Harivamsha Purana

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

This page is entitled “the yadavas arrive at the city of asuras as actors” and represents Chapter 94 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 94 - The Yadavas Arrive at the City of Asuras as Actors

1. Vaishampayana said:—Thereupon king Vajramabha ordered the Asuras living in their own cities, "Give them most excellent rooms.

2. Treat them as guests, give them various jewels and various raiments which please people."

3. Receiving the order of their Chief they did all this. And arriving there, the actors too, heard of before, excited their curiosity.

4. With great delight they welcomed the actor with presents of jewels.

5. Thereupon the actor, who had obtained the boon, pleased highly the citizens of Supura with his dancing.

6. They gave a performance of the great epic Ramayana: the birth of the incomparable Vishnu for the destruction of the king of Rakshasas (Ravana).

7. How Lomapada and Dasharatha had brought for Shanta, the Muni Rishvashringa through prostitutes.

8-9. In that performance the actors so perfectly personated the characters of Rama, Lakshmana, Shatrughna, Bharata, Rishvashringa and Santa, that even the elderly Danavas were startled and spoke repeatedly of the similarity of their appearances.

9-13. Seeing their dresses, acting, entrance and introduction the Danavas were filled with wonder. With particular parts of the performance the Asuras were so much pleased and attracted that they repeatedly rose up, expressed their appreciation and gave away charming necklaces of gold and Vaidurja, bracelets and cloths. After receiving their remuneration the actors, with separate slokas, eulogised the Asuras in order of their family and birth.

14. O king, afterwards the inhabitants of the dependant cities communicated to Vajra nabha the arrival of the beautiful actors.

15-16. O Bharata, the king of Daityas had already heard of it. Now pleased he sent a messenger to bring the actor. At the mandate of the king of Danavas, the Daityas, living in branch cities, took the Yadavas, disguised as actors, to the charming city of Vajra.

17. For their accomodation, a beautiful house, built by the celestial architect, was offered, and necessary articles, by hundreds, were given them.

18. There upon having set up a beautiful pandal the great Asura, Vajranabha, made a great festival with the actors.

19. After they had been relieved of toil the highly powerful Vajranabha gave profuse jems and requested them to begin the play.

20. O king, having kept the women of his family behind a screen at a place from which they could see all, the great Asura himself sat with his kinsmen.

21. Then dressing themselves as actors, and arranging for the concert the Bhaimas, of dreadful deeds, went on with the performance.

22-23. They first played various tunes on musical instruments, as Kamsya, Venu, Muraja etc. Afterwards the women, brought by the Bhaimas, sang the Gandharva song Chalikya, delightful to the mind and ears.

24. Then with seven scales, Gandhara and others, three Gramas, and with Ragas, Vasanta and others, they sang sweetly the song of the sacred discension of Ganga.

25. Hearing that sweet song of the coming down of Ganga set in time and tune Asuras rose up again and again and pleased the actors.

26-29. For some business the powerful Pradyumna, who had assumed the guise of an actor, Gada and Shamva conducted the Nandi.[1] After the termination of the Prologue Rukshmini’s son sang the hymn, accompanied with beautiful gestures, of the descension of Ganga. Afterwards they began the performance of the drama Rambhabhisara,[2] Shura acted the part of Ravana, Monovati represented Rambha, Pradyumna Nalakuvara and Shamva his Vidushaka[3] By their illusory powers the Yadavas represented the scene of Kailasha.

30. They acted how the wicked Ravana was imprecated by Nalakuvara, worked up with anger and how Rambha was consoled.

31-37. After the performance of this drama, the glory of the high-souled Narada by the heroic Yadavas, the Danavas were pleased with the dancing of the highly powerful Bhaimas. They gave them costly apparels, jewelleries, necklaces set with costly jems, beautiful balloons, cars ranging in the sky, elephants coursing in the etherial region, cool and celestial sandal, Agura, and other scents and the valuable jem Chintamani which gives all that is thought of. Giving away presents in this way at every scene those Danavas were deprived of their riches and jewels. Even the women of the Danava-Chiefs shared the same fate.

38-40. On the other hand, Prabhavati’s friend Suchimukhi said to her:—"O you of fair beauty, I had gone to the charming city of Dvaraka protected by the Bhaimas. O you of sweet smiles and beautiful eyes, I saw Pradyumna there secretly and told him about your love for him, O you having lotus eyes. Pleased he has appointed this evening for meeting you.

41. O you of a beautiful waist, the Bhaimas never speak an untruth; verily to-day you will meet your love".

42-44. Hearing it Prabhavati, filled with joy, said to the goose:—"O fair lady, to-day wait in my room and sleep here. If you live by me I do not fear any body. With you I wish to see Keshava’s son." The goose said to her lotus eyed friend Prabhavati "So it will be." Afterwards with Prabhavati, she went up to her quarters.

45-48. Thereupon in the upper storey of that house constructed by the celestial Architect, Prabhavati began to make arrangements against Pradyumna’s arrival. After the completion of the arrangements, the goose, with Prabhavati’s permission, went away speedily like air for bringing Kama. Going to Kama who was living in the guise of an actor that one of sweet smiles said "You will see her to night". And returning speedily she said to Prabhavati, "O you of expansive eyes, console yourself; Rukshmini’s son is coming".

49-53. Thereupon seeing a fragrant garland filled with bees carried for Prabhavati, the highly powerful and self-controlled hero, Pradyumna, the slayer of his enemies, sat there on assuming the form of a bee. That garland, covered with black-bees, was taken by the maid servants to the inner appartment and kept near Prabhavati. O gentle king, when gradually evening set in, the other bees fled away. Then having none to follow him the heroic Bhaima chief slowly sat on Prabhavati’s ear.

54-58. Thereupon beholding the highly charming full moon arise there Prabhavati, a clever speaker, said to the goose, "O friend, my limbs are burning, my mouth is being dried up and my heart is filled with curiosity. What is the name of this disease? The newly-risen full moon of cool-rays is liked by all. It is still creating anxiety in me as if it is not liked by me. Oh fie on the nature of a woman! I have not seen him—I have wanted him after only hearing of him—still my limbs are burning. I am saying so of my own accord lest my love may not come. Alas! If he does not come I will meet the same fate with the silly lily. Alas! Although I am self-controlled still I have been bitten by serpent-like Cupid.

59-60. The rays of the moon are by nature cool, delightful and charming. But, wonder, they are scorching my body. The wind, carrying the filaments of various flowers, is cool by nature, still it is scorching my beautiful frame like forest-fire.

61-62. I am thinking of being patient, but my weak mind, shattering my resolution, does not allow me to do so. Forsooth, losing control over my mind, I will run mad and be killed, for my heart is trembling and I am looking again and again wildly".

Footnotes and references:


Eulogium of a king or praise of a deity recited in benedictory verses at the commencement of a religious ceremony or the opening of a drama.


A drama describing the going away of Rambha in search of her lover.


Something like a fool attached to the Royal Courts.

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