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 11 - Naramedha Yajna

1. Thereafter, on learning from the spies that Krishna and the people of Dvarika were living happily, Jarasandha started feeling disturbed.

2. Jarasandha with his fearful eyes and in a state of trepidation and restlessness sent for Shalva and his best friends and ministers to meet him.

3. His Ruler friends from other regions reached Magadha to meet the ruler of the kingdom, Jarasandha.

4. Ignoring the grim news of the destruction of Yavanesh along with lakhs of his soldiers and learning from his friend about his enemy’s welfare,

5. Jarasandha summoned the King of Chedi (Shishupala) to discuss the situation along with Dantavakra, the king of Kashi and Paundraka.

6. Thereafter, King of Chedi, learning of Jarasandha’s fury and on being invited to meet him, rushed to Magadha along with his ministers.

7. After learning from Shalva about the enemies’ attempts and Krishna’s unperturbed life in Dvarika and

8. His friendly disposition towards Pandavas, they simply mutually exchanged curious glances and were silent.

9. Seeing them quite, who were considered to be great warriors, somewhat disappointed Jarasandha feebly said:

10. "As I see you warriors in absolute silence, I have become nervous like an owl which trembles during the evenings.

11. "What else can I say? Notoriously deceptive and the heartless Krishna will be at peace only after my death. Because, he is angry with the hatred,

12. "Krishna looks like a wounded serpent to me. If the serpent like vengeful Krishna is left free, he will succeed in his objective. In this situation, it is a curse to your and my bravery."

13. After saying this, breathing heavily, the mentally upset King of Magadha kept quiet, because when the mind is in tension, the brain does become inactive.

14. Hearing such nervous utterance, the restless and unwise King of Chedi said something sensible.

15. "How do you want to kill Krishna, who is an expert in playing a clever game of myriads of tactical duels in the Magadha battleground?

16. "You and the entire world know that he is the Lord of the Universe. Besides, it is as impossible to hope for his destruction as hoping to see a hare with a horn.

17. "From his younger days the mischievous boy with his cunningness has committed several misdeeds.

18. "He was born in a mysterious way in a jail and in a twinkling moment left for the house of Nanda.

19. "He killed Pootana, who had come disguised to breast feed him with poison.

20. "In a playful manner, he killed Shakatasura by stamping him with his legs in a festival of Gopas of Kataka.

21. "When his mother tied him to a hard stone grain pounder, he dragged it and felled a big tree in his playful prank.

22. "He killed Trinavarta, whose strength is like a raging storm, even when the demon had shrunk his neck to slender grass size.

23. "Playing with the calves of cows, he killed Vatsasura, Bakasura and other demons sent by Kansa in a casual manner.

24. "Hey, it is a secret that he entered the mouth of Aghasura with his fearsome teeth and killed him.

25. "He tamed the giant and poisonous Kaliya serpent, which tried to spew its poison into the river Yamuna and gave (Moksha) salvation.

26. 'He lifted the giant Govardhana Mountain on his little finger to use it as an umbrella and save the people of Braja facing fury of incessant rains caused by the wrath of Indra.

27. "Thereafter, this love struck youth sometimes used to spoil the wives of others.

28. "He attacked Raja Bali (during Vaman Avatara) by resting his strong foot to send him to Yamaloka.

29. "Hey Rajan! To kill Jarasandha in his hateful mood, your son-in-law called this boy (Krishna) to Mathura along with his elder brother (Balrama).

30. "After reaching Mathura, this powerful Krishna while playing with the cowherd boys, killed the elephant named Kuvalayapeeth, as if it was a mud toy.

31. "After this in the company of Balrama, an accomplished wrestler, he felled even the cunning Chanura and Mushtika while people were watching the sport.

32. "While Balrama was punching him, Krishna just spun Chanura in the air and killed him.

33. "Hey Rajan, He (Krishna) caught hold of your son-in-law Kansa's lock of hair and dragged him like a bull with broad shoulders and killed him by bashing his head on the earth.

34. "The universe knows that Krishna made Ugrasen the king and hey King of Magadha, you were also vanquished through him.

35. "So, hey Magadha King: you should take any step against that worst enemy, who is like a lotus enticing bees, only after careful planning.

36. "I have only given the descriptions of the cruel characteristics of his tactics of destruction and not the qualities of the person.

37. "Hey Rajan, even today we are still pondering over the first vow you took to kill your great enemy Krishna, after your son-in-law was killed.

38. "In this context I feel that this biggest enemy is undefeatable-without the divine power he cannot be vanquished.

39. "Also, like you invoked the Purari Shiv earlier for granting his blessings, you should undertake much more intense prayer.

40. "Hey Jarasandha, as Lord Shiv is known to give great boons, you should pray to him for killing Krishna.

41. "After giving a thoughtful attention to all these suggestions, you can take the most appropriate decision." After saying all these things, Shishupala went into silence.

42. After Shishupala’s submission in this fashion and his becoming silent, taking support of a wall with both his hands, Paundrak, pronounced the nickname of Vasudeva.

43. "Oh! I am reminded of a ritual which is auspicious. I am telling you about that. Therefore, you should listen to it properly.

44. "Hey, the ruler of Magadha! To please Lord Shiv, you should start the Naramedha Yajna (a sacrifice involving killing of a human being).

45. "The goal of the yajna should be focused on to achieve victory over your greatest enemy against whom you have not scored a victory or killed him.

46. "You perform the ritual by choosing to kill the ruler of minor stature likely to interfere in your administrative affairs, making them the sacrificial objects for the Naramedha Yajna.

47. "Similarly, you should perform the Naramedha Yajna to tame those enemy kings who are anxious and priding themselves about their valour.

48. "I have come to the earth as a part of Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, so placing me in front; you may perform the Naramedha Yajna.

49. "Actually I am the real Vasudeva, with his attributes of four weapons and four arms. To reduce the weight of the earth you must perform the Naramedha Yajna.

50. "Even at times of extreme necessity you should not ask any Brahmin. Kill those holy beasts that chant Vedas and perform the Naramedha Yajna. Hey Magadha King, perform the Yajna following the rituals calmly.

51. "After Lord Shiv is pleased with your prayer, you will defeat Krishna and kill him.

52. "I am the real Vasudeva, he is a useless Vasudeva. The entire world knows about it.

53. "He is an imaginary Vasudeva and hence he can be killed. With my existence what use of having him here, while the real Vasudeva is present here.

54. "Hey King of Magadha! Sooner he should be killed by you; otherwise I will definitely kill him. If you don’t kill him quickly I will kill him."

55. Making such senseless comments Paundraka stopped his speech and people all around him started praising the views expressed by him.

56. Jarasandha also felt happy and praised the views and without asking the Brahmins promptly resolved to perform the Naramedha Yajna.

57. Thus, taking cue from the words of rulers like Shalva and Shishupala etc. they left to pursue their individual duties.

58. After this, Brihadratha’s son Jarasandha got his aides to pronounce the decision about the performance of Naramedha Yajna in every house in the capital.

59. To follow the norms of Naramedha Yajna, Magadha King arrested several innocent kings quickly and put them in the prison.

60. Blinded by the urge to perform the ritual with the severed heads of human beings, Jarasandha subsequently locked up the rulers of Andhaka Dynasty and other kings in his prisons.

61. In the dark chambers of prison, the King of Andhaka Dynasty and his royal followers felt they were like living dead as the animals without defense system.

62. Thus, Jarasandha charged with the arrogance (joy or pride) from an anticipated victory and Jarasandha, who wanted to unnecessarily kill people, became extremely rebellious.

63. Thereafter, feeling very sad over the consequence of the Naramedha Yajna in shattering the peace, Sahadeva told his father (Jarasandha) in seclusion these words:

64. "Even though you are my father and I am your son, and it is not proper for me to caution (or give any suggestions) to you—albeit unsolicited to comment on your unjustified act (Naramedha Yajna) has compelled me to tell you.

65. "Hey insensitive! My dear father! You told me that you have decided to perform the Naramedha Yajna—by killing innocent people for the act, will you be able to live peacefully even in Heaven?

66. "Unfortunately, even those like me and pious Brahmins, who always obey your orders, are not happy at heart to approve of your act (Naramedha Yajna)

67. "Similarly, Hey Rajan! Even your subjects, who follow the path 'dharma' and have compassionate hearts, are saddened by your misdemeanor.

68. "Thus, by your cruel act (Naramedha Yajna) you are committing a great sin by hurting the sentiments of the minor kings, Brahmins and your subjects.

69. "Some will become robust, some gods will be satisfied, other kings will envy but gentlemen will condemn you.

70. "So, father, if you want your welfare on this earth, then give up this cruel act and start making peaceful prayer to Lord Shiv."

71. Thus, the self respecting divine Sahadeva, kept quiet after making his offensive comments.

72. Enraged by his beloved son’s unpleasant words, King of Magadha shrunk his eyebrows in anger and told Sahadeva:

73. "Hey Pitrudrohi! Impotent and disgrace to the Magadha King’s family, wicked minister, harsh speaker, do not tell words that will make me unhappy.

74. "Earlier, by the grace of Lord Shiv when I attacked Hari (Vishnu), even then you used poisonous words but fortunately I succeeded in my mission."

75. Thus, Jarasandha using harsh and sinister remarks, ordered saying ‘Don’t show this face of yours to me. Leave this place at once’.

76. On listening to the painful remarks of his father, the divine-like Sahadeva, with a heavy heart and choked voice became silent.

77. Behaving like an invincible, cruel and proud elephant, bathed in rut, as though he has conquered the earth only to destroy it, the king with such an arrogant attitude, shot up like a comet.

78. Thereafter, the fearless son of Brihadratha (Jarasandha) left for his kingdom named Girivraja, which had huge palaces, gardens, ponds and mansions of different varieties found in 'devaloka' and which has a prestigious name in Magadha Kingdom.

79. Thereafter, blinded with the pride over anticipated victory, Jarasandha decided to go ahead with Narmedha Yajna and by binding hundreds of kings, went to reside in a fort that was impregnable by any enemy.

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