The Brahmanda Purana

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 319,243 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes the vrishni dynasty (vamsha) which is Chapter 71 of the English translation of the Brahmanda Purana: one of the oldest puranas including common Puranic elements such as cosmogony, genealogy, ethics, geography and yoga. Traditionally, the Brahmandapurana is said to consist of 12,000 verses metrical Sanskrit verses.

Chapter 71 - The Vṛṣṇi dynasty (vaṃśa)

Sūta said:—

1-2. Sons of great strength were born to Sātvata and Kauśalyā. They were Bhajamāna, Bhaji, Divya, Vṛṣṇi, Devavṛdha, Andhaka and Mahābhoja who was well-known, truthful of speech and a patron of Brāhmaṇas. Their creations (descendants) are fourfold. Listen to them in detail.

3-6. (Defective text) Sṛñjaya was the son of Bhajamāna[1] (?) Sṛñjaya had two daughters. He gave them in marriage to Bāhyaka. Those two sisters his wives, gave birth to many sons namely Nimloci, Kiṃkaṇa, Dhṛṣṭi and Parapurañjaya[2]. They were born (as the great grandsons) of Bhajamāna and the sons of the daughter of Sṛñjaya. The sister of Bāhyaka’s first wife gave birth to Ayutājit, Sahasrājit and Śatājit. Among the sons of Sātvata, Devavṛdha performed a severe penance with the intention “A son endowed with all good qualities should be born to me”.

7-3. After engaging himself thus in the Yogic practice, he touched the waters of the river Parṇāśā.[3] Since the king was endowed with auspicious qualities, the excellent river became delighted at his touch when the king ceremoniously sipped the waters.

9-10. She (the river) became engrossed in thought and finally resolved thus—

“I shall not come in the way of that lady of whom a son endowed with all good qualities can be born to king Devavṛdha. Hence, I shall myself become his wife”.

11-12. As her emotional attachment to him, as mentioned before welled up in her heart, she (assumed the form of) a girl and wooed the king who was in a thoughtful mood. The king too liked her. The liberal-minded king begot a brilliant child of her.

13. In the ninth month, the most excellent river gave birth to Babhru, the son of Devavṛdha. That son was endowed with all good qualities.

14. In regard to that race of kings, Brāhmaṇas conversant with the Purāṇas sing the following verses. They glorify the good qualities of the noble-souled Devavṛḍha.

15-16. ‘Inasmuch as we hear from a distance and see at close quarters, Babhru is the most excellent one among human beings and Devavṛdha is on a par with the Devas.

The number of men who gained immortality (? absolution) from Babhru and also from Devavṛdha is seventy thousand and sixty-five.

17-18. Mahābhoja, a scion of the family of Sātvatas, was a great warrior. He was a performer of sacrifices, the chief of the most prominent ones among the donors of liberal gifts, firm of resolve, truthful in speech, a patron of Brāhmaṇas and the most famous among kings.

His line is very great. The kings of his line are well renowned on the Earth as “Bhojas”.

Dhṛṣṭi (Prob. Vṛṣṇi[4]) had two wives viz. Gāndhārī and Mādrī.

19-21. Gāndhārī give birth to Sumitra who delighted h is friends. Mādrī gave birth to Yudhājit, Mīḍhvān, and Anamitra and Śina—both excellent among men.

Nighna was the son of Anamitra. Nighna had two sons viz. Prasena and Satrājit of great fortune. The Sun-god was a friend of Satrājit as dear to him as his own life.

22. Once, at the close of night, that excellent person among riders in the chariot (a great warrior) viz. Satrājit went in his chariot to the banks (of the river) in order to take water for offering libations to the sun.

23. Even as he was going on with his worship of the sun, Vivasvān (The Sun god) stood in front of him. The form of the lord was very vivid and clear. The disc of the Sun-god with a circular effulgence was very brilliant.

24-25. Then the king addressed to Vivasvān (the Sun-god) who stood in front of him. “O lord of luminaries, I see you alike both in the sky as well as in front of me. You have the same circular effulgence. O Vivasvān, what is the difference in you when you have approached me as a friend?”

26. On hearing this, the Sun-god removed the excellent jewel Syamantaka[5] from his own neck and tied it round the neck of the king.

27. Thereupon, the king saw him in his physical form. On seeing him, he was delighted and he carried on a pleasant talk with him for a short while.

28-29. When Vivasvān started once again, Satrājit said to him—“It behoves you, O lord, to give me this excellent jewel whereby the people may see you in it having the splendour of fire.

The Sun-god gave him the jewel named Syamantaka.

30. The king wore that jewel when he entered the city. He made the entire city wonder-struck and entered his harem.

31. With great love, that king Satrājit gave that divine excellent jewel Syamantaka to his brother Prasena.

32. Parjanya (god of clouds and rain) would shower plenty of rain in that country where this jewel named Syamantaka happened to exist. There would be no danger from ailments or epidemics in that country.

33. Govinḍa (Kṛṣṇa) expressed his desire to have that excellent jewel Syamantaka from Prasena, but did not get it. Although he was powerful enough, he did not take it by force.

34. Once Prasena bedecked himself with that jewel and went for hunting. For the sake of Syamantaka (i.e. on. account of it) hc met with a terrible death from a lion.

