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 10 - Shri Krishna Reaches Dvarika

1. Thus, Shalva, who was appointed personally by the king of Magadha to plan a cunning move for the defeat of the enemy, went to meet Pavanapati, the strong Kaalyavan with reverence.

2. Yavanaraja Kaalyavan also, with utmost respect told the ruler of Saubha kingdom, Shalva: “O friend, with whatever expectation you have come here, please tell me and it will be fulfilled”.

3. On hearing Yavanaraja’s statement, happy and excited Shalva said, “Magadharaja (Jarasandha) has himself sent me to you to seek the support for Magadha.

4. "Because of Krishna, who hates Kansa (like an enemy), and who has defeated the thoughtful and compassionate people like us several times, Magadharaja’s enmity towards the people of Mathura has heightened.

5. "Because of this reason, Jarasandha seeks your help to defeat the two enemies, who are proud of their muscle power and are invincible in the battle field, the brave, clever, young and robust Balarama and Krishna.

6. "So, without any hesitation you prepare yourself to launch an attack at the right time on Mathura with all weapons and armed soldiers.

7. "Magadharaja also will arrive there at the same time along with his armed soldiers and those two enemies will surely accept their defeat in the strategic battle.

8. "With this Brihadratha’s son and Krishna’s enemy Jarasandha will definitely get enormous happiness and my efforts and my friendship will time and again please you and your fame will spread in the world”.

9. After Yavanaraja had given his consent, and receiving a firm answer, and after fixing the date for the battle, with a proud feeling in his heart Shalva, the King of Saubha, left soon for Magadha to inform the Magadharaja.

10. When the king of Magadha heard from Shalva that with the arrival of Yavanaraja, the battle will yield significant results due to their mutual cooperation, he felt very happy within his heart.

11. At the same time, Magadharaja’s pride started growing with the very thought that with such a small enthusiastic attempt and getting the armed force help from Kaalyavana, all the trouble will come to an end.

12. While on his way to the battlefield, the King Jarasandha, lost his temper towards the egoistic and crazy gentlemen and with a frown, addressed them in anger:

13. "You cheats and liars, firstly I am unable to believe what you have been saying. It is an insult to me that you have come here after facing humiliating defeat at the hands of the enemy in the battlefield.

14. "I will tell you what happened to me while I was going to the battlefield for our benefit. You listen to the tale being narrated by me carefully.

15. "It is surprising that even when my army is quite large in number, when Krishna, armed with a Chakra and Balrama, armed with a plough, shattered them and all of you retreated in different directions.

16. "Thus, blinded with anger after watching the destruction of an accomplished army in the battlefield, I got fearful and was devastated by the pride of Balrama, when he roared and invited me for the fight.

17. "That extremely furious Haladhari (the one, who is armed with a plough) Balrama who was effervescent and haughty like an ocean, immediately lifted my royal chariot with a flying flag with grit and broke it.

18. "Krishna, like a lion in the battle field, broke my bow with his arrow and at the same time, Balrama holding my hair with his plough, pulled me out of the chariot.

19. "Then like an intoxicated elephant I also shouted abuses at him and the angry Balrama lifting his plough, advanced with the intent to hit me.

20. "Thus, the strength of strong-armed Balrama blunted my senses to visualize a hapless situation, where none of my friends or relatives was seen to come to my rescue or sympathize with me.

21. "Exactly at that moment, good hearted Krishna, even in a bloody battlefield showed pity on me and tactfully deflecting the plough, saved me from death.

22. "Hey! Evil men, today your King is surviving because of enemy’s blessing and is carrying this deep misery in his heart. Not only this, I have borne the scars of insult meted out by the soldiers of entire world and my own son.

23. "It is disgraceful not only to me and the vast army, but to your wisdom that are renowned and usually held in high esteem in the universe. Today I have become a subject of ridicule.

24. "Despite all these happenings, if I still have trust in you, it is because of the influence of the saints, and not because of any other reason. My sense of gratitude is counted among the best characteristics, even higher than my pious habit of worshipping Brahmins.

25. "Yet, today I am on my way to preparing my army to fight Krishna again, as unfortunately a brave soldier never turns his face against his commitment in a battle.

26. "Everyone listen to me with open ears. If I am unable to defeat my enemy Krishna in the battle, then on my return to the kingdom, I will definitely destroy all the rulers, due to the anger over defeat and benumbed mind.

27. "As Jamadagni (Parashurama), who was born out of Agni (fire), had freed this world of all the Kshatriyas earlier, likewise as a defeated king seated on the throne, I shall clean the Magadha land of Brahmins.

28. "Therefore, to escape certain death, I ask you all Brahmins to use your wisdom to decide the auspicious time for me to successfully depart for the battlefield to vanquish my enemies."

29. Thus the evil-minded Magadharaja became peaceful after giving his order that spelt fear among the Brahmins, Seers and assembled noble men. On listening to the scaring announcement, even the people of the town were trembling.

30. After fully discussing among them, Brahmins in trepidation told the King, "Hey Lord! The auspicious time has come and now you can go to war with complete confidence.

31. "The enemy will certainly run away after the defeat and there is no doubt that the victory will be yours." The wise men who understand the opportunity, never speak ill words towards their master.

32. Thus the king, who was a devout of Shiv, worshipped lord Shiv with many Bilva leaves as per prescribed rites and upon serving the scholars, left with his great army.

33. After the evil minded King of Magadha departed in this manner, the eminent Brahmins, who were disheartened and had become emotional due to death-scare, thought of the divine brilliance of Krishna and reached King’s (Jarasandha’s) son, who was respected by them.

34. By just seeing the Brahmins accompanying the divine men, he indicated with his gesture that I have already sent an expert horse rider to Shri Krishna. "Hey wise Men! Do not fear."

35. "The spy will definitely inform him about the misdeeds of my father and the support of Yavanaraja’s army and your state as well and the Lord of the Universe will certainly do well to you."

36. The wise Brahmins were pacified with the brief and good words uttered by the righteous prince, who is respected by gentlemen. At the time of crisis, the determination makes the hopeful state of mind a virtue.

37. In this manner, sagacious Krishna, who is aware of ethical laws, learnt through the spies about the strategies of his enemies and tactics of Kalyavan’s army comprising of lakhs of soldiers.

38. To save the people of Mathura from the violence of rebellious soldiers of evil minded Kaalyavan, who were over a lakh in number, Vishwakarma, who maintains the people of this universe, created city of Dwarvati (Dvarika).

39. With the help of his soldiers, ensuring the protection of the men and women of Mathura by shifting them to the city of Dwarvati, soon Krishna, the lord of the universe, remained in Mathura along with a small force of his soldiers.

40. At the same time in the afternoon, in blazing heat of the Sun, Kalyavan’s group of soldiers was surrounding Mathura.

41. Krishna, who is very well aware of diplomacy and an expert in the battlefield, stood silently along with Balrama. Then he heard the roaring sound of Kalyavan’s drum (war-trumpets).

42. The terrible sound emanating from it, with its reverberation appeared as though the entire city had become empty. At that time, losing his patience, with his head bowed down in front of Hari (Krishna), a spy anxiously, in a polite manner said -

43. "Hey, the saviour of grief-stricken! Kalyavan, whom Shalva encouraged to support him, is standing before Mathura city with his army of more than a lakh soldiers.

44. "O lord! From the top I can clearly see the fast approaching Magadharaj’s army producing sequence of thumping sounds, along with the skillful horse of Brihadratha’s son with flying flags.

45. "So I think it is time to take an appropriate decision on action to be taken against the enemy. But you are the master to decide." Speaking thus, the spy remained silent.

46. At the same time, a spy sent by the prince of Magadha, tired from his journey in the hot sun, came to Krishna with the authentic tale of the death knell sounded for the Brahmins.

47. On hearing this, Balrama told Krishna that before the Magadharaj’s army, wielding all kinds of weaponry is exhausted, somehow Kalyavan should be killed.

48. After listening to Balrama, the energetic Krishna, after silently pondering over the matter, tactfully explained his strategy–because the virtue of gentlemen is to have patience at the time of crisis.

49. "I will go outside and take that enemy (Kalyavan) tactfully near the mountain, while you just tackle the enemy’s army by staying in the city."

50. Right in front of the enemies Shri Krishna started hurrying into the cave situated in the mountain outside the city. Seeing him retreating, the tormentor of the weaklings, Yavanaraja started taunting him.

51. The proud Kalyavana, got down from his elephant with a roar ready for a duel without a weapon, and started running after the enemy in anger and fury.

52. With such a disorderly attack, Kalyavana’s vast army became leaderless and in spite of being stronger and fully armed, the best warriors seemed like an elephant stuck in a slush and were under a spell of confusion (dilemma) in the war.

53. Despite indecisiveness and wavering mind, the soldiers were intuitively driven to fight and were killed by the determined and powerful soldiers of Gopala (Krishna) inside the fort.

54. In this manner, all those who forgot to give directions and orders were killed, while the few committed soldiers who suppressed their ego, took the brunt of the fight by suffering arrows on their chest, while others were petrified and started running away from the battlefield.

55. "The accomplished warriors in the fort and the people of Mathura fought a dogged battle with the aimless soldiers of Kalyavana, who were easily distracted.

56. In the meantime, Shri Krishna soon went into the cave and became invisible, even while Yavanraja in pursuit of him made his entry into the cave. Shri Krishna saw the figure of a noble man with vigour and virility, sleeping in a beautiful yellow coloured attire.

57. The noble man, who was found sleeping there, was the person known by the famous name Muchukunda, who was considered to be an incarnation who would kill Kalayavana, the great warrior of the battle between gods and demons and who was blessed undisturbed sleep by Brahma.

58. Kalayavana, in the darkness thought it was Krishna pretending to be sleeping and so told the King: ‘Hey! Expert in trickery (Deceitful), stand up’ and roaring in anger forcefully kicked his head.

59. The moment the terrible legs touched him, the enraged King scoured at him and with his flaming eyes, Kalayavana was reduced to ashes within seconds.

60. After the death of Kalayavana in this manner, the perpetrator of evils, Yogeshwara appeared in his usual body, then King (Muchkunda) chanting praise and paying obeisance to the divine Shri Krishna left for the Heaven.

61. Chakradhari Shri Krishna, who is considered to be greatest among kings, after killing the enemy came out of the cave and used his Sudarshana Chakra (his weapon) to send a few young soldiers to the abode of Yamaraja (the lord of death).

62. Thus, after killing Kalayavana, Shri Krishna entered the city earning praise from the learned men, and at the same time Jarasuta (Jarasandha), the strong ambitious king dreaming of conquering the world, arrived.

63. With the appearance of the enemy, Shri Krishna thought if he defeated Jarasandha, who resurrected himself from Jara, then the destructive devil will unnecessarily kill the Brahmin Rishis and innocent people.

64. Therefore, for the protection of people, suppressing his massive ego, and despite being strong, Shri Krishna immediately retreated from the battlefield, and went out of the city as if he was powerless.

65. Thus, despite the presence of the plough-wielding powerful Balrama, the Chakradhari Krishna suddenly left his arms and in spite of the desire to fight, suppressing his wish, walked past the enemy to leave the battlefield.

66. Thus, the slayer of Chanur, very powerful and brave in the battlefield, the young king Jarasandha could not understand the reason behind Shri Krishna's running away from the battlefield, was staring at those two helpless warriors.

67. Right then, wearing an amusing smile on his lotus like face Shri Krishna glanced at the jubilant Magadhraja and slipped out of the scene of the battle.

68. Watching the unarmed Chakradhari Krishna going with Balrama, Jarasandha, the evil-minded and acquirer of Magadhbhoomi, in a loud voice started cursing him in anger.

69. "Hey! Cunning soldier, where are you going deceptively? Hey, wicked minded, stop for a while and tell me again whether you can confidently revive yourself in this world?"

70. The arrogant Jarasuta told these slanderous words in a high pitched voice to the plough-wielding Balrama and though eager to escape from the place, he showed eagerness to capture (his enemies) by issuing the orders to his army.

71. Jarasandha while seated in his Chariot with his furious mind in quest of killing his enemy, along with his soldiers started vigorously chasing the charmer of the world, the great Yadava (Krishna).

72. Jarasandha saw Krishna with a smile on his face, as though playing hide and seek, dodging past his chariot, stepping away from his elder brother Balrama like he was eager to run away.

73. The Lord of the Universe is amazingly playful and due to his phantasm over the entire world, Shri Krishna dodged the wicked Jarasandha’s attempts to catch him.

74. Mesmerizing the enemies, Krishna reached the Gomantaka Mountain, which towered over one hundred caves and was surrounded by a dense and inaccessible forest.

75. Unsure of his own capability, Jarasandha stopped his soldiers who were climbing the mountain from the west side and said:

76. "It will be difficult to search for those two men, because it is like wasting time on an impossible exercise like finding the rats in a stack of food grains in a market."

77. With the help of many soldiers, who had the intention of killing the two enemies there itself, Jarasandha turned the mountain into raging fireball by setting fire to the dry trees in the forest.

78. Imagining that his victory was certain, the cruel generous man (Jarasandha) returned to his prosperous kingdom and worshipped the Brahmins.

79. Jarasandha believing his quick action helped him defeat Krishna felt very pleased. In reality it is common for wicked men to miscalculate their hasty actions as wise moves.

80. Even after Jarasandha left, a few cowherds (Gopala) stayed back and lived there for few days extinguishing the fire.

81. Shri Krishna climbed down from the hill along with the plough-wielding Balrama and sat comfortably in the Chariot, which was readily parked in front of them, near the banyan tree and soon left for Dwaravati town to save the Brahmins from the wicked men.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: