Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Dvaraka included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Dvārakā

(DVĀRAVATĪ; DVĀRĀVATĪ). The place where the capital of Śrī Kṛṣṇa stood.

General information.

The King Jarāsandha was the enemy of the Yādavas. To save themselves from the attack of Jarāsandha, the Yādavas united themselves under Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and built a strong city in the western islands. That beautiful city was called Dvārakā. Kuśasthalī, is another name of this city. The beautiful mountain Raivataka stood as a fortress round the city which was so strongly built that it was not possible even for the gods to enter it. Even women could fight sitting inside the forts. The fortress Raivataka was three yojanas long. In each yojana three divisions of the army were camped. In each yojana there were hundred doors, with a strong army to guard each of them. (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 14).

Śrī Kṛṣṇa in Dvārakā.

Dvārakā was the abode of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. It excelled even Amarāvatī in beauty. There was an efficient council of the leaders of the Yādavas. Dāśārhī was the name of that council. Many Yādava leaders Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Balabhadra and other luminaries attended the council. The royal palace was as luminous as the Sun and the Moon. Dvārakā was built by Viśvakarmā. There were ditches on the four sides of Dvārakā. There were four beautiful parks called Nandana, Miśraka Caitraratha and Vaibhrāja. The mountain Raivata acted as the eastern rampart of the city. Three other mountains, Veṇumanda on the North, Sukakṣa on the west and Latāveṣṭa on the south acted as natural forts. On the east of the city there was a beautiful lake. The city had fifty main gates to which sharp machine rockets, big iron wheels etc. were fitted for protection. It had an area of 96 yojanas (leagues). (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 38, Dākṣiṇātya pāṭha).

Other details.

(1) Arjuna visited Dvārakā in the course of his pilgrimage. It was then and there that he married Subhadrā. (Mahābhārata Ādi Parva, 3 Chapters from 217).

(2) The King of Sālva attacked Dvārakā. The Yādavas drove him back. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 15).

(3) Dvārakā is a city, procuring beatitude. There is a bath known as Piṇḍāraka which is pure and divine. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 82, Stanza 65).

(4) It was at Piṇḍāraka that Nṛga, a chameleon attained beatitude. (Mahābhārata Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 70, Stanza 7).

(5) It was here that the pestle of iron, which proved the cause of destruction of the Yādavas, came out of the stomach of Sāmba. (Mahābhārata Mausala Parva, Chapter 1).

(6) After the death of Śrī Kṛṣṇa this city was swept over by the sea. (Mahābhārata Mausala Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 41).

Modern view.

According to the modern researchers Dvārakā was situated in the sea to the west of Gujarat. There is a small locality near the sea, still called Dvārakā, and the principal occupation of the people of this place still is cattle-rearing, and trading in milk. They claim to be the descendants of the family of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

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