM and its differentiation in particular forms [of language, see also B.G. 7: 8]. (10) You are of the senses the power to sense, their gods [3.12: 26] and of them the mercy; You are of the intelligence the power to decide and of the living being the power to correctly recall [B.G. 7: 10 15: 15]. (11) You, the Originator before All, are the source of the physical elements [tamas], the passions of the senses [rajas] and the emotions changing with the choice of gods [sattva, see also B.G. 14]. (12) Among the entities that are subject to destruction in this world are You the indestructible, just as the substance itself is, relative to its transformations. (13) The modes of goodness, passion and ignorance and their functions are this way within You, within the Supreme Absolute Truth, regulated by the internal potency [the yogamâyâ of Your pastimes]. (14) On that account are these entities not [really] destroyed when they - at other times indeed being nonmaterial - conditioned within You as products of creation, also have You within them [as a believer, as caitanya, a nitya-mukta conscious soul or jivâtmâ, see B.G 2: 12, 9: 4-5 & 8: 19]. (15) Those then in this world are ignorant who, failing in understanding the destination of the Soul of Everything, impelled by their karma move around in the flow of the material ocean. (16) Somehow or other in this life having obtained the most suitable of the human stature so difficult to achieve, may someone deluded by the material energy [like Me], o Controller, [still] have spent his entire life in confusion about his own best interest. (17) With You tying up all in this world with the ropes of affection is there to the body and the progeny and other relations the 'this I am' and 'these are mine' to it. [see also e.g. 2.9: 2, 4.28: 17, 4.29: 5, 5.5: 8 and 6.16: 41]. (18) The two of You are not our sons but evidently the Controllers of pradhâna and purusha that descended to remove the burden of rulers of the earth, as You Yourselves have said [10.50: 7-10]. (19) Therefore do I today come for Your shelter, to the lotusfeet which, with the surrendered, the distressed, take away the fear of being entangled, o Friend, and that is all; enough, enough of that hankering for sense-enjoyment which makes me see myself as being mortal and think of You, the One Supreme, as being my child. (20) In the maternity room You indeed said [see 10.3: 44] that You, taking birth with us, were the Unborn One and thus so age after age operate in defense of Your dharma, like a cloud assuming and effacing various bodies [see B.G. 4: 8]; o, who can understand the mystic potency and manifold of You, all-pervading, so greatly glorified?'

(21) S'rî S'uka said: 'This way hearing the statements of His father replied the Supreme Lord, the best of the sâtvatas with humility bowing, broadly smiling with a gentle voice. (22) The Supreme Lord said: 'I consider these words of You appropriate, o father, since by referring to Us, your Sons, you expressed the total reality. (23) I, you, He, My brother, and these residents of Dvârakâ even, are all to be considered the same way (as expansions of Me), o best of the Yadus, along with everything that moves and not moves [B.G. 9: 5 & 15 and the siddhânta]. (24) The Supreme Soul indeed is one, self-luminous, eternal and distinct; being free from the modes is it by the modes from itself having created the material entities as their products, seen as many. (25) It is as with the ether, the air, the fire, the water and the earth that, being one, depending their locations, in their products, manifest or unmanifest, small or large, appear as being many [see also B.G. 13: 31].'

(26) S'rî S'uka said: 'Of Vasudeva thus addressed by the Supreme Lord, o King, was the thinking in separateness destroyed and was he silent satisfied within. (27-28) Then at that place, o best of the Kurus, asked loud and clear Devakî, the worshipable goddess of all, from Krishna and Râma that, as she to her utter amazement had heard of [Their retrieving] the son of Their guru [10.45], that her own sons murdered by Kamsa be brought back; to the memory of which she sadly remembering, distraught spoke with tears in her eyes. (29) S'rî Devakî said: 'Râma, o Râma, o Immeasurable Soul; o Krishna, Master of the Yogamasters, I know You both are the Original Personalities, the Lords of the Creators of the Universe [see also catur-vyûha]. (30) You now indeed descended to me for the kings who, living outside of the scriptures with their good qualities destroyed by the time [of kaliyuga], became a burden to the earth. (31) O Soul of All that Be, today came I for shelter to Him, You, who by a partial expansion [the modes] of an expansion [the material energy] of an expansion [Nârâyana] gives rise to the generation, prospering and dissolution of the universe [see also 2.5]. (32-33) It is heard that ordered by Your guru to retrieve his for a long time dead son, You brought him from the place of the forefathers to Your spiritual master as a gift of gratitude to the teacher. Please, o You two Masters of the Yoga Masters, fulfill the same way my desire: I'd like to see brought back my sons that were killed by Kamsa' [see 10.4].

(34) The rishi [S'uka] said: 'Thus entreated by their mother, o descendant of Bharata entered Râma and Krishna utilizing their internal potency the nether world of Sûtala [see 5.24: 18]. (35) Having entered there stood the daitya king [Bali] immediately up to bow to Them together with his entourage. being overwhelmed with joy of seeing Them, the Supreme Soul and Godhead of the Universe and especially himself. (36) Bringing them royal seats, was he, as they sat, happy to take, of the two Great Souls of Them, the feet to wash, of which he together with his followers up to Brahmâ took the purifying water [on their heads]. (37) He, with offering the wealth of himself and his family, thus worshiped Them with the most valuable riches, garments, ornaments, fragrant pastes, betel nut, lamps, nectarean food and so on [*]. (38) He who had conquered Indra [see 8.15], over and over taking hold of the Supreme Lord's feet, spoke, with a heart melting of love, tears in his eyes of ecstasy and his hairs erect, o King, choked up in his words. (39) Bali said: 'My respects for Ananta, the Greatest Being; my obeisances to Krishna, the Absolute Truth, the Supersoul, the Disseminator and Creator of the analytical knowledge [sânkhya, see 3.25-32] and science of [bhakti-] yoga. (40) The vision of You indeed is, though by the living beings rarely achieved, yet still for people like us, whose natures are in passion and ignorance, not difficult to obtain with You endeavoring to reach us on Your own accord [see B.G. 3: 21-23]. (41-43) The sons of Diti and Dâna, the singers of heaven, the perfected, the scientific, the venerable, the wealthkeepers, the wild, the carnivorous and the paranormal, the mystics, the politicians, we and others like them are constantly fixed with a grudge toward the Direct Embodiment of Pure Goodness whose divine form comprises the revealed scriptures; some are especially obstinate with hatred, some are of devotion with ulterior motives, but the enlightened and the rest, infatuated in the goodness, are not so attracted [but still, compare: the atmarâma-verse 1.7: 1]. (44) O Controller when not even the masters of yoga know Your illusional yoga for the greater part characterized in terms like this [svarûpa and vis'esha game of identity], what then of us? (45) Therefore o shelter of the lotus feet, searched for by the selfless, be merciful to us and lead us out of the blind well of household life, so that I in peace may wander alone or else with the friends of all, those [saints, devotees, vaishnavas, desire trees] helpful to all the world at whose feet the subsistence [the 'vritti'] is obtained. (46) Please direct us o Controller of the ones controlled, make us sinless o master, make us a person executing with faith that becomes free from [scriptural] fixations.'

(47) The Supreme Lord said: 'Once, during the first Manu, there were of Marîci six sons born from Ûrnâ, demigods, who laughed at seeing the yes [of 'kam', or Brahmâ in this case] of preparing for copulation with a daughter [called Vâk, see 3.12: 28-35, compare 3.20: 23]. (48-49) By that entered they, of the unenlightened of the improper act, immediately a womb to be born to Hiranyakas'ipu, after which they, brought over by Yogamâyâ, were born from the womb of Devakî, o King, and by Kamsa were murdered. She laments for them as her own sons; they, these same sons are living here with you [see also ** and 10.2*]. (50) We want to take them from here in order to dispel their mother's sadness; after that will they, with the curse lifted, free from the fever go to their own world. (51) By My grace will these six - Smara [Kîrtimân, see 10.1: 57], Udgîtha, Parishvanga, Patanga, Kshudrabhrit and Ghrinî - return to the destination of the saintly.'

