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The Essence of Puranas – Vishnu Purana -3

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The Essence of Puranas – Vishnu Purana













16       Shri Krishna Charitra: His birth, Miracles, account of his progeny and Niryana


As the most dreaded Daitya Kalanemi ruled over the entire Martyaloka and harassed the entire Public day and night, Bhagavan Vishnu terminated him but he came back in his next birth as Kamsha the son of Ugrasena; it was at that juncture there were a huge stock of Rakshasaas like Arishta, Dheniuka, Keshi, Pralamba, Naraka, Sunda, and Banasura the son of Bali Chakravarti and most of the Evil was spread over as Rulers of several Kingdoms. Devi Bhumi was unable to the bear the brunt of such Evil Forces and made a reverential appeal to all the Devas and through them to Brahma Deva and the latter made a powerful appeal to Bhagvan Vishnu to save the Earth which was being crushed by extraordinary pressure on account of the Evil as follows:

Dwi Vidye twamaamnaaya Paraa chai Paraa tathaa,

tha yeva Bhavato rupey Murthaamritaatmakey Prabho/

Dwi Brahmaani twanoyoti Sthulaatman sarva Sravavit,

Shabdabrahma param chaiva Brahma  Brahmamasya yat/

Rigvedastwam Yajurvedassaama vedastwadharvanah,

Sikshaa Kalpo Niruktam cha  Chaando Jyotisha –mevacha/

Itihaasa Puraaneycha tathaa Vyakaranam Prabho,

Meemaasam Nyayashaastram Cha Dharmashaastraanyadhokshaja/

Aatmaatma deha gunavadvichaaraachari yaduuchah,

Tadyapa dyapatey naanyadadhyaatma Swarupavat/

Twamavyakta nirdeshshyamachintya naamavarnavat,

Apaani paadarupamcha shuddham nityam paratparam/

Shrunoshya karnaha parisashyasi twama chakshureko bahu rupa rupah,

Apaadahasto javano graheetaa twam vetsi sarvam na cha Sarva Vedyah/

Anoraneeyaam samasataswa rupam twaam pashyato-jnaana nivrutti rugnayaa,

Dheerasya dheerasya bibharti naanyadwarenya rupaatparatah Paraatman/

Twam Vishwa naabhir bhuvanasya goptaa Sarvaani Bhutaani tawaantaraani,

Yadbhuta bhavyam yadanoraneeyah Pumaamstwamekah prakruteyh parastaat/

Ekaschardhvaa Bhagavaan hutaasho varchovibhutim Jagato dadaasi,

Twam Vishwataschakshurananta murtey tredhaapadam  twam  nidadhaasi dhaatah/

 Yadhaagnireko bahudhaa samidhyatey Vikaara bhedairavikaara rupah,

Tathaa bhavaan sarvagatairavi- kaara rupah,

Tathaa bhavaan sarva gataika rupee Rupaanya seshaanyanrupushyatisha/

Ekam twamagryam paramam padam yatpashyanti twaam Surayo jnaanadrushyam,

Twattho naanyad kinchidasti swarupam yadwaa bhutam  yaccha bhavyam Paraatman/

Vyaktaa- vyakta swarupastwam samashthi vyashthi rupavaan,

Sarvajnaassarvavitsarva shakti jnaana balardhimaan/

Anyunaschaapya vriddhischa swaadheeno naadimaanvashi,

Klamatan-draabhayakrodha kaamaadibhira samyutah/

Niravadyaha Parah Praapterniraadhi –shtoksharah kramah,

Sarveswarah paraadhaaro dhaamnaam dhaamaatmakokshayah/

Sakalaavaranaateeta niraalambana bhavana/

Maha Vibhuti samsthaana namastey Purushottama/

Naakaaranaatkaaranaadhwa Kaarana kaaranaatra cha,

Shareera grahanam vaapi Dharmatraanaaya kevalam/

(Prabho! You are beyond the reach of Veda’s voice; you are ‘Para’and ‘Aparaa’as both these Vidyaas are yours ; you are Murta or the Form and Amurta or Formless; you are the Tiniest and at the same time the most Enormous; the Sarva, the Sarvajna; you are both Shabda Brahma and Para Brahma; you are Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Saama Veda and Atharva Veda; You are the Vedangas like Siksha, Kalpa, Nirukti, Chhanda, Jyotisha Shaastra, the Itihasa, Purana, Vyakarana, Meemaamsa, Nyaaya and Dharma Shaastra; you are the Jeevaatma, Paramatma, Sthula-Sukshma Deha-Avyakta-Tatwamasi Vaakya; you are Anirvaachya, Naama varna rahita, Rupa rahita, Shuddha, Sanaatana, Paraapara; you are capable of hearing without ears, seeing without eyes; the Single but many; the speediest without feet and hands and unmindfully omni-scient; you are the gravitative power and saviour of the total Universe and the Universe itself is absorbed in you; the Unique Entity with minute knowledge of the happenings on your mental radar; you are the four faced Agni illuminating and facilitating Samsaara; you are the Trivikramaa keeping stakes / feet in the Three Worlds; Sarvajna, Sarva Saakshi, Sarva Shaktimaan, Sampurna Jnaana-Bala-Ishvraya; Ever-Cheerful and Joyous; Vridhhi rahita, Swaadheena, Anaadi, Jitendriya, deviod of fear, anger,desire, tiresomeness; you are Anindya or unrebukable, Niradhara, Avarana Shunya or limitless; and you are the root of Kaarana or the Cause and the Formless excepting for Dharma Raksha!). In response to the Stuti by Brahma, Bhagavan assured that two of his ‘Keshas’-one Shewta or white one and another a Shyama or dark complexion would be pulled out to soon descend as his ‘Amshas’or incarnations on Earth and lighten its weight by uprooting all the Evil Forces and advisedv the Devas also assume appropriate Rupas as human beings inn the task of destroying the Rakshasas and humans in the form of Rakshasas.Bhagavan further instructed Yoga maya to perform a series of deeds including the birth of six sons to Devaki [they were Kalanemi’s sons devoted to Vishnu and the father cursed the sons that they would be be killed by them in his hands in the next birth as per ‘Harivamsha’] As King Kamsa was obsessed with the warning of Sage Narada that the eighth child of Devaki would kill him, he imprisoned Devaki and his brother-in-law who agreed to deliver all his progeny as soon as they would be born, Kamsa spared killing them and merely imprisoned them. Now, the game plan that Vishnu explained to Yogamaya was as follows: She would  transfer Devaki’s seventh son who would be of Sesha’s Amsha as an embriyo into the Garbha of Vasudeva’s second wife Rohini so that the Public would believe that out of fear Devaki’s seventh child was a miscarriage but that Sesha-amsha would be known as Samkarshana as he would be implanted or attracted to Rohini’s garbha; the Ashtami Putra would be Bhagavan himself born to Devaki but Yogamaya would be conceived to Yashoda; there would be a transfer of Bhagavan Krishna by Vasudeva to Yashoda and the girl child Yogamaya would be brought back to Mathura in the prison of Devaki; as in the past, the Yoga maya , the so called Eighth child thus transferred would fly away and warn Kamsa that the real Bhagavan was already born and soon kill Kamsa.Bhagavan blessed Yogamaya to undertake the deeds assigned and Indra would take her as his own sister; she would kill a number of Rakshasaas like Shumbha and Nishumbha; she would be known as Bhuti, Sannati,  Kshaanti, Kaanti, Akasha, Prithwi, Dhruti, Lajja, Pushti, Usha and various other Shaktis in the Universe.

As per the plan indicated by Bhagavan Vishnu, he was born to Devaki Devi and along with Vasudeva gave his appearance in his full glorious form with four hands armed with Shankha-Chakra-Saranga and Gada for a while before taking the form of a boy; the violent winds sweeping Mathura herebefore bacame cool and calm by the midnight hour; Gandharvas sang tuneful hymns; Devatas showered celestial flowers from the heavens; clouds made lightenings and mild thunders from the sky; Vasudeva transferred the child to Gokula into the house of Yashoda and Nanda wading across the River Yamuna making way during the rain while Sesha Naga provided cover; and Vasudeva brought the female child Yogamaya from the bed of Yashoda who was unconscious back to the prison in Mathura. Meanwhile , the Security personnel of the prison of Devaki-Vasudeva were lulled to deep sleep till the ‘Operation of Child Transfers’, ie Bhagavan Krishna to Yashoda’s bed and of Yogamaya to that of Devaki’s. Kamsa reached the prison and despite the wailing protests of his sister sought to toss the child against a stone as he did to seven other babies in the past, but the child flew from his hands and appeared on the sky as a Mayashakti with eight hands and shouted at Kamsa:

Kim mayaa kshiptayaa Kamsa jaato yastwaam vadhishyati?

Sarvaswa bhuto Devaanaamaaseen mrutyuh puraa sa tey,

Tadetat samrpadhaaryaashu hitamaatmanah/

(Hey Kamsa! What is the use of your wasted breath in trying to toss me; your death would take place with certainty soon as the incarnation of Vishnu has already been born and would kill you again as you were the Kalanemi Daitya in your previous birth; so better plan soon to save your skin!) Having said, Devi Maha Maya disappeared. Kamsa then thought that there was no point in keeping Devaki and Vasudeva in prison and called for an urgent conference of his Daitya Allies like Keshini, Dhenuka, Putana, Arishta and others to chalk out an action plan to the Boy was was born and addressed  them as follows: ‘Devas headed by Indra are seeking to kill me and us headed by Jarasandha; we had already witnessed the trials of Devatas in several of battles in the past, when they could never show their chests but only their backs! Had Indra forgotten the recent incident of his trial to stop rains in our Kingdoms and we forced the clouds to burst out and we had plentiful of rains and crops!

