by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1897 | 293,872 words | ISBN-10: 8178542188 | ISBN-13: 9788178542188
This page is entitled “war between krishna and asuras” and represents Chapter 85 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:—Within a moment of the clear sun coming within the range of people’s vision, Baladeva, Krishna and Satyaki delightedly got upon Garuda’s back. Having bathed in the water of the sacred river Avarta, who had obtained a boon from Rudra and who by his words had been made holy like the Ganges, and having put on coats of mail, finger-protectors and armours, those heroes, desirous of fighting, worshipped the god Siva, the lord of bel leaves and water. At that time having placed Pradyumna above in front of the army, the Pandavas in charge of the Yajna and the remaining soldiers at the door of the cave, the Lord Krishna, the giver of honors and the refuge of the pious, thought of Jayanta and Pravara. O descendant of Bharata, they arrived there as soon as they were recollected. The Lord only could see them and they were kept above along with Pradyumna.
7-10. Thereupon at Krishna’s mandate, war-bugles, Jalaja, Muraja and other musical instruments were sounded. O descendant of Bharata, Samva and Gada arranged the soldiers in the shape of a Makara. Sharana, Uddhava, Vaitarana of Bhoja’s race, the virtuous Anadhrishti, Viprithu, Prithu, Kritavarma, Sudangsthra, Vicakshu, the grinder of enemies, the pious Sanatkumar and Carudeshna began to help Aniruddha and protect the rear of the army.
11-16. O you the glory of your race, the remaining portion of the Yadava army, consisting of cars, elephants, horses and men, remained in battle-array. Adorned with crowns, head-gears, bracelets and other ornaments and armed with various weapons, the Danavas too, dreadful in battle, came out of Shatpura, emitting a roar like the muttering of clouds, on asses, elephants, crocodiles, hares, horses, buffaloes, lions and tortoises. Many of their cars were drawn by those animals. O king, as the lord of gods issues out at the head of the celestial host so Nikumbha came out at the head of that Asura army setting up a noise like the muttering of clouds produced by the sound of trumpets, rattle of car wheels, and the blowing of conches.
17-22. Sending up again and again shouts of various sorts and leonine roars the highly powerful Danavas filled the earth and sky with them. O Janamejaya, the soldiers of the Chedi and other kings were bent upon assisting the Asuras with great care. O heroic king, amongst the followers of the Chedi king Shishupala, the hundred brothers headed by Duryodhana stood there with their cars, making a great rattle and coursing quickly like unto the city of Gandharva. Making up their mind to fight and moving their beautiful bows like unto two palm trees Rukshmi and Ahvati joined them. With a view to fight with the Yadavas and acquire victory the king Bhagadatta, Shalya, Shakuni, Jarasandha, Trigarta, Virata, Uttara and the Asuras headed by Nikumbha got themselves ready for the encounter.
23-24. Thereupon when in battle Nikumbha began to assail the dreadful army of the Bhaimas with arrows like serpents, Anadhristhi, the commander-in-chief of the Yadu army, could not bear it. He too, with shafts, adorned with variegated feathers and whetted on stone, began to slay the enemy’s army.
25-26. At that time when everything was covered with arrows, Nikumbha, his chariot, standard and horses became invisible. Seeing it the heroic Nikumbha, the fore most of those possessed of illusive powers, was filled with anger. And he, by his illusive powers, startled the Bhaima chief Anadhristhi.
27-29. Resorting to his illusive powers, bewildering Anadhristhi and bringing him to the cave named Shatpura the heroic Nikumbha imprisoned him there. And returning again to the battle-field, he, by his illusive powers, took there Kritavarma, Carudeshna, Vaitarana of Bhoja’s race, Sanatkumar, Jamvavati’s son Arksha, Nishatha, Ulmuku and numerous other Yadavas.
30-32. O king, when he led the Yadavas to the dreadful cave of Shatpura he so covered himself by his illusive powers that no body could see him. Beholding that fearful onslaught of the Bhaimas the Lord Krishna, Baladeva, Satyaki, Samva, the slayer of inimical heroes, the irrepressible Aniruddha and numerous other Bhaimas, especially Pradyumna, were greatly filled with anger.