(52) Thus speaking took They, both honored by Bali, them back to Dvârakâ and presented They the sons to their mother. (53) Seeing the boys made the breasts of the goddess out of her affection for her sons flow, and placing them on her lap embraced she them, over and over smelling their heads. (54) Bewildered by Vishnu's illusory energy of which the creation comes into being, allowed she lovingly her sons to drink from her breasts wet on their touching them. (55-56) Having drunk her nectarean milk, the remnants of what the Wielder of the Club drank [before Vasudeva carried Him to Gokula], regained they by the touch of the body of Nârâyana the perception of their original selves. Bowing down to Govinda, Devakî, their father and Balarâma went they, with all the people looking, to the abode where the gods live. (57) Seeing this return and departure of the dead, thought Devakî divine in great amazement about the magic arranged by Krishna, o King. (58) Of Krishna, the Supreme Soul unlimited in His valor, are there a countless number of feats like this, o descendant of Bharata.

(59) S'rî Sûta [at Naimishâranya, 1.1: 4] said: "Whoever devoutly hears or recounts this pastime of Murâri to whose glories there is no end, as described by Vyâsa's respected son, will, by this true delight for His devotees' ears that totally destroys the sins of the living being, fixing his mind on the Supreme Lord, go to His all-auspicious heavenly abode."


* The paramparâ adds here that there are nine standard processes of devotional service as Prahlâda points out in 7.5: 23-24, and that the last, âtma-samarpanam, the handing over of one's wealth as modeled by Bali Mahârâja for the sake of the âtma-nivedanam of self communication with the Lord, is the culmination toward which every endeavor should aim. If one tries to impress the Lord with wealth, power, intelligence and so on but fails to humbly understand oneself to be His servant, one's so-called devotion is only a presumptuous show. The paramparâ thus warns here against the false religion of pompous ceremony without regard for the yogîc retreat as of Daksha in 4.2. See also B.G 2.42-43.

** The paramparâ explains with the Âcâryas S'rîdhara Svâmî and Vis'vanâtha Cakravartî that after taking Marîci's six sons from Hiranyakas'ipu, Lord Krishna's Yogamâyâ first made them pass through one more life as children of another great demon, Kâlanemi [the previous incarnation of Kamsa, see 10.1: 68], and then she finally transferred them to the womb of Devakî. For the full story see footnote 10.1***.


 Chapter 86  

Arjuna Kidnaps Subhadrâ, and Krishna Instructs Bahulas'va and S'rutadeva

(1) The honorable king (Parîkchit) said: 'O brahmin, we'd like to know how she who is my grandmother, the sister of Krishna and Râma [Subhadrâ, see 9.24: 53-55], got married to Arjuna.'

(2-3) S'rî S'uka said: 'Arjuna, the great lord, gone on a pilgrimage to Prabhâsa wandering the earth, heard that Râma intended to give his maternal cousin away to Duryodhana and to no one else, and so went he, desirous of her, to Dvârakâ changed into a renunciate with a tridanda [*]. (4) There did he, sure to fulfill his purpose, reside during the months of the rainy season and was he for the time honored by the citizens and by Râma unaware of who he was. (5) One day invited as a guest was he brought to Balarâma's house where He presented him with faith food for him to eat. (6) There, with eyes blossoming of happiness seeing the wonderful girl enchanting the heroes, did he, smitten, put his mind on her. (7) She also seeing him who stole each woman's heart, with desire giving him a bashful smile and look, fixed her heart and eyes upon him. (8) Thinking of nothing but her awaiting the right opportunity could Arjuna, with his heart trembling of the strongest desire, find no peace. (9) When during an important religious festival she rode out from the fortress in a chariot, did the mighty warrior, with her parents [see 1o.1: 56] and Krishna consenting, seize her who had stolen his heart. (10) Standing on the chariot raising his bow drove he, like the king of the animals claiming his share, back the heroes and guards who, as his relatives were shouting in anger, tried to stop him. (11) Hearing this was Râma, being as disturbed as the ocean during a moon in conflict [astrological conjunction or opposition], by Lord Krishna and His family grasped by the feet and carefully pacified. (12) So He with pleasure sent presents of great value, elephants and horses and male and female [servants] as a wedding gift for the groom and bride.'

(13) S'rî S'uka continued: 'Of Lord Krishna there was S'rutadeva, one of the best among the twice born, known for his fullness of realization - his serenity, learning and freedom from sense gratification - in exclusive devotion to Krishna. (14) He, as a householder dwelling in Mithilâ in the kingdom of Videha, carried out his obligations unconcerned about what came to him for his sustenance. (15) Day by day doing his duties as required was he happy with just that - and nothing more - what to his sober maintenance by providence fell to his share. (16) The ruler of that kingdom from the line of King Mithilâ [Janaka] known as Bahulâs'va was likewise selfless-minded, my dearest; both indeed were dear to Acyuta. (17) Pleased with the two of them mounted the Supreme Lord His chariot brought forth by Dâruka, and mounting together with a group of sages went the Master to Videha. (18) Along came Nârada, Vâmadeva, Atri, Krishna-dvaipâyana Vyâsa, Paras'urâma, Asita, Aruni, I [S'uka], Brihaspati, Kanva, Maitreya and Cyavana and others. (19) Everywhere He came approached the citizens and villagers carrying arghya [offerings of water] to greet Him who was as the risen sun surrounded by the planets. (20) In Ânarta [where Dvârakâ is], Dhanva [the desert region], Kuru-jângala [Thaneswar and Kurukshetra], Kanka, Matsya [Jaipur and Aloyar], Pañcâla [the Ganges region], Kunti, Madhu, Kekaya [northeast Punjab], Kos'ala [from Kas'i to the Himalayas], Arna [east of Mithilâ] and in many other kingdoms, drank the men and women with their eyes in the lotus face generous with smiles and affectionate glances, o King. (21) As the Spiritual Master of the Three Worlds, destroying the blindness of their eyes, bestowed on them the fearlessness of the spiritual vision, heard He, by and by reaching Videha, His glories that eradicate all misfortune and purify every corner of the universe, being sung by the godly and the commoners. (22) As soon as the villagers and citizens heard that Acyuta had arrived, o King, came they joyfully out to Him with offerings in their hands. (23) Seeing Him Who is Praised in the Verses, bowed they with their faces and hearts blossoming of love down with their joined palms held to their heads, as they also did before the sages they knew from hearsay. (24) The king of Mithilâ and S'rutadeva each fell at the feet thinking that the Spiritual Master of the Universe had arrived to be of mercy to him. (25) Bahulâs'va and S'rutadeva simultaneously joining their palms, invited the Descendant of Das'ârha along with the twiceborn to be their guest. (26) The Supreme Lord eager to please the two of them entered, accepting them both, each his house without them seeing that [He did so at the same time in vaibhava-prakâs'a]. (27-29) The descendent of Janaka [Bahulas'va] then seeing them, fatigued, from a distance coming to his home, mindfully brought out fine seats to them so that they could comfortably sit. Overjoyed at heart with intense devotion and eyes clouded with tears bowed he down to wash those feet of which the water is able to purify the whole world. Together with his family taking it on their heads, worshiped he the Lords [and sages] with paste, garlands, clothing, jewelry, incense, lamps, arghya, cows and bulls. (30) To them gratified with the food said he slowly, happily massaging the feet of Vishnu on his lap, the following, trying to please in a gentle voice.

(31) S'rî Bahulâs'va said: 'You indeed the Self-illumined Witness and Soul of All Created Beings, o Almighty One, have now become visible to us who are remembering Your lotusfeet. (32) To be true to the statement You made that 'No one, not even Ananta, S'rî or the Unborn Brahmâ is as dear to Me as the unalloyed devotee', have you made Yourself accessible to our eyes [see also 7.7: 51-52, 10.9.20-21, 10. 47: 58-63]. (33) Who ever, what person being in knowledge like this, would abandon Your lotusfeet with You giving Yourself to sages who are peaceful with no possessions of their own? (34) Descending in the Yadu-dynasty for the people caught in worldly love [samsâra] have You, to call it to a stop, disseminated Your fame which removes the sins of the three worlds. (35) All glories to You Krishna, the Supreme Lord ever fresh in His intelligence, to Nara-Nârâyana, perfect of peace in undergoing the austerities. (36) Please o Omnipresent One, dwell, joined by the twice born, for a few days in our home and sanctify with the dust of Your feet this dynasty of Nimi.'

(37) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus invited by the king stayed the Supreme Lord and Maintainer of the Entire World, bringing good fortune to the men and women of Mithilâ. (38) S'rutadeva, just as Bahulas'va receiving Krishna in his house, bowed down to the sages to the occasion of which he delighted danced with waving clothes. (39) Making them sit on mats of darbha grass which were brought, greeted he them with words of welcome and washed he pleased together with his wife their feet. (40) With the water he, overjoyed of having all desires fulfilled, most piously showered himself, his house and his family. (41) With offerings of fruits, aromatic root [us'îra], pure nectarean sweet water, fragrant clay, tulsî leaves, kus'a-grass and lotus flowers honored he them with all items of worship available and with food conducive to the mood of goodness [see B.G. 17: 8]. (42) He tried to understand: 'For what reason could befall me, fallen in the blind well of a family life, this association with Krishna and these godly people in whom He resides; it is indeed the dust of their feet that is the dignity of all holy places. (43) With them comfortably seated and proven the hospitality, spoke S'rutadeva, with his wife, relatives and children sitting near, while massaging His feet.

(44) S'rutadeva said: 'It is not just today that we have obtained the vision of the Supreme Personality; in fact is that so ever since He, creating this universe with His energies, entered it in His own state of [transcendental] existence [as avatâras]. (45) He appears like a sleeping person enters a dream, alone with his mind by his own imagination creating a separate world. (46) For those people who with minds pure again and again hear about You, speak about You and, offering praise, worship You and converse about You, do You appear within the heart. (47) Though situated in the heart are You very far away to minds agitated by material activities; though one by one's own powers cannot take hold of You, are You near to those hearts who realized Your qualities [see also B.G. 7: 25]. (48) Let there be my obeisances unto You, the Supreme Spirit to those who know the Supersoul, the One [as Time] bringing Death to the conditioned soul; the One assuming forms having a cause [the universe] and not having a cause [the transcendental], [respectively] obstructing and [then again descending for Your devotees] uncovering the vision by Your own deluding potency. (49) You as Him, please command us Your servants. What o God should we do? Oh, having this of You, Your good Self, visible to the eyes, is what puts an end to the troubles of humanity!'

(50) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing what he thus had said to Him, spoke the Supreme Lord, the Destroyer of the Distress of the Surrendered, to him with a broad smile taking his hand into His. (51) The Supreme Lord said: 'O brahmin, you should know that these sages came for the purpose of blessing you; wandering with Me, they purify all the worlds with the dust of their feet. (52) The deities, pilgrimage sites and sacred rivers being seen, being touched and being worshiped purify gradually, but by the glance of the one most worshipable is that attained all at the same time [see also 4.30: 37, 7.9: 44, 10.9:21, 10.84: 11]. (53) A brahmin is by birth the best of all living beings, and what more would he be unto Me, by his austerity, his learning and his contentment being endowed with a grip on the time [of this age of Kali, see also ** and kâla]! (54) This four-armed form is not as dear to Me as a brahmin is; a man of [brahminical] learning comprises all the Vedas indeed the way I comprise all the gods [see also 10.84: 12]. (55) Those corrupted in their intelligence failing to understand it this way, in neglect behave enviously towards the man of [brahminical] learning, their guru, Me, their very self; while regarding the visible form of an idol worthy of worship. (56) The moving and nonmoving of this universe as well as the elementary categories basic to it are by a learned one in regard of Me kept in mind as being My forms [see also B.G. 5: 18]. (57) Therefore o brahmin just worship, in faith with Me, these brahmin seers, and thus doing so will directly I be worshiped; not by any other way as [e.g. offering] vast riches [and such].'

(58) S'rî S'ûka said: 'He as also the king of Mithilâ this manner being instructed by the Lord, attained by worshiping with single-minded devotion Krishna and His company of the most exalted twice born ones, the transcendental destination. (59) The Supreme Lord of Devotion to the Devotees, thus staying and teaching the two devotees the path of the truthful [***], o King, then returned to Dvârakâ.


* The tridanda is a staff carried by vaishnava sannayâsis symbolizing the threefold austerity of thought, speech and action. In all these three the renunciate is vowed to serve Vishnu. The staff consists of three sticks wrapped in saffron cloth with a small extra piece wrapped in at the top.

** Time is the Lord His impersonal feature. The paramparâ says: 'It is understood from the Vedic science of epistemology, the 'Nyâya-s'âstra', that knowledge of an object (prameya) depends on a valid means of knowing (pramâna)' (pp 10.86: 54). So would to know K r i s h n a in the form of Time as-He-is (I am the Time, the light of the sun and the moon, as He says in the Gîtâ to be the objective of the universe) - by means of clocks managed validly to His nature, the Sun as with a sundial, and calendars managed validly to His order, the moon, like with its phases - constitute the proper brahminical conduct. With weeks to the moon and clocks to the sun, would standardtime with its mean time deadness, zone time arbitrary false oneness and summertime instability, constitute the time of ignorance in denial of K r i s h n a, the father of Time, even though K r i s h n a affirms the worship of Time with the pragmatical and thus karmic dictate of standardtime, to which He still calls that demigod (...) worship less attractive and wrong [see also cakra, kâla en 1'2: 26 B.G. 9.23, 10: 21, 30 &33, 7: 8 and the Bhâgavatam timequotes].

*** Prabhupâda adds here: "The instruction we receive from this incident is that King Bahulâs'va and S'rutadeva the brâhmana were accepted by the Lord on the same level because both were pure devotees. This is the real qualification for being recognized by the Supreme Personality of Godhead."


Chapter 87

The Underlying Mystery: Prayers of the Personified Vedas

(1) S'rî Parîkchit said: 'O brahmin, how can the sacred texts [the s'ruti, the Vedas], covering the different modes of nature, be of direct reference to the inexpressible [*] Absolute Truth transcendental to cause [the subtle] and effect [the gross]?'

(2) S'rî S'uka said: 'The intelligence, senses, mind and life force of the living beings were by their Lord and Master evolved for the sake of sensuality, for the sake of getting a life and for the sake of the [emancipation of the] soul and its ultimate liberation. (3) Indeed was this same philosophical exercise about the absolute Truth observed by the predecessors [like the kumâras] of our predecessors [like Nârada]; whoever with faith concentrates upon it will attain peace and tranquility free from material attachment [see also 8.24: 38]. (4) To this I'll relate to you an account concerning Lord Nârâyana. It is a conversation between Nârâyana Rishi and Nârada Muni.

(5) Once did the Supreme Lord's beloved Nârada traveling the worlds go to visit the âs'rama of the Eternal Seer Nârâyana. (6) He just for the welfare, in this and the next life, of the human beings abiding in dharma, jnâna and self-control in Bhârata-varsha, has been performing penances from the beginning of Brahmâ's day [see kalpa]. (7) There bowed he down to Him sitting there surrounded by sages in Kalâpa, the village where He resided, and asked he this very same question, o best of the Kurus. (8) As the seers were listening related the Supreme Lord this ancient discussion among the inhabitants of the world of the mortals [janaloka] about the Absolute Truth. (9) The Supreme Lord said: 'O son of the selfborn lord [Brahmâ], in the past was there, among the ones residing in the world of the mortals, a sacrifice held to which the [ûrdhva-retah] celibate sages born from Brahmâ ['from the mind'] exercised the spiritual. (10) With you having gone to S'vetadvîpa to see its Controller, ensued about Him [Vishnu as Aniruddha] in whom the Vedas lay down to rest [after the dissolution of the material world], indeed a lively exposition, which brought up the question that you again are asking Me. (11) Though equal of character in their penance and their hearing from the s'ruti, though equal to friends, foes and neutrals, appointed they one of them as their speaker while the rest eagerly listened.'

