by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1897 | 293,872 words | ISBN-10: 8178542188 | ISBN-13: 9788178542188
This page is entitled “jarasandha’s instructions to the kings” and represents Chapter 42 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.
1-6. Vaishampayana said:—Surrounded by his four-fold forces moving like the ocean, the highly effulgent and powerful king Jarasandha, observant of vows and the leader of kings, arrived there. He had with him war-chariots drawn by spirited horses, trained by expert warriors whose course was not impeded any where, cloud-like elephants, adorned with bells, carrying a golden room with warriors proud of battle and driven by clever drivers, horses leaping and fleet like the wind governed by clever drivers and numberless infantry armed with swords, daggers and leathern fences who could leap even high up into the the sky. A host of kings also followed him.
7-8. All the caves of that best of mountains and all the quarters echoing with the clatter of car wheels resembling the muttering of clouds, the noise of the elephants in rut, the neighings of the horses and the leonine shouts of the infantry, the emperor Jarasandha, with his army, was seen there like an ocean.
9. Striking this palms against each other and slapping their arms that army of the kings, abounding in delighted warriors, shone there like an army of clouds.
10-11. That army, variegated with cars, fleet like the wind, with elephants resembling the clouds, with horses resembling white clouds and with well dressed infantry, shone like clouds kissing the ocean after the termination of the rainy season.
12. Thereupon those powerful kings, headed by Jarasandha, encamped encircling that mountain.
13. At that time the encampment of those kings lying outside shone like the full ocean during the full moon.
14. After the expiration of the night, the kings, having performed the auspicious ceremony of Koutuka, rose up for ascending the hill for fight.
15. Having assembled at the valley of the mountain they, out of curiosity, began to hold counsels befitting the hour of battle.
16. There was heard thus a great tumult like that of the upheaving of the ocean at the time of the dissolution of the world.
17. With Kanchika turbans on their heads and canes in their hands the warders began to move about on all sides exclaiming "Ma" i.e. (do not make noise).
18. That army, hushed into silence, imitated the form of the ocean abounding in fishes and huge serpents.
19. When informed of the mandate of the king that ocean-like army stood silent and motionless the king Jarashdha, like the preceptor of the gods, addressed them, saying:—"
20. United soon let the armies of the kings completely besiege this mountain.
22. In order to throw up let artizans make ready means of obstructing the speedy fall of weapons.
23. Let what, the king of Chedi speaks to heroes engaged in fighting with one another, and inebriete with desire for battle, be carried out.
25. As long as I do not kill the two sons of Vasudeva let my army remain besieging the mountain.
26. You will so besiege this mountain sprung from rocks and you will so obstruct the sky with arrows that even the birds may not go out of it.
27. Let the kings, at my command, wait at the base of the mountain and get up on it as soon as an opportunity presents itself.
28-29. Let Madra, the king of Kalinga, Chekitan, the king of Valhika, Gonarda the king of Kashmira, the king of Karusha, Druma of Kimpurusha, and mountainous tribes ascend the mountain from the other side.
30-33. Let Venudari of the Puru race, Vidarbha, king Somaka, Bhoja, king Rukshmi, Malava, Suryaksha, Drupada, the king of Pancala, Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti province, the energetic Dantavakra, Chagali, Purumitra, the emperor Virat, the king of Kaushamvi, Malava, Shrutadhanva, Veduratha, the king of Trigarta, Bhurisrava, Vana and Pancnava, let these kings, powerful like thunderbolt and expert in capturing a fort, get up on this mountain from the north and assail it.
34-36. Let Ansumana’s heroic son Kaitaveya, Uluka, Ekalavya, Dridaksha, Jayadratha, ever observant of Kshatriya duties, Uttamouja, Shalva, the king of Kerala, Kaushika, Vamadeva, the king of Vidisha and powerful Sukeshi get upon the mountain from the east and rive it as the wind dissipates the clouds.
37. Myself, Darada and the powerful king of Chedi, shall rive the western side of the mountain.
38. In this way let the mountain be beseiged completely on all sides by our men and entertain a terrible fright as from the fall of a thunder-bolt.
40. O you kings, you shall have, even to day to level this mountain abounding in high, uneven and dangerous rocks".
41. As the oceans lie encircling the earth, so those kings, at the command of Jarasandha, stood encircling the mount Gomanta.
42-46. Thereupon the king of Chedi, like unto Indra the king of gods, said:—"What is the use of capturing like a fort this foremost of mountains Gomanta impassable with high trees and abounding in high summits. Covering it on all sides with twigs and woods we shall burn it even this very day. What is the use of making any other effort? Besides the Kshatriyas are tender and they fight with arrows in battle. We should not engage them to fight on foot in a mountain. By besieging or rising above it even the gods cannot rend this mountain. O king, to lay a siege is proper when capturing a fort.
