Harivamsha Purana

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

This page is entitled “account of rukshmi: krishna takes away rukshmini” and represents Chapter 60 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 60 - An Account of Rukshmi: Krishna Takes Away Rukshmini

1-8. Vaishampayana said:—In the meantime in order to satisfy the king of Chedis the powerful Jarasandha announced "A marriage with presents of gold coins and ornaments will be celebrated between the king Shishupala and Bhishmaka’s daughter Rukshmini". And he then excited for battle the highly powerful Suvaktra the son of Dantavakra, an expert in illusions like unto the thousand-eyed deity, the highly powerful and energetic Sudeva, the master of one Akshouhini of soldiers, and the son of Vasudeva, the king of Poundra, the highly powerful son of Ekalavya, the son of Pandya king, the powerful king of Kalinga, the king Venudari, an enemy of Krishana’s, Aushuman, Kratha, Shrutarva, the kings of Kalinga and Gandhara, the highly powerful Praghasa, the king of Kashi and others.

9. Janamejaya said:—"O foremost of the twice-born conversant with the Vedas, in what country and in whose family the effulgent king Rukshmi was born?"

10. Vaishampayana said:—Bidarbha, the son of royal saint Yadhava, constructed a city by name Bidarbhi, on the southern side of the mount Vindhya.

11. His highly powerful and energetic sons, Kratha and others became all kings of separate kingdoms and founded separate familes.

12-15. O king, of them the Vrishnis were born in the family of Bhima. Aushuman was born in Kratha’s family and Bhishmaka, whom people call Hiranyaroma, the king of Deccan, was born in Kaishika’s family. The king Bhishmaka, who, living in the city of Kundina, used to govern the southern quarter presided over by Agastya, had a son by name Rukshmi and a daughter by name Rukshmini. The highly powerful Rukshmi obtained divine weapons from Druma and Brahma weapon from Jamadagni’s son Rama. He always used to boast before Krishna of wonderful deeds.

16. O king, Rukshmini was of matchless beauty on earth and therefore the highly effulgent Vasudeva desired to possess her as soon as he heard of it.

17. Rukshmini too, hearing of Janarddana, endued with energy and strength, wished. "He only will be my husband".

18. Filled with grief on account of Kamsa’s death and thinking "he is his enemy" the highly powerful Rukshmi did not confer Rukshmini on the highly energetic Krishna although he prayed for her.

19. The emperor Jarasandha begged that maiden, of Bhishmaka of dreadful power, for the Chedi king Shishupala, the son of Sunitha.

20-21. The king Vrihadratha, who formerly made the city of Girivraja in the province of Magadha, was the son of the Chedi king Vasu. In his family was born the highly powerful Jarasandha; and the Chedi king Damaghosha was also born in the same family.

22-23. Damaghosha begat on Vasudeva’s sister Shrutashrava five sons of dreadful prowess, namely, Dashagriva, Raivahy, Upadisha and Bali. They were all heroic, energetic, powerful and well-versed in the use of all sorts of weapons.

24. The king Sunitha handed over to Jarasandha, born in his own family, his son Shishupala, who brought him up just like his own son.

25. In order to please the highly powerful Jarasandha, an enemy of the Vrishnis, under whose protection he was brought up the Chedi king Shishupala quarrelled with them.

26. Kamsa was Jarasandha’s son-in-law. On account of his being slain in the arena there took place a dissension between him and the Vrishnis for Krishna.

27. At that time the king of Magadha wanted Rukshmini from the powerful Bhishmaka for Sunitha’s son Shishupala. And he too promised to confer her on him.

28-29. Thereupon the emperor Jarasandha, with Shishupala and Dantavakra, started for Vidarbha. And the intelligent Poundra-king Vasudeva, the highly powerful kings of Anga, Banga and Kalinga followed him.

30. By going out in advance Rukshmini honored those kings and welcomed them to his city.

31. In order to please their father’s sister Rama and Krishna, with the mighty Vrishni car-warriors and their army, went to that city.

32. Kratha, the king of Kaishika received and duly welcomed those worshipful Yadhavas who lived outside the city.

33-34. On the day previous to that of the wedding, Rukshmini, gifted with all auspicious marks, after the performance of benedictory rites, shining in her beauty and on a car drawn by four horses and protected by soldiers, was going from her house to that of Indra in order to worship Saci.

35-40. Krishna saw, near the temple, Rukshmini, the best of beauties, like unto the burning flame of fire, as if she were the goddess of illusions descended on earth, or the goddess earth herself coming out of the nether region, or the very goddess Shri (the goddess of prosperity) the foremost of damsels, gentle like the rays of the moon, and separated from her lotus, coming down on earth as his wife. That damsel of dark-blue hue and large eyes, Rukshmini, was seated on a car. And though the gods even could not see her with their mind Krishna could see her. Her lips, eyes and the corners were coppery, thighs, hips and breast were plump, her body was tall but thin and beautiful; her countenance was like the moon, her nails were red; eye-brows were charming, hairs were curling and black and her beauty was highly picturesque. Her face was beautified by rows of equal and white teeth.

41-43. Seeing the beautiful Rukshmini, the foremost of damsels, clad in a blue raiment, matchless in the world at that time for her beauty, fame and grace Krishna’s desire grew powerful like fire to which clarified butter is offered and his mind was attracted by her. Thereupon consulting with Rama before the Vrishnis he made up his mind for stealing her away.

44. Thereupon as soon as Rukshmini came out of the temple after performing the puja, Janarddana assailed all her bodyguards and took her away by force to his own car.

45. Rama too, uprooting a huge tree, began to send away the attacking enemies as guests to the house of Death.

46-52. According to the command of Baladeva the Dasharhas too dressed themselves completely; and various cars with unfurled flags, horses and elephants encircled Rama. Having entrusted the charge of that warfare with Rama, Yujudhana, Akrura, Viprithu, Gada, Kritavarma, Cakradeva, Sudeva, the highly powerful Sarana, Nivrittashatru, the valiant Bhangakara, Viduratha, Ugrasena’s son Kanka, Shatadyumna, Rajadhideva, Mridara, Prasena, Citraka, Atidanta, Vrihaddurga, Shwaphalka, Satyaka, Prithu and the other heroes of the Vrishni and Andhaka races, the powerful slayer of Madhu, Keshava speedily set out for Dvaraka with Rukshmini.

52. Armed with coats of mail the powerful Dantavakra, Shishupala and Jarasandha issued out in anger to kill Janarddana.

53. The highly powerful king of Chedi, too, went out with the kings of Anga, Banga, Kalinga, and Poundra and his mighty car-warrior brothers.

54. As the gods, headed by Vasudeva, fight with their antagonists, so the highly powerful Vrishnis, headed by Sangkarshana, gave them battle in anger.

55. In that great battle Satyaki, with six winged shafts, speedily pierced the highly powerful Janarddana, who attacked them.

56. When Akrura struck Dantavakra with nine arrows, Karusha king wounded him in return with ten quick-coursing arrows.

57. Struck by Viprithu with seven shafts the powerful Shishupala pierced him in return with eight.

58-59. Thereafter Gaveshana with six arrows, Atidanta with eight and Vrihaddurga with five pierced the king of Chedi. He too, piercing each of them in return with five arrows, killed the four horses of Viprithu with four arrows.

60-62. The next moment sundering Vrihaddurga’s head with Bhalla, the king of Chedi, the slayer of his enemies, sent Gaveshana’s charioteer to the abode of Yama. Leaving his car, the horses whereof were slain the energetic and the highly powerful Viprithu speedily got upon Vrihaddurga’s car. And his charioteer, getting upon Gaveshana’s car, drove his quick-coursing steeds.

63. Thereupon the Yadavas, with bows and arrows in hands, angrily covered Sunitha with a downpour of shafts, who was dancing on the car.

64-81. Having pierced the breast of Dantavakra with arrows in the battle-field Cakradeva as sailed Praghasa with five arrows. He too was wounded by them both with ten shafts cutting to the very vitals. Thereupon Shishupala’s brother Bali wounded Cakradeva with ten arrows and Viduratha with five. Then the highly powerful Viduratha struck Bali with six sharpened arrows and himself was wounded in return with thirty arrows. Having pierced Vasudeva’s son with three arrows Kritavarma killed his charioteer and struck down his standard. Seeing it Poundra wounded him in return with six arrows and cut off his bow with his Bhalla. Vivrittashatru pierced the king of Kalinga with sharpened arrows, and the king of Kalinga too, struck him, in return, on the shoulder with an iron club. The valiant Kanka made his elephant fall upon that of the king of Anga and wounded his person with his club. Anga too assailed him with his arrows. The mighty car-warriors Citraka, Shwaphalka, and Satyaki struck the car-warriors of Kalinga, with winged arrows. In the battle-field, Rama hurled a tree in anger and killed with it the king of Banga, and his elephant. Having slain the king of Banga the valiant Sangkarshana got upon his chariot and taking up a bow sent a number of Kaishikas to the abode of Yama with his dreadful arrows. Thereupon having slain the great bow-men Karushas with six arrows, and killed a hundred horses of the Magadha army that mighty-armed and powerful car-warrior ran towards Jarasandha. Beholding the holder of mace (Rama) about to fall on him the king of Magadha cut him with three winged arrows. He too, wounding him in return with eight winged arrows, cut off with his Bhalla in anger his golden standard. Thus there took place a terrible encounter between them both showering arrows on and striking each other resembling that between gods and demons. Engaged angrily in conflict with one another, the elephant riders with the elephant riders, the car-warriors with the car-warriors, the cavalry with the cavalry, the infantry armed with spears, swords and armours with the foot-soldiers, they, cutting off their heads respectively, began to range in the battle-field. There was heard like the cries of the birds the sound of the fall of swords and arrows on armours. The sound of bugles, conches, trumpets and flutes covered that of weapons and the twang of bows of the great warriors.

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