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 91 - Return of Pradyumna

Vyāsa said:

1. Bhīṣmaka was the king of Kuṇḍina in the realm of Vidarbha. His son was Rukmin and his daughter was Rukmiṇī.

2. Kṛṣṇa loved Rukmiṇī and the lady of beautiful smiles loved him in return. Due to hatred, Rukmin did not give her to the discus-bearing lord.

3. Urged by Jarāsandha and Rukmin together, Bhīṣmaka of great exploit gave Rukmiṇī to Śiśupāla.

4. Then for the purpose of marriage the kings led by Jarāsandha, and Śiśupāla went to Kuṇḍina the city of Bhīṣmaka.

5. Surrounded by Balarāma and other scions of the Yadu, Kṛṣṇa went to Kuṇḍina to witness the marriage of Śiśupāla, the king of Cedī.

6-12. On the eve of marriage day Kṛṣṇa abducted that virgin even as Rāma and other kinsmen were opposed to it. Then the glorious Pauṇḍraka, Dantavaktra, Vidūratha, Śiśupāla, Jarāsandha, Śalva and other kings became infuriated. Allying themselves with Balarāma and other leading scions of the family of Yadu they made earnest attempts to kill Kṛṣṇa but they were defeated. Taking the vow—“Without killing Kṛṣṇa in the battle I shall not re-enter Kuṇḍina”, Rukmin rushed at Kṛṣṇa to kill him. After killing his army fully equipped with elephants, horses, foot-soldiers and chariots the discus-bearing lord playfully hurled him on to the ground.

After defeating Rukmin Kṛṣṇa married Rukmiṇī duly in accordance with the injunctions regarding Rākṣasa type of marriage. The valorous Pradyumna, apart incarnation of cupid, was born of her. Śambara kidnapped him but he killed Śambara.

The sages said:

13. How was that heroic one kidnapped by Śambara and how was Śambara killed by him? O highly intelligent one, narrate this divine anecdote to me.

Vyāsa said:

14. On the sixth day after his birth, O brahmins, Kālaśambara kidnapped Pradyumna from the lying-in-chamber thinking—“O this one will be my killer”.

15. Taking the boy with him he hurled him into the briny sea, infested with crocodiles, the awful abode of sparks that abounded in eddies and whirlpools generated by billows.

16. As the boy fell down there a fish caught hold of him. Though burned by its gastric fire the boy did not die.

17. O brahmins, this fish along with other fishes was caught by fishermen and offered to Śambara the most excellent one among the Asuras.

18. His wife named Māyāvatī, the uncensured queen of his household, supervised over the work of cooks.

19. When the belly of the fish was ripped open she saw an excessively splendid boy who was the first shooting sprout of the tree of cupid that had been burned.

20. “Who is this? How did he happen to come into the belly of the fish?”

Nārada spoke to her:—

Nārada said:

21-22. This is the son of Kṛṣṇa abducted from the lying in-chamber by Śambara who is capable of creating and annihilating the worlds. He was cast off into the ocean, was swallowed by a fish and now he has come under your control. O lady of good eyebrows, look after this jewel of a man confidently.

Vyāsa said:

23-24. Informed thus by Nārada she looked after the boy. Ever since the boyhood of the child she was fascinated by his excelling handsome features and overwhelmed by excess of love. O excellent brahmins, when he was embellished by extensive youthful features, that lady of graceful elephantine gait, became very much attached to him.

25. Māyāvati taught all the Māyās (illusory tricks) to the noble Pradyumna who was befitting her and in whom she had fixed her heart and the eyes. The lotus-eyed son of Kṛṣṇa told her who was attached to him.

Pradyumna said:

26-31. Setting aside the emotions of a mother why do you behave like this in an entirely different manner?

Vyāsa said:

She told him—“You are not my son. Kālaśambara kidnapped you, the son of Kṛṣṇa. You were cast off into the ocean. You were obtained by me from the belly of a fish. Your mother is crying now but your beloved is extremely fond of you”.

Vyāsa said:

Thus informed Pradyumna challenged Śambata for a fight. With his mind turned turbulent due to fury the powerful one fought. After killing the entire army of that asura, Pradyumna, son of Kṛṣṇa passed over seven Māyās and employed the eighth one too. With that Māyā he killed Śambara.

Then he returned to the city of his father accompanied by her.

32. On seeing him present in the harem accompanied by Māyāvatī, Kṛṣṇa’s wives had delightful ideas. The uncensured lady Rukmiṇī said with her eyes fixed on him with affection.

Rukmiṇī said:

33. This is the son of a fortunate lady. He is in the freshness of his youth. If my son Pradyumna were alive he would be of this age.

34. O my beloved child, your mother is fortunate whoever she be, she is embellished by you. Or, (considering from the way) my affection turns and from your physical features, it it clear that you are Kṛṣṇa’s son.

Vyāsa said:

35. In the meantime, Nārada came there along with Kṛṣṇa. Delighted he said to the gentle lady Rukmiṇī who was moving about in the harem:

Śrīkṛṣṇa said:

36. O lady of fine eyebrows, this is your son who has come here after killing Śambara by whom he had been abducted from your lying-in-chamber when he was but an infant boy.

37. This Māyāvatī is the chaste wife of your son. She is not the wife of Śambara. May the reason thereof be heard.

38. O Rukmiṇī, when Cupid was killed, his wife eagerly waiting for his nativity, deluded Śambara by assuming an illusory form.

39. In the course of enjoyment of conjugal and other pleasures, this lady of charming eyes showed only the splendid illusory form to the asura.

40-42. Kāma has incarnated as your son. This is Rati his beloved wife. You need have no doubt about this. This is your splendid daughter-in-law.

Vyāsa said:

Then Rukmiṇī and Keśava were fully delighted. The entire city said—“Well done, well done” On seeing Rukmiṇī who was rejoiced by her long-lost son, every citizen of Dvāravatī was surprised.

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