Radhe KRISHNA 17-04-2015
Srimadh Bhagavatam (SB - 9 & SB – 10 )
King Sudyumna Becomes a Woman
This chapter describes how Sudyumna became a woman and how the dynasty of Vaivasvata Manu was amalgamated with the Soma-vaṁśa, the dynasty coming from the moon.
By the desire of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Śukadeva Gosvāmī told about the dynasty of Vaivasvata Manu, who was formerly King Satyavrata, the ruler of Draviḍa. While describing this dynasty, he also described how the Supreme Personality of Godhead, while lying down in the waters of devastation, gave birth to LordBrahmā from a lotus generated from His navel. From the mind of Lord Brahmā, Marīci was generated, and his son was Kaśyapa. From Kaśyapa, through Aditi, Vivasvān was generated, and from Vivasvān came Śrāddhadeva Manu, who was born from the womb of Saṁjñā. Śrāddhadeva’s wife, Śraddhā, gave birth to ten sons, such as Ikṣvāku and Nṛga.
Śrāddhadeva, or Vaivasvata Manu, the father of Mahārāja Ikṣvāku, was sonless before Ikṣvāku’s birth, but by the grace of the great sage Vasiṣṭha he performed a yajña to satisfy Mitra and Varuṇa. Then, although Vaivasvata Manu wanted a son, by the desire of his wife he got a daughter named Ilā. Manu, however, was not satisfied with the daughter. Consequently, for Manu’s satisfaction, the great sageVasiṣṭha prayed for Ilā to be transformed into a boy, and his prayer was fulfilled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus Ilā became a beautiful young man named Sudyumna.
Once upon a time, Sudyumna went on tour with his ministers. At the foot of the mountain Sumeruthere is a forest named Sukumāra, and as soon as they entered that forest, they were all transformed into women. When Mahārāja Parīkṣit inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī about the reason for this transformation, Śukadeva Gosvāmī described how Sudyumna, being transformed into a woman, acceptedBudha, the son of the moon, as her husband and had a son named Purūravā. By the grace of Lord Śiva,Sudyumna received the benediction that he would live one month as a woman and one month as a man. Thus he regained his kingdom and had three sons, named Utkala, Gaya and Vimala, who were all very religious. Thereafter, he entrusted his kingdom to Purūravā and took the order of vānaprastha life.
The Dynasties of the Sons of Manu
This Second Chapter describes the dynasties of the sons of Manu, headed by Karūṣa.
After Sudyumna accepted the order of vānaprastha and departed for the forest, Vaivasvata Manu, being desirous of sons, worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead and consequently begot ten sons like Mahārāja Ikṣvāku, all of whom were like their father. One of these sons, Pṛṣadhra, was engaged in the duty of protecting cows at night with a sword in his hand. Following the order of his spiritual master, he would stand in this way for the entire night. Once, in the darkness of night, a tiger seized a cow from the cowshed, and when Pṛṣadhra came to know this, he took a sword in his hand and followed the tiger. Unfortunately, when he finally approached the tiger, he could not distinguish between the cow and the tiger in the dark, and thus he killed the cow. Because of this, his spiritual master cursed him to take birth in a śūdra family, but Pṛṣadhra practiced mystic yoga, and in bhakti-yoga he worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then he voluntarily entered a blazing forest fire, thus relinquishing his material body and going back home, back to Godhead.
Kavi, the youngest son of Manu, was a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead from his very childhood. From Manu’s son known as Karūṣa, a sect of kṣatriyas known as Kārūṣas was generated.Manu also had a son known as Dhṛṣṭa, from whom another sect of kṣatriyas was generated, but although they were born of one who had the qualities of a kṣatriya, they became brāhmaṇas. From Nṛga, another son of Manu, came the sons and grandsons known as Sumati, Bhūtajyoti and Vasu. From Vasu, in succession, came Pratīka, and from him came Oghavān. Descending in order from the seminal dynasty ofNariṣyanta, another son of Manu, were Citrasena, Ṛkṣa, Mīḍhvān, Pūrṇa, Indrasena, Vītihotra, Satyaśravā, Uruśravā, Devadatta and Agniveśya. From the kṣatriya known as Agniveśya came the celebratedbrāhmaṇa dynasty known as Āgniveśyāyana. From the seminal dynasty of Diṣṭa, another son of Manu, came Nābhāga, and from him in succession came Bhalandana, Vatsaprīti, Prāṁśu, Pramati, Khanitra,Cākṣuṣa, Viviṁśati, Rambha, Khanīnetra, Karandhama, Avīkṣit, Marutta, Dama, Rājyavardhana, Sudhṛti,Nara, Kevala, Dhundhumān, Vegavān, Budha and Tṛṇabindu. In this way, many sons and grandsons were born in this dynasty. From Tṛṇabindu came a daughter named Ilavilā, from whom Kuvera took birth. Tṛṇabindu also had three sons, named Viśāla, Śūnyabandhu and Dhūmraketu. The son of Viśāla was Hemacandra, his son was Dhūmrākṣa, and his son was Saṁyama. The sons of Saṁyama were Devaja and Kṛśāśva. Kṛśāśva’s son, Somadatta, performed an Aśvamedha sacrifice, and by worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, he achieved the supreme perfection of going back home, back to Godhead.
The Marriage of Sukanyā and Cyavana Muni
This chapter describes the dynasty of Śaryāti, another son of Manu, and also tells about Sukanyā andRevatī.
Devajña Śaryāti gave instructions about what to do in the ritualistic ceremony observed on the second day of the yajña of the Aṅgirasas. One day, Śaryāti, along with his daughter, known as Sukanyā, went to the āśrama of Cyavana Muni. There Sukanyā saw two glowing substances within a hole of earthworms, and by chance she pierced those two glowing substances. As soon as she did this, blood began to ooze from that hole. Consequently, King Śaryāti and his companions suffered from constipation and inability to pass urine. When the King asked why circumstances had suddenly changed, he found that Sukanyā was the cause of this misfortune. Then they all offered prayers to Cyavana Muni just to satisfy him according to his own desire, and Devajña Śaryāti offered his daughter to Cyavana Muni, who was a very old man.
When the heavenly physicians the Aśvinī-kumāra brothers once visited Cyavana Muni, the munirequested them to give him back his youth. These two physicians took Cyavana Muni to a particular lake, in which they bathed and regained full youth. After this, Sukanyā could not distinguish her husband. She then surrendered unto the Aśvinī-kumāras, who were very satisfied with her chastity and who therefore introduced her again to her husband. Cyavana Muni then engaged King Śaryāti in performing the soma-yajña and gave the Aśvinī-kumāras the privilege to drink soma-rasa. The King of heaven, Lord Indra, became very angry at this, but he could do no harm to Śaryāti. Henceforward, the Aśvinī-kumāraphysicians were able to share in the soma-rasa.
Śaryāti later had three sons, named Uttānabarhi, Ānarta and Bhūriṣeṇa. Ānarta had one son, whose name was Revata. Revata had one hundred sons, of whom the eldest was Kakudmī. Kakudmī was advised by Lord Brahmā to offer his beautiful daughter, Revatī, to Baladeva, who belongs to the viṣṇu-tattvacategory. After doing this, Kakudmī retired from family life and entered the forest of Badarikāśrama to execute austerities and penances.
Ambarīṣa Mahārāja Offended by Durvāsā Muni
This chapter describes the history of Mahārāja Nabhaga, of his son Nābhāga, and of MahārājaAmbarīṣa.
The son of Manu was Nabhaga, and his son Nābhāga lived for many years in the gurukula. In Nābhāga’s absence, his brothers did not consider his share of the kingdom, but instead divided the property among themselves. When Nābhāga returned home, his brothers bestowed upon him their father as his share, but when Nābhāga went to his father and told him about the dealings of the brothers, his father informed him that this was cheating and advised him that for his livelihood he should go to the sacrificial arena and describe two mantras to be chanted there. Nābhāga executed the order of his father, and thus Aṅgirā and other great saintly persons gave him all the money collected in that sacrifice. To testNābhāga, Lord Śiva challenged his claim to the wealth, but when Lord Śiva was satisfied by Nābhāga’s behavior, Lord Śiva offered him all the riches.
From Nābhāga was born Ambarīṣa, the most powerful and celebrated devotee. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was the emperor of the entire world, but he considered his opulence temporary. Indeed, knowing that such material opulence is the cause of downfall into conditional life, he was unattached to this opulence. He engaged his senses and mind in the service of the Lord. This process is called yukta-vairāgya, or feasible renunciation, which is quite suitable for worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. BecauseMahārāja Ambarīṣa, as the emperor, was immensely opulent, he performed devotional service with great opulence, and therefore, despite his wealth, he had no attachment to his wife, children or kingdom. He constantly engaged his senses and mind in the service of the Lord. Therefore, to say nothing of enjoying material opulence, he never desired even liberation.
Once Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Vṛndāvana, observing the vow of Dvādaśī. On Dvādaśī, the day after Ekādaśī, when he was about to break his Ekādaśī fast, the great mystic yogī Durvāsā appeared in his house and became his guest. King Ambarīṣa respectfully received Durvāsā Muni, and Durvāsā Muni, after accepting his invitation to eat there, went to bathe in theYamunā River at noontime. Because he was absorbed in samādhi, he did not come back very soon.Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, however, upon seeing that the time to break the fast was passing, drank a little water, in accordance with the advice of learned brāhmaṇas, just to observe the formality of breaking the fast. By mystic power, Durvāsā Muni could understand that this had happened, and he was very angry. When he returned he began to chastise Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, but he was not satisfied, and finally he created from his hair a demon appearing like the fire of death. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, is always the protector of His devotee, and to protect Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, He sent His disc, the Sudarśana cakra, which immediately vanquished the fiery demon and then pursued Durvāsā, who was so envious of MahārājaAmbarīṣa. Durvāsā fled to Brahmaloka, Śivaloka and all the other higher planets, but he could not protect himself from the wrath of the Sudarśana cakra. Finally he went to the spiritual world and surrendered to Lord Nārāyaṇa, but Lord Nārāyaṇa could not excuse a person who had offended a Vaiṣṇava. To be excused from such an offense, one must submit to the Vaiṣṇava whom he has offended. There is no other way to be excused. Thus Lord Nārāyaṇa advised Durvāsā to return to Mahārāja Ambarīṣa and beg his pardon.
Durvāsā Muni’s Life Spared
In this chapter we find Mahārāja Ambarīṣa offering prayers to the Sudarśana cakra and we find how the Sudarśana cakra became merciful to Durvāsā Muni.
By the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, Durvāsā Muni immediately went toMahārāja Ambarīṣa and fell at his lotus feet. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, being naturally very humble and meek, felt shy and ashamed because Durvāsā Muni had fallen at his feet, and thus he began to offer prayers to theSudarśana cakra just to save Durvāsā. What is this Sudarśana cakra? The Sudarśana cakra is the glance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by which He creates the entire material world. Sa aikṣata, sa asṛjata.This is the Vedic version. The Sudarśana cakra, which is the origin of creation and is most dear to the Lord, has thousands of spokes. This Sudarśana cakra is the killer of the prowess of all other weapons, the killer of darkness, and the manifester of the prowess of devotional service; it is the means of establishing religious principles, and it is the killer of all irreligious activities. Without his mercy, the universe cannot be maintained, and therefore the Sudarśana cakra is employed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Mahārāja Ambarīṣa thus prayed that the Sudarśana cakra be merciful, the Sudarśana cakra, being appeased, refrained from killing Durvāsā Muni, who thus achieved the Sudarśana cakra’s mercy. DurvāsāMuni thus learned to give up the nasty idea of considering a Vaiṣṇava an ordinary person (vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhi). Mahārāja Ambarīṣa belonged to the kṣatriya group, and therefore Durvāsā Muni considered him lower than the brāhmaṇas and wanted to exercise brahminical power against him. By this incident, everyone should learn how to stop mischievous ideas of neglecting Vaiṣṇavas. After this incident, MahārājaAmbarīṣa gave Durvāsā Muni sumptuous food to eat, and then the King, who had been standing in the same place for one year without eating anything, also took prasāda. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa later divided his property among his sons and went to the bank of the Mānasa-sarovara to execute devotional meditation.
The Downfall of Saubhari Muni
After describing the descendants of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, Śukadeva Gosvāmī described all the kings from Śaśāda to Māndhātā, and in this connection he also described how the great sage Saubhari married the daughters of Māndhātā.
Mahārāja Ambarīṣa had three sons, named Virūpa, Ketumān and Śambhu. The son of Virūpa was Pṛṣadaśva, and his son was Rathītara. Rathītara had no sons, but when he requested the favor of the great sage Aṅgirā, the sage begot several sons in the womb of Rathītara’s wife. When the sons were born, they became the dynasty of Aṅgirā Ṛṣi and of Rathītara.
The son of Manu was Ikṣvāku, who had one hundred sons, of whom Vikukṣi, Nimi and Daṇḍakā were the eldest. The sons of Mahārāja Ikṣvāku became kings of different parts of the world. Because of violating sacrificial rules and regulations, one of these sons, Vikukṣi, was banished from the kingdom. By the mercy of Vasiṣṭha and the power of mystic yoga, Mahārāja Ikṣvāku attained liberation after giving up his material body. When Mahārāja Ikṣvāku expired, his son Vikukṣi returned and took charge of the kingdom. He performed various types of sacrifices, and thus he pleased the Supreme Personality of Godhead. ThisVikukṣi later became celebrated as Saśāda.
Vikukṣi’s son fought with the demons for the sake of the demigods, and because of his valuable service he became famous as Purañjaya, Indravāha and Kakutstha. The son of Purañjaya was Anenā, the son ofAnenā was Pṛthu, and the son of Pṛthu was Viśvagandhi. The son of Viśvagandhi was Candra, the son ofCandra was Yuvanāśva, and his son was Śrāvasta, who constructed Śrāvastī Purī. The son of Śrāvasta was Bṛhadaśva. Bṛhadaśva’s son Kuvalayāśva killed a demon named Dhundhu, and thus he became celebrated as Dhundhumāra, “the killer of Dhundhu.” The sons of the killer of Dhundhu were Dṛḍhāśva, Kapilāśva and Bhadrāśva. He also had thousands of other sons, but they burned to ashes in the fire emanating fromDhundhu. The son of Dṛḍhāśva was Haryaśva, the son of Haryaśva was Nikumbha, the son of Nikumbhawas Bahulāśva, and the son of Bahulāśva was Kṛśāśva. The son of Kṛśāśva was Senajit, and his son was Yuvanāśva.
Yuvanāśva married one hundred wives, but he had no sons, and therefore he entered the forest. In the forest, the sages performed a sacrifice known as Indra-yajña on his behalf. Once, however, the King became so thirsty in the forest that he drank the water kept for performing yajña. Consequently, after some time, a son came forth from the right side of his abdomen. The son, who was very beautiful, was crying to drink breast milk, and Indra gave the child his index finger to suck. Thus the son became known as Māndhātā. In due course of time, Yuvanāśva achieved perfection by performing austerities.
Thereafter, Māndhātā became the emperor and ruled the earth, which consists of seven islands. Thieves and rogues were very much afraid of this powerful king, and therefore the king was known as Trasaddasyu, meaning “one who is very fearful to rogues and thieves.” Māndhātā begot sons in the womb of his wife, Bindumatī. These sons were Purukutsa, Ambarīṣa and Mucukunda. These three sons had fifty sisters, all of whom became wives of the great sage known as Saubhari.
In this connection, Śukadeva Gosvāmī described the history of Saubhari Muni, who, because of sensual agitation caused by fish, fell from his yoga and wanted to marry all the daughters of Māndhātā for sexual pleasure. Later, Saubhari Muni became very regretful. Thus he accepted the order of vānaprastha,performed very severe austerities, and thus attained perfection. In this regard, Śukadeva Gosvāmī described how Saubhari Muni’s wives also became perfect.
The Descendants of King Māndhātā
In this chapter the descendants of King Māndhātā are described, and in this connection the histories of Purukutsa and Hariścandra are also given.
