Harivamsha Purana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1897 | 293,872 words | ISBN-10: 8178542188 | ISBN-13: 9788178542188

This page is entitled “vasudeva’s family” and represents Chapter 35 of the first book (‘Adi Parva’) of the Harivamsa (English translation in Prose). The Harivamsha Purana narrates the lineage and life-story of Krishna (Hari). Although not officially mentioned in the list of Puranas, this book includes topics such as geology, creation theory, time (manvantaras), ancient historical legends and accounts of royal dynasties.

Chapter 35 - Vasudeva’s Family

1-3. Vaishampayana said:—Of the fourteen beautiful wives of Vasudeva, Rohini, of Puru’s race, was the first Madira, the second, Vaishakhi the third, Bhadra the fourth, Sunama the fifth, Sahadeva the sixth, Devaki the seventh, Shantideva the eighth, Shrideva the ninth, Devarakshita the tenth, Vrikadevi the eleventh, Upadevi the twelfth, Sutanu the thirteenth, and Badarva the fourteenth. The last two were his female attendants.

4. Rohini, of Puru’s race, was the daughter of Valhika. O king, she was the first and most beloved wife of Anakadundhuvi.

5-6. Vasudeva begat on Rohini his eldest son Raina, Sharana, Shatha, Durdhama, Damana, Swabhra, Pindaraka, Ushinara, and a daughter by name Citra. O descendant of Kuru, it was Citra who passed by the name of Subhadra.

7-8. Vasudeva begat on Devaki the highly illustrious Shauri.[1] Rama begat on Revati his beloved son Nishatha. Arjuna begat on Subhadra the mighty car-warrior Abhimanyu. Akrura begat Satyaketu on the daughter of the king of Kashi.

9. Hear, now, of the heroic sons whom Vasudeva begat on his seven noble wives.

10. Bhoja and Viyaya were the sons of Shantideva. Vrikadeva and Gada were the sons of Sunama.

11-12. Devarakshita obtained Upasangavara as his son. Vrikadevi, the daughter of the Trigarta king, gave birth to the high-souled Agavaha. His priest Shaishirayana once grew desirous of testing the manhood (of his brother-in-law Gargya, the priest of the Yadavas).

13. On account of a false charge being laid home to him[2] Gargya was filled with anger and remained like black iron for twelve years.

14. He then began to live with a cow-herd’s daughter. A nymph, by name Gopali, came to him in this guise.

15. By the command of Shulapani[3] Gargya, made his human wife conceive, the embryo whereof was irrepresible and never to die.

16. She gave birth to a highly powerful king by name Kalayavana. Horses, having their heads like those of bulls, used to carry him in battle.

17. O king that child grew up in the city of the king of Yavanas[4] who had no issue. And accordingly he was named Kalayavana.

18. Growing desirous of entering into a battle that king questioned the twice born ones. Thereat the omniscient Narada asked him to fight with the members of Vrishni and Andhaka families.

19. Thereupon starting for Mathura with one Akshouhini[5] of soldiers Kalayavana sent his messenger to the house of Vrishnis and Andhakas.

20. Thereupon being united the Vrishnis and Andhakas, making the highly intelligent Krishna their president, held a conference in fear of Kalayavana.

21-22. Then honoring Pinaki[6] they resolved upon flying away from the charming city of Mathura and thought of settling down in Kushasthali Dvarka.[7] He, who being pure and self-controlled, listens to the story of Krishna’s birth, becomes learned, happy and freed from debts.

Footnotes and references:


A name of Krishna.


The sentences are very elliptical. The purport is, Saishirayana put his brother-in-law Gargya to test and found him self-controlled. He however put a wrong construction on this fact and thought that he had no manhood in him. This enraged Gargya very much whose anger was pacified after twelve years.


A name of Siva. The word literally means one who has a mace in his hand.


A class of non-Aryans. The nymph Gopali, after giving birth to that son, left the king.


A complete army consisting of 1,09,350 foot, 65,610 horses, 21,870 chariots, and 21,870 elephants.


A name of Siva. Literally it means the holder of Pinaka, a trident or three-pronged spear.


Dvarka situated in the country of Kanyakuhia or Kanoui.

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