The Bhagavata Purana

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

This page describes Glorious deeds of Krishna which is chapter 3 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 third chapter of the Third Skandha of the Bhagavatapurana.

Chapter 3 - Glorious deeds of Kṛṣṇa

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

[Full title: The Dialogue between Vidura and Uddhava—Glorious deeds of Kṛṣṇa]

Uddhava said:

1. Then, with a desire to make his parents happy, he (Kṛṣṇa) accompanied by Balarāma came to the city (Mathurā) and forcibly pulled down Kaṃsa, the head of the enemy-force, from his royal seat, and after killing him, dragged him along the ground (though dead).

2. He learnt from Sāndīpani[1] the Veda with all its details (the six accessories of the Veda) which was recited to him but once. He restored his dead son to him (Sāndīpani) from the belly of Pañcajana[2].

3. Just as Garuḍa snatched away his share (of nectar), Kṛṣṇa, in the very presence of kings invited[3] on behalf of the Princess of Bhīṣmaka, carried away Rukmiṇī—his own share (as she was an incarnation of Lakṣmī)—with a view to marry her by the Gāndharva form of marriage,[4] thus setting his foot on the heads of the kings[5].

4. In another svayaṃvara, he tamed the bulls whose noses had not been bored and married the Princess (Satyabhāmā) of Nagnajit. He discomfited the foolish kings who, despite their humiliation (by Kṛṣṇa’s fulfilment of the marriage condition) still entertained a desire for her and came to fight him with their weapons, though he could not be injured by them.

5. Like an ordinary man (under the thumb of his wife) the Lord took away the celestial tree Pārijāta to grant the desire of his beloved (Satyabhāmā). At this, Indra (who was incited by Śacī) like a pet deer of women, got blind with rage and pursued him with his army (of gods)[6].

6. Seeing her son (Naraka) who was (as if) swallowing the sky with his body, cut down by the Sudarśana disc, he (Kṛṣṇa) was prayed by the goddess of the Earth (Naraka’s mother). Having given the remaining (unannexed) kingdom to Naraka’s son, Kṛṣṇa entered the harem.[7]

7. Seeing Hari, the friend of the afflicted person, the princesses who were abducted by Naraka, immediately rose to receive him with their glances full of rapture, bashfulness and love.

8. Assuming suitable forms by his māyā powers, he simultaneously married them all, with proper formalities, in different apartments.

9. With a desire to expand his prakṛti (or to become many for the sake of prakṛti), he got from each of them ten children equal to him in all respects.

10. He commissioned his great prowess and glory in his men (devotees like Mucukunda, Bhīma), and through them he got killed Kālayavana, Jarāsandha, Śālva and others who, with their armies, laid siege to his town.

11. He caused the death of some like Śambara[8], Dvivida[9], Bāṇa[10], Mura[11] and Balvala[12] (through others), while he killed others like Dantavaktra[13] (personally).

12. He then caused the destruction of kings who espoused the cause of your brothers’ sons (Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas). By the marching of their armies to Kurukṣetra, the earth was as if made to tremble.

13. He was not satisfied when he saw Suyodhana, along with his followers, lying prostrate on the ground with thighs broken and with his royal splendour and life cut short by the evil advice tendered by Karṇa, Duḥśāsana and Śakuni.

14. (He thought to himself): What an insignificant portion of the heavy burden of the earth is relieved, though an army of eighteen Akṣauhiṇīs is annihilated through (the medium of) Bhīṣma, Droṇa, Arjuna and Bhīma! For there exists an irresistible army of Yādavas headed by (Pradyumna and others who are) my parts[14] (aṃśas).

15. There is no other strategem to kill them (Yādavas) except when there will be a quarrel among themselves, with their eyes reddish with intoxication. When I prepare to leave this world, they will automatically disappear.

16. After planning thus, the Lord, establishing the son of Dharma (Yudhiṣṭhira) in his own kingdom, gave delight to his friends and showed thereby the path of the righteous people.

17. The continuity of the Puru family, which was properly secured by Abhimanyu in Uttarā, but which was verily destroyed by the missiles of Aśvatthāman, was again restored and protected by the Lord.

18. The Omnipresent Lord caused the son of Dharma (Yudhiṣṭhira) to perform the horse-sacrifice thrice. He (Yudhiṣṭhira) who was devoted to Kṛṣṇa, enjoyed himself protecting the earth with the help of his younger brothers.

19. The glorious Lord also, the Soul of the universe and a follower of the path prescribed in Śrutis and Smṛtis enjoyed all worldly pleasures at Dvārakā. But as he was firmly fixed in the Sāṅkhya Philosophy, he remained non-attached (due to his realization of the distinction between Prakṛti and Puruṣa).

20-21. With his lovely smiling looks and words sweet as nectar, with spotless character and with his body as an abode of Śrī (Goddess Lakṣmī) he gave delight to this world as well as to the next, especially so to the Yadus. At night, he showed momentary friendship to women who obtained the pleasure of his companionship.

22. While he was enjoying himself thus for pretty long years, He became unattached to the householder’s life and the pleasures therein.

23.[15] The objects of enjoyment are in the power of the Fate. Man himself is at the mercy of the Fate. What person devoted to the Lord of Yoga (Kṛṣṇa) by yogic process, will put faith in these (objects etc.)?

24. Once upon a time, in the city of Dvārakā (some) sages were offended by Yādava and Bhoja lads while at play. The sages who knew the intention of the Lord, cursed them.

25. Then after some months, Vṛṣṇis, Bhojas, Andhakas and others, being deluded by God, rode in their chariots to Prabhāsa, in great delight.

26. Thereafter, performing ablutions and offering libations to Manes, gods and sages they, with that water, gave cows of many good qualities, to Brāhmaṇas.

27-28. They donated to Brāhmaṇas gold and silver, clothes and beds, skins and woollen blankets, horses and chariots, elephants, girls and land sufficient for maintenance, sumptuous food with a view to pleasing the Lord. Those brave warriors whose life was dedicated to the service of cows and Brāhmaṇas bowed to them (Brāhmaṇas) with their heads touching the ground.

Footnotes and references:


Sāndīpani—Teacher of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma (DHM. 279).


Pañcajana—Name of a demon who assumed the form of a conch-shell and was slain by Kṛṣṇa to recover Sāndīpani’s son. But as he was not found in Pañcajana’s belly, Kṛṣṇa brought him back from Yama. For details—infra X Ch. 45.


Bhāvāratha Dīpikā accepts the v.l. samāhṛta i.e. who were attracted by her (Rukmiṇī’s) beauty etc.


Modern ‘love-marriage’. So called due to its supposed prevalence among the Gandharvas. ASD. 398 is wrong when it states that it is performed ‘without ceremonies’. Smṛti Candrikā and other digests state that homa and saptapadī are necessary. For details Kane History of Dharma Śāstra Vol. II—i. Ch. IX. P. 521-24.


Kings who were invited by her brother Rukmi whose name had two syllables common with the name ‘Rukmiṇī’—(Bhāvāratha Dīpikā).


Indra’s ingratitude is obvious, as it was he who invited Kṛṣṇa to get back the earrings of his mother Aditi from Bhaumāsura. Kṛṣṇa went to Svarga with Satyabhāmā and restored the ear-rings (Vide infra X. Gh. 59).


For details vide infra X. 59.


Śambara: A demon who stole away Kṛṣṇa’s son Pradyumna soon after his birth, and threw him into the sea. Providentially Pradyumnawas saved and ḥe killed Śambara—Bhāratīya Paurāṇika Kośa 197.


Dvivida—A monkey friend of Naraka; to avenge Naraka’s death he went on destroying the towns in Kṛṣna’s kingdom. At Raivata hill, he offended Balarāma insulting his fair companions. In the ensuing fight Balarāma killed him—Purāṇa Index. 2.150.


Bāṇa—Eldest son of Bali; a devotee of Śiva; arrested Kṛṣṇa’s grandson Aniruddha who courted his daughter Uṣā. In the battle that followed for the rescue of Aniruddha, god Śiva and Skanda assisted Bāṇa but were finally overpowered by Kṛṣṇa. At Śiva’s request Kṛṣṇa spared Baṇa’s [Bāṇa’s?] life and returned with Uṣā and Aniruddha—DHM. 42.


Mura—A demon ally of Naraka; defended Naraka’s capital Prāgjyotiṣa with his seven thousand sons. But he along with his sons was killed by Kṛṣṇa with his disc Sudarśana—DHM. 212.


Balvala—A demon who ruined the sacrifices at Naimiṣa; was killed by Balarāma at the request of the sages.


DantavaktraKing of Karuṣa; took side against Kṛṣṇa on behalf of Jarāsandha, Śālva and was killed by Kṛṣṇa—DHM. 80.


Padaratnāvalī construes it with Bhīṣma, Droṇa etc.


Bhāvāratha Dīpikā differs: When the Lord himself who had everything in his power, felt non-attachment, who would love or entertain faith in things in the power of the fate? A person devoted to Lord Kṛṣṇa would never do so.

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