The Bhagavata Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 780,972 words | ISBN-10: 8120838203 | ISBN-13: 9788120838208

This page describes Krishna’s Entrance into Dvaraka which is chapter 11 of the English translation of the Bhagavata Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas containing roughly 18,000 metrical verses. Topics include ancient Indian history, religion, philosophy, geography, mythology, etc. The text has been interpreted by various schools of philosophy. This is the eleventh chapter of the First Skandha of the Bhagavatapurana.

Chapter 11 - Kṛṣṇa’s Entrance into Dvārakā

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1. Arriving in the country called Anarta, his own kingdom, overflowing with prosperity, he blew his excellent conch, allaying thereby their depressed spirits.

2. Just as a white-bellied swan singing loudly in a cluster of red lotuses appears beautiful, so shone brightly the white- wombed conch, reddened by the red lower lip of Kṛṣṇa (lit. one whose steps are wide) and held in the hollow of (his red-) lotus-like palms while it was being blown by him.

3. Hearing that sound (blast) of the conch creating consternation in the heart of the terrors of the world, all subjects desirous of seeing their Lord, advanced to welcome him.

4. There, just as a lamp is offered to the Sun, those reverential subjects presented offerings to Him who is ever delighted and contented in himself, due to self-realization.

5. Like children speaking to their parents, they, with faces blooming with affection, and voice stiffled with joy, addressed their protector, the friend of all:

6. “Oh Lord! We are always submissive to your lotuslike feet adored by Brahmā, his off-spring (Sanaka etc.) and Indra (the lord of gods), the highest resort for the seekers of the supreme beatitude here, a shelter where Time [or death] which dominates everything else, is powerless.

7. Oh creator of the Universe! Be thou for our prosperity.[1] You alone are our mother, friend, husband, father, spiritual preceptor, the supreme deity, by serving whom we consider ourselves as having become blessed.

8. Oh! It is due to you that we have been blessed with a protector. We can behold what the gods can scarcely see, your form beautiful in all respects, your face beaming with affectionate smile and loving looks.

9. Oh lotus-eyed (Lord), when, with a desire to see (your) friends, Your Honour[2] departed to the land of Kurus or of the Madhus (Mathurā and region around it, including Vṛndāvana), Oh Acyuta! to us, who are yours, (even) a moment (of separation from you) appears like a long period of ten million years—even as it happens to the eyes (blind-folded) in the absence of the light of the Sun.”

10. Hearing such words spoken by his subjects and spreading out grace by his affectionate glances, Kṛṣṇa who was kind to his devotees, entered the city.

11. (The city which was) guarded by the Madhus[3], Bhojas[4], Daśārhas[5], Arhas[6], Kukuras[7], Andhakas[8] and Vṛṣṇis[9] who were as powerful as himself (i.e. Kṛṣṇa), like Bhogavatī[10] guarded by serpents.

12. Beautified with lotus-pools surrounded by orchards, flower-gardens consisting of sacred trees and creeper-pavilions, (full of) richness of flowers etc. (produced in) every season.

13. With triumphal arches erected in front of the city gates, house-doors and the public roads: the solar rays have been obstructed in the interior by the tops of banners and flags painted (with various designs).

14. With royal roads, streets, market places and quadrangular places swept clean and be-sprinkled with fragrant waters and strewn with fruits, flowers, grains of sun-dried rice and tender sprouts.

15. The doors of each house (of which city) were beautified by jars full (of water), curds, dried grains of rice, fruit and sugar canes, religious offerings, incense and lamps.

16-17. On hearing about the approach of the dearest one (Kṛṣṇa), the great-minded Vasudeva[11], Akrūra[12], Ugrasena[13], and Balarāma[14] of marvellous bravery, (17) Pradyumna[15], Cārudeṣṇa[16], Sāmba[17] the son of Jāmbavatī—all having refrained from sleeping, sitting and eating due to the extreme joyous excitement.

18. And being full of respect, joy and in a hurry out of love (for Kṛṣṇa), they, leading the principal elephant (of state) before them, advanced in chariots (to meet him) in company of Brāhmaṇas (with auspicious articles in their hands) reciting the Vedas, accompanied by the blowing of conches and musical instruments.