The most prominent son of Māndhātā was Ambarīṣa, his son was Yauvanāśva, and Yauvanāśva’s son was Hārīta. These three personalities were the best in the dynasty of Māndhātā. Purukutsa, another son ofMāndhātā, married the sister of the snakes (sarpa-gaṇa) named Narmadā. The son of Purukutsa was Trasaddasyu, whose son was Anaraṇya. Anaraṇya’s son was Haryaśva, Haryaśva’s son was Prāruṇa, Prāruṇa’s son was Tribandhana, and Tribandhana’s son was Satyavrata, also known as Triśaṅku. When Triśaṅku kidnapped the daughter of a brāhmaṇa, his father cursed him for this sinful act, and Triśaṅku became a caṇḍāla, worse than a śūdra. Later, by the influence of Viśvāmitra, he was brought to the heavenly planets, but by the influence of the demigods he fell back downward. He was stopped in his fall, however, by the influence of Viśvāmitra. The son of Triśaṅku was Hariścandra. Hariścandra once performed a Rājasūya-yajña, but Viśvāmitra cunningly took all of Hariścandra’s possessions as a dakṣiṇacontribution and chastised Hariścandra in various ways. Because of this, a quarrel arose betweenViśvāmitra and Vasiṣṭha. Hariścandra had no sons, but on the advice of Nārada he worshiped Varuṇa and in this way got a son named Rohita. Hariścandra promised that Rohita would be used to perform aVaruṇa-yajña. Varuṇa reminded Hariścandra repeatedly about this yajña, but the King, because of affection for his son, gave various arguments to avoid sacrificing him. Thus time passed, and gradually the son grew up. To safeguard his life, the boy then took bow and arrows in hand and went to the forest. Meanwhile, at home, Hariścandra suffered from dropsy because of an attack from Varuṇa. When Rohitareceived the news that his father was suffering, he wanted to return to the capital, but King Indraprevented him from doing so. Following the instructions of Indra, Rohita lived in the forest for six years and then returned home. Rohita purchased Śunaḥśepha, the second son of Ajīgarta, and gave him to his father, Hariścandra, as the sacrificial animal. In this way, the sacrifice was performed, Varuṇa and the other demigods were pacified, and Hariścandra was freed from disease. In this sacrifice, Viśvāmitra was the hotā priest, Jamadagni was the adhvaryu, Vasiṣṭha was the brahmā, and Ayāsya was the udgātā. KingIndra, being very satisfied by the sacrifice, gave Hariścandra a golden chariot, and Viśvāmitra gave him transcendental knowledge. Thus Śukadeva Gosvāmī describes how Hariścandra achieved perfection.
The Sons of Sagara Meet Lord Kapiladeva
In this Eighth Chapter the descendants of Rohita are described. In the dynasty of Rohita there was a king named Sagara, whose history is described in relation to Kapiladeva and the destruction of the sons ofSagara.
The son of Rohita was known as Harita, and the son of Harita was Campa, who constructed a township known as Campāpurī. The son of Campa was Sudeva, the son of Sudeva was Vijaya, the son of Vijaya was Bharuka, and the son of Bharuka was Vṛka. Bāhuka, the son of Vṛka, was greatly disturbed by his enemies, and therefore he left home with his wife and went to the forest. When he died there, his wife wanted to accept the principles of satī, dying with her husband, but when she was about to die a sage named Aurvafound that she was pregnant and forbade her to do so. The co-wives of this wife of Bāhuka gave her poison with her food, but still her son was born with the poison. The son was therefore named Sagara (sa means “with,” and gara means “poison”). Following the instructions of the great sage Aurva, King Sagarareformed many clans, including the Yavanas, Śakas, Haihayas and Barbaras. The king did not kill them, but reformed them. Then, again following the instructions of Aurva, King Sagara performed aśvamedhasacrifices, but the horse needed for such a sacrifice was stolen by Indra, the King of heaven. King Sagarahad two wives, named Sumati and Keśinī. While searching for the horse, the sons of Sumati extensively dug up the surface of the earth and in this way dug a trench, which later became known as the SāgaraOcean. In the course of this search, they came upon the great personality Kapiladeva and thought Him to have stolen the horse. With this offensive understanding, they attacked Him and were all burned to ashes. Keśinī, the second wife of King Sagara, had a son named Asamañjasa, whose son Aṁśumān later searched for the horse and delivered his uncles. Upon approaching Kapiladeva, Aṁśumān saw both the horse meant for sacrifice and a pile of ashes. Aṁśumān offered prayers to Kapiladeva, who was very pleased by his prayers and who returned the horse. After getting back the horse, however, Aṁśumān still stood before Kapiladeva, and Kapiladeva could understand that Aṁśumān was praying for the deliverance of his forefathers. Thus Kapiladeva offered the instruction that they could be delivered by water from the Ganges. Aṁśumān then offered respectful obeisances to Kapiladeva, circumambulated Him, and left that place with the horse for sacrifice. When King Sagara finished his yajña, he handed over the kingdom toAṁśumān and, following the advice of Aurva, attained salvation.
The Dynasty of Aṁśumān
This chapter describes the history of the dynasty of Aṁśumān, up to Khaṭvāṅga, and it also describes how Bhagīratha brought the water of the Ganges to this earth.
The son of Mahārāja Aṁśumān was Dilīpa, who tried to bring the Ganges to this world but who died without success. Bhagīratha, the son of Dilīpa, was determined to bring the Ganges to the material world, and for this purpose he underwent severe austerities. Mother Ganges, being fully satisfied by his austerities, made herself visible to him, wanting to give him a benediction. Bhagīratha then asked her to deliver his forefathers. Although mother Ganges agreed to come down to earth, she made two conditions: first, she wanted some suitable male to be able to control her waves; second, although all sinful men would be freed from sinful reactions by bathing in the Ganges, mother Ganges did not want to keep all these sinful reactions. These two conditions were subject matters for consideration. Bhagīratha replied to mother Ganges, “The Personality of Godhead Lord Śiva will be completely able to control the waves of your water, and when pure devotees bathe in your water, the sinful reactions left by sinful men will be counteracted.” Bhagīratha then performed austerities to satisfy Lord Śiva, who is called Āśutoṣa because he is naturally satisfied very easily. Lord Śiva agreed to Bhagīratha’s proposal to check the force of the Ganges. In this way, simply by the touch of the Ganges, Bhagīratha’s forefathers were delivered and allowed to go to the heavenly planets.
The son of Bhagīratha was Śruta, the son of Śruta was Nābha, and Nābha’s son was Sindhudvīpa. The son of Sindhudvīpa was Ayutāyu, and the son of Ayutāyu was Ṛtūparṇa, who was a friend of Nala. Ṛtūparṇa gave Nala the art of gambling and learned from him the art of aśva-vidyā. The son of Ṛtūparṇa was known as Sarvakāma, the son of Sarvakāma was Sudāsa, and his son was Saudāsa. The wife of Saudāsa was named Damayantī or Madayantī, and Saudāsa was also known as Kalmāṣapāda. Because of some defect in his fruitive activities, Saudāsa was cursed by Vasiṣṭha to become a Rākṣasa. While walking through the forest, he saw a brāhmaṇa engaged in sex with his wife, and because he had become a Rākṣasahe wanted to devour the brāhmaṇa. Although the brāhmaṇa’s wife pleaded with him in many ways, Saudāsa devoured the brāhmaṇa, and the wife therefore cursed him, saying, “As soon as you engage in sex you will die.” After twelve years, therefore, even though Saudāsa was released from the curse of VasiṣṭhaMuni, he remained sonless. At that time, with Saudāsa’s permission, Vasiṣṭha impregnated Saudāsa’s wife, Madayantī. Because Madayantī bore the child for many years but still could not give birth, Vasiṣṭha struck her abdomen with a stone, and thus a son was born. The son was named Aśmaka.
The son of Aśmaka was known as Bālika. He was protected from the curse of Paraśurāma because of being surrounded by many women, and therefore he is also known as Nārīkavaca. When the entire world was devoid of kṣatriyas, he became the original father of more kṣatriyas. He is therefore sometimes called Mūlaka. From Bālika, Daśaratha was born, from Daśaratha came Aiḍaviḍi, and from Aiḍaviḍi came Viśvasaha. The son of Viśvasaha was Mahārāja Khaṭvāṅga. Mahārāja Khaṭvāṅga joined the demigods in fighting the demons and was victorious, and the demigods therefore wanted to give him a benediction. But when the King inquired how long he would live and understood that his life would last only a few seconds more, he immediately left the heavenly planets and returned to his own abode by airplane. He could understand that everything in this material world is insignificant, and thus he fully engaged in worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari.
The Pastimes of the Supreme Lord, Rāmacandra
This Tenth Chapter describes how Lord Rāmacandra appeared in the dynasty of Mahārāja Khaṭvāṅga. It also describes the Lord’s activities, telling how He killed Rāvaṇa and returned to Ayodhyā, the capital of His kingdom.
The son of Mahārāja Khaṭvāṅga was Dīrghabāhu, and his son was Raghu. The son of Raghu was Aja, the son of Aja was Daśaratha, and the son of Daśaratha was Lord Rāmacandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When the Lord descended into this world in His full quadruple expansion—as LordRāmacandra, Lakṣmaṇa, Bharata and Śatrughna—great sages like Vālmīki who were actually in knowledge of the Absolute Truth described His transcendental pastimes. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī describes these pastimes in brief.
Lord Rāmacandra went with Viśvāmitra and killed Rākṣasas like Mārīca. After breaking the stout and strong bow known as Haradhanu, the Lord married mother Sītā and cut down the prestige of Paraśurāma. To obey the order of His father, He entered the forest, accompanied by Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā. There He cut off the nose of Śūrpaṇakhā and killed the associates of Rāvaṇa, headed by Khara and Dūṣaṇa. Rāvaṇa’s kidnapping of Sītādevī was the beginning of this demon’s misfortune. When Mārīca assumed the form of a golden deer, Lord Rāmacandra went to bring the deer to please Sītādevī, but in the meantime Rāvaṇa took advantage of the Lord’s absence to kidnap her. When Sītādevī was kidnapped, Lord Rāmacandra, accompanied by Lakṣmaṇa, searched for her throughout the forest. In the course of this search, They met Jaṭāyu. Then the Lord killed the demon Kabandha and the commander Vāli and established a friendly relationship with Sugrīva. After organizing the military strength of the monkeys and going with them to the shore of the sea, the Lord awaited the arrival of Samudra, the ocean personified, but when Samudradid not come, the Lord, the master of Samudra, became angry. Then Samudra came to the Lord with greathaste and surrendered to Him, wanting to help Him in every way. The Lord then attempted to bridge the ocean, and, with the help of advice from Vibhīṣaṇa, He attacked Rāvaṇa’s capital, Laṅkā. Previously,Hanumān, the eternal servant of the Lord, had set fire to Laṅkā, and now, with the help of Lakṣmaṇa, the forces of Lord Rāmacandra killed all the Rākṣasa soldiers. Then Lord Rāmacandra personally killedRāvaṇa. Mandodarī and other wives lamented for Rāvaṇa, and in accordance with Lord Rāmacandra’s order, Vibhīṣaṇa performed the funeral ceremonies for all the dead in the family. Lord Rāmacandra then gave Vibhīṣaṇa the right to rule Laṅkā and also granted him a long duration of life. The Lord delivered Sītādevī from the Aśoka forest and carried her in a flower airplane to His capital Ayodhyā, where He was received by His brother Bharata. When Lord Rāmacandra entered Ayodhyā, Bharata brought His wooden shoes, Vibhīṣaṇa and Sugrīva held a whisk and fan, Hanumān carried an umbrella, Śatrughna carried the Lord’s bow and two quivers, and Sītādevī carried a waterpot containing water from holy places. Aṅgadacarried a sword, and Jāmbavān (Ṛkṣarāja) carried a shield. After Lord Rāmacandra, accompanied by LordLakṣmaṇa and mother Sītādevī, met all His relatives, the great sage Vasiṣṭha enthroned Him as King. The chapter ends with a short description of Lord Rāmacandra’s rule in Ayodhyā.
Lord Rāmacandra Rules the World
This chapter describes how Lord Rāmacandra resided in Ayodhyā with His younger brothers and performed various sacrifices.
Lord Rāmacandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, performed various sacrifices by which to worship Himself, and at the end of these sacrifices He gave land to the hotā, adhvaryu, udgātā andbrahmā priests. He gave them the eastern, western, northern and southern directions respectively, and the balance He gave to the ācārya. Lord Rāmacandra’s faith in the brāhmaṇas and affection for His servants was observed by all the brāhmaṇas, who then offered their prayers to the Lord and returned whatever they had taken from Him. They regarded the enlightenment given to them by the Lord within the core of their hearts as a sufficient contribution. Lord Rāmacandra subsequently dressed Himself like an ordinary person and began wandering within the capital to understand what impression the citizens had of Him. By chance, one night He heard a man talking to his wife, who had gone to another man’s house. In the course of rebuking his wife, the man spoke suspiciously of the character of Sītādevī. The Lord immediately returned home, and, fearing such rumors, He superficially decided to give up Sītādevī’s company. Thus He banished Sītādevī, who was pregnant, to the shelter of Vālmīki Muni, where she gave birth to twin sons, named Lava and Kuśa. In Ayodhyā, Lakṣmaṇa begot two sons named Aṅgada and Citraketu, Bharata begot two sons named Takṣa and Puṣkala, and Śatrughna begot two sons named Subāhu and Śrutasena. WhenBharata went out to conquer various lands on behalf of the emperor, Lord Rāmacandra, He fought many millions of Gandharvas. By killing them in the fight, He acquired immense wealth, which He then brought home. Śatrughna killed a demon named Lavaṇa at Madhuvana and thus established the capital ofMathurā. Meanwhile, Sītādevī placed her two sons in the care of Vālmīki Muni and then entered into the earth. Upon hearing of this, Lord Rāmacandra was very much aggrieved, and thus He performed sacrifices for thirteen thousand years. After describing the pastimes of Lord Rāmacandra’s disappearance and establishing that the Lord appears for His pastimes only, Śukadeva Gosvāmī ends this chapter by describing the results of hearing about the activities of Lord Rāmacandra and by describing how the Lord protected His citizens and displayed affection for His brothers.
The Dynasty of Kuśa, the Son of Lord Rāmacandra
This chapter describes the dynasty of Kuśa, the son of Lord Rāmacandra. The members of this dynasty are descendants of Saśāda, the son of Mahārāja Ikṣvāku.
Following in the genealogical table of Lord Rāmacandra’s dynasty, Kuśa, the Lord’s son, was followed consecutively by Atithi, Niṣadha, Nabha, Puṇḍarīka, Kṣemadhanvā, Devānīka, Anīha, Pāriyātra, Balasthala, Vajranābha, Sagaṇa and Vidhṛti. These personalities ruled the world. From Vidhṛti came Hiraṇyanābha, who later became the disciple of Jaimini and propounded the system of mystic yoga in which Yājñavalkya was initiated. Following in this dynasty were Puṣpa, Dhruvasandhi, Sudarśana, Agnivarṇa, Śīghra and Maru. Maru attained full perfection in the practice of yoga, and he still lives in the village of Kalāpa. At the end of this age of Kali, he will revive the dynasty of the sun-god. Next in the dynasty were Prasuśruta, Sandhi, Amarṣaṇa, Mahasvān, Viśvabāhu, Prasenajit, Takṣaka and Bṛhadbala, who was later killed by Abhimanyu. Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that these were all kings who had passed away. The future descendants of Bṛhadbala will be Bṛhadraṇa, Ūrukriya, Vatsavṛddha, Prativyoma, Bhānu, Divāka, Sahadeva, Bṛhadaśva, Bhānumān, Pratīkāśva, Supratīka, Marudeva, Sunakṣatra, Puṣkara, Antarikṣa, Sutapā, Amitrajit, Bṛhadrāja, Barhi, Kṛtañjaya, Raṇañjaya, Sañjaya, Śākya, Śuddhoda, Lāṅgala,Prasenajit, Kṣudraka, Raṇaka, Suratha and Sumitra. All of them will become kings one after another.Sumitra, coming in this age of Kali, will be the last king in the Ikṣvāku dynasty; after him, the dynasty will be extinguished.
The Dynasty of Mahārāja Nimi
This chapter describes the dynasty in which the great and learned scholar Janaka was born. This is the dynasty of Mahārāja Nimi, who is said to have been the son of Ikṣvāku.
When Mahārāja Nimi began performing great sacrifices, he appointed Vasiṣṭha to be chief priest, butVasiṣṭha refused, for he had already agreed to be priest in performing a yajña for Lord Indra. Vasiṣṭhatherefore requested Mahārāja Nimi to wait until Lord Indra’s sacrifice was finished, but Mahārāja Nimidid not wait. He thought, “Life is very short, so there is no need to wait.” He therefore appointed another priest to perform the yajña. Vasiṣṭha was very angry at King Nimi and cursed him, saying, “May your body fall down.” Cursed in that way, Mahārāja Nimi also became very angry, and he retaliated by saying, “May your body also fall down.” As a result of this cursing and countercursing, both of them died. After this incident, Vasiṣṭha took birth again, begotten by Mitra and Varuṇa, who were agitated by Urvaśī.
The priests who were engaged in the sacrifice for King Nimi preserved Nimi’s body in fragrant chemicals. When the sacrifice was over, the priests prayed for Nimi’s life to all the demigods who had come to the arena of yajña, but Mahārāja Nimi refused to take birth again in a material body because he considered the material body obnoxious. The great sages then churned Nimi’s body, and as a result of this churning, Janaka was born.
The son of Janaka was Udāvasu, and the son of Udāvasu was Nandivardhana. The son of Nandivardhana was Suketu, and his descendants continued as follows: Devarāta, Bṛhadratha, Mahāvīrya, Sudhṛti, Dhṛṣṭaketu, Haryaśva, Maru, Pratīpaka, Kṛtaratha, Devamīḍha, Viśruta, Mahādhṛti, Kṛtirāta,Mahāromā, Svarṇaromā, Hrasvaromā and Śīradhvaja. All these sons appeared in the dynasty one after another. From Śīradhvaja, mother Sītādevī was born. Śīradhvaja’s son was Kuśadhvaja, and the son of Kuśadhvaja was Dharmadhvaja. The sons of Dharmadhvaja were Kṛtadhvaja and Mitadhvaja. The son ofKṛtadhvaja was Keśidhvaja, and the son of Mitadhvaja was Khāṇḍikya. Keśidhvaja was a self-realized soul, and his son was Bhānumān, whose descendants were as follows: Śatadyumna, Śuci, Sanadvāja, Ūrjaketu,Aja, Purujit, Ariṣṭanemi, Śrutāyu, Supārśvaka, Citraratha, Kṣemādhi, Samaratha, Satyaratha, Upaguru,Upagupta, Vasvananta, Yuyudha, Subhāṣaṇa, Śruta, Jaya, Vijaya, Ṛta, Śunaka, Vītahavya, Dhṛti, Bahulāśva, Kṛti and Mahāvaśī. All of these sons were great self-controlled personalities. This completes the list of the entire dynasty.
King Purūravā Enchanted by Urvaśī
The summary of this Fourteenth Chapter is given as follows. This chapter describes Soma and how he kidnapped the wife of Bṛhaspati and begot in her womb a son named Budha. Budha begot Purūravā, who begot six sons, headed by Āyu, in the womb of Urvaśī.
Lord Brahmā was born from the lotus that sprouted from the navel of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Brahmāhad a son named Atri, and Atri’s son was Soma, the king of all drugs and stars. Soma became the conqueror of the entire universe, and, being inflated with pride, he kidnapped Tārā, who was the wife ofBṛhaspati, the spiritual master of the demigods. A great fight ensued between the demigods and theasuras, but Brahmā rescued Bṛhaspati’s wife from the clutches of Soma and returned her to her husband, thus stopping the fighting. In the womb of Tārā, Soma begot a son named Budha, who later begot in the womb of Ilā a son named Aila, or Purūravā. Urvaśī was captivated by Purūravā’s beauty, and therefore she lived with him for some time, but when she left his company he became almost like a madman. While traveling all over the world, he met Urvaśī again at Kurukṣetra, but she agreed to join with him for only one night in a year.
One year later, Purūravā saw Urvaśī at Kurukṣetra and was glad to be with her for one night, but when he thought of her leaving him again, he was overwhelmed by grief. Urvaśī then advised Purūravā to worship the Gandharvas. Being satisfied with Purūravā, the Gandharvas gave him a woman known as Agnisthālī. Purūravā mistook Agnisthālī for Urvaśī, but while he was wandering in the forest his misunderstanding was cleared, and he immediately gave up her company. After returning home and meditating upon Urvaśī all night, he wanted to perform a Vedic ritualistic ceremony to satisfy his desire. Thereafter he went to the same place where he had left Agnisthālī, and there he saw that from the womb of a śamī tree had come an aśvattha tree. Purūravā made two sticks from this tree and thus produced a fire. By such a fire one can satisfy all lusty desires. The fire was considered the son of Purūravā. In Satya-yugathere was only one social division, called haṁsa; there were no divisions of varṇa like brāhmaṇa,kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra. The Veda was the oṁkāra. The various demigods were not worshiped, for only the Supreme Personality of Godhead was the worshipable Deity.
Paraśurāma, the Lord’s Warrior Incarnation
This chapter describes the history of Gādhi in the dynasty of Aila.
From the womb of Urvaśī came six sons, named Āyu, Śrutāyu, Satyāyu, Raya, Jaya and Vijaya. The son of Śrutāyu was Vasumān, the son of Satyāyu was Śrutañjaya, the son of Raya was Eka, the son of Jaya wasAmita, and the son of Vijaya was Bhīma. Bhīma’s son was named Kāñcana, the son of Kāñcana wasHotraka, and the son of Hotraka was Jahnu, who was celebrated for having drunk all the water of the Ganges in one sip. The descendants of Jahnu, one after another, were Puru, Balāka, Ajaka and Kuśa. The sons of Kuśa were Kuśāmbu, Tanaya, Vasu and Kuśanābha. From Kuśāmbu came Gādhi, who had a daughter named Satyavatī. Satyavatī married Ṛcīka Muni after the muni contributed a substantial dowry, and from the womb of Satyavatī by Ṛcīka Muni, Jamadagni was born. The son of Jamadagni was Rāma, orParaśurāma. When a king named Kārtavīryārjuna stole Jamadagni’s desire cow, Paraśurāma, who is ascertained by learned experts to be a saktyāveśa incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, killed Kārtavīryārjuna. Later, he annihilated the kṣatriya dynasty twenty-one times. After Paraśurāmakilled Kārtavīryārjuna, Jamadagni told him that killing a king is sinful and that as a brāhmaṇa he should have tolerated the offense. Therefore Jamadagni advised Paraśurāma to atone for his sin by traveling to various holy places.
Lord Paraśurāma Destroys the World’s Ruling Class
When Jamadagni was killed by the sons of Kārtavīryārjuna, as described in this chapter, Paraśurāmarid the entire world of kṣatriyas twenty-one times. This chapter also describes the descendants ofViśvāmitra.
When Jamadagni’s wife, Reṇukā, went to bring water from the Ganges and saw the King of the Gandharvas enjoying the company of Apsarās, she was captivated, and she slightly desired to associate with him. Because of this sinful desire, she was punished by her husband. Paraśurāma killed his mother and brothers, but later, by dint of the austerities of Jamadagni, they were revived. The sons of Kārtavīryārjuna, however, remembering the death of their father, wanted to take revenge against LordParaśurāma, and therefore when Paraśurāma was absent from the āśrama, they killed Jamadagni, who was meditating on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Paraśurāma returned to the āśrama and saw his father killed, he was very sorry, and after asking his brothers to take care of the dead body, he went out with determination to kill all the kṣatriyas on the surface of the world. Taking up his axe, he went toMāhiṣmatī-pura, the capital of Kārtavīryārjuna, and killed all of Kārtavīryārjuna’s sons, whose blood became a great river. Paraśurāma, however, was not satisfied with killing only the sons of Kārtavīryārjuna; later, when the kṣatriyas became disturbing, he killed them twenty-one times, so that there were nokṣatriyas on the surface of the earth. Thereafter, Paraśurāma joined the head of his father to the dead body and performed various sacrifices to please the Supreme Lord. Thus Jamadagni got life again in his body, and later he was promoted to the higher planetary system known as Saptarṣi-maṇḍala. Paraśurāma, the son of Jamadagni, still lives in Mahendra-parvata. In the next manvantara, he will become a preacher of Vedic knowledge.
In the dynasty of Gādhi, the most powerful Viśvāmitra took birth. By dint of his austerity and penance, he became a brāhmaṇa. He had 101 sons, who were celebrated as the Madhucchandās. In the sacrificial arena of Hariścandra, the son of Ajīgarta named Śunaḥśepha was meant to be sacrificed, but by the mercy of the Prajāpatis he was released. Thereafter, he became Devarāta in the dynasty of Gādhi. The fifty elder sons of Viśvāmitra, however, did not accept Śunaḥśepha as their elder brother, and therefore Viśvāmitracursed them to become mlecchas, unfaithful to the Vedic civilization. Viśvāmitra’s fifty-first son, along with his younger brothers, then accepted Śunaḥśepha as their eldest brother, and their father, Viśvāmitra, being satisfied, blessed them. Thus Devarāta was accepted in the dynasty of Kauśika, and consequently there are different divisions of that dynasty.
The Dynasties of the Sons of Purūravā
Āyu, the eldest son of Purūravā, had five sons. This chapter describes the dynasties of four of them, beginning with Kṣatravṛddha.
Āyu, the son of Purūravā, had five sons— Nahuṣa, Kṣatravṛddha, Rajī, Rābha and Anenā. The son ofKṣatravṛddha was Suhotra, who had three sons, named Kāśya, Kuśa and Gṛtsamada. The son of Gṛtsamada was Śunaka, and his son was Śaunaka. The son of Kāśya was Kāśi. From Kāśi came the sons and grandsons known as Rāṣṭra, Dīrghatama and then Dhanvantari, who was the inaugurator of medical science and was a śaktyāveśa incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. The descendants of Dhanvantari were Ketumān, Bhīmaratha, Divodāsa and Dyumān, who was also known as Pratardana, Śatrujit, Vatsa, Ṛtadhvaja and Kuvalayāśva. The son of Dyumān was Alarka, who reigned over the kingdom for many, many years. Following in the dynasty of Alarka were Santati, Sunītha, Niketana, Dharmaketu, Satyaketu, Dhṛṣṭaketu, Sukumāra, Vītihotra, Bharga and Bhārgabhūmi. All of them belonged to the dynasty of Kāśi, the descendant of Kṣatravṛddha.
The son of Rābha was Rabhasa, and his son was Gambhīra. Gambhīra’s son was Akriya, and from Akriya came Brahmavit. The son of Anenā was Śuddha, and his son was Śuci. The son of Śuci was Citrakṛt, whose son was Śāntaraja. Rajī had five hundred sons, all of extraordinary strength. Rajī was personally very powerful and was given the kingdom of heaven by Lord Indra. Later, after Rajī’s death, when the sons of Rajī refused to return the kingdom to Indra, by Bṛhaspati’s arrangement they became unintelligent, and Lord Indra conquered them.
The grandson of Kṣatravṛddha named Kuśa gave birth to a son named Prati. From Prati came Sañjaya; from Sañjaya, Jaya; from Jaya, Kṛta; and from Kṛta, Haryabala. The son of Haryabala was Sahadeva; the son of Sahadeva, Hīna; the son of Hīna, Jayasena; the son of Jayasena, Saṅkṛti; and the son of Saṅkṛti,Jaya.
King Yayāti Regains His Youth
This chapter gives the history of King Yayāti, the son of Nahuṣa. Among Yayāti’s five sons, the youngest son, Pūru, accepted Yayāti’s invalidity.
When Nahuṣa, who had six sons, was cursed to become a python, his eldest son, Yati, took sannyāsa,and therefore the next son, Yayāti, was enthroned as king. By providence, Yayāti married the daughter of Śukrācārya. Śukrācārya was a brāhmaṇa and Yayāti a kṣatriya, but Yayāti married her nonetheless. Śukrācārya’s daughter, named Devayānī, had a girl friend named Śarmiṣṭhā, who was the daughter ofVṛṣaparvā. King Yayāti married Śarmiṣṭhā also. The history of this marriage is as follows. Once Śarmiṣṭhā was sporting in the water with thousands of her girl friends, and Devayānī was also there. When the young girls saw Lord Śiva, seated on his bull with Umā, they immediately dressed themselves, but Śarmiṣṭhā mistakenly put on Devayānī’s clothes. Devayānī, being very angry, rebuked Śarmiṣṭhā, who also became very angry and responded by rebuking Devayānī and throwing her into a well. By chance, King Yayāti came to that well to drink water, and he found Devayānī and rescued her. Thus Devayānī accepted MahārājaYayāti as her husband. Thereafter, Devayānī, crying loudly, told her father about Śarmiṣṭhā’s behavior. Upon hearing of this incident, Śukrācārya was very angry and wanted to chastise Vṛṣaparvā, Śarmiṣṭhā’s father. Vṛṣaparvā, however, satisfied Śukrācārya by offering Śarmiṣṭhā as Devayānī’s maidservant. Thus Śarmiṣṭhā, as the maidservant of Devayānī, also went to the house of Devayānī’s husband. When Śarmiṣṭhā found her friend Devayānī with a son she also desired to have a son. Therefore, at the proper time for conception, she also requested Mahārāja Yayāti for sex. When Śarmiṣṭhā became pregnant also,Devayānī was very envious. In great anger, she immediately left for her father’s house and told her father everything. Śukrācārya again became angry and cursed Mahārāja Yayāti to become old, but when Yayāti begged Śukrācārya to be merciful to him, Śukrācārya gave him the benediction that he could transfer his old age and invalidity to some young man. Yayāti exchanged his old age for the youth of his youngest son,Pūru, and thus he was able to enjoy with young girls.
King Yayāti Achieves Liberation
This Nineteenth Chapter describes how Mahārāja Yayāti achieved liberation after he recounted the figurative story of the he-goat and she-goat.
After many, many years of sexual relationships and enjoyment in the material world, King Yayāti finally became disgusted with such materialistic happiness. When satiated with material enjoyment, he devised a story of a he-goat and she-goat, corresponding to his own life, and narrated the story before his belovedDevayānī. The story is as follows. Once upon a time, while a goat was searching in a forest for different types of vegetables to eat, by chance he came to a well, in which he saw a she-goat. He became attracted to this she-goat and somehow or other delivered her from the well, and thus they were united. One day thereafter, when the she-goat saw the he-goat enjoying sex with another she-goat, she became angry, abandoned the he-goat, and returned to her brāhmaṇa owner, to whom she described her husband’s behavior. The brāhmaṇa became very angry and cursed the he-goat to lose his sexual power. Thereupon, the he-goat begged the brāhmaṇa’s pardon and was given back the power for sex. Then the he-goat enjoyed sex with the she-goat for many years, but still he was not satisfied. If one is lusty and greedy, even the total stock of gold in this world cannot satisfy one’s lusty desires. These desires are like a fire. One may pour clarified butter on a blazing fire, but one cannot expect the fire to be extinguished. To extinguish such a fire, one must adopt a different process. The śāstra therefore advises that by intelligence one renounce the life of enjoyment. Without great endeavor, those with a poor fund of knowledge cannot give up sense enjoyment, especially in relation to sex, because a beautiful woman bewilders even the most learned man. King Yayāti, however, renounced worldly life and divided his property among his sons. He personally adopted the life of a mendicant, or sannyāsī, giving up all attraction to material enjoyment, and engaged himself fully in devotional service to the Lord. Thus he attained perfection. Later, when his beloved wife,Devayānī, was freed from her mistaken way of life, she also engaged herself in the devotional service of the Lord.
