The Brahma Purana

by G. P. Bhatt | 1955 | 243,464 words

This is the Brahma Purana in English (translation from Sanskrit), which is one of the eighteen Maha Puranas. The contents of this ancient Indian encyclopedic treatise include cosmology, genealogy (solar dynasty etc.), mythology, geology and Dharma (universal law of nature). The Brahma Purana is notable for its extenstive geological survey includin...

Chapter 12 - Birth of Kṛṣṇa

Lomaharṣaṇa said:

1. Kroṣṭṛ had two wives—Gāndhārī and Mādrī. Gāndhārī gave birth to Anamitra of great might.

2. Mādrī gave birth to Yudhājit and Devamīḍhuṣa. Thus the flourishing family of Vṛṣṇis came to be threefold.

3. Mādrī had two (more) sons: the splendid Vṛṣṇi and Andhaka. Vṛṣṇi had two sons—Śvaphalka and Citraka.

4. O excellent sages, there is no fear from sickness, no fear of drought in the place where Śvaphalka the nghteous soul is present.

5. O excellent sages, once, Indra the chastiser of Pāka did not shower rain in the realm of the king of Kāśi, for three years.

6. He therefore brought the excessively honoured Śvaphalka there (to his kingdom). Due to the arrival of Śvaphalka, Indra showered rain.

7-8. Śvaphalka married the daughter of the king of Kāśī, named Gāndinī. She was so called because she gave every day a cow to a brahmin. Akrūra a liberal donor, a performer of sacrifices, a learned hero and one fond of receiving guests, was born of Śvaphalka. He distributed wealth as gift to the Brahmins.

9-10. Other sons too were born viz.—Upamadgu, Madgu, Medura, Arimejaya, Avikṣita, Akṣepa Śatrughna, Arimardana, Dharmadhṛk, Yatidharma, Dharmokṣa, Andhakaru, Āvāha and Prativāha. Varāṅganā a beautiful daughter was also born to him.

11. O excellent brahmins, Prasena and Upadeva of divine splendour were born to Ugrasenā, a woman of beautiful limbs, by Akrūra.

12-17. Citraka begot these sons—viz. Pṛthu, Vipṛthu, Aśvagrīva, Aśvabāhu, Svapārśvaka, Gaveṣaṇa, Ariṣṭanemi, Aśva, Sudharmā, Dharmabhṛt, Subāhu, and Bahubāhu, and two daughters Śraviṣṭhā and Śravaṇā. He begot of Asiknī the heroic son Śūra, Devamīḍhuṣa. Ten courageous sons were born of the crowned queen Bhojyā. At the outset was born the mighty Vasudeva (otherwise known as) Ānakadundubhi (so called because) when he was born drums were beaten in heaven and the loud report of Ānaka drums arose in the skies. At that time heavy shower of flowers fell on the abode of Śūra. In the whole of this mortal world there was none equal to him in handsome features. He was foremost among men and he had the splendour of the moon.

18-24. The other nine sons were born:—Devabhāga, Devaśravas, Anādhṛṣṭi, Kanavaka, Vatsavān, Gṛñjama, Śyāma, Śamīka and Gaṇḍūṣa. He had five excellent ladies as daughters—Pṛthukīrti, Pṛthā, Śrutadevā, Śrutaśravā and Rājādhidevī. These five were mothers of mighty heroes. Jagṛhu was born as the son of Śrutadevā and the king of Avanti. King Śiśupāla was born of Śrutaśravā and the king of Cedī. Formerly, he had been Hiraṇyakaśipu the king of Daityas. Dantavakra of great might, the heroic overlord of Karūṣas was born of Pṛthukīrti as the son of Vṛddhaśarman. Kunti adopted Pṛthā as his daughter. Pāṇḍu married her. King Yudhiṣṭhira conversant with virtuous conduct was born of Kunti through the blessings of Dharma; Bhīmasena was born through the blessings ofVāyu and Arjuna was born through the blessings of īndra. Arjuna was a hero who had valour and exploit equal to that of Indra. In the whole world he had none to face him in a chariot-battle. Śini was born of Anamitra the youngest of the sons of Vṛṣṇi.

25. Satyaka was the son of Śini and Yuyudhāna was the son of Satyaka. Uddhava was the blessed son of Devabhāga.

26-28. They call the excellent Devaśravas the most excellent among the learned men. Anādhṛṣṭi begot of Aśmaki, Śatrughna a son who repulsed foes and earned fame.