33. Thereupon, O king, setting string to his Sranga bow and shooting arrows the holder of the Sranga (Krishna) began to move about amongst the Danavas as the god of fire ranges on grass.
34-39. Seeing him, taking up thousands of Sataghnis, Parighas, fiery lances, burning axes, dreadful rocks, and huge stones and throwing up infuriated elephants, cars and horses the Danavas ran towards the effulgent god as the locusts, drawn by the noose of Death, run towards the burning fire. However, O hero, Narayana-fire consumed all those things. And smiling the highly effulgent Yadu chief, the slayer of his enemies and the benefactor of the world, baffled them all with the fire of his arrows. And as a bull suffers the downpour of rain in the autumn so he bore the shower of their arrows. In this way, when the battle continued for some time the Asuras could not withstand the arrows shot off Narayan’s bow as a sandy bridge cannot stand showers.
40. O descendant of Bharata, as the bulls cannot stand before the five-mouthed god Siva with his mouths wide open so the Asuras could not stand before Krishna.
41-42. O Janamejaya, while thus slain by Narayana Krishna the Asuras, stricken with fear, rose up into the sky. O Lord, as soon as they rose up into the sky Jayanta and Pravara killed them all with arrows burning like fire.
43. At that time the heads of the Asuras, fell down on earth like palm fruits from the tree.
44. Like five headed serpents killed by Time the arms of the Daityas dropped on the surface of the earth.
45-47. Having created another dreadful illusory cave for the destruction of the Kshatriyas the heroic and virtuous son of Rukshmini imperceptibly came out by the route by which Gada, Sharana, Shatha, Shamva and other heroes had entered there. As soon he came out the powerful son of Krishna began to assail Nikumbha, although careful, who was ranging hither and thither in front of the battle-field.
48-54. Thereupon, O king, resounding the cave with his leonine shouts he said to the king Duryodhana, Virat, Drupada, Shakuni, Shalya, Neela, Bhishma, Vinda, Anuvinda, Jarasandha, the kings of Trigarta and Malava, the highly powerful Vasalyas, Dhristadyumna and other princes of the Pancala country, conversant with the use of arms, Ahvriti, his uncle Rukshmi, emperor Shishupala, and Bhagadatta:—"O kings, in consideration of your superior position and relationship with me I am not throwing you into this dreadful cave. Even the intelligent, trident-handed God of bel leaves and water has ordered me to throw you all into this cave. I shall exert my best to release the Yadavas who have been imprisoned by the highly powerful Nikumbha resorting to his Shamvari Maya".
55-60. Thus addressed the Commander-in-Chief of the kings, Shishupala struck the Bhaimas, especially Pradyumna, with arrows. Thereupon saluting Siva Rukshmini’s son began to pierce the emperor Shishupala. In the meantime taking up a thousand of nooses, the foremost of Siva’s ghostly followers Nandi came there and said to the highly powerful and heroic son of Rukshmini. "O descendant of Yadu, Vilvodakeshwara (Siva) has ordered you to do what he had told you in the night. Bind these kings with nooses who have been bribed with jewels for the maidens. To release them also depends on you. O hero, O you of large arms, destroy all the Asuras leaving none behind. And communicate this news to Janarddana."
61-68. O descendant of Kuru, thereupon binding the king Bhagadatta, Shishupala, Ahvati, Rukshmi and other kings, like hissing serpents, with the nooses given by Hara Rukshmini’s son, endued with most excellent energy, took them all to the illusory cave. O descendant of Bharata, having kept there his own son Aniruddha as the guard of the cave, Yadu’s descendant Pradyumna took away the elephants, horses and cars of the Kshatriyas and put the remaining commanders and guards in charge of treasury in chain. O lord, thereupon when Krishna’s son was ready to slay the Asuras, he, with the coat of mail on, said to Brahmadatta, the foremost of the twice-born "See, Dhananjaya has undertaken to help you. You have no fear. Celebrate your work with a confident heart. O foremost of the twice-born, when the Pandavas have been engaged as your protectors you need not fear the gods, Asuras or any other beings. The Asuras have not been able to touch your daughters even with their mind; see, by my illusory powers I have kept them in the sacrificial ground."