35. Jāmbavān, the king of bears, killed that lion. He took the divine jewel and entered his cave.1

36. Elderly persons among the Vṛṣṇis and Andhakas considered that murder of Prasena an act of Kṛṣṇa who was covetous of the jewel. They suspected him alone.

37. The lord, the destroyer of enemies, who was more powerful than they did not brook that false accusation. So he roamed about in the forest to trace Prasena.

38-41. Accompanied by a few citizens who were trustworthy and obedient to him, the lord roamed about in the forest where Prasena had been hunting and where Prasena’s footprints could be traced. He searched the excellent mountains Ṛkṣavān and Vindhya and became tired. In the end the noble-minded lord saw Prasena who had been killed along with his horse. But he did not get the jewel there (on his person). Thereafter, the lion was seen killed by a bear not far from the body of Prasena. This had been indicated by the footprints of the bear. The Scion of the family of Yadu (i.e. lord Kṛṣṇa) traced the foot-prints to the cave of a bear.

42-44. In that large cave, he heard the words uttered by a young woman. The nurse had been playing with the infant son of Jāmbavān, O Brāhmaṇas, along with the jewel. The words Mā rodīḥ (Do not cry) were uttered by her.

The nurse said:—

“The lion killed Prasena. It was killed by Jāmbavān. O my excellent child, do not cry. This jewel is for you”.

The words were very clear. He went into the cave immediately.

45-47. Near the cave (also) he saw (a few) torn (pieces of) Prasena.

Entering the cave of the bear suddenly, the liberal-minded lord saw Jāmbavān, the king of bears. For twentyone days, Govinda, the son of Vasudeva, had a hand-to-hand fight with Jāmbavān inside that cave. After Kṛṣṇa had entered the cave (those who had followed Kṛṣṇa) with Vasudeva at their head, returned to Dvārāvatī and announced that Kṛṣṇa had been killed.

48-50. After defeating Jāmbavān of great strength, Vasudeva won Jāmbavatī, the honoured daughter of the king of bears.

Overwhelmed by the splendour of the lord, Jāmbavān gave the jewel and Jāmbavatī immediately to Viṣvaksena (i.e. Kṛṣṇa). He accepted the jewel Syamantaka in order to clear himself of scandalous accusation.

51-54a. After pacifying the king of bears, the lord came out of the cave. After redeeming the jewel thus and clearing himself of all scandals by his own efforts, the lord gave the jewel to Satrājit in the presence of Sātvatas. The slayer of Madhu married Jāmbavatī.

Thus Madhusūdana cleared himself of false accusation. If anyone understands this false accusation and its removal by Kṛṣṇa, he will never be a victim of false accusation and slanderous gossip.

54b-56. Satrājit had ten wives and ten thousand sons. Among them three were very famous. Bhaṅgakāra was the eldest. Vātapati was a great warrior and Tapasvī was a favourite of many people. Bhaṅgakāra’s mother was Vīramatī by name. She gave birth to three daughters endowed with beauty and good qualities.

57. Satyabhāmā was the most excellent among women. She used to be steadfast in her holy rites and observances. She was a saintly woman. Her father gave her in marriage to Kṛṣṇa.

58-60. (Defective Text). On hearing that Kṛṣṇa did not take away the jewel from Satrājit, Akrūra, desirous of wealth coveted the jewel Syamantaka. Through Śatadhanvan of the Bhoja family, he requested for Satyabhāmā of unblamed beauty. Śatadhanvan of great strength then killed Satrājit at night, took away the jewel and gave it to Akrūra.

61-62. Akrūra, the most excellent among men, took the jewel and entered into an agreement (with Śatadhanvan). “This should not be known to anyone else. We shall make use of the wealth received from it. In case you are assailed by Kṛṣṇa, the entire city of Dvārakā will undoubtedly remain under my control.

63. When her father was killed, Satyabhāmā of great reputation became distressed with grief. She got into a chariot and went to the city of Vāraṇāvata.

64. After reporting to her husband (i.e. Kṛṣṇa) the activities of Śatadhanvan of the Bhoja family, the excessively distressed Satyabhāmā stood at the side of her husband and shed tears.

65. Hari (Kṛṣṇa) performed the obsequies of Pāṇḍavas who were supposed to have been burnt in the lac palace at Vāraṇāvata. He engaged Sātyaki in activities of welfare[6] (?) for the brothers.

66a. Madhusūdana (Kṛṣṇa) came to Dvārakā in a hurry, The glorious lord then spoke these words to his elder brother Halī (Balarāma).

66b-68. “Prasena was killed by a lion. Satrājit was killed by Śatadhanvan. Syamantaka should be searched for. O lord, I am the legal master of that gem. So get into your chariot quickly. After killing the very powerful scion of the family of Bhoja, O mighty one, bring the Syamantaka jewel. It should be common to you all.[7]

69. Then a fierce battle ensued between Bhoja and Kṛṣṇa. Śatadhanvā looked for Akrūra in every direction.

70. Akrūra left Bhoja and Śrīkṛṣṇa without bringing about any truce between them. Though he was able to fight, he did not own loyalty, due to perfidy.

71. Then Śatadhanvan became frightened. He decided to go away from that place. Hṛdayā (the mare of Śataḍhanvan) ran more than a hundred Yojanas.

