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Tenth Skanda

Chapter 71: The Lord Travels to Indraprastha on Advice of Uddhava

(1) S’rî S’uka said: ‘Hearing thus what was stated by the devarishi, spoke the gifted Uddhava with understanding for the stance taken by the royal assembly and Krishna. (2) S’rî Uddhava said: ‘O Lord, You should do what the rishi said, and be of assistance to him, Your father’s son, who intends to perform sacrifice, and You should as well offer those [the kings] protection who seek their refuge. (3) Since the Râjasûya sacrifice should be performed by the one who gained the upper hand in all directions o Almighty One, will You, in my opinion, with conquering the son of Jarâ be serving both purposes. (4) By this there will be great gain for us and for You, o Govinda, and You will release the kings imprisoned; thus proceeding will it be Your glory. (5) He [Jarâsandha] is a king as strong as a thousand elephants and cannot be conquered by other men of power, save for Bhîma who is equally strong. (6) Only chariot-to-chariot can he be defeated, not when he is together with a hundred akshauhinîs; also will he, devoted as he is to the brahminical, never refuse what the learned ask from him. (7) Visiting him wearing the dress of a brahmin must Bhîma beg for charity and without hesitation kill him in Your presence in a one-to-one fight. (8) Hiranyagarbha [‘the one of the golden light’ or Brahmâ] and S’arva [he who kills by the arrow, viz. S’iva, see 7.10: 67], are of You, the Controller of the Universe, of Your formlessness of Time, but the instrument in creation and annihilation. (9) In their homes do the godly wives of the [imprisoned] kings sing about Your spotless deeds. They sing about You killing their enemy and delivering their husbands; just as the gopîs do [in missing You, see 10.31] and the lord of the elephants [Gajendra being captured see 8.3], just as the daughter of Janaka did [Râmacandra’s Sîtâ, see 9.10] and Your parents [when in Kamsa’s prison, see 10.3], and so too do the sages upon having obtained your shelter [see e.g. 9.5] as well as we sing about You. (10) The killing of Jarâsandha, o Krishna, surely will bring us an immense advantage, namely the consequent excellence [of the kings] ànd the sacrifice favored by You.’

(11) S’rî S’uka said: ‘The words Uddhava thus stated, in every way auspicious and infallible o King, were by the devarishi, the Yadu elders and by Krishna as well praised in response. (12) The Almighty Supreme Lord, the son of Devakî, took leave from those He owed respect [following the human ways] and next ordered His servants Dâruka, Jaitra and others to prepare for His departure. (13) Sending away His wives and sons for the luggage and saying goodbye to Sankarshana [Balarâma] and the Yadu king [Ugrasena], o killer of the enemies, mounted He His chariot brought by His driver, from which the flag of Garuda waved. (14) Then, surrounded by His chiefs and fierce guards, chariots, elephants, infantry and cavalry – His personal army – moved He out with from all sides vibrating the sounds of mridangas, bherî horns, gomukha horns, kettledrums and conchshells. (15) In golden palanquins carried by men, came following in fine clothes, ornamented, with perfumed oils and garlands, Acyuta’s wives along with their children well guarded by soldiers with shields and swords in their hands. (16) The well ornamented women of the household and the courtesans came along with human carriers, camels, bulls, buffalo, donkeys, mules, bullock carts and she-elephants fully loaded with grass-huts, blankets, clothing and more items like that. (17) The huge army with a choice of flagpoles, banners, sunshades, yak-tail fans, weapons, jewelry, helmets and armor appeared that day glittering and shining in the rays of the sun; with the rumour of its sounds was it like an ocean restless with timingilas and waves. (18) After having heard and approved His plan, bowed the muni [Nârada], being honored by the Lord of the Yadus and feeling happy over the meeting with Mukunda, down to Him and went he, placing Him in his heart, away through the sky. (19) The messenger of the kings was by the Supreme Lord, to please him with His word, addressed with: ‘Do not fear, o envoy, all fortune to you [and your kings]. I’ll arrange for the killing of the king of Mâgadha.’

(20) Thus being addressed departed the messenger who informed the kings in detail. They then, eager for their liberation, awaited the moment they would meet S’auri. (21) Crossing through Ânarta [the region of Dvârakâ], Sauvîra [eastern Gujarat], Marudes’a [the Rajasthan desert] and Vinas’ana [the district of Kurukshetra], passed the Lord through hills, rivers, cities, villages, cow pastures and quarries. (22) Mukunda first crossing the river Drishadvatî then crossed the Sarasvatî, then passed through the province of Pañcâla and Matsya and finally reached Indraprastha. (23) Hearing that He, so rarely seen by human beings, had arrived, marched he whose enemy never was born [king Yudhishthhira] out [of his city] surrounded by his priests and relatives [in order to welcome Him]. (24) With an abundance of sounds of songs and instrumental music and the vibration of hymns went he forth to Hrishîkes’a, being as reverential as the senses are tuned to life. (25) The heart of the Pândava seeing Lord Krishna after so long a time melted with affection whereupon he embraced Him, his dearmost friend, over and over. (26) The ruler of man closing in his arms the body of Mukunda, the shining abode of Ramâ, found all his ill-fortune destroyed and achieved the highest bliss, in his exhilaration with tears in his eyes forgetting the illusory affair of being embodied in the material world. (27) Bhîma filled with joy embracing Him, his maternal nephew, laughed out of love with eyes brimming with tears and also of the twins [Nakula and Sahadeva] and of Kirîtî [‘he with the helmet’ or Arjuna] flowed profusely the tears as they with pleasure embraced Acyuta, their dearmost friend. (28) After He was embraced by Arjuna and had received the twins their obeisances, bowed He, according the etiquette, before the brahmins, the elders and the