47-49. Those, who take shelter on a mountain, yield when they fall short of food, water and fuels. Although we are many in number we should not disregard the two Yadavas stationed in fight. This is not a wise policy. We do not know the strength of those two Yadavas. By their actions they have acquired celestial reputation. And although they are boys they accomplish many difficult feats.
50. Placing all round this mountain dried grass and woods we shall set fire to them. Consumed thereby they will give up their life.
51. If on being burnt they come out of the mountain and approach us we shall, all united, kill them and they too will meet with death".
52. The kings with all the soldiers liked what the king of Chedi said for their well-being.
53. Thereupon as a cloud is stricken with the rays of the sun so that mountain was ablaze with with dried woods, grass and twigs.
54. According to the course of the wind and place the light-handed kings set fire on all sides of that mountain.
55. Then the fire, excited by the wind, conflagrated on all sides, and with the lustre its flames, accompanied by smokes, beautified the sky.
56. Thus the fire, begotten by the collection of woods, began to burn up the beautiful mountain Gomanta abounding in beautiful trees.
57. And that burning mountain being rent assunder into a hundred (pieces) huge rocks began to come out from all sides, looking like huge fire brands.
58. As the sun, with its lustre, lights up the clouds, so the fire lighted up the mountain with its rising flames.
59. It appeared as if pained with molten metals, burning trees and agitated beasts that mountain was weeping.
60. From that heated mountain which was being consumed by fire began to come out molten metals of golden, dark-blue and silvery hues.
61. With its half enshrouded with the darkness of smoke, that mountain, covered with flames of fire, was shorn of beauty like disappearing clouds.
62. With the detached collection of rocks and the dreadful down-pour of embers that mountain appeared like a cloud accompanied by a shower of fire-brands.
63. With springs of water rising up and enveloped with smokes the mount Gomanta appeared to have been consumed by the fire of dissolution.
64. With half of this body burnt, serpents, having huge hoods, overwhelmed, with anxious eyes and sighing, began again and again to leap up and fall down with their heads bent downwards.
65. Assailed by fire and excited the lions and tigers began to cry and the trees began to yeild juice consequent upon burning.
67. Rendered coppery with ashes and embers the wind began to rise and cover the sky, with smokes, like clouds.
68. On account of the spread of fire the birds and beasts left the table-lands and the mountain became agitated.
69. As if rent by the thunder-bolt of Vasava that mountain, abounding in shaken and high rocks, began to throw out rocks.
70. Thus setting fire to that mountain and themselves distressed by it the Kshatriyas retreated to a distance of a mile.
71-72. When that foremost of mountains was thus burnt the great trees were so scorched that none could look at them, and the root (of the mountain) was slackened, Rama in anger, said to the lotus-eyed Krishna, the slayer of Madhu. "
73. O my brother Krishna, on account of their enmity towards us the enemies are consuming this mountain along with its table-lands, summits and trees.
74. Behold O Krishna, the leading twice-born ones, who are living in the forest of the mountain assailed by fire and covered with smokes, are as if weeping,
75. O brother, if this Gomanta is burnt down on our account we shall acquire great censure and blame in the world.
76. Therefore O foremost of warriors, in order to satisfy our debt to this mountain whose shelter we have taken we shall destroy the Kshatriyas with our very arms.
77. Setting fire to this mountain these foremost of car-warriors, the Kshatriays, well armed, are signifying their desire for battle. (We shall despatch them to the abode Yama)".
78-80. Saying this Keshava’s elder brother, bedecked with a garland of wild flowers, beautiful Kundalas and crown, inebriete with Kadamvari wine, resembling an autumnal moon, clad in a blue raiment, of white face, the beautiful Baladeva jumped down in the midst of kings from the summit of Gomanta like the moon from the summit of Sumeru.
81. When Rama leaped down, the beautiful Krishna, too of incomparable energy, resembling a dark-blue cloud, jumped down from the summit of Gomanta.
82. Thereat the divine Hari, assailing that foremost of mountains with his two feet, its four sides were broken down.
83-87. Thereupon, water, issuing from its rocks, resembling elephants in rut, immediately extinguished that fire as the sun, at the end of a cycle, puts down the fire of dissolution with showers. Having thus put down the fire the powerful lotus-eyed Krishna, of a gentle face and leonine voice, carrying a beautiful diadem like that of the thousand eyed deity and bearing the mystic mark of Srivatsa on his breast, followed Rama by jumping. When they got down the foremost of mountains, assailed with their foot-steps, began to yield water for extinguishing the flaming fire. Beholding that fire extinguished by water the kings too grew terrified.