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 84 - Return of Akrūra

Vyāsa said:

1. Thinking thus on his way and approaching Kṛṣṇa, that scion of the family of Yādavas bowed his head to the feet of Hari saying—‘I am Akrūra’.

2. The lord too stroked him with his hand marked by the lines of flag, thunderbolt and lotus. He dragged him with love towards himself and closely embraced him.

3. Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa were duly greeted and honoured by Kim. The two who were delighted took him with them and entered their chamber.

4-6. After being greeted by them and having taken his meals Akrūra precisely mentioned everything to them; how Vasudeva was rebuked by Kaṃsa; how Devakī was insulted by that wicked Kaṃsa, how that wicked Kaṃsa behaved towards Ugrasena and why he had been sent by Kaṃsa.

7. On hearing everything in detail the lord, the slayer of Keśin said—“O lord of charitable gifts, all this has been understood by me.

8. O highly blessed one, I shall undertake what is the most proper expedient in this matter. It should not be considered otherwise. Know that Kaṃsa is already killed by me.

9. Rāma and I shall go to Mathurā along with you, tomorrow. The elderly cowherds will accompany us taking many presents with them.

10. O heroic one, let this night be passed off. It does not behove you to worry over anything. Within three nights I shall kill Kaṃsa along with his followers.”

Vyāsa said:

11. After directing cowherds in regard to Akrūra, Keśava and Balabhadra went to the abode of Nandagopa and slept there.

12. When the day dawned with pure atmosphere, the extremely powerful Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa began theft preparations to go to Mathurā in the company of Akrūra.

13. On seeing this, the cowherd folk were full of tears. The bangles in their hands got loose. They heaved sighs in their misery and spoke to one another thus:

14. “After reaching Mathura how will Kṛṣṇa return to the cowherds’ colony? He will imbibe honey of the sweet tale of the city-lasses by his ears.

15. After getting involved in the net of elegant speech of the city lasses how will his mind revert to the cowherd boys and cowherd lasses of vulgar nature?

16. The ruthless wicked Fate has struck at the cowherd damsels since it removes Kṛṣṇa who is the essence of our colony.

17. The following attributes of the city lasses are extraordinary—their words are uttered with smiles couched in emotional fervour; their movement is graceful and elegant; their side-glances are very attractive.

18. If our rural and vulgar lord is held up by the fetters of their seductive charms, by what expedient will he return to us.

19. This Keśava goes to Mathurā driving in a chariot. He has been duped by Akrūra who is really Krüra (cruel) and who is one who has dashed our hopes.

20. Does not this wicked Akrūra know us earnestly in love with him? Wherefore does he take our lord elsewhere, lord who provides us with imperishable delight?

21. This excessively merciless Kṛṣṇa is going away accompanied by Rāma and seated in a chariot. May steps be taken hurriedly to prevent him.

22. What do you say? Is it this—“It is not proper on our part to say anything in front of our elders”? But what will the elders do to us who already are burnt by the fire of separation?

23. All these cowherds, led by Nandagopa, are ready to accompany him. No one attempts to make Govinda return.

24. In regard to the womenfolk residing in Mathurā the night has turned into a bright morning. The lotus-like face of Acyuta can now be enjoyed by their eyes which resemble the bees.

25. All those persons are blessed who will unobstructedly view Kṛṣṇa on the way, as he starts from here and will experience the sense of horripilation.

26. It will be a festive occasion to the eyes of the residents of Mathura, after seeing the face of Kṛṣṇa.

27. What auspicious dream was seen by those fortunate ladies? Without any impediment they will see the lord with their wide attractive eyes.

28-30. Alas, after showing them a great treasure the eyes of the cowherd lasses have been plucked by the merciless Fate. Love for us (in the heart) of Kṛṣṇa who is going to Mathurā has become feeble. Even the bracelets in our hands have become loose suddenly. Akrūra with a cruel heart is hurriedly driving the horses. Is there a man who will not have any sympathy for the women who are distressed thus?

31. May this column of dust raised up by the wheels of Kṛṣṇa’s chariot be seen. Now even that dust is not seen—the dust by which Kṛṣṇa has been taken away from us.”

