Harivamsha Purana

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

This page is entitled “account of pradyumna” and represents Chapter 105 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 105 - An Account of Pradyumna

1. Janamejaya said:—You said before that Pradyumna had killed Shamvara. Describe to me now how Pradyumna killed him.

2-3. Vaishampayana said:—Kama (Cupid) of firm vows, in order to kill Shamvara, took his birth from Rukshmini, the incarnation of Lakshmi, and Vasudeva as his beautiful son Pradyumna. On the seventh day at dead of night Kalashamvara stole away that infant son of Krishna from the lying-in room.

4. Krishna, who followed the celestial Maya, knew every thing and therefore he did not kill at that time the Danava, invincible in battle.

5-7. As if urged on by Death the great Asura stole away Krishna’s son. And throwing him upon his arms he took him to his own city. His beautiful and accomplished wife Mayavati, as if the very incarnation of Maya, had no offspring so that Danava, as if commissioned by Death, gave over that son of Vasudeva to her like his own.

8. Seeing him she was filled with joy and her hairs stood erect: she looked at him repeatedly with delight.

9. Casting her looks on him in this way she recollected that he was her favourite husband. Remembering it she again thought "

10. He is my lord for whom I am day and night plunged into the lake of anxiety and sorrow and have not been able to enjoy mental felicity any where.

11. He was formerly reduced to ashes by the divine trident handed deity stricken with sorrow for Sati. Now he has been seen by me in another birth. However, being his wife and knowing him as my husband how can I give him milk and address him as my son?" (12)

13-14. Thinking thus Mayavati handed over the baby to the nurse and soon reared him up with nourishing tonics. Informed by the nurse and out of ignorance Rukshmini’s son knew Mayavati as his mother.

15. Having brought up that lotus-eyed son of the Lord of Kamala Mayavati too, stricken with lust, instructed him in all forms of illusion.

17-23. When gradually crossing the limit of youth Pradyumna looked highly beautiful, became an expert in the use of all sorts of weapons and in deciphering the movements of women, Mayavati, assuming the semblance of a beautiful woman, sought the company of her beloved consort and tempted him with her gestures. Seeing that sweet-smiling lady attached to him Pradyumna said to her:—"What is this? Why do you, casting off your maternal feelings, behave in this perverse way? Alas, how wicked are women. How fickle is their mind. Possessed by lust you are not regarding me as your son and behaving otherwise. O gentle lady, what is the cause of such a perversity of nature? Am I not then your son? Why do you behave in this way? I wish to learn the secret of this from you. The nature of women is fickle like lightning. As the clouds are attached to the summits of a mountain so they are attached to men. O gentle lady, it matters little whether I am your son or not. I wish to learn from your own mouth the object of your movements." Thus addressed that timid damsel, having her heart stricken with lust, said to her lover, Keshava’s son in a solitary place. "You are not my son, nor Shamvara is your father.

24-33. You are a powerful and beautiful descendant of Vrishni; you are the delightful son of Vasudeva and Rukshmini. After your birth on the seventh day you were brought here. When you were a helpless baby in the lying-in chamber you were stolen by my powerful husband. Tresspassing into the house of your father Vasudeva, resembling Vasava himself, Shamvara stole you away. Stricken with sorrow for a son like you your mother is bewailing like a cow estranged from its calf. Because you were brought here in your very infancy your father, having the emblem of Garuda on his flag, and more powerful than even Shakra himself, does not know it. O lord, you are a Vrishni prince and not a son of Shamvara. Besides the Danavas cannot beget a son like yourself. O gentle one, I seek you as my lover, because I have not given birth to you. Seeing your beauty my weak heart is drooping. Besides O Vrishni hero, you should seek in my heart what desire is there. I have thus described to you how you are not a son of myself and Shamvara and how I have grown attached to you."

34-41. Pradyumna, the son of the holder of discus, had mastered all forms of illusion. So thus addressed by Mayavati and worked up with anger, he, exclaiming his own name, called Shamvara. He said:—"Alas shall I remain here fearing that wicked-souled Danava who has stolen away the infant son of Keshava? How may that sinful wretch become angry? How can I slay him? I should do what excites his anger. With my sharpened spear I will strike down the wonderful standard with a flying pennon having the emblem of a lion which stands like the mount Sumeru on his gate. If he comes to know of the spoliation of his standard Shamvara will surely come out. I will then kill him in battle and return to Dvaraka." Having said this the large-armed Pradyumna stringed his bow, took up arrows and struck down that jewel of a standard belonging to Shamvara. Hearing of the spoliation of his standard by the high-souled Pradyumna, Shamvara, filled with anger, ordered his sons, saying:—"O you great heroes, do you soon kill Rukshmini’s son.

42-47. I do not wish to see him who has done me this wrong." Hearing the words of Shamvara, his sons, Citrasena, Atisena, Vishvaksenajit, Shrutasena, Sushena, Somasena, Mana, Senani, Sainyahanta, Senaha, Sainika, Senaskandha, Atisena, Senaka, Janaka, Sukala, Vikala, Shanta, Shantantakara, Vibhu, Kumbhaketu, Sudangstra and Keshi, well-armed and delighted, set out for killing Pradyumna. Taking up discuses, Tomaras, tridents, Pattishas, swords, Parasvadhas, and worked up with anger, they, inviting Pradyumna, went to the battle-field.

48. Thereupon taking up his bow the large-armed Pradyumna speedily ascended his car and drove towards the battle-field.

49. Thereupon there took place a dreadful and hair-stirring encounter between Keshava’s son and those of Shamvara.

50. In order to witness that battle, the Gandharvas, Uragas and Caranas with all the gods headed by their king stationed themselves in the sky.

51. Narada, Tumvuru, Haha, Huhu and other songsters, encircled by Apsaras, also stationed themselves there.

52-53. Then the Gandharva Advutanama, attached to the court of the king of gods, said to Vasudeva, the wielder of thunder-bolt: "The sons of Shamvara are a hundred in number and Krishna’s son is alone. How can he, fighting alone with many, acquire victory?"

54-58. Hearing his words, Vasava, the slayer of Bali, smilingly said:—"Hear of his prowess. In his pristine body he was Kama and consumed by Hara’s fiery anger. Afterwards propitiated by his wife the three-eyed deity conferred on her, a boon, saying:—'When Vishnu, assuming the semblance of a man, will live in the city of Dvaraka, he will take his birth as his son and become your husband. This your highly powerful and energetic husband, although celebrated in the three worlds, as Ananga limbless, will take his birth there and kill Shamvara, for the seventh day after Pradyumna’s birth, Shamvara, resorting to this illusory powers, will steal him away from Rukshmini’s lap.

59-64. Therefore go to Shamvara’s house; and hidden under your illusory body do you become his wife Mayavati and please him. There nourish your baby husband. When he will attain to youth he will kill Shamvara. Afterwards Ananga will go with you to Dvaraka and he will enjoy with you in the same way as I do with Girija.' Having said this the king of gods Hara repaired to the mount Kailasha resorted to by Siddhas and Caranas and resembling Sumeru. Kama’s wife too, having saluted Uma’s husband, waited at Shamvara’s residence for the termination of the appointed time. O Pratihara, the large-armed Pradyumna will surely kill Shamvara. He has been destined as the destroyer of that wicked Danava and his sons".

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