Harivamsha Purana

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

This page is entitled “jarasandha’s proposal to invite kalayavana” and represents Chapter 53 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 53 - Jarasandha’s Proposal to Invite Kalayavana

1. Vaishampayana said:—After the departure of Vasudeva’s son the kings, who had their limbs embellished with ornaments and who were anxious to go to their respective kingdoms, returned to the assembly-hall of Bhishmaka in order to inform (Jarasandha of their intention).

2. Thereupon king Bhishmaka, the foremost of kings and well-read in moral laws, said to the kings, effulgent like the sun and the moon and seated at ease on beautiful seats. "

3. O you kings, you all know the calamity that will befall the Swayamvara. Do you forgive me for the fruit that is the outcome of my misconduct". Vaishampayana said:—Having thus addressed and welcomed duly all the kings, (the king) sent away all the monarchs of Central India and of the East, West and Northern Provinces. Having honored the king Bhishmaka duly in return, those kings, the foremost of men and mighty car-warriors, went away delightedly. Jarasandha, Sunitha, the energetic Dantavakra, the king of Saubha, the king Mahakurma, Kaishika, all the leading kings of the Pravara race, the royal saint Venudari, the king of Kashmira all those and other kings of the Deccan remained by Bhishmaka desirous of listening to the mystery. O monarch, beholding these kings waiting there the powerful king Bhishmaka, with an affectionate heart and grave and cool voice, said to them moral words relating to three-fold objects and embellished with figures.

4-12. Bhishmaka said:—"O you kings, I have acted thus in pursuance of moral words given vent to by you; you should forgive me for we must always abide by moral laws".

13. Vaishampayana said:—Having thus expressed himself in the concourse of kings, the king Bhishmaka, well-versed in moral laws, again said aiming at his son.

14. Bhishmaka said:—Observing the movements of my son my eyes are agitated with fear; I consider all now as mere boys. He (Krishna) alone is the foremost of Purushas.

15. He, the very incarnation of glory, the foremost of the illustrious, the partaker of fame and powerful, has established great fame and the might of his arms in this land of mortals. Blessed is Devaki, the foremost of damsels who has conceived as her son the lotus-eyed Krishna, identical with the sum total of beauty, the greatest of all in the three worlds, and adored of all the immortals and who has seen his lotus countenance with her eyes full of affection (16-17.)

18. Vaishampayana said:—When the king Bhishmaka gave vent to these words again and again in the midst of the assembled kings the highly effulgent king Shalya said in sweet words.

19. Shalya said:—O slayer of your enemies, O lord of kings, do not lament for your son. The Kshatriyas meet either with success or defeat in battle.

20-23. This is the inevitable course and eternal religion of the mortals. Save Baladeva and Krishna what third person can withstand your highly powerful son in battle? Taking up his bow your mighty-armed son is alone capable of withstanding the car-warriors and great heroes of the enemy in battle. When by the might of his arms he handles the Bhargava weapons, difficult of being used even by the celestials what man is capable of bearing it? This Eternal Purusha Krishna is without birth or death.

24. In this land of mortals even the holder of trident (Siva) cannot defeat him. O Emperor, your son is well-versed in the true meaning of all the Shastras.

25. Knowing Keshava as Ishana he did not engage in fight with him. It is not that there is none who can defeat him.

26-28. Kalayavana is incapable of being slain by Keshava. With a view to have a son the great Muni Gargya adored Rudra for twelve years living on powdered iron and practising dreadful and highly difficult penances. Thereat pleased when Shankara offered him a boon Gargya prayed for a son whom the kings of Mathura would not be able to slay. Rudra granted him the boon, saying ’so be it'.

29. Thus by virtue of Rudra’s boon, Gargya’s son Kalayavana is unslayable by the kings of Mathura in the battle-field and especially in the city of Mathura.

30. Though Krishna is highly powerful amongst the princes of Mathura still if he comes to battle and fights with him he will be able to defeat him.

33. O kings, if you accept my words as becoming and sound, send an emissary to the capital of the king of Yavanas.

32. Vaishampayana said:—Hearing the words of the highly powerful Shalya the king of Saubha all the leading kings were delighted and said "We will do it".

33. Hearing their words and recollecting those of Brahma the Emperor Jarasandha lost heart and said.

34. Jarasandha said:—Alas! formerly, assailed by the fear of a foreign king, all the Chiefs, seeking refuge with me, used to get back their lost kingdoms, servants, army and conveyances.

35. Now, on account of their bad feelings towards their lord, they, like unto a damsel, coming in contact with a stranger, are now exciting me to seek another’s shelter.

36. Alas! even when I, afraid of Krishna, am constrained to seek refuge with another, Destiny alone is powerful. And by no means can any one overcome it.

37. O you kings, it is better for me to die than to seek helplessly the protection of another (king). I shall not therefore seek refuge with any body else.

38. I shall give him battle who has been pointed out as my Death by the invisible words, may he be Krishna, or Baladeva, or a man, or some one amongst the immortals.

39. Even this is my firm resolution and such is the conduct of a worthy person. I shall not act against it seeking another’s protection.

40. Even if you be all well disposed he (Krishna) may destroy you all. For your protection I shall send an envoy to him,

41. O kings, the messenger should so proceed by the etherial way that Krishna may not put in any impediment. Do you find out such a person who can go in this way.

42. This effulgent king of Saubha is gifted with the prowess of fire, the sun and the moon. In a sunny car let him proceed to the capital of Yavana.

43. Let him approach the king of Yavanas as our envoy and communicate to him our quarrel with Krishna. Let him try to bring him over to this assemblage of Chiefs.

44. Vaishampayana said:—Having thus expressed himself the Emperor Jarasandha again said to the powerful king of Saubha:—"Do you depart, O giver of honors and help all these Chiefs.

45. Use such tactics that the king of Yavanas may proceed and vanquish Krishna and we may be pleased".

46. Having thus commanded all and worshipped Bhishmaka duly the Emperor, encircled by his own army, set out for his city.

47. Shalya, too, the foremost of kings, having honored all duly, set out by the etherial way in a car, coursing like air.

48. Following Jarasandha to some distance the Deccan Chiefs repaired to their respective cities.

49. Thinking of his own evil conduct, of Kratha, Kaishika and Krishna, the king Bhishmaka, along with his own son, entered into his Palace.

50-51. On account of the discomfiture of the kings consequent upon Krishna’s arrival and the termination of the Swayamvara the chaste and wise Rukshmini approached her friends and with her face bent down in shame said:—"I tell you truly, I do not wish to be the spouse of any body else save Krishna having lotus eyes".

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