32. So lamented the cowherd lasses. Even as they were watching him with great sincerity and affection, Keśava left that land of cowherds’ colony (far behind) in the company of Rāma.

33. Travelling thus in a chariot fitted with quick horses, Rāma, Akrūra, and Śrīkṛṣṇa reached the banks of Yamunā at midday.

34. Then Akrūra said to Kṛṣṇa:—“Both of you be waiting here, until I complete rites in the waters of Yamunā.”

35. O brahmins, after they had consented saying “So be it”, Akrūra of great lustre entered the waters of Yamunā, had his bath and then performed Ācamana.

35-45. There in the waters of Yamunā he saw Balarāma with a thousand hoods. His physical form was as pure and white as the Kunda flower. His eyes were large resembling the petals of a full blown lotus. He was surrounded by a large number of serpents, sons of Vāsuki.[1] He was being eulogised by them. He was bedecked in garlands of fragrant sylvan flowers. He was clad in blue garments. He had handsome features and beautiful ornaments. His ear-rings were fine. He was inebriate and was stationed on the bottom bed of the river water. In his lap he saw Kṛṣṇa. He was dark in complexion like the cloud. His large eyes were copper-coloured. He had graceful limbs and four arms. The discus and other weapons were like ornaments unto him. He wore two yellow clothes. He was bedecked in garlands with flowers of onion colour. He was like a cloud rendered wonderful by Indra’s bow (i.e. rain-bow) and many streaks of lightning. The Śrīvatsa scar marked his chest. He shone with beautiful armlets and coronet. He was unafflicted and bedecked in lotus. He was being meditated upon by Sanandana[2] and other sages who had achieved yogic power, who were devoid of sins and who were seated there with their eyes fixed to the tips of their noses on recognizing Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa. Akrūra was struck with wonder. He thought within himself—“How did they come here so quickly?” As he was about to say something, Kṛṣṇa stunned his faculty of speech. Thereafter, he came out of the water and went near the chariot. There too he saw both of them seated in the chariot. Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa were there as before, in human form. Coming back and diving under the water once again he saw them in the same manner as before. They were being eulogised by Gandharvas, sages, Siddhas and Nāgas.

47. Thereupon, he understood the real nature of the lord as existence. The lord of charitable gifts then eulogised lord Acyuta full of all perfect knowledge.

Akrūra said:

48. Obeisance, obeisance to the great Ātman of the form of Cit (Consciousness) alone; to the all-pervading lord of unimaginable greatness, to one of single form, to one of many forms.

49. O unimaginable one, obeisance to you, of the form of sound; obeisance to you who have become identical with the sacrificial offering of ghee, obeisance to the lord of the form of perfect knowledge, O lord, greater than Prakṛti.

50. Though one, you are stationed in five different forms viz—the Ātman of Elements, the Ātman of sense-organs, the Ātman of Pradhāna; the Ātman (i.e. individual soul) and the supreme soul.

51. Be pleased, O lord identical with all virtuous rites, O Maheśvara, O imperishable being amongst the perishable ones. You are praised with the conception of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva.

52. O deity whose form, nature, purpose and aim cannot be adequately expressed; O deity whose name cannot be specifically mentioned, I bow to you, the greatest lord.

53. O lord, you are the unborn one. You are the greatest eternal Brahman without aberrations wherein there are no imposed ideas of name, caste and the like.

54. Since, without some sort of conception, no matter can be comprehended, you are being worshipped under the names: Kṛṣṇa, Acyuta, Ananta and Viṣṇu.

55. O unborn lord, O soul of all, by means of these different conceptions, you are identical with Devas and the Universe. O soul of the universe, you are devoid of differences and aberrations. In every object of the world there is nothing which is different from you.

56-58. You are Brahmā, Paśupati, Aryamā, Vidhātā, Dhātā, lord of Devas, wind-god, fire-god, lord of waters, lord of wealth and annihilator. Although you are the one and only Being, you are differentiated through different Śaktis and rule over the whole universe. In the form of a ray (?) you create and destroy the universe. O unborn lord, this universe is full of your attributes. Your greatest form is imperishable; it is expressed by the word ‘sat’. I bow into that deity of perfect knowledge, the existent and the non-existent. Om obeisance to Vāsudeva; obeisance to Saṃkarṣaṇa; obeisance to Pradyumna; obeisance to Anuruddha”.

Vyāsa said:

59. After eulogising Kṛṣṇa thus under the water that scion of the family of Yādavas worshipped the lord of all by means of incense and flowers mentally conceived,

60. After eschewing other objects, fixing the mind therein in the deity who had become identical with the Brahman and staying there for a long time he returned from Samādhi.

61. Considering himself contented and blessed, O excellent brahmins, he came out of the waters ofYumunā and approached the chariot once again.

62. There he saw Rāma and Kṛṣṇa seated as before. Kṛṣṇa spoke thus to Akrūra who was evidently surprised as was indicated by his eyes.

Śrīkṛṣṇa said:

63. O Akrūra, what wonderful thing was seen by you within the waters of Yamunā? Since your eyes are wide open due to surprise (I ask you thus).

Akrūra said:

64. O Acyuta, here itself standing in front of me in its embodied form I see the same miracle as was seen by me inside the water.

65. This universe itself is a great wonderful form of yours, O noble Kṛṣṇa. I had come into contact with you who are interested in miracles.

66. But, of what use is this? O slayer of Madhu, we shall go to Mathurā. I am afraid of Kaṃsa. Fie upon one’s life if one has to sustain oneself by the doles offered by others.

Vyāsa said:

67. After saying this, the scion of the family of Yadu drove those horses as swift as the wind. In the evening Akrūra reached the city of Mathurā. Observing the city of Mathurā and looking at Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma he spoke this.

Akrūra said:

68. You two of great vigour and prowess will go on foot. I shall alone go in with my chariot. You two should not go to the house of Vasudeva. It is for your sake that the old man is expelled by Kaṃsa.

Vyāsa said:

69. After saying this Akrūra entered Mathurā. Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa too entered the city and reached the Royal Highway.

70. They were glanced at with delighted eyes by the citizens men and women. The two heroic boys went ahead sportingly like two elephant cubs.

71. As they wandered here and there they saw a washerman and dyer. They requested him for beautiful clothes of good colour.

72. He was the special washerman of Kaṃsa. He was very arrogant because he had the special favour of Kaṃsa. He hurled many abuses against Balarāma and Keśava.

73. With a blow of his palm in anger, Kṛṣṇa struck down the head of that wicked washerman and let it fall on the ground.

74. After killing him and taking clothes from his house Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, clad themselves in yellow and blue robes, joyously and went to the gardener’s abode.

75. Seeing them with a wide gaping eyes, the gardener was struck with wonder and he thought mentally—“In which family are these two born?”

76. On seeing those two charming boys clad in yellow and blue robes he resolved that they were two Devas who had come to the Earth.

77. He was requested for flowers by those two boys whose faces beamed like full-blown lotuses. Thereupon, he supported himself on his hands and touched the ground with his head.

78. That gardener who maintained himself by selling garlands spoke to them—“O my lords, you two have come to my house with delighted gentle faces. I am blessed. I shall worship you.”

79. Then with his face beaming with delight he gave them whatever flowers they desired. He tempted them by offering them more.

80. The excellent gardener bowed to them again and again and gave them beautiful fragrant and pure flowers.

81-85. Kṛṣṇa was delighted and granted a boon to the gardener—“O gentle one, Śrī (Goddess of glory) who is supported by me will never forsake you. O gentle one, you will never have loss of strength or of wealth. Your progeny, sons and grandsons, will continue to be born as long as the earth and sun last. After enjoying extensive pleasures, you will in the end attain my bliss due to my grace. You will then attain divine world. O gentle one, at all times your mind will dwell in virtue. The children born as your progeny will have longevity. Among your progeny there will never be calamities and faults. O highly blessed one, your family will last as long as the sun and moon last.

86. After saying this, O excellent sages, Kṛṣṇa came out of that house in the company of Balarāma. He was duly worshipped by the gardener.

Footnotes and references:


King of Nāgas with a thousand heads; according to Puranic legend he was incarnate in Balarāma.


Sanandana: belonged to the Sanakādi group and was the mental son of Brahmā, having taken incarnation long before Brahmā started his work of creation.

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