Amareshu mamaavajnaa jaayatey Daityapungavaah!

Haasyam mey jaayatey Veeraasteshu yatna pareshvapi/

Tathaapi khalu dushtaanaam teshaamapyadhikam mayaa,

Apakaaraaya Daityendra hyataneeyam Duraatmanaam/

(I feel sorry for the desperation with which the Devas are once again trying to challengey us; it is highly amusing that they desire to kill me! In any case we have to be alert any way and double up our efforts!)

In right earnest, the efforts of the Daityas to demolish Krishna even as a toddler were planned and executed; Kamsa first despatched Mayavi Putana in disguise as a pretty  woman to breast-feed poisonous milk to Krishna but quite playfully Krishna bit her nipple as she was instantly killed; the entire Gokula was aghast as to how the Toddler had a miraculous escape and Nanda prayed to Bhagavan to save the child from all kinds of mishaps saying:

Twaam paatu dikshu Vaikuntho Vidiksho M adhsudanah,

Hrishikembarey  Bhumow rakshatu twaam Maheedharah/

(May Bhagavan protect the child from all the directions of North-South-East and West; may Madhusudana save the child from the Vidashaas of North East-South East-SouthWest and North West; may Hrishikesha guard the child from the Sky and may Adi Sesha Deva shield the boy from Earth!)

There have been a series of miracles that followed the Putana incident from time to time as the two brothers were growing in Yashoda-Nanda’s house. One day Madhusudana was kept under a Shakata (Cart) in the backyard of their house and the child apparently cried for milk and threw up his legs while lying down and the cart was pushed up and got broken into pieces; the children around witnessed that the child did threw up the cart with his feet!The parents wondered as to how a child could do it! They performed a Puja with flowers-fruits-curd and ‘Akshatas’ or rice grains to ward off any Evil eye! After a few days Gargaachaarya performed Namakarana ; the younger one as Krishna and the elder as Balarama. In course of time, the boys were able to crawl and disappear amid the flock of cattle and apply cow dung on their bodies; both Yashoda and Rohini were fed up and tied to a heavy stone used for pounding grains which was kept in between two huge Yamalarguna Trees in the backyard and got busy with their houshold chores. Suddenly, there were heavy sounds as the two huge trees fell down and the neighbours witnessed that two Celesitial Beings emerged from the trees and flew away! Krishna was called Damodara as there was a scar around his waist due to the black mark of the rope with which Yashoda tied Krishna to the heavy stone.

As queer incidents like the killing of Putana, lifting of cart, sudden sand storm and uprooting of huge trees were happening, Nanda desired to shift to Brindavana from Gokula and made the entire population  agree to the arrangement. All the ‘Vraja vaasis’shifted to the new place and in course of time, the boys came of teen age, adopted distinct dress code,  sported a golden headgear with peacock feathers and flute and excelled themselves as unique flutists especially as cowherds in the large company of Gopas and Gopikas exchaging practical pranks and mischief. One day, Krishna went with his friends without Balarama and while wandering  came across a frightful water body known as the place in which Kaliya Serpent and its family stayed; the companions of Krishna suggested that the particular pond  should be avioded as the water in it was highly poisonous as thirsty human beings, cattle and even birds would die instantly. But Krishna never heeded the warnings and from a tree top on the banks of the pond dived into it even with full awareness that the tree was burnt due to the poisonous flames that emitted from the pond. Gopala Ganas raised a hue and cry and informed one and all in Brindavan and the entire public got collected around the lake. Nanda Kumar wasa lost in dismay while Yashoda and quite a few Gopikas were readying to leap into the water, but  Balarama cooled down the agitated relatives and the public stating that Krishna was not an ordinary human being and that he was Bhagavan Vishnu himself; he conveyed to Krishna as follows:

Kimidam Devadevesha bhaavoyam maanushastwayaa,

Vyajyatetyananta -maatmaanam kimanantam na vetsi yat/

Twameva jagato naabhiraraanaamiva samshrayah,

Kartaapahartaa paataa cha Trailokyam twam trayeemayah/

Jagatyartham Jagannaatha bhaaraavataraneycchayaa/---

Darshato Maanushyo bhaavo darshitam baalachaapalam,

Tadayam damyataam Krishna dushtaatmaa dasghanaayudhah/

(Hey Devadeveshwara! Are you not aware that you are Ananta; and if so why are you displaying  the Manava Bhaava or the characteristics of human beings! You are yourself  the ultimate refuge of the Universe as its Creator-Presever-Terminator  just as the axis of a wheel and its spokes! Indeed you are the embodiment of Three Lokaas and Three Vedas; Jagannaatha! You have assumed human form to demolish the Evil Forces and lighten the burden on Earth. Krishna! It is time that you discard this childishness and human features and quickly control the poisonous teeth of the cruel serpent once for all!) There inside the poisonous pond the whole family of Kaliya surrounded Krishna and the enormous serpent  sought to encircle his body; but Krishna smiled even as what Balarama said and fisted and pounded the most obnoxious creature in such a way that he held his tail with one hand and jumped up on its hoods and compressed them with mighty force; as Krishna brought the serpent in total control the latter obeyed Jagannatha and the unusual spectacle  of floating and dancing Krishna atop the creature’s hoods delighted the entire Vraja Praja! The poisonous water of the pond was full of Kaliya’s red blood and his wives and children begged of Krishna not to kill it. The humiliated Kalia realised the magnificence of Krishna and extolled him stating: 

Yasmaad Brahmas cha Rudrascha Chandrendramarudashwinah,

Vasuvascha sahaadityaistasya stoshyaami kinvaham?

( Even Brahma, Rudra, Chandra, Indra, Marudganaas, Ashvini Kumaaraas, Vasuganas and Adityas could not  commend you adequately, how could I pay tributes to your excellence!) Then Krishna instructed Kaliya and his large family to leave the pond at once and assured that his formidable enemy Garudmaan would recognise his footprints and let them pass to reach the Sea in which they could reside fearlesly for long time.

After the Kaliya incident, there were the exterminations of Dhenukasura who entered the group of cows which Krishna took out along with Balarama and other Gopas as also of Pralambasura who quietly joined the Gopas and participated in a game of carrying on his back the elder brother Balarama and flying him away but the latter suppressed the Asura by his ever increasing body weight and finally the Asura collapsed to death. There were quite a few other killings by Krishna of many Asuras in an exercise of lightening the evil forces on Earth;  Vrishabasura was externinated, Daitya Keshi was despatched to hell and scores of other Daityas were slaughterd.  Then there was the anger of Indra who was not traditionally worshipped by Vraja vaasis on the arrival of Sharat Ritu but as per the advice of Krishna they did not; Indra’s fury resulted in torrential rains and washed out Vraja Bhumi but Krishna lifted Govardhana Mountain by his little finger to protect the Gokula Praja and provided shield to them all and there by destroying the ego of Indra. But Indra’s fury was only to popularise Krishna’s magnificence by creating an opportunity that  Krishna indeed was Supreme. During the times that followed, the Gopikas of Vraja displayed intense attachment and infatuation  for Krishna that culminated in Raasa-leelas  or ecstatic dances in groups in which there were as many Krishnas as Gopikas on one to one count besides a Unique Krishna belonging to one and all!

Devarshi Narada then felt that the time was reap enough  to provoke and  destroy the major villian Kamsa and made a friendly call to the King. He conveyed to Kamsa the various deeds of Krishna and Balarama who now entered the teens and that it might be a good idea to invite them to Mathura to meet their parents and celebrate their trip to Mathura. The evil-minded Kamsa felt that as the Vrja Brothers might become more powerful and difficult to destroy by the day, he planned for a friendly trip to Mathura and asked Akrura the Yadava Elder to personally visit Gokula- Brindavan and escort Krishna and Balarama, ostensibly to attend a Dhanush Yajna on the next Chaturdashi and also enjoy the celebrations like ‘Malla Yuddhhas’ (wrestling matches) by the notorious Chanura and Mushtikaas. Kamsa day-dreamt that after killing Balarama Krishnas followed by those of Nanda and Vasudeva and his foolish and timid father Ugrasena now in prison, he would annexe Gokula-Brindavan easily and enjoy the property of cows and grains! Akrura left for Brindavana and invited Krishna-Balarama to Mathura to attend the  Yagna and Celebrations; their parents were grieved; Vrajavaasis were saddened; Gopaas were upset; Gopikas were alarmed at the absence. As he approached Gokula, Akrura  took bath in River Yamuna and happened to meet Krishna and Balarama in person as they too were whiling on the river banks along with their pals; he was in trance in visioning Krishna and broke out in a spontaneous ‘Stuti’:

Sanmaarta rupeno -chintya Mahimney Parataney,

Vyaapiney naiakarupaika swarupaaya namo namah/----

Om namo Vaasudevaaya Namassankarshanaahya cha,

Pradyumnaaya Namastubhya maniruddhaaya tey Namah!

(My hearty salutations to you  the Sanmaatra Swarupa, Achintya Mahima, Paramatma, Sarwavyaapi, Aneka Rupaa due to Karanaas / Causes but basically of a Singular / Unique Form--- Namo Vaasudeva, Namo Sankarshana , Pradyumna and  Aniruddha!).

As Bhagavan Krishna and Balarama entered Mathura, they asked Akrura to leave them alone as they preferred to walk up by the ‘Raja Maarga’ to enjoy their interaction with the Public; the passers by were seeing and conversing among themselves in small groups in low tones. Their first encounter was with a Rajaka or Washerman who happened  to be from the Royal Palace of King Kamsa; as the brothers were attracted to the colourful dresses, they asked the Rajaka to give them a few nice dresses but  the haughty washerman talked rudely and arrogantly which provoked Krishna to beat him and pulled him down on the ground and helped themselves a few dresses of their choice. A little ahead, another person kept on staring at the boys and asked them nicely as to where were they coming from; he said that he was a Maali or a flower seller and invited them to his home nearby and offered them nice flower garlands; Krishna was pleased at his pleasant  conduct and gave him the boon that all along his life, the Maali would be happy, prosperous and well-contented! The next encounter was with a Kubja  or a short and deformed girl and Krishna asked her as to where was she going and what was she carrying; as she said she was carrying Gandha or sandal wood paste, Krishna wished to provide the fragrant paste to him and in turn, he lifted up by her chin and straightened her up by pressing her feet and she was made straight and shapely at once! She invited the boys to visit her home nearby where she offered them nice scents and aromatic pastes; such were the memorable encounters that Krishna and Balarama had while proceding to the ‘Yaga Shaala’ at the end of the Raja Marga. Inside the Yaga shaala there was a massive Deva Dhanush and Krishna broke it playfully as the thundering sound was heard all over; as he heard this huge sound, Kamsa realised that the boys had arrived and that they would have  broken the Dhanush! He called Chanura and Mushtika and said that the next evening Krishna and Balarama  would invite at the Yaaga Shaala  to a friendly wrestling and that they should  somehow kill them by giving an impression to the Public that the killing was accidental. Next evening the boys arrived at the Yaga Shaala to participate the Royal Celebrations and the Trainer of a huge rouge elephant called Kuvalkayapeeda readied  the animal to lift up the boys at the Entrance Gate and trample them; Krishna-Balaramas on arrival understood the intention of the elephant and as it lifted them up they landed on its back and pounded it with their fists, twisted its tail and trunk and felled the animal down with a thud  and it breathed its last. The entire audience especially the Yadavas cheered up the boys with resounding applause and the men and women in the Sports Arena loudly chattered about the ecscapades of the Boys ever since their arrival at Mathura  including their encounters with the Rajaka, Maali, Kubja, Dhanush and the Rougue Elephant; they kept on discussing about his miracle acts of killing various Asuras,  lifting Govardhana Mountain and the juicy tales of Raasa Leelaas! Meanwhile Kamsa announced that the duo of Krishna an Balarama would participate in friendly wrestling matches with the fearful wrestlers like Chanura and Mushtika.  There were mixed feelings in the audience that such ‘Malla Yuddhas’ between the untrained teens and expert wrestlers were not just good jokes but of evil intentions and a few others felt that such deeds were indeed meant for fun. The wrestling bouts looked funny and comical in the beginning but as Chanura and Mushtika looked serious, the atmosphere became tense and as the tiny boys were lifted by the mountain-like professionals, the instrumental  music  in the theatre  stopped and every one in the audience were holding their breath . Balarama shouted to Govinda : Victory be with you Krishna! Kill Chanura at once! Krishna sat on the Danava’s shoulders and gave a mighty blow on his head which was smashed and the tall and powerful Chanura lost his balance and crashed on the ground with a thud and died instantly!  It was then the turn of Balarama to hit on Mushtika’s head , stomach and knees and the latter too was shattered. Krishna then took full control of  another Malla Raja called Toshkala and both the brothers surrounded him and simultaneously punched and whacked him and that colossal wrestler too went the same way to death; the pack of other  werestlers in the arena ran for their lives and there were such shouts and hoots from the audience cheering and acclaiming Krishna and Balarama with victory. As there was ruckus and uproar in the Hall, Yadavas went wild with ecstacy and other citizens of Mathura too were confident that the last hour of the tyrant King Kamsa had arrived. Kamsa shouted at the soldiers that let  the ‘Gwaala baalakaas’ be chased and hounded; a smiling Vaasudeva leapt up on the Platform where Kamsa sat with his Security Chiefs, dragged him down to the Wrestling Arena and overpowered him; thus the most heinous villian of the Era was exterminated once for all.

Then Krishna and Balarama prostrated before Vasudeva and Devaki who were also in the audience and the latter embraced the dear sons with affection on one hand and unlimited devotion on the other. Vasudeva addressed Krishna as follows:

Praseeda seedataam datto Devaanaam yo varah Prabho,

Tathaavayoh prasaadena krutodhharassa Keshava/

Araadhito yadbhagavaan -avateerno gruhey mama,

Durvrutta nidhanaaryaaya tenanah paavanti kulam/---

Mayaavimohitadrushaa tanayo mameti Kamsadbhayam krutamapaasta bhayaatimteevram,

Neetesi Gokulamaraati bhayaakunena Vriddhim gatosmi mama naasti mamatvameesha/

Karmaani Rudramarudaswi shata krutaanaam Sadhyaani yasya na bhavanti nireekshitaani,

Twam Vishnureesha jagataamupakaara hetoh Praaptosi nah paragato vigato hi mohah/

(Prabho! Be kind to us; the benediction bestowed by you to Devataas that you would be born to us was amply fulfilled. You had recognised my worship and were born in our household to destroy evil forces on Earth and indeed my Vamsha had since been purified!---We have been in this Maya or Illusion that you are our son and was thus rattled from the fear of Kamsa and took you to Gokula; since you had grown up there and thus we now do not have that extreme obsession for you; so far we have witnessed such impossible deeds by you which were not conceivable of Rudra, Marudganas, Ashvini Kumars or Indra; Now my Moha / passion for you as a son is not there as now I realise you are Bhagavan Himself to protect the World from the Evil).

After prostrating before the parents and receiving their blessings, Krishna and Balarama greeted Yadava elders; consoled Kamsa’s wives; released Kamsa’s father Ugrasena from shackles and appointed him as the King; made Sudharma as the Raja Guru; requested  Sandipa Muni to perform the ‘Upanayana Samskara’ of themselves; and entered into the house of Guru Sandipa Muni for tutelage for Veda Parayana, Astramantras and Astra prayoga, besides the nuances of Dhanurvidya -all in just forty six days!

Sandipanir –asambhaavyam tayoh karmaatimaanusham,

Vichintya tou tadaameyney praaptou Chandra Divaakarou!

(Sandipa Muni realised that such impossible and para-human abilities were displayed by Krishna-Balaramaas as though Surya and Chandra were their pupils in his house!). After their studies, Krishna and Balarama offered Guru Dakshina and the Muni wailed for their son dead in the Ocean at Prabhasa as he was devoured by a Demon Panchajanya ( who had the shape of  a conch shell). The boys then entered the Ocean, killed the Demon and by blowing a conch shell made of the skeleton of the Demon entered ‘Samyamani’ the Abode of Yamadhararaja and brought the dead boy alive and gave the Guru Dakshina to the Muni and his wife!

There after they visited Uddhava, their childhood friend and nephew, requested him to visit the Vraja places and meet their parents and well wishers as also the Gopikas and narrate to them an account of their activities at Mathura.Uddhava on reaching the Places met them all, and narrated the happenings. He returned back, after an emotional and tearful send-off with return messages from all of them, especially Gopikas.

The two Queens of the deceased Kamsa, Asti and Prapthi, approached their father Jarasandha, the highly powerful Monarch of Magadha and asked for retribution for the ‘misdeeds’ of Balarama and Krishna. With a huge army under him, Jaraasandha  attacked Mathura with some twenty three Akshouhinis of infantry, cavalry and elephantry and challenged Krishna and Balarama. But as Krishna was fighting the massive opponents even with a minor number of Army, he asked for his (Vishnu’s) Shaaranga Dhanush with limitless arrows and his Gada /Mace called Kaumudi while Blalarama recalled his Hala / plough and Musala; Jarasandha and his huge army was shattered into pieces, bur Jarasandha was spared so that he could return back by regrouping  his men and material. Indeed he returned back again and again, getting routed for seventeen times.When Jarasandha was expected to attack for the eighteenth time, - his allies viz.Yavanas, the Mleccha  foreign forces- headed by Kalayavana attacked Mathura with thirty million barbarian soldiers of desperation and cruelty.  Krishna and Balarama felt that while they would fight with Yavanas, Jarasandha’s army might simultaneously harm Yadus. Thus they planned to build a new place, named Dwaraka (with  twelve Gates) and asked Visvakarma, the Architect of  Devatas who created a beautiful and well structured fortress City touching the Western Sea. By means of His mystic Yoga Maya ( Power of Illusion), the Citizens of Mathura got transferred, lock-stock and barrel-overnight to Dwaraka and found themselves in luxurious  palaces.