72. The mare named Hṛdayā belonged to Bhoja. It was reputed as one capable of going a hundred Yojanas. It was a divine mare with which he fought with Kṛṣṇa.

73. On seeing Hṛdayā exhausted due to the fast running at the close of the hundredth Yojana of the journey and on observing the misfortune (?) of the chariot, Śatadhanvan began to run on foot.

74. Then, due to fatigue and affliction, O Brāhmaṇas, that vital breath of that mare went up in the sky. Then Kṛṣṇa said to Rāma.

75. “O mighty one, wait here. I have found out that there is a defect in the mare. I shall go on foṇt and take away the excellent jewel Syamantaka”.

76. Then Acyuta who was conversant with the use of the greatest missile went on foot and killed Śatadhanvan in a park in the city of Mithilā.

77. He did not see Syamantaka (with him). When Kṛṣṇa returned after killing Bhoja of great strength, the wielder of plough (i.e. Bala-Rāma) said to him “Give me the jewel”.

78. Kṛṣṇa said—“It is not with me”. Then Rāma became angry and replied to Kṛṣṇa using the word “Fie on you” many times.

79. “I tolerate this since you are my brother. Welfare unto you. I am going away. I have nothing to do with Dvārakā, you and the Vṛṣṇis.”

80. Thereafter, Rāma, the suppressor of foes entered Mithilā. With the offering of all desirable objects he was honoured by the king of Mithilā himself.

81. It was at this time itself that Babhru (= Akrūra) the most excellent one among the intellectuals performed without any obstacle different kinds of Yajñas.

82. This intelligent noble-minded son of Gāndinī (Akrūra) adopted initiation along with Kavaca (coat of mail) as protection, for keeping Syamantaka.

83. Those sacrifices of that noble-souled one are famous as Akrūroyajñas. In all of them, food and monetary gifts were in plenty. All of them yielded everything one desired.

84. Then king Duryodhana went to Mithilā. The lord had a training in mace-fighting under Balabhadra. The training was usually of a divine nature.

85. Thereafter, Rāma was pacified and brought to Dvārakā by the noble-souled Kṛṣṇa and the leading warriors belonging to the families of Vṛṣṇis and Anḍhakas.

86. Akrūra, a powerful leader of men, came back along with the Andhakas after killing Śatrughna along with Bandhumān.

87-88. Two well-renowned and very mighty sons named Śatrughna and Bandhumān were born to Bhaṅgakāra and Narā, the daughter of Suyajña. They were the most excellent among men. Kṛṣṇa was not happy over this murder, because Bhaṅgakāra was a prominent member of Andhaka family.

89. Since he was afraid of a split amongst his kinsmen, he (Kṛṣṇa) ignored him (Akrūra). When Akrūra went away, Indra did not shower rain (as Akrūra took with him the Syamantaka gem).

90- Since the whole realm was ruined by the draught in various ways, the Kukuras and Andhakas pacified and consoled Akrūra.

91. When Dānapati (i.e. Akrūra) returned to Dvārakā once again, the thousand-eyed lord (Indra) rained everywhere (even) within the ocean.

92. In order to gain the love (of Kṛṣṇa), O leading sages, Akrūra, the glorious one gave his sister (in marriage) to Vāsudeva, a girl honoured by everyone for her good conduct.

93. By means of his Yogic power, Kṛṣṇa understood that the jewel Syamantaka was with Babhru (i.e. Akrūra). Hence, he spoke thus to Akrūra in the open Assembly hall.

94-95. “O lord, you are worthy of honour. Do not do anything mean or ignoble towards me. Hand over to me that jewel which is in your possession. Sixty years have passed. The anger that I had at that time has become firmly rooted (on account of) repeated (offences). A long time has elapsed now”.

96. Then, at the instance of Kṛṣṇa, the highly intelligent Babhru handed over, without hesitation and mental strain, the jewel (to Kṛṣṇa) in the Assembly of all Sātvatas.

97. Then Kṛṣṇa, the suppressor of enemies, became delighted in his mind. He returned to Babhru the jewel he had obtained from Babhru, by a straightforward deal.

98. After obtaining from Kṛṣṇa the excellent jewel Syamantaka, the son of Gāndinī wore it and shone like the Sun.

99. He who understands this false accusation of the lord and the excellent way in which the lord cleared himself, will not at all be a victim of false accusation.

100. Śini was born of Anamitra who was the youngest son of Vṛṣṇi. His son was Satyaka who was truthful in speech and richly endowed with truthful habits.

101. Yuyudhāna was the son of Satyaka and Bhūti[8] was his son. Yugandhara was the son of Bhūti. Hence, he was famous as Bhautya.

102. Vṛṣṇi was born as the son of Yudhājit who was the son of Mādrī. Śvaphalka and Citraka were the two sons of Pṛśni.

103. There was no fear from ailments or drought in the place where the noble-souled great king Śvaphalka was present.

104. Once upon a time, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, Indra did not shower rain for three years in the realm of the king of Kāśī a powerful lord.

105. That king of Kāśī greatly honoured Śvaphalka and made him stay there. The chastiser of Pāka (i.e. Indra) showered rain on account of the stay of Śvaphalka.

106. Śvaphalka obtained as his wife the daughter of the king of Kāśī, named Gāndinī. Every day she gave a cow as a gift to a Brāhmaṇa.[9]

107. It is said that she was in the womb of her mother for many hundreds of years. She did not come out. The father then spoke to her even as she was in the womb.