Śrutadevā too gave birth to a son. The son of Śrutadevā is well known as Naiṣādi (a son of Niṣāda-hill tribe). O excellent sages, he was Ekalavya who was brought up by the Niṣādas. (huntsmen).

Vasudeva the valorous son of Śūra gave his broom-born heroic son Kauśika to Vatsāvan who had no issue. He gave the son (as in a religious act) along with water libations.

29-31. To Gaṇḍūṣa who had no son, Viṣvaksena gave his sons Cārudeṣṇa, Sudeṣṇa and Pañcāla who had characteristic-marks of a warrior. He was a warrior who never remained without a battle. O excellent brahmins, this mighty warrior was the youngest son of Rukmiṇī. When Cārudeṣṇa went on his campaigns thousands of crows closely followed him thinking—“Today we will enjoy the delicious flesh of those who are killed by Cārudeṣṇa”.

32. Tantrija and Tantripāla were the two sons of Kanavaka. Vīru and Aśvahanu were the two heroic sons of Gṛñjama.

33-34. Śamīka was the son of Śyāma. Śamīka ruled over a kingdom. He felt depressed being a mere Bhoja. Hence he per formed a Rājasūya sacrifice. Ajātaśatru the destroyer of enemies was born to him. Henceforth, I shall describe the heroic sons of Vasudeva.

35. Thus the race of Vṛṣṇi is threefold. It is mighty and it has many branches. One who retains this extensive race in memory is never afflicted by any calamity.

36-38. Vasudeva had fourteen excellent women as his wives. The first five were: a descendant of Purū named Rohiṇī, Madirā, Vaiśākhī, Bhadrā and Sunāmnī. The second set of seven ladies comprised Sahadevā, Śāntidevā, Śrīdevī, Devarakṣitā, Vṛkadevī, Upadevī and Devakī. The thirteenth and the fourteenth were Sutanu and Yādavī. These two had at first been maid servants.

39. The descendant of Purū named Rohiṇī was the daughter of Bāhlika. O excellent sages, she was the eldest and most favourite wife of Ānakadundubhi.

40-41. Rohiṇī had eight sons and a daughter. The eldest son was Rāma. The others were Śāraṇa, Śaṭha, Durdama, Damana, Śubhra, Piṇḍāraka and Uśīnara. The daughter was named Citrā. O excellent sages, this Citrā afterwards became famous as Subhadrā.

42. The renowned Śauri (Kṛṣṇa) was born of Devakī and Vasudeva. The beloved son Niśaṭha of Rāma was born of Revatī.

43. Abhimanyu, the skilled chariot-fighter was born of Subhadrā and Arjuna Satyaketu was born of the daughter of king of Kāśī and Akrūra.

44. Understand individually by their names the sons of great valour who were born to Vasudeva in his highly blessed seven wives.

45-50. Bhoja and Vijaya were the two sons of Śāntideva. Vṛkadeva and Gada were the two sons of Sunāmā. Vṛkadevī gave birth to the noble son Agāvaha. The daughter of the king of Trigarta and wife of Śiśirāyaṇi was inquisitive to ascertain his manliness. No semen was discharged. In his twelfth year he had the colour of a black pig. Falsely accused, Gārgya was urged by anger. He seized a cowherd lass and began to indulge in sexual intercourse. That cowherd lass was a heavenly nymph in disguise. She conceived the foetus of Gārgya. It was unerring and very difficult to bear. It was through the behest of the trident-bearing lord Śiva that the heavenly nymph, the wife of Gārgya, in human form had done this. A heroic son of great might named Kālayavana was born of her.

51-57. O excellent sages, the boy grew up in the harem of a Yavana who had no son. He grew into a youth of leonine frame. The upper half of his body was shapely muscular and cylindrical. Hence, he came to be called Kālayavana.

The king (Yavana) was in the habit of fighting. He asked the excellent brahmin Nārada who mentioned the Vṛṣṇis and Andhakas as the persons whom he should fight. He marched against Mathurā with an Akṣauhiṇī of soldiers. He sent a messenger to the Vṛṣṇis and Andhakas. Keeping the highly intelligent Kṛṣṇa as their leader the Vṛṣṇis and the Andhakas met together and took counsel as they were afraid of the Yavana king. They decided to run away. Out of deference to the Pināka-bearing lord Śiva they abandoned Mathurā and resolved to colonise Kuśasthalī, Dvāravatī.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: