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26 दिसंबर 2013

Krishna Leela / कृष्णा लीला

Krishna was born for the welfare of the world
कृष्णा का जन्म हुआ था 
जगत के कल्याण के लिए


Hearing the tales of Royal dynasties from Shukdev, king Parikshit requested "Guruvar, you have just narrated the surprising tale of Suryvansh and Chandravansh (dynasties). Now I wish to hear the tales of Lord Krishna's life in detail. It was because of God's grace that my ancestors could successfully win the Mahabharata. I to had experienced Lords grace while I was an unborn child and Ashvathama had triggered Brahmastra to destroy me. It was the Lord himself who saved me from the heat of Brahmastra with his wheel. O sage, therefore, kindly narrate the tale of Krishna's life who is the soul of every living being. I do not feel thirsty or hungry while hearing the pious tale of God's life from you."
Pleased by the pure devotion of Parikshit for God, Shukdev Says, "When the atrocities of evil demons increased on earth beyond a certain limit, the perplexed earth reached to Brahma in the guise of a cow, and vented her sorrows. Brahma took her and Lord Shiva to Lord Vishnu and prayed Him through Purushsukta. Lord heard their prayers and said, "I know about the sufferings of poor earth. Very soon, I'll take incarnation in Yaduvansh to elevate her burden. All the gods, should take birth in Yadukul to assist me during my human incarnation. And to serve my beloved Radha, all the elves should appear as the womenfolk of Yudu community."
Brahma dictated the gods and said that even Yog Maya (personification of illusions) of Lord Vishnu would take a partial incarnation to assist the Lord in His plays. Thus consoling the earth Brahma returned to his abode.


MARRIGE OF VASUDEV AND DEVAKI
Shursen's son Vasudev was married to Devaki, the daughter of Devak. After the marriage ceremony, Ugrasen's son and Devki's cousin Kansa was driving the chariot of newly wedded couple. On the way a celestial voice proclaimed " O Fool Kansa, the eighth son of your beloved sister, whose chariot you are driving so affectionately, shall be the cause of your death.." Hearing the voice Kansa drew out his sword to kill Devaki. But Vasudev prayed to him politely, "Prince Kansa, you are the descendant of Bhoj dynasty, you are a brave man. It does not fit you bravery that you are yourself ready to kill your sister. She is a woman and has just got married. She has not done any harm to you, she deserves pity. If you fear her children, I promise that I will give all her children to you." Thus assured by truth abiding Vasudev's words, Kansa dropped the idea of killing Devaki.

As per his promise, Vasudev gave his first newborn child to Kansa. Pleased by Vasudev's abidance to truth, Kansa said, "You eighth son will be my enemy, so I will kill only your eighth son. Take the child back." At the same time, singing in Lord's praise, Devarishi Narad appeared there and said, "O Kansa in view of rising atrocities of demons, Lord Narayana himself will take birth in Yaduvansh. Besides Him, all the cowboys and all others who belonged to Yadav clan are none other than the gods in Human guise. The gods are making massive preparations to exterminate evil kings and as a lotus has only eight petals and no one can mark out its eighth petal, similarly, Devaki will have eight children and no one would be able to find out who is the eighth." Saying this, Devarishi Narad disappeared,

Kansa got firm belief that all the Yaduvanshis were gods and that Lord Vishnu Himself would take birth as Vasudev and Devaki's son to kill him. He, therefore, put Vasudev and Devaki in the prison. Since then Kansa killed the children one by one soon after their birth,
Shesh Narayana Himself appeared as the seventh son. While he was still unborn, Lord Vishnu through His Yogmaya (personified illusion), transferred the embryo in Rohini's womb. Lord dictated Yogamaa that she herself should take birth from Yashoda, the wife of Nand, in Gokul. He also blessed her that in future, people would worship her as Durga, Chandika, Bhadrakali, Narayani, Vaishnavi etc. When the seventh fetus was transferred, Kansa got worried how was it destroyed. His fears and melancholy increased since then. A fear gripped him that his death was very near now.

ARRIVAL OF GOD IN UNBORN BABY

Kans had known that during the battle between the gods and demons he was the demon Kalnemi, and he was killed by Lord Vishnu. So fearing Lord Vishnu rallying with Yaduvanshis, Kansa cultivated high degree of hostility towards them. He captured even his father Ugrasen and put him in the prison. Now the reign of the kingdom was entirely in his hands. Kansa was himself very strong and also had the assistance of his father-in-law, Jarasandh. Formidable demon like Pralamb, Baka, Chanur, Trinavart, Aghasur, Mushtik, Arisht, Dvivid, Pootana, Kashi and Dhenuk were his courtiers. As a result of Kansa atrocities en mass exodus of Yaduvanshis from Mathura followed. These Yaduvanshis left Mathura and settled in regions like Kuru, Panchal etc. Still some of them accepted to serve Kansa, but only superficially.
When all pervasive Lord saw that Yaduvanshis were being tortured without reason, He transferred his glory in Vasudev. Through Vasudev, Devaki received that brilliant part of the lord. On the other hand, Kansa also came to know about Devaki's eighth issue. Since, then his hostility surged unprecedentedly and he began to wait for the birth of Devaki's eight son very anxiously. All it means to say that Kansa mind reflected on God every moment day in and day out.

BIRTH OF LORD KRISHNA

The long awaited day also arrived at last. It was the eighth day in the waning (darker) phase of the lunar month of Bhadrapada (corresponding to August/September). Rohini, the brightest star was rising while dense clouds had gathered in the sky.


Before actual arrival, Lord manifested Himself before Vasudev and Devaki. They felt as if a full moon had risen in the east. Vasudev saw that an extraordinarily marvelous baby boy was standing before them. His eyes were as soft as lotus; He had four arms and held a conch, mace, wheel and lotus. He bore Kaustubh Mani in the neck and wore yellow clothes. Valuable ornaments adorned all parts of his body. Thus, seeing God himself arrived as his son, Vasudev was overwhelmed. Devaki too was overjoyed but feared Kansa first. Then she joyfully prayed to God. God said then, "During Swayambhu Manvantar, both of you had worshiped me with a desire of son. Vasudev was a Prajapati Sutapa while you were his wife Prishni. You had worshiped me with pure hearts. Pleased by your penance I had asked you to seek a boon, so you had sought a son like me in virtues. I had arrived then as your son Prishnigarbh. In the next birth you were Kashyap and Aditi and I was Upendra. Now, in the third birth also. I have arrived as your son."
Saying this, the Lord transformed Himself into an ordinary baby. From the inspiration of God, Vasudev wished to move the baby out of the prison. Instantaneously, all the locks of the jail opened automatically and the guards fell asleep. Carrying the baby in a winnower, Vasudev set out for Gokul across the river Yamuna.
It was raining heavily, so Sheshnaga followed them shading the baby with his hoods. Vasudev entered the river Yamuna. Yamuna too felt overjoyed that her most beloved lord has come to her. Hence, she began to rise in order to touch His feet. Dangling his feet behind Vasudev, God let Yamuna touch them. Touching the feet, the swelling river receded at once and gave Vasudev a safe passage. Crossing the river, Vasudev reached Gokul. There, he entered the home of Nand and kept the baby beside Yashoda and took her new born baby girl and brought her to the prison. As soon as Vasudev kept the baby girl in Devaki's lap, the gates locked up again and the guards awakened.
The baby who was actually Yogmaya (personification of illusion) began to cry. The guards at once ran to inform Kansa about the birth. Kansa came running and snatched the baby from Devaki and proceeded to throw her on the stone. But before he could throw her, the baby escaped from his hands and assumed Ashtbhuji (eight-armed) Durga appearance in the sky and reprimanded him: "O fool, why are you trying to kill me, when you can't even harm me, the one who will kill you, has already appeared. Now stop killing the innocent children." Kansa stood stunned by the talks and appearance of the goddess. Goddess Bhagwadi disappeared and became omnipresent. She is now venerable with different names in different locations.
After the disappearance of Goddess (Yogmaya) Kansa felt remorse. He at once fell at the feet of his sister Devaki and brother-in-law Vasudev and began to beg their pardon. Thereafter, Kansa released both of them. In the morning, Kansa held a discussion with his ministers. The ministers, who were formidable demons themselves, assured Kans that they would kill all the babies born within ten days and destroy the Brahmins, cows, gods, ascetics and all those who could pose potential danger to him.
Shukdev says: "O Parikshit, the demons were Rajoguni (having royal virtues) and Tamoguni (Virtues of darkness) and hence were unable to differentiate good from evils. Their extermination was imminent. That was why they cultivated hostility towards saints and saintly people. O King, those, who disregard saintly people, loose their life, wealth, reputation, religion and everything.

FESTIVITIES IN GOKUL OVER LORD'S BIRTH

Devaki's seventh baby was transferred before birth into the womb of Rohini. The baby was born as Baldevji. At his birth, Brahmins blessed Nand. But laughingly Nand said: "O holy Brahmins, this baby is not mine. It is born to my friend's wife." Brahmins said then: "Okay Baba, we will return only when your wife bears a child. The Brahmins thereafter organized grand worships. By their blessings Yashoda conceived.

It was Wednesday, the eighth day in the darker phase of the lunar month Bhadrapada (August/September), when Yashoda said to her sister-in-law Sunanda: "Sister, kindly wake me up, when the baby takes birth," Sunanda laughed at that. It was in fact the influence of Yogmaya. When Yogmaya took birth, all the people around her were fast asleep and continued to sleep until Vasudev came there and replaced the baby girl with baby boy. Soon after Vasudev left, Yashoda awakened from slumber and saw an extremely beautiful baby boy beside her. Nand was meditating then in the cowshed. He was informed at once. His heart too filled with supernatural joy. He took his bath, and droned new clothes. Then he summoned the Brahmins and got necessary rituals performed. Served the gods and his ancestors and donated cows, clothes, ornaments and cereals to the Brahmins.
As Nand was the chief of Vraj region, so all the people decided to celebrate baby's birth. All the houses, streets and lanes were cleaned and sprinkled with scented waters. All the gateways were embellished with flags, pylons and festoons. All the villagers began to gather in and around Nand's home. Ladies folk also felt overjoyed by the news of the birth of Yashoda's son. Even the cows, oxen and calves also were adorned beautifully. Brahma, Narad, Sanakadi etc. were all having the sight of lord from heaven. Even Lakshmi appeared in Gokul, illuminating all the azimuths. Gopis (ladies folk) decorated their palms with henna, anointed themselves with ubatan (a paste composed of gram floor and many herbs, supposed to enhance beauty) and took bath. Then they adorned themselves from tip to toes and set out for Nand's homes with various gifts. At Nand's home they sprinkled the baby with water containing turmeric and oil and sang auspicious songs loudly.
Thus, when lord appeared in Braj, grand celebration was organized in His welcome, auspicious music was played. The menfolk celebrated the joy spraying one another with milk, curd, butter etc. Nand presented the people generously with clothes, ornaments and cows. Prisoners, ascetics and beggars were given alms. At the request of Nand, Rohini herself welcomed the womenfolk. Since the arrival of lord, prosperity too came to stay in Vraj.

SALVATION OF POOTANA

Shukdev says: 'Parikshit, after many days, entrusting other Gopals with the onus of guarding Gokul, Nand went to Mathura to pay annual taxes in Kansa's court. Vasudev too learned about his arrival and went to see him. Nand felt overjoyed to see Vasudev and embraced him affectionately. Vasudev asked Nand: "Your age is declining now. It is very fortunate now that you have also got a son. My Son Balarama and wife Rohini are staying with you. He would be regarding you as his parents." Nand said: The evil Kansa killed many of your children. He did not even spare your daughter, No doubt, happiness and sorrow are bound to ones fate."
Vasudev said: "Brother, now your duties here are over. You should not stay here for long, because I fear some disturbances in Gokul in your absence. Hearing this, Nand at once set out for Gokul. In the way, he reflected over the words of Vasudev and prayed God: "May God, everything thing be well in Gokul. There in Gokul however a curious incidence took place. After his discussion with evil ministers,
Kansa had sent a cruel ogress Pootana to kill all the newly born babies in his kingdom. In the guise of an extremely pretty woman, Pootana entered Gokul. She hypnotized the menfolk with her sweet smile and flirting glances. She searched new-born babies here and there and entered Nand's home eventually. Baby Lord Krishna was sleeping in the cradle. He had known about her arrival; but posed as if He were asleep. Pootana is a form of non-knowledge with an alluring outward appearance. Lord Krishna was only six days old then.



Pootana's breasts were filled with poison. Such as someone lifts a sleeping snake mistaking it for a rope. Similarly Pootana lifted the baby who proved her death. Pootana took the baby to secluded place and began to breast feed him. Lord prayed to Lord Shiva who came to stay in His throat and drank all the poison from the milk. Thereafter the Lord began to suck Pootana's life. Perplexed Pootana began to cry loudly and writhe nervously. As her death approached she regained her real, ogress appearance. All the men and women were frightened when they saw the huge, formidable body of Pootana. But when they saw Krishna playing nearby, their fear gone and with joy they lifted the baby and soothed him.
Meanwhile, Nand and his fellow Gopas too arrived from Mathura. Pootana's body testified the truth of Vasudev's words. Gopas cut Pootana's body into many pieces and burnt them outside Gokul. When her body was burning, a sweet smell of Agar (a kind of scented wood used in incense making) spread all around. Because Lord himself had fed on her milk, So all her sins were destroyed. Lord regarded her as his mother and hence salved her.


KILLING OF SHAKAT
When lord Krishna was twenty-seven days old, a festival was organized in Gokul. Mata Yashoda bathed the baby while the Brahmins recited hymns. Yashoda saw that baby was feeling sleepy, so putting him in a cradle, she left it under a cart. The cart was loaded with pitchers of milk, curd and butter. After sometime, lord Krishna awoke and began to cry for a feed. But amidst festivities, Yashoda could not hear his cries.



Meanwhile a demon Shakatasur rode the cart wishing to press the cart and thereby kill the Lord. But before he could act, the Lord touched the cart with His feet and lo and behold! The cart turned over and all the utensils kept on it came crashing down. Even the demon was crushed to death under the cart. Other boys, who were playing nearby, informed the Gopis (ladies folk) that the little Kanhaiya had turned over the loaded cart, but they did not believe the kids. Yashoda ran in horror and lifted the baby in her lap. The Brahmins recited pacifying hymns then. Thereafter the baby was bathed again with sanctified water. A feast of Brahmins followed then. Ultimately they were seen off with many gifts.

SALVATION OF TRINAVART

Once Mata Yashoda was playing with the baby lord in her home. All of a sudden she felt as if the baby was getting disproportionately heavy. Soon, she felt herself unable to bear the child anymore. So she left the child on the ground and began to pray Purushottama Lord Rama. Soon afterward she forgot about the event, but all was not over yet. Trinavart, a demon minister of Kansa, had arrived in Gokul as a fierce cyclone. He covered entire Gokul with dust and blinded the people temporarily. For a moment people could not see anything and during that moment Trinavart blew the baby in air with him. When the dust settled, Yashoda did not find the baby Krishna where she had left him. She felt extremely sorry and fell on ground in depression. Other womenfolk also gathered round her. They too began to cry not seeing baby Krishna there.
In the form of cyclone, the demon Trinavart had blown baby Krishna with him; but he too could not bear his heavy burden. So he began to lose his velocity. Lord Krishna caught him by neck. The demon died in a few moments and his dead body fell in Vraj. And Yashoda got a new lease of life when she saw baby Krishna safe and sound. Nand and other Gopas too were overjoyed.

NAMING OF LORD KRISHNA

Once, the supreme ascetic Gargacharya arrived in Gokul. He was the ancestral teacher of Yaduvanshis. Nand joyfully welcomed and treated the hermit. Then he requested him to carry out the ritual of naming and suggest suitable named for both of his sons. Acharya Garg said, "O Nand, everyone knows that I am the ancestral teacher of the Yadavs. If I carry out the naming ritual for these boys, people will understand that they are Devaki's sons." So Nand requested Gargacharya to name his sons secretly. Gargacharya accepted his request and carried out the naming rituals secretly in Nand's cattle shed.
Garg said: "This son of Rohini will cause by his virtue, great pleasures for his near and dear ones. So his second name will be Rama. And because of excessive strength, people will call him as Bala also. Since he will unite the people also, so one of his names would be Sankarshana."
Thereafter, Garg said pointing to Yashodanandan. He has taken incarnation in every age. In the past ages, he had taken white, red and yellow complexions respectively. This time he has taken dark complexion, so he will be known as Krishna. Once he has been the son of Vasudev, so people will call him as Vasudev also. He will cause salvation of all of you, and great joy for the fellow Gopas and cows. With his help, you will overcome even the severe crises. O Nand, This boy will be equal to Narayana in virtues, wealth, beauty, fame and influence. Foster this child with care and earnestness." Thus naming the boys as per their virtues, Garg returned to his hermitage.

CHILDHOOD OF LORD KRISHNA

Shukdev says: "O Parikshit, time passed in Gokul as usual. Balarama and Krishna too grew normally. Soon they began to walk on knees and palms. With their childish plays they both amused men and women folk of Gokul. Everyone took special care of them and looked after them to save them from any possible danger. Ladies folk were specially careful about them.


Soon afterward, both the kids began to walk trot-tingly. Now their movement no longer confined within the boundary of their home. Because of his special virtues, Krishna began to lead other kids of his age group whereas his elder brother Balarama was somewhat serious in nature. Krishna specially enjoyed teasing the girls and milkmaids of Gokul. Often he would eat stealing their milk, curd and butter. At other times, He did not hesitate even to break their pitchers. In such situations the ladies folk used to gather in Nand's home to complain against Krishna. And every time Yashoda promised them to punish Krishna. But every time, when she proceeded to punish him, she forgot everything before his sweet, innocent smile.
One day, Balarama complained against Krishna, "Ma, the little Kanhaiya has eaten mud. Worried about Krishna's health, Yashoda scolded at him: "Tell me, O mischievous Krishna, why did you eat mud". At that moment, little Krishna's eyes were moving with fear. He made an excuse: "No Ma, I have not eaten any mud. They are telling you a lie. If you don't believe, me see yourself." Saying this, Krishna opened his little mouth. Yashoda peeped into his mouth and what she saw there amazed her. She could not believe it. The entire universe was visible in his little mouth. Yashoda saw strange places, entire Vraj and even herself in the little mouth of Krishna. She felt dizzy. With his illusionary powers, Lord wiped out the memory of this incidence from the mind of Yashoda, and she again immersed in love with her child.

UKHAL BANDHAN & SALVATION OF YAMALARJUN

Once, wishing to feed Krishna with butter, Yashoda began to churn milk in the morning . Very soon, Krishna too awakened and not finding the mother on her bed, He set out to search her. Soon He found her in the courtyard where she was churning the milk. He began to insist for breast feeding at once. So Yashoda stopped churning and began to breast feed Krishna. Affection played on her face. Suddenly the milk kept on the fire pot began to boil. Yashoda left Krishna in order to attend the boiling milk. But the unstated Krishna filled with anger and broke the pitcher of curd. Then he went inside and began to eat butter, when Yashoda came back, she understood the matter and began to search him with a stick in her hand. After eating butter himself, Krishna was now feeding the monkeys with it. Seeing the mother come in hot pursuit, Krishna jumped over the mortar and ran away. Yashoda chased him, but soon felt tired because of her bulky body.

Thereafter, Yashoda proceeded to tie Krishna as a punishment. She got a rope and tried to tie Krishna. But the rope fell short by two fingers. She joined many ropes together but the result was same. Every time the ropes fell short by two fingers. Soon, Yashoda was bathing in sweat. When Krishna saw his mother in depression, he himself tied in the ropes. Tethering little Krishna to a heavy mortar, Yashoda engaged in usual household tasks. Tethered to the mortar, Krishna glanced at the two Arjun trees, which were standing on the gate like two sentries. He resolved to salve them.


King Parikshit asked Shukdev about the trees. Shukdev said: "Parikshit, the lord of wealth Kuber had two sons Nalkubar and Manigreev. One day they were enjoying the sweet company of pretty women on the bank of Mandakini river. Just by coincidence, Devarshi Narad arrived there. Out of Shyness, the women folk at once covered themselves, but both the sons of Kuber stood boldly without feeling any shame. Indignant Narad cursed them to become trees and stay in that form for one hundred years. Narad showed kindness as well that despite being in tree forms, they would have the memory of God alive and would be salved by Lord Shri Krishna. Thus, to keep the words of his supreme devotee Narad, Lord dragged the mortar to the two Arjun trees. He walked in such a way that the mortar got stuck between the trees. Krishna then pulled the mortar and in no time the trees were uprooted. Two divine men appeared from the uprooted trees and bowed at the feet of Krishna and prayed him with pure hearts. Then they departed to their heavenly abode.

MIGRATION TO VRINDAVANA

The uprooted Arjun trees fell with thundering sound. All the people shivered with fear and felt as if lightning had struck somewhere. All the elders including Nand met together and discussed the matter. Unanimously they concluded that, of late disturbance had increased in Gokul and the circumstances were no longer conducive to raise the kids like Balarama and Krishna there. So they unanimously decided to leave Gokul and migrate to a verdant place named Vrindavana. In their opinion, Vrindavana had ample vegetation and fertility to support them and their cattle's.
Thus, on an auspicious day, the entire population of Gokul set out for Vrindavana. They packed their households on bullock carts and drove their cattles in herds and started in convoy. In Vrindavana they built their houses and started their life once again.

Shukdev says: "O Parikshit, verdant environment of Vrindavana, Govardhan mountain and crystal clear waters and sandy banks of Yamuna river together filled the hearts of Balarama and Krishna with joy. Along with the fellow cowherds, they began diverse kinds of plays there.

SALVATION OF VATSASUR
One day, Balarama and Krishna were grazing their cattles on the bank of Yamuna River. A demon, meanwhile, took the guise of a calf and mixed with the herd. Obviously, he had malicious intentions. Lord Krishna had already seen the demon taking calf's guise and mixing up with the herd. He signaled Balarama and they together reached near the calf. The calf appeared particularly healthy, so Krishna and Balarama mockingly saw it with admiring eyes. Suddenly they held the calf with its hind legs and tail twirling it in air they threw it in the sky. When the demon died, they threw him on a Kath (wood-apple) tree.

SALVATION OF BAKASUR
One day, all the cowherds took their cattles to a large pond to let them drink water. There they say a huge creature sitting like a hillock on the bank. They were frightened by its appearance. The creature was in fact a demon named Bakasur who had arrived there in the guise of a storke. He was himself very strong and had a long pointed bill. As soon as the cowherds drew near him, The storke hastily picked up Krishna and swallowed him. Other cowherds including Balaram were stupefied. They could not believe their eyes. But inside the beak, Lord Krishna made himself extremely hot and caused severe burning in demon's throat. So the demon could not swallow Krishna and regurgitated him, and began to hit him with his strong beak. But Lord held his beak with both his hands and tore the demon's mouth apart. And as son as the demon died, a ripple of joy surged among the cowherds.

SALVATION OF AGHASUR

One day, Krishna planned a picnic near Nandanvan. So rising early in the morning, He awakened his fellow cowherds sounding a horn. Together, all the cowherds, and their cattles went to the forest. There, on the bank of Yamuna river they began to play joyfully.



Nandanvana was in fact an abode of the demon Aghasur. He was sent there by Kansa. Seeing the boys playing, he felt extremely jealous. Knowing that Krishna had killed his brothers Bakasur and sister Pootana. It seemed an ideal moment for the demon to avenge the death of his siblings. Thinking thus, the demon took guise of python and lay in the way and opening his mouth like an opening of a cave. The cowherds too fell in his trap. Thus driven by curiosity, all the cowherds entered the demon mouth one by one. When Lord Krishna saw that his friends had entered demon's mouth. He too entered it to protect them. Aghasur wanted to masticate the cowherds including lord Krishna; but the lord increased his body and choked demon throat. Now the breath of demon stopped. His eyes rolled over and at last his life left his body through Brahmrandhra (cosmic pore). With his ambrosial eye, Lord resurrected these dead fellows and their cattles and together they came out of the demon's mouth. As soon as the demon died, a divine flame emerged from the python's mouth. It waited there sometime for God. And when lord Krishna came out, the flame mingled with him.

ATTACHMENT OF BRAHMA, STEALING OF CATTLE & COWHERDS

Shukdev says: Parikshit, the cowherds told the tale of Aghasur's salvation to their parents only after a year of the incidence. During that period of one year, Lord Krishna multiplied himself and took the guise of his fellow cowherd and their stock of cattles to remove the Illusion of Brahma,who was the cause of the following incidence.
After Aghasur's life mingled with God, Lord Krishna came with this fellow cowherd on the bank of Yamuna. They left their cattles to graze freely and they sat together to take their lunch. All of the cowherds tasted one-another's food, as they wanted to feed Krishna with the tasty food. Meanwhile surprised by Aghasur's salvation, Brahma too had arrived their and saw Krishna eating food defiled by the cowherds. With that sight, Brahma grew suspicious if Krishna was indeed an incarnation of lord. Thus driven by the illusion and to test the authenticity of lord's incarnation, Brahma kidnapped all the cattles first and when Krishna went out to search the cattles Brahma kidnapped and concealed the cowherds also. Soon lord Krishna understood the craftiness of Brahma, so he multiplicated himself into his fellow cowherds and cattles. Replicas resembled truly to the cowherds in appearance, complexion, nature, activities, voice, sticks and even in costumes. The replicas remain in existence for complete one year.
Back there, when Brahma returned after hiding the cowherds and the cattles, he was stunned to see the cowherds and cattles as usual. Brahma was feeling dizzy when lord bestowed his grace on him. Brahma saw Narayana in every dust particle. Brahma therefore bowed his head at the feet of lord and said: "O lord, I submit before you. You can be won only with devotion and not by ego. No one can know your omnipresent appearance. Thus praying and worshipping lord Narayana, Brahma returned to his abode. Shukdev says: The cowherds remained separated from God for one year. But they felt as if only half a second had passed because of the illusionary influence of God. That is why they related the incidence of Aghasurs killing to their parents only after a year it took place.

SALVATION OF DHENUKASUR

When Krishna and Balarama entered sixth year of their ages, they got the permission to take the cattles out for grazing. Along with their fellow cowherds the two brothers too began to take their cattle to Vrindavana. Thus they sanctified the earth of Vrindavana with their pious feet. Seeing the beauty of Vrindavana, with beautiful, colourful flowers and sweet fruits, Lord Krishna felt overjoyed. He then used to graze his cattles at the foothills of Govardhan and on the banks of Yamuna River. Playing flute was his favourite pass time. One day Krishna's beloved friend Sudama said: Kanhaiya, there is a beautiful forest name Talvana. It has uncountable numbers of trees laden with ripe fruits. But a formidable demon Dhenukasur guards that forest, He is very strong. So no one, even animals and birds, doesn't go there. But we are tempted to eat those sweet delicious fruits. If you and Daau (Balarama) wish, we may go there and eat those delicious fruits."
Thus hearing this, Krishna and Balarama guided all of them to Talvana. There they shook the trees and in no time a heap of ripe, delicious fruits gathered under the trees. All the cowherds began to eat fruits. While eating, they were also making lot of noises. Disturbed by the sound of fruits falling and noise of the cowherds, the demon Dhenukasur arrived there as a donkey. He was braying loudly and tried to hit Balarama, but Balrama caught him by his hind legs and threw him in the air. The demon died in an instance. Since that day, everyone visited Talvana fearlessly and the cattles grazed there freely.

GRACE ON KALIY THE NAGA

One day, Bala-Krishna arrived on the banks of Yamuna with their friends. Balarama was not with them that day. The water of the river Yamuna was toxicated by the poison of Kaliy- The Naga. It was exceptionally hot that day and all the cowherds and cattles were very thirsty. So without giving any thought, they all drank the water from Yamuna and died. But Lord Krishna resurrected them by his ambrosial sight.
Then lord Krishna decided to purify the waters of Yamuna. Thus tying a cloth round his waist, Krishna climbed a Cadamb tree and jumped into the river. In the water the lord started playing and splashing water. Soon the waves began to rise high. When Kaliy- the Naga heard the noise. He got extremely angry and appeared before Krishna.



He saw a beautiful, tender, dark complexioned boy playing joyfully in the waters. He stung him and tied him in his spirals. Tied in the spirals of Kaliy, lord became absolutely motionless. Seeing Krishna in death like situation, all the cowherds and even the cows felt very sorry. Just then lord freed himself from the hold of Kaliy. Then a game of hide and seek began between them. Lord dodged the Naga for a long time. Thereafter he rode on Kaliy's hood and began to dance there.

The followers of God, like Gandharvas etc. began to play Mridang, Dhol etc. to give him a company. Tired from the blows of lord's feet, Kaliy soon began to vomit blood. Naga's wives began to pray God, "O lord, your incarnation is to punish the evil ones for their sins. You have shown your grace on us also. We are fortunate to have a sight and touch of your feet. Pity O lord. This Naga can no longer bear your momentum. He will die. We are all your slaves. Kaliy is our lord. Kindly forgive him." With kindness, lord released Kaliy, who prayed thus: O lord in your creation we snakes represent Tamoguna (dark virtues). We are confused by your illusions." Lord dictated Kaliy to migrate with his family to Ramanakdweep. Since then water of Yamuna became pure for humans and animals.

DRINKING OF DAVANAL (FOREST FIRE)
After defeating Kaliy, Lord Krishna and all other people of Vraj felt extremely tired. They were very hungry and thirsty also. So they did not go back to Vrindavana, but stayed on the bank of Yamuna in the night. Because of intense heat of summer, surrounding forests had been shrivelled. At midnight those shrivelled forests caught fire and the sleeping people were engulfed by it. They awakened startled and took shelter at Krishna. Seeing their horrified appearance, Lord Krishna drank the infernal forest fire and thus saved the lives of innocent people who had rested their live's at him with faith.

SALVATION OF PRALAMBASUR

One day, Balarama and Krishna were playfully grazing their cattles along with other cowherds in the forests. When a demon Pralamb arrived there with an intention of kidnapping Krishna and Balarama. The demon had come in the guise of a cowherd, but the God easily recognised him. They accepted his proposal of friendship, but were thinking about the way for his salvation. God thereafter summoned all his friends and said: "Pals, today we shall divide ourselves in to two teams and play joyfully. Thus the teams were divided and each team chose Krishna and Balarama as its captain respectively. It was stipulated that the members of defeated team would carry the members of winner team on their back up to the place pointed by them. Thus the game began and soon both the teams reached a secluded place.


At one time, the team headed by Balarama won. So the members of Krishna's team were to carry them on their back. Demon Pralambasur offered Balarama a ride on his back. Balarama agreed to ride on the demon's back; but as soon as he rode on the demon's back, the demon galloped. But he could not go far for not being able to bear Balarama's weight. Them the demon regained his huge formidable size and tried to escape by flying. First Balarama felt terrorized but soon he realised his real powers and hit on the demon's head with a powerful fist. The blow shattered demon's head and he fell on earth dead like a huge mountain.

VENU GEET
Shri Shukdevji says: "O king, most of the time of Lord Krishna's boyhood passed in Vrindavana. There he grazed cattles and played flute. His flute had a divine, enchanting sound.The Gopis (girls) gathered around him under the influence of enchanting tunes."
They also heard the enchanting Venu geet that fills one hearts with the memory of Bhagwad. One of the girl said to her friend: "O dear friend, Having the privilege of seeing Lords beauty and receving his kindness is the real salvation. Another girl said: "O friend, what penance this flute had observed that it has got a closer contact with lips of Nandnandan (an epithet for Krishna). Even the siblings of this flute, trees and other vegetation's are pleased with its fortune and are hence showering their leaves and flowers on him." One more said: "O friend, look, even Bhagwadi Lakshmi has left her luxurious abode in Vaikunth and arrived in Vrindavana to have a look of lord Devakinandan." A Gopi expressed her jealousy: "Even this doe is better than us, O friends, look how engrossed is she looking at God, that her eyes are not blinking."
Hearing the sweet enchanting tunes of flute even the heavenly elves gather in the sky over Vrindavana. They also see the beauty of lord Krishna and showered the flowers of their braids on him. Even the cows forgot grazing when then heard the enchanting music of flute. The calves too forgot drinking milk and began to look at lord Krishna with joy. This is the real devotion for lord Krishna. You have to forget yourself in order to find him. Condition of girls of Vrindavana was exactly the same. After having the sight of lord Krishna they remembered nothing; not even the way back to home. They stood in the forests in a trance, completely tired, unaware of their self.
A girl said pointing to the fauna: "Look O friends, look at these birds. Do you know that these birds were the saints and sages in their previous births. In this birth also they are sitting in a state of trance. Look they have forgotten their knowledge hearing the sweet enchanting music of the flute. And look at Yamunaji. She is also ale to contain her exhilaration. She is eagerly spalshing her waves to wash lords feet. Yet another girl said: "Look friends the clouds cannot see their lord scorching in the sun. So they have covered the sun and shaded Lord Krishna. Now they are drizzling as if showering petals." A girl said: "Friends, look, these Bheelanis are better than us. They have such a strong urge of Krishna's sight that when Govind returns home, they smear their body with dusts of his feet. Blessed is this mountain which has dedicated its entire self in the feet of Brajnandan and feels overjoyed. It is his supreme devotee. Kanhaiya has infused even non-living things with life by his sweet tunes of flute.

STEALING OF CLOTHES

The unmarried girls of Vrindavana felt as if their lives were dedicated to Lord Krishna. Each of them wished heartly to have lord Krishna as her husband. So in order to get their desire fulfilled, all of the spinster girls of Vraj began to take bath in Yamuna early in morning of Hemant season and worshipped goddess Katyayani. When MadanMohan learned that the spinsters girls wished to marry him. He went to see them at dawn. The girls were bathing naked in the river; Their clothes were kept on the bank. Lord Krishna stealthy took those clothes and climbed on a Cadamb tree. Lord had not stolen their clothes with malicious intentions. He had stolen them to remove their flaws and make them realize their real appearance that they were not mere girls, but pure souls. Without realization of the real self, one can not experience the God.
The girl were in fact the hymns of Vedas, Sadhana, Siddhis, Sages and Brahmvidyas (Vedas) themselves, that took the guise of girls to enjoy the vicinity of God. God removed their clothes that symbolized lust. Because of the lords grace they all were able to enjoy God's company. Shukdevji says: "O Parikshit, Thus Lord Krishna removed the shyness of the girls of Vraj through his sweet talks. He derided at them, made them dance like puppets and even stole their clothes when they were bathing naked, but they did not deter his actions. Instead they felt overjoyed by the close presence of their beloved Kanha.

LIFTING OF GOVARDHAN

Shukhdevji says: "O Parikshit one day, Balarama and Krishna saw that many delicious kind of sweetmeats were being cooked at home. With curiosity and politeness, they asked Nand and other elders: "Father, which festival are you preparing for? Which god will be worshipped? What purpose will such worship serve? Nand Baba explained: "Sons Devaraj Indra is the god of clouds. It is because of Indra's grace we get rain. So these materials are being prepared to worship Indra."
Krishna said: Father every creature in the world enjoys comforts or suffers as per his fate. None of the gods can change the results. Action is prime in the world. One gets the results as per his actions. Even Indra is God as a result of his action. Any one who performs one hundred Ashvamegh Yagyas, becomes Indra. But even after performing crores of Ashvmegh Yagyas one can not get a stay in Vraj. It is the duty of Indra to cause rain. So it will rain even if you don't worship Indra. But to feed the poors and satisfy them with clothes and other gifts is real worship. By their blessing, we shall be more happier. I desire that with all these materials we should worship Giriraj Govardhan and distribute the prasad among the poors. With which their souls will be sated and will have the grace of God.
Thus Lord Krishna told his father that all the people should worship unitedly and unitedly they should receive prasad. If you are ready to do as per my desire, its all right, otherwise I will not worship your haughty god, nor receive his prasad.

INDIGNATION OF INDRA

Thus convinced by Kanhaiya's wise reasoning, all the gopas agreed to him. Nand Baba said, "O Krishna, we are making all these preparation for you only and we will do as you say. We will worship Govardhan. For us Govardhan is also like a god. It gives us grass, water, and fuel etc., which are necessary for our lives. Thus with lords, consent, they dropped their plan to worship Indra and resolved to worship Govardhan faithfully.

WORSHIP OF GOVARDHAN

On the Purnima (full moon) day in the month of Kartik (November) all the Gopas (people of Vraj region) gathered near mount Govardhan. During the night all of them circumambulated the mountain. Lord invoked the Ganges by his wish and bathed Govardhan with her water.Then they put vermilion on it, offered basil-leaves, flowers etc and worshipped it. Brahmins recited hymns in its praise. To make the people believe in their rituals, Lord Krishna himself appeared on the mountain in huge form and exclaimed: "I am Giriraj (the king of the mountain) and began to eat the offerings. But he as a child was still among the villagers who faithfully bowed before the mountain. Among them, the child Krishna said: "look, what a surprise Giriraj has appeared himself and bestowed his grace on us. He has accepted our worship." There after all the Gopas distributed Prasad among themselves and felt supremely satisfied.

ANGRY RETALIATION OF INDRA

Shukdevji sayd: Parikshit, when Indra learned that the Gopas had stopped worshipping him, he grew outrageous. In anger, he ordered the clouds to rain torrentially over Vraj and cause heavy flood in Vraj region. In no time dense clouds gathered over Vraj. Soon there was lighting thunder, darkness and storm all around. Then it rained torrentially. All the people took refuge at Lord Krishna and prayed him to save them from the anger of Indra. Lord Krishna said: "Those who regard me as there, are mine and I am theirs, So there is no need to worry for you."



Saying this, Lord lifted Giriraj on his little finger and called all the people of Vraj along with their cattles under the lee of Govardhan. Then he ordered his wheel Sudarshan to absorb the water of the clouds so that not even a single drop could fall on earth. Thus for seven days continuously Lord balanced Govardhan on the little finger.Thus Lord Krishna also came to be known as Giridhari. People who had gathered around him, just kept on seeing Lords moon-like face and hence did not feel thirsty or hungry.In fact the comforts those people got during those seven days are beyond verbal description. Lord held Govardhan on one hand, and conch in the other, while with the remaining two hands He began to play this flute. Hearing the tunes of his flute, all the people of Vraj began to dance with joy. After the rains stopped, all of them returned to their homes.

CEREMONIAL BATH OF SHRI KRISHNA

When Indra learned about the happenings in Vraj, he soon realised his mistake. Indra himself reached Vraj and begged lord for his pardon. Then he gave lord a ceremonial bath with the milk of Surabhi. For protecting the cows,Thus the Lord also got one more name "Govind".

RASS LEELA

Shukdevji related to Parikshit the tale of Kamadev's humiliation. Shridhar Swami calls Raasleela as Kama-vijay leela (defeating of Kamadeva- Hindu equivalent of cupid). Jagad guru Ballabhacharyaji decribes it as Lords Divy Vihar (divine enjoyment). The purpose of describing this tale is just that common people should reflect on the selfless love of Gopis for Lord Krishna and experience the love of God for them as well.
Lord is an embodiment of Rasa (Pleasure):

"RASOVAISAH | RASAMHYEVAL ABDHVAANANDI BHAVATI |"

After conquering Brahma and other gods, ego of Kamadev had surged to great heights. He, therefore, requested God to quench his thirst for war. God invited Kamadev to visit Vrindavana on the night of Sharad Purnima (Full moon night) in season preceding winter), and told him that on that divine night. He would enjoy the company of crores of Gopis. "If I have slightest passion for any of them, you will win, otherwise you will lose."


That night Lord Krishna added more divinity, more brilliance to it with a resolution of Raas with the help of Yogmaya (personified illusion). It was a perfect night for the purpose - flowers bloomed in Vrindavana, full moon shone, and gentle, cool breeze blew from the banks of river Yamuna. Amidst this stimulating ambience Lord Krishna began to play an enchanting tune on his flute. The tune attracted Gopis,their passion surged to its zenith and under the influence of love for lord Krishna and as if in trance, all of them ran to meet their beloved Kanhaiya leaving all their fear, Bondages, patience and shyness behind. Some of them were intercepted by their husbands and dragged back to home. But only their physical bodies stayed put, their souls reached Vrindavana.

In Vrindavana on the bank of Yamuna, Gopis saw Vrindavana Vihari (epithet for Krishna) near their familiar cadamb tree. Yogmaya adorned all the Gopis from tip to toe. In fact those Gopis were not ordinary women.
Parikshit asked: "Gopis had not regarded Krishna as Parbrahma. What was the basis for their passion then? Shukdevji said: "When a wretched person like Shishupal, who always abused lord Krishna could find supreme position, there should be no doubt for Gopis who had such a profound passion for Lord." So Gopis arrived and gathered around Lord Krishna.
To test their devotion and to enhance the honour of Kamadev, Krishna said to them: "O Gopis, the pure ones, it is not fit for you to stay here at this hour of night. Go and serve your husbands. Your duties must be first to your husband's children and cows. They will be waiting for you eagerly. Go and console them. You can gain me by hearing, reciting, seeing etc. You need not sit here. Go to your homes."
Gopis, however said: "Govind, we have come to you leaving all the mundane lusts behind. Now going back is like ruining over lives.It is the greatest misfortune if someone returns to mundane affairs even after being at your feet." These words that reflected divine feelings of Gopis pleased Lord. He began to enjoy their company. But a feeling of ego began to creep in the minds of Gopis because of lord's closeness. They began to assume themselves as highly fortunate. To remove their ego, Lord disappeared right among them.

PITIABLE CONDITION OF GOPIS IN GOD'S ABSENCE

After the disappearance of God, Gopis were perplexed. Their hearts burned with desire. They had dedicated their entire selves in the feet of Lord. They were entirely merged in the love of Krishna. Thus driven by passion, Gopis began to search Lord Krishna. They asked trees, creepers, vegetations for the whereabouts of their beloved. They then spotted His footprints at one place. Footprints of Radha were also there. 'Indeed He would have carried her, that great fortunate one, on His shoulders.' They thought.
Lord had indeed, after disappearing from amidst Gopis, taken Radha to an isolated place. She had then began to think herself superior to other Gopis. So at one place, she said: "O Lord, I can't walk now. My tender feet are tired. Kindly carry me on your shoulders to wherever you wish." At her request, Lord Krishna agreed to carry her on his shoulder. But as soon as she proceeded to ride, Lord disappeared from there also. Now, Radhaj began to cry and wail and fainted. At the same time, other Gopis also reached there and found Radha lying unconscious on the ground. All of them including Radha then returned to the bank of Yamuna and began to wait for Krishna's appearance.

GOPIKA GEET

O Lord, your incarnation has increased the glory of Vrajbhumi. Even the glory of Vaikunth, goddess Lakshmi herself came to stay in Vraj. Govind we have dedicated our lives at your feet. Now we are searching you everywhere. O MadanMohan, kindly show your beautiful, face once. Prananath, your eyes, that are even more beautiful than the lotus that bloom in ponds, is pricking our hearts. We are all your slaves. If you kill us by your separation, will not you be criticised. O Purushottam, you have protected us on many occasions. You are the remover of miseries of Vraj people. O Lord, you are not the son of Yashoda only, but you are the soul of all the living beings. At the request of Brahma, you have arrived on earth to remove her burden. Why don't you protect us, our lives are in danger because of your separation.
O Lord, your tales are like ambrosia. Your ambrosial tales pacify those who are inflicted with mundane obstacles, and sorrows. They are indeed great and fortunate who recite your tales.
O Purushottam, for the musics of your flute we gave up everything - our husbands, children, social bindings everything. We even dedicated our lives for the sake of your love. Now nothing amuses us except you. We are living, only to have a sight of you; now you are wandering from forest to forest with your tender feet, which even we did not bear in our hearts for the fears of hurting them. How much would they be suffering? We are fainting in your worry. O the dearest one, we were yours, we are yours and we shall be yours forever." Saying these words Gopis burst into tears.

RE-APPEARANCE OF LORD AMONG GOPIS

Shukdev says: Parikshit, when the beloved Gopis burst into tears, Krishna's patience gave away. His heart melted at their condition and He appeared amidst them. A sweet smile played on his beautiful face. He wore a garland of fresh Vaijayanti flowers and yellow clothes. His beauty could have moved even Kamadev. Seeing their beloved Kanha once again amidst them, Gopis got a new lease of life. All of them began to embrace Lord and thus quench the fire of separation that was burning their bodies.
Thereafter, along with the beauties of Vraj, Lord came to the bank of Yamuna. Gopis put their queries before him for solution. Lord said: "O beloved Gopis, I do not reciprocate to the desire of my beloved ones for physical love. Because of it their conscience remains always engrossed in me. Hence, I take to hiding even after meeting so that you could feel complete imbibement in me.

MAHARAAS

From the words of the Lord, Gopis forgot the pains of separation. From the closeness of their beloved, their lives were successful now. With those Gopis, Lord Krishna started Maharaas on the pious banks of river Yamuna. All the gods gathered in sky to witness that divine festival. Gopis were even more fortunate than Lakshmi. But even amidst crores of Gopis, who were eager to devote their everything to Him, Lord completely refrained from desires, feelings and even actions. Thus Lord defeated even Kamadev and removed his ego.

SALVATION OF SUDARSHAN AND SHANKHCUR

Shukdev says: O Parikshit, once on the occasion of Lord Shivaratri, Nand Baba and all other Gopas drove their carts with families and reached Ambikavana on a pilgrimage tour. There they took bath in the river Saraswati and with devotion worshiped lord Lord Shiva and Parvati. They also observed day long fast and decided to pass their night on the bank of Saraswati. But that place was inhabited by a huge python. During the night: the python emerged and caught hold of Nand's leg. Nandbaba cried loudly. All the Gopas gathered around him. He cried again: "Kanhaiya, This snake is all set to strangulate me. Save me."
Lord touched the python with his feet and instaneously, the python vanished. In its place appeared a divine-looking human. He said: "O Lord, I was a Vidyadhar named Sudarshan. I was so much obsessed with my beauty, youth, luxury and comforts that I used to insult others. One day I had derided at the ugly appearance of the sage Angira. So indignantly he cursed me to become a python. But, pleased by my realization of mistake, he had told that when God himself would touch me, I would regain my original appearance." Thereafter, Sudarshan went round the God, worshiped Him and with his permission, departed to his abode.
On another occasion, Lord arrived in Vrindavana during Vasant Ritu (spring Season). There He took part in Vasantik Raas (Raas of spring season) with the Gopis. During Raas itself, a demon Shankhchur tried to escape away kidnapping some of the Gopis. A stampede resulted among Gopis. Hearing their noise, Lord ran after the demon, carrying a huge Sal (shorea) tree in his hands. In no time He overtook the demon and killed him by just one blow. He picked up the gem from demon's head and handed it to Balarama.

SALVATION OF ARISHTASUR

Once, Kansa sent a demon Arishtasur to Vrindavana. The demon arrived there in a bull's guise. That huge bull came to Vrindavana and began to terrorize the people with his loud sound. Seeing the bull, Balaram said to Krishna: "Kanhaiya, I have never seen such a huge bull before." All the people began to cry for help. Lord consoled them and challenged the bull demon: O fool, why are you terrorizing these cows and cowherds? I am going to shatter your ego." The challenge from God pinched the demon. Tapping his hooves angrily, the demon attacked God. He wished to gore Him, but God held his horns and pushed him back. Then kicking the demon God killed him in no time.

KANSA SENDS AKRUR

After the killing of Arishthasur, Devarishi Narad visited Kansa and asked: "O Kansa, the girl who had slipped form your hand was in fact the daughter of Yashoda. Krishna and Balaram, who are staying in Vrindavana, are infact the sons of Devaki and Rohini respectively. Because of your fear, Vasudev has kept them under the supervision of his friend Nand. Those two boys have killed the demons sent by you." Hearing these words, Kansa shook with anger and put Vasudev and Devaki in prison again.
Thereafter he called his minister Akrur and asked him to set out at once for Gokul. He said to Akrur: "Akrurji, you are an old friend and well-wisher of mine, Go to Gokul and bring the sons of Vasudev, who are staying at Nand's home. Invite them to visit Mathura, to witness the festivities of Dhannsh-yagya." Akrur understood Kansa's intentions, but feared that if he refused, that demon would kill him. So he decided to visit Gokul, and also have the oppurtunity of seeing God. He was feeling overwhelmed by the mere thought of it. Next day, he set out on a grand chariot to meet his supreme Lord in Gokul.



Meditating in the feet of Lord, Akrur was heading towards Vrindavana. He was feeling himself as the most fortunate one for he was sure to have a sight of Lord. Thus obsessed with many kinds of devotional feelings, Akrur alighted from the chariot at the border of Vrindavana and started walking. He found it unjust to ride a chariot on the land of Vrindavana where lord Krishna treaded. By the time, he reached Vrindavana, Lord Krishna and Balarama had returned home after grazing their cattles. Seeing them, Akrur fell at their feet. Both the brothers raised Akrur and addressed him as "Chacha" (uncle),and escorted him into the house.
Akrur was given a warm welcome and treatment there. After the dinner, they assembled in Nand's drawing room. Nand inquired about the reason of his sudden arrival. Akrur said: "Kansa is organizing a wrestling competition in Mathura. He has invited all the big and small kings to the competitions. He has invited you with Krishna and Balarama as well. Beautiful Mathura is worth seeing. Gullible Nand felt pleased by Akrur's talking and said: "King Kansa has shown a great honour to me. He has sent invitation only to other kings, but has sent his minister to call me and a golden chariot for my kids." So it was announced in Gokul that all the people would go to Mathura the next day and witness the festivities there.

DEPARTURE OF KRISHNA-BALARAMA FOR MATHURA

When the Gopis heard about Krishna leaving Gokul to visit Mathura, they began to wail and cry. They were getting so much restless by the news that, they felt, their lives would end before the sunrise. They started imprecating fate that it had no kindness. First it provided them with a closer contact with their beloved Kanha, now it was causing a long separation from him. Some of Gopis even begged for death, they felt it better than living without Kanha. All the Gopis kept on crying and wailing nightlong.
Mother Yashoda awoke early in the morning next day. She churned out butter and adding Mishri (sugar candies), she took it to Krishna to feed him. But there she found that both Krishna and Balarama were getting ready to set out for Mathura. They held mother's feet and said: "Pardon us, O mother, we are going to Mathura." These words disturbed Yashoda. She ran and fell at Akrur's feet and said: "I am your slave. O Akrur, please do not take my beloved sons to Mathura. They are inseparable from my heart. Why Kansa has summoned them to Mathura. O Akrur, go and tell him to take everything from us, but spare our sons. We are also ready to live in jail, but can't lose our beloved sons." Akrur consoled Yashoda. "Bhabhi (sister-in-law), don't worry. These two brothers are going to Mathura to witness the festivities there and will return soon to comfort your heart." Yashoda said: "Akrurji, Mathura is a town of gold and both of my sons are too young yet to be needed there for any reason."
Touching the feet of Nand and Yashoda, both the brothers said: "Father, mother, we will definitely return. Presently we wish to see the grandeur of Mathura." Meanwhile all the Gopis and Gopas had gathered there. Crying and wailing, the Gopis said: "You are very Cruel, O Akrur, who named you as Akrur. You have come here to lacerate our hearts." Second Gopi said: "No friend, it is not a fault of Akrur. Our complaints are with Shyamsundar. We left everything, our husbands, children, our homes and dedicated our entire selves in your service. And now you are deserting us so ruthlessly. We have no support for our life except you, O Madhusadan." Saying this, all the Gopis burst into tears again.
All the Gopas, including Shridama surrounded the chariot and said: "O Krishna we had not even dreamt that you would desert us so ruthlessly. O Kanhaiya we have seen with our eyes that even Indra, Varuna, Sanakadi and Brahma bow before you. But we have never regarded you as God. We regarded you as our friend. Are you angry with us? O my childhood friend Kanhaiya, we request you, we will never abuse you in future. If you were intending to go, why did you, then save us from the infernal forest fire. Why did you save from the deluging rains? We cannot live without you. Tell us O benevolent friend, When will you return." Lord Krishna consoled them all and took many of them with Him. The chariot began to move. As long as the flag of the chariot remained visible, people kept on crying and wailing. Even the eyes of Akrur filled with tears. Lord asked him: "Kaka, why are you weeping?" Akrur replied: "O Lord, Kansa is the great sinner. I feel he will try to torment you by all means. So, my heart says, that I should take you back to Vrindavana, because if Kansa did any harm to you, their spirits will curse me for ever."

AKRUR HAS A SIGHT OF LORD IN FOUR-ARMED FORM

Hearing Akrur's words, Lord understood that when he had arrived in Vraj, he was afflicted with a feeling of majesty. But now, it has been replaced by affection now. He, therefore decided to remove his dilemma. Thus, Lord said to him: "Kaka, Mathura is still some distance away. So you take a bath in Yamuna. We brothers are waiting for you in the chariot."
As soon as Akrur took a dip in Yamuna, Lord showed him a sight of His abode Vaikunth and his Narayana's appearance in which, he was holding conch, wheel, mace and lotus in each of his four hands and was lying on the bed of Sheshnaga. With folded hands, Akrur prayed to lord: "O lord, you are the reason for the existence of Brahma and the Universe. O Lord, I pray at your feet again and again. Now I recognise you. You are the one who took the incarnations of Matsya, Kachchap, Varah, Narsinh, Vamana, Rama etc. Thus after bath and worship, Akrur returned to the chariot. Lord Krishna understood that now a devotional feeling had arisen in the mind of Akrur for Narayana. Lord asked: "Your condition seems miserable. Did you see anything extra-ordinary under water?" Akrur said: "O Lord, now bestow your grace on me. Kindly come to my home and accept my hospitality."

ARRIVAL IN MATHURA

After the departure of Akrur, Nandbaba too set out for Mathura along with the Gopas. On the way itself, they caught up with Krishna and Balaram. All of them then reached Mathura together. There they stayed in a garden. After sometime, with Nand's permission, both the brothers set out to see the city of Mathura. Mathura was indeed a beautiful town. All the residents of Mathura thronged on roads, roofs and attices to have a sight of Krishna and Balrama.

GRACE ON KUBJA

On the way, they met a pretty but hunched women. She introduced herself as Kubja, the maid of Kansa. Her duty was to smear the members of the royal family with sandal-wood paste. God asked her if she would smear him with sandal paste. Kubja said: "O ManMohan, I see no one more fitting than you for the sandal paste." Thus she smeared Lord's forehead with saffron. On Dau's forehead she smeared musk containing sandal paste, other Gopas smeared all the remaining sandal paste on their heads.
Lord then, put His feet on Kubja's and holding her chin gave her head a slight jerk. And in no time, Kubja's hunch was gone and she turned into a pretty woman. She begged lord for His love. The Lord promised her a meeting in future, and proceeded ahead.

BREAKING OF THE BOW

After salving Kubja, Lord Krishna and other Gopas moved ahead. At a place they saw a huge bow kept on a high stage. Many strong men were guarding it. Lord entered the canopy and easily lifted the bow and broke it into pieces. There was a big applause from all around. Dau said: "Krishna, now the crowd will increase here, so let us escape in time. Thus, both the brothers and their friends beat a retreat to their camp. There they rested for night. There in Mathura, breaking of the bow had frightened Kansa. He could not sleep during the night. Even in his dreams, he saw nothing, but Krishna everywhere around him.

