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Chapter XXXVI - Destruction of monkey Dvivida

HEAR also, Maitreya, another exploit performed by the mighty Balarāma. The great Asura, the foe of the friends of the gods, Naraka, had a friend of exceeding prowess in the monkey named Dvivida, who was animated by implacable hostility against the deities, and vowed to revenge on the whole of them the destruction of Naraka by Kṛṣṇa, at the instigation of the king of the celestials, by preventing sacrifices, and effecting the annihilation of the mortal sphere. Blinded by ignorance, he accordingly interrupted all religious rites, subverted all righteous observances, and occasioned the death of living beings: he set fire to the forests, to villages, and to towns: sometimes he overwhelmed cities and hamlets with falling rocks; or lifting up mountains in the waters, he cast them into the ocean: then taking his place amidst the deep, he agitated the waves, until the foaming sea rose above its confines, and swept away the villages and cities situated upon its shores. Dvivida also, who could assume what shape he would, enlarged his bulk to an immense size, and rolling and tumbling and trampling amidst the corn fields, he crushed and spoiled the harvests. The whole world, disordered by this iniquitous monkey, was deprived of sacred study and religious rites, and was greatly afflicted.

On one occasion Halā.yudha was drinking in the groves of Raivata, along with the illustrious Revatī and other beautiful females; and the distinguished Yadu, in whose praises songs were sung, and who was preeminent amidst graceful and sportive women, resembled Kuvera, the god of riches, in his palace. Whilst thus engaged, the monkey Dvivida came there, and stealing the ploughshare and the club of Baladeva, grinned at and mocked him, and laughed at the women, and threw over and broke the cups filled with wine. Balarāma, becoming angry at this, threatened the monkey; but the latter disregarded his menaces, and made a chattering noise: on which Bala, starting up, seized his club in wrath; and the monkey laid hold of a large rock, which he burled at the hero. Bala casting his club at it, as it neared him, broke it into a thousand fragments, which, together with the club, fell upon the ground. Beholding the club prostrate, the monkey sprang over it, and struck the Yādava violently on the breast with his paws. Bala replied with a blow of his fist upon the forehead of Dvivida, which felled him, vomiting blood, and lifeless, to the earth. The crest of the mountain on which he fell was splintered into a hundred pieces by the weight of his body, as if the thunderer had shivered it with his thunderbolt. The gods threw down a shower of flowers upon Rāma, and approached him, and praised him for the glorious feat he had performed. “Well has the world been freed,” said they, “by thy prowess, O hero, of this vile ape, who was the ally of the enemy of the gods.” Then they and their attendant spirits returned well pleased to heaven. Many such inimitable deeds were wrought by the illustrious Baladeva, the impersonation of Śeṣa, the supporter of the earth[1].

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Footnotes / commentary:

1.

This exploit of Balarāma is also similarly, but more vulgarly, related in the Bhāgavata. It is simply said in the Hari Vanśa, and erroneously, that Meṇḍa and Dwivida were conquered by Kṛṣṇa.

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