(12-13) S'rî Sanandana said: 'When He having created this universe at its end withdrew and was lying asleep, awakened the Veda's in person the Supreme One with descriptions of His characteristics, the same way a sleeping king by his court poets is awakened as they as his servants approach him at dawn with [reciting] his heroic deeds. (14) The Vedas said: 'All glories, all glories to You, please o Unconquerable One who assumed the modes to create the detrimental, defeat the eternal illusion; because You in Your original status are complete in all opulences can You, at times engaging Yourself with the from Your inner self springing energies of the embodied ones moving and nonmoving, be appreciated by us, the Vedas, as the root [**]. (15) This world perceived as the great [as brahman] do the seers consider as being the all-pervading foundation, for it is like with clay that in transformation leading to forms and dissolving again itself does not change; therefore have they dedicated their minds, words and actions to You - how can it be else that the steps men take are placed on the ground [of their existence, see also 6.16: 22, 11.24: 18 and B.G. 7: 20-25]. (16) Thus do Your people of enlightenment o Master of the Three of All Worlds, rid themselves of their troubles by diving deep into the ocean of the nectar of kathâ that eradicates the contamination; what again to say about those who by the power of their own minds dispelled the qualities of the temporal, o Supreme One, and who in worship experience the uninterrupted happiness of Your abode. (17) They who bellow as if they are breathing [see B.G. 18.61] are really alive if they are Your faithful followers, for You, above cause and effect, are the underlying reality of Whose mercy the universal egg of the totality, the separateness and the other elements of the person was produced [see 3.26: 51-53]; with You, according to the particular forms they furthermore lead to, appearing among these as the Ultimate One in relation to the [mere] physical coverings and so on [the kos'as and B.G. 18: 54]. (18) According the standards of the seers are they with a gross vision of worship for the abdomen [the lower centers] and are the ârunis [the superior yogîs] of respect for the prânic knot of the subtle energies [see cakra] of the heart, after which they, o Unlimited One, go upward to the head which is Your abode and next go to the highest destination from reaching which they never fall down again into the mouth of death [see also B.G. 8: 16]. (19) Apparently entering within the by You variegated created species of life as their motivator [pro or con], do You in imitation of Your own creation become visible, like fire does, according their relative positions; You thus being among them as expanded [or real] and as not expanded [untrue or temporary] are by those connected with Your manifestation, who free from being entangled have minds that are spotless, understood as being one [unchanging, permanent] state of love [see also B.G. 2: 12]. (20) The person within the bodies he arranged for himself is in fact as the expansion of You, the possessor of all energies, so is said [by the Vedas], not of the external [the gross body, the deha], nor of the internal [the subtle body, the linga] but enveloped; and so do, once they have developed faith ascertaining the status of the living entity as being manifested in this manner, the ones learned in the sacred precepts worship Your feet as the source of liberation and field in which all offerings are sown. (21) The few that are tired of the trouble [of a material life] do, by diving into the vast ocean of nectar of the pastimes of the forms You assumed in order to propagate the hard to grasp principle of soul, not even wish to leave this world behind, o Lord, in abandoning their homes having found the association with the community of the swans at Your lotus feet [see e.g. 4.24: 58, 4.30: 33, 5.12: 16, 5.13: 21, 7.6: 17-18 , 7.14: 3-4]. (22) This body useful for serving You acts as one's self, one's friend and beloved; however, although You, favorably disposed as their very Self, are helpful and affectionate, do they who alas fail to delight in You rather find the degradation of the physical frame [in successive births], being of suicide in worship of the unreal as they persistently wander far and wide in the existential fear [see also B.G. 16: 19]. (23) That which the sages with the breathing, mind and senses brought under control in steadfast yoga worship in the heart, is also attained by the ones remembering in enmity [see also 3.2: 24 10.74: 46]; and so will we do, equally relishing the same nectar from the lotuslike feet, as do the women [the gopîs, the wives] who in their mind and vision are attracted to Your arms firm as mighty snake bodies. (24) Ah, who out here recently born and soon to die indeed knows who came first, from whom arose the seer [Brahmâ] and from whom followed the two groups of demigods [to the senses and the principles] [see B.G. 7: 26]? When He lies down to withdraw is there at that time neither the gross, nor the subtle, nor that [the bodies] comprising both; nor is there the flow of Time or are the s'âstras there [B.G. 9: 7]. (25) They who teaching with authority declare that life springs from dead matter and that there is cessation from the eternal [see B.G. 2: 16], that the soul wouldn't be one [see 10.14: 9] and that the duality of mundane business is something real [see B.G. 17: 28], are mistaken in their from ignorance born dualistic conception that the living entity thus would be produced from the three modes [only without You, their Oneness Beyond, see B.G. 14: 19 and 13: 28]; that is what one gets when one to such transcendental matters is not in [knowledge with] You, the Essence of Full Perception [see also 5.6: 9-11]. (26) The [temporal of form and thus] untrue threefold and its [mind-]phenomena up to the human beings, appear in You as if they are true, and are by the knowers of the Soul considering this entire world as true not rejected for being transformations non-different from Him; they, created by Himself entering, are as such indeed ascertained to be as much the True Self as gold is, not differing from its projections [see also 6.16: 22]. (27) They who worship You as the shelter of all created beings simply step with their feet upon the head of Death, while You with Your words even tie up the wise if they are of neglect; they who turned to friendship indeed purify themselves, not so they who turned their face away. (28) You self-effulgent not effecting are the sustainer of all that are effecting [with the sensory functions]; the godly vigilant with the material nature carry You tribute and do partake in that offering, as if they are the local rulers in a kingdom in relation to their lord ruling over the entire land - that is how they, the ones who make it indeed, in fear of You execute their assigned services. (29) With the material energy are the species of life, that manifest themselves as stationary and moving, awakened in their motives of action if You being aloof, o Eternally Liberated one, by Your brief glance assume [Your forms to] sport to her; to the Supreme indeed can no one be strange or a friend, just as it is with the ethereal sky having no perceptible qualities - in that You bear resemblance to a void. (30) If the countless embodied beings wouldn't be time-bound, would then the omnipresent not be such a sovereign rule, o Unchanging One; [because of You] not separating from the substance from which they were generated must [You] the regulator [of Time] be known as being equally present everywhere, not as being somewhere else; and thus is one having it wrong supposing that one knows [the complete of You] since one is of the imperfect [local order] of what is known [see 6.5: 19]. (31) The generation of material nature and its male principle, the person, does not really happen; by the combination of both being unborn come these living bodies in You into being like bubbles on the water [in touch with the air] and have they therefore different names and qualities [later again] merging in the Supreme as rivers merging into the ocean and all flavors of nectar merging into honey [see also B.G. 9: 7]. (32) The ones of wisdom fervent unto You understanding how Your mâyâ bewilders the human beings render potent loving service unto You, the source of liberation; how would for those who faithfully follow You, there be any of the fear of a material existence that the three rimmed [wheel of Time of past, present and future] of Your furrowing eyebrows repeatedly creates with those who do not take shelter of You? [see also B.G. 4: 10, 7:14 & 14:26]. (33) Conquered by the senses and breath is the mind like a horse not brought under control [B.G. 2: 60 and 5.11: 10]; those who out here endeavor to regulate but abandon the feet of the guru, meet with hundreds of obstacles being distressed and unsteady in the various methods of control as if they, o Unborn One, are merchants on the ocean not having taken a helmsman [see 10.51: 60 B.G. 4: 34]. (34) What do servants, children, a body, a wife, money, a home, land, vitality, and vehicles mean to human beings taking shelter of their very Self, the Embodiment of All Pleasure; what at all will to those who, carrying on with their indulgence in sexual matters and failing to appreciate the truth [of Him], bring [real] happiness in this world that of its own is subject to destruction and on itself is void of any essence? [see also B.G. 13: 8-12] (35) The seers free from false pride who, with the greatest piety on this earth [living] to the places of pilgrimage and the sites of His pastimes, have Your feet in their heart, destroy with the water of their feet indeed the sins; they who but once turn their mind towards You, the Supreme Soul Ever happy, are never again of worship for the homely affair that steals away a persons essential qualities. (36) 'From the true arose this true' so said may be refuted as a logical contradiction since it is inconsistent in some cases while in other cases it is not untrue; of the conjunction of both are by a succession of people groping in the dark alternations desired in common matters to which Your numerous words of wisdom do bewilder with them getting dulled by the incantations in ritual utterings. (37) As this all did not exist in the beginning and hence will not exist after its annihilation, can be concluded that it, in between appearing within You, is the untruth to be avoided; and thus is it to those stable in their spirituality, contrary to the fact that it may be compared to categories of material substance [or elements, appearing] in varieties of transformations [see text 26], but a figment of the imagination that the unintelligent think of as something suitable for worship [see B.G. 6: 8]. (38) He [the living entity] because of the insurmountable matter lies down next to the energy and, assuming her qualities, takes on forms accordingly, following which deprived of his assets he runs into [birth and] death; You on the other hand endowed with all Your grace leave her aside like a snake shedding its skin and are in Your eightfold greatness [see siddhis] glorified as the One Unlimited in His Glory. (39) If persons having entered a renounced life do not uproot the traces of material desires in their hearts and as yoga practitioners [just] satisfy their animal life, have they, not removed from death being unhappy in both [this life and the hereafter], missed Your heavenly kingdom impossible to realize for the impure and forgotten the jewel [of You] around their neck [see also B.G. 6: 41-42]. (40) Someone who understands You takes no heed of the good and bad consequences of the auspicious and inauspicious at the moment rising from You, nor of the words of other living beings; every day, o You of All qualities, is he of the song in every age heard through the disciplic succession of the children of Manu [see 3.22: 34-39 and 5.13: 25], because of which You are the ultimate goal of liberation. (41) Neither the masters of heaven can reach the end of the glories of You so Unlimited, nor even You Yourself, within whom the multitudes of universes - each in their own shell - with the Course of Time are blown about in the sky as particles of dust; indeed is it because the s'rutis in You bear fruit by [neti neti] eliminating what is not the Absolute, that they in You find their ultimate conclusion [see siddhânta]'.

(42) The Supreme Lord said: 'Thus having heard this instruction about the True Self, understood the sons of Brahmâ their final destination and worshiped they following perfectly satisfied the sage Sanandana. (43) Thus was by the ancient ones, the saintly souls born to roam the higher regions, of all the Vedas and Purânas the nectar of the underlying mystery [of the upanishad philosophy] distilled. (44) O you heir of Brahmâ [Nârada], wander the earth as you wish, meditating with faith upon this instruction about the Soul that burns up the desires of man.'

(45) S'ri S'uka said: 'He, the self-possessed, this manner commanded by the sage accepted it faithfully, o King, and spoke, now fully of success, heroic to his vow meditating upon what he had heard. (46) S'rî Nârada said: 'My obeisances to Him, the Supreme Lord Krishna spotless in His glories, who manifests His all-attractive expansions for the liberation of all living beings [1.3: 28].'

(47) Thus speaking bowing down to the Original Rishi [Nârâyana] and to the great souls that were His pupils, went he from there to the hermitage of my direct father, Dvaipâyana Vedavyâsa. (48) By the great devotee having been honored and having accepted a seat from him, described he to him that what he had heard from the mouth of S'rî Nârâyana. (49) Thus has been replied to the question you asked us, o King, on how in the Absolute Truth - that without material qualities so elusive to terms - the mind would find its way. (50) He who watches over this universe in the beginning, the middle and the end; He who is the Lord of the unmanifested of the individual soul; He who, sending forth this universe, entered it along with the individual seer and producing bodies regulates them; He unto whom surrendering the one [illusioned] not being [re-]born gives up the body he embraces as if asleep; by His pure spiritual status being kept away from a material birth, should one, to be freed from the fear [see B.G. 16: 11-12], incessantly meditate upon the Supreme Personality [see 1.9: 39 and the bhajan Sarvasva Tomar].


* S'rîla S'rîdhara Svâmî elaborately analyzes this problem, of describing the inexpressible Truth in definable terms, by means of the traditional discipline of Sanskrit poetics that states that words have three kinds of expressive capacities, called s'abda-vrittis. These are the different ways a word refers to its meaning, distinguished as mukhya-vritti - literal meaning (divided in rudhi, conventional use and yoga, derived use as in etymology), lakshanâ-vritti - metaphorical meaning, and the closely related gauna-vritti, a similar meaning; exemplified by: the word lion has the three expressive forms of: it is a lion - literal, he is a lion - metaphorical and he is like a lion - similar use. So in fact the question is how the Absolute would be covered taken literal, in metaphor and in simile.

** According to S'rîla Jîva Gosvâmî, the twenty-eight verses of the prayers of the personified Vedas (Texts 14 - 41) represent the opinions of each of the twenty-eight major s'rutis. These chief Upanishads and other s'rutis concern themselves with the various approaches to the Absolute Truth. See the purports pp 10.87 of this chapter of the paramparâ for specific quotes.


Chapter 88

Lord S'iva Saved from Vrikâsura

(1) The honorable king [Parîkchit] said: 'The godly, the ones of darkness and the humans who worship the austere lord S'iva, are usually rich and enjoy the senses, but not so those of Lakshmî and her Husband the Lord Hari. (2) On our part indeed of great doubt in this, we wish to understand this matter of the destinations of the worshipers of the two lords so opposite of character.'

(3) S'rî S'uka said: 'S'iva, always united with his s'akti, is prayed to in his three manifest features of guna: the emotion [his sattva], the authority [his rajas] and the inertia [his tamas], and is thus the [embodiment of the] threefold of ego. (4) From that have the sixteen transformations [lingas] manifested of which someone, pursuing any of these, enjoys the acquisition of material assets [see under S'iva]. (5) Lord Hari however is, indeed absolutely untouched by the modes, the Original Person transcendental to material nature; He is the witness seeing everything, by worshiping Him one becomes free from the gunas. (6) Your grandfather the king [Yudishthhira] asked Acyuta this as he was hearing from Him about the dharma. (7) He, the Supreme Lord, his Master, who for the sake of the ultimate benefit of all men had descended into the Yadu-family, then spoke pleased to him who was eagerly listening. (8) The Supreme Lord said: 'From the one I favor I gradually take away the wealth, after which then poor, suffering one distress after another, that person will be abandoned by his own [attached] people [see also 7.15: 15, 9.21: 12, 10.81: 14 & 20, 10.87: 40, B.G. 9: 22]. (9) When he futile in his attempts to serve the capital gets frustrated and makes friends with those devoted to Me, will I show My mercy. (10) Sober with the wisdom understanding that the subtle, pure, eternal spirit of the Supreme Brahman is one's true self, is one freed from samsâra. (11) For that reason leaving aside Me so most difficult to worship, do people worship others of which they, quickly finding satisfaction in receiving royal opulence, become arrogant, proud and negligent and they, surprisingly, insult those who gave the benedictions [see also B.G. 2.42-44 ; 4: 12; 7: 20-25; 17: 22, 18: 28].'

(12) S'rî S'uka said: 'Brahmâ, S'iva and others are capable of cursing and showing favor; Brahmâ and S'iva are quick with their condemnations and blessings, my dear King, but the Infallible One [Vishnu] is not. (13) In this connection is as an example the following ancient story told of Giris'a running into danger by offering a choice of benedictions to Vrikâsura. (14) An asura named Vrika, a son of S'akuni [see 9.24: 5], meeting Nârada on the road, wickedly asked which of the three lords was most quickly pleased. (15) He said: 'For quick success you better worship S'iva, he is as quickly satisfied by quality as he is angered by faults. (16) Satisfied with Ten-head [Râvana] and with Bâna who like minstrels sang his glories, got he in great trouble [though] giving them unequaled power.'

(17) Thus informed worshiped the asura him at Kedâra [in the Himalayas] by offering oblations of flesh from his own limbs into the fire that is S'iva's mouth. (18-19) Out of frustration to obtain the sight of the lord, was he the seventh day with his hair wetted in the waters of that holy place, about to cut off his head with a hatchet. But then supremely merciful rising from the fire looking like Agni stopped he him seizing his arms and restored he his body on the touch, just like we would. (20) He told him: 'Enough, enough, dear man, please listen, choose a benediction from me, I'll bestow upon you whatever boon you desire; ah, your greatly tormenting your body is useless, I am pleased by persons who with water approach me for shelter [see also B.G. 17: 5-6]!'

(21) From the god chose the sinner a benediction that brought fear to all living beings as he said: 'May whomever die on whose head I place my hand!'

(22) O son of Bharata, Rudra hearing this, disgruntled vibrated om and granted it him with an ironic smile; it was like giving milk to a snake [see also 10.16: 37]. (23) To put the benediction to a test tried he - the demon indeed - to put his own hand on S'iva's head, terrifying him over what he just had done. (24) Pursued by him he trembling of fear fled from the north [of his residence] to as far as the limits of the earth and the sky in all directions. (25-26) Not knowing how to counteract remained the godly lords silent, whereupon he came to Vaikunthha, the place luminous beyond all darkness from where the renunciates - who in peace renounced the violence - do not return once they're gone with Nârâyana the Supreme Goal directly visible residing there [see also S'vetadvîpa]. (27-28) The Supreme Lord, the Eradicator of Distress, thus from a distance seeing that danger, came up to him having turned Himself by His yogamâyâ into a young brahmin student. Complete with a belt, deerskin, rod and prayer beads He with His effulgence glowed like fire as He respectfully greeted him humbly with kus'a grass in His hands. (29) The Supreme Lord said: 'Dear son of S'akuni, you seem to be tired, for what reason have you come from so far, please rest a minute; shouldn't this personal body be the fulfillment of all desires? (30) If suitable to Our ear, o mighty one, please tell Us what you have in mind; usually accomplishes one one's purposes with the help of others!'

(31) S'rî S'uka said: 'Thus questioned by the Supreme Lord with words raining like nectar, vanished all his fatigue and told he Him what he had done. (32) The Supreme Lord said [then to Vrika]: 'If that is the case, We can't put faith in his statements, since he's the one cursed by Daksha to become diabolical as the king of the ghosts and devils [see 4.2: 9-16]. (33) If you put faith in him as the 'spiritual master of the universe', then dear friend, just see right now what happens if you place your hand on your own head! (34) If S'ambhu's words any way prove to be false, o best of the dânavas, then please kill him so untrue in his words, so that he never speaks a lie again.'

(35) He this manner bewildered by the words so very clever of the Supreme Lord, dropping his mind, foolishly placed his hand on his own head. (36) Then with his head instantly shattered like being hit by lightening, fell he down and could from the sky the sounds of 'Victory!', 'Hail!' and 'Good so!' be heard. (37) With S'iva freed from the danger now the sinful asura Vrika was killed, released the celestial sages, the ancestors and the singers of heaven a rain of flowers. (38-39) Bhagavân, the Supreme Personality, then addressed the delivered Giris'a: 'Ah, dear Mahâdeva, how this sinner was killed by his own sinfulness! What fortune indeed, o master, can there be for a living being who was of offense with the elevated saints, not to mention having been in offense with the Lord of the Universe, the Spiritual Master of the Living Being. [see also 1.18: 42, 7.4: 20 and B.G. 16: 23] (40) Whoever hears of or recites this saving of lord S'iva by the Lord of the Supersoul, the Inconceivable Personal Manifestation of the Ocean of All Energies, is freed from as well enemies as from the repetition of birth and death.  



Chapter 89

Vishnu the Best of Gods and the Krishnas Retrieve a Brâhmin's Sons

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Among the sages performing a sacrifice at the bank of the Sarasvatî, o King, arose a controversy as to which of the three [Lords] there from the beginning would be the greatest. (2) Longing to know this send they Bhrigu, the son of Brahmâ to find this out, o King, and so he went to the court of Brahmâ. (3) To make it a test of goodness didn't he bow down to him nor uttered he a prayer, upon which, kindled by his passion, there grew anger with the great lord. (4) Though anger towards his son was rising with himself, managed the Self-born One to subdue it from within, just as fire is put out by its own product, water. (5) Next went he to Mount Kailâsa where S'iva stood up in an attempt to embrace his brother with pleasure [see also 3.12: 6-10]. (6-7) Denying this saying 'You are a transgressor of the path', became he angry raising his trident against him, ready to kill with eyes shooting fire. The goddess falling at the feet then pacified him verbally and Bhrigu went to Vaikunthha were Lord Janârdana resides. (8-9) With his foot then kicking the chest of Him lying with His head on the lap of the goddess of fortune, stood the Supreme Lord, the Destination of the Devotees, up together with Lakshmî. Coming down from the bed He next with His head bowed down to the sage and said: 'Welcome to you, o brahmin, take this seat, please forgive Us o master, for a second we didn't notice you'd arrived! (10-11) Please purify Me, My world and the rulers of all worlds devoted to Me with the water washing from the feet of your good self that creates the sacredness of the sites of pilgrimage. Today, o My lord, I've become the exclusive shelter, now the fortune goddess will reside in My chest with your foot having freed it from all sin!'

(12) S'rî S'uka said: 'Bhrigu delighted by the solemn words that the Lord of Vaikunthha thus spoke, gratified fell silent with tears in his eyes, overwhelmed as he was with devotion. (13) O King, returning to the sacrifice of the sages defending the Veda, described Bhrigu in full what he himself had experienced. (14-17) Hearing this fell the sages in amazement, as they were freed from their troubles in putting their faith in Lord Vishnu as the greatest of whom there is peace and fearlessness, direct proof of dharma, spiritual knowledge, detachment and that [tat, the realization], including the eightfold of the mystic powers [siddhis] and His fame that drives the impurities from the mind; He's the Supreme Destination of the selfless and saintly sages who, giving up on the violence [of ruling by passion], have minds that are equipoised and peaceful; He's the embodiment of the mode of goodness of which the brahmins of spiritual peace, so keen and expert of worship without ulterior motives, are the worshipable deities [see 1.2: 7; 3.25: 37 and 10.81 ]. (18) To the gunas are there the three types of being conditioned brought about by His material energy: the wild [the râkshasas], the unenlightened [the asuras] and the godly [the suras]; among them is it the mode of goodness [of the suras] that leads the way [see B.G. 14: 6 & 14: 14].'

(19) S'rî S'uka said: 'The learned ones this way living at the Sarasvatî to dispel the doubts of the common people, attained by the service to the lotusfeet of the Supreme Personality the destination of Him'."

(20) S'rî Sûta [at Naimishâranya] said: "Thus flowed this nectar with the fragrance of a lotus from the mouth of the son of the sage [Yyâsa]; dealing with the Supreme Personality it shatters the fear of a material existence and makes the traveler, who constantly drinks in the fine verses through the holes of his ears, forget the fatigue of his wandering on the [worldly] road. (21) S'uka said: 'Once, in Dvârakâ, it happened that the infant son born from the wife of a brahmin died the moment it, so one says, touched the ground, o descendant of Bharata. (22) The learned one, in misery lamenting with an agitated mind, took the corpse to the gate of the king [Ugrasena] and said, presenting it, the following: (23) 'Because this unqualified avaricious kshatriya addicted to sense-gratification, with a mind deceitful and hostile with the brahmins, failed in his duties, has my son met with death. (24) Citizens serving a wicked peoples-lord who, out of control with his senses, takes pleasure in violence [like meat-eating], have to suffer poverty and constant misery.'

(25) And the same way it happened a second time, and a third time alike that, with the wise brahmin leaving [a dead child] at the gate, he sang the same song. (26-27) Arjuna some day of Kes'ava around in the vicinity happened to hear of it as the ninth child to the brahmin died; he said: 'O brahmin, isn't there someone out here to hold the bow at your home; verily these fallen nobles act as brahmins present at a sacrifice! (28) There where brahmins have to lament the privation of wives, children and wealth, are the ones dressed up as kings but actors living for their own livelihood. (29) O great lord, I'll protect the offspring of the two of you so wretched in this matter; if I fail to fulfill my promise will I enter the fire to put to an end to my sins [compare B.G. 2: 34].'

(30-31) The brahmin said: 'Since neither Sankarshana, Vâsudeva, Pradyumna the greatest archer, nor Aniruddha the incomparable chariot fighter, were able to save [my sons], why for heaven's sake do you then so naively intend to do what is impossible to the [catur-vyûha] lords of the universe; so that's not credible to us.'

(32) S'rî Arjuna said: 'I'm not Sankarshana o brahmin, nor Krishna or even a descendant; I for true am the one named Arjuna with the Gândiva as his bow! (33) Do not belittle my prowess o brahmin, it satisfied the three-eyed one [S'iva]; I, defeating death in battle, will bring back your children o master!'

(34) The learned one thus convinced by Arjuna, o tormentor of the enemies, went home, satisfied of hearing of the prowess of the son of Prithâ. (35) The time his wife was about to deliver again, said the most elevated brahmin distraught to Arjuna: 'Please save my child from dying!'

(36) He, touching pure water, offering the great controller [S'iva] his obeisances, remembering [the mantras of] his weapons, fixed Gândiva's bowstring. (37) He upwards, downwards and sideways fenced in the house of the delivery with arrows charged with the mantras, thus creating a cage of arrows. (38) The infant of the brahmin's wife next being born, after crying for some time suddenly disappeared through the sky with body and all. (39) The learned one then with Krishna present said to Arjuna in derision: 'Just see the foolishness of me, I who trusted such a boasting impotent eunuch! (40) When nor Arjuna, nor Aniruddha, nor Râma, nor Krishna either, could come to a rescue, who else then is capable to give protection in a situation like this? (41) Damn that Arjuna with his false words, damn the bow of that braggart, who so dumb, delusioned thought to bring back those who were taken by fate!'

(42) As the wise man of learning was thus cursing him, resorted Arjuna to a mystic incantation and went he straight to the heavenly city of Samyamanî where the great Yamarâja lives. (43-44) Not finding the brahmin's child went he, with his weapons ready, from there to the cities of Indra, Agni, Nirriti [the god of death subordinate to Yamarâja], Soma [the moongod], Vâyu and Varuna and then to other regions from the subterranean one up to the top of heaven. Failing to obtain from them the son of the twice born one, was he, about to enter the fire as he had promised, opposed by Krishna who tried to stop him. (45) 'I'll show you the sons of the twice born one, please do not deprecate yourself, these men [of criticism] are going to bring the spotless fame of the both of us.'

(46) The Supreme Lord, the Divine Controller, thus conferring mounted with Arjuna his chariot and set off in the western direction. (47) Passing over the seven continents with their seven seas and seven mountain ranges crossed he over the border separating the worlds from outer space and entered He the vast darkness [see also 5.1: 31- 33]. (48-49) There in the darkness lost the horses S'aibya, Sugrîva, Meghapushpa and Balâhaka [see also 10.53*] their way o best of the Bharatas and thus did the Supreme Lord, the great master of all yogacontrollers, seeing their plight send in front His personal cakra comparable to a thousand suns. (50) The sudars'ana disc with its extremely intensive effulgence fast as the mind speeding ahead, cut itself through the immense dense and fearsome darkness of the manifestation, like an arrow of Lord Râmacandra shot away at an army. (51) Following the path of the cakra beyond that darkness beheld Arjuna the all-pervasive, endlessly expanding, transcendental light, to the pain of which he closed both his eyes [see also 10.28: 14-15]. (52) From there entered they a body of water moved by a mighty wind into a splendor of huge waves, wherein was situated a verily wondrous abode supremely radiant with columns shining bright with thousands of gems. (53) There the huge serpent of Ananta resided, amazing with its thousands of heads shining with the gems upon the hoods and the twice as many frightening eyes, who with his dark blue necks and tongues resembled the white mountain [of Kailâsa]. (54-56) On the comfortable seat of that serpent he saw the almighty, highest authority of the Personality Supreme to all Personalities of Godhead, resembling a dense cloud, with beautiful yellow garments, a pleasing attractive face and broad eyes. To His eight handsome long arms, the kaustubha jewel, the s'rîvatsa mark and the embrace of a garland of forest flowers, reflected the thousands of locks scattered about the brilliance of His earrings and the clusters of large jewels in His crown. As the Chief of the Rulers of the Universe was He served by His personal associates headed by Nanda and Sunanda, His cakra and His other weapons manifesting their personal forms, [the consorts of] His energies for prosperity, beauty, fame and material creation [resp. Pushthi, S'rî, Kîrti and Ajâ] and the complete of His mystic powers [siddhis]. (57) Acyuta paid homage to Himself in His Unlimited Form as did also Arjuna who by the sight [of Mahâ-vishnu] fell in great astonishment as the Almighty Lord and Master of the Rulers of the Universe with a smile and an invigorating voice spoke to the two of them who had their palms joined. (58) 'I brought the sons of the twice born one over here with the desire to see the two of you, who as My expansions have descended; after killing the ones of darkness burdening the earth, you quickly come back here into My presence [see 2:2: 24-27 and 2.6: 26]. (59) Though the two of you are are fulfilled in all desires, o best of all persons, should you, as the sages Nara and Nârâyana did, for the benefit of the general populace perform for the maintenance of the dharma.'

(60-61) The two Krishnas [see also B.G. 10: 37] thus instructed by the Supreme Lord of the Highest Abode, chanting 'om' bowed down to the Almighty and took the sons of the twice born to return elated, the same way they came, to their own abode. To the learned one they handed over the sons who had the same bodies and the same age [as they had when they were lost]. (62) Having seen the abode of Vishnu was Arjuna deeply moved. He concluded that whatever the special powers that living beings might have [like his friend showing His own superiority as Mahâ-vishnu], were all the mercy shown by Krishna. (63) He exhibiting many heroic feats like this in this world, enjoyed the sensual pleasures [see also 1.11: 35-39] and was of worship with the most invigorating sacrifices [e.g. in 10:24 and 10: 74-75]. (64) Beginning with His brahmins, rained the Supreme Lord from within His Supremacy, just like Indra does, at the right time down upon His subjects all that was desired. (65) Having killed all the kings opposing the dharma and having them killed by Arjuna and others, paved He the way for the son of Dharma [Yudhishthhira] to carry out the principles of religion [see also 1.14 & 15].  



Chapter 90

The Queens Play and Speak and Lord Krishna's Glories Summarized

(1-7) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Master of the goddess of fortune resided happily in Dvârakâ, His own city opulent in all features and populated by the most prominent Vrishnis. When the finest of their women, dressed in new clothes, in their youth beautiful, were playing with balls and other toys on the rooftops, shone they like lightening. Its roads were always crowded with well ornamented elephants intoxicated dripping with mada, footsoldiers and horses and chariots brilliant with gold. It was richly endowed with gardens and parks with rows of flowering trees everywhere filled with the sounds of the bees and birds frequenting them. Enjoying His sixteen thousand wives as their one and only love had He in their richly furnished residences expanded in that many different forms [see also 10.69: 41]. Diving in the pellucid waters there cooing with flocks of birds and aromatic with the pollen of nightblooming and dayblooming lotuses and water lilies, sported the Great Appearance in the streams with His body, embraced by the women, smeared with the kunkum of their breasts. (8-9) By the singers of heaven playing two-sided drums, kettledrums and tabors and with female and male praisers playing vînâs glorified, was Acyuta. with syringes being squirted with water by them laughing and He squirting back, sporting like the lord of the treasurekeepers [Kuvera] does with his nymphs. (10) They, sprinkling, with wet clothes revealing their thighs and breasts and with the flowers of their large braids scattered all over the place, attempted, with resplendent faces beaming wide smiles, mindful of their love embracing Him, to steal away the syringe of their Consort. (11) As Krishna with on His garland the kunkuma from their breasts, and the order of His mass of hair disheveled from His absorption in the sport, enjoyed the being sprayed and spraying of the women, was He like the king of the elephants surrounded by she-elephants. (12) Done playing gave Krishna the male and female performers who earned their livelihoods by singing and playing music, the ornaments and garments of Him and His wives. (13) Thus were in the play of Krishna's sporting, His movements, His conversing, glancing and smiling; of His jokes, exchanges of love and embraces, the hearts of the wives stolen. (14) With their minds exclusively on Mukunda spoke they, thinking about the Lotuseyed One, stunned like mad; hear these words from me as I relate them.

(15) The queens said [see also 10.47: 12-21, 10.83: 8-40]: 'O Kukarî you are lamenting, deprived of sleep you cannot rest as the Controller, with His whereabouts hidden, somewhere in the world is sleeping this night; is it that you, just as we o friend, had your heart pierced to the core by the smiling, munificent, playful glance of His lotus eyes? (16) O cakravâkî, alas, having closed your eyes for the night, you're crying pitifully; or do you, like us having attained the servitude, perhaps desire in your braided hair the garland to the honor of Acyuta's feet? (17) O dear, dear ocean, always you're making such a noise, never getting any sleep suffering insomnia; or were maybe your personal qualities stolen by Mukunda and have you also reached the state from which there is no escape? (18) O moon are you, seized by the fell disease of consumption, so emaciated that you can't dispel the darkness with your rays, or is it that you appear so stunned to us, o dear, being forgetful of the talks of Mukunda like we are? (19) O wind from the Malaya mountains, what have we done that is displeasing to you, to be inspired with lust in our [poor] hearts already torn apart by Govinda's sidelong glances? (20) O cloud, you honored one, you sure are a friend most dear to the Chief of the Yâdavas with the s'rîvatsa on His chest; we, just as your good self, are bound meditating in pure love. Your heart extremely eager is as distraught as ours, the same way as you, remembering over and over, release torrents as we do tears again and again with the misery given by [missing the] association with Him. (21) O sweet-throated cuckoo, please tell me what I should do to please you who, in this voice able to revive the dead, are uttering the vibrations of Him whose sounds are so dear. (22) O mountain so broad in your intelligence, you do not move or speak; are you preoccupied with great matters, or do you maybe desire - like we do - to hold the feet of the darling son of Vasudeva on your breasts? (23) O [rivers,] wives of the ocean, your lakes alas have lost their wealth of lotuses, now they shriveled up just like us, emaciated of not obtaining the loving glance of our beloved husband, the Lord of Madhu, who so often cheated our hearts [see also 10.47: 41 and 10.48: 11]. (24) O swan, welcome and sit down, please drink some milk, tell us o dear one the news, as we know you are a messenger of S'auri; is the Unconquerable One all well, does He, so fickle in His friendship, still remember having talked to us so long ago; why should we be of worship, o servant of the campaka [type of magnolia], tell Him raising the desire to come to us without the goddess of fortune, why would she be the only woman exclusive in her devotion?'

(25) S'rî S'uka said: 'Speaking and acting with such ecstatic love for Krishna, the Master of the Yogamasters, attained the wives of Lord Mâdhava the ultimate goal. (26) He, in numerous songs sung in numerous ways, attracts with force the mind of any woman who but heard about Him; what more then of the ones who directly see Him? (27) How ever can the penances be described of them who, with the attitude of having Him, the Spiritual Master of the Universe, as their husband, with pure love served His feet perfectly with massages and so on? (28) This manner proceeding to the dharma as expressed by the Vedas, demonstrated He, the Goal of the Saintly, how one's home is there as the place for the religiosity, the economic development and the regulation of sense-gratification [the purusârthas]. (29) Of Krishna being situated in the highest dharma of a householders life, where there over sixteen thousand and one hundred queens [see also 10.59**and 7.14]. (30) Among them there were eight gems of women headed by Rukminî whom I along with their sons one after the other described previously [see 10.83 en 10.61: 8-19], o King. (31) In each of His many wives begot Krishna, the Supreme Lord Never Failing in His Effort, ten sons [and one daughter]. (32) Of these there were eighteen mahârathas of an unlimited prowess, whose fame spread wide; hear their names from me. (33-34) They were Pradyumna and [His grandson or other son] Aniruddha; Dîptimân and Bhânu as also Sâmba, Madhu and Brihadbhânu; Citrabhânu, Vrika and Aruna; Pushkara and Vedabâhu, S'rutadeva and Sunandana; Citrabâhu and Virûpa, Kavi and Nyagrodha. (35) O best of kings, of these sons of Krishna, the enemy of Madhu, was Pradyumna, the son of Rukminî, the most prominent, just like His father. (36) He, the great chariot fighter, married the daughter of Rukmî [named Rukmavatî] from whom then was born Aniruddha, endowed with the strength of a ten thousand elephants [see 10.61]. (37) Furthermore took He, as you know, next Rukmî's granddaughter [Rocana] for His wife from whom His son Vajra was born, the only one remaining after the battle with the clubs [see 3.4: 1 & 2]. (38) Pratibâhu came from him, of whom there was Subâhu and from Subâhu's son S'ântasena came S'atasena as his son. (39) Truly none of the offspring appearing in this family was poor in wealth or children, short-lived, small in prowess or failing with the brahminical. (40) The deeds of fame of the men born in the Yadu-dynasty cannot be counted, o King, not even in tens of thousands of years. (41) It was heard that for the children of the Yadu family there were thirty-eight million eight-hundred thousand teachers. (42) Who can keep count of the Yâdavas when Ugrasena among them was present with tens upon ten thousands upon hundreds of thousands [*] of great personalities? (43) In wars between the divine and the demoniac were the most pitiless daityas killed, who rising among the human beings arrogantly troubled the populace. (44) To subdue them were the devas by the Lord told to descend in the family in their one hundred-and-one clans, o King [see 10.1: 62-63]. (45) To them was Krishna on account of His mastery the authority of Lord Hari according which all the Yâdavas who were His faithful followers prospered. (46) In their activities of sleeping, sitting, walking, conversing, playing, bathing and so on were the Vrishnis mindful of Krishna not aware of the presence of their own bodies [and thus fearless, see also 10.89: 14-17]. (47) O King, taking birth among the Yadus outshone He the site of pilgrimage of the river of heaven [the Ganges] washing from His feet; friends and foes attained to His embodiment [7.1: 46-47]; His is the undefeated and supremely perfect goddess of S'rî for whom others are struggling; His name heard or chanted is what destroys the inauspiciousness; by Him was the dharma settled for the lines of descent [of the sages]; with Lord Krishna, whose weapon is the wheel of Time, is this removal of the earth's burden, no thing of wonder [see also 3.2: 7-12]. (48) Glorious as the Ultimate Abode, known as the son of Devakî, as the devotion of the Yadu nobles who with His arms [or devotees] puts an end to the unrighteous, as the Destroyer of the Distress of the Moving and Nonmoving, is He the One, always smiling with His beautiful face, arousing Cupid with the damsels of Vraja [see 10.30-33, 10.35, 10.47]. (49) This manner of the Supreme has He with the desire of protecting His own path for His lîlâ assumed various personal forms and imitating the [human] activities destroyed the karma; desiring to comply to His feet should one hear of the Best One of the Yadus. (50) At every sacrifice hearing, singing and meditating on the beautiful topics about Mukunda, does a mortal from his home head for His abode, where the inescapable push of death comes to an end; even the ones holding the dominion [like Dhruva and Priyavrata] went for this purpose to the forest.


* The paramparâ adds here that to the rules of Mîmâmsâ interpretation the number of three is taken as the default number when no specific number is given. So literally would strict to the rules be said here that Ugrasena would have had 30 trillion attendants. 

 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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