108-109. “Welfare unto you. Be born quickly. Why do you stay behind?”. The girl in the womb said to him—“If you give as a religious gift a cow every day, I shall come out of the womb in three years”. The father said “So be it” and fulfilled her desire.

110. Akrūra her son from Śvaphalka, was remembered as a liberal donor, a performer of sacrifices, heroic, learned, fond of guests and a person who distributed much wealth as monetary gifts.

111-112. (She had other children also viz.) Upamaṅgu, Maṅgu, Mṛduras, Arimejaya, Girirakṣa, Yakṣa, Śatrughna, Arimardana, Dharmavṛddha, Sukarman, Gandhamāda, Āvāha and Prativāha were the sons. The excellent lady Vasudevā was her daughter.

113. Two sons who were the delighters of the family and who resembled Devas were born to the daughter of Ugrasena and Akrūra. They were Devavān and Upaḍeva.

114-115. Citraka begot three sons. Pṛthu, Vipṛthu, Aśvagrīva, Aśvavāha, Supārśvaka, Gaveṣaṇa, Ariṣṭanemi, Aśvāsya, Suvarmā, Varmabhṛt, Abhūmi and Bahubhūmi. Śraviṣṭhā and Śravaṇā were his daughters.

116. The daughter of the king of Kāśī bore four sons to Satyaka viz.—Kukura, Bhajamāna, Śuci and Kambalabarhiṣ.

117. Vṛṣṇi was the son of Kukura; Kapotaroman was the son of Vṛṣṇi and Viloman was his son.

118. Andhaka was his son. It is well-known that he was a scholar and friend of Tumburu. Another name of his viz. Candanodakadundubhī[10] is also famous.

119-120. Abhijit was his son and from him was born Punarvasu. The excellent king performed a horse-sacrifice for obtaining a son. In the course of the holy rite of Atirātra, Punarvasu was born from the midst of assembly. Therefore, he became later on a great scholar, a liberal donor, a performer of sacrifices and one conversant with piety and virtue.

121. Thereafter, it is said, two more children were born to Abhijit viz. Āhuka and Āhukī.[11] They were the most excellent ones among intelligent persons and they were well-renowned.

122-124. They cite these verses in regard to Āhuka:—“He had ten thousand chariots having the rumbling sound of the cloud. They were fully equipped with Upāsaṅgas (quivers) Anukarṣas (axle-trees), banners and Varūthas protecting ledges).

(In his land) there was no one uttering a lie, refraining from the performance of sacrifices or not giving thousands of coins. No one was unclean. No one was unrighteous, lean or devoid of scholarship.”

We have heard that Dhṛti was the son of Ārdraka (?) (rather Āhuka—Vā. P. 96. 123).

125-128. (Defective partially). With this retinue Āhuka, the unrivalled, marched towards the eastern quarter displaying eighty lakhs of horses very young in age. Thereby he surpassed king Bhoja (although he had as many) elephants. (In this compaign he gained) twenty-one thousand ropes made of silver and gold for binding elephants.

An equal number of thousand (of bells of elephants) of king Bhoja in the northern quarter made tinkling sound on his conquest.

Āhuka gave his sister Āhukī in marriage in the land of Avanti (i.e. to a Prince of Avanti).

Two sons were born to the daughter of the king of Kāśī and Āhuka.

129. They were Devaka and Ugrasena. Both of them were on a par with those born of divine womb. Heroic sons comparable to the Devas were born to Devaka.

130. They were Devavān, Upadeva, Sudeva, and Devarakṣita. They had seven sisters. He gave them to Vasudeva in marriage.

131-132. They were Dhṛtadevā, Upadevā, Devarakṣitā, Śrīdevā, Śāntidevā, Sahadevā and the youngest of all of them viz. Devakī. She had a charming appearance.

Ugrasena had nine sons. Kaṃsa was the eldest among them.

133-136. They were Nyagrodha, Sunāman, Kaṅka, Śaṅku, Subhūmi, Sutanu, Rāṣṭṛapāla, Yuddhatuṣṭa and Tuṣṭimān.

They had five sisters viz. Kaṃsā, Kaṃsavatī, Sutanu, Rāṣṭrapālī and Kaṅkā.

Ugrasena had a large number of children. Thus the scions of the race of Kukura have been recounted.

A man who remembers this race of Kukura having many members of unlimited strength and prowess, makes his own family extensive with many children.

Vidūratha was the son of Bhajamāna. He was the most important among chariot-warriors.

137-138. Śūra was the son of Vidūratha. He became the king of kings. Very powerful sons were born to Śūra viz. Vāta, Nivāta, Śoṇita, Śvetavāhana, Śamī, Gadavarman and Nidānta. Indeed, he was a conqueror of his foes.

139. Pratikṣatra was the son of Śamī. Svayambhoja was the son of Pratikṣatra. Hṛdika was the son of Svayambhoja.

140-141. Hṛdika had ten sons of terrible exploits, Kṛtavarman was the eldest among them. Śatadhanvan was a son in the middle. (The others were) Devabāhu, Subāhu, Bhiṣak, Śvetaratha, Sudānta, Adhidānta, Kanaka and Kanakodbhava.