 Even as  Balarama was defending Mathura, Krishna attracted the attention of Kalayavana, passing singly by foot, by the Main Gate of Mathura. Kalayavana followed Krishna closely but always unreachable with some distance apart and led the Mlechha into a mountain cave.Thinking that Krishna Himself assumed a new ‘Rupa’( Body) as an old and haggardly person in the cave as Krishna was known for such powers, Kalayavana kicked the old man fast asleep. Indeed He was not Krishna but Muchukunda, the son of Mandhata of Ikshvaku dynasty. He was the defender of Demi-Gods from Daityas for long but since Lord Kartikeya became the Commander of Demi- Gods, the latter relieved Muchukunda of his duties and Kartikeya advised him of retirement and since then he was sleeping in the cave, unaware of hundreds of years passed by! By his very looks of fire, Muchukunda converted Kalayavana into ashes as per Indra’s benediction that if anybody disturbed his slumber would be burnt to ashes!  Muchukunda demanded Krishna to identify himself and the latter disclosed that he was the son of Vasudeva of Yadu Kula of Chandra Vamsha; Muchukunda then recalled Gargya Muni’s statement that Krishna the son of Vasudeva and the Avatara of Vishnu would liberate him! He greeted Krishna and narrated Gargya Muni’s statement and acclaimed him as follows: ‘Bhagavan! Just as in the ‘Devasura Maha Sangraam’when I helped Devatas to demolish Daiytas, the Daityas were unable to tolerate my radiance; but now I am similarly unable to withstand your extreme illumination of your Physique now! You are indeed the last and total shield against humanity:

Samsaarapatitastaiko jantoswam sharanam param,

Praseeda twam Prapananartihara naashaya mey ashubham/

Twam Panonidhayasshaaila saritastwam vanaani cha,

Modini gaganam Vaayuraapogniswtam ytathaa pumaan,

Pumsam parataram yaccha Vyaapyajanma vikaara vat/

Shabdaadi heenamajaramayevam Kshayabvarjitam,

Avruddhi naasham tubyha twamaadyanta vivarjitam/

Twattomaraassa Pitaro Yaksha Gandhava Kinnarah,

Siddhhaschaapsaraswattho Manushyaah Pashavah Khagaah/

Sarisrupaa Mrigaatsarvey tatthassarvey Mahiruhaah,

Yaccha Bhutam Bhavishyam cha kinchidatra charaacharam/

Murtaamurtam tathaa chaapi Sthulam Sukshmataram tathaa,

Tatsarvam twam  Jagatkartaa naasti kinchitthavyaa vinaa/

Mayaasamsaara chakresminbhranmataa Bhagavan sadaa,

Taapatrayaabhi bhutena na praataa nivruthih kinchit/

Duhkhaanyeva sukhaaneeti Mriga trishnaa Jalaashayaa,

Mayaa Naatha grihitaani taani taapaaya meybhavan/

Rajyamurvee balam kosho Mitra pakshastathaatmajaah,

Bhaaryaa Bhrutyajano ye cha shabdaadyaa vishayaah Prabho/

Sukha buddhyaa mayaa sarvam griheetamidamavyayam,

Parinaamey tadevesha taapaatmakamabhunmama/

Devaloka gatimpraapto Naatha Devaganopih,

Mattassahaayya kaamobhucchaashwati kutra nirvutih/

Twan maayaa moodha manaso Janma mritujaraatmikaan,

Praapuvanti  Naraa duhkha swarupavidastwa/

Ahamtyanti vishayi mohitastwa Maayayaa,

Mamatwa garva garnaantabhramaami Parameshwara/

Soham twaam sharanamapaaramaprameyam sampraaptim Paramam paam yato na kinchit, 

Samsaara bhrama paritaapataptrachetaa Nirvaaney parinatadhaamni saabhilaashah/

( You are the unique safeguard of all the fallen beings and the eliminator of their distress, Paramatma! Kindly destroy my entire inauspisciousness. Indeed you are the Oceans, mountains, rivers, forests, Prithvi, Akaasha, Vaayu, Jala, Agni and the Manas or the Thinking capacity. You are the Buddhi, Praana, Praanaadhipati; indeed you are beyond the capacity of all beings; far beyond the life and death, even the Tatwaas and their total negation; you are devoid of Shabda; you are the Ajara-Ameya-Akshaya-Avinasha-Adyantarahita and Vriddhi rahita. You are Brahma-Devataas- Pitraganaas- Yaksha-Gandharva- Kinnara-Siddha-Apsaraagana;  You are the Manushyas-Pashu-Pakshi-Sarisrupa-and Mrigaas. You are the Charaachara Jagat; the Bhuta-Bhavishya; the Murta- Amurta-Sthula-Sukshma; and indeed the Totality and there is nothing else! Bhagavan, as I have been a target of ‘Tapatrayaas’ afflicted in the Samsara-Chakra and always caught in the whirl-pool of life-death-and life again, I never had peace of mind; I have been always engaged in search of water getting involved in Mriga-Trishna or Mirages and hallucinations; I have been constantly fooled with illusions of joys which actually have been strings and circles of troubles and griefs. Devadhideva! I have been attracted by Kingdoms and Status-Positions, acquisitions of land, armies, properties, material possessions, progeny, friendships, women, servants, and all kinds of physical pleasures which are all ephemeral and highly temporary; Bhagavan, even Devas had no peace of mind and sought my assistance in battles with Asuras! Maha Deva! Is there a lasting peace without complete surrender and unsullied attachment to you; in there a remote possibility of escaping Yama darshana and muchless a relief from the breakaway of the cycle of life and death; for how long have I to swim and sink in the fathomless sea of delusions and deceipts of life! This is why  seek your protection to reach that enduring and everlasting destination, which is stated to be : ‘Avyatam, Shaswatam, Vishnum, Anantam, Ajam and Avayam’!

Subsequently Krishna granted a wish to Muchukunda to be reborn as a Sage from his Kshatriya’s current birth. Muchukunda exited from the cave into a World transformed from what he knew and realised that Kali Yuga was on the anvil, as the size of humans, animals, birds and trees was reduced considerably. He proceeded to Gandhamadana mountain and reached Nara-Narayana Ashram and meditated for the rest his life.

Meanwhile, Krishna and Balarama found Mathura under the seige of Yavanas but with their Chief Kalayavana was found missing,  they were shattered by a handful of Yadava soldiers and of course by Krishna and Balarama.

 [Jarasandha imprisoned a number of  Kings at Yudhishtar’s Rajasuya Yaga since they agreed to Krishna becoming the Chief Guest; subsequently when Krishna, Bhima and Arjun visited Jarasandha’s Palace in disguise as Bramanas to free the Kings, the three of them challenged him for a duel with any one of them and Bhima was chosen. Jarasandha was not getting killed for many days and Krishna hinted to tear the opponent’s body by demonstrating the cutting of a branch of a tree and throwing up the pieces upside down in opposite directions; a Rishi blessed  King Brihadhratha ( father of Jarasandha) for a child  but he gave only one fruit, where as the King had two wives; he cut the fruit into two half pieces and distributed to the two wives, but they delivered a child in two pieces; as the two pieces were discarded, a Demoness called Jara collected them and arranged the body pieces upside down and a boy came up with life, who was called as Jara-sandha or the one united by Jara. Hence Krishna’s advice to Bhima to tear the body and  throw the two parts  apart  topsy- turvey.After Bhima killed Jarasandha, some 21,000 Kings, defeated in wars and imprisoned, were liberated.]                                                     

Rukmini’s abduction by Krishna:   Maharshi Parashara narrated the story of Devi Rukmini’s abduction by Krishna. Both of them were fond of each other and desired to wed together. But, Rukmi the brother of Rukmini hated Krishna and was keen on his sister wedding his friend Sisupala. He influenced his father King Bhishmak and even arranged their engagement much against the objection of Rukmini. At the Wedding Ceremony, the Guest List included Kings like Salva, Jarasandha, Dantavakra and such other opponents of Krishna; the King invited Balarama and  Krishna too. Fearing that Krishna, who proposed earlier to wed Rukmini, might create trouble at the Function, Rukmi as well as Sisupala prepared for any eventuality alerting their Armies;  Salva, Jarasandha, and other well wisheres too readied their armies too. But so did Balarama. Precisely when the Bride entered the Wedding Platform, Krishna took away Rumini like a surprise flash and both of them fled away in the Chariot of Krishna with the flag of Garuda atop.The armies of Sisupala and asscociates could hardly prevent the Glorious Abduction. Rukmi was unable to bear the insult and followed Krishna’s chariot but  was defeated and his moustache and beard were shorn by Krishna as a symbol of His victory. Subsequently, King Bhishmaka performed the wedding most appropriately.

Pradyumna was born to Rukmini and Krishna and the son looked exactly like Krishna. When he was hardly ten days old, Demon Sambara kidnapped the child not knowing that he was the son of Krishna threw him in the Sea as a huge fish ate him but the child was safe in its belly. A fisherman caught hold of the big fish and presented it to the King Sambara who in turn gave it to Mayavati the head cook of the King’s kitchen who cut the fish to find an attractive baby inside. At that very juncture, Brahmarshi Narada appeared in the kitchen and revealed the Story to Mayavati of Lord Rudra turning ‘Manmadha’( Cupid) into ashes when he and Rati  (Cupid’s wife) aimed Floral Arrows. Lord Rudra gave boons that in their next birth,Cupid would be born as Lord Krishna’s son Pradyumna and Mayavati as Rati.As Pradyumna grew as a youngman, Mayavati desired to marry him despite wide difference of age. Pradyumna was popularly known as ‘Vyuha’ as the Lord of Intelligence, along with three of His other names viz Vasudeva ( Lord of Consciousness); Sankarshana (Lord of Individuality) and Aniruddha (Lord of Intelligence). Eventually Pradyumna killed Sambara, married Mayavati and stayed with Rukmini and Krishna at Dwaraka.

Narakasura (Bhaumika): The end of notorious Bhaumika, the son of Bhumi ( Demi-Goddess of Earth), is celebrated till date on the moon fall day preceding Kartika Month of every year as ‘Deepavali’(The Festival of Lights). Krishna, accompanied by Satyabhama flew by Garuda to ‘Pragjyotisha’, Capital City of Bhaumasura [now in Assaam] , surrounded by mountains and  ramparts defended by  fire, water and unmanned automatic weapons as also protected by ‘Mura Pasha’- thousand  miles-long deadly and sturdy wires as designed by  Demon Mura . 

Krishna shattered the defence buttresses and blew His Panchajanya (Conch shell) with deadening reverberation as Demon Mura’s frontal fortification was destroyed. When provoked, the Demon tossed his powerful club which was slashed by Krishna’s Sudarsana Chakra into pieces and devastated Mura. Seven deadly sons of Mura, who had the knowledge of weapons as fully as their father, pounced in a group but Krishna’s Supreme powers were no match and they too were cracked. Bhaumasura shot at his ‘Shataghni’- the powerful disc with hundred blades- and later on with his mighty spear with which he defeated Indra too both of which proved futile. Finally Krishna gave His nod to Sudarsana Chakra (Wheel) to pull down the Demon and exterminate him.Thus Bhaumasura was sent to ‘Naraka’and hence his ignominious title as Narakasura.[Another version is that the Demon was arrowed down by Satyabhama herself, as he secured a blessing from Lord Brahma that only his mother Goddess of Earth ( Bhumi) could kill him; Satyabhama was the reincarnation of  Goddess Earth] . It was at Indra’s distress call that received Krishna’s attention was that the Asura appropriated  Varuna Deva’s Royalty Insignia which was an Umbrella; the Ear- Rings of Aditi- the Mother- Figure of Devas; and ‘Mani Parvata’ ( Mandara Mountain) where Demi-Gods resided were among the abominable acts of the Demon. As a gesture of good-will, Satyabhama’s desire to transfer the ‘Parijata’ Tree (which emerged in the churning process of Ocean) to her garden from the Heaven was obliged by Indra. Krishna on His part released sixteen thousand royal maidens of Kings defeated by Bhaumasura and consented to marry them, in addition to the eight principal wives. Goddess Prithvi sought her apology for her son’s sins and reiterated her own devotion to Krishna; she said:

Yadaahmadhbutaa Naathaa! Twaya Sukaramurtinaa,

Twat sprasha sambhavaha putrastadaayam mayyajaayata/

Soyam twayyaiva datthomey twayyaiva vinipaatitah,

Gruhaana kundaley chaimey paalayaasya cha santitam/

Bhaaraavatarana –arthaaya mamaiva Bhagavaaninam,

Amshena lokamaayaatah prasaada sumukhah Prabho/

Twam Kartaacha Vikartaacha Samhartaa prabhavopyayah,

Jagataam twam Jagatrupah stuyatechyuta kim tawa/

Vyaaptiravyaapyam Kriyaa Kartaa Kaaryamcha Bhagavaanyathaa,

Sarva Bhutaatma Bhutasya stuyatey tava kim tathaa/

Paramaatmaacha Bhutaatmaa twamaatmaa chavyayo bhavaan,

Yathaa tathaa Stutirnaatha Kimartham tey pravartatey/

Praseeda Sarva Bhutaatmannrakena tu yhatkrutam,

Tatkshamya-  taamadoshaaya twatsutasvannipaatitah/

( Nathaa! As soon as you in Varahrupa touched me to save me from sinking into Rasatalaa, then and there I was blessed with a son (Bhaumika) and thus you gave me a son and now took him away too now! Please accept the Kundala and other possessions as he has died now but  do kindly spare his progeny of any blames. Achyuta! You are the Creator-Protector and Terminator and the Unique Form of the Universe; how could I indeed acclaim and commend you; you are the Swarupa of Vyapti - the Vyapya-Kriya-Karta-Karyarupa  as also the Paramatma-Bhutatma-Avyaya Jeevatma and since you are everything, then how could indeed I commend you. Do forgive your own son Narakasura for his misdeeds!)

Parijata Apaharana: As the victorious Krishna and Satyabhama  fancifully reached Swarga dwaara after the battle with Narakasura, Krishna  blew his conchshell and Aditi along with Indra and Devas welcomed the guests. Devi Aditi complemented Krishna while Indra and Devas performed puja to Krishna with various flowers but Shachi Devi disallowed puja by the flowers of Kalpa Vriksha as the Krishna couple were human beings. There after, the latter visited the Garden of Swarga and Satyabhama desired to take the Tree in her garden in Dwaraka. Shachi Devi flatly refused despite the persuation of Krishna and Devi; surprisingly Indra too sided with Shachi Devi on the plea that Indra gifted it to his wife and he had no hold on it. Arguments between Indra and Krishna ensued and ended up with fights which worsened to fulfledged battles. Indra took up his Vajrayudha  and all other Devas fell in line; Krishna blew up his Shanka while Garutman pulled up Varuna Pasha; Yama threw his ‘Danda’ on Krishna and the latter’s mace made smitherins of the hyamna danda; Agni’s blistering arrows were instantly cooled with Krishna’s Jala Banaas; Garuda and Iravata attached each other. As Indra confronted Krishna with his Vajra and Krishna took up his Sudarshana chakra; Indra was afraid of the consequences and tried to run back and Satyabhama heckled Indra saying that the latter was after all the Devendra and it was not proper to show his back as Shachi would offer him a Parajata garland! Having jeered Indra thus, Satyabhama said that since she was also a woman she talked to Indra in such a jocular tone but in fact she was never serious in demanding the Parijata tree; as Shachi Devi said that it was her property  and hence she had no intention of stealing other’s property so that this battle might better end up and as the guests to Swarga might as well return back to where they belonged. Indra was put to defensive by Satyabhama’s conversation and replied:

Na chaapi sargha samhaara sthiti Kartaakhilasya yah,

Jitasya tena mey vreedaa jaayat8ey Vishvarupinaa!

Tenodbhava Pralayapaalana kaarena vreedaa katham bhavati Devi niraakrutasya/

Sakala bhuvanasutirmurtiralpaaalpa sukshma vidita sakalaVedairjaayatey yasya naanmyah,

Tamajamakrutameesham shaswatam swecchayenam Jagadupakrutimartyam ko Vijetam Samarthah!

( Why should I be ashamed of getting defeated by Vishwa Prabhu who is the Cause of the Existence, Preservation and Termination of the Universe! Who could indeed overcome  if that Tinest yet Grossest and Most Magnificent Form which creates the World and Vedas descends on Earth on his own volition to help and correct humanity by assuming human form?) When Krishna replied to Indra jocularly that he was after all a human being and what Satyabhama sought was a celestial product, then Indra requested Krishna not to taunt him further and despached  the Parijata Tree to Dwaraka with the assurance that as long as Krishna would be there in human form, the Parijata tree too would be on Earth!

On return to Earth Krishna accepted eight thousand  wives released from Narakasura’s prisons, besides eight Principal wives viz. Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Nagnajiti, Mitravinda, Lakshmana, Kalindi and Madri.       

Aniruddha’s wedding with Usha: Banasura, the grand son of the famed King Bali who gave the entire Universe in charity in lieu of three feet to Lord Vamana, was the father of daughter Usha who fell in love with Aniruddha, the son of Pradyumna and the grand son of Lord Krishna. Banasura was a dedicated devotee of Lord Siva, and the Lord awarded several invaluable benedictions to the Demon including powerful war weapons and thousand hands to relase the armaments simultaneously. Once Usha happened to see both Shiva and Parvati sitting together          and being an Antaryami Devi Parvati joked with Usha that one day she would too land up in a situation like that. Usha asked Devi Parvati as to when would that day arrive! Parvati replied that she would dream of a youth on the night of Vaishakha Shukla Dwadashi. As the day arrived, Usha did get the dream and informed of the incidence to her friend Chitralekha, the daughter of Banasura’s Minister named Kushmanda. As Usha was unable to bear the feelings of love, Chitralekha showed several drawings of eligible amd handsome bachelors and after a few days, Usha succeeded finally to identify the youth. Then it was learnt that the youth was the son of Krishna. In course of time, the couple met and their romance became intense by the day.  Learning of the desire of his daughter with Aniruddha, the son of Pradyumana -the erstwhile Cupid who was burnt into ashes by Lord Siva’s third eye- and the grand son of Krishna (Avatar of Lord Vamana), Banasura quashed the wedding proposal and reprimanded his daughter since Krishna was his foe. Banasura prevented his daughter meeting Aniruddha and when the latter fought with him, he imprisoned Aniruddha. Yadavas in Dwaraka wondered as to what happened to Aniruddha. On learning from Narada Muni, it was learnt that Aniruddha was imprisoned in Shonitapur, the Capital of Banasura and Krishna, Balarama and Pradyumna lest by Garuda to that Place. There, they confronted Pramathaganas of Shiva and fought with Jwara the three footed Chief of the ‘Parshads’ named Maheswara and defeated him. This led to a full-fledged battle between Krishna and others on one side and Banasura, Shankara and Kartikeya on the other. As furious Shastra-Astraas were exchanged by both the Parties, the whole world was affected with Pralayaagni. Balarama attacked Banasura and the fight got intensified with alarming consequences. Meanwhile Krishna recalled his Sudarshana Chakra and sliced off the mighty hands of Banasura and was about to cut off the Asura’s head too. It was at that climatic moment, Shankara  addressed   Krishna to stop and said as follows:

Krishna Krishna Jagannatha jaano twaam Purushottamam,

Paresham Paramaatmaanaadi nidhanam Harim/

Tatpraseedaabhayam dattham Banaasuraasya mayaaPrabho,

Tatthvayaa naanrutam kaaryam hyanmayaa vyaahrutam vachah/

Yasmat samshraya drupotoyam naaparaadhi twayaavyaya,

Mayaa dutta varo Daityastatastwaam Kshamayaamyaham/ 

(Hey Krishna, Krishna, Jagannaatha! I am aware that you are the Purushottama –Parameswara- Paramatmaa and Adyanta-Rahita! Do get cooled down. I have provided shield to Banasura my devotee and assured that I would stand guarantee at the time of his peril; please do not falsify my faith in me. He has not done any thing wrong to you but is egoistic due to my backing and therefore pardon him). Krishna replied:

Yushmadatta varo Baano jeevitamesha Shankara,

Tadvaakya gouravaadetan-mayaa chakram nivartitam/

Twayaa yadbhayam duttam taddattamakhilam mayaa,

Matto vibhinnamaatmaanam drushtamarhasi Shankara/ 

Yoham sa twam Jagacchedam Sadevaasura maanusham,

Matto naanyaseshedam yastatwam jnaatumihaarhasi/

Avidyaamohitaatmaanam twam gacchha Vrishabhadhwaja/

( Shankara! If you so wish as you had given him a bediction, Banaasura would continue to be alive. In order to respect your assurance to him, I am withdrawing Sudarshana Chakra; if you had given him protection, so do I; You should never feel that you are different from me; you should always consider me as yourself and together we are the Devas, Asuras, human beings and all the rest; all those who consider us as different from each other are shrouded in Maya or Illusion; indeed, I am pleased and am gone.) Thre after, Krishna and all the rest headed to Aniruddha’s prison , where the latter was released by ‘Naga bandhana’or tight-tied by a serpent which ran away at the appearance of Garuda Deva while Banasura politely agreed for the Sacred wedding of Usha-Aniruddhaas.

Krishna kills Sishupala: At the invitation of King Yudhishtara to attend the Rajasuya Yagnam (Horse Sacrifice) being performed by Pandavas especially after the devastation of Jarasandha, Lords Krishna and Balarama arrived at Indraprastha, the new  beautiful Capital City, built by Maya. As a climax to the Celebrations, a function was held to select the best personality who graced the ‘Yagna’. Nobody wished to comment  but Sahadeva, the youngest of Pandavas, proposed the name of Krishna. There was all round approval of the proposal and Dharmaraja initiated the procedure by inviting Krishna.

Just at that time, King Sisupala, a great associate of Jarasandha since killed by Bhima, expressed displeasure at the selection of Krishna on the proposal of a boy, Sahadeva of Pandavas.He said that elders in age, experience, wisdom were available and there was no special qualification for Krishna who ran away from Jarasandha twenty three times in succesive wars and his real capability in wars, duels, and dealings involving honesty and frankness were suspect. Sisupala critcised Krishna transgessing all limits of decency. Finally having counted the number of abuses hurled at Him, Krishna hurled His Sudarsana Wheel to slit Sisupala’s neck.  Sisupala was the son of King Dhamaghosha and Srutadevi, the latter being the sister of Vasudeva whose son was Lord Krishna. In other words Krishna and Sisupala were cousins. When Sisupala was born, he was dark and ugly with three eyes and four hands. His parents had almost decided to disown him, but a voice from Heaven suggested not to do so as an Illustrious Person would soon fondle the child and snip out his extra limbs and he himself would also kill him.Krishna’s aunt Srutadevi requested Him to postpone the killing of the child as far as possible. Krishna promised that He would wait till his hundredth abuse. Incidentally, Sisupala and Dantavakra were stated to be the Demons of ‘Dwapara Yuga’ born after the curse of Sanaka Kumara brothers to the Vaikuntha Gate Keepers Jaya and Vijaya.

As a sequel to Rajasuya  Yagna, there were two major developments: Firstly, the unbearable jealousy of Kauravas against Pandavas who became extremely prosperous and popular among the various contemporary Kings and worse than that, the extremely hurt pride of Duryodhana especially when Draupadi the wife of Pandava sons laughed out loudly when he fell straight into a water pool when he thought that there was no water but ground and when he lifted up his robes as there  was no ground but a water body. Secondly, the battles of Sisupala’s great friends like Salva and Dantavakra were in the offing against Yadavas . While seeds of jealousy were firmly sown in Duryodhana’s mind leading to disastrous consequences for Pandavas thus leading to the Great Battle of Mahabharata, the destructive attempts by Sisupala’s friends were almost instant. Salva secured earlier an everlasting air-vehicle from Lord Siva because of deep devotion and landed at Dwaraka when Krishna and Balarama were away at Indraprastha and overpowered Pradyumna who fled from the battle, as Salva presented illusory heads of Krishna and Balaram to him.On return, the Lords shattered the airship and Salva too. Dantavakra and his sons Romaharshana and Viruddha met the same fate. Thus the chapter of  Sisupala’s death was closed. Simultaneously, the run-up to Mahabharata Battle at Kurukshatra was picking up fast as the foul play of Dices between Shakuni on behalf of Kaurava sons and Dharmaraja on behalf of Pandavas. Ast he Battle was shaping as an inevitable consequence, Balarama being a neutral figure, especially since Duryodhana was his disciple while Krishna identified himself as Pandava’s well-wisher, proceeded on a pilgrimage to Holy Places.His visits covered Prayaga, Ganga, Gaya, Godavari , Srisailam, Venkata Hills, Kanchi, Madurai,  Srirangam, Rameswaram and Kanya Kumari. He reached Kurukshetra at the time when Bhima and Duryodhana were engaged in a duel with maces as almost terminating the Great Battle.

 Shri Krishna Niryaana was the climax of the termination of Yadukula that got initiated by a few playful Yadu Kumaraas at Pindaraka Tirtha who dressed the son of Jambavati called Saambu as an expectant woman and asked a group of Rishis to ascertain whether the woman would deliver a boy or a baby! The Munis under reference included Kanwa-Narada and Viswamitra who from their Divya drishti realized the hoax of the fake garbhini and said in anger:  that the woman would deliver neither a boy nor a girl but a ‘Musala’ or a lump of an iron instead and that would result in the destruction of Yadu Vamsha!  The Yadava Boys were stunned at the reply and reported the matter to Ugrasena! Saambu did deliver a Musala  from his stomach which was pounded as powder but the remainder bit was thrown into the Sea and it was devoured by a fish and a fisherman called Jara caught hold of the fish and as he cut it he found a sharp iron piece which he kept for subsequent use. Meanwhile, Indra and Devas despatched Vayu Deva who appeared before Krishna and prayed to him as follows: ‘Devaadi Deva! Indra has asked us as well by Ashtaavasus, Marud Devatas , Rudras , Saadhyas and Adityas that at our instance you had very kindly assumed an incarnation and lightened the enormous burden on Earth by demolishing innumerable Danavas and other Dushta Shaktis for a long hundred years and over and the Three crores of Devas are now at peace; we request you to know your mind as to how to proceed further’. Bhagavan replied: ‘ I am fully aware of my next move; I have already initiated the process of Yadava destruction as considerable annihilation of the enemy forces of the virtuous Pandavas including the killing of Jarasandha besides of Kauravas was concluded too. As I have still to complete the task of terminating Yadavas as I brought them to Dwaraka and that bit of task too once concluded, I shall be freed of my mortal responsibilities and return to Vaikuntha’. So saying, Krishna made arrangements by dispatching Uddhava to Badarikaashrama on Gandhamaadana Parvat to Naranarayana Maharshi Ashrama where he would secure Siddhi after the close of his life. Select Yadavas including himself, Baladeva and elders like Ugrasena, Vasudeva left for Prabhasa Kshetra along concerned Devis; remaining Yadavas most of got dead drunk killed each other including Pradyumna, Saamba, Kritavarma, Satyaki, Aniruddha, Pruthu and Akrura by using the high grown sea beach grass roots which sprouted from the powder of the Musala delivered from Saambu’s garbha thus terminating Yadu Vamsha; the elders including Balarama etc who left for Prabhasa Kshetra  took  resort to Yogic ends and finally Krishna and the famed charioteer Daruka remained; Balarama sat under a Tree and from hisface a Maha Sarpa emerged:

Nishkramya sa mukhaattasya Maha Bhogo Bhujangamah,

Prayayaavaarnavam Siddhaih pujamaanastathogaraih/

Tatorghyamaadaaya tadaa jaladhissammukham yayou,

Pravivesha tatastyoyam pujitah pannagottamaih/

(There a gigantic Sarpa moved towards the huge Ocean as worshipped by Sidhas and Nagaas while Samudra welcomed and worshipped and the Maha Sarpa entered the Ocean). Meanwhile Krishna assumed his full form with four hands armed while Shankha-Chakra- Gada-Sarangaas performed pradakshinas and he rested under a tree bush.  Imagining that a deer was resting since Krishna’s feet were moving behind a tree bush , Jara Vyaadha who recovered an iron left-over bit from the fish caught in the Sea, sharpened his arrow and shot at the Lord’s  moving feet and ashamed to do so but the ever merciful Krishna bestowed him Siddhi. Krishna then sent Daruka to convey the news of Krishna Niryana to his dear disciple Arjuna to perform the obsequies of himself, of Balarama and the illustrious Yaduveeras; Rukmini and Krishna’s wives performed Krishna Sahagamana or sacrificing themselves in the a same Fire with which the mortal human form of the Avatara succumbed. Maharshi Parashara commented thus:

Gatey tasminsa Bhagavaan samyojyaatmaa namanapmani,

Brahmabhutey vyayeychintye Vaasudevamayelaley/

Ajanyamarey Vishnaavaprameyo- khilaatmani,

Tatyaaja Maanusham dehamateetya trividhaam gatim/

(As He left, Bhagavan Krishna discarded his human form and recalled his Soul which is Avyaya- Achintya- Vaasudeva Swarupa-Amala-Ajanma- Amara- Aprameya- Akhilaatma-and Brahma Swarupa Vishnu!)

As Arjuna was totally drowned in uncontrollable grief and distress, Veda Vyasa assuaged his inner and core-emotions said: Bhagavan Krishna arrived as a human being along with us all as a Marga darshaka or a moral teacher to prescribe and guide us about the virtuous the innate values of life and to uproot the evils of the Society that Daityas and many in the form of Human beings came to adopt; now that the burden of Bhu Devi got lightened  Paramatma took up the need and the deed ; since the noble reason and requirement were fulfilled, he put the World back on its heels and disappeared, since Jatasya Maranam Dhruvam!

Veda Vyasa stated:

Jaatasya niyato Mrityuh patanamcha tathonnateyh,

Vipra yogaanasaanaastu samyogah sanchaye kshayah/

Vijnaaya na budhaasshokam na harsha –mupayaanti ye,

Teshaameyveytarey cheshtaam sikshantassanti taadrushaah/

( Whatever is born is certain to die; which is grown well has to decrease; Samyoga or Togetherness has to terminate as Viyoga or loneliness; Sanchaya or Increased Collection has to end up as Kshaya or Decay; Intelligent persons  do not get elated too much since exultation might end up in depression or even as damage; that is the reason why one ought to realise that great heights might lead to great falls too). Yaschetaccharitam tasya Krishnasya Shrunuyaatsadaa, Sarna Paapa vinirmukto Vishnu lokam sa gacchati/ (Those persons who listen to Krishna Charitra would surely get relief from sins and attain  Vishnu Loka)!


17       Tapatriayas and Paramartha Swarupa


Maharshi Parashara described about Tapatriayas or the Three Kinds of Difficulties that all human beings are subjected to as also the means of  realising the Paramartha Swarupa. The Tapatriayas originate due to Adhyatmika, Aadhi Daavika and Adhi Bhoutika reasons. Adhyatmika based Tapaas are either due to ‘Shaaririka’(physical) ailments or ‘Manasika’ (psychological) imbalances. Shaaririka Tapaas include dieseases related to head, digestive, heart, breathing, vision, limbs, skin, fevers and so on; related are the  various physiological problems of blood-urinary-pelvic nature. Manasika Tapaas are related to Kama, Krodha, Bhaya, Dwesha, lobha, Moha, Vishada, Shoka, Asuya, Apamana, Irshya, Matsara etc. Adhi Bhoutika Tapaas are due to the difficulties attributed to  animals, birds, Pishachaas, Serpents, Rakshasaas and poisonous related creatures like scorpions. The troubles on account of Adhidaivika nature are due to cold, heat, air, rains, drought, water, earthquakes, cyclones and so on. Additionally, the troubles are related to birth, childhood, youth, old age, ignorance, Avidya,  loneliness, smell, lack of resources, poverty, immaturity, inexperience, lack of opportunity, fear of death, death itself and multiple kinds of experiences of Naraka. Maharshi Parashara emphasized that there are problems of excessive of opulence, excellent health, excessive youth,  and such other excesses and some times ignorance is bliss. More so there could be Tapaas due to discriminations of sex, age, social status, experience, opportunity, family background; origin of birth viz. religion, Varnashrama and age. Disappointments in life, more specifically relating to money and fame, including their earnings, perservation and  its vinasha or destruction happen to be yet source of Tapatriya.

Having said this, Maharshi Parashara analysed that those entities or things which are dear to one’s own  psyche /self happen to be the root-causes of dissatisfaction like the seeds sown turn so become trees:

Dravya naasho tathotpattho paalaney chasadaa Nrinaam,

Bhavanyaneyka Duhkhaani ytathaivershti vipattishu/

Yadyaatpreetikaram Pumsdaam Vastu Maitreya jaayatey,

Tadaiva Duhkha Vrikshasya beejastwamupagacchati/

Kalatra Putra Mitraatha Griha Kshetra dhanaadikaih,

Kriyatey na thaa bhuri sukham pumsaam Yathaasukham/

Iti Samsaara duhkhaarka taapa taapita chetsaam,

Vimukti paada paccha-yamaamritey kutra sukham Nripaam/

(Maitreya! Which ever things that are deeply desired by human beings are indeed  the seeds of Maha Vrikshaas of griefs and regrets. Those entities like wife, children, friends, wealth, houses, money, fields and so on have always created more of worries than causes of happiness and conentment. In the same way,  could  there be happiness except under the shade of the Moksha Vriksha by a person who is victimised by the heat of Samsara Duhkha as intensified by Surya Deva!) This indeed is the reason as to why the torments of birth, childhood, old age and various other causes are overcome by the  Unique Medicine of Bhagavat Prapti. This again is the lasting and singular solution prescribed by Panditas to accomplish Bhagavat Prapti.

Karma and Jnaana are the two ways of realising Bhagavat Prapti. Jnaana in turn is achievable by two means; one is ‘Shaastra Janya’ or attainable by the knowledge of Shaastras and another is Viveka Janya or that which is secured by Intelligence or Inherent Aptitude or Awareness. Shabda Brahma Jnaana is Shaastra janya and Parabrahmaka Bodha is Vivekaja. In any case, ‘Ajnaana’ or lack of Awareness is as bad as darkness and to overcome that darkness, one has to light up the lamp of Shaastra jnaan;  in comparison, Viveka Jnaan which is inherent to a person is comparable to what is as good as derived from Surya. In other words, Shaastrajanya Jnaana is learnt or absorbed by Shravana-Grahana Indriyas or ‘Indriyodhbhava Jnaana’. Having thus defined Jnaana, Maharshi Parashara distinguished Brahma in two forms viz. Shabda Brahma and Para Brahma. Having achieved expertise in Shabda Brahma or the Shabda Janya Jnaana, a Pandita undergoes what is called ‘Jignasa’ or introspection and by appying the means of Viveka janya Jnaana attains Para Brahma. The formula under reference thus is: Grahana Jnaana + Jignaasa + Viveka Jnaana = Para Brahma!

Parashara Muni annotated further  that Atharva Veda distinguished the  two words of Vidya viz. ‘Para’ and ‘Apara’; the word Para seeks to attain Brahma and Apara as per Ruk-Yajur-Sama Veditrayi is  Brahma Itself!

Yattadayaktam ajara machintya maja mavyayam,

Anirdeshyamarupam cha Paanipaadaabhi Samyutam/

Vibhu Sarvagatam Nityam Bhutayoni-rakaaranmam,

Vyaapya vyaaptam yatah Sarvam yaddai pashyanti Surayah/

Yad Brahmaa tatparam dhaama tat dadhebhyam Moksha kaamshibhih,

Shtruti Vaakyoditam Sookshmam Tadvishnoh Paramam Padam/

Tadeva Bhagavadvaachyam swarupam Paramatmanah,

Vaachako Bhagavad cchaabdha stasyaadyasyaakshayaatmanah/

(It is that Manifestation of Paramaatma who is Avykta-Ajara-Achintya- Aja-Avyaya-Anirdeshya-Arupa-Paani Paadaadi Shunya-Vyapaka-Sarvagata-Nitya- Bhutaadikaarana-Swayam Kaaranaheena-Sampurna Vyapya and Vyapaka. Yogis recognise Him through their ‘Jnaana Netraas’or their Eyes of Wisdom and ‘Mumukshis’ or Seekers percieve Him as ‘Paramapada’or His Tiny Form; ‘Bhagavat’ is the  Vachya (adjective) Swarupa of Parmatma as also His Vachaka Swarupa as the Noun.) This ‘Shabda’of Bhagavat / Bhagavan has two connotations: the ‘Bha’kaara stands both for He who is the ‘Poshana Karta’ or the Preserver and also the ‘Ga’kaara standing for ‘Adhara’ or the Hold / Grasp or Clamp; ‘Ga’ kara also denotes the Provider of Karma Phala or the Benefit of Good Deeds-Rachayita or the Architect of the Universe and Laya kaara or the Terminator. The word Bhaga embraces six names viz. Aishwarya-Dharma-Yasha-Shri- Jnaana-and Vairagya!

Maharshi Parashara further stated that the word Vaasudeva denotes the following:

Bhuteshu vasatey sontarvasnyatra cha taaniyat,

Dhataa Vidhaataa Jagataam Vaasudevastatah Prabhuh/

Sa Sarva Bhuta Prakritim Vikaaraagunaadi doshaamscha Muney Vyatitah/

Ateeta Sarvaavaranokhilatmaa tenaastutam yadbhuvaraanraaley/

Samasta Kalyaana gunaatma –kosou Swashaktileshaavruta bhuta vargah,

Icchhaagriheeta –abhimatorudehassam saadhitaasesha jagaddhito yah,

Tejo balaishwarya mahaavibhodha Suvveerya shakyaadi  gunaika raashih,

Parah Paraanaam sakalaa na yatra keshaadayaassanti Paraavereshey/

Sa Ishvaro Vyashti-Samashti Rupo Vvyaktaswarupo Prakrata Swarupah,

Sarveswarassarvadruk Sarvaviccha Samata shaktih Parameswaraakhyah/

Samdrushyatey yena tadasta dosham Shuddham Param Nirmalamekaswarupam,

Samdrusshyatey vaapyamagamyatey vaa tajnaana-majnaanamatonyaduktam/

(As the Prabhu is pervasive among all the Beings and as all the Beings are absorbed into Him, besides He is the Supreme Architect and Protector of the Universe in totality, he is called Vaasudeva. He is Sarvaatma yet beyond all the ‘Avaranaas’or Enclosures; He is the Prakriti of all the Bhutaatmaas, the  endless manifestations of the Prakriti and its characteristics but unaffected by Prakriti’s deeds, insufficiencies and  deficiencies; it is He who fills in the void in between Prithvi and Akaasha; He is the embodiment of Auspiciousness and replete with the features of Propitiousness and by applying hardly a minute portion of his Maha Shakti is all omnipresent and hence called Vaasudeva. He is the unprecedented and unending stockpile of Teja or Radiance, Bala or Might, Ishwarya or Opulence, Maha Vijnaana or Supreme Knowledge, Veerya or Virility, Shakti or Power and Energy; He is the Samishti-Vyashti Rupa or of the Unique Form of Singularity and Plurality; of Vyaktaavyakta Rupa or of the Perceivable and Imperceivable Forms; indeed He is the Sarva Swami- Sarva Saakshi-Sarva Shaktimaan. Indeed it is that which seeks the Nirmala or Transparent-Vishuddha or Pure-Nirdosha or Blemishless-Unique Paramatma that  is called Para Vidya or  Jnaana; and the rest is Apara Vidya or Ajnaana!


18    Vishnu Purana ‘Mahatmya’ and ‘Upasamhara’ (Significance and Winding-up)

Vishnu Purana occupies pride of place among the Ashtaasasha Puranas. Maharshi Parashara conveyed to Maitreya that this Purana was first recited by Brahma himself to Sage Ribhu and was further recited to a galaxy of illustrious personalities including Priyavrata, Dadhichi, Sarasvata, Bhrigu, Purukutsa, Vaasuki, Pulstya, and now by Maharshi Parashara. Pathana-Shravana-Manana of this Sacred Purana even in parts bestows the fruit of performing Ashwamedha Yagna and its Avabhruta Snaana or the concluding Snaana at the end of the Yagna. Prolonged stay and daily worship of Bhagavan at several Punya Kshetras like Prayaga, Pushkara, Kurukshetra and Samudraas would yield the benefit of association with this Purana.

Yadagnihotrey suhrutey varshenaapnoti Maanavah,

Maha punya phalam Vipra tadasya shravanaatsakrut/

(A single reading of this Purana would accord the Maha Punya of Agni Homas for a year as per prescribed procedure!) The fruits of reading or hearing the Puranas are endless like Shri Krishna Darshana, day long worship and  fasting at Mathura after Yamuna Snaana on Jeyshtha Shukla Dwadashi; Pitru Pinda daana on that day besides reading even one chapter of the Purana preceded by worship to Shri Krishna and so on.

Etat Samsaara bheerunaam paritraanamanutthamam,

Shravyanaam paramam shraavyam pavitraanaamanutthamam/

Duhkha pranaashanam Nrunaam Sdarva dushta nibarhanam,

Mangalam Mangalaanaam cha bhaagurayebraveet/

(This Purana provides Raksha /Shield to all those who are constantly tormented by the complications and hitches of daily life ; it relieves them of fears of any kind, rids of sins, assures of propitiouness and success; enhances wealth and health; provides excellent progeny and happy family life and over-all contentment.)                                                                      

Vishnu ‘Paratwa Nirnaya’:

Yasminnyastamatirna yaati Narakam Swargopi yacchintaney

Vighno yatra niveshitaatma manaso Brahmopi lokolpakah,

Muktim chetaasi yah sthitomaladhiyaam Pumsaam Dadaatyavyayah kim

chitram yadagham prayaati Vilayam tannachyutey keeritey/                                                                                           

Yagnairyagnavido yajanti satatam Yagneswaram karmino

yam vai Brahma mayam paraavaramayam dhyaayanti cha jnaaninah,

Yam sanchintya na jaayatey na mriyatey no vardhatey heeyatey

naivaasanna cha sadbhavatyati tatah kim vaa Hareh Shruyataam/                           

Kavyam yah Pitrurupadhrugvidhi humtam havyam cha bhungttey

Vibhurdevatvey Bhagavaananaadi nidhanah Swaahaa Swadhaamsamjnitey,

Yassmin Brahmaani Sarva Shakti nilaey maanaani no maaninaam

Nishthaayai prabhavanti hanti kalusham shrotam sa yaato Harih/

(What is the surprise if sincere dedication is registered in a clean mind and a transparent heart while performing ‘Achyuta Kirthana’ so that one would not have to reach Naraka, let alone Swarga and even Brahma loka, as the ‘Avayaya Prabhu’ could grant Moksha itself!  What else could be expected when a person would neither be born nor dead,  grown nor diminished, and neither experienced with a Truthful Cause nor performed a deed involving an inventive lie or falsehood, if  he as a Yajnavetta executed  Yagnaas, or as a Gyani totally immersed in meditation  of Brahma Swarupa! That ‘Anaadinidhana Bhagavan’ assumes the forms of Devas and accepts the offerings of ‘Swaaha’ in Agni as also assumes the Pitru Rupa and accepts offerings of ‘Swadha’ and thus demolishes the sins through the medium of Homaas in Agni!)

Naantosti yasya na cha yasya samudbhavosti Vriddhirna yasya parinaamavivarjitasya,

Naapakshayam cha samupaitya vikaarivastuyastam natosmi Purushottama meeshameedyam/

Tastaiva yonu Gunabhuk bahudhaika eva shuddhyopya shudda ivabhaati hi Murtibhedhaih ,

Jnaanvitah Sakalasatwa vibhutikartaa tasmai Namostu Purushaaya Sadaavyayaaya/               


Jnana pravruttiniyamaikyamayaaya pumso bhagapradaana patavey Trigunaatmakaaya,

Avyaakrutaaya bhava bhaavana kaaranaaya Vandey Swarupabhaavanaaya Sadaajaraaya/

Vyomaanilaagni jalab hurachanaamayaaya shabdaai bhogya vishayopanayakshamaaya,

Pumsah karanairupakaarakaaya Vyaktaaya sukshma brihadaatmamavatey natosmi/                         

Iti Vividhamajasya yasya rupam Prakruti paraatmamayam  Sanaatanaysya,

Pradishatu Bhagavaanasesha pumsaam Harirapa janma Jaraadikam, sa siddhim/


(My salutations to Purushottama who is immesurable and is bereft of beginning, end, growth and decay; to that Pradhana Purusha who is Singular yet Multitudinal, as manifested in a variety of features and characteristics, who is essentially of the pristine and perfect Form but assumes multitude of shapes and profiles and who is the core of Jnaana and Realisation; to that Swayam-Siddha or Auto-Generated phenomenon of Infinity who is a grand mix of Jnaana-Pravrutti-Niyamana representing Satva-Raja-Tamasika Gunas and is the Symbol of Solitude and Seclusion but in the thick of happenings and events; to that Supreme and Unknown Energy manifested as Akasha-Vayu-Agni-Jala-Prithvi; and to that Sukshma-Virat Parama Purusha! May that Prakriti-Purusha-Bhagavan Vishnu endow us with the Siddhi or boon of Mukti by avoiding Janma-Jaraa-Maranas!)

 




Om Tat Sat

End of Vishnu Purana



(My humble salutations to  the lotus feet of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamy ji and also my humble greatulness to  Brahmasree Sreeman V D N Rao ji  for the collection)

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