Harivamsha Purana

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

This page is entitled “jarasandha’s army” and represents Chapter 35 of the second book (‘Vishnu 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 - Jarasandha’s Army

1-3. Vaishampayana said:—Holding their counsels all the Yadavas, headed by Janarddana, surveyed the encampment of the kings in the gardens of Mathura. Afterwards with a delighted heart Krishna said to Rama:—"Forsooth the accomplishment of the object of the gods is near at hand since king Jarasandha has come near us. The pennons of the cars, coursing like air, are being seen.

4. Behold, O Sir, there shine the umbrellas of kings desirous of victory, white as the moon.

5. The rows, of white umbrellas stationed on the cars of the kings, are moving towards us like swans ranging in the sky.

6. However the king Jarasandha has arrived here in proper time. He is our first guest of battle and is the touch-stone for testing our strength or weakness.

7. O Sir, while the emperor has arrived here, we must begin with the fight. Judge now the strength of the enemy’s army".

8. Giving vent to these words without any anxiety, Krishna, desirous of slaying Jarasandha and fighting with him, began to survey his army.

9. Having taken a survey of the assembled kings and armies, the immortal Krishna, the foremost of Yadus conversant with Mantras began to think within himself. "

10. These are the kings assembled who wend the ways of the mortals and will meet with death on account of their own actions as pointed out by scriptures.

21. I consider these leading kings, on the verge of death, sprinkled by Death like unto sacrificial beasts. Their bodies are all shining as if they are about to repair to the celestial region.

12-13. Assailed by the armies of these sovereigns and exhausted with the weight of their burden Prithivi (earth), covered with powerful kingdoms, went to Brahma in the celestial region. In no time the surface of the earth will be shorn of men. And kings by hundreds will be killed."

14-19. Vaishampayana said:—The highly powerful, effulgent and persevering Lord Paramount Jarasandha came there encircled by fore-fold ocean-like forces consisting of war-chariots containing beautiful seats and drawn by powerful steeds whose course is never obstructed any where, cloud-like elephants embellished with bells and golden seats, ridden by car-warriors well-read in the science of war and driven by clever charioteers, horses, going in leaps and bounds, driven by horsemen and resembling clouds and numberless fearful foot-soldiers armed with swords and coats of mail who could bound up in the sky like serpents.

20-24. Innumerable kings attentively followed him. All the quarters of the city and her woods, resounding with the rattle of cars resembling the muttering of clouds, the tinkling of the ornaments worn by elephants in rut, the neighings of the horses and the leonine shouts of the infantry, the Emperor Jarasandha, with his army, appeared like an ocean. With shouts and slapping of arms, the armies of these kings, consisting of proud warriors, appeared like an army of clouds. That army, consisting of cars and infuriated elephants, quick-coursing horses, and infantry resembling the sky-rangers, appeared like a collection of clouds descending on the ocean in the rains.

25. Thereupon all the kings, headed by Jarasandha, with their armies encamped around the city of Mathura.

26. The detachments of the army accomodated in the tents shone like the ocean overflowing in the light half of the month.

27. After the expiration of the night those kings, desirous of fighting, rose up for entering into the city.

28. Those kings, assembled on the bank of the Yamuna, began, out of curiosity, to hold proper counsels on the eve of the battle.

29. Then there was heard a great tumult of the kings resembling that of the heaving deep at the time of the universal dissolution.

30. At the command of the king, elderly guards, with head-gears on their heads and canes in their hands, began to move about exclaiming Ma (i.e. Do not make noise).

31. Thereupon that army, hushed into silence, shone like an ocean abounding in fishes and huge serpents.

32. When informed of the mandate of the king that huge ocean-like army stood motionless and silent like a Yogin, the king Jarasandha, spoke, like Vrihaspati. '

33. Let the armies of the kings united lay siege on all sides to this city.

34. Let them get ready stony weapons and maces and let all the level grounds be overflowed with water. Let them hold up swords and daggers.

35. Let them assail the city with Tankas and Khamitras. And let kings, expert in the ways of war, near the city.

36-37. As long as I do not kill in the battle, with sharpened arrows, the two sons of Vasudeva Krishna and Sangkarshaa, in the guise of milkmen, as long as the sky is not covered with Tankas so long my army should lay seige to the city.

38. Let all the kings, obeying my command, wait at the outskirts of the city and enter as soon as an opportunity presents itself.

39-40. Let the Maira king, Kalinga king, Chekitan, the king of Valhika, Kashmira king Gonarda, the king of Karusha, Druma of Kimpurasha country and the Danava of hill tracts, unitedly and speedily protect the western gate of the city.

41-44. Let Venudari of the Puru race, Sonaka the king of Vidarbha, Rukshmi the king of Bhojas, the Malava king, Suryaksha, the highly powerful Drupada, the king of Pancalas, Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, the powerful Dantavakra, Chagali, Purumitra, the emperor Virat, the king of Kaushamvi, Malava, Shatadhanva, Viduratha, Bhurishrava the king of Trigartta, Vanga and Pancanada all these illustrious kings and powerful like a thunder-bolt now capable of attacking a fort, get upon the northern gate and assail the city.

45-47. Let Ansumana’s son the heroic Kaitaveya, Uluka, Ekalavya, Vrihatkshatra, Kshatradharma, Jayadratha, Uttamouja, Shalya, Kouravas, Kekayas, Vamadeva the king of Vidisha, Sangkiti and the king of Seni occupy the eastern gate of the city. Let them proceed destroying everything as the wind disperses the clouds.

48. Myself, Darava and the powerful king of Chedi will protect the Southern gate with our army.

49. Thus beseiged on all sides by these armies let the city entertain a great fear like that at the fall of a lightning.

50. Let club-holders with clubs, Parigha-holders with Parighas and other soldiers with various other weapons rend the city.

51. By you, O kings, this city, of up hills and down hills, should be levelled down to-day.'

52. Having thus arranged his four-fold forces the king Jarasandha, along with other kings, proceeded angrily towards the Yadavas.

53. The clever and well-armed warriors Dasharhas too confronted them. Thus there commenced a terrible fight, abounding in cars and elephants, between that overwhelming army of the kings and the limited number of Yadavas like that between the gods and Asuras.

54. At that time beholding the two sons of Vasudeva issue out of the city the armies of the kings lost heart and the animals grew terrified and bewildered.

55. Seated on a car those two descendants of Yadu, Rama and Krishna, began to move about in anger like two Makaras that agitate the ocean.

56. Thereafter when in perfect sense they began to fight in the battle there arose in them their ancient intelligence regarding the use of weapons.

57. And even in that battle-field there fell down from the sky, strong, flaming and great weapons.

58-59. In order to feed upon the flesh of the kings, those huge weapons, assuming bodily forms, stricken with thirst (as if), adorned with celestial garlands and scents, burning in their own effulgence and terrifying the sky-rangers, descended from the welkin. And Rakshasas, desirous of eating royal flesh, followed them.

60-63. When in that great battle came down for those two Yadavas, the ploughshare Samvartaka, the mace Saunanda, Sranga the foremost of bows, the club Koumodaki—these four powerful weapons of Vishnu, the beautiful Rama, the foremost of Satwatas, took up first of all, with his right hand, the plough-share, embellished with celestial garlands, rising like a flag and proceeding obliquely like a serpent, and that foremost of maces Saunanda that creates depression in the enemy.

64. The powerful Krishna took up the celebrated bow Sranga which is worthy of being seen by all the worlds.

65. The other hand of the lotus-eyed Krishna, the necessity of whose incarnation was known to the gods, was adorned with the club by name Koumodi.

66. Thus armed the heroic Rama and Govinda, resembling Vishnu himself, opposed the enemies in battle.

67-68. Displaying their prowess and discomfitting their enemies those two heroic sons of Vasudeva, dependant on each other and designated by the appellations of elder and younger brothers, began to range there like two gods.

69-70. Raising up in anger his plough-share resembling the king of serpents, ranging in the battle-field like the very death of his enemies and drawing in the cars, elephants and steeds of the Kshatriya car-warriors Rama began to appease his anger.

71. Throwing up these mountain-like elephants with the end of his plough-share and as if churning them with the strokes of his mace he began to move about in that battle-field.

72-73. Thus brought on the point of being almost destroyed by Rama the leading Kshatriyas returned in fear to Jarasandha, who, observant of the duties of a Kshatriya, said thus to them:—"Fie on your Kshatriya conduct, since you have returned from the battle-field in fear.

74. The learned say that those, who, deprived of their cars, fly away from the battle-field, are visited by an unbearable sin like that of infanticide.

75. Why do you fly away, O terrified Kshatryas? Fie on your conduct. Urged on by my bows do you return soon.

76. You need not fight. Wait here as spectators. I shall myself despatch these two cow-herds to the abode of Yama."

77. Thus urged on by Jarasandha the Kshatriyas again rallied round with delighted hearts. And spreading a net-work of arrows they again engaged in fight.

78-79. Armed with coats of mail, Nishtrimshas, pennons, swords, flags, bows with strings, quivers and arrows and accompanied by horses embellished with golden chaplets, cars followed by a rattle like the muttering of clouds and elephants resembling clouds and driven by drivers they again set out for the battle-field.

80. With rising umbrellas held over their heads and fanned by beautiful chowries the kings, stationed on cars, shone greatly in the battle-field.

81. Taking up heavy clubs and maces, some warrior-kings, foremost of car-warriors, out of love for war, entered the battle-field.

82-85. In the meantime, seated on a most excellent car, adorned with a pennon carrying the emblem of Garuda the powerful Vasudeva, ever increasing the delight of the celestials, approached carefully Jarasandha and pierced him with eight arrows, his charioteer with five sharpened shafts and his horses with other arrows. Beholding Jarasandha in this perilous plight the mighty car-warriors Citrasena and the Commander-in Chief Kaishika both cut Krishna with arrows. And Kaishika pierced Baladeva with three arrows.

86-87. With his spike the heroic Baladeva sundered his bow into two pieces and creating in no time a downpour of arrows assailed many a hero with his arms embellished with gold. Worked up with anger Citrasena wounded him with nine arrows.

88. Then Kaishika wounded him with five arrows and Jarasandha with seven. Janarddana wounded them each with three winged arrows.

89. The powerful Baladeva struck Citrasena’s car with ten sharpened arrows.

90-91. Baladeva, with his spike, sundered his bow into two pieces. With his bow shattered and deprived of his car, the powerful Citrasena, greatly worked up with anger and desirous of slaying the holder of plough-share, proceeded towards him. The highly powerful Jarasandha cut off the bow of Rama who was discharging Narachas in order to kill Citrasena.

92. The king of Magadha, in anger, struck his horses with his club. The highly powerful and heroic Jarasandha thus confronted Rama.

93. Then taking up a mace Rama pursued Jarasandha. An encounter then took place between them both desirous of killing each other.

94-95. Beholding the Magadha king fight with Rama, Citrasena, ascending a war-car, encircled Jarasandha with a huge army of elephants and other warriors. Then began a close fight between the two armies.

96. Thereupon surrounded by his huge army the highly powerful Jarasandha attacked the Yadavas who preceded Rama and Krishna.

97. Then there arose a great tumult from both the armies like that of an agitated ocean.

98. O king, there was heard a great sound of the numberless bugles, conches and trumpets of both the armies.

99. On all sides were heard the shouts and the slapping of the arms of the soldiers. And a storm of dust was raised by the hoofs (of the horses) and the wheels (of the cars).

100. And there stood roaring at one another, heroes armed with bows and various other weapons.

101-102. Thereupon giving up all hopes of life, thousands of highly powerful car-warriors, elephant drivers and infantry fearlessly engaged in fight. And a terrible encounter took place between Jarasandha’s army and the Yadavas.

103-105. O Bharata, placing Baladeva before them and taking a half of their army Sini, Anadhrishthi, Babhra, Vipritha and Ahuka attacked the sothern flank of the enemy’s army protected by Jarasandha, the king of Chedis, the highly powerful Udicya, Salya, Salya and other kings. And renouncing all hopes of life they began to discharge arrows.

106-108. O foremost kings, Avagaha, Prithu, Kanka, Satadyumna and Viduratha, led by Janarddana, with the other half of the army attached the detachment protected by the highly powerful Bhishmaka, Rukshmi, Devaka, the Madra king and the kings of the West and South endued with energy and prowess. And casting off all hopes of life they began a dreadful fight discharging, Saktis, Rishthis, Prasas and arrows.

109-111. On that battle encircled by a huge army Salyaki, Citraka, Shyama, the energetic Yuyudhana, Rajadhideva, Mridara, the mighty car-warriors Swaphalka, Prasena, and Satrajit, attacked the left flank of the enemy’s army. They began to fight there attacking half of the enemy’s army led by Mridara and assisted by the highly powerful western kings headed by Venudari and the sons of Dhritarashtra.

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