The Dynasty of Pūru
This chapter describes the history of Pūru and his descendant Duṣmanta. The son of Pūru wasJanamejaya, and his son was Pracinvān. The sons and grandsons in the line of Pracinvān, one after another, were Pravīra, Manusyu, Cārupada, Sudyu, Bahugava, Saṁyāti, Ahaṁyāti and Raudrāśva. Raudrāśva had ten sons—Ṛteyu, Kakṣeyu, Sthaṇḍileyu, Kṛteyuka, Jaleyu, Sannateyu, Dharmeyu, Satyeyu, Vrateyu and Vaneyu. The son of Ṛteyu was Rantināva, who had three sons—Sumati, Dhruva andApratiratha. The son of Apratiratha was Kaṇva, and Kaṇva’s son was Medhātithi. The sons of Medhātithi, headed by Praskanna, were all brāhmaṇas. The son of Rantināva named Sumati had a son named Rebhi, and his son was Duṣmanta.
While hunting in the forest, Duṣmanta once approached the āśrama of Mahāṛṣi Kaṇva, where he saw an extremely beautiful woman and became attracted to her. That woman was the daughter of Viśvāmitra, and her name was Śakuntalā. Her mother was Menakā, who had left her in the forest, where Kaṇva Munifound her. Kaṇva Muni brought her to his āśrama, where he raised and maintained her. When Śakuntalā accepted Mahārāja Duṣmanta as her husband, he married her according to the gāndharva-vidhi.Śakuntalā later became pregnant by her husband, who left her in the āśrama of Kaṇva Muni and returned to his kingdom.
In due course of time, Śakuntalā gave birth to a Vaiṣṇava son, but Duṣmanta, having returned to the capital, forgot what had taken place. Therefore, when Śakuntalā approached him with her newly born child, Mahārāja Duṣmanta refused to accept them as his wife and son. Later, however, after a mysterious omen, the King accepted them. After Mahārāja Duṣmanta’s death, Bharata, the son of Śakuntalā, was enthroned. He performed many great sacrifices, in which he gave great riches in charity to the brāhmaṇas.This chapter ends by describing the birth of Bharadvāja and how Mahārāja Bharata accepted Bharadvāja as his son.
The Dynasty of Bharata
This Twenty-first Chapter describes the dynasty born from Mahārāja Bharata, the son of MahārājaDuṣmanta, and it also describes the glories of Rantideva, Ajamīḍha and others.
The son of Bharadvāja was Manyu, and Manyu’s sons were Bṛhatkṣatra, Jaya, Mahāvīrya, Nara andGarga. Of these five, Nara had a son named Saṅkṛti, who had two sons, named Guru and Rantideva. As an exalted devotee, Rantideva saw every living entity in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore he completely engaged his mind, his words and his very self in the service of the Supreme Lord and His devotees. Rantideva was so exalted that he would sometimes give away his own food in charity, and he and his family would fast. Once, after Rantideva spent forty-eight days fasting, not even drinking water, excellent food made with ghee was brought to him, but when he was about to eat it abrāhmaṇa guest appeared. Rantideva, therefore, did not eat the food, but instead immediately offered a portion of it to the brāhmaṇa. When the brāhmaṇa left and Rantideva was just about to eat the remnants of the food, a śūdra appeared. Rantideva therefore divided the remnants between the śūdra and himself. Again, when he was just about to eat the remnants of the food, another guest appeared. Rantidevatherefore gave the rest of the food to the new guest and was about to content himself with drinking the water to quench his thirst, but this also was precluded, for a thirsty guest came and Rantideva gave him the water. This was all ordained by the Supreme Personality of Godhead just to glorify His devotee and show how tolerant a devotee is in rendering service to the Lord. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, being extremely pleased with Rantideva, entrusted him with very confidential service. The special power to render the most confidential service is entrusted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to a pure devotee, not to ordinary devotees.
Garga, the son of Bharadvāja, had a son named Śini, and Śini’s son was Gārgya. Although Gārgya was akṣatriya by birth, his sons became brāhmaṇas. The son of Mahāvīrya was Duritakṣaya, whose sons were of a kṣatriya king, they also achieved the position of brāhmaṇas. The son of Bṛhatkṣatra constructed the city of Hastināpura and was known as Hastī. His sons were Ajamīḍha, Dvimīḍha and Purumīḍha.
From Ajamīḍha came Priyamedha and other brāhmaṇas and also a son named Bṛhadiṣu. The sons, grandsons and further descendants of Bṛhadiṣu were Bṛhaddhanu, Bṛhatkāya, Jayadratha, Viśada andSyenajit. From Syenajit came four sons—Rucirāśva, Dṛḍhahanu, Kāśya and Vatsa. From Rucirāśva came a son named Pāra, whose sons were Pṛthusena and Nīpa, and from Nīpa came one hundred sons. Another son of Nīpa was Brahmadatta. From Brahmadatta came Viṣvaksena; from Viṣvaksena, Udaksena; and from Udaksena, Bhallāṭa.
The son of Dvimīḍha was Yavīnara, and from Yavīnara came many sons and grandsons, such asKṛtimān, Satyadhṛti, Dṛḍhanemi, Supārśva, Sumati, Sannatimān, Kṛtī, Nīpa, Udgrāyudha, Kṣemya, Suvīra, Ripuñjaya and Bahuratha. Purumīḍha had no sons, but Ajamīḍha, in addition to his other sons, had a son named Nīla, whose son was Śānti. The descendants of Śānti were Suśānti, Puruja, Arka and Bharmyāśva. Bharmyāśva had five sons, one of whom, Mudgala, begot a dynasty of brāhmaṇas. Mudgala had twins—a son, Divodāsa, and a daughter, Ahalyā. From Ahalyā, by her husband, Gautama, Śatānanda was born. The son of Śatānanda was Satyadhṛti, and his son was Śaradvān. Śaradvān’s son was known as Kṛpa, and Śaradvān’s daughter, known as Kṛpī, became the wife of Droṇācārya.
The Descendants of Ajamīḍha
This chapter describes the descendants of Divodāsa. It also describes Jarāsandha, who belonged to the Ṛkṣa dynasty, as well as Duryodhana, Arjuna and others.
The son of Divodāsa was Mitrāyu, who had four sons, one after another—Cyavana, Sudāsa, Sahadevaand Somaka. Somaka had one hundred sons, of whom the youngest was Pṛṣata, from whom Drupada was born. Drupada’s daughter was Draupadī, and his sons were headed by Dhṛṣṭadyumna. Dhṛṣṭadyumna’s son was Dhṛṣṭaketu.
Another son of Ajamīḍha was named Ṛkṣa. From Ṛkṣa came a son named Saṁvaraṇa, and fromSaṁvaraṇa came Kuru, the king of Kurukṣetra. Kuru had four sons—Parīkṣi, Sudhanu, Jahnu andNiṣadha. Among the descendants in the dynasty from Sudhanu were Suhotra, Cyavana, Kṛtī and UparicaraVasu. The sons of Uparicara Vasu, including Bṛhadratha, Kuśāmba, Matsya, Pratyagra and Cedipa, became kings of the Cedi state. In the dynasty from Bṛhadratha came Kuśāgra, Ṛṣabha, Satyahita, Puṣpavān and Jahu, and from Bṛhadratha through the womb of another wife came Jarāsandha, who was followed bySahadeva, Somāpi and Śrutaśravā. Parīkṣi, the son of Kuru, had no sons. Among the descendants of Jahnu were Suratha, Vidūratha, Sārvabhauma, Jayasena, Rādhika, Ayutāyu, Akrodhana, Devātithi, Ṛkṣa, Dilīpa and Pratīpa.
The sons of Pratīpa were Devāpi, Śāntanu and Bāhlīka. When Devāpi retired to the forest, his younger brother Śāntanu became the king. Although Śāntanu, being younger, was not eligible to occupy the throne, he disregarded his elder brother. Consequently, there was no rainfall for twelve years. Following the advice of the brāhmaṇas, Śāntanu was ready to return the kingdom to Devāpi, but by the intrigue of Śāntanu’s minister, Devāpi became unfit to be king. Therefore Śāntanu resumed charge of the kingdom, and rain fell properly during his regime. By mystic power, Devāpi still lives in the village known as Kalāpa-grāma. In this Kali-yuga, when the descendants of Soma known as the candra-vaṁśa (the lunar dynasty) die out, Devāpi, at the beginning of Satya-yuga, will reestablish the dynasty of the moon. The wife of Śāntanu named Gaṅgā gave birth to Bhīṣma, one of the twelve authorities. Two sons named Citrāṅgada and Vicitravīrya were also born from the womb of Satyavatī by the semen of Śāntanu, and Vyāsadeva was born from Satyavatī by the semen of Parāśara, Vyāsadeva instructed the history of the Bhāgavatam to his son Śukadeva. Through the womb of the two wives and the maidservant of Vicitravīrya, Vyāsadeva begotDhṛtarāṣṭra, Pāṇḍu and Vidura.
Dhṛtarāṣṭra had one hundred sons, headed by Duryodhana, and one daughter named Duḥśalā. Pāṇḍuhad five sons, headed by Yudhiṣṭhira, and each of these five sons had one son from Draupadī. The names of these sons of Draupadī were Prativindhya, Śrutasena, Śrutakīrti, Śatānīka and Śrutakarmā. Besides these five sons, by other wives the Pāṇḍavas had many other sons, such as Devaka, Ghaṭotkaca, Sarvagata, Suhotra, Naramitra, Irāvān, Babhruvāhana and Abhimanyu. From Abhimanyu, Mahārāja Parīkṣit was born, and Mahārāja Parīkṣit had four sons—Janamejaya, Śrutasena, Bhīmasena and Ugrasena.
Next Śukadeva Gosvāmī described the future sons of the Pāṇḍu family. From Janamejaya, he said, would come a son named Śatānīka, and following in the dynasty would be Sahasrānīka, Aśvamedhaja, Asīmakṛṣṇa, Nemicakra, Citraratha, Śuciratha, Vṛṣṭimān, Suṣeṇa, Sunītha, Nṛcakṣu, Sukhīnala, Pariplava,Sunaya, Medhāvī, Nṛpañjaya, Dūrva, Timi, Bṛhadratha, Sudāsa, Śatānīka, Durdamana, Mahīnara, Daṇḍapāṇi, Nimi and Kṣemaka.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī then predicted the kings of the māgadha-vaṁśa, or Māgadha dynasty. Sahadeva, the son of Jarāsandha, would beget Mārjāri, and from him would come Śrutaśravā. Subsequently taking birth in the dynasty will be Yutāyu, Niramitra, Sunakṣatra, Bṛhatsena, Karmajit, Sutañjaya, Vipra, Śuci,Kṣema, Suvrata, Dharmasūtra, Sama, Dyumatsena, Sumati, Subala, Sunītha, Satyajit, Viśvajit and Ripuñjaya.
The Dynasties of the Sons of Yayāti
In this Twenty-third Chapter the dynasties of Anu, Druhyu, Turvasu and Yadu, as well as the story ofJyāmagha, are described.
The sons of Yayāti’s fourth son, Anu, were Sabhānara, Cakṣu and Pareṣṇu. Of these three, the sons and grandsons of Sabhānara were, in succession, Kālanara, Sṛñjaya, Janamejaya, Mahāśāla and Mahāmanā. The sons of Mahāmanā were Uśīnara and Titikṣu. Uśīnara had four sons, namely Śibi, Vara, Kṛmi andDakṣa. Śibi also had four sons—Vṛṣādarbha, Sudhīra, Madra and Kekaya. The son of Titikṣu was Ruṣadratha, who begot a son named Homa. From Homa came Sutapā and from Sutapā, Bali. In this way the dynasty continued. Begotten by Dīrghatamā in the womb of the wife of Bali were Aṅga, Vaṅga, Kaliṅga,Suhma, Puṇḍra and Oḍra, all of whom became kings.
From Aṅga came Khalapāna, whose dynasty included Diviratha, Dharmaratha and Citraratha, also called Romapāda, one after another. Mahārāja Daśaratha gave in charity one of his daughters, by the name Śāntā, to his friend Romapāda because Romapāda had no sons. Romapāda accepted Śāntā as his daughter, and the great sage Ṛṣyaśṛṅga married her. By the mercy of Ṛṣyaśṛṅga, Romapāda had a son named Caturaṅga. The son of Caturaṅga was Pṛthulākṣa, who had three sons—Bṛhadratha, Bṛhatkarmā andBṛhadbhānu. From Bṛhadratha came a son named Bṛhadmanā, whose sons and grandsons in succession were Jayadratha, Vijaya, Dhṛti, Dhṛtavrata, Satkarmā and Adhiratha. Adhiratha accepted the son rejected by Kuntī, namely Karṇa, and Karṇa’s son was Vṛṣasena.
The son of Yayāti’s third son, Druhyu, was Babhru, whose son and grandsons were Setu, Ārabdha, Gāndhāra, Dharma, Dhṛta, Durmada and Pracetā.
The son of Yayāti’s second son, Turvasu, was Vahni, whose seminal dynasty included Bharga,Bhānumān, Tribhānu, Karandhama and Maruta. The childless Maruta accepted Duṣmanta, who belonged to the Pūru dynasty, as his adopted son. Mahārāja Duṣmanta was anxious to have his kingdom returned, and so he went back to the Pūru-vaṁśa.
Of the four sons of Yadu, Sahasrajit was the eldest. The son of Sahasrajit was named Śatajit. He had three sons, of whom one was Haihaya. The sons and grandsons in the dynasty of Haihaya were Dharma,Netra, Kunti, Sohañji, Mahiṣmān, Bhadrasenaka, Dhanaka, Kṛtavīrya, Arjuna, Jayadhvaja, Tālajaṅgha andVītihotra.
The son of Vītihotra was Madhu, whose eldest son was Vṛṣṇi. Because of Yadu, Madhu and Vṛṣṇi, their dynasties are known as Yādava, Mādhava and Vṛṣṇi. Another son of Yadu was Kroṣṭā, and from him cameVṛjinavān, Svāhita, Viṣadgu, Citraratha, Śaśabindu, Pṛthuśravā, Dharma, Uśanā and Rucaka. Rucaka had five sons, one of whom was known as Jyāmagha. Jyāmagha was sonless, but by the mercy of the demigods his childless wife gave birth to a son named Vidarbha.
Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Personality of Godhead
Vidarbha had three sons, named Kuśa, Kratha and Romapāda. Of these three, Romapāda expanded his dynasty by the sons and grandsons named Babhru, Kṛti, Uśika, Cedi and Caidya, all of whom later became kings. From the son of Vidarbha named Kratha came a son named Kunti, from whose dynasty came the descendants named Vṛṣṇi, Nirvṛti, Daśārha, Vyoma, Jīmūta, Vikṛti, Bhīmaratha, Navaratha, Daśaratha, Śakuni, Karambhi, Devarāta, Devakṣatra, Madhu, Kuruvaśa, Anu, Puruhotra, Ayu and Sātvata. Sātvatahad seven sons. One of them was Devāvṛdha, whose son was Babhru. Another son of Sātvata was Mahābhoja, by whom the Bhoja dynasty was inaugurated. Another was Vṛṣṇi, who had a son namedYudhājit. From Yudhājit came Anamitra and Śini, and from Anamitra came Nighna and another Śini. The descendants in succession from Śini were Satyaka, Yuyudhāna, Jaya, Kuṇi and Yugandhara. Another son of Anamitra was Vṛṣṇi. From Vṛṣṇi came Śvaphalka, by whom Akrūra and twelve other sons were generated. From Akrūra came two sons, named Devavān and Upadeva. The son of Andhaka named Kukurawas the origin of the descendants known as Vahni, Vilomā, Kapotaromā, Anu, Andhaka, Dundubhi, Avidyota, Punarvasu and Āhuka. Āhuka had two sons, named Devaka and Ugrasena. The four sons ofDevaka were known as Devavān, Upadeva, Sudeva and Devavardhana, and his seven daughters wereDhṛtadevā, Śāntidevā, Upadevā, Śrīdevā, Devarakṣitā, Sahadevā and Devakī. Vasudeva married all seven daughters of Devaka. Ugrasena had nine sons named Kaṁsa, Sunāmā, Nyagrodha, Kaṅka, Śaṅku, Suhū, Rāṣṭrapāla, Dhṛṣṭi and Tuṣṭimān, and he had five daughters named Kaṁsā, Kaṁsavatī, Kaṅkā, Śūrabhū and Rāṣṭrapālikā. The younger brothers of Vasudeva married all the daughters of Ugrasena.
Vidūratha, the son of Citraratha, had a son named Śūra, who had ten other sons, of whom Vasudevawas the chief. Śūra gave one of his five daughters, Pṛthā, to his friend Kunti, and therefore she was also named Kuntī. In her maiden state she gave birth to a child named Karṇa, and later she married MahārājaPāṇḍu.
Vṛddhaśarmā married the daughter of Śūra named Śrutadevā, from whose womb Dantavakra was born. Dhṛṣṭaketu married Śūra’s daughter named Śrutakīrti, who had five sons. Jayasena married Śūra’s daughter named Rājādhidevī. The king of Cedi-deśa, Damaghoṣa, married the daughter of Śūra named Śrutaśravā, from whom Śiśupāla was born.
Devabhāga, through the womb of Kaṁsā, begot Citraketu and Bṛhadbala; and Devaśravā, through the womb of Kaṁsavatī, begot Suvīra and Iṣumān. From Kaṅka, through the womb of Kaṅkā, came Baka,Satyajit and Purujit, and from Sṛñjaya, through the womb of Rāṣṭrapālikā, came Vṛṣa and Durmarṣaṇa. Śyāmaka, through the womb of Śūrabhūmi, begot Harikeśa and Hiraṇyākṣa. Vatsaka, through the womb of Miśrakeśī, begot Vṛka, who begot the sons named Takṣa, Puṣkara and Śāla. From Samīka came Sumitraand Arjunapāla, and from Ānaka came Ṛtadhāmā and Jaya.
Vasudeva had many wives, of whom Devakī and Rohiṇī were the most important. From the womb ofRohiṇī, Baladeva was born, along with Gada, Sāraṇa, Durmada, Vipula, Dhruva, Kṛta and others. Vasudevahad many other sons by his other wives, and the eighth son to appear from the womb of Devakī was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who delivered the entire world from the burden of demons. This chapter ends by glorifying the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vāsudeva.
SUMMARY OF THE TENTH CANTO
A short description of each chapter of this Tenth Canto is as follows. The First Chapter, which has sixty-nine verses, describes Mahārāja Parīkṣit’s eagerness to learn about the incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and it also tells how Kaṁsa killed the six sons of Devakī because of his fear of being killed by her eighth child. The Second Chapter contains forty-two verses, describing the entrance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, into the womb of Devakī to fulfill His mission of killing Kaṁsa. When Lord Kṛṣṇa was within Devakī’s womb, all the demigods, headed by Brahmā, offered prayers to the Lord. The Third Chapter contains fifty-three verses. This chapter describes the appearance of Lord Kṛṣṇa as He is. The Lord’s father and mother, understanding the Lord’s appearance, offered prayers. Fearing Kaṁsa, the Lord’s father brought the child from Mathurā to Gokula Vṛndāvana. The Fourth Chapter contains forty-six verses, which tell of a prophecy by the goddess Caṇḍikā. After consulting demoniac friends, Kaṁsa began killing all the children born at that time, since he thought this would be to his benefit.
The Fifth Chapter contains thirty-two verses, describing how Nanda Mahārāja performed the birth ceremony of Kṛṣṇa and then went to Mathurā, where he met Vasudeva. The Sixth Chapter contains forty-four verses. In this chapter, Nanda Mahārāja, following the advice of his friend Vasudeva, returns toGokula and on the way sees the dead body of the Pūtanā demoness and is astonished at her having been killed by Kṛṣṇa. The Seventh Chapter, which contains thirty-seven verses, describes Mahārāja Parīkṣit’s enthusiasm to hear about the boyhood pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who killed Śakaṭāsura and Tṛṇāvartāsura and showed within His mouth the entire cosmic manifestation. In the Eighth Chapter there are fifty-two verses, which describe Gargamuni’s performing the name-giving ceremony of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma and how Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma performed playful childish activities, crawling on the ground, trying to walk with Their small legs, and stealing butter and breaking the pots. This chapter also describes the vision of the universal form.
The Ninth Chapter, which has twenty-three verses, describes how Kṛṣṇa disturbed His mother while she was churning butter. Because she left Kṛṣṇa to see to the stove, where the milk was boiling, and did not allow Him to suck her breast, Kṛṣṇa was very angry and broke a pot of yogurt. To chastise her naughty child, mother Yaśodā wanted to bind Him with rope, but every time she tried she failed because of a shortage of rope when the time came to knot it. In the Tenth Chapter there are forty-three verses. This chapter describes how Kṛṣṇa, as Dāmodara, caused the twin Yamalārjuna trees to fall and how the two demigods within the trees were delivered by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. In the Eleventh Chapter there are fifty-nine verses. This chapter describes how Nanda Mahārāja released Kṛṣṇa from the ropes, how Kṛṣṇashowed His mercy to a fruit seller while exchanging grains for fruit, and how Nanda Mahārāja and others decided to leave Gokula for Vṛndāvana, where Kṛṣṇa killed Vatsāsura and Bakāsura.
Chapter Twelve contains forty-four verses, describing Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes with the cowherd boys in the forest and the killing of the demon named Aghāsura. Chapter Thirteen contains sixty-four verses, describing how Brahmā stole Kṛṣṇa’s calves and His friends, the cowherd boys. Kṛṣṇa expanded His pastimes for one year, representing Himself as the calves and boys in forms exactly like their own. In this way He bewildered Brahmā, who at last surrendered when his illusion was over. The Fourteenth Chapter contains sixty-one verses. In this chapter, Brahmā offers prayers to Kṛṣṇa after fully understanding Him to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Fifteenth Chapter contains fifty-two verses. This chapter describes how Kṛṣṇa entered Tālavana Forest with Balarāma, how Balarāma killed Dhenukāsura, and howKṛṣṇa protected the cowherd boys and cows from the poisonous effects of Kāliya.
The Sixteenth Chapter contains sixty-seven verses. This chapter describes the chastisement of Kāliya byKṛṣṇa, and it also describes the prayers offered by Kāliya’s wives. In the Seventeenth Chapter there are twenty-five verses. This chapter describes why Kāliya entered the River Yamunā after leaving his home, Nāgālaya, one of the dvīpas, which according to some corresponds to the Fiji Islands. This chapter also describes how Garuḍa was cursed by Saubhari Ṛṣi, how the cowherd boys, Kṛṣṇa’s friends, were enlivened when Kṛṣṇa emerged from the Yamunā, and how Kṛṣṇa stopped the forest fire and saved the sleeping inhabitants of Vraja.
The Eighteenth Chapter contains thirty-two verses, giving a description of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, Their picnics within the forest, the climate of Vṛndāvana in the summer and the spring, and Lord Balarāma’s killing of Pralambāsura. Chapter Nineteen contains sixteen verses, describing Kṛṣṇa’s entering the forest known as Muñjāraṇya, saving the cowherd boys and cows from the forest fire, and bringing them toBhāṇḍīravana. Chapter Twenty contains forty-nine verses. This chapter describes the enjoyment ofBalarāma and Kṛṣṇa in the forest with the cowherd boys during the rainy season, and it gives various instructions through analogies concerning the rainy season and autumn.
Chapter Twenty-one contains twenty verses, describing how Kṛṣṇa entered the forest of Vṛndāvana in the autumn, playing His flute, and how He attracted the gopīs, who were singing His glories. The Twenty-second Chapter contains thirty-eight verses, describing how the gopīs prayed to the goddess Kātyāyanī to obtain Kṛṣṇa as their husband and how Kṛṣṇa later stole the garments of the gopīs while the gopīs were bathing in the Yamunā. The Twenty-third Chapter contains fifty-two verses, describing how the cowherd boys, being very hungry, followed Kṛṣṇa’s directions by begging some food for Him and themselves frombrāhmaṇas engaged in performing yajñas. The brāhmaṇas refused to give food to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, although the boys begged for it, but the wives of the brāhmaṇas agreed, and therefore Kṛṣṇa bestowed His mercy upon them.
The Twenty-fourth Chapter contains thirty-eight verses, describing how Kṛṣṇa defied King Indra, despite Indra’s position of prestige, by stopping the indra-yajña and instead worshiping Govardhana. The Twenty-fifth Chapter contains thirty-three verses. As described in this chapter, because the indra-yajñawas stopped, King Indra was very angry, and to kill the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, Vraja, he flooded the entire area with rain. Kṛṣṇa, however, accepted King Indra’s challenge by lifting Govardhana Hill as an umbrella to protect Vṛndāvana and all the cows. The Twenty-sixth Chapter contains twenty-five verses, describing how Nanda Mahārāja, seeing the extraordinary activities of Kṛṣṇa, was struck with wonder and how he thus narrated for all the cowherd men the whole story of Kṛṣṇa’s opulence, as foretold by Gargamuni. Chapter Twenty-seven, which contains twenty-eight verses, describes how King Indra, upon seeing Kṛṣṇa’s unlimited power, worshiped Lord Kṛṣṇa, who was fully washed with milk supplied by thesurabhi and who thus became known as Govinda. The Twenty-eighth Chapter contains seventeen verses. In this chapter Kṛṣṇa saves His father, Nanda Mahārāja, from the custody of Varuṇa and shows the cowherd men how Vaikuṇṭhaloka is situated.
The Twenty-ninth Chapter contains forty-eight verses, describing how Kṛṣṇa talked to the gopīs before performing the rāsa-līlā and how, after the beginning of the rāsa-līlā, Kṛṣṇa disappeared from the scene. Chapter Thirty contains forty-four verses, describing how the gopīs, being separated from Kṛṣṇa, wentmad and began to wander in the forest in search of Him. The gopīs met Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu, and they all wandered on the bank of the Yamunā searching for Krishna. Chapter Thirty-one contains nineteen verses, describing how the bereaved gopīs waited in great anxiety to meet Kṛṣṇa. Chapter Thirty-two contains twenty-two verses. In this chapter, Kṛṣṇa appears among the gopīs, who are fully satisfied in ecstatic love for Him. Chapter Thirty-three contains thirty-nine verses. In this chapterKṛṣṇa appears in multiforms in the midst of the gopīs, with whom He dances in the rāsa dance. Then they all bathe in the River Yamunā. Also in this chapter, Śukadeva mitigates the doubts of Parīkṣit concerning the performance of the rāsa-līlā.
Chapter Thirty-four contains thirty-two verses. This chapter describes how Nanda Mahārāja, Kṛṣṇa’s father, was swallowed by a big python, who had been a demigod named Vidyādhara but was cursed by Aṅgirā Ṛṣi. Kṛṣṇa rescued His father and saved this demigod simultaneously. Chapter Thirty-five contains twenty-six verses. This chapter describes how Kṛṣṇa went to the pasturing grounds with the cows and how the gopīs sang in separation from Him.
Chapter Thirty-six contains forty verses. This chapter describes Kṛṣṇa’s killing of Ariṣṭāsura. It also describes Nārada’s disclosure to Kaṁsa that both Rāma and Kṛṣṇa were sons of Vasudeva. Because of this disclosure, Kaṁsa arranged to kill both Rāma and Kṛṣṇa. He sent his assistant Keśī to Vṛndāvana, and later he sent Akrūra to bring Rāma and Kṛṣṇa to Mathurā. Chapter Thirty-seven contains thirty-three verses. In this chapter Kṛṣṇa kills the Keśī demon, Nārada worships Kṛṣṇa by narrating His future activities, andKṛṣṇa kills the demon named Vyomāsura. Chapter Thirty-eight contains forty-three verses. This chapter describes how Akrūra went to Vṛndāvana and how he was received by Rāma-Kṛṣṇa and Nanda Mahārāja. Chapter Thirty-nine contains fifty-seven verses. This chapter describes how Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, having been invited by Kaṁsa started for Mathurā. While They were ready on the chariot, the gopīs began to cry, andKṛṣṇa sent His messenger to pacify them. Thus He was able to travel toward Mathurā. On the way, Akrūrawas shown the entire Viṣṇuloka within the water of the Yamunā.
Chapter Forty contains thirty verses, in which the prayers of Akrūra are described. Chapter Forty-one, which contains fifty-two verses, describes the entrance of Rāma and Kṛṣṇa into the city of Mathurā, where the ladies were very jubilant to see these two brothers. Kṛṣṇa killed a washerman, glorified Sudāmā and gave Sudāmā His benediction. Chapter Forty-two, which contains thirty-eight verses, describes how Kṛṣṇadelivered Kubjā and how He broke Kaṁsa’s gigantic bow and killed its caretakers. Thus Kaṁsa and Kṛṣṇamet. Chapter Forty-three contains forty verses. Outside the sporting arena of Kaṁsa, Kṛṣṇa killed an elephant named Kuvalayāpīḍa. Then He entered the arena and spoke with Cāṇūra. Chapter Forty-four, which contains fifty-one verses, describes how Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma killed the wrestlers named Cāṇūra andMuṣṭika and thereafter killed Kaṁsa and his eight brothers. Kṛṣṇa, however, pacified Kaṁsa’s wives and His own father and mother, Vasudeva and Devakī.
Chapter Forty-five contains fifty verses. This chapter describes how Kṛṣṇa pacified His father and mother and celebrated the enthronement of His grandfather Ugrasena. After promising the inhabitants ofVṛndāvana that He would return very soon, Kṛṣṇa underwent ritualistic ceremonies as a kṣatriya. He took the vow of brahmacarya and lived in the guru-kula, where He studied regularly. By killing the demon named Pañcajana, He received a conchshell named Pāñcajanya. Krishna rescued the son of His guru from the custody of Yamarāja and returned him. After thus offering guru-dakṣiṇā to repay His teacher, LordKṛṣṇa returned to Mathurā-purī. Chapter Forty-six contains forty-nine verses. As described in this chapter,Kṛṣṇa sent Uddhava to Vṛndāvana to pacify His father and mother, Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodā. Chapter Forty-seven contains sixty-nine verses, describing how Uddhava, following Kṛṣṇa’s order, went to pacify the gopīs and then returned to Mathurā. Thus Uddhava appreciated the ecstatic love felt for Kṛṣṇa by the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana.
Chapter Forty-eight contains thirty-six verses. This chapter describes how Kṛṣṇa fulfilled the desire of Kubjā by going to her house and enjoying her. Kṛṣṇa then went to the home of Akrūra. Satisfied by Akrūra’s prayers, Kṛṣṇa praised him very much and sent him to Hastināpura to gather information about the Pāṇḍavas. Chapter Forty-nine contains thirty-one verses. As described in this chapter, Akrūra, following Kṛṣṇa’s orders, went to Hastināpura, where he met Vidura and Kuntī and heard from them about Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s mistreatment of the Pāṇḍavas. Informed of the Pāṇḍavas’ faith in Kṛṣṇa, Akrūra advisedDhṛtarāṣṭra, and after understanding Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s mind, he returned to Mathurā, where he described everything about the situation in Hastināpura.
Chapter Fifty contains fifty-seven verses. In this chapter, Jarāsandha, having heard that his son-in-lawKaṁsa was killed, attacked Mathurā to kill Rāma and Kṛṣṇa but was defeated seventeen times. WhenJarāsandha was about to attack for the eighteenth time, Kālayavana, having been advised by Nārada, also attacked Mathurā. Thus the Yādava dynasty entered a fort in the midst of the water and lived there by mystic power. After giving full protection to the Yādava dynasty and conferring with Lord Baladeva, LordKṛṣṇa emerged from Dvārakā. Chapter Fifty-one, which contains sixty-three verses, describes howMucukunda killed Kālayavana simply by glancing upon him.