19. And hundreds of the best courtesans whose beautiful faces and cheeks were glowing with glittering ear-rings, being eager to see him, advanced to greet him in their conveyances.

20. Actors, dancers, singers, scholars versed in ancient legends, family bards and heralds[18] sang the wonderful deeds of him whose glory dispels ignorance.

21. Approaching near them, the Lord paid suitable respects to all the kinsmen, citizens and retainers, there.

22. Bowing down his head, saluting (orally), embracing, touching by hands, looking with smile, (giving) desired boons and consoling, the supreme Lord paid honours to all (classes of people) up to the outcaste dog-cookers (caṇḍālas).

23. Even he himself, being endowed benedictions by the superiors (or preceptors), Brāhmaṇas with their wives[19], old men, by bards and others, entered the city.

24. Oh Brāhmaṇa! When Kṛṣṇa proceeded on the royal (main) road, women of the good families in Dvārakā, being greatly delighted at His sight, ascended on the tops of their houses.

25. For, the eyes of the residents of Dvārakā were not thoroughly satisfied, although they were always used to see the Imperishable (Kṛṣṇa), whose person is the home of beauty (and)

26. Whose bosom is the home of the goddess of wealth, whose face is (like) a drinking vessel (of the nectar) to the eyes, whose arms (are the shelter) of the guardians (of the quarters) of the world, and (whose) lotus-like feet are (the refuge) of the Cakravāka birds[20] (in the form of the devotees who sing of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the essence of the universe).

27. Richly adorned with a white umbrella (lit. sunprotector) and Chouries, bestrewn with flowers showered (on him) on the way, the wearer of the yellow raiment (Kṛṣṇa) shone with the garland of forest flowers[21] just as a cloud would shine with (the shining beauty of) the Sun, the Moon (along with stars), the rainbow and the lightning[22].

28. (When) he entered (his) parents’ house, he was embraced by his mothers. With joy, he bowed down with his head to his seven[23] (mothers) of whom Devakī was the chief.

29. Placing the son on the lap, the mothers who with their breasts wet with the milk of motherly affection were beside themselves with joy, sprinkled him with tears (of joy).

30. Then (Kṛṣṇa) entered his own mansion full of allcoveted objects and unsurpassed by all other palaces wherein were the edifices of his sixteen thousand and also (one hundred and eight other) wives.

31. Having observed from afar their husband, returned home from a distant journey, the wives of Kṛṣṇa in whose minds rapturous joy was generated, and with eyes and faces full of bashfulness, immediately sprang from their seats (a bodily action) along with their vows[24] (which is a mental action).

32. Oh best of Bhṛgus! They being of deep dispositions, embraced their husband with (their) hearts, eyes and (as if through) children. Owing to the distressed condition of their mind, the tears in their eyes though restrained, oozed out of the eyes of those bashful ladies.

33. Although he stood by their side in privacy, his pair of feet assumed newness (every moment). Who can desist from his feet which the goddess of prosperity (Lakṣmī) though (notoriously) fickle, never forsakes?

34. Just as the wind subsides (after burning down a forest of bamboos) by means of fire begotten (of their mutual friction), similarly (Kṛṣṇa) (although) himself unarmed, got repose after creating hostility among the kings whose birth was a load to the earth, and causing them to kill one another, (with their power exhibited by their armies surrounding them).

35. Coming down in this world of mortals by his divine power (Māyā) and revelling among a bevy of beauties, gems of that sex, the very Supreme Lord enjoys himself like ordinary man.

36. Smitten by the pure and charming smile exhibiting their unrestrained nature and bashful looks of women, the adversary of the God of Love (i.e. Śiva) being fascinated abandoned his bow (Pināka). (But) women of transcendent beauty not by their cunning (deceits) ruffle the serenity of Kṛṣṇa’s mind.

37. Verily people regarding (Lord Kṛṣṇa) just like(themselves), consider Him attached and following like pursuits, although be is really free from worldly feelings and passions. Hence the unwisḍom (of the people).

38. This is the superiority of the Almighty that though he is associated with the Primordial Matter, He (Kṛṣṇa) is never affected by its qualities, just as Intellect though resorting to (i.e. in spite of its being in association with) the soul, does not acquire the properties of the soul.[25]

39. They, the ignorant wives (of Śrī Kṛṣṇa) not understanding correctly the greatness of their husband, thought the Lord as their slave abjectly ministering to their humour in private just as people (lit. minds) [think wrongly about God].

Footnotes and references:


bhavāya—our good, consisting of knowledge, devotion etc.—Padaratnāvalī


v.l. no bhavān—Your Honour, leaving us in slight—Bhāvāratha Dīpikā


Madhus—A family of the Yādava clan—Bhāratīya Paurāṇika Kośa 233.


Bhojas—Descendants of king Mahābhoja of the Yādava clan—Bhāratīya Paurāṇika Kośa 228.


Daśārha—Son of king Nirvṛti or Vidūratha of the Yādava clan, a founder of the dynasty of the same name. (Bhāratīya Paurāṇika Kośa 137). Here it refers to that clan. They were ṛelated to Pāṇḍavas and defended DvāravatīPurāṇa Index. 2.79.


Arhas—a group of people defending Dvārakā and related to Pāṇḍavas—Purāṇa Index. 1.113.


Kukuras—A son of Andhaka and father of Dhṛṣṭa. Here his descendants, the defenders of Dvārakā. are implied—Purāṇa Index. 1.383.


Andhakas—A community of the Yādava tribe defending Dvārakā; at Dvāravatī their overlord was Ugrasena. Relieved by Kaṃsa’s death, ended themselves by fighting with their kinsmen. Purāṇa Index. 1.67.


Vṛṣṇis—The descendants of Vṛṣṇi, the son of Madhu, whose ancestor was the eldest son of Yadu. Kṛṣṇa belonged to this branch of the Lunar race.—DHM. 369.


Bhogavatī—The subterranean capital of the Nāgas in the Nāgaloka portion of the Pātāla.—DHM. 54.


Vasudeva—son of Śūra of the Yādava clan; married seven daughters of Devaka, the youngest of them Devakī was the mother of Kṛṣṇa. After the death of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, he gave up ḥis life in spiritual meditation and his four queens immolated themselves along with his body. (DHM. 342-43, Mahābharāta Nāmānukramaṇikā Mahābhārata Nāmānukramaṇī—300-1).


Akrūra—A Yādava, uncle of Kṛṣṇa; the son of Śvaphalka and Gāndinī; married a daughter of Ugrasena; as per order of Kaṃsa, brought Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma from Vraja to Mathurā for Dhanuryāga; on the way Kṛṣṇa showed to him his real Divine form. He is chiefly noted as being the possessor of the Syamantaka gem; was killed in the internecine fight amongst the Yādavas at Prabhāsa. (Purāṇa Index. 1.3-4, DHM. 10).


Ugrasena—King of Mathurā, father of Kaṃsa and Devaka. He was deposed by Kaṃsa but Kṛṣṇa after killing Kaṃsa, restored Ugrasena to the throne. Later he stayed at Dvārakā. After Kṛṣṇa’s death he entered fire.—(Purāṇa Index. 1.210).


Balarāma—Kṛṣṇa’s elder step-brother.


Pradyumna—the eldest son of Kṛṣṇa by Rukmiṇī; when a child only six days old, he was stolen by the Asura Śambara who tried to kill him. Through sheer providence, he survived all attempts and grew up to manhood under the loving care of Māyāvatī. actually Rati, his (Pradyumna’s) wife of his previous birth as Kāma. He killed Śambara, married Māyāvatī and both alighted by air inside Kṛṣṇa’s palace. Kṛṣṇa presented the couple to Rukmiṇī. Pradyumna married Kakudmatī, the daughter of Rukmin and had by her a son named Aniruddha. Finally, Pradyumna got killed in the drunken brawl of the Yādavas at Prabhāsa. His wives burnt themselves as Satī.—(DHM. 237-38; Purāṇa Index. 2.416-17).


Cārudeṣṇa—a son of Jāmbavatī and Kṛṣṇa; a good archer. (Purāṇa Index. 1.598.)


Sāmba—A son of Kṛṣṇa by Jāmbavatī; was a noted warrior but led a dissolute life and scoffed at sacred things. When his friends disguised him as a pregnant woman and asked great sages like Viśvāmitra, Durvāsas, Nārada etc. whether she would beget a male child, the sages told that Ṣāmba will give birth to an iron pestle (or club) which would destroy the Yādava clan. Though Ugrasena got the iron pestle pounded and cast into the sea, the particles grew into rushes, reeds which turned into weapons at the drunken brawl amongst the Yāḍavas and killed them all. Sāmba was killed in this fight.—(DHM. 276, Bhāratīya Paurāṇika Kośa 341, Mahābharāta Nāmānukramaṇikā 379).


Though all these are panegyrists, the last is applied to those who are learned among them.

Bhāvāratha Dīpikā quotes the duties of these as follows:

sūtāḥ paurāṇikāḥ proktā māgadhā vaṃśa-śaṃsakāḥ /
bandinas tvamala-prajñāḥ prastāva-sadṛśoktayaḥ //

But Bhāvārtha-dīpikā-prakāśa states that Banḍis are the eulogists of the present kings:

vartamāna-nṛpāṇāñca stotāro bandinaḥ smrtāḥ //


Subodhinī thinks that this adjective should qualify all the persons in this verse.


sāraṅga—A pun implying—

(1) the Cakravāka birds and

(2) singers of the essence (of the universe, viz. Lord Kṛṣṇa)—

sāraṃ śrī Kṛṣṇaṃ gāyantī ti sāraṅgā bhaktāḥ /—Bhāvāratha Dīpikā


Vanamālā—A garland prepared out of the flowers of Kunda, Pārijāta, lotus, Mandāra and Tulasī leaves:

tulasī-kunda-mandāra-Pārijātāmbujais tu yā /
pañcabhir grathitā mālā vanamāleti kīrtyate //


In plain words: Kṛṣṇa had a white umbrella on his head and Chowries on both sides. Flowers were showered on him on the way. He wore a yellow garment and a garland of forest flowers. On account of these, he appeared like a dark cloud.


Vasudeva had eighteen wives. Kṛṣṇa saluted them all, but special respect was shown to Devakī and her sisters. Vide Bhāvāratha Dīpikā:

mātṛ-sodaryād ādara-viśeṣa-jñāpanārtham uktam /


vrataiḥ sākam—ŚR. explains: ‘While observing the vows of women whose husbands have gone abroad’. It can also be taken as sākaṃ vrataiḥ which means that the rules for such women as prescribed by Yājñavalkya:

krīḍāṃ śarīra-saṃskāraṃ samājotsava-darśaṇam /
hāṣyam para-gṛhe yāṇaṃ tyajet proṣita-bhartṛkā //

Also: rose up along with the other ladies.


This verse is interpreted differently. For example:

“That is the control of the Controller (the Supreme spirit) that he (Kṛṣṇa) is not affected by the qualities of the Nature (Primordial Matter) despite His ever presence in the (working of the) Nature, just as the Intellect, though in intimate association with the eternally existing Soul is affected by the qualities inherent in the Supreme Spirit.”

Bhāvāratha Dīpikā explains ātmasthaiḥ etc: “as the intellect and happiness in the Soul do not unite with each other, similarly Kṛṣṇa is not affected by the attributes of Nature.” He further adds, “It may be said that the intellect joins with the attributes of the Supreme Spirit and the material body with its qualities unites with the intellect and the individual spirit with condition; but the Supreme Spirit does not imbibe the qualities of nature, although He is present in it.”

Padaratnāvalī a follower of the Dualistic School of Vedānta explains: The ruling nature of the Supreme Spirit consists in that, though (he is) abiding in Primordial Nature (Prakṛti), he is not limited by Sattva and other attributes, as also by Śabda etc. which are under his control; just as the (Intellect) of the wise, though abiding in the Primordial Nature (Prakṛti), is not affected by the qualities of the Prakṛti, as the Intellect fixed on Kṛṣṇa, is not affected.

Kramasandarbha. follows mainly Bhāvāratha Dīpikā but in explaining the 2nd line of the verse he states, “... as the mind of the devotees under the benign care of the Supreme Lord, is in no way affected by, though it may come in contact with Nature”.

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