Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words

This page describes War between Krishna and Jarasandha which is the fourth part of chapter VII of the English translation of the Neminatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Neminatha in jainism is the twenty-second Tirthankara (Jina) and one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 4: War between Kṛṣṇa and Jarāsandha

Now, some important merchants came there by sea from Yavanadvīpa, bringing much merchandise. They sold the other merchandise, but not their jeweled blankets. Seeking a special profit, they went to Rājagṛha. They were taken by merchants living there, going ahead, to the house of Jīvayaśas, daughter of the King of Magadha. They showed Jīvayaśas the jeweled blankets, cool in hot weather, warm in winter, with thick fine wool. Half the price of the blankets having been obtained, they sighed, “We came, having left Dvārikā, hoping to get more.” Jīvayaśas asked them, “What city is Dvārikā, pray? Who is king there?” The merchants said: “The city Dvārikā was made by the gods on ground given by the ocean. Kṛṣṇa is king there, the son of Devakī and Vasudeva.” Hearing that, Jīvayaśas said with outcries, “Now my husband’s murderer lives and rules the earth.”

Seeing her, Jarāsandha asked the reason for the outcry. She told him the news about Kṛṣṇa and said with folded hands: “Father, release me right now. I will enter the fire. I will keep my promise. I will not live any longer.” Jarāsandha said: “Daughter, do not weep like this. I certainly will make the mothers, sisters, and wives of Kaṃsāri weep. Now there will be an extinction of the Yādavas.” With these words the Lord of Magadha, though opposed by his ministers, ordered the army for the march. His powerful sons, Sahadeva, et cetera, followed him; and Śiśupāla, King of Cedi, chief of the powerful. King Hiraṇyanābha, very strong and powerful, and Duryodhana, the Kauravya, a leader in battle, and many other kings and vassals by the thousands converged on Jarāsandha like rivers on the ocean.

The crown fell from his head, the necklace on his chest broke, he stumbled, his foot caught by the end of his garment, and he sneezed in the beginning. His left eye twitched,[1] his elephant relieved itself, there was an unfavorable wind, and vultures wheeled in the air. He did not stop at all, though an unfavorable result was foretold by these unfavorable omens and signs and others also like friends.[2] Filing the heavens with noise, as well as dust raised by the soldiers, shaking the earth like an excited elephant of the quarters, Jarāsandha, who had made a cruel promise, mounted a rutting elephant and set out toward the west, very powerful.

Nārada, full of curiosity, and spies went in haste and told Śārṅgapāṇi that Jarāsandha was approaching. Kṛṣṇa, the sole abode of splendor like a fire, got ready for the march, accompanied by the beating of a drum. At its sound all the Yādavas and kings assembled, like gods of Saudharma at the sound of the bell Sughoṣā. Among them Samudravijaya came there in full armor, irresistible like the ocean, and also these sons of his: Mahānemi, Satyanemi, Dṛḍhanemi, Sunemi, the Blessed Ariṣṭanemi, Jayasena, Mahājaya, Tejaḥsena, Jaya, Megha, Citraka, Gautama, Śvaphalka, Śivananda, and Viṣvaksena, great warriors.

Samudravijaya’s younger brother, Akṣobhya, who was not shaken by enemies, came there for battle and these eight sons of his, leaders in battle: Uddhava, Dhava, Kṣubhita, Mahodadhi, Ambhonidhi, Jalanidhi, Vāmadeva, and Dṛḍhavrata. Stimita came there and these five excellent sons of his: Ūrmimat, Vasumat, Vīra, Pātāla, and Sthira. Sāgara and his six sons: Niḥkampa, Kampana, Lakṣmīvat, Keśarin, Śrīmat, and Yugānta came. Himavat came there and his three sons: Vidyutprabha, Gandhamādana, and Mālyavat. Acala and Acala’s seven powerful sons came: Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, Giri, Śaila, Naga, and Bala. Dharaṇa and his five sons came: Karkoṭaka, Dhanaṭjaya, Viśvarūpa, Śvetamukha, and Vāsuki. Pūraṇa and Pūraṇa’s four sons came: Duḥpūra, Durmukha, Durdaśa, and Durdhara. Abhicandra came there and these six of his: Candra, Śaśāṅka, Candrābha, Śaśin, Soma, and Amṛtaprabha.

Vasudeva[3] came there, like a god of gods in strength, and many powerful sons of his with these names: Akrūra and Krūra, sons of Vijayasenā; Jvalanavega and Aśanivega, two sons of Śyāmā; three sons of Gandharvasenā: Vāyuvega, Amitagati, Mahendragati, like embodied fires; three powerful sons of Padmāvatī, the minister’s daughter: Siddhārtha, Dāruka, and mighty Sudāru; two sons of Nīlayaśas: Siṃhaja and Mataṅgaja; two sons of Somaśrī, Nārada and Marudeva; Sumitra, son of Mitraśrī; Kapila, son of Kapilā; Padma and Kumuda, sons of Padmāvatī; Aśvasena, son of Aśvasenā; Puṇḍra, son of Puṇḍrā; Ratnagarbha and powerful Vajrabāhu, sons of Ratnavatī; Candrakānta and Śaśiprabha, sons of Somaśri, daughter of Soma; Vegavat and Vāyuvega, two sons of Vegavatī; three sons of Madanavegā, whose strength was famed throughout the three worlds: Anādhṛṣṭi, Dṛḍhamuṣṭi, Himamuṣṭi; two sons of Bandhumatī: Bandhuṣeṇa and Siṃhasena; the son of Priyaṅgusundarī, Śilāyudha, a leader in battle; two sons of Prabhāvatī, named Gandhāra and Piṅgala; two sons of Queen Jarā, Jarākumāra and Vāhlīka; Sumukha and Durmukha, sons of Queen Avantī; Rāma, son of Rohiṇī, and Sāraṇa and Vidūratha; two sons of Bālacandrā, Vajradaṃṣṭra and Amitaprabha.

Many sons of Rāma, beginning with these: Ulmūka, Niṣadha, Prakṛtidyuti. Cārudatta, Dhruva, Śatrudamana, Pīṭha, Śrīdhvaja, Nandana, Śrīmat, Daśaratha, devānanda, Ānanda, Viprathu, Śāntanu. Pṛthu, Śatadhanus, Naradeva, Mahādhanus, and Dṛḍhadhanvan; and these sons of Viṣṇu came: Bhānu, Bhāmara, Mahābhānu, Anubhānuka, Bṛhaddhvaja, Agniśikha, Dhṛṣṇu, Saṭjaya, Akampana, Mahāsena, Dhīra, Gambhīra, Udadhi, Gautama, Vasudharman, Prasenajit, Sūrya, Candravarman, Cārukṛṣṇaka, Sucāru, Devadatta, Bharata, Śaṅkha, and other powerful sons of Viṣṇu by, the thousand, Pradyumna, Śāmba, et cetera came together there, eager to fight.

Ugrasena and his sons came to the battle: Dhara, Guṇadhara, Śaktika, Durdhara, Candrasāgara; the paternal uncle of King Jyeṣṭha, Sāntvana, and his sons: Mahāsena, Viṣamitra, Hṛdika, Satyamitraka; the son of Mahāsena, named King Suṣeṇa; Hṛdika, Sini, and Satyaka, sons of Viṣamitra; sons of Hṛdika, Kṛtavarman by name, and King Dṛdhadharman; son of Satyaka, named Yuyudhana, and his son Gandha; and many other sons of the Daśārhas and of Rāma and Viṣṇu; and sons of their fathers’ sisters and their own sisters came there, very powerful.

Then on a day named by Kroṣṭuki Janārdana got into his chariot of which Dāruka was charioteer and which was marked by a garuḍa(-banner), surrounded by all the Yadus, with a festival of victory indicated by favorable omens and portents, and advanced in the northeast direction. After he had gone forty-five yojanas from his own city, he, expert in battle, stopped at the village Sinapalli. Kṛṣṇa’s army stopped there, four yojanas this side of Jarāsandha’s army, and some Vidyādhara-chiefs came there. They bowed to Samudravijaya and said:

“O king, we are attached to the merits of your brother, Ānakadundubhi (Vasudeva). What kind of assistance from others in battle is needed for you in whose family there are Ariṣṭanemi, capable of protection or destruction of the world; Rāma and Govinda, whose strength is unparalleled; and these descendants, Pradyumna, Śāmba, et cetera by the crore? Nevertheless, learning that there was a suitable occasion we have come with our devotion. Instruct us. Count us in the category of vassals, lord.”

The king said, “Very well,” and again they said: “Jarāsandha is straw before Śārṅgin alone. Give us orders about the Khecaras who are partisans of Jarāsandha on Mt. Vaitāḍhya before they come here. Let Vasudeva, your younger brother, accompanied by Pradyumna and Śāmba, be our general. This being so, they will certainly be defeated.” With Kṛṣṇa’s permission Samudravijaya sent Ānakadundubhi and his grandsons, Pradyumna and Śāmba with the Khecaras. At that time Ariṣṭanemi gave Vasudeva the amulet that obstructed weapons which had been tied on his arm by the gods at his birth-bath.

Now the minister Haṃsaka came with other ministers and made this speech of good counsel to the lord of Magadha: “In the past Kaṃsa did an unwise thing and he reaped its fruit. Without the power of good counsel, the powers of energy and excellence of treasury and army[4] have bad results. It must be considered whether an enemy is small, equal, or superior to one’s self. How much more this powerful Viṣṇu who is superior to yourself! The tenth Daśārha blackened the faces of the kings at Rohiṇī’s svayaṃvara. The master himself saw that. Then no one in your army was the equal of Vasudeva. Your soldiers were saved by his elder brother, Samudra.

Vasudeva, known from winning crores in gambling and from saving your daughter’s life, even though condemned to death, did not die because of his own power.[5] His sons, Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, attained such prosperity that Vaiśravaṇa made the city Dvārakā for them. These are the heroes, great warriors, to whom the warriors, even the Pāṇḍavas, Yudhiṣthira and the others, have resorted as a refuge in time of trouble. The sons, Pradyumna and Śāmba, are like another Rāma and Kṛṣṇa; Bhīma and Arjuna are terrifying even to Kṛtāṇta from strength of arm. What need of the other heroes being named, since among these Nemi alone is able easily to make the earth an umbrella with his arm as a handle?

In your army Damaghoṣa’s son,[6] (Śiśupāla) and Rukmin are leaders. Their strength in a fight with Bala was demonstrated at the abduction of Rukmiṇī. Duryodhana, the Kauravya, and Śakuni, the Gāndhāra—these, indeed, have strength in trickiness, like a dog. There is no counting them among heroes. Karṇa, too, King of the Aṅgas, I fear, is like a handful of meal in the ocean of Kṛṣṇa’s army, which has great warriors to the number of a crore. Nemi, Kṛṣṇa, Bala—these are three very great warriors in the enemy’s army. You are one alone in your army. There is a great difference between the two armies.

Who is eager for battle with Śrī Nemi to whom the Indras, Acyuta and the others, pay homage from devotion? Your son, Kāla, was destroyed by the gods themselves, partisans of Kṛṣṇa, who played a trick. Recognize an adverse fate from that. Acknowledging the law, these Yadus, though powerful, left Mathurā and went to the city Dvārakā. Kṛṣṇa has come now opposed to you, but not of his own accord, like a serpent dragged from its hole by you, after striking it with a club. So much having happened, master, it is not fitting to fight with him. If you do not fight, he will turn around and leave.”

Angered by that speech, Jarāsandha replied: “Surely, wretch, you have been weaned away[7] by these crafty Yadus, since you try to make me afraid of the enemy, telling that without effect. Does the lion ever become afraid from the howls of jackals, evil-minded man? I shall reduce to ashes the cowherds' army by my power. Shame on this wish of yours advocating retreat from battle.”

Then the minister Dimbhaka said: “This speech is like his heart. Battle, of which the time has come, certainly must not be avoided now by the master. Glorious death in battle of those facing the enemy is better than life of those turning their backs on battle, lord. Arranging the wheel-formation, impenetrable as the cakra-jewel, in our army, we will destroy the enemy-army engaged in battle.”

Delighted, Jarāsandha said to him: “Good! Good!” and he instructed his mighty generals to make the wheel-formation. The ministers, Haṃsaka, Dimbhaka, and other generals made the wheel-formation at the Ardhacakrin’s command. In the wheel which had one thousand spokes, one king stood on each spoke. Each one of the kings had one hundred elephants, two thousand chariots, five thousand horses, and sixteen thousand foot-soldiers of boundless glory. There were seventy-five hundred kings in the circumference of the rim and in the middle of it was the Lord of Magadha with more than five thousand kings. In the rear of the King of Magadha was the army from Sindhu and Gāndhāra. The hundred Dhārtarāṣṭras were to the king’s right. The kings of Madhyadeśa were to the left. In front there were kings without number. At each joint of the rim there were kings with formations of fifty carts. Gulmas[8] were placed in each interval (between spokes) and gaṇas between the gulmas. Outside the formation there were kings with various formations. Then King Jarāsandha installed King Hiraṇyanābha, faithful, long-armed, with celebrated skill in various kinds of fighting, lord of expertness, as general of the wheel-formation. The sun set.

At night the Yadus made the garuḍa-formation, hard to penetrate by enemy-kings, the rival of the wheel-formation. In this formation there was half a crore of noble princes. Sīrapāṇi and Śārṅgapāṇi were placed at its head. Akrūra, Kumuda, Padma, Sāraṇa, Vijayin, Jaya, Jarākumāra, Sumukha, Dṛḍhamuṣṭi, Vidūratha, Anādhṛṣṭi, Durmukha—these sons of Vasudeva with a lac of chariots were guards of the rear of Kaṃsadviṣ. Behind them was Ugrasena with a crore of chariots. There were four sons to guard his rear. To guard Bhoja (Ugrasena) and his sons these kings were behind them: Dhara, Sāraṇa, Candra, Durdhara, and Satyaka.

Long-armed Samudravijaya took charge of the right wing himself and stood with his brothers and brothers’ sons. Mahānemi, Satyanemi, Dṛḍhanemi, Sunemin, Ariṣṭanemi, Vijayasena, Megha, Mahājaya, Tejaḥsena, Jayasena, Jaya, Mahādyuti—these sons of Samudravijaya were at the side. Other kings with twenty-five lacs of chariots stood at Samudravijaya’s side, like sons. Rāma’s sons were in charge of the left wing and also the Pāṇḍavas, Yudhiṣṭhira and the others, whose strength was immeasurable. Ulmūka, Niṣadha, Śatrudamana, Prakṛtidyuti, Sātyaki, Śrīdhvaja, Devānanda, Ānanda, Śāntanu, Śatadhanvan, Daśaratha, Dhruva, Pṛthu, Viprathu, Mahādhanus, Dṛḍhadhanvan, Ativīrya, Devanandana—these, surrounded by twenty-five lacs of chariots, stood behind the Pāṇḍavas, eager to kill the Dhārtarāṣṭras.

Behind them were Candrayaśas, Siṃhala, Barbara, Kāmboja, Kerala, and King Draviḍa. In their rear stood Mahāsena’s father, the sole mountain of fortitude and strength, with sixty thousand chariots. For guarding the wings there were Bhānu, Bhāmara, Bhīruka, Asita, Saṭjaya, Bhānu,[9] Dhṛṣṇu, Kampita, Gautama, Śatruñjaya, Mahāsena, Gambhīra, Bṛhaddhvaja, Vasuvarman, Udaya, Kṛtavarman, Prasenajit, Dṛḍhadharman, Vikrānta, Candravarman, Pārthiva. This was the garuḍa-formation made by Garuḍa-bannered (Kṛṣṇa).

Knowing that Nemin wished to fight from affection for his brothers, Śakra sent his own chariot, distinguished by weapons of victory, with Mātali (the charioteer). The chariot, gleaming with jewels, spreading sunrise, as it were, brought by Mātali, was adorned by Ariṣṭanemi. Samudravijaya himself installed (by sprinkling) Anādhṛṣṭi, Kṛṣṇa’s elder brother, in command of the army, accompanied by putting on a tiara. The cry of “Victory! Victory!” arose in all of Hari’s army and there was terror everywhere in Jarāsandha’s army.

A violent battle began between the soldiers in the vanguard of the two formations who marched together without any gaps as if their garments were tied together. Various missiles flew up in the battle of the two formations like waves of the East and West Oceans rolled high at the end of the world. Both the formations of the two armies attained a state of complete impenetrability, like a riddle, by each other. After fighting for a long time, the soldiers in the van of the garuḍa-formation, though very firm from devotion to the master, were broken by Jarāsandha’s soldiers. Then Tārkṣya-bannered (Kṛṣṇa) himself, like the soul of the garuḍa-formation, strengthened the soldiers, raising up his hand like a banner.

Mahānemi and Pārtha (Arjuna), like the right and left wings, and Anādhṛṣṭi, like the beak of the formation in front—these three became angry. Long-armed Mahānemi blew the conch, Siṃhanāda, and Anādhṛṣṭi blew Balāhaka, and Phālguna (Arjuna) blew Devadatta. The Yadus beat crores of drums and the sound of the conchs was followed by their sounds like the king of Śaṅkha by the Śaṅkhakas. The soldiers in the enemy-army were terrified by the sound of the three conchs and by the sound of the drums, like crocodiles in the ocean.

The three generals, Nemi,[10] Anādhṛṣṭi, and Pārtha, strode, raining arrows, like very powerful oceans at the end of the world. The kings placed in the cart formation at the joints at the rim fled, unable to endure the heroism of their arms. The wheel-formation was broken in three places by the three, like the bank of a mountain-stream by wild elephants bent down (to strike). They themselves entered the wheel-formation, like the currents of rivers by which paths had been made, and other soldiers after them. Duryodhana, Raudhira, Rukmin—these three kings stopped the soldiers and rose up, eager to fight. Surrounded by warrior-kings, Duryodhana blocked Pārtha, Raudhira blocked Anādhṛṣṭi, and Rukmin blocked Mahānemi. Duels between these six took place; and between other warriors, their partisans, by the thousand.

Mahānemi impatient, deprived Rukmin, who thought himself a hero, shouting defiance, arrogant, of his weapons and his chariot. To protect Rukmin who had approached the point of death, seven kings, Śatruntapa and others, came together in the gaps. While these seven were raining arrows at the same time, Śaiveya (neminātha) struck down their bows, like lotus-stalks, with arrows. After he had fought for a long time, Śatruntapa threw a spear at the enemy and all the Yadus were terrified, seeing it burst into flames. Servants, originating from the end of the spear, carrying various weapons, committing cruel acts, fell into the air by the thousand.

Then Mātali said to Ariṣṭanemi: “This king got that from the Indra Bali by penance, like Pāvaṇa from Dharaṇa. This must be destroyed by a thunderbolt.” At Nemi’s command he fastened a thunderbolt to Mahānemi’s arrow rapidly. Hurling the thunderbolt-arrow quickly, Mahānemi made the spear fall to the ground and deprived the king of weapon and chariot. Samudra’s son (Nemi) destroyed the bows of the other six kings and at that time Rukmin, mounted in another chariot, attacked again. Eight kings together—Śatruntapa and others and Rukmin—standing at the head of the arrogant, fought with Śaiveya. Whatever bow Rukmin took, the prince destroyed it. So twenty bows of his were destroyed in immediate succession.

Then he (Rukmin) threw the club Kauberī at Mahānemi and Śivā’s son reduced it to ashes with a fiery arrow. Rukmin, unable to bear defeat in battle, discharged the arrow, Vairocana, which ruined lacs of arrows, at Śaiveya. Mahānemi blocked it with the arrow, Māhendra, and struck Rukmin on the forehead with another arrow. Veṇudārin killed him distracted by that blow and the seven kings attacked Mahānemi quickly. Samudravijaya defeated Druma, Stimita defeated King Bhadraka, and Akṣobhya, whose strength was unshakable, Vasusena.

Then Sāgara killed in battle an enemy, named Purimitra, and Himavat, firm as Himavat, killed Dhṛṣṭadyumna. Dharaṇa, like Indra Dharaṇa in strength, killed King Anvaṣṭaka and Abhicandra killed arrogant Śatadhanvan. Pūraṇa killed Drupada and Sunemi Kuntibhoja, Satyanemi Mahāpadma, Drḍhanemi Śrīdeva. Thus broken by the Yadu-heroes, the enemy-kings went to Hiraṇyanābha, who had been Installed as commander-in-chief, for protection.

Mow the heroes, Bhīma and Arjuna. and Rāma’s powerful sons, put to flight the Dhārtarāṣṭras, like clouds dhārtarāṣṭra-haṃsus.[11] The skies became dark from Partita’s falling arrows and the universe became distracted by the terrible sounds of Gāṇḍīva (Arjuna’s bow). As he drew the arrows (from the quiver), placed them on the bow, and discharged them rapidly, no interval was distinguished by the gods standing in the air. Then Duryodhana, Kāsi, Trigarta, Sabala, Kapota, Romarāja, Citrasena, Jayadratha, Sauvīra, Jayasena, Śūrasena, and Somaka together attacked Pārtha, casting aside the ethics of the warrior-caste. Sahadeva fought with Śakuni, Bhīma with Duḥśāsana, Nakula with Ulūka, Yudhiṣṭhira with Śalya. The sons of Draupadī with soldiers fought very bard with the six, Durmarṣaṇa, et cetera and Rāma’s sons with the remaining kings. Kirīṭin (Arjuna) cut down the arrows of the kings, Duryodhana, et cetera, who rained them simultaneously, with arrows, as easily as lotus-stalks. Gāṇḍivin (Arjuna) slew Duryodhana’s charioteer and horses, and destroyed his chariot with arrows, and made his armor fall to the ground. Dhārtarāṣṭra, uninjured, ashamed, (led quickly like a mere foot-soldier and leaped into Śakuni’s chariot like a bird.

Dhanaṭjaya (Arjuna) put to flight the ten,[12] Kāsi, et cetera, with a rain of arrows, like a cloud dispersing elephants with a rain of hail. Śalya cut down Yudhiṣṭhira’s chariot-banner with an arrow and Yudhiṣṭhira cut down Śalya’s bow and arrows Śalya strung another bow and put to flight Yudhiṣṭhira with heron-feather-arrows, like the rainy season the sun with clouds. Then Kaunteya (Yudhiṣṭhira) discharged a spear hard to endure at Śalya which caused terror to everyone like lightning out of season. Unhindered by enemy-arrows, it fell quickly and slew Śalya, like a thunderbolt a lizard. Many kings fled. Vṛkodara (Bhīma), angered, recalling the victory in gambling by trickery, slew easily Duryodhana’s full brother. Sahadeva, attacked by Gāndhāra with magic weapons and with missiles, shot an arrow, the destroyer of life. Suyodhana (= Duryodhana), who had really abandoned warrior-ethics, cut down this arrow, which had not yet reached Śakuni, with a sharp arrow. Mādreya (Sahadeva) said to him defiantly: “Duryodhana, cheating on your part is apparent in battle as well as in gambling. Indeed, that is the strength of the weak. I will kill at the same time the two of you, crafty like jackals, fortunately found together. Do not separate.”

With these words, Sahadeva covered Suyodhana with sharp arrows, like autumn-time a wood with parrots. Duryodhana attacked Mādreya with arrows and destroyed the bow, the root of the tree of battle. Duryodhana discharged an arrow, entirely unerring, subject to a charm, like Kināsa (Yama), for the destruction of Sahadeva. Dhanaṭjaya (Arjuna) obstructed the arrow on the way with the arrow Garuḍa together with Suyodhana’s hope of victory. Śakuni twanged his bow aloud and made Mādreya disappear entirely by means of showers of arrows, like a cloud a mountain. Sahadeva destroyed Śakuni’s chariot, horses, and charioteer and cut off his head like the fruit of a tree. Nakula quickly put Ulūka to flight with missiles, like the sun an owl with its rays, after easily depriving him of his chariot. He went to Durmarṣaṇa’s chariot; and Durmarṣaṇa and the others—the six—were put to flight by Draupadī’s sons and their soldiers. They resorted to Duryodhana and Duryodhana together with the kings, Kāsi, et cetera, attacked Dhanaṭjaya.

Surrounded by Rāma’s sons, like Purandara by gods, Pārtha split the multitude of the enemy by various arrows. Pārtha, blinding all the enemy with arrows, slew Jayadratha, like Duryodhana’s life that had become separated. Karṇa, Kālapṛṣṭha[13] being drawn to his ear, biting his lips, chief of heroes, ran forward, wishing to kill Kirīṭin. For a long time the two heroes, Karṇa and Arjuna, played with arrows like dice, watched by the gods from curiosity. His chariot destroyed several times, his other weapons lost, carrying only a sword, Karṇa, best of heroes, was finally killed by Kirīṭin. Bhīma gave a lion’s roar; Phālguna blew the conch; and all of Pārtha’s soldiers roared, thinking themselves conquerors.

Duryodhana, blind with anger, quickly attacked with an army of great elephants, haughty, wishing to kill Bhīmasena. Māruti (Bhīmasena), striking chariot against chariot, horse against horse, elephant against elephant, destroyed completely Duryodhana’s army. The appetite of powerful Bhīmasena fighting in this way was not satisfied by them, like that of one eating is unsatisfied by sweet-meats. The hero Duryodhana himself, quickly reassuring his people, ran at Bhīmasena, like an elephant at an elephant. Both the heroes fought with various weapons for a long time, like thundering clouds, like angry lions. Recalling the enmity from gambling, Bhīma lifted up a great club and crushed Duryodhana with his horses, chariot, and charioteer. Duryodhana having been killed, his soldiers were leaderless and went to the general, Hiraṇyanābha, for protection.

All the Pāṇḍavas and Yadus belonging to the right and left wings surrounded General Anādhṛṣṭi. Hiraṇyanābha took charge of the vanguard of the army, like a pilot the front of a boat, and, angry, attacked the Yadus, shouting abuse. Abhicandra said to him: “Why do you talk like a clown? Warriors are not heroes from talk, but are heroes from the defeat of enemies.” Then Hiraṇya shot sharp arrows at Abhicandra. Pārtha destroyed them in midair, like a wind rain-clouds. He hurled a series of arrows, hard to keep off, at Arjuna. Bhīma jumped between and with a club made him fall from the chariot. Ashamed, he got into the chariot again, biting his lips from anger, and rained sharp arrows on the whole of the Yadus’ army. There was not a horseman, nor an elephant-rider, nor a charioteer, nor a foot-soldier in the great army of the Yadus whom he did not strike with arrows.

Then Jayasena, Samudravijaya’s son, angry, ran to fight with Hiraṇyanābha, his bow drawn. Saying, “O nephew, why do you come to Yama’s mouth?” Hiraṇyanābha killed Jayasena’s charioteer. Jayasena quickly destroyed his armor, bow, and banner, and led his charioteer to Yama’s house. Angry, Hiraṇyanābha killed Jayasena, striking him with ten sharp arrows which penetrated the chinks (in his armor). The hero, Mahājaya, Jayasena’s brother, got down from his chariot, carrying sword and shield, and ran at Hiraṇya. Hiraṇya cut off his head with a sharp-edged arrow from a distance.

Angry at the killing of his two brothers, Anādhṛṣṭi fought with him. Other kings on Jarāsandha’s side fought with Bhīma, Arjuna, et cetera and with the Yadus in pairs, one from each side. Bhagadatta, King of Pragjyotiṣa, like the lord of the Jyotiṣkas,[14] mounted on an elephant, attacked Mahānemi. He said: “I am not your brother’s brother-in-law, Rukmin,[15] nor Aśmaka; but I am Kṛtānta to enemies like hell-inhabitants. Therefore, flee, sir!” Saying this, he urged forward his elephant with a goad; and the charioteer whirled Mahānemi’s chariot in a circle. Mahānemi struck the elephant’s feet with arrows and the elephant, his feet crippled, fell with Bhogadatta. “You are not Rukmin,” laughed the hero Mahānemi, who was compassionate by nature, and, touching him with the end of the bow, released him.

Now Bhūriśravas and Sātyaki fought, both longing for the Śrī of victory for Jarāsandha and Vāsudeva, respectively. Fighting with divine iron missiles, like elephants of the gods with their tusks, they became terrifying to the three worlds. After a long time, their weapons destroyed like clouds whose water is exhausted, both fought with their own arms, striking fist against fist. They shook the earth with their hard falls and jumps up and both split open the skies, as it were, with the noise of slaps on the arms. Sātyaki bound Bhūriśravas with a rope, twisted his neck, pressed his back with a knee, and killed him.

Now Anādhṛṣṭi cut down Hiraṇyanābha’s bow, and he hurled a club, destroyer of enemies, at Anādhṛṣṭi. As it fell, Anādhṛṣṭi broke it with arrows, and it lighted up the sky with masses of flying sparks. Wishing to kill Anādhṛṣṭi, Hiraṇya-nābha got down from his chariot quickly and ran forward on foot, carrying sword and shield. Kṛṣṇa’s elder brother got down quickly with sword and shield and harassed him for a long time, moving with various steps. Anādhṛṣṭi, light-handed, using trickery, cut Hiraṇya’s body with a sword like a piece of wood with a brahmasūtra.[16] His kings took refuge with Jarāsandha. Just then the sun sank into the Western Ocean.

Anādhṛṣṭi, honored by the Yadus and Pāṇḍavas, went to Kṛṣṇa. At Kṛṣṇa’s command all went to their respective camps. Then King Jarāsandha took counsel at that time and installed powerful Śiśupāla as general of the army. The Yadus made a garuḍa-formation at Garuḍa-bannered’s command and took the battle-field at dawn like that. Śiśupāla made a wheel-formation in like manner (as before). Then King Jarāsandha took the battle-field. Then Haṃsaka at Jarāsandha’s request pointed out the enemy-soldiers and gave their names exactly:

“That is Anādhṛṣṭi, whose banner is an elephant, with a chariot with black horses. That is Pāṇḍu’s son, Yudhiṣṭhira, with a chariot with dark horses. That is Dhanaṭjaya with a chariot with white horses; and that is Vṛkodara (Bhīma) with chariot-horses the color of a blue lotus. That is Samudravijaya with a lion-banner and golden horses. That is Ariṣṭanemi whose banner is a bull and whose horses are parrot-colored. That is Akrūra with a plantain-banner and brindled horses. That is Sātyaki with horses spotted like a partridge. That is Prince Mahānemi with horses the color of white water-lilies; that is Ugrasena with horses the color of a parrot’s beak.

That is Jarākumāra, with golden-backed horses and a deer-banner; that is Siṃhala, son of Ślakṣnaroman, with horses from Kamboja. That is Meru with a dolphin-banner and tawny horses; that is King Padmarathapura with horses the color of a red lotus. That is Sāraṇa, whose banner is a blue lotus, with dove-colored horses; and that is Vidūratha with a water-jar-banner and horses with five auspicious marks.[17] That is Kṛṣṇa with a garuḍa-banner and white horses in the midst of the soldiers, like a rain-cloud with cranes in the air. That is Rauhiṇeya (Rāma), palm-bannered, with black horses, placed in his right wing, like a living Kailāsa. There are many other Yadus with various horses and chariot-banners, great warriors, who can not be named now.”

After hearing that, Jarāsandha twanged his bow angrily and drove his chariot rapidly against Rāma and Krṣṇa. Jarāsandha’s son, Yavana, the crown-prince, angrily advanced to kill Vasudeva’s sons, Akrūra, et cetera. A battle, terrifying as the end of the world, took place between long-armed Yavana and them, like one between a śarabha and lions. Rāma’s younger brother, Sāraṇa, whose strength was unparalleled, blocked him, raining various arrows like a cloud raining frogs. Yavana destroyed Sāraṇa’s chariot and its horses by means of an elephant, named Malaya, lofty as the Malaya Mts. The elephant lowered its head (to strike) and Sāraṇa cut off Yavana’s head with a sword, like the fruit of a tree rocked by the wind. He cut off the trunk and tusks of the elephant as it rose up and Kṛṣṇa’s army danced like peafowls in the rainy season.

When he had seen his son’s slaughter, Jarāsandha, angered, carrying a bow, set out to kill the Yadus, like a lion deer. Ānanda, Śatrudamana, Nandana, Śrīdhvaja, Dhruva, Devānanda, Cārudatta, Pīṭha, Hariṣeṇaka, Naradeva—these ten sons of Bala in the front of battle were killed by Jarāsandha, like goats in the front of a sacrifice. Kṛṣṇa’s army fled at the sight of the princes’ slaughter and Māgadha (Jarāsandha) followed it, killing, like a tiger a herd of cows. Then General Śiśupāla, laughing, said to Kṛṣṇa: “This is not a cow-station, Kṛṣṇa; this is a battle of heroes.” Kṛṣṇa said: “Go, king! Eventually you must go. Why have you delayed so long in Rukmin’s[18] battle, son of Mādrī?”

Pierced by Hari’s speech like an arrow piercing chinks in armor, the King of Cedi twanged his bow and discharged sharp arrows. Had destroyed his bow, armor, and chariot with arrows and, drawing his sword, ran after him, like a fire with high smoke. Had cut down in turn the sword, crown, and then the head of the King of Cedi who was shouting abuse, evil-minded. Angered by Śiśupāla’s killing, Jarāsandha, terrible like Kṛtānta, attacked with his sons and kings. He said to the Yadus: “Do not die uselessly, sirs! Hand over the two cowherds. Nothing has been hurt today.”[19]

Angered by that speech, like serpents touched by a stick, the Yadus attacked with shouts, raining various weapons. Though he was one, Jarāsandha pierced the Yadu-soldiers with terrible arrows from all sides, as if he had become many, like a hunter deer. Neither foot-soldiers, nor charioteers, nor cavalry, nor elephant-riders were able to stand before Jarāsandha as he fought. Like cotton blown by the wind, the whole army of the Yadus fled in every direction, injured by Jarāsandha’s arrows. Jarāsandha dived into the great pool of Yadu-soldiers on all sides, like a buffalo, and the Yadus became frogs in it.

Twenty-eight sons of Jarāsandha, throwing the poison of weapons, like serpents, attacked Rāma. The other sixty-nine sons of Jarāsandha, wishing to kill Janārdana, besieged him like demons. A terrible fight took place between Rāma and Kṛṣṇa and them, which rained sparks from the destruction of each other’s missiles. Rāma dragged Jarāsandha’s twenty-eight sons by the plow and crushed them, like ants, with the pestle. Shouting, “Even now this cowherd, disregarded, is killing,” Jarāsandha struck Rāma with a club like a thunderbolt. Rāma vomited blood from the blow with the club and a great cry, “Ha! Ha!” arose in all the army of the Yadus. The youngest Kaunteya, (Śvetavāhana), jumped between and fought Jarāsandha who wished to attack Rāma. Krṣṇa saw Rāma’s wretched state and, angered, his lips trembling, killed Jarāsandha’s sixty-nine sons who were in front of him.

“Rāma here will certainly die. What is the use of Kirīṭin (Arjuna) being killed? I will kill Krṣṇa.” With these thoughts, the King of Magadha attacked him. Then a rumor spread everywhere, “Krṣṇa has really been killed.” Just then Mātali said to Ariṣṭanemi: “Of what importance is Jarāsandha compared with you, Śrī Nemi, Lord of Three Worlds, like a young elephant compared with a śarabha? He, disregarded by you, is making a dearth of Yādavas now. Show at least, Lord of the World, an exploit of your own easily accomplished. Even if the Lord is averse to any censurable act from birth, yet he should not disregard his own family being destroyed by enemies.”

Spoken to like this, without anger Nemi took in his hand the conch Paurandara, whose sound exceeded that of a thundercloud, and blew it. By its sound filling the space between heaven and earth, the enemy were terrified and the Yadu-army was restored again, able to fight. At Nemi’s command Mātali whirled the chariot in the battle like a circle of fire-brands, resembling a whirlpool in the ocean. Like a new cloud with a drawn rainbow, the Lord rained streams of arrows on all sides, making the enemy tremble. The Lord destroyed the banners of some, of some the bows, of some the chariots, and of some the crowns. The enemy-soldiers became unable even to look at, to say nothing of striking, the Lord who resembled a sun at the end of the world.

The Master alone killed a lac of crowned kings. What are mountains compared with the ocean enraged? The Master, Lord of Three Worlds, did not kill Jarāsandha, sparing him with the idea, “The Prativiṣṇu must be killed only by Viṣṇu.” Śri Nemi continued blocking the enemy, having the chariot whirled, and the Yadu-soldiers fought again, their courage regained.

In the meantime the remaining Dhārtarāṣṭras were killed by Pāṇḍu’s sons because of their own enmity, like deer by lions. Baladeva, having recovered (from the blow), fought many times, with the pestle and plow upraised, and killed the enemy-soldiers.

Now Jarāsandha said to Kṛṣṇa: “For a long time you have remained alive only by trickery, like a jackal, sir cowherd. Kaṃsa was killed by a trick; Kāla too was killed by a trick. Indeed, you, unskilled in weapons, have not put up any fight. Now I shall put an end to your trickery and to your life at the same time, villain. Now I shall carry out my promise to Jīvayaśas.”

Kṛṣṇa smiled and said: “O king, you have spoken the truth. I am such a person (as you say). But your own skill in weapons must be shown. I am not boastful like you. However, I say only this. Your daughter’s vow to enter the fire will be fulfilled.”

Angered by this speech of Viṣṇu, Jarāsandha discharged arrows and Kṛṣṇa destroyed them, like the sun darkness. Both, armed with bows, fought ardently like śarabhas, making all the quarters resound with the sounds of the bow. The oceans were agitated by the impact of their fight, the Khecaras in the air trembled, and the mountains shook. The earth, unable to bear the coming and going of their chariots heavy as mountains, gave up instantly all capacity for endurance. Janārdana struck down the King of Magadha’s divine missiles with divine ones and iron missiles with iron ones with the greatest ease. The futility of all weapons being apparent, the King of Magadha, filled with embarrassment and anger, recalled the cakra which was difficult to check by other weapons.

Whirling the cakra, which had come at once, in the air in his hand, Magadha, blind with anger, thirsting for victory, hurled it at Kṛṣṇa. Even the Khecaras in the air trembled very much at the falling cakra and Kṛṣṇa’s soldiers, completely depressed, were terrified. Kṛṣṇa, Rāma, the five Pāṇḍavas, and other warriors threw their own missiles to make it halt. The cakra, unhindered by them, like the current of an overflowing river by trees, came and struck Krṣṇa on the breast with its hub. The cakra, as if weaned apart by the policy of dissension, stayed at his side and Krṣṇa took it in his hand like his own majesty that had been offered. “The ninth Vāsudeva has arisen,” the gods, proclaiming this, rained a shower of perfume and flowers on Kṛṣṇa from the air.

Kṛṣṇa, feeling compassionate, said to the King of Magadha: “Take note, was this deceit of mine? Now go home. Acknowledge my command and again flourish with wealth. Lay aside conceit which has evil consequences. Live now, though old.” The King of Magadha replied: “You are hurling my cakra, which is like a fire-brand, cherished for a long time by me alone. Hurl it.” Then Janārdana hurled the cakra at Jarāsandha. Their very enemies’ weapons become their own in the case of the great. The King of Magadha’s head, cut off by the cakra, fell to the ground, but he went to the fourth hell. The gods rained flowers from the trees of heaven on Kṛṣṇa shouting, “Hail! Hail!”

Footnotes and references:


Unlucky in a man. Cf. IV, p. 371.


I.e., like friends attempting to warn him.


These arc the 10 Daśārhas, beginning with Samudravijaya and ending with Vasudeva.


The 3 divisions of śakti. See II, n. 117.


See above, p. 77 f.


Śiśupāla, the son of Damaghoṣa and Mādrī, a sister of the Daśārhas.


Bheda has been used—one of the 4 upāyas. See I, p. 153 and Abhi. 3.400.


In Abhi. 3.412 is given a succession of military groupings. Here a gulma consists of 27 elephants, 27 chariots, 81 horses, and 135 infantry. Gaṇa does not occur in this connection in the Abhi. According to MW, a gaṇa = 3 gulmas, but the numbers of its members correspond with Hem.’s gulma.


One of these ‘Bhānus’ must be Mahābhānu.


Nemi alone usually means Ariṣṭanemi, but here it refers to Mahānemi.


A kind of haṃsa with black bill and feet. Abhi. 4.392.


Why 10? This should be 11. Twelve are named above as his attackers and only Duryodhana has fled.


The name of Karṇa’s bow.


The sun.


Rukmin was the brother-in-law of Vāsudeva, the cousin of Mahānemi. I do not know the point of ‘Aśmaka’.


I can find no definition of brahmasūtra except the normal ‘sacred thread.’ It is possible that it means that Anādhṛṣṭi carved Hiraṇyanābha’s body as mathematically as a carpenter would a piece of wood measured by a thread, which Indian carpenters do use; but why a ‘sacred thread’ which they would not use?


Puṇḍra. On the chest, back, face, and flanks. Cf. Harṣacaritra, p. 50.


As a matter of fact, Rukmin was not responsible. It was Jīvayaśas, who incited her father.


Apparently he means that nothing has happened so far to prevent peace, if Rāma and Kṛṣṇa are surrendered.

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