142. A scholarly son named Kambalabarhis was born to Devabāhu. Asamaujas was his son. (Another son) Susamaujas was very famous.

143. Kṛṣṇa gave Sucandra and Vasurūpa (as sons in adoption) to Asamaujas of whom no son was born.

Thus the Andhakas are remembered (have been recounted).

144. He who repeats the names of and glorifies this race of Andhakas every day, attains an extensive family of himself. There is no doubt in this matter.

145. Śūra begot Devamīḍhvan (Devamīdhuṣa) of Aśmakī. Ten persons were born of Māriṣī from Śūra. Māriṣī belonged to the Bhoja family.

146-148. Vasudeva of mighty arms was born at the outset. He is known as Ānakadundubhi because when he was born a loud report of Dundubhi (War drum) was heard in the sky.

There was the loud sound of Ānakas (a type of war-drum) too in the sky. There was no one on a par with Vasudeva in the entire world of men in regard to the handsomeness of features.[12] He was the foremost among all men of the Earth. His splendour was like that of the Moon.

149-152. The following were born after him viz. Devabhāga, Devaśravas, Anādhṛṣṭi, Vṛka, Nandana, Sṛñjaya, Śyāma, Śamīka and Gaṇḍūṣa. They had five excellent ladies as their sisters. They were Pṛthā, Śrutadevā, Śrutakīrti, Śrutaśravās and Rājādhidevī. These five were mothers of heroic sons. Śūra gave his daughter Pṛthā to Kuntibhoja by way of adoption. Hence, Pṛthā became the daughter of Kuntibhoja. She is remembered by the name Kuntī. Pāṇḍu, an important heroic scion of the family of Kurus, took her as his wife from him.

153-154. Thereafter, Pṛthā gave birth to three sons whose splendour was on a par with that of the three fires. They were heroes without compeers in the world. They had the prowess and exploit comparable to that of Indra.

Pṛthā gave birth to the son Yudhiṣṭhira from Dharma, Vṛkodara (i.e. Bhīma) from the wind god Māruta and Dhanañjaya from Indra.

155. This is well known that the Aśvins were born of Mādravatī. Nakula and Sahadeva were endowed with beauty of form, inherent strength and other good qualities.

156. The heroic son Dantavakra of great strength was born to Śrutadevā from Vṛddhaśarman the king of Karūṣa.

157. Santardana, the powerful one, was born to Śrutakīrti from the prince of Kekaya. Similarly, another pair of very powerful princes named Cekitāna and Bṛhatkṣatra were also born.

158-160. The brothers Vinda and Anuvinda who were very powerful were born of the prince of Avantī (? as sons of Rājādhidevī). Śiśupāla, the prince of Cedi, was born of Śrutaśravā as the son of saintly king Damaghoṣa. His manliness is well-known. Formerly, he had been the tenheaded (Rāvaṇa), the suppressor of foes. He was the younger brother of Vaiśravaṇa and Kumbhakarṇa had been his younger brother.

Thirteen excellent ladies were the wives of Vasudeva.

161-163. They were Pauravī, Rohiṇī, Madirā, Bhadravaiśākhī and the fifth one Sunāmnī. (These were perhaps the earlier wives). Then Sahadevā, Śāntidevā Śrīdevā, Devarakṣitā, Dhṛtadevā, Upadevā and Devakī the seventh one—these too were his wives. The thirteenth one was Sugandhā. (Besides these) Vanarājī and two other attendant ladies became his wives.

Rohiṇī and Pauravī were the younger sisters of Bāhlīka.

164-165. Rohiṇī of excessive magnificence and fortune was the eldest and the most beloved wife of Ānakadundubhi. She gave birth to eight sons out of whom Rāma (Balarāma) was the eldest. (The other sons were) Sāraṇa, Śaṭha, Durdama, Damana, śubhra, Piṇḍāraka, Kuśītaka. A daughter called Citrā was also born to her.

166-168. Niśaṭha and Ulmuka were very famous. They were born as the sons[13] of Rāma. Similarly, Pārśvī, Pārśvamardī, Śiśu, Satyadhṛti and Mandabāhyā were also the sons of Rāma.

Girika, Giri, Śulkagulma, Atigulma and Daridrāntaka were the sons of Sāraṇa. He had five daughters too. Understand them by their names. They were Arciṣmatī, Sunandā Surasā, Suvacā and Śatabalā. These were the daughters of Sāraṇa.

169-170. Bhadrāśva, Bhadragupti, Bhadraviṣṭa Bhadrabāhu, Bhadraratha, Bhadrakalpa, Supārśvaka, Kīrtimān and Rohitāśva were the sons of Śaṭha.

171-172. Abhibhūta was the son of Durmada (? Durdama). The above are remembered as the persons born of the family of Rohiṇī.

Nanda, Upananda, Mitra, Kukṣimitra, Bala, Citra, Upacitra, Kṛtaka, Tuṣṭi and Puṣṭi—these were the sons of Madirā. They were born to Vasudeva of Madirā.

173. Bimba, Upabimba, Sattvadanta and Mahaujas—these four persons of great strength are well known as the sons of Bhadrā (?)

174-175. Śauri (i.e. Vasudeva) begot of Vaiśālī (?) (Vaiśākhī) the excellent son Kauśika. The following six sons were born of Devakī to Śauri viz. Suṣeṇa, Kīrtimān, Udarṣi, Bhadrasena, the fifth one Ṛjudāya or Bhadradeva, the sixth one Kaṃsa.