KILLING OF ELEPHANT
Early in the morning, Kansa summoned his minister and ordered him to make Kuvalayapeed, the elephant to stand in the centre of the main gate. He thought that the elephant would kill both the boys if they dared to enter the fort through main gate. Back there in the garden, Krishna and Balarama set out in wrestlers guise for the fort. At the gate, seein an elephant blocking the passage, they asked mahout loudly: "O Mahout, why have you made the elephant stand in the centre of the gate. Move it either ahead or back." But instead of moving the elephant out of the passage, the mahout steered it right on them. But before elephant could attack them, Balarama caught its trunk, while Krishna caught its tail. Both the brothers then dragged the elephant out of the gate and lofted it in the air. The elephant fell on the ground with a loud thud and died on the spot.

SALVATION OF WRESTLERS

Kansa felt very nervous by the news of elephant's killing. Before he could take stock of the situation, Lord Krishna and Balaram arrived in the amphi- theatre. The spectators present in the amphitheatre saw Lord as per their feelings. The menfolk saw Lord as a Jewel among the men. Womenfolk saw him as an incarnation of Kamadev. Cowherds saw their natural friend in Lord, while to Kansa He appeared as his death. But to his mother and father, Devaki and Vasudev and to Nand, Krishna and Balarama appeared as small kids. Sages and ascetics saw nothing but metaphysical coming in boys' guise. Learned ones sighted His cosmic form while to Yadavas He appeared as their tutelery God.



As soon as the Lord and Balarama arrived in the ring, the wrestlers, who were already present there, stood up like springs. A wrestler Chanur dragged Krishna and one named Mushtik dragged Balarama into the ring. They said to them: "Both of you and we are the subjects of the great king Kansa. It is our duty to please our king with our art and skill. More over we will receive many rewards also."
Krishna said: "O wrestlers, you please fight among yourselves. We are boys yet, so we shall witness your fight from a distance." Chanur said: "No you are neither boy nor teenagers. You are stronger than the strongest. You have just killed an elephant which was stronger than thousand elephants." Thus, both the brothers were compelled to wrestle with the royal wrestlers. Mushtik was beaten on the ground by Balarama so hard that he died at once on the spot. Krishna similarly killed second wrestler Chanur. All the remaining wrestlers met similar fate one by one. The massive crowd present there applauded them joyfully.

SALVATION OF KANSA


Seeing the shameful defeat of his wrestlers, Kansa infuriated with anger and proclaimed: "Tie all the opponents; tie Ugarsen, Devaki, Vasudev, Nand in ropes and bring them before me." Lord Krishna could not tolerate this and in a single jump, He reached on the stage where Kansa was present. Lord Krishna caught him by hair and said: "O Kansa, once you have caught a helpless woman by hair, I have avenged that insult. Now you will receive the fruits for your atrocities." Saying this, Lord began to twirl Kansa catching him by hair, and threw him down from the stage. Then Lord jumped once again and landed on the chest of Kansa. Kansa died instantaneously. Thus, Kansa who was an incarnation of the demon Kalnemi received salvation. Lord Krishna then, released his parents from the prison and crowned his maternal grand father Ugrasen as the king of Mathura.

YAGYOPAVIT OF KRISHNA-BALARAMA

After the successful completion of all the royal ceremonies, the consecration of Krishna and Balarama was carried out. Thereafter, they came to stay at the hermitage of sage Sandipani for formal education. Extraordinarily brilliant Krishna successfully learned all the knowledge in short period of time. Then, as Gurudakshina (paying respect to the teacher) Krishna brought back his dead sons from the abode of Yamaraj. Taking his convocational bath, thereafter, Lord Krishna returned to Mathura. There, though living among royal luxuries and grandeur Lord Krishna remained indifferent. Memory of his sentimental, beloved devotees friend and other people of Vraj kept on pricking him.

SENDING UDDHAV AS MESSANGER

Savant Uddhav, the son of Yadava's minister Brihaspati was an intimate friend of Lord Krishna. Only he had the permission to enter Lord's sanctum. Seeing his friend Krishna in remorse, Uddhav asked: "Mathuranath, you seem to be upset. What is troubling you?" Lord Krishna replied: "Uddhava, I feel perplexed. I remember my days in Vrindavana. Please go to Vrindavana and get the news regarding Gopis there. Also give them my message." Thus Lord Krishna donned Uddhav in his attire and sent him to Vraj in his chariot.
There he stayed at Nand's home. At night, Uddhav enquired about Nand and Yashoda's well being and about Vraj in general. That whole might passed in chatting.

BHRAMAR GEET

Next day, when the Gopis got the news of Uddhav's arrival, they thronged in and around Nand's residence. They recognized the chariot parked in front of the gate. It was the same chariot on which Krishna and Balarama had departed for Mathura. First they thought that their beloved Krishna had returned. But their belief did not last long. Some of them opined that Akrur might have come again. But what for?
But then someone informed that it was Uddhav, Krishna's Savant friend, who had come to preach them about metaphysical knowledge. Soon afterwards, Uddhav came out and spoke out loud: "O Gopis, listen to the preaching of Uddhav." But instead of listening to him, Gopis covered their ears. Feeling insulted, Uddhav expressed his dissatisfaction over their behaviour. Gopis said to him: O gentleman, firstly we are not familiar with you, secondly we have no capacity to hear your preaching. Yes if you wish to give us a message of our most beloved; thousand of ears are eager to hear that." Uddhav then introduced himself as the intimate friend of Lord Krishna.
Knowing his identify Gopis welcome and treated Uddhav warmly. Uddhav then began to say again: "O Gopis, the person, whom you are declaring as your beloved friend, in fact has no mother, no father. He has no form, no colour and no body. He is above all, non-existing all pervasive and the giver of joy. He is never separate from his devotee and beloved ones. All of you, too, feel the presence of that Supreme Being and be happy forever." Gopis said: "Uddhav, as long as Ghanashyam stayed with us, we saw endless virtues in him. But only within six months of his stay in Mathura, you wiped out all of his virtues and turned him virtueless.
Tell us with which mouth did he eat butter, with which hand did he break our pitchers, with which feet did he pasture cows in the forests and with which feet did he dance on the hood of Kaliy. Was he another Krishna?"
Harsh reaction of the Gopis startled Uddhav. He began to think where he had been caught. His knowledge of Vedant was proving ineffective on the Gopis. Who are sunk in so much love. On the other hand, Gopis too were feeling embarassed for treating the guest bitterly. But they were also not prepared to listen to such preaching that condemned love. Moreover, they had let out their long accumulating feeling.
Meanwhile a bumblebee perched at Radha's feet mistaking them for lotus. Pointing to it, all the Gopis said: "Beware O bumblebee, beware if you dare to touch the feet of our Radha. It appears that you are a disciple of Krishna. There is now no secret regarding the virtues and actions of your friend. But it is good that he and you tied in friendship. You are black and your friend has a black heart. Virtues of both of you are same.
First He imbibed us in His love; then left us ruthlessly forever. He is not sorry for us. But why does Lakshmi serves in those feet? She must be careful, lest she should be deceived like us. O bumblebee you also appear to be a polymath who has come here to preach us. But you won't get an audience in Braj. You should better go to Mathura.

There is one Kubja go and relate your tale to her. You will receive ample donations from her. What will you get from the Gopis here? They have already lost their mental balance, because of their separation from the beloved Krishna. If you have come to ask, why we loved Krishna. O bumblebee, we have no knowledge. But we know that our love for Krishna was not a mistake. Even the goddess Lakshmi does not leave His feet for a moment. Why should we leave his feet then? But O bumblebee, have you really come to convince us. When He could not come out of shame, He sent you to console us - the deaf and dumb Gopis, But be careful if you put your head at the feet of Radha.
Get away, we have already seen enough of flattery and flirtation of your friend. Deserting our affection for ephemeral things, we loved that eternal one. but He too abandoned us. Can you guess about our condition? Tell us, O Uddhav, shall we ever get the sight of Shri Krishna again?

Hearing the tragic tale of the Gopis, Uddhav too felt very sorry for them. He felt as if Mathuranath, lord Krishna was indeed neglecting those Gopis. Uddhav stayed in Vrindavana for six months. There he saw every place, every spot where lord Krishna had played once. When he was returning to Mathura, mother Yashoda presented him with butter, Radha gave him the flute. Thus immersed in the love and overwhelmed by its feelings, Uddhav reached Mathura. He said to Krishna: "Lord, the real appearance of love, that I saw in Vrindavana is the only truth." Shri Krishna said: "Uddhav, You are weeping. Just look at me." Uddhav looked at him with wide, opened eyes. In every single hair of Lord, there existed Gopis. Uddhav was indeed a Savant. But Lord had sent him to Braj only to be taught a lesson of love.

CHAPTER TEN (EPILOGUE)

BATTLES WITH JARASANDH: CONSTRUCTION OF DWARIKAPURI

After the death of Kansa his widowed queens Asti and Prapti returned to their father Jarasandh's home and informed him that Krishna and Balarama had killed their husband Kansa. Infuriated by the news, Jarasandh at once launched a massive attack on Mathura. The people of Mathura were frightened by the strength of Jarasandh's army. Lord Krishna too fell in deep thought. Just then, divine weapons and chariots appeared from the heaven. Both the brothers took the weapons and boarded their chariots. Then they fought a fierce battle and slayed all the army of Jarasandh.

Balarama furiously caught Jarasandh and was about to kill him. But Lord Krishna stopped him. They then released Jarasandh and let him go unhurt. Jarasandh felt ashamed that Krishna released him because of his helpless condition.
Shukdev says: O Parikshit, despite his shameful defeat, Jarasandh attacked Mathura seventeen times with huge armies. But every time, the Lord defeated him and released him in kindness. And every time Jarasandh felt more humiliated."
At last, instead of attacking Mathura himself, Jarasandh sent Kalyavan to defeat Shri Krishna. Kalyavan launched an attack on Mathura with one crore strong Malechchh army. This time Lord Krishna decided to vacate Mathura instead of countering the attack.
He got Dwarikapuri constructed by Vishvakarma and settled all the people of Mathura there. Then, unarmed, Lord Krishna walked past Kalyavan. Pointed by Narad, Kalyavan at once recognised Krishna and gave Him a chase. He also challenged Him, but the Lord did not listen to his challenges and kept moving with face turned away. Kalyavan chased Him for long, but could not catch up.
Ultimately the Lord entered a cave. Kalyavan too followed Him into the cave. In the cave the Lord saw that someone was sleeping there. So He covered the man with his yellow length of cloth and himself hid inside the cave. Kalyavan too arrived there and saw the sleeping man. He mistook him for God and said: "Krishna, you might have thought that braves do not attack on sleeping people. So I will first wake you up and then kill you." Saying thus Kalyavan kicked the sleeping man hard. However, as soon as the man awakened and glanced at Kalyavan, Kalyavan got incinerated at once.


TALE OF MUCHKUND

Parikshit asked: "Gurudev, who was that sleeping man?"



Shukdev says: "O king, that sleeping man was Muchkund, the son of the king Mandhata. The gods had sought his assistance in their war against the demon during the Satyayug. With Muchkund's help,the gods had defeated the demons and thus pleased had asked him to seek a boon. Muchkund then had sought a boon of seeing God in tangible form. The gods had assured him that he would have a sight of God in Dwapar Yuga. Since Dwapar Yuga was still far away, so Muchkund had asked: "What should I do till then?" The gods asked him to sleep somewhere and blessed him with a boon that whoever waked him up would be incinerated at once, by his glance. Thus, in order to get Kalyavan incinerated and show Muchkund with his Divine form, Lord had gone to that spot where Muchkund was sleeping.
Muchkund got the sight of God in Chaturbhuj form; and seeked a boon of continuous devotion for three births. Thus, Lord defeated Malechchh army and captured all their wealth. He also defeated Jarasandha and caused great joy for the people of Dwaraka.

MARRIAGE OF BALARAMA

The king of Anart, Raiwat got his daughter Rewati married to Balarama with the blessing of Brahma.

MESSAGE OF RUKMANI FOR LORD

Shukdev said: "O Parikshit, Bheeshmak was the king of Vidarbh. He had five sons and a daughter Rukmani. Rukmi, the eldest son of Bheeshmak, had fixed his sister's engagement with Shishupal, the prince of Chaidi. Narada did not like this development. He went to Kundanpur, the capital of Vidarbh and said in the court of Bheeshmak: O King, I am coming from Dwaraka." Bheeshmak said! "O great Sage, I have never heard about any city named Dwaraka". Thus, in the court of Bheeshmak, Narad narrated about the life of Lord Krishna and the grandeur of Dwaraka. Bheeshmak heard the tale with full attention. His daughter Rukmani too enjoyed the tale.
But Rukmi had a strong opposition against lord Krishna. Ignoring the wish of his father, he was not ready to get his sister married to Lord Krishna. On the appointed day, Shishupal appeared there, in a procession, to get married with Rukmani.
But Rukmani was determined to marry Lord Krishna. She sent a love letter to Krishna through a loyal Brahmin and declared a fast unto death. Lord Krishna read her letter, which said: "O Trilokkinath, since the moment, these ears have heard about your virtues, actions, character and plays, my soul experiences divine peace. O Achyut, my mind is dedicated in your feet. O great among the men, this Rukmani has dedicated herself in your feet. Now it is upto you to see that no jackal could take away the lion's share." The Brahmin, the carrier of the letter, returned to Kundanpur with an assurance from the Lord. Lord too called the charioteer and set out at once for Kundanpur. There in Kundanpur, Rukmani after getting the assurance from the Brahmin, was thus waiting for Lord's arrival.


Preparations for Rukmani's marriage with Shisupal were on with full swing in Kundanpur. All the houses, streets and lanes were cleaned and sprinkled with scented water. All the men and women folk donned new clothes and ornaments. King Bheeshmak worshipped his ancestors and gods and welcomed the Brahmins liberally. Extremely beautiful princess Rukmani was given ceremonial bath and donned with auspicious clothes and bracelets.
The king of Chedi, Damaghosh got the auspicious rites for the marriage of his son Shishupal, performed by Brahmins. All the Baratis (people in marriage procession) were given grand reception. Many great kings like Shalv, Jarasandh, Dantvaktra, Vidurath and Paundruk were present in the marriage procession. They had come with their armies with an intention of fighting Krishna and Balarama. After Krishna's departure, Balarama too set out for Kundanpur with chaturangini (with four wings) army, for he had known about their opponents' preparedness.
Rukmani was eagerly awaiting Lord's arrival. She had received the news that Dwarakanath (Krishna) had resolved to take her away. She was feeling overwhelmed in her heart.
Seeing Lord Krishna arrived intently in the marriage ceremonies of his daughter, king Bheeshmak welcomed him. Seeing him, even the common people of Vidarbh prayed "May our princess Rukmani get Shri Krishna as her husband. At the same time, Rukmani emerged from her palace to go to the temple of Ambikadevi, soldiers were guarding her. In the temple, Rukmani prayed peacefully: "O Mother Ambika I greet you and Ganapati, who is sitting in your lap. I seek your blessing that may my wish be fulfilled and may I receive Shri Krishna as my husband."
On her way back, Rukmani was walking very slowly for she was awaiting Lord's arrival, which was due in any moment. Just then, Lord Krishna appeared before her. Before she could ride her chariot Lord lifted her from amidst the crowd. And in the presence of hundrerds of kings, Krishna and Balarama eloped away with Rukmani.

DEFEAT OF RUKMI & SHISHUPAL

Hearing the news that Krishna has eloped with Rukmani, Rukmi and all other kings present there boiled with anger. Accompanied by their huge armies, they decided to give them a chase. Thus chased my them, Yadnvanishis stopped and encountered the kings boldly. With a true ambition to win, brave Yadav soldiers defeated the enemeies. All the kings like Jarasandh fled for their lives. Rukmi had resolved that without getting Rukmani released from Krishna's captivity, he would not show his face in Kundanpur. He chased Lord Krishna for long. But Dwarakanath defeated him and got his head shaved.

MARRIAGE OF RUKMANI & KRISHNA

Thus defeating all the kings, Lord Krishna brought Rukmani to Dwaraka. There they got married formally. All the people of Dwaraka celebrated festivities for many days. People presented them with lot of precious gifts. All the people were in great joy to see Lakshmi as Rukmani with her husband Lord Krishna.

BIRTH OF PRADYUMN, KILLING OF SHABARASUR

Shukdev says: O Parikshit, Kamadev was a part of lord himself. After getting incinerated by Rudra, Kamadev took refuge in the supreme lord to get an incarnation once more. Thus, Kamadev was born as Rukmani,s first son Pradyumn.
But just after his birth, Pradyumn was kidnapped by a demon Shambarasur. The demon dropped the baby into the sea, where a huge fish swallowed him in whole. Coincidently the fish was caught by the fishers and presented to the kitchen of Shambarasur. When the cooks cut the fish open, an extremely beautiful baby emerged. Mayawati, the governess of the kitchen, felt overjoyed to see the baby. She began to rear the baby with love and affection.

Once Narad arrived in the kitchen and said: "Mayawati, do you know who is in your lap? " "No, O Devarishi, I found him from the belly of a fish" said Mayawati. Devarishi Narad said: "He is your husband Kamadev and you are his wife Rati. In this birth, he has appeared as Pradyumn the son of Krishna. Hearing this, Mayawati saluted Narad with respect. Since then she regarded Pradyumn as her husband and served him accordingly. When Pradyumn matured. Mayawati reminded him about his real appearance. Pradyumn, thereafter, killed Shambarasur and got married with Mayawati. Then the couple arrived in Dwaraka.

TALE OF SYAMANTAK THE GEM

A person named Satrajit was a great devotee of Lord Suryanarayana. Pleased by his devotion, Suryadev presented him a gem called Syamantak. The gem had a radiance equal to the sun. Bearing that gem, Satrajit arrived in Lord's court. By the radiance of his gem, all the people and the courtiers mistook him for Suryadeva and stood in his regard. But the Lord recognised him and asked his coutiers to be calm. Then to Satrajit, Lord Said: "Satrajit, your gem is really very beautiful. Nana (maternal grandfather) Ugrasen is the king of this region. If you present this gem to him, it will be very good. But Satrajit refused to present that gem.
One day, later on, Satrajit's brother Prasenjit went hunting, wearing the gem in his neck. In the forest a lion killed him and snatched the gem. The lion was in turn killed by the Ursine king Jambvan. Jambvan took the gem to his cave and gave it to his children to play with. When Prasenjit did not return from hunting, Satrajit felt sorry and accused Krishna that He had killed his brother for the gem.

When lord Krishna heard that he was being blamed for the mishap, He himself went to the forests. There he found the dead body of Prasenjit, but there was no sign of gem around the cadaver. He found only footprints of a lion leaving from there. Following the footprints, He discovered the dead lion and the foot prints of a great bear. Following the footprints, He reached in the cave where Jambvan's daughter Jambvati was playing with the gem.



As soon as lord Krishna proceeded to take the gem, Jambvan arrived. A fierce duel resulted between them. They continued to fight for twenty-six days without truce. On the twenty-seventh day Jambvan requested Lord! "Please wait O Lord." Lord said: "Do you want to take rest?" "No", said Jambvan, "I have recognised you. You are non other than Lord Narayana Himself. Nobody else has the power to defeat me." Lord appeared before Jambvan as Shri Rama. Jambvan prayed and worshipped Him. He was feeling guilty that he dared to fight Lord. Lord said that He had arrived there for the gem only. Jambvan gave him the gem and also his daughter Jambvati. Lord returned the gem to Satrajit and married Jambvati formally.

MARRIAGE OF SATYABHAMA & KRISHNA

Lord summoned Satrajit to his court and in the presence of the king Ugrasen, related the sequence of incidents that took place in the jungle. Satrajit felt ashamed. With a feeling of repentance he took the gem. He was getting afraid also that he made enemity with lord Krishna without reason. Hence to expiate his crime, Satrajit thought of presenting the gem Syamantak and his daughter Satyabhama to Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna accepted Satybhama as his wife but returned the gem to Satrajit saying: "It is a gift of lord Suryadev. Keep it with you. You are required to deposit the gold that you get from it, in the royal treasure."

THEFT OF SYAMANTAK

Akrur and Kritvarma were not pleased with the marriage of Satyabhama. So they got Satrajit killed by Shatdanva. Shatdanva killed Satrajit in his sleep and absconded with the gem. Lord Krishna was then away in Hastinapur. Satyabhama too reached there and informed Krishna about her father's assassination. With Balarama, Lord Krishna chased Shatdhanva. But even after killing him, they could not trace the gem. Shatdhanva had given the gem to Akrur to keep till his return. But after the death of Shatdhanva, frightened Akrur came to stay in Kashi. From the effect of the gem Akrur performed many grand Yagyas there. Lord summoned Akrur from Kashi. After welcoming and treating him in the court, Lord asked him about the gem. Akrur showed the gem in the court. But Lord returned the gem to Akrur.

MARRIAGE OF LORD KRISHNA WITH KALINDI

Once Lord Krishna visited Indraprasth to see Pandavas there. There riding a chariot with Arjuna, He came to the forests. On the bank of river Yamuna a pretty woman was observing penance. By the instinct of God, Arjun drew near her and asked for her identity. She said: "I am Kalindi, the daughter of Suryadev. I am penancing here in order to get married with Lord Krishna." Lord got Kalindi boarded on the chariot and got married to her formally.

LORD'S MARRIAGE WITH MITRVINDA

Mitrvinda was the sister of Vind Anuvind the king of Ujjain. She had a desire to get Lord as her husband. But her brother, Vind Anuvind was a follower of Duryodhan. So he stopped his sister Mitrvinda from getting married to Krishna. But Krishna eloped with Mitrvinda from the his court and got married to her formally later on.

LORD'S MARRIAGE WITH SATYA

Satya was the daughter of Nagnjit, the king of Kaushal. She was extremely beautiful lady. The king had resolved that he would marry his daughter only to him who would defeat his seven most formidable oxen. Many princes has tried their luck since then but failed. When Lord Krishna heard about that, He reached Kaushal with his army. The king of Kaushal welcomed and treated him well, and told him about his resolution. Lord then took seven guises and in no time defeated his seven formidable oxen. Gladly the king married his daughter Satya to Lord Krishna.

LORD'S MARRIAGE WITH BHADRA

Shukdev said: "Parikshit, Lord's aunt (father's sister) Shrutkirti was married in the kingdom of Kaikauja. Bhadra was the daughter of Shrutkirti. Bhadra's brothers like Santardan etc. themselves had got their sister married to Lord Krishna.

LORD'S MARRIAGE WITH LAKSHMANA

Lakshmana was the daughter of the king of Madra. She was very beautiful and meritorius. Lord abducted her all alone from the Swayamvar organised for her marriage. Later, Lord married to her formally.

SALVATION OF BHAUMASUR

Shukdev said: Parikshit, Prayjyotishpur was the capital of the demon Bhaumasur. He was very strong and powerful. He had snatched the canopy of Varuna, ear-rings of Aditi the mother of the gods, and Maniparvat of the gods on Meru. Apart from these, he had also captured sixteen thousand and one hundred princesses as well.
Devraj Indra himself visited Dwaraka and Prayed Lord to get them rid of Bhaumasur's atrocities. With the dear wife Satyabhama and riding his vehicle Garuda. Lord Krishna arrived in the capital of Bhaumasur. But to enter Pragjyotishpur was a impossible task. But with the blows of his mace and arrows, Lord easily broke the hills, destroyed strategic positions and cut the snares with sword. By his wheel he destroyed the walls of fire, water and air. With the loud sound of conch, lord renderered the machines, installed there, useless.
Ultimately, God destroyed the rampart of the citadel. Disturbed by the noise, the five-headed demon Mur ran with a trident to kill God. But with a single shot of his arrow, Lord broke his trident and cut his head with his wheel. Soldiers and commanders of Bhaumasur were also killed. Bhaumasur then came himself to fight. He had donned a shinning crown and was wearing big earrings. With his wheel, Lord cut the demon's head. As soon as He beheaded the demon, the gods showered flowers on the Lord and worshipped Him. Even the mother earth came and put a garland of five colours around lords neck. She also presented to him the earrings of Aditi, canopy of Varuna, and a great gem. At the request of earth, Lord assured Bhaumasur's son Bhagdatt freedom from his fears.

LORD'S MARRIAGE WITH CAPTIVE PRINCESSES

After slaying Bhaumasur, Lord entered his palace. There he released the sixteen-thousand one-hundred captive princesses. The princesses were very much impressed by the Lord. They had all accepted in their mind, Lord Krishna as their husband. Lord too bowed before their love and accepted them as his wives and arranged to send them to Dwaraka.

PRADYUMN'S MARRIAGE WITH RUKMVATI

Shukdev says: Parikshit, Rukmvati was the daughter of Rukmi, the brother of Rukmani. When a Swayamvar was organised for her, she saw Pradyumn. She was so impressed by him that she chose him as her husband. But it was not acceptable to other princes. They tried to stop their marriage. But defeating them all, Pradyumn abducted Rukmvati and married her formally. Then to please his sister Rukmani, Rukmi got his grand-daughter Rochana married to Rukmani's grandsons Anirudh.

MARRIAGE OF USHA-ANIRUDH

The son of the demon king Bali, Banasur was a great devotee of Lord Lord Shiva. Banasur ruled over the kingdom Shonitpur. By the grace of Lord Lord Shiva, he had received thousand arms. Even all the gods including Indra used to serve him. Thus blinded by his physical strength, Banasur sought a boon from Lord to meet a match for his strength. Lord Shiva said: "O fool, your thirst for war shall be quenched when your flag is broken."



Banasur had a daughter named Usha. Once she had a dream in which Anirudh was making love with her. She was very much perplexed by the dream. After a few days with the help of her friend Chitralekha, Anirudh sneaked into her palace. He stay there and enjoyed the company of Usha for long. But Anirudh's clandestine stay could not remain hidden from the eyes of Banasura. So he put Anirudh in prison. There in Dwaraka, everyone was worried by Anirudh's long absence.
It was Narad, who ultimately revealed the fact that Anirudh was in the prison of Banasur. Hearing the news, Lord Krishna launched an attack on Banasur. His armies surrounded Shonitpur. During Ghurabandi the flag of Banasur's palace fell. Lord Shanker arrived to assist Banasur. Lord Krishna cut all the arms of Banasur. At the request of Lord Shiva, he left only four of his arms intact. Banasur bowed his head before Lord Krishna and brought Anirudh and Usha respectfully before Him. With them Lord Krishna returned to Dwaraka where formal marriage of Usha and Anirudh took place.

TALE OF THE KING NRIG

Once, Lord Krishna's sons visited the forests. There they saw a huge Chameleon fallen in a large, deep well. They tried to pull it out but in vain. The princes, therefore, returned to the palace and related this strange episode to Lord Krishna. Lord too came to the well and with His left hand, easily pulled the Chamelon out.
As soon as the chameleon came out, it turned into a divine god and began to worship God. He said: "O Lord, I am Nrig. The king Ikshvaku was my father. In my life, I had donated uncountable numbers of cows to the Brahmins. But once a cow, donated by me, returned to my cowshed. By mistake I made a resolution to donate it to another Brahmin. My action led to a dispute between the two Brahmins, and my wisdom failed to settle their dispute. Both the Brahmins went away unsatisfied, but I met this fate after death. Since then, I had been in this well in the form of a chameleon. Now, by the graceful touch of your hands, O Lord, I have received salvation." King Nrig then went around the Lord and returned to his heavenly abode.

SALVATION OF PAUNDRAK

Once Balarama and Krishna had gone to Braj to see Nandbaba there. Meanwhile the king Paundrak of Karush sent an envoy to lord Krishna with a message that said: 'I am Lord Vasudev.' Pandrak's envoy arrived in the court and read out the message: "To bestow my grace on the people, I have taken an incarnation. You have falsely named yourself as Vasudev and bore my insignia. Take my refuge or face the battle."
Shukdev said: Parikshit, hearing the message of Paundrak, Ugrasen and other courtiers began to laugh. Lord asked the envoy to inform Paundrak that He would launch His wheel on him and his army.

Receiving the message Paundrak launched an attack on Dwaraka with two Akshauhini army. The king of Kashi was a friend of Paundrak. He too came to his assistance with three Akshauhini armies. Paundrak had disguised as Vasudev and was bearing artifical conch, wheel, mace and lotus and. He had also adorned Swastik, Kaustubh etc. All the people began to laugh at Paundrak's clown like attire.
In no time, the Lord stripped him of all his adornments. His wheel cut his head. Then with an arrow the Lord cut the head of the king of Kashi. His head fell in front of his palace's gate. Sudakshin, the son of the Kashi king, organised a grand Yagya to avenge his father's killing. An ogress, Kritya emerged from the Yagya and began to burn Dwaraka. All the people prayed Krishna to protect them. Lord assured them to be fearless and ordered His wheel Sudarshan to kill Kritya. Sudarshan extinguished the fire, killed Kritya and destroyed Kashi. Then it returned to the Lord's finger.

SALVATION OF DWIVID

The king Parikshit expressed his desire to hear about the life of Balarama. Shukdev said:, "O king, there was once a monkey named Dwivid. He was the friend of Bhaumasur. When Dwivid heard about Bhaumasur's killing by Shri Krishna, he began to cause large scale destruction in the kingdom. His disruptive activities in the country began to terrorize the subjects of Lord Krishna. Once hearing sweet music, the monkey was drawn towards the Raivtak mountain. There he saw Balarama amidst beautiful young women. The monkey began to behave indecently. Angered by his indecency, Balarama hit him with his pestel, named Sunand, and killed the monkey.

MARRIAGE OF SAMB

Samb was the son of lord Krishna and born to Jambvati. He had Kidnapped Lakshmana, the daughter of Duryodhana from her Swayamvar. Infuriated Kauravas chased them and, with difficulty, they caught Samb and tied him. When the Yaduvanshis got the news, they began preparations to launch an attack on Kauravas. Balarama pacified them and reached Hastinapur alone. There he received a warm welcome from the Kauravas. Balarama said to them: "It is an order of the king Ugrasen that you should see Samb off with his newly wedded wife." Hearing Balarama's words Kauravas got angry and began to deride Yaduvanshis. Infuriated by Kauravas derisions, Balarama trained his pestle and plough. He intended to turn over the town of Hastinapur into the river Yamuna. When the city began to shake, Kauravas felt perplexed and begged Balarama for his pardon. Balarama assured them to be fearless and returned to Dwaraka with Samb and his newly wedded wife Lakshmana.

THE KINGS IN CAPTIVITY SEEK LORD'S HELP

Shukdev says: "Parikshit, once Lord Krishna was holding His court when an emissary arrived in the court. The kings who were held captive forcibly by Jarasandh had sent him. The emissary related the miseries of those kings to Lord Krishna. Through the emissary, the kings had requested: "O Lord of the world, Kindly get us free from our miseries. We are in your refuge. We desire your sight. Kindly bestow us with your grace." Lord Krishna sent the emissary off with assurance of timely action.

Meanwhile, Devarishi Narad arrived in the court and informed the Lord of Yudhisthir's intention to organise a grand Rajsuy Yagya and his cordial invitation for the Lord to attend the ceremony. Lord asked his friend Uddhav for an advice as to where He ought to go first - to Indraprastha in Rajsuy Yagya or to liberate the king from the captivity of Jarasandh. Uddhav advised Lord to go to Indraprastha first. There He would be able to serve both the purposes.

LORD'S DEPARTURE FOR INDRAPRASTHA

Uddhav's advise was in the interest of all. Everyone supported it. Taking permission from His priest and teachers, Lord set out on a chariot with the whole family to reach Indraprastha. In Indraprastha, Pandavas accorded the Lord with warm-hearted felicitations. By the dictate of Lord, Mayasur built a divine looking court for Yudhishthir. The courtroom was a marvellous piece of architecture. The shinning, smooth, floor of it appeared like water, while water bodies presented a look like marble floors.

KILLING OF JARASANDH

During Yudhishthir's Rajsuy Yagya, all the Pandavas set out in all the directions to conquer the kings and expand the boundaries of their kingdom. Warriors like Bheem, Arjun defeated great kings all around and extended the boundaries of Yudhisthir's empire. But to defeat Jarasandh, - Bheema, Arjuna and Lord Krishna went in the guise Brahmins. They reached Jarasandh capital Girivraj and prayed him for donations. Jarasandh promised to give them the things of their desires. Lord Krishna then introduced themselves and begged Jarasandh for a duel with any of them. Jarasandh accepted to fight a duel with Bheema. He gave Bheema a mace and both of them came out to the outskirts of the town, where they began their duel. Both of them were equally strong and equally brave and well pitted.


Twenty-seven days passed, but their duel remained inconclusive. On the twenty-eighth day, during the fight, Lord signaled Bheema a way to kill Jarasandh. He took a small twig in his hands and tore it apart into two. Bheema understood the signal and beating Jarasandh on ground, he tore him apart in two pieces and threw them in opposite directions. Thus came the end of evil Jarasandh. Lord Krishna and Arjuna heartily greeted Bheema for his success. They then enthroned Jarasandh's son Sahdev and also got the captive kings released.

SALVATION OF SHISHUPAL

King Yudhishthir had invited great vedic Brahmins and Acharayas on the occasion. Those great Sages included Ved Vyas, Bhardwaj, Sumantu, Gautam, Asit, Vashishth, Chyvan, Kanv, Maitrey, Kavash, Chit, Vishvamitra, Vamdev, Sumati, Jemini, Kratu, Pail, Parashurama, Shukracharya, Asuri, Vitihotra, Madhuchchanda, Veersen and Akritvarn etc. Persons from Kauravas side like Drona, Bheeshma, Kripacharya, Dhritrashtra, Vidhur and Duryodhan etc. were too invited to witness the celebrations. Even Brahma, Shiv, Indra, Gandharvas, Vidyadhars had too arrived. But before the Yagya could start a dispute cropped up among the great sages as to who ought to be worshipped first in the Yagya.

In the opinion of Sahdeva (youngest of the Pandava brothers, not the son of Jarasandh), Lord Krishna deserved the first worship. Every one supported him. Only Shishupal could not tolerate the decision. He stood up and said: "In the presence of such great ascetics, savants, polymaths and sages, how can this cowherd deserve the first worship." Despite Shishupal bitter remarks Lord Krishna kept quiet. But Shishupal did not. Encouraged by Lord's silence he began to attack the kings, who stood by Lord's side, with sword. He was simultaneously abusing Lord Krishna also. Lord had assured Shishupal of this forgiveness for up to one hundred sins. But now Shishupal's sins have crossed that permitted number. So, quieting all, Lord cut his head with His wheel. As soon as the dead body of Shishupal fell on the ground, a flame emerged from it and merged with Lord Krishna. Shukdev says: "O Parikshit, feelings of hostility had been accumulating in the heart of Shishupal for his past three births against Lord Krishna. It was because of these intense hostile feelings that Shishupal met salvation eventually.
After the salvation of Shishupal, ceremonies and rituals of Yagya proceeded unabated. At the end king Yudhishthir presented all those present there with fitting gifts and took ceremonial bath. At the request of Pandavas, lord Krishna stayed in Indraprastha for many months.

SALVATION OF SHALV

Shukdev says: "Parikshit, now listen to the tale of how Lord caused salvation for Shalv. Shalv was the childhood friend of Shishupal and had attended the marriage of Rukmani as a member of Shishupal's wedding party. At that time, Yaduvanshis had defeated them all including Jarasandh and Shalv. Right at that moment, Shalv had resolved to destroy Yaduvanshis and began worshipping Gods of the gods Pashupati (Shiv). Lord Ashutosh Lord Shiva was pleased with him. As a boon, Shalv had got an aeroplane that was invincible even for the gods, demons, humans, nagas, etc and was particularly formidable for Yaduvanshis. By the dictate of Lord Lord Shiva, the demon Maya constructed such an aeroplane of iron. The aeroplane named Saubh was as big as a city and was difficult to be spotted or caught. It could move as fast as one's wishes. Soon after getting the aeroplane, Shalv launched an attack of Dwaraka.
Surrounding Dwaraka, Shalv began to destroy buildings and houses there. Seeing the people terrorized, Pradyumn consoled them to be fearless and himself set out on a chariot to counter Shalv. He pierced Shalv with arrows. But Shalv's minister Dyumana attacked Pradyumn with a mace. By the blow of the mace, Pradyumn lost his consciousness. But soon he came around and began to slay Shalv's forces. The fierce battle continued for twenty-seven days. Lord was away then in Indraprastha Yagya. But He was sure that in his absence Kshatriya kings of Shishupal side would be attacking on Dwaraka.
Lord reached Dwaraka and saw a fierce battle between Pradyumn and Shalv. Seeing Lord arrive, Shalv began to attack Him with sharp arrows. Lord hit Shalv with a powerful blow of mace and he began to spit blood from his mouth. He then tried to show many illusions and showered Lord with weapons. But Lord wounded Shalv with his arrows, broke his aeroplane with his mace. Very soon thereafter the aeroplane plunged in to the sea. Shalv then attacked Lord with mace but Lord cut his head with Sudarshan wheel. Seeing his end, all the gods showered flowers on Lord.

SALVATION OF DANTVAKTRA AND VIDURATH

After the killing of Shishupal, Shalv etc. Dantvaktra arrived in the battlefield carrying a mace. When Lord saw him coming, He too jumped down from the chariot and baulked his movement with a mace. Dantvaktra tried to humiliate God with his abuses and hit him on head with his mace. Lord easily bore the blow of mace and hit Dantvaktra's chest with his mace named Kaumodaki. Dantvaktra's heart tore apart by the blow and he fell dead.
Vidurath was the brother of Dantvaktra. He came in the field with sword and shield to avenge his brother's death. Seeing him ready to launch an attack, Lord cut Vidurath's head with his wheel. Thus, Lord Krishna entered Dwaraka only after killing Shalv, Dantvaktra and Vidurath. All the gods and other inhabitants of heaven showered flowers on Him.

SUDAMA: THE LORD'S FRIEND

During his stay as a disciple at the hermitage of sage Sandipani, Lord Krishna had a Brahmin friend named Sudama. He was very indifferent in nature with no desires for the material things. After their education, Lord Krishna came to Dwaraka while Sudama, who had no any inclination for accumulating material wealth, got married and began to pass his life with his wife Susheela abject poverty.
One day his wife Susheela said: "O lord, your friend Krishna is the king of Dwaraka. He is very benevolent to Brahmins and his devotees. If you go to see him, he will understand your miseries and grant you a lot of wealth." But Sudama plainly refused saying: "Devi, I have chosen the path of devotion for self upliftment and not for the wealth." Susheela, however, kept of insisting: "All right, don't go for the wealth. But at least you can go to see your old friend. Sudama accepted this proposition, thinking that only the sight of Lord yields supreme benefit to the devotee. But he wanted something as a gift to present to his old friend. At this, his wife tied four handfuls of raw rice in a bundle.
With that humble gift, Sudama set out for Dwaraka. His poverty was at its helm. But he kept on reciting Lord's name all along the way. After walking for some distance, Sudama felt thirsty. He drank water, quenched his thirst and thanked God that He at least does give water to drink. Sudama kept on walking the whole day. In the evening, he kept the bundle of rice under his head as a pillow and slept.
Now it was God's turn to show His gratitude for the devotee. When Sudama awoke in the morning, he found himself right in front of Lord Krishna's palace. At first he could not believe his eyes; but the people told him that he was in Dwaraka and standing right before the lord's palace. Sudama requested the gatekeeper to inform Lord Krishna that his childhood friend Sudama had come. Lord Krishna was sitting in the company of Rukmani when the gatekeeper delivered the message. As soon as Lord Krishna learned about Sudama's arrival, He stood up and ran helter-skelter to welcome his childhood friend. At the gate He cordially embraced Sudama and escorted him into his private chamber and made him sit on the throne.



Krishna and queen Rukmani both washed Sudama's feet one by one. By the mere touch of his friend, Krishna was feeling overjoyed. His eyes filled with tears. He and Sudama were holding each other's hands. Their hearts were beating with the memories of their period as disciples at the hermitage of Sandipani. For long, none of them could uttered a word. At last Sudama said: "O Jagadguru Krishna, I have the fortune of being your friend. What remains for me to do?"
Lord Krishna said: "Brother, have you brought for me something sent by my sister-in-law? I love to accept even the pettiest thing presented with affection."
Shukdev says: 'O Parikshit, at the Lord's words, Sudama felt ashamed and he did not reveal the four handfuls of raw rice that he had brought as gift. With shame, Sudama began to look at the ground. Lord knew everything that his dear friend Sudama had never remembered him with a desire for wealth. This time too he has come at the insistence of his wife.
'Hence, I will give him the wealth that is rare even for the gods...' thought Lord Krishna and snatched the bundle of raw rice and opened it with great respect. He put one handful of it in his mouth. When Lord proceeded to take next handful, queen Rukmani held his hand and prayed: "O Vishvambhar (fosterer of the world) for the prosperity of entire world this one handful is sufficient."
Sudama stayed that night in the palace of Shri Krishna. There he experienced the comfort of Vaikunth (abode of God). Staying there for many days, Sudama at last, took leave of Shri Krishna and set out for his home. Lord did not give Sudama anything apparently nor did Sudama asked for His favour. He was travelling overwhelmed by a divine sense of devotion and felt that Krishna might have not given him wealth lest he should forget Him.
Thus, sunk in myriad kinds of thoughts, Sudama reached his home. But at the place, where his dilapidated hut stood once there was now a divine palace surrounded by verdant gardens. The floors of the palace were embedded with precious gems and stones. Standing at the gate, Sudama felt confused, when his wife Susheela came out with scented water to welcome him. Tears were rolling on her cheeks. With love she greeted Sudama and escorted him inside the palace. Sudama was still reflecting over the God's grace and praying: "May I have the friendship of lord in every birth, may my affection increase for Lord's feet. I don't want wealth.' Since then, Sudama enjoyed the comforts of the palace as the bounty of Lord bestowed upon him by non other than the Lord Krishna himself. His devotion increased day by day.

MEETING OF LORD WITH GOPAS-GOPIS

Shukdev says: "O Parikshit, Lord Krishna was passing his time with pleasure in Dwaraka. A total solar eclipse happened to fall during that period. People from all over India thronged in Kurukshetra to take a dip in sacred Ganges on that great occasion. All the Yaduvanshis too arrived there. When Vrajvasis (Inhabitants of Vraj) learned about Krishna and Balarama's arrival in Kurukshetra, they too assembled there.

During the festival, Lord Krishna met His foster-father Nand and other cowherds who were his childhood friends. Lord Krishna met the Gopis also who had been pining for his sight since long. They enjoyed the meeting and kept on chatting for long. Overwhelmed by love and joy, Vasudev embraced Nand. Lord Krishna and Balarama respectfully greeted mother Yashoda and father Nand. They too embraced Krishna-Balarama cordially.
Gopis were specially overwhelmed by Lord's sight. They had no other desire but to have a sight of Lord. That day their long cherished dream had come true. Gopis imbued the captivating appearance of Lord and experienced the joy of embracing Him. Lord met all the Gopis and embraced them. Inquired about their well being and preached them with spiritual knowledge. By the virtue of that knowledge, feeling of living disappeared among the Gopis and they merged with God forever.

ORGANISATION OF YAGYA BY VASUDEV

Devarishi Narad, Vyasa and many other great sages arrived in Kurukshetra to have a sight of Lord. Lord welcomed them all. Then Vasudev greeted them and enquired about way for his self up liftment. Laughingly, Narad said: "Vasudev, a person, already living at the bank of the Ganges, discards her holy water and goes to other places of pilgrimage for his purification.
In the presence of Krishna-Balarama, the sages said: "You regard the indescrible, eternal, Sachchidanand Shri Krishna as your son, and seek the way of your self upliftment from us. O Vasudev, recognise Him. Take to His refuge, only He can salve you." Vasudev got the meaning of sage's words and began to develop feelings of devotion for his son. Every human being has obligation for the gods, sages and his ancestors. The sages got a Yagya performed in Kurukshetra by Vasudev to free him from the obligation for gods.

REVISTING OF DEVAKI'S SIX SONS

In Dwaraka, Krishna and Balarama used to greet their parent's first daily in the morning. Now Vasudev had recognised His identity. So after their return from Kurukshetra, when Krishna-Balarama went as usual to greet their parents, Vasudev greeted them first. Lord Krishna then preached his father about the metaphysical knowledge. With that knowledge, Vasudev began to see Krishna everywhere.
Mother Devaki was also present there. Memory of her six children, who were killed by Kansa, was still afresh in her mind. She had heard that Krishna had fetched the dead son of Sandipani from Yamloka. So she prayed to them " You both are venerable even to the gods. Kindly grant me my desire. Show me my six sons who were killed by Kansa. By their mother's dictate and helped by Yogmaya, both the brothers reached Sutal Loka.
The demon king Bali welcomed them there and offered them a seat, and washed their feet. King Bali then asked God what could he do for Him. Lord said: O demon king, in Swayambhuv Manvantara, six sons were born to Urna the wife of Prajapati Marichi. They were all gods. They had once seen Brahma trying to copulate with his own daughter and hence derided at him. Indignant Brahma had then curse them to take birth in demon incarnation. They therefore were born as the sons of Hiranykashipu.
In the present era, Yogmaya had made them born as Devaki's sons who were killed by Kansa. They are all now in your Loka. Mother Devaki is mourning for them, so we shall take them with us. They will thus be freed from the curse and go to their heavenly abode." Thus Lord Krishna and Balarama brought those six babies to Dwaraka and handed them to mother Devaki. Seeing her babies again, Devaki's heart filled with love for her sons. Milk began to flood her breast. She breast-fed them. Drinking the milk, all the babies received salvation. They then departed to their heavenly abode.

LOVE AND MARRIAGE OF SUBHADRA & ARJUN

King Parikshit asked: "Gurudev, how did my grandfather Arjun and grandmother Subhadra got married? I want to hear this tale. Kindly narrate it to me."
Shukdev said: Parikshit once travelling on a pilgrimage tour, Arjun reached in Prabhas region. There he learned that Balarama was desirous of marrying his sister Subhadra to Duryodhan. But Vasudev and Krishna were not in the favour of this marriage. So, a strong urge took hold in his mind to get Subhadra as his wife. Acting as per the urge, Arjun reached Dwaraka in the guise of Vaishnava sage. It was rainy season then, so with an excuse of Chaturmasya Vrat (four months long fast), Arjun stayed in Dwaraka. During his stay, Balarama served and looked after him very well. But neither Balarama nor any other inmates of the palace could recognise Arjun.
Once Balarama invited Arjun to his home. There he offered good, delicious food to Arjun. Subhadra too served him well. There, they fell in love with each other. Later on, boarding a chariot, Subhadra went out of the palace for a joy ride. At the outskirts of the town, Arjun was awaiting for her. He had already taken permission of Devaki-Vasudev and Krishna. Subhadra too had silently nodded her acceptance.
So that evening Arjun and Subhadra eloped from Dwaraka. The news of Subhadra eolping with Arjun first outraged Balarama. But Lord Krishna and other near and dear ones convinced and pacified him.

PRAYERS OF VEDAS

King Parikshit asked: "Brahmin, Brahma is beyond the limit of do's and why's. He is free from the virtues like Sat, Raja and Tama. He cannot be seen by mind. On the other hand Guna (Virtues) is the subject of all the Shrutis (Vedas). How do Vedas then depict Brahma?"
Shukdev says: "Parikshit, Lord is omnipotent and a treasure of all the virtues. Shrutis (Vedas) do depict Saguna (with virtues) clearly. But reflect on them deeply and you get virtuesless meaning from them. Once, Lord Badrinarayana had arrived among the inhabitant sages of Kalaygram. Devarishi Narad had asked him the same question. In the assembly of the great sages, Lord then narrated the same tale, which the inhabitants of Janloka had asked.
The supreme sages like Sanakadi and his brothers were equal in knowledge, penance etc. Yet they chose Sanandan as the narrator, and rest three became the audience. Sanandan had said: "Such as the savants and balladiers sing in praise their king to wake him up in the morning, similarly annihilating the entire universe in Him, Paramatma (supreme soul) lies asleep with all His powers. At the end of Pralaya, Vedas (Shurtis) wake Him up through the words that demonstrate Him."
Shrutis (Vedas) says: "O Ajit (invincible one), you are supreme, no one can conquer you; may you win everywhere. O Lord, you are complete with all the luxuries, hence destroy the illusion that allures all the living beings. We are unable to describe your appearance. But when your powers manifest in creation. We get some ability to describe you.
Description of Brahma, Indra, Agni, Surya and other gods, by us (Vedas) appears as separate, The complete universe is not different from you. It is a description of your various forms. You are unborn, even in those idols. You do not take birth.
All the Vedas describe your merits. All the savants love none but you through hearing and remembering of your auspicious, benevolent virtues.
O, endless, if anybody in human incarnations does not recite or remember your name he is breathing in vain.
Dharma(duty), Arth (Wealth), Kama (Sensual pleasure) and Moksha (Salvation) have no meaning for those who remember you with pure heart.
O endless, glorious Lord, common people are wandering in abject darkness of unnecessary disputes. Your realization is impossible. When will that moment arrive in my life. When I shall recite your names like Madhav, Vamana, Trilochan, Govind etc. with joy and get free from all the miseries.
O Lord, this entire universe is false. But still appears as real. We pray to that God who is present as an illuminating truth in this false creation.
O Lord of all, people can not sail across this ocean of death without you, no matter what they do to achieve salvation. Their all efforts are futile.
O Lord, all the living beings are wandering in your illusion. But the learned ones don't regard themselves separate from the cycle of life and death. In your shelter, they have nothing to fear.
Shukdev says: "Parikshit as per your query, I told you how Vedas describe Parabrahma Paramatma who is free from natural virtues and invisible. O king, it is the lord who conceptualizes the universe and is present in the beginning, mid and the end of it. He is the Lord of nature and creatures. It is He who created the universe and entered it with the creatures. He created the bodies and controls them. Such as a human being, who is immersed in deep sleep, is not aware of his body. Similarly, on receiving God, the creature is freed from illusion. So one must continuously reflect on the virtues of Lord Shri Krishna."

RELEASE OF Lord Shiva FROM CRISIS

Parikshit asked: "Gurudev, those among the gods, human beings and the demons, who worship Lord Lord Shiva, get wealth very soon. But those, who worship Lord Narayana, remain afflicated with scarcity. What is the reason for that?"
Shukdev said : "Parikshit, your grandfather Yudhishthir had put the same question before Lord Krishna."
In reply, Lord Krishna had said: "O Yudhishthir, I take away all the wealth from those whom I bestow my grace. When they are poor, their relatives desert them. I even render their efforts useless when they try to earn money. Thus being unsuccessful repeatedly, the people develop an attitude of indifference for wealth. Then they begin to take shelter as my devotee and mingle with me. Only then, I bestow my full grace on them and they receive me as Sachchidanand Parbrahma. Thus, pleasing me through my worship is extremely difficult. Hence, ordinary people give me up and worship other deities, which are in fact different forms of me.
Lord Shiva is Ashutosh and bestows his devotees quickly with grace. He gives wealth and other riches to his devotees. But once they get wealth, the devotees become despotic and even forget the God who had blessed them." In this context Shukdev narrated one ancient tale to Parikshit.
Once upon a time, there was a demon Vrikasur. He had pleased Lord Shiva and sought a boon that the person, upon whose head the demon put his hand, should be incinerated at once. Lord Shiva granted the boon without considering the consequences. But as soon as the demon got this supernatural power, he ran to incinerate Lord Shiva first. The demon was eyeing Gauri Parvati, so he was determined to eliminate Lord Lord Shiva. Now afraid of his own boon, Lord Shiva ran for his life, with the demon following him in hot pursuit. At last Lord Shiva reached in Vaikunth and told Lord Vishnu about his crisis. Lord at once illusioned the demon and made him put his hand, on his own head. By the virtue of the boon, the demon was incinerated in no time and thus Lord Shiva could be saved.

TESTING OF TRINITY

Once upon a time, all the sages assembled on the bank of Saraswati river. A dispute errupted among them as to who among the trinity was the greatest. By consensus they appointed sage Bhrigu to test the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Bhrigu reached to Brahma, but did not greet him. Brahma got infuriated but since the sage Bhrigu was his own son, He did not curse him. Then Bhrigu visted Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva proceeded to embrace the sage. But instead of accepting Lord Shiva's welcome, the sage began to abuse Him, saying: "You violate the dignity of Vedas, so I will not meet with you." Angry Lord Shiva raised his trident to kill him, but Bhagawati stopped Him. At last Bhrigu reached Vaikunth to see Lord Vishnu.



Lord was lying with head in the lap of Lakshmi. Bhrigu kicked hard at His chest. But instead of getting angry, Lord got up, bowed his head before the sage and begged pardon: "O Sage, pardon me, I could not welcome you at once, at your arrival. Your feet are soft, I hope they are not hurt. All my sins have been washed by the touch of your feet." Bhrigu felt very pleased by the serious talks of Lord. His heart felt overwhelmed with excess of devotion. He returned to the assembly of the sages and narrated his experience. Since then Lord Vishnu is regarded as the Supreme and giver of peace and fearlessness.

REVIVAL OF BRAHMN'S DEAD CHILDREN

There in Dwaraka lived a Brahmin. When the first son was born to his wife, it died immediately after birth. The Brahmin took his dead son to the royal court and complained: "My Son has died because of anti-Brahmin and licentious actions of the king." One by one, thus, eight sons were born to the Brahmin couple; but they all died immediately after birth. And the Brahmin kept on dumping his dead sons at the gate of the royal palace.

When his ninth son was born, and died, Arjun was also there in Dwaraka. He made a promise to the Brahmins: I shall guard your son or commit self immolation. At the time of next delivery, the agitated Brahmin came to Arjun. Training his bow and arrows, Arjun made all arrangements to protect Brahmin's tenth son. Sanctified by many mantras, Arjun's arrows constructed a fence around the labour room. A child took birth; but it too died after some time. Brahmin,then, cursed Arjuna. Arjun scouted through all the three worlds and even the netherworlds in search of the Brahmin's dead son, but he could not find him anywhere. Ultimately accepting his failure and as per his promise, Arjun proceeded to immolate himself.
Meanwhile, Lord Krishna too learned about Arjun's vow and stopped him from self-immolation. Thereafter, riding a divine chariot, Lord set out with Arjun, towards west. Beyond the limits of cosmos. They reached the abode of Lord Vasudev in Tripadvibhuti. There Arjun saw that Lord was present in Purushottams appearance. Shri Krishna and Arjun greeted Him.
Lord Purushottam said in a serious voice: "O Krishna and Arjuna, only to have a sight of both of you, I brought the Brahmin's sons to me. Both of you had taken incarnation on earth from my part to protect the religion. All the demons have been slain by now. Now you too return to me.
Shri Krishna and Arjun again greeted Lord and returned on earth with all the sons of the Brahmin.
Arjun was greatly surprised to see the supreme abode of Lord. He felt that whatever strength a living being had, it was all by Shri Krishna's grace. Like common, ordinary people, the Lord stayed on earth enjoing mundane comforts, performed Yagyas like kings, behaved like idealistic people; deterred His subjects and slayed evil kings to re-establish religion on earth.

मेरी ब्लॉग सूची

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