Jarasandhavadha Mahakavyam

by Pankaj L. Jani | 2010 | 82,365 words

The English translation of the Jarasandhavadha Mahakavyam: a Sanskrit epic poem written by Goswami Hariraiji. The story revolves around the story of Krishna’s vanquishing of the Magadha King, Jarasandha. The soul message of this epic Jarasandhavadha is “where there is righteousness there is victory”. The sources for this story include the Mahabhar...

Canto 5 - Hastinapura

1. Later, Lord Shri Krishna eager to leave for Dvarikapuri discussed all important and relevant matters with his respectable friend Yudhishthira and left for Dvarikapuri on chariot.

2. He convinced Yudhishthira regarding the performance of Rajsuya Yajna and receiving the praise of the middle Pandva (Bhima).

3. Thus when Lord Shri Krishna the bearer of the Sudarshan Chakra, and most intimate friend of the Pandvas, left for Dvarika, the citizens of the kingdom of Yudhishthira were drowned in deep sorrow.

4. For a few minutes he was so much depressed due to the departure of his intimate friend Lord Shri Krishna that he stood motionless.

5. At the same time Bhima who was capable of producing new water carrying stomach and an iron-build body, also fell into grief for his omnipresent friend Lord Shri Krishna.

6. Even Arjun remembering his intimacy with Shri Krishna-the divine trotter of all times-found all worldly peace was as a waste in the absence of his most intimate friend.

7. Here even Draupadi was aggrieved at heart and who often remembered Shri Krishna-her most dependant well-wisher and defender whenever she was in trouble.

8. Only Nakula-wise and sober-was the only Pandava who remembered his friend, Shri Krishna as the Lord of the worlds controlled himself though his eyes were full of tears.

9. It was only Sahdeva who could foresee and read what was to come and know that the departure of Shri Krishna, who was present in every soul, was inevitable.

10. Suffering separation from their most dear relation, Shri Krishna, they all remembered Purna-Purush, Shri Krishna and were completely merged in the ocean of sorrow. However, Kunti always chanting Shri Krishna's name in her heart did not loose the balance of her mind and remained calm and cool.

11. Thus Lord Shri Krishna, supporter of the Yadvas climbed on the chariot with Uddhava and as the chariot moved Shri Krishna's glory and splendour spread around like moon along with mercury rising behind the Udayachal mountains.

12. Slowly the chariot proceeded ahead toward Dvarika and Shri Krishna saw Indraprastha, the capital of Pandva receding.

13-14. It was in this Indraprastha that the royal palace of Dharmaraja Yudhishthira was situated. The domes and the minarets of the palace made of gold and touching the sky had red flags fluttering in the sky, which looked like thousand shacking tongues of a bull trampling his feet to break the sky.

15. Indraprastha was noted for its palaces and pinnacles. These buildings served as the resting place for birds flying across the sky when tired.

16. The windows with arches indicated the boundaries of these palaces and Shri Krishna from his chariot could still see the upper story of these buildings.

17. The running boundary looked like a chain surrounding the fort as strong as a mountain.

18. While on his way to Dvarika Lord Shri Krishna also spotted the specially constructed passage ways facilitating easy entry to the palatial rooms of young buxom beauties.

19. Eager to have a glimpse of the splendour of the palace, the restless eyes of the people, were glued day and night to its windows.

20. The four golden staircases descending from the upper storey of the palace appeared serpentine converging on the parapet the front of the palace.

21. The city was beautified with mansions with huge terraces, door frames adorned with jewels studded in the wood and golden doors, with emeralds and of the precious stones.

22. The frontal gates of the Royal Mansion were accessible and were constructed in succession in pairs (i.e. one pair of halves of gates followed by another). In the same or similar loftiness of the stair cases and ladder steps seemed stunningly beautiful as if with the light of pearls and emeralds due to the mild sunlight cast upon it by half arisen Sun.

23. All the rooms and restitutes that were equally beautiful where armed guards stood for watch at an hour of the day and night. Also two elephants, who as if were intoxicated by the smell of nectar in their foreheads stood by in the forecourt of the palace.

24. Lord Krishna saw the walls which were white washed and then artistically painted by master painters with great skill and labour. These frescoes were cause of huge attraction of masses and created sense of excitement in their minds.

25. For the guests and visitors to the Royal Mansion, rest houses replete with articles and equipages needed to cater to their needs added grace to the palatial beauties.

26. The mass of sound encompassing the forecourt of the palace cools down during the nights but betray a golden hue due to the sunlight in day time. This is the view seen by Lord Krishna.

27. The elephants who mightily excavate the huge and massive stones with the help of their huge heads and tusks appear to be vomiting some unnatural substances because the task is performed by heads (mouths) and tusks. This what Lord Krishna saw when he looked at the palace.[1]

28. Airavat the celestial elephant in the service of Lord Indra is famous for the whiteness of its body but even Airavat is put to shame as its beauty is diminished by those elephants who always soak the forecourt of the palace with the divine nectar. This is what Lord Krishna saw at the gates of the palace while leaving for Dvarika.

29. The welcome arch originally in golden colour is clad by the cloth pieces of colours likened to the colour of a pigeon's neck and the surrounding land which can be accessed by people from all sights and corners was so flooded by people holding streamers that it was impossible to see the land -else it was only through great effort that the streamer could be hung in its place.

30. In the royal palace just below the height flying streamer there is a special kind of powder and where there are lined up three chariots laded (loaded) with gold. This is what was seen by Lord Krishna.

31. In the royal palace of Hastinapur stand stallions of high breed evinced by black and white, red and skin colours with their heads bowed down. But when they are made to run their heads are held high. The stables of these high breed horses never belying with the sound of neighing of the horses, lend a peculiar charm. This too was seen by Lord Krishna.

32. In the palace, Lord Krishna sees that the cowshed is looking beautiful with hundreds of colourful, calm and well nourished cows lazing under the weight of their body and fat udders.

33. While going to Dvarika, Lord Krishna saw the grand 'Yajnashalas' (the enclosure within which a yajna is performed), whose walls were darkened from inside due to the smoke emanating from the flames fuelled by dry twigs, which seem to diminish the effervescence of the Indraloka.[2]

34. Resounding with the chants of sacred verses of the Vedas by priests, rising fumes from the continuous stoking of the fire, which causes the destruction of sins of living creatures, were the effervescent features that Lord Krishna saw in the Hastinapur palace, while going to Dvarika,

35. Where with the gathering of the saints, noble men and worshipful learned people, the palace was assuming sacredness like pilgrim centres.

36. There the Lord Krishna saw the Brahmins well-versed in scriptures and scholars having knowledge of sacred religious oblations and people strictly adhering to the rituals in performing the yajna.

37. While the royal court of Hastinapur was all aglow and there were shops full of rare and precious stones and valuable gold, not found in the three worlds;

38. Gorgeous and resplendent attire found only in celestial world and other articles were adding to the beauty of the shops in the markets of Hastinapur.

39. Where abundant food articles and sea of fruits enhanced the glamour of the bazaar. Extraordinary blessings of nature on the vast expanse of Kuruvansha’s land could be felt clearly.[3]

40. In the cultivable areas of Hastinapur, after withered grains left uncollected from the ground (for the saints and birds), food grains were filled in sacks and taken to the market yard for trading.[4]

41. In Hastinapur, the wide tracts are partitioned into two on the highway, which are spread with fine sand and appear better than other streets.

42. Where the prominent highway, look like reflecting the pleasing sight of a tributary of a big river gushing its fast flowing water into small streams.

43. On that main highway, where many other paths mingle -the roads are always full of people–and leaving that of chariot, pleasing sounds resembling that of the melodious chiming of hundreds of temple bells can always be heard at the crossings of the streets.

44. Also, on the high columns standing on either side of the highway, well planned lighting, spreading their bright beams during the nights can be seen.

45. Where at several points arches with flags aflutter have been erected to welcome Shri Krishna, the Lord of Dvarikadhish, which even today resonates with the affection of the king.

46. The central portion of the great city where great reverence could be felt, in such a big street crossing, a temple of Sarasvati or building has been established for all eager to learn the wisdom of life.

47. Where a large number of learned scholars of the Vedas, who have acquired knowledge of the scripture in a formal manner, with correct description in all their eight manifestations, were growing every day.

48. Where Pitru-yajna (obeisance to departed souls), Brahma-yajna, Purusha-yajna, Deva-yajna and Bhoota-yajna are performed every day, and as if due to these sacred rituals, egged on by Lord Indira’s dictate, monsoon breaks out every year without fail.

49. Where a friendly sun rises on the earth to nourish large plants with its brightness and befriends the mighty and big mountain. Being a friend, big mountains do not prevent the sun rays coming from the space.[5]

50. While the full moon with all its lunar crescent was nourishing all the medicinal plants till the dawn,

51. There at the centre of the road crossings dressed in attractive apparels, charming women were playing amidst the beautiful garden full of attractive trees.

52. Where the royal abodes were lined on both the sides of the royal avenue decorated with several artful objects were glistening like gold and looked more beautiful than even the heavenly Indraloka;

53. There in the palatial mansions lived poets and learned scholars, who had knowledge of sacred scripts and who with their poetical recitation entertained everyone.

54. And on the terrace of the palace, famous poets and scholars gathered to create their works of prose and poetry.

55. Where (Hastinapur) lived experts, who with the skill that of swans, selected gems and precious stones that adorn the ornaments worn by beautiful women.

56. Where in the beautiful palaces, shining like gold and looking sacred, pretty ladies -whose marvelous beauty is more enchanting than that of amorously beautiful women of 'Devaloka'—play daily with their husbands.

57. Where everyone was strikingly beautiful like Rati (Cupid’s wife), led a life of consummate bliss and peace.

58. Where romantic women yearning to be closer and coveting for union with their consorts,

59. Tempt even the Moon, who roams there awaiting his turn to enjoy the company of the lotus faced beautiful women.

60. Where during the night, even the stars in ecstasy long to get a taste of nectar or potion of beauty, and seeing the moon in dalliance, they with their twinkling eyes start imagining seductive scenes of romance.

61. Where even the pleasant whiff of air coming from Malaya mountain were residing, while enjoying the company of women immersed in the game of love and releasing a heavy breath of hissing noise slipping into trance.[6]

62. Where, as in the game of romance, the smiling lotus crushed by their beloved bees, rests on the bed of pond and moves with the ripples of wind, passionate women were tired after the amorous sport and were relaxing.

63. Where even the couples after their passionate union during the night are tired and have gone to sleep, the lamps keep burning, anticipating eagerly for the dawn so that they can take rest.

64. Where the slow moving wind turns the odour of the sweat trickling down the body of the women tired from their nightlong ecstatic coitus experience into a fragrant smell

65. And where in the early morning even the bees, attracted by the women with lotus like faces, starts waking them by their stirring noise in quest for honey.

66. Near the Hastinapur border, an attractive garden is located where bees keep flying for tasting honey from the pollen grains of the flowers.

67. The garden is splendorous with its ponds wafting fragrance spread by the buds of row of lotus in full bloom and swans hovering over the Kadamba tree.

68. Where the mango trees with fresh shoots and bending down with the weight of fruits (mangoes) and also beautiful lines of innumerable flower plants in the gardens, lending a unique fragrance to the orchid.

69. Sacred and sweet water of ever full river Yamuna, the daughter of Kalindi caressing the borders of Hastinapur edifies the ultimate beauty of the city.

70. One can see Hastinapur in its full glory of being surrounded by water on its four sides and the buds of lotus flowering in the ponds filled with rain water.

71. Where even the high mango trees were seen bowing to touch the ground because of the burden of the weight of the ripe fruits.

72. The Kadamba trees buzzing with the sweet twittering of birds like Cuckoo, Parrot and Crane and Peacock besides Swans, Ducks and Peacocks were blissfully enjoying the bright day.

73. While on his way to Dvarikapuri, riding on his chariot along the banks, Shri Krishna, threw his affectionate glances at the ashen coloured river Yamuna, whose natural flowing force is stilled by the dense growth of fully bloomed lotus.

74. Thus, seated in the chariot and admiring the beauty of the city of Yudhishthira, Lord Krishna bade farewell to each of his devotees with a smile.

75. The Kauravas land in its fulsome endowments of rich crops of grains and green grass, were awestruck and forgot their existence admiring the handsome Krishna like the love struck girls.

76. While leaving for Dvarika Lord Krishna, the protector of lives, feeling very happy at the prosperity of Kauravas’ land, left with a lightning speed of the sun rays.

77. Like forlorn women yearning for their beloveds’ return, city of Dvarika was hopefully awaiting Shri Krishna’s return home.

78. In such an atmosphere, pleased and thrilled Shri Krishna entered the city acknowledging the greetings of his subjects.

79. At the entrance of Dvarikapuri, the people wished Shri Krishna, “Oh Lord! May your valour become stronger by the day." These welcome words by the cheering crowd gave Shri Krishna immense happiness.

80. Thus, entering the Raj Bhavan happily soon after the citizens welcomed him, Shri Krishna met Naradji, who had been greeted and made to rest comfortably in the Palace by his elder brother Balrama.

81. Lord Krishna gladdened the hearts of people who wanted to perform Rajasuya Yajna. Shri Krishna, the lord of even ascetics, felt excited at seeing the supreme Muni.

82. Naradji, who was determined about performing religious sacrifice and oblation, was eager to narrate the tale of Jarasandha, who intended to completely destroy it, so that Shri Krishna takes up the job of killing him.

83. After this, to extend special greeting to the supreme guest (Naradji), Shri Krishna along with his elder brother Balrama seated himself showing eagerness to hear the account from Naradji, albeit the omniscient God already knew about it.

Footnotes and references:


The terms vamadhun vaman-denote a single act of vomiting. The comparison shows trait of unintelligible narration. Enamoured by the allegory of words and shlokas the poet has entirely ignored the reality of poetry or else he has ignored it by fault.


The celestial abode of Indra.


It was not dependent on rain for cultivation because modern irrigation facilities like canal system had been prevalent since the time Yudhishthira ruled the place


In olden days, Sages and seers used to survive on the supply of left over grains gathered by them from the threshing fields after the farmers have harvested the crop.


With its warm temperature the sun not only provides the nourishments to the vegetations, also when sunlight crosses the mountains to fall on the plants to vitalize them that signifies its friendliness towards the mountains. Being a friend, big mountains do not prevent the sun rays coming from the space. This is how the friendship between these two (Sun and the mountain) is reflected here.


The muffled spirant sound expressive of intense joy made by the pretty women, appeared like the whiff of cool breeze coming from Malaya mountain.

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