176. In these circumstances, Viṣṇu, the lord of worlds, became Prajāpati once again (being born) as the long-lived Kṛṣṇa.

177. Subhadrā, who used to speak pleasantly well (Bhadrabhāṣiṇī) was born subsequent to Kṛṣṇa. This lady who delighted the family of Vṛṣṇi became well renowned later as Kṛṣṇā and Subhadrā.

178-179. The great warrior Abhimanyu was born of Subhadrā to Pārtha (i.e. Arjuna). Understand by their (individual names, those sons of great heroism, who were born, of those seven highly fortunate wives of Vasudeva.

Pūrva and others were born of Vasudeva as the sons of Sahadevā.

180. Śāntidevā gave birth to Janastambha the illustrious scion of the family of Śauri.

Āgāvaha the noble-souled one was born of Vṛkadevī (?)

181-182a. A son named Mandaka was born to Śrīdevā.

Devarakṣitā gave birth to two sons viz. Upāsaṅga and Vasu.

Thus there were ten sons of his. Kaṃsa got them also killed.

182b-183. Śiśirāvatī (?) gave birth to these noble-souled sons viz.—Vijaya, Rocana, Vardhamāna and Devala.

The seventh wife, the daughter of Devaka gave birth to the highly prosperous son Gaveṣaṇa of good name, who fought in a wonderful manner during the battle.

184-186. O Brāhmaṇa, formerly while moving about in the urban parks and forests, Vasudeva begot of the Vaiśya lady Śraddhādevī the son Kauśika who was economical.

Sugandhī and Vanarāji were (sec V. 163) also the wives of Śauri.

Puṇḍra and Kapila were the sons of Sugandhī. Of these two Puṇḍra became a king and Kapila went to the forest.

187. To the other lady, a powerful heroic son of Vasudeva was born. He was the Niṣāda (forester) named Jara (?). He was the foremost archer.

188. Mahābhāga was the famous son of Devabhāgya (in V. 149 Devabhāga).

They call the son born of Devaśravas as one honoured by scholars.

189. Anādhṛṣṭi begot of Aśmakī, a powerful son Śrāddhadeva. He was a destroyer of enemies. All his enemies had receded from him.

190. Ekalavya, the highly lucky son, was born to Śrāddhadeva. He was brought up by Niṣādas (foresters) and so he was well-known as Naiṣādi.

191. With pleasure Kṛṣṇa gave his sons Cārudeṣṇa and Sāmba for adoption, to Gaṇḍūṣa who had no children. These two sons were well up in the use of arms. They were endowed with highly laudable characteristics.

192-194. Ranti and Rantipāla were the two sons of Nandana.

Vasudeva, the son of Śūra, who was valorous gave his heroic sons Saumi and Kauśika to Vṛka who had no sons.

Dhanus and Virajas were the two sons of Sṛñjaya.

Śyāma had no children. Śamīka went to the forest treating his status of being born of the family of Bhoja with contempt. He secured the status of a Rājarṣi (a royal sage).

195. He who duly observes holy rites and reads this story of the birth of Kṛṣṇa or narrates it to a Brāhmaṇa, shall obtain great happiness.

106. Kṛṣṇa, the lord of the Devas, the Prajāpati (lord or procreator of subjects) who was originally Lord Nārāyaṇa, was born among human beings for the sake of sport.

197. The lotus-eyed lord was born to Devakī and Vasudeva on account of their previous austerities. The lord had four arms and was endowed with divine beauty, charm and splendour.

198. The lord who was originally Avyakta (Unmanifest) exhibited his characteristics clearly. The holy lord. of Yogic powers came to light as Kṛṣṇa in a human form.

199. It was Nārāyaṇa who turned what is Avyaya (the imperishable) into Vyaya (the perishable one i.e. the body of Kṛṣṇa). After becoming Hari (i.e. Kṛṣṇa), Nārāyaṇa resumed his original Sanātana (eternal) status.

200-203a. (Partially defective text). The lord had created Prajāpati (god Brahmā) the primordial Being from a lotus. The lord well-known as Viṣṇu became the younger brother of Indra after being born as the son of Aditi. Devas propitiated the omnipresent Lord for being born as the son of Aditi.

The family of intelligent Vasudeva born in the race of Yayāti became sacred and holy, because lord Nārāyaṇa took his birth therein for the sake of killing Daityas, Dānavas and Rākṣasas.

203b-206. While Janārdana incarnated, the oceans trembled and agitated, the mountains shook, and the sacrificial fires of Agnihotra blazed. Auspicious and lucky winds blew. Dust particles became settled down. The luminaries shone all the more brightly.

The asterism on the day when Janārdana was born was Abhijit by name. The night is called Jayantī (the 8th of the dark half of Śrāvaṇa, the asterism Rohiṇī rising at mid-night). The Muhūrta (auspicious period of 48 minutes) was Vijaya by name.

Hari the eternal, unmanifest lord Nārāyaṇa became Kṛṣṇa.

207. Causing delusion to the subjects through his Māyā (illusive Power), the lord incarnated and the lord of the Devas (i.e. Indra) caused shower of flowers from the sky.

208. With words full of auspicious purport and significance, thousands of great sages, along with the Gandharvas eulogised and prayed to Madhusūdana.

209-211. On seeing his son born at the night and on observing the characterisic curl of hair on the chest called Śrīvatsa, Vasudeva thought in his mind that it was Adhokṣaja (Viṣṇu) himself on account of the divine characteristic marks.

Vasudeva said to him—“O lord withdraw this divine form. O beloved one, I am afraid of Kaṃsa. Hence, I say like this.

My sons of wonderful appearance, your elder brothers have been killed by him”.

On hearing the words of Vasudeva, the lord withdrew his divine form.

212. Being permitted by the lord, the father took him to the abode of Nanda the cowherd (who was staying) in the house of Ugrasena and handed him to Yaśodā.

213. Yaśodā and Devakī had become pregnant at the same time. Yaśodā was the wife of Nandagopa, the head of cowherds.[14]

214. A girl was born to Yaśodā in the very night when the lord was born as Kṛṣṇa in the family of Vṛṣṇis.

215. Guarding the son born to him, Vasudeva of great fame, handed over his son to Yaśodā and took the girl with him.

216-218. After giving the child to Nandagopa, he requested “Protect this (child). This is your son. Everything will be auspicious unto the Yādavas. This is the child of Devakī. He will remove all my distresses.”

Ānakadundubhi (Vasudeva) then intimated to the son of Ugrasena (i.e. Kaṃsa)—“This is a daughter of very auspicious and splendid characteristics.”

Kaṃsa was not at all aware, that a son had been born to his sister.

219. The evil-minded (Kaṃsa) handed the girl back (to Vasudeva) and said with pleasure—“She is my daughter in the same way as yours. There is no doubt in this. O heroic one, I will not kill her. Let her go wherever she pleases”.[15]

220-222. Honoured in the ancestral abode of the Vṛṣṇis that girl grew up very well. The gentle lady (Devakī) joyously brought up the goddess like her own son. Thus the people say that Prajāpati himself was born as Kṛṣṇa in this manner. It is for the protection of Keśava that she was born.

The Yādavas will respect and honour her with concentration of mind. The lord of the Devas with divine body, Kṛṣṇa himself had been protected by her.

The sages enquired:—

223. Wherefor did the Bhoja king Kaṃsa kill the infant sons of Vasudeva? It behoves you to clarify this.

Sūta said:

224-225. Listen why the foolish-minded Kaṃsa killed the sons of Vasudeva when they were born due to fear of the powerful Lord—why Kṛṣṇa was taken away elsewhere as soon as he was born and how Govinda, the supreme person, was brought up along with the cows.

226. At the marriage of Devakī and Vasudeva the intelligent Kaṃsa acted as the charioteer. At that time he was the crown-Prince.

227. Then in the sky rose the speech of some incomprehensible person. It was a divine speech. It was very loud and witnessed by the people of the world merely because the name of Kaṃsa was uttered by it.

228. “O Kaṃsa, out of affection, you are taking your sister by means of a chariot. The eighth child of that lady shall be your killer”.

229. On hearing that aerial voice, Kaṃsa, the foolish one, became distressed. He drew his sword and became intent on killing her.

230. The Valorous Vasudeva of great power said to Kaṃsa the son. of Ugrasena, out of friendship or love.

231.—“O scion of the family of Yādavas, you are a Kṣatriya and it does not behove you to kill a woman. In this matter (under reference) a certain remedy has been found out by me.

232. O lord of the Earth, I shall hand over to you the eighth son that will be born of her. With him, you can do what you deem proper.

233. O munificent one, do not behave now in the way you wish.

Or, as another alternative, I shall bring unto you all the children (born of her) severally (i.e. as and when they are born).

234. In this manner, O excellent one among men, this aerial voice too will not be erroneous”.

On being told thus and consoled, he accepted the suggestion then.

235. On regaining hiṣ wife, Vasudeva became delighted. The foolish-minded Kaṃsa of evil deeds killed his sons.

The sages enquired:—

236-337. Who is this Vasudeva who begot Viṣṇu whom he addressed as “O dear one”? Who is this renowned Devakī who bore Viṣṇu in her womb? Who is Yaśodā of great reputation who brought him up? Who is this Nandagopa?

Sūta said:—

238. Puruṣa became Kaśyapa and Aditi was his beloved Prakṛti. Kaśyapa was a part of Brahmā and Aditi that of Pṛthivi (the Earth).

239-240. Nanda is reputed as Droṇa and Yaśodā was Dharā[16].

The mighty lord made the desires of Devakī flourish and entered a human body. The lord thus walked over the earth. The lord of Yogic soul caused delusion unto all living beings by means of his Yogic Māyā.

241. When Dharma (Virtue) became lost, Viṣṇu himself was born in the family of Vṛṣṇi in order to re-establish Dharma and annihilate Asuras.

242-244. (Defective text) Rukmiṇī was the daughter of the king of Vidarbhas. Satyā was the daughter of Nagnajit. Satyabhāmā was the daughter of Satrājit. (These were the wives of Kṛṣṇa). Jāmbavatī, Rohiṇī (? prob. Lakṣmaṇā) Śaibyā and sixteen thousand other gentle ladies were also the blessed wives of Kṛṣṇa.

Fourteen groups of Apsaras (celestial women) have already been mentioned before. Indra held council with the Devas and the important ones were sent here for the sake of becoming the wives of Vāsudeva. They were born in palaces (rich families).

245-246. These prosperous and lucky ones are well known as the wives of Viṣvaksena.

The sons of Rukmiṇī were:—

Pradyumna, Cārudeṣṇa, Sudeva. Śarabha, Cāru, Cārubhadra, Bhadracāru and Cāruvidya. There was a daughter named Cārumatī.

247-248. The sons of Satyabhāmā were Sānu, Bhānu, Akṣa, Rohita, Mantravid, Jara, Andhaka, Tāmracakra, Saubhari and Jarandhara. Four sisters were born of the Garuḍa-emblemed lord (i.e. Kṛṣṇa) viz. Bhānu, Saubharikā, Tāmraparṇī and Jarandharā. Listen, to the children of Jāmbavatī.

249-250. Bhadra, Bhadragupta, Bhadracitra and Bhadrabāhu were the sons of Jāmbavatī [?note?]. The daughters were famous by the names of Bhadravatī and Sambodhanī. These should be known as the children of Jāmbavatī.

251. Saṅgrāmajit, Śatajit and Sahasrajit—these were glorified as the sons of Viṣvaksena born of Sudevī.

252. The children of the daughter of Nagnajit were these—viz. Vṛka, Vṛkāśva, Vṛkajit, Mitrabāhu and Sunītha were sons. Vṛjinī, the excellent lady, was her daughter.

253. These and others constitute thousands of sons. Understand that it is mentioned that Vāsudeva’s sons were about a million.

254. Eighty thousand among them were great heroes and experts in war.

Thus the race of Janārdana has been duly recounted to you all.

255. Bṛhatī was the wife of Pūru. So also Sumadhyā and Sugati. She (? Bṛhatī) was the daughter of the noble-souled Bṛhaduktha, son of Śini.

256. Thereof her sons viz. Ānanda, Kanaka and Śveta were well-known. They shone splendidly in battles. She had a daughter also named Śvetā.

257. Citra, Śūra and Citraratha were the sons of Agāvaha. Citrasena was his son. He had a daughter Citravatī

258. Tumba had two sons viz. Tumba (?) and Tumbavarcas.

Vajrāra and Kṣipra were the sons of Upāsaṅga.

259. Bhūrīndrasena and Bhūri were the sons of Gaveṣaṇa.

Sudhanus was his (?) son born of the daughter of Yudhiṣṭhira.

260. Kāśyā (Princess of Kāśī) bore five courageous and strong sons to Sāmba. They are glorified as five shining heroes beginning with Satya.

261-262. The grandsons of the noble-souled Yādavas were three crores in number. The entire family and those who stay in the family are under the protection and the lordly authority of Viṣṇu. Suras and human beings are bound by those who abide by his behests.

263. Those powerful Asuras who were killed in the battles between the Devas and Asuras are born here among human beings. They harass human beings.

264. It is for annihilating them that they are born in the family of Yāḍavas. A hundred branches of the family of the noble-souled Yādavas were born.

265. Thus the progeny of Vṛṣṇis has been glorified succinctly and in detail. That must be glorified by one who is desirous of achievement of fame.

Footnotes and references:


Acc. to Vā. P. 71.3 King Bhajamāna had from Sṛñjayā two sons Bāhya and Bāhyaka.


The list in Vā. P. is Nimi, Paṇava, Vṛṣṇi, Para-Purañjaya.


The river Banas in Rajasthan, is tributary to the Chambal—De 146.


AIHT p. 107—The genealogy.


Compare the story of Syamantaka in Bh.P.X.Chf 56 and 57.


Kalyārtha is obscure. Vā. P. 96-63 reads tulyārtha ‘for equivalence’ in performance of rites.


us all' as per Vā. P. 96.66.


Asaṅga according to AIHT, p. 107.


A popular etymology of Gāṃdinī.


AIHT, p. 150 records Nandanodakadundubhi as the name. His another name Andhaka given in our text is not given by Pargiter.


According to the genealogy on p. 105 of AIHT Āhuka was the son of Punarvasu.


Vasudeva’s unparalleled handsomeness is recorded not only in Brahmanical Purāṇas but in Jaina works also. According to Jaina records, Vasudeva was banished by his father, as complaints were lodged by the citizens about the seductive effect of his beauty on their women. A work called Vasudeva Hindi (600 A.D) an authentic version of the (Paiśācī) Bṛhatkathā of Guṇāḍhya—makes Vasudeva (instead of Naravāhanadatta) a hero whose wonderings were a marriage-campaign.


grandsons according to Vā. P. 96. 164.

There appears to be some confusion in the text.


Syntactically sā Nandagopateh is tautologous. should stand for Devakī but then Nandagopateḥ needs emendation like Ānakadundubheḥ. The emended text will be sā’nakadundubheḥ. ‘she (Devakī) was the wife of Vasudeva.’


Contrast Bh.P.X.5.5-8 where Kaṃsa is said to have snatched away the girl from Devakī and tried to dash her on a slab of stone.


According to Bh.p.X.8.48-51 Nanda was a Senior Vasu called Droṇa in his previous birth and Dharā was his wife. God Brahmā gave them a boon whereby they became the foster-parents of Lord Kṛṣṇa and were devoted to him.

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