Chapter Fifty-two contains forty-four verses. In this chapter, Mucukunda offers prayers to Kṛṣṇa, and then Kṛṣṇa kills all the soldiers of Kālayavana and returns to Dvārakā with their booty. When Jarāsandhaattacked Mathurā again, Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, as if afraid of him, fled to the top of a mountain, to whichJarāsandha then set fire. Unseen by Jarāsandha, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma jumped from the mountain and entered Dvārakā, which was surrounded by the sea. Jarāsandha, thinking that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma had been killed, returned with his soldiers to his own country, and Kṛṣṇa continued to live in Dvārakā.Rukmiṇī, the daughter of Vidarbha, was very much attracted to Kṛṣṇa, and she sent Kṛṣṇa a letter through a brāhmaṇa. Chapter Fifty-three contains fifty-seven verses. Following Rukmiṇī’s request, Kṛṣṇa went to the city of Vidarbha and kidnapped her in the presence of such enemies as Jarāsandha. Chapter Fifty-four contains sixty verses. As described in this chapter, Kṛṣṇa defeated all the opposing princes and disfigured Rukmiṇī’s brother Rukmī. Then Kṛṣṇa returned with Rukmiṇī to Dvārakā, where they were united in a regular marriage. Rukmī, however, remained in a place known as Bhojakaṭa, being angry at his brother-in-law, Kṛṣṇa. Chapter Fifty-five, containing forty verses, describes the birth of Pradyumna, how Pradyumnawas kidnapped by Śambarāsura, and how Pradyumna later killed Śambarāsura and returned to Dvārakāwith his wife, Ratidevī.
Chapter Fifty-six contains forty-five verses. As described in this chapter, King Satrājit, by the mercy of the sun-god, received a jewel called Syamantaka. Later, when this jewel was stolen, Satrājit unnecessarily became doubtful of Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa, to vindicate His position, retrieved the jewel, along with the daughter of Jāmbavān. Kṛṣṇa later married Satrājit’s daughter and received a full dowry. As described in Chapter Fifty-seven, which contains forty-two verses, both Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa went to Hastināpura, having heard about the fire in the shellac house of the Pāṇḍavas. After Satrājit was killed by Śatadhanvā at the instigation of Akrūra and Kṛtavarmā, Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa returned to Dvārakā. Śatadhanvā left the Syamantaka jewel with Akrūra and fled to the forest. Thus although Kṛṣṇa killed Śatadhanvā, He was unable to retrieve the jewel. Finally the jewel was discovered and awarded to Akrūra. Chapter Fifty-eight contains fifty-eight verses. After the Pāṇḍavas finished living incognito in the forest, Kṛṣṇa went to Indraprastha to see them. He then married five wives, headed by Kālindī. After Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna set fire to the Khāṇḍava Forest, Arjuna received the Gāṇḍīva bow. The demon Maya Dānava constructed an assembly house for the Pāṇḍavas, and Duryodhana was very much aggrieved.
Chapter Fifty-nine contains forty-five verses. In this chapter, Kṛṣṇa, at the request of Indra, kills the demon Narakāsura, the son of the earth personified, along with the demon’s associates, headed by Mura. The earth personified offers prayers to Kṛṣṇa and returns to Him all the paraphernalia that Narakāsura has stolen. Kṛṣṇa then bestows fearlessness upon the son of Narakāsura and marries the sixteen thousand princesses whom the demon kidnapped. Also in this chapter, Kṛṣṇa takes away the pārijāta plant from the heavenly planets, and the foolishness of Indra and others is described.
Chapter Sixty contains fifty-nine verses. In this chapter, Kṛṣṇa makes Rukmiṇī angry with His joking words. Kṛṣṇa pacifies Rukmiṇī, and there is a lover’s quarrel between them. Chapter Sixty-one contains forty verses. This chapter contains a description of the sons and grandsons of Kṛṣṇa. At the time of Aniruddha’s marriage, Balarāma kills Rukmī and breaks the teeth of the King of Kaliṅga.
Chapter Sixty-two contains thirty-three verses. This chapter begins the discourse concerning the abduction of Ūṣā, the daughter of Bāṇāsura, and the amorous pastimes between Ūṣā and Aniruddha. It also describes a fight between Aniruddha and Bāṇāsura and how Bāṇāsura seized Aniruddha with a snake-noose. Chapter Sixty-three, which contains fifty-three verses, describes how the strength of Lord Śiva was defeated in a battle between Bāṇāsura and the Yādavas. The Raudra-jvara, having been defeated by theVaiṣṇava-jvara, offered prayers to Krishna. Kṛṣṇa severed all but four of Bāṇa’s one thousand arms and thus showed him mercy. Kṛṣṇa then returned to Dvārakā with Ūṣā and Aniruddha.
Chapter Sixty-four contains forty-four verses. In this chapter, Kṛṣṇa liberates King Nṛga, the son ofIkṣvāku, from a curse and instructs all kings by explaining the fault in misappropriating the property of abrāhmaṇa. In connection with the deliverance of King Nṛga, there are instructions for the Yādavas, who were puffed up with pride due to wealth, opulence, enjoyment and so on.
Chapter Sixty-five contains thirty-four verses. As described in this chapter, Lord Baladeva, desiring to see His friends and relatives, went to Gokula. In the months of Caitra and Vaiśākha, in the groves by theYamunā, Lord Balarāma performed the rāsa-rasotsava and yamunā-karṣaṇa līlās in the association of His gopīs.
As described in Chapter Sixty-six, which contains forty-three verses, Krishna went to Kāśī and then killed Pauṇḍraka, as well as his friend the King of Kāśī, Sudakṣiṇa and others. Chapter Sixty-seven, which contains twenty-eight verses, describes how Lord Baladeva, while enjoying with many young girls on Raivataka Mountain, vanquished the extremely mischievous ape Dvivida, who was the brother of Mainda and a friend of Narakāsura’s.
Chapter Sixty-eight has fifty-four verses. As described in this chapter, when Sāmba, the son ofJāmbavatī, kidnapped Lakṣmaṇā, the daughter of Duryodhana, he was captured in a fight with the Kauravas. In order to free him and establish peace, Lord Baladeva went to Hastināpura as a well-wisher. The Kauravas, however, were uncooperative, and upon seeing their arrogance, Lord Baladeva began pulling their city of Hastināpura with His plow. The Kauravas, headed by Duryodhana, offered prayers to Lord Baladeva, who then returned to Dvārakā with Sāmba and Lakṣmaṇā.
Chapter Sixty-nine contains forty-five verses. As described in this chapter, Kṛṣṇa exhibited His householder life with His sixteen thousand wives. Even the great sage Nārada was astonished at howKṛṣṇa, having expanded Himself into sixteen thousand forms, was conducting His householder life. ThusNārada offered prayers to Lord Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa was very much pleased with him.
Chapter Seventy, which contains forty-seven verses, describes how Kṛṣṇa exhibited His daily ritualistic ceremonies and how He released the kings arrested by Jarāsandha. While Lord Kṛṣṇa was receiving a messenger sent by these kings, Nārada came to see Kṛṣṇa and told Him news of the Pāṇḍavas. Nāradainformed Kṛṣṇa that the Pāṇḍavas desired to perform a rājasūya sacrifice, and Kṛṣṇa agreed to attend it, but He first asked for Uddhava’s decision about whether to give preference to killing King Jarāsandha or performing the rājasūya-yajña. Chapter Seventy-one contains forty-five verses, describing the happiness of the Pāṇḍavas when Kṛṣṇa went to Indraprastha. By the inconceivable desire of Kṛṣṇa, Jarāsandha would be killed, and the rājasūya-yajña would be performed by Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira.
Chapter Seventy-two contains forty-six verses. By agreeing to perform the rājasūya-yajña, Krishna gave Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira great pleasure. This chapter also describes the killing of Jarāsandha, the enthroning of his son, and the release of the kings whom Jarāsandha had arrested. Chapter Seventy-three contains thirty-five verses. After Lord Kṛṣṇa released the kings and restored their royal power, He was worshiped by Sahadeva, the son of Jarāsandha, and then He returned to Indraprastha with Bhīma andArjuna. Chapter Seventy-four contains fifty-four verses. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira offered prayers to Kṛṣṇaand offered Him the first worship in the rājasūya-yajña. To honor the Lord in this way is the foremost duty of every man, but this was intolerable to Śiśupāla, the King of Cedi. Śiśupāla began to blasphemeKṛṣṇa, who thus severed the King’s head from his body and awarded him the salvation called sārūpya-mukti. After the conclusion of the rājasūya sacrifice, Kṛṣṇa returned to Dvārakā with His queens. Chapter Seventy-five contains forty verses. As described in this chapter, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, after the rājasūya-yajña, performed the final ritualistic bathing ceremonies. Duryodhana was bewildered in the palace constructed by Maya Dānava, and thus he felt insulted.
Chapter Seventy-six contains thirty-three verses, describing how Śālva, one of the kings Kṛṣṇa defeated when He kidnapped Rukmiṇī, decided to rid the entire world of the Yādavas. To defeat the Yādavas, Śālva worshiped Lord Śiva, who rewarded him with an aerial car named Saubha. When Śālva fought with the Vṛṣṇis, Pradyumna smashed the car designed by Maya Dānava, but he was attacked by Śālva’s brother, whose name was Dyumān. Beaten unconscious by Dyumān’s club, Pradyumna was carried some distance away from the warfield by his charioteer, but later he lamented having been removed from the battlefield. Chapter Seventy-seven contains thirty-seven verses. In this chapter, Pradyumna recovers from his injuries and begins fighting with Śālva. When Kṛṣṇa returned to Dvārakā from Indraprastha, He immediately went to the battlefield where Śālva and Pradyumna were fighting. There He killed Śālva, although Śālva was powerfully equipped with illusory weapons.
Chapter Seventy-eight contains forty verses. As described in this chapter, a friend of Śālva’s namedDantavakra and Dantavakra’s brother Vidūratha were killed by Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Instead of taking part in the fighting between the Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas, Baladeva, who had been staying at Dvārakā-purī, went touring holy places. Because of the misbehavior of Romaharṣaṇa, Baladeva killed him at Naimiṣāraṇya and appointed his son Ugraśravā, Sūta Gosvāmī, the speaker of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, to continue the discourses on the Purāṇas. Chapter Seventy-nine contains thirty-four verses. This chapter describes how the brāhmaṇas of Naimiṣāraṇya advised Baladeva to atone for the death of Romaharṣaṇa. After killing a demon named Balvala, Baladeva traveled and bathed in holy places until He at last came to the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, where Bhīma and Duryodhana were fighting. Then He returned to Dvārakā and went again to Naimiṣāraṇya, where He instructed the ṛṣis. Then He left with His wife Revatī.
Chapter Eighty, which contains forty-five verses, describes how Sudāmā Vipra, a friend of Kṛṣṇa’s, approached Kṛṣṇa for money and was worshiped by Kṛṣṇa, who reminisced with him about their boyhood at the guru-kula. Chapter Eighty-one contains forty-one verses. This chapter describes the friendly talks between Kṛṣṇa and His friend Sudāmā. Kṛṣṇa very gladly accepted a gift of flat rice from Sudāmā Vipra. When Sudāmā Vipra returned home, he saw that everything there was wonderfully opulent, and he praised the friendship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. With the gifts of the Lord, he enjoyed material opulence, and later he was promoted back home, back to Godhead.
Chapter Eighty-two contains forty-eight verses. This chapter describes how the Yādavas went toKurukṣetra because of a solar eclipse and how other kings spoke to them of Kṛṣṇa. At this meeting, Kṛṣṇasatisfied Nanda Mahārāja and the residents of Vṛndāvana, who had also come there. Chapter Eighty-three contains forty-three verses, describing how the women assembled at Kurukṣetra engaged in topics of ŚrīKṛṣṇa and how Draupadī asked all Kṛṣṇa’s queens about how they had married Him. Chapter Eighty-four contains seventy-one verses. As described in this chapter, when great sages went to see Kṛṣṇa atKurukṣetra, Kṛṣṇa took this opportunity to praise them. Because Vasudeva desired to perform a great sacrifice on this occasion, the sages advised him regarding worship of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After the yajña was performed, all who were present dispersed to their respective abodes. Chapter Eighty-five contains fifty-nine verses. At the request of His father and mother, Kṛṣṇa, by His mercy, returned their dead sons, all of whom were liberated. Chapter Eighty-six contains fifty-nine verses. This chapter describes how Arjuna kidnapped Subhadrā with a great fight. It also describes how Kṛṣṇawent to Mithilā to favor His devotee Bahulāśva and stay at the house of Śrutadeva and advise them about spiritual advancement.
Chapter Eighty-seven contains fifty verses, describing the prayers offered to Nārāyaṇa by the Vedas.Chapter Eighty-eight contains forty verses. This chapter describes how Vaiṣṇavas become transcendental by worshiping Lord Viṣṇu and then return home, back to Godhead. By worship of demigods, one may get material power, but this chapter describes how an ordinary living being in the material world can be favored by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and it establishes Lord Viṣṇu’s supremacy above Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. Chapter Eighty-nine contains sixty-five verses, disclosing who is the best among the material deities. Although Viṣṇu is among the three deities—Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara—He is transcendental and supreme. In this chapter we also find a description of how Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna went to Mahākāla-pura to deliver the son of a Dvārakā brāhmaṇa and how Arjuna was astonished. Chapter Ninety contains fifty verses. This chapter summarizes Kṛṣṇa’s līlās and presents the logic of madhureṇa samāpayet,establishing that everything ends well in transcendental bliss.
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The Advent of Lord Kṛṣṇa: Introduction
The summary of the First Chapter is as follows. This chapter describes how Kaṁsa, frightened by hearing an omen about his being killed by the eighth son of Devakī, killed Devakī’s sons one after another.
When Śukadeva Gosvāmī finished describing the dynasty of Yadu, as well as the dynasties of the moon-god and sun-god, Mahārāja Parīkṣit requested him to describe Lord Kṛṣṇa, who appeared with Baladeva in the Yadu dynasty, and how Kṛṣṇa performed His activities within this world. Kṛṣṇa is transcendental, the King said, and therefore to understand His activities is the occupation of liberated persons. Hearing ofkṛṣṇa-līlā is the boat by which to achieve the ultimate goal of life. Except for an animal killer or one who is following a policy of suicide, every intelligent person must strive to understand Kṛṣṇa and His activities.
Kṛṣṇa was the only worshipable Deity for the Pāṇḍavas. When Mahārāja Parīkṣit was in the womb of his mother, Uttarā, Kṛṣṇa saved him from the attack of the brahma-śastra. Now Mahārāja Parīkṣit asked Śukadeva Gosvāmī how His Lordship Baladeva, the son of Rohiṇī, could have appeared in the womb ofDevakī. Why did Kṛṣṇa transfer Himself from Mathurā to Vṛndāvana, King Parīkṣit asked, and how did He live there with His family members? What did Kṛṣṇa do in Mathurā and Vṛndāvana, and why did He kill His maternal uncle Kaṁsa? For how many years did Kṛṣṇa reside in Dvārakā, and how many queens did He have? Mahārāja Parīkṣit asked Śukadeva Gosvāmī all these questions. He also requested Śukadeva Gosvāmī to describe other activities of Kṛṣṇa about which he could not inquire.
When Śukadeva Gosvāmī began to speak about Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Mahārāja Parīkṣit forgot the fatigue brought about by his fasting. Enthusiastic to describe Kṛṣṇa, Śukadeva Gosvāmī said, “Like the waters of the Ganges, descriptions of the activities of Kṛṣṇa can purify the entire universe. The speaker, the inquirer and the audience all become purified.”
Once when the entire world was overburdened by the increasing military power of demons in the form of kings, mother earth assumed the shape of a cow and approached Lord Brahmā for relief, Sympathetic to mother earth’s lamentation, Brahmā, accompanied by Lord Śiva and other demigods, took the cow-shaped mother earth to the shore of the milk ocean, where he offered prayers to please Lord Viṣṇu, who lay there on an island in transcendental ecstasy. Brahmā thereafter understood the advice of Mahā-Viṣṇu, who informed him that He would appear on the surface of the earth to mitigate the burden created by the demons. The demigods, along with their wives, should appear there as associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the family of Yadu to increase the sons and grandsons in that dynasty. By the will of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Anantadeva would appear first, as Balarāma, and Kṛṣṇa’s potency, yogamāyā, would also appear. Brahmā informed mother earth about all this, and then he returned to his own abode.
After marrying Devakī, Vasudeva was returning home with her on a chariot driven by Kaṁsa, her brother, when an ominous voice addressed Kaṁsa, warning him that Devakī’s eighth son would kill him. Upon hearing this omen, Kaṁsa was immediately ready to kill Devakī, but Vasudeva diplomatically began to instruct him. Vasudeva stressed that it would not be good for Kaṁsa to kill his younger sister, especially at the time of her marriage. Anyone who possesses a material body must die, Vasudeva advised him. Every living entity lives in a body for some time and then transmigrates to another body, but one is unfortunately misled into accepting the body as the soul. If a person under this mistaken conception wants to kill another body, he is condemned as hellish.
Because Kaṁsa was not satisfied by Vasudeva’s instructions, Vasudeva devised a plan. He offered to bring Kaṁsa all of Devakī’s children so that Kaṁsa could kill them. Why then should Kaṁsa kill Devakīnow? Kaṁsa was satisfied by this proposal. In due course of time, when Devakī gave birth to a child,Vasudeva brought the newborn baby to Kaṁsa, who, upon seeing Vasudeva’s magnanimity, was struck with wonder. When Vasudeva gave Kaṁsa the child, Kaṁsa, showing some intelligence, said that since he was to be killed by the eighth child, why should he kill the first? Although Vasudeva did not trust him,Kaṁsa requested Vasudeva to take the child back. Later, however, after Nārada approached Kaṁsa and disclosed to him that the demigods were appearing in the Yadu and Vṛṣṇi dynasties and conspiring to kill him, Kaṁsa decided to kill all the children born in these families, and he also decided that any child born from the womb of Devakī must be killed. Thus he arrested and imprisoned both Devakī and Vasudeva and killed six of their sons, one after another. Nārada had also informed Kaṁsa that in his previous birthKaṁsa was Kālanemi, a demon killed by Viṣṇu. Consequently, Kaṁsa became a great enemy to all the descendants of the yadu-vaṁśa, the Yadu dynasty. He even arrested and imprisoned his own father,Ugrasena, for Kaṁsa wanted to enjoy the kingdom alone.
Kṛṣṇa has threefold pastimes—the Vraja-līlā, Māthura-līlā and Dvārakā-līlā. As already mentioned, in the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there are ninety chapters, which describe all these līlās. The first four chapters describe Brahmā’s prayers for the relief of the earth’s burden, and they also describe the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Chapters Five through Thirty-nine recount Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in Vṛndāvana. The Fortieth Chapter describes how Kṛṣṇa enjoyed in the water of the Yamunā and how Akrūra offered prayers. Chapters Forty-one through Fifty-one, eleven chapters, tell of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in Māthura, and Chapters Fifty-two through Ninety, thirty-nine chapters, relate Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in Dvārakā.
Chapters Twenty-nine through Thirty-three describe Kṛṣṇa’s dancing with the gopīs, known as therāsa-līlā. Therefore these five chapters are known as rāsa-pañcādhyāya. The Forty-seventh Chapter of the Tenth Canto is a description known as the bhramara-gītā.
Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb
As described in this chapter, when the Supreme Personality of Godhead entered the womb of Devakī to kill Kaṁsa, all the demigods understood that the Lord was living within Devakī’s womb, and therefore in veneration they offered Him the Garbha-stuti prayers.
Kaṁsa, under the protection of his father-in-law, Jarāsandha, and with the help of his demoniac friends like Pralamba, Baka, Cāṇūra, Tṛṇāvarta, Aghāsura, Muṣṭika, Bāṇa and Bhaumāsura, began oppressing the members of the Yadu dynasty. Therefore, the members of the Yadu dynasty left their homes and sought shelter in such states as Kuru, Pañcāla, Kekaya, Śālva and Vidarbha. Only some of them stayed withKaṁsa, as nominal friends.
After Kaṁsa killed the ṣaḍ-garbhas, the six sons of Devakī, one after another, Anantadeva entered Devakī’s womb and was transferred to the womb of Rohiṇī by the manipulation of Yogamāyā, who was following the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord Himself, who was soon to appear as the eighth son of Devakī, ordered Yogamāyā to take birth from the womb of Yaśodādevī. Because Kṛṣṇaand His potency, Yogamāyā, appeared simultaneously as brother and sister, the world is full of Vaiṣṇavas and śāktas, and there is certainly some rivalry between them. Vaiṣṇavas worship the Supreme Lord, whereas śāktas, according to their desires, worship Yogamāyā in forms like Durgā, Bhadrakālī andCaṇḍikā. Following the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Yogamāyā transferred Baladeva,Saṅkarṣaṇa, the seventh child of Devakī, from the womb of Devakī to the womb of Rohiṇī. BecauseSaṅkarṣaṇa appears in order to increase love of Kṛṣṇa, He is known as Baladeva. One may take auspicious strength from Him to become a devotee of the Lord, and therefore He is also known as Balabhadra.
After Yogamāyā transferred the seventh child of Devakī to the womb of Rohiṇī, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared within the heart of Vasudeva and transferred Himself into the heart of Devakī. Because the Lord was present in her heart, Devakī, as her pregnancy continued, appeared effulgent. Upon seeing this effulgence, Kaṁsa was full of anxiety, but he could not harm Devakī because of their family relationship. Thus he began indirectly thinking of Kṛṣṇa and became fully Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Meanwhile, because of the Lord’s presence within the womb of Devakī, all the demigods came to offer the Lord their prayers. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, they said, is eternally the Absolute Truth. The spiritual soul is more important than the gross body, and the Supersoul, Paramātmā, is still more important than the soul. The Supreme Godhead is absolutely independent, and His incarnations are transcendental. The prayers of the demigods glorify and exalt devotees and explain the fate of persons who superficially consider themselves liberated from the conditions of material nature. A devotee is always safe. When a devotee fully surrenders at the lotus feet of the Lord, he is completely liberated from the fear of material existence. By explaining why the Supreme Personality of Godhead descends, the prayers of the demigods clearly confirm the Lord’s statement in Bhagavad-gītā (4.7):
The Birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa
As described in this chapter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, Hari in His original form, appeared as Viṣṇu so that His father and mother could understand that their son was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because they were afraid of Kaṁsa, when the Lord appeared as an ordinary child they took Him to Gokula, the home of Nanda Mahārāja.
Mother Devakī, being fully transcendental, sac-cid-ānanda, does not belong to this material world. Thus the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared with four hands, as if born from her womb. Upon seeing the Lord in that Viṣṇu form, Vasudeva was struck with wonder, and in transcendental happiness he and Devakī mentally gave ten thousand cows in charity to the brāhmaṇas. Vasudeva then offered prayers to the Lord, addressing Him as the Supreme Person, Parabrahman, the Supersoul, who is beyond duality and who is internally and externally all-pervading. The Lord, the cause of all causes, is beyond material existence, although He is the creator of this material world. When He enters this world as Paramātmā, He is all-pervading (aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham), yet He is transcendentally situated. For the creation, maintenance and annihilation of this material world, the Lord appears as the guṇa-avatāras—Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara. Thus Vasudeva offered prayers full of meaning to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Devakī followed her husband by offering prayers describing the transcendental nature of the Lord. Fearing Kaṁsa and desiring that the Lord not be understood by atheistic and materialistic nondevotees, she prayed that the Lord withdraw His transcendental four-armed form and appear like an ordinary child with two hands.
The Lord reminded Vasudeva and Devakī of two other incarnations in which He had appeared as their son. He had appeared as Pṛśnigarbha and Vāmanadeva, and now this was the third time He was appearing as the son of Devakī to fulfill their desire. The Lord then decided to leave the residence of Vasudeva andDevakī, in the prison house of Kaṁsa, and at this very time, Yogamāyā took birth as the daughter ofYaśodā. By the arrangement of Yogamāyā, Vasudeva was able to leave the prison house and save the child from the hands of Kaṁsa. When Vasudeva brought Kṛṣṇa to the house of Nanda Mahārāja, he saw that by Yogamāyā’s arrangement, Yaśodā, as well as everyone else, was deeply asleep. Thus he exchanged the babies, taking Yogamāyā from Yaśodā’s lap and placing Kṛṣṇa there instead. Then Vasudeva returned to his own place, having taken Yogamāyā as his daughter. He placed Yogamāyā on Devakī’s bed and prepared to be a prisoner as before. In Gokula, Yaśodā could not understand whether she had given birth to a male or a female child.
The Atrocities of King Kaṁsa
This chapter describes how Kaṁsa, following the advice of his demoniac friends, considered the persecution of small children to be very diplomatic.
After Vasudeva bound himself with iron shackles as before, all the doors of the prison house closed by the influence of Yogamāyā, who then began crying as a newborn child, This crying awakened the doorkeepers, who immediately informed Kaṁsa that a child had been born to Devakī. Upon hearing this news, Kaṁsa appeared with great force in the maternity room, and in spite of Devakī’s pleas that the child be saved, the demon forcibly snatched the child from Devakī’s hands and dashed the child against a rock. Unfortunately for Kaṁsa, however, the newborn child slipped away from his hands, rose above his head and appeared as the eight-armed form of Durgā. Durgā then told Kaṁsa, “The enemy you contemplate has taken birth somewhere else. Therefore your plan to persecute all the children will prove futile.”
According to the prophecy, the eighth child of Devakī would kill Kaṁsa, and therefore when Kaṁsa saw that the eighth child was a female and heard that his so-called enemy had taken birth elsewhere, he was struck with wonder. He decided to release Devakī and Vasudeva, and he admitted before them the wrongness of his atrocities. Falling at the feet of Devakī and Vasudeva, he begged their pardon and tried to convince them that because the events that had taken place were destined to happen, they should not be unhappy for his having killed so many of their children. Devakī and Vasudeva, being naturally very pious, immediately excused Kaṁsa for his atrocities, and Kaṁsa, after seeing that his sister and brother-in-law were happy, returned to his home.
After the night passed, however, Kaṁsa called for his ministers and informed them of all that had happened. The ministers, who were all demons, advised Kaṁsa that because his enemy had already taken birth somewhere else, all the children born within the past ten days in the villages within Kaṁsa’s kingdom should be killed. Although the demigods always feared Kaṁsa, they should not be treated leniently; since they were enemies, Kaṁsa should try his best to uproot their existence. The demoniac ministers further advised that Kaṁsa and the demons continue their enmity toward Viṣṇu because Viṣṇu is the original person among all the demigods. The brāhmaṇas, the cows, the Vedas, austerity, truthfulness, control of the senses and mind, faithfulness and mercy are among the different parts of the body of Viṣṇu, who is the origin of all the demigods, including Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. Therefore, the ministers advised, the demigods, the saintly persons, the cows and the brāhmaṇas should be systematically persecuted. Strongly advised in this way by his friends, the demoniac ministers, Kaṁsa approved of their instructions and considered it beneficial to be envious of the brāhmaṇas. Following Kaṁsa’s orders, therefore, the demons began committing their atrocities all over Vrajabhūmi.
The Meeting of Nanda Mahārāja and Vasudeva
As described in this chapter, Nanda Mahārāja very gorgeously performed the birth ceremony for his newborn child. Then he went to Kaṁsa to pay taxes due and met his intimate friend Vasudeva.
There was great jubilation all over Vṛndāvana due to Kṛṣṇa’s birth. Everyone was overwhelmed with joy. Therefore the King of Vraja, Mahārāja Nanda, wanted to perform the birth ceremony for his child, and this he did. During this great festival, Nanda Mahārāja gave in charity to all present whatever they desired. After the festival, Nanda Mahārāja put the cowherd men in charge of protecting Gokula, and then he went to Mathurā to pay official taxes to Kaṁsa. In Mathurā, Nanda Mahārāja met Vasudeva. Nanda Mahārājaand Vasudeva were brothers, and Vasudeva praised Nanda Mahārāja’s good fortune because he knew thatKṛṣṇa had accepted Nanda Mahārāja as His father. When Vasudeva inquired from Nanda Mahārāja about the welfare of the child, Nanda Mahārāja informed him all about Vṛndāvana, and Vasudeva was very much satisfied by this, although he expressed his grief because Devakī’s many children had been killed by Kaṁsa.Nanda Mahārāja consoled Vasudeva by saying that everything happens according to destiny and that one who knows this is not aggrieved. Expecting many disturbances in Gokula, Vasudeva then advised NandaMahārāja not to wait in Mathurā, but to return to Vṛndāvana as soon as possible. Thus Nanda Mahārājatook leave of Vasudeva and returned to Vṛndāvana with the other cowherd men on their bullock carts.
The Killing of the Demon Pūtanā
A summary of the Sixth Chapter is as follows: when Nanda Mahārāja, following the instructions ofVasudeva, was returning home, he saw a great demoniac woman lying on the road, and then he heard about her death.
While Nanda Mahārāja, the King of Vraja, was thinking about Vasudeva’s words concerning disturbances in Gokula, he was a little afraid and sought shelter at the lotus feet of Śrī Hari. Meanwhile,Kaṁsa sent to the village of Gokula a Rākṣasī named Pūtanā, who was wandering here and there killing small babies. Of course, wherever there is no Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is the danger of such Rākṣasīs, but since the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself was in Gokula, Pūtanā could accept nothing there but her own death.
One day, Pūtanā arrived from outer space in Gokula, the home of Nanda Mahārāja, and by displaying her mystic power, she assumed the disguise of a very beautiful woman. Taking courage, she immediately entered Kṛṣṇa’s bedroom without anyone’s permission; by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, no one forbade her to enter the house or the room, because that was Kṛṣṇa’s desire. The baby Kṛṣṇa, who resembled a fire covered by ashes, looked upon Pūtanā and thought that He would have to kill this demon, the beautiful woman. Enchanted by the influence of yogamāyā and the Personality of Godhead, Pūtanā took Kṛṣṇa upon her lap, and neither Rohiṇī nor Yaśodā objected. The demon Pūtanā offered her breast for Kṛṣṇa to suck, but her breast was smeared with poison. The child Kṛṣṇa, therefore, squeezed Pūtanā’s breast so severely that in unbearable pain she had to assume her original body and fell to the ground. Then Kṛṣṇa began playing on her breast just like a small child. When Kṛṣṇa was playing, the gopīs were pacified and took the child away to their own laps. After this incident, the gopīs took precautions because of the attack of the Rākṣasī. Mother Yaśodā gave the child her breast to suck and then laid Him in bed.
Meanwhile, Nanda and his associates the cowherd men returned from Mathurā, and when they saw the great dead body of Pūtanā, they were struck with wonder. Everyone was astonished that Vasudeva had foretold this mishap, and they praised Vasudeva for his power of foresight. The inhabitants of Vraja cut the gigantic body of Pūtanā into pieces, but because Kṛṣṇa had sucked her breast, she had been freed from all sins, and therefore when the cowherd men burned the pieces of her body in a fire, the smoke filled the air with a very pleasing fragrance. Ultimately, although Pūtanā had desired to kill Kṛṣṇa, she attained the Lord’s abode. From this incident we gain the instruction that if one is attached to Kṛṣṇa somehow or other, even as an enemy, one ultimately attains success. What then is to be said of devotees who are naturally attached to Kṛṣṇa in love? When the inhabitants of Vraja heard about the killing of Pūtanā and the welfare of the child, they were very much satisfied. Nanda Mahārāja took the baby Kṛṣṇa on his lap and was filled with satisfaction.
The Killing of the Demon Tṛṇāvarta
In this chapter, Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes of breaking the cart (śakaṭa-bhañjana), killing the asura known asTṛṇāvarta, and demonstrating the entire universe within His mouth are especially described.
When Śukadeva Gosvāmī saw that Mahārāja Parīkṣit was eagerly waiting to hear about Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes as a child, he was very much pleased, and he continued to speak. When Śrī Kṛṣṇa was only three months old and was just trying to turn backside up, before He even attempted to crawl, mother Yaśodāwanted to observe a ritualistic ceremony with her friends for the good fortune of the child. Such a ritualistic ceremony is generally performed with ladies who also have small children. When mother Yaśodāsaw that Kṛṣṇa was falling asleep, because of other engagements she put the child underneath a household cart, called śakaṭa, and while the child was sleeping, she engaged herself in other business pertaining to the auspicious ritualistic ceremony. Underneath the cart was a cradle, and mother Yaśodā placed the child in that cradle. The child was sleeping, but suddenly He awakened and, as usual for a child, began to kick His small legs. This kicking shook the cart, which collapsed with a great sound, breaking completely and spilling all its contents. Children who were playing nearby immediately informed mother Yaśodā that the cart had broken, and therefore she hastily arrived there in great anxiety with the other gopīs. MotherYaśodā immediately took the child on her lap and allowed Him to suck her breast. Then various types of Vedic ritualistic ceremonies were performed with the help of the brāhmaṇas. Not knowing the real identity of the child, the brāhmaṇas showered the child with blessings.
Another day, when mother Yaśodā was sitting with her child on her lap, she suddenly observed that he had assumed the weight of the entire universe. She was so astonished that she had to put the child down, and in the meantime Tṛṇāvarta, one of the servants of Kaṁsa, appeared there as a whirlwind and took the child away. The whole tract of land known as Gokula became surcharged with dust, no one could see where the child had been taken, and all the gopīs were overwhelmed because He had been taken away in the dust storm. But up in the sky, the asura, being overburdened by the child, could not carry the child far away, although he also could not drop the child because the child had caught him so tightly that it was difficult for him to separate the child from his body. Thus Tṛṇāvarta himself fell down from a very great height, the child grasping him tightly by the shoulder, and immediately died. The demon having fallen, the gopīspicked the child up and delivered Him to the lap of mother Yaśodā. Thus mother Yaśodā was struck with wonder, but because of yogamāyā’s influence, no one could understand who Kṛṣṇa was and what had actually happened. Rather, everyone began to praise fortune for the child’s having been saved from such a calamity. Nanda Mahārāja, of course, was thinking of the wonderful foretelling of Vasudeva and began to praise him as a great yogī. Later, when the child was on the lap of mother Yaśodā, the child yawned, and mother Yaśodā could see within His mouth the entire universal manifestation.
Lord Kṛṣṇa Shows the Universal Form Within His Mouth
The summary of the Eighth Chapter is as follows. This chapter describes the ceremony of giving a name to Kṛṣṇa. It also describes His crawling, His playing with the cows, and His eating earth and again showing the universal form to His mother.
One day, Vasudeva sent for Gargamuni, the family priest of the yadu-vaṁśa, and thus Gargamuni went to the house of Nanda Mahārāja, who received him very well and requested him to give names to Kṛṣṇaand Balarāma. Gargamuni, of course, reminded Nanda Mahārāja that Kaṁsa was looking for the son ofDevakī and said that if he performed the ceremony very gorgeously, the ceremony would come to the notice of Kaṁsa, who would then suspect that Kṛṣṇa was the son of Devakī. Nanda Mahārāja therefore requested Gargamuni to perform this ceremony without anyone’s knowledge, and Gargamuni did so. Because Balarāma, the son of Rohiṇī, increases the transcendental bliss of others, His name is Rāma, and because of His extraordinary strength, He is called Baladeva. He attracts the Yadus to follow His instructions, and therefore His name is Saṅkarṣaṇa. Kṛṣṇa, the son of Yaśodā, previously appeared in many other colors, such as white, red and yellow, and He had now assumed the color black. Because He was sometimes the son of Vasudeva, His name is Vāsudeva. According to His various activities and qualities, He has many other names. After thus informing Nanda Mahārāja and completing the name-giving ceremony, Gargamuni advised Nanda Mahārāja to protect his son very carefully and then departed.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī next described how the two children crawled, walked on Their small legs, played with the cows and calves, stole butter and other milk products and broke the butter pots. In this way, he described many naughty activities of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. The most wonderful of these occurred when Kṛṣṇa’s playmates complained to mother Yaśodā that Kṛṣṇa was eating earth. Mother Yaśodā wanted to open Kṛṣṇa’s mouth to see the evidence so that she could chastise Him. Sometimes she assumed the position of a chastising mother, and at the next moment she was overwhelmed with maternal love. After describing all this to Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, at Mahārāja Parīkṣit’s request, praised the fortune of mother Yaśodā and Nanda. Nanda and Yaśodā were formerly Droṇa and Dharā, and by the order of Brahmā they came to this earth and had the Supreme Personality of Godhead as their son.
Mother Yaśodā Binds Lord Lord Kṛṣṇa
While mother Yaśodā was allowing Kṛṣṇa to drink her breast milk, she was forced to stop because she saw the milk pan boiling over on the oven. The maidservants being engaged in other business, she stopped allowing Kṛṣṇa to drink from her breast and immediately attended to the overflowing milk pan. Kṛṣṇabecame very angry because of His mother’s behavior and devised a means of breaking the pots of yogurt. Because He created this disturbance, mother Yaśodā decided to bind Him. These incidents are described in this chapter.
One day, the maidservants being engaged in other work, mother Yaśodā was churning the yogurt into butter herself, and in the meantime Kṛṣṇa came and requested her to allow Him to suck her breast milk. Of course, mother Yaśodā immediately allowed Him to do so, but then she saw that the hot milk on the oven was boiling over, and therefore she immediately stopped allowing Kṛṣṇa to drink the milk of her breast and went to stop the milk on the oven from overflowing. Kṛṣṇa, however, having been interrupted in His business of sucking the breast, was very angry. He took a piece of stone, broke the churning pot and entered a room, where He began to eat the freshly churned butter. When mother Yaśodā, after attending to the overflowing milk, returned and saw the pot broken, she could understand that this was the work ofKṛṣṇa, and therefore she went to search for Him. When she entered the room, she saw Kṛṣṇa standing on the ulūkhala, a large mortar for grinding spices. Having turned the mortar upside down, He was stealing butter hanging from a swing and was distributing the butter to the monkeys. As soon as Kṛṣṇa saw that His mother had come, He immediately began to run away, and mother Yaśodā began to follow Him. After going some distance, mother Yaśodā was able to catch Kṛṣṇa, who because of His offense was crying. Mother Yaśodā, of course, threatened to punish Kṛṣṇa if He acted that way again, and she decided to bind Him with rope. Unfortunately, when the time came to knot the rope, the rope with which she wanted to bind Him was short by a distance equal to the width of two fingers. When she made the rope longer by adding another rope, she again saw that it was short by two fingers. Again and again she tried, and again and again she found the rope too short by two fingers. Thus she became very tired, and Kṛṣṇa, seeing His affectionate mother so tired, allowed Himself to be bound. Now, being compassionate, He did not show her His unlimited potency. After mother Yaśodā bound Kṛṣṇa and became engaged in other household affairs, Kṛṣṇa observed two yamala-arjuna trees, which were actually Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva, two sons of Kuvera who had been condemned by Nārada Muni to become trees. Kṛṣṇa, by His mercy, now began to proceed toward the trees to fulfill the desire of Nārada Muni.
Deliverance of the Yamala-arjuna Trees
This chapter describes how Kṛṣṇa broke the twin arjuna trees, from which Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva, the sons of Kuvera, then came out.
Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva were great devotees of Lord Śiva, but because of material opulence they became so extravagant and senseless that one day they were enjoying with naked girls in a lake and shamelessly walking here and there. Suddenly Nārada Muni passed by, but they were so maddened by their wealth and false prestige that even though they saw Nārada Muni present, they remained naked and were not even ashamed. In other words, because of opulence and false prestige, they lost their sense of common decency. Of course, it is the nature of the material qualities that when one becomes very much opulent in terms of wealth and a prestigious position, one loses one’s sense of etiquette and does not care about anyone, even a sage like Nārada Muni. For such bewildered persons (ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā), who especially deride devotees, the proper punishment is to be again stricken with poverty. The Vedic rules and regulations prescribe how to control the false sense of prestige by the practice of yama, niyama and so on (tapasā brahmacaryeṇa śamena ca damena ca [SB 6.1.13]). A poor man can be convinced very easily that the prestige of an opulent position in this material world is temporary, but a rich man cannot. ThereforeNārada Muni set an example by cursing these two persons, Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva, to become dull and unconscious like trees. This was a fit punishment. But because Kṛṣṇa is always merciful, even though they were punished they were fortunate enough to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. Therefore the punishment given by Vaiṣṇavas is not at all punishment; rather, it is another kind of mercy. By the curse of the devarṣi, Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva became twin arjuna trees and remained in the courtyard of mother Yaśodā and Nanda Mahārāja, waiting for the opportunity to see Kṛṣṇa directly. LordKṛṣṇa, by the desire of His devotee, uprooted these yamala-arjuna trees, and when Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva were thus delivered by Kṛṣṇa after one hundred years of the devas, their old consciousness revived, and they offered Kṛṣṇa prayers suitable to be offered by demigods. Having thus gotten the opportunity to see Kṛṣṇa face to face, they understood how merciful Nārada Muni was, and therefore they expressed their indebtedness to him and thanked him. Then, after circumambulating the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, they departed for their respective abodes.
The Childhood Pastimes of Kṛṣṇa
This chapter describes how the inhabitants of Gokula left Gokula and went to Vṛndāvana and how Kṛṣṇakilled Vatsāsura and Bakāsura.
When the yamala-arjuna trees fell, they made a tremendous sound, like that of falling thunderbolts. Being surprised, Kṛṣṇa’s father, Nanda, and the other elderly inhabitants of Gokula went to the spot, where they saw the fallen trees and Kṛṣṇa standing between them, bound to the ulūkhala, the wooden mortar. They could find no cause for the trees’ having fallen and Kṛṣṇa’s being there. They thought this might be the work of some other asura who had met Kṛṣṇa on this spot, and they inquired from the playmates ofKṛṣṇa about how the whole incident had taken place. The children properly described how everything had happened, but the elderly persons could not believe the story. Some of them, however, thought that it might be true, since they had already seen many wonderful incidents in connection with Kṛṣṇa. Anyway,Nanda Mahārāja immediately released Kṛṣṇa from the ropes.
In this way, Kṛṣṇa, at every day and every moment, displayed wonderful incidents to increase the parental affection of Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodā, who thus felt both surprise and joy. The breaking of theyamala-arjunas was one of these wonderful pastimes.
One day a fruit vendor approached Nanda Mahārāja’s house, and Kṛṣṇa gathered some food grains with His little palms and went to the vendor to exchange the grains for fruit. On the way, almost all the grains fell from His palms, only one or two grains remaining, but the fruit vendor, out of full affection, accepted these grains in exchange for as much fruit as Kṛṣṇa could take. As soon as she did this, her basket became filled with gold and jewels.
Thereafter, all the elderly gopas decided to leave Gokula because they saw that in Gokula there was always some disturbance. They decided to go to Vṛndāvana, Vraja-dhāma, and the next day they all departed. In Vṛndāvana, both Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, after finishing Their childhood pastimes, began to take charge of the calves and send them to the pasturing grounds (go-caraṇa). During this time, a demon named Vatsāsura entered among the calves and was killed, and another asura, in the shape of a big duck, was also killed. The playmates of Kṛṣṇa narrated all these stories to their mothers. The mothers could not believe their children, Kṛṣṇa’s playmates, but because of full affection they enjoyed these narrations of Kṛṣṇa’s activities.
The Killing of the Demon Aghāsura
This chapter describes in detail Kṛṣṇa’s pastime of killing Aghāsura.
One day Kṛṣṇa wanted to enjoy a picnic lunch within the forest, and therefore He went out early into the forest with the other cowherd boys, accompanied by their respective groups of calves. While they were enjoying their picnic, Aghāsura, the younger brother of Pūtanā and Bakāsura, appeared there, desiring to kill Kṛṣṇa and His companions. The demon, who had been sent by Kaṁsa, assumed the form of a python, expanding himself to a length of eight miles and the height of a mountain, his mouth seeming to extend from the surface of the earth to the heavenly planets. Having assumed this feature, Aghāsura lay on the road. Kṛṣṇa’s friends, the cowherd boys, thought that the demon’s form was one of the beautiful spots ofVṛndāvana. Thus they wanted to enter within the mouth of this gigantic python. The gigantic figure of the python became a subject for their sporting pleasure, and they began to laugh, confident that even if this figure were dangerous, Kṛṣṇa was there to protect them. In this way, they proceeded toward the mouth of the gigantic figure.
Kṛṣṇa knew everything about Aghāsura, and therefore He wanted to forbid His friends to enter the demon’s mouth, but in the meantime all the cowherd boys, along with their groups of calves, entered the mouth of that gigantic figure. Kṛṣṇa was waiting outside, and Aghāsura was waiting for Kṛṣṇa, thinking that as soon as Kṛṣṇa entered he would close his mouth so that everyone would die. While waiting forKṛṣṇa, he refrained from swallowing the boys. In the meantime, Kṛṣṇa was thinking of how to save the boys and kill Aghāsura. Thus He entered the mouth of the gigantic asura, and when He was within the demon’s mouth along with His friends, He expanded His body to such an extent that the asura suffocated and died. After this, Kṛṣṇa, by casting His nectarean glance upon His friends, brought them back to life, and with pleasure they all came out unhurt. Thus Kṛṣṇa encouraged all the demigods, and they expressed their pleasure and happiness. For a crooked, sinful person there is no scope for sāyujya-mukti, or becoming one with the effulgence of Kṛṣṇa, but because the Supreme Personality of Godhead entered the body of Aghāsura, by His touch this demon got the opportunity to merge into the existence of the Brahmaneffulgence and thus attain sāyujya-mukti.
When this pastime was performed, Kṛṣṇa was only five years old. One year later, when He was six years old and He stepped into the paugaṇḍa age, this pastime was disclosed to the inhabitants of Vraja. ParīkṣitMahārāja inquired, “Why is it that this pastime was disclosed only after one year and yet the inhabitants ofVraja thought that it had been performed that very day?” With this question, the Twelfth Chapter ends.
The Stealing of the Boys and Calves by Brahmā
This chapter describes Lord Brahmā’s attempt to take away the calves and cowherd boys, and it also describes the bewilderment of Lord Brahmā and finally the clearance of his illusion.
Although the incident concerning Aghāsura had been performed one year before, when the cowherd boys were five years old, when they were six years old they said, “It happened today.” What happened was this. After killing Aghāsura, Kṛṣṇa, along with His associates the cowherd boys, went for a picnic within the forest. The calves, being allured by green grasses, gradually went far away, and therefore Kṛṣṇa’s associates became a little agitated and wanted to bring back the calves. Kṛṣṇa, however, encouraged the boys by saying, “You take your tiffin without being agitated. I shall go find the calves.” And thus the Lord departed. Then, just to examine the potency of Kṛṣṇa, Lord Brahmā took away all the calves and cowherd boys and kept them in a secluded place.
When Kṛṣṇa was unable to find the calves and boys, He could understand that this was a trick performed by Brahmā. Then the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, in order to please Lord Brahmā, as well as His own associates and their mothers, expanded Himself to become the calves and boys, exactly as they were before. In this way, He discovered another pastime. A special feature of this pastime was that the mothers of the cowherd boys thus became more attached to their respective sons, and the cows became more attached to their calves. After nearly a year, Baladeva observed that all the cowherd boys and calves were expansions of Kṛṣṇa. Thus He inquired from Kṛṣṇa and was informed of what had happened.
When one full year had passed, Brahmā returned and saw that Kṛṣṇa was still engaged as usual with His friends and the calves and cows. Then Kṛṣṇa exhibited all the calves and cowherd boys as four-armed forms of Nārāyaṇa. Brahmā could then understand Kṛṣṇa’s potency, and he was astonished by the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, his worshipable Lord. Kṛṣṇa, however, bestowed His causeless mercy upon Brahmā and released him from illusion. Thus Brahmā began to offer prayers to glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead.