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 20 - The Slaying of Jarasandha

1. Hence, even as the Lord of the day touching with his rays the form present before him by way of the son of wind (Bhima) paying obeisance with a desire of victory, scattered his vigorous splendor.

2. Having obtained the warmth of radiance of the sun that gives essential vitality to three worlds, the son of Pandu wore in him much enthusiasm fit for battle that perhaps was a sign not good for his rivals.

3. Thereafter anticipating high-spirited Arjuna (the middle–most of the five Pandavas) great-minded Hari having thought of some auspicious omen spoke inspiring words to Arjuna for combat.

4-5. Being instructed in this manner here, the son of Indra (Arjuna) along with the slayer of Madhu and one who followed them, moved to outside city where a high ground was put up by the order of the king for the combat of duel; that ground prepared with the mass of excellent soil, with a pavilion situated around, (spectator's gallery), thereafter he who was originated from the wind (Bhima) now took his seat that was assigned to him separately.

6. With his curly mass of hair moving slightly, he having a broad forehead, which was moistened by essence of fragrance, with raised eyebrows looking aptly for a hero, both eyes likened to a red bloom with a bee (in it).

7. He of attractive nose, and lips marked with a string of fine moustache above, looking splendid as though an enraged tusker, his temples moistened with perspiration of pride, his arms swinging about armpits, and his two ears likened to lotuses, his face formed of wide jaws and neck in the shape of a conch looked beautiful.

8. (His) Hands as though possessing the noose of death for foe's neck; paring with his might of shoulders; the luster of the shoulders declining on the large hunk (region), (his) broad chest ornamented with oscillating string of precious gems.

9. The extensive back (of his) resembling to a table-land, his mass of waist mocking even that of a lion’s; His rear robustly built, loins and thighs rotund with flesh, extended by powerful shanks, and finely composed pair of foot.

10. He who had prominent forehead, a man of might as he was in tearing apart the chest-doors of a fraudulent combatant, he who was wholly enthusiasm personified in fighting a wrestling-duel, began to move with gestures of a royal tusker from below.

11. He who was without any restraint, indicating catastrophe for the adversary, by way of his quivering right eyebrows and he, followed by Krishna and Arjuna, came to the arena of wresting-duel.

12. Here, Jarasandha, a devotee of Lord Umesha (Consort of Uma) who had taken ritualistic ablution for the victory, being enjoined by the twice-born (Dvija), offered worship to Lord Mahesha with handful of Bilva leaves.

13. In this manner, he who was desirous of slaying the foe, having secured Pashupati’s grace abundantly, he who possessed of might par with might of the rival, strength par with that of the strong, himself got ready, wished to combat.

14. Thereafter on account of performing specific rites on the occasion, he having made charities amiable to the saintly people, he who was longing for a battle getting himself ready, fixing his girdle, swiftly came to the appointed place.

15. Even as reaching there accordingly were those two warriors (combatants), stood there, both recollecting their favourite deities in their hearts for a moment, got ready for the duel, and came to the area.

16. Both of them profusely, stroking their shoulders, thighs (loins) and chests with palms repeatedly, both desirous of killing each other, warriors of great might as they were, came close.

17. Firstly pressing each other's hands, then slowly having kept them on each others neck, intent to test opponent's strength mutually, for the moment, they began to play like two young elephants.

18. Testing (each other's) the strength every moment both of them who were competent warriors in wrestling, having held each other's neck with (their) hands quickly, both intent on causing each other's fall down, suddenly engaged in conquering (each other) they caused to fall the enemy on the ground.

19. Clashing against each other with their shoulders, at the same time holding each other's neck with arms to conquer, striking heavily with their palm's edge, pounding each other with their bodies heavily, both mighty men as they were, indulged in rubbing each other as well.

20. Then jumping (in the air) with fury, again swiftly tried to take control of each other with their chests. In quick succession both grasping each other with their fists, with their toes locking the feet to fell each other, they both fought, who were skillful in the art of wrestling.

21. Even as intensity of blows increased hit on each other making both of them even more enraged, gradually the duel turned terribly violent; both keen to throw some tricks, both warriors of prominent built, pushed each other to the boundary line of the battle ring (arena).

22. Lifting each other uprightly, tossed each other to some distance on to the ground repeatedly; both becoming more vexed by virtue of blows caused by the fall they roared like lions.

23. Thus both the rivals, becoming more incensed towards each other in the duel, both the warriors, having their body bound, those two maddened men often producing heartbreaking roars, caused by the numerous strikes of hands.

24. Repeatedly they both jumping aloft in air at times seemed like wrestlers in the sky;swiftly in quick succession, kicked each other in opponent’s chest with their foot atrociously;

25. Both the warriors now having been exhausted of throwing every contrivance up the sleeve in assaulting each other, both having their wisdom burnt in the fire of fury, both being terrific in the combat, both having disregarded all the rules of wrestling, indulged howsoever to kill the enemy.

26. Both overpowered by anger, having lost their resolve, infatuated by arrogance, as if two great elephants driven by animosity, again and again making heartbreaking roars, engaged in hurting each other severely in many ways.

27. In this way, both of equal gallantry did fight ceaselessly, greatly intent on to be victorious; the tussle being exceedingly terrifying to the three worlds, took to terrible proportions even more, there was tumult all over caused by their exchange of thud.

28. Thus the combat between the son of wind and the resident of Magadha where both continually did keep hitting each other in many ways; the tussle between those two warriors of firm resolve, at once shook the moving as well as unmoving world, hinting at a deluge to come.

29-30. Both intent on causing destruction of great magnitude, roaring like thunder clouds of deluge; though the entire world is saddened, these two great combatants did not cease their battle; they both of expansive trunks, of wide prominent head (like pots) of drenched chins due to perspiration, both having opened chapters of war; both of corpulent legs likened to the pillars, indulged in decimating each other's arrogance, of great might, who were the crème of warrior class.

31. This way, the time lapsed in the act of curbing each other with their haughtiness of might of those two warriors; fighting thus for thrice the time of seven days span, were the son of Brihadratha and the son of wind.

32. The best of Yadus having seen the strength of the two powerful warriors in battle that excited the world, as well as their intellect being blinded by rage, and their volition to obstinacy of 'Hatayogis', the god creator of the world (Krishna) thought thus.

33. “Nonetheless son of Jara has obtained strength from the overlord, a valiant warrior by himself, whereas the son of wind (Bhima) is not par with him as such. Hence a part of my splendour which is surpassing three worlds, be imbibed in him (by me).

34. Having thought thus, Hari caused to move his essential power of great magnitude, which is unsurpassable, beyond three worlds, into the son of wind whose body had become flaccid in torque of the war.

35. Thenceforth the son of wind (Bhima) having got Hari's splendorous valour instantly, that which causes destruction of the enemy, he indeed became more incensed to kill the foe, like an ignited log of wood.

36. Even he (Jarasandha) of foolish arrogance, whose mind has been badly disturbed, deliberately disregarded Bhima as an elephant does a blade of grass. Valiant warrior (Bhima) was not at all surprised, as he had gained supreme faculty, a man of self-respect never makes his proud reputation thin.

37. Bhima being a terrific combatant incensed by rage, inflamed, battleintoxicated, mighty, having obtained divinely strength of Shouri (Krishna) roared vehemently.

38. Not tolerating Bhima roaring like a cloud that causes universal dissolution, Magadha, a let–loose, inflamed exceedingly with the fire of anger, hit hard on the foe's head.

39. Even Bhima becoming irresistibly vexed with the strikes of adamant Magadha, prepared to kill him who was cruelly wicked, by hitting on his head with fists.

40. Alas! He (Jarasandha) remained unwearied in the combat even after being terribly thrashed by Bhima that made him acutely painful; the intoxicated king in the process of displaying his pride would not look for pacifying ways.

41. Though he lost his heart by virtue of fold foe's strikes of fist causing injury, yet he remained irresistible, at the same time enduring his unbearable pain, the pride-intoxicated king was held under control.

42. The son of wind striking his great foe with clenched hands variously, violently with force, on his moistened forehead, face, and chin and in the abdomen (belly) without break that made him slacken.

43. He, who had his tongue as well as fingers quivered, having him tied by hands like rope with hood and arms likened to a dreadful serpent! His body was made to churn like a great mountain as it were in the episode of churning of ocean, Bhima enacted this again thus.

44. Slowly and slowly, he, whose frame was weakened, vitally bruised, still was persisting obstinately, (He) who prepared to resist the strikes of Bhima, was not able to endure it with his feeble arms (hands).

45. He who had become languid having fallen on the ground in the combat crookedly thinking for himself that he should not be defeated, indeed, he who was verily skilled in the art of wrestling, kicked in the chest of Bhima with his feet.

46. Thereafter Bhima, who was intent on getting hold of (foe), with himself on top of his ire, but remaining unperturbed, forcibly got hold of the toes of the foremost of the wrestlers.

47. Having seized him firmly, lifting one of his legs upright at once with hands, Bhima twisted it as though a wet cloth, which made every limb of him frail.

48. He (Bhima) throwing him like an elephant -an uprooted tree, placing the loins of Magadha on his rear; grasping both of his legs upright Bhima did split them into pieces.

49. Thereupon turning the foe inversely with ease with his foot, alas! Bhima verily dominant as he was, having placed one of his legs on (Jarasandha’s) the broad chest for a moment thundered vehemently set the entire space reverberating.

50. He who was shattered in this manner but being a self-conceited warrior, Jarasandha fuming like a snake, having threatened Bhima arrogantly without fear, impudently, loudly laughed (at him) several times.

51. Even though he who was confined thus (Him) being of false pride, billowing forth forcibly contemptuously kept looking at the enemy. Magadha did not admit his downfall for wicked men befall themselves into calamity.

52. He, who was defeated thus even then vehemently kept laughing arrogantly, though bleating at times, having seen Jarasandha the foe, Bhima became, uncontrollably irritated.

53. Exasperated Bhima, having attacked first of the legs of the one who had fallen on ground, with his foot, grasping the other with (his) hands, at once seizing it like an elephant does a sugarcane staff, pared it vertically without a second thought.

54. In this way Bhima, who had obtained extraordinary bodily strength from the Supreme Being, having decimated his enemy's vitals completely in the combat, verily tearing the rugged body in the middle, threw away those two halves in the air, two miles afar.

55. Here, though the son of Jara of strength obtained from the three-eyed (Shiv), and being an ardent devotee of Brahmins and also a world-class warrior as he was, the malicious king was destroyed by his own misdeeds, what indeed despite misdeed is the seat of disaster (misery)?

56. Jarasandha is killed now by Bhima in front of witnessing citizens (residents), with the grace of Krishna, all the three worlds delighted.

57. The glory of the victory of Bhima over great warrior of Magadha in the combat grew thenceforth all over heaven and in the woods of Kapalis as well.

58. O! Valliant one, you are indeed blessed; you are blessed, let your valour increase forever, thus the overlords in heaven, Brahmins on earth, vehemently uttered these words.

59. Disposing his rival as destined in this manner Bhima, the warrior, who was rained upon with flowers by a band of celestials, whose mind-bee was overwhelmed with joy in the rain of flowers, bowed his head to Krishna, the Lord of three worlds.

60-61. He who had his entire cheeks resplendent with the ornament of droplets of perspiration born out of toil that he went through combat, whose strand of curly hair slightly moved, whose face streaming out a gentle smile, he who was victorious and mightily strong. He of stout arms (shoulders) likened to posts, that which tore the rival apart, his pendants oscillating on the shoulders (hanging) from two ears, he a jewel in Pandava-clan was bosom-hugged by Gandivi (Arjuna) at that instant.

62. In the demise of sire who had slain tens of hundreds of kings, (his) courageous son Sahadeva bearing weight of joy and sorrow together in his heart, with his face bent, paid obeisance to Krishna, immediately.

63. Hari himself with compassion, having given insignia of kingdom to wise Sahadeva who stood prostrating (before him) in this manner, established him as the new Lord of Magadha.

64. Thereafter, immediately Hari came along the way as told by the king Sahadeva to the prison of Magadha followed by Partha and the son of wind.

65. Having gone there, Hari himself quickly released these kings, who otherwise were in anticipation of death. Now that having their fear gone; they took refuge in his holy feet alone.

68. "O! Hari of plaint nature, with your essential nature (being) the crème of the preponderance of enemy has been diffused. Oh! Now it is ascertained in this world the importance of your renown."

69. Thus there is respect everywhere "O! Friend in this world due to your compassion, indeed my wish of performing a Rajasuya sacrifice, which is inferred to be difficult to perform, soon will be accomplished."

70. The king of Kurus there made numberless charity of gifts and presentations; with his face bent, having extolled the holy feet of Hari, which are sought after by three worlds he requested thus.

71. Thereafter the king, having seen those two (men) pleased with the win helped by Kaitabhajit (Krishna), Bhima and Arjuna, was filled with little tears of joy in his eyes.

72. Nakula and Sahadeva paid their salutations with love to Krishna and to those two who were mightily talented (as young elephants), intoxicated by the grace obtained.

73. Thus Kunti, having seen all her people who were graced upon by way of slaying of Jarasandha, heartily paying obeisance to Krishna, said to Draupadi.

74. "O! Draupadi, the god (Krishna) of dark complexion, of great compassion, being asked by you devotedly, him being pleased at that had gone himself to Magadha.

75. "You are blessed O! Panchali, by your numerous virtues, Hari, was made to incline and drawn to your words; Hari, for a win, having designated Bhima in pretext, himself indeed did slay Jarasandha."

76. Having spoken to Draupadi who offered salutations, graceful Kunti, having bowed to Krishna (the Lord of universe) repeatedly, took leave off them.

77. Thereafter the king also (Yudhishthira) paid homage with a heart full of love, to Krishna, who was his (soul-kinsman) intimate kinsman, who being eulogized, offered salutations and worshipped indifferently by demons (sons of Danu) mortals as well as celestials.

78. Paying obeisance to Krishna the Lord of the universe, repeatedly, the king (Yudhishthira), being free from envy, did engage in Rajasuya affair.

79. As the bee reaching the head of Lord Parashiv by virtue of its taking shelter in a flower, likewise even a diminutive creature by taking shelter in the mighty will accomplish its end, for certain; He who was born of Dharma, desirous of performing sacrifice upon whose grace had accomplished it thus, may that god Shri Krishna, the guard of all, protect this world from calamity.

80-81. Indra and Brahma in a fine, clean attire, to go near him (Krishna) even for a moment, situating on their horse and swan respectively, deeply engaged like Panini in formulating his aphorisms; Bowing to him alone the highest being Hari, who is the source of joy, the delight (son) of Nanda, poem namely 'Jarasandhavadha' is completed by me, deftly who is his servant.

82. Let wicked men speak whatever they wish dolefully; for me, there is no volition, who am of free disposition, with the grace of Hari, the poem named ‘Jarasandhavadha’ had been composed by me.

83. The work and its author who is I: sometimes, somewhere the poetic convention has been overlooked by me. Let that not be pondered over by men of wisdom who are free from envy. It is admitted the breaking of poetic convention has happened, but by myself (itself).

84. Though the wise are able to point out shortcomings (literary) of the poets, but not shown by the wise;(or the potential mistakes of the poets are not exhibited by the wise); those who speak falsely, they magnify these; In this poem of mine mistakes if any were to be found somewhere; let all of them be disproved (excluded) by the grace of the god.

85. In this poem, let the knower of principles of poetics, who are not spiteful, look for my creative genius without any barrier, for I have followed Magha.

86. In rendition of this literary work in contrast to the work of Magha, I have treaded the path of glorifying the consort of Lakshmi in a narrow way; we both go only glorifying (his virtues), if it seems partial to the former ways in style, may it not appear improper to the men of discretion.

87. May this new great work of mine; come to light by its propounding of subservience to Krishna, with the grace of Krishna, verily give delight to good men.

88. Having subordinated the aspect of (poetic) sentiment, to make it taste differently, this work is composed by me exerting, by arrangement of verses in various new shapes, in every respect; that is meant strictly for the knower of principles of poetics, not again for the bad-hearted who tend to lay hand on deficiencies, may bees become discernable not the mad monkeys.

89. (My) mind creeper blissfully holding onto the best of trees, Krishna the ornament of Vraja, with the grace of Hari as well as by good fortune that association with the good has made me wholly succulent from within indeed like a mango. (Here that Hariraiji and his work be known to discerning people.)

90. He who is of dark complexion, splendid like a dark cloud, who has borne entire universe, the earth, of high shoulders, whose mind is engrossed only in his devotee, the only shelter for the unprotected (shelter-less), the unparalleled one in effecting deliverance for beings from sorrows, perhaps He who did bestow compassion upon a mortal like me a receptacle of wrongs, He who is eternal, veracious, immutable, His lovely form be shining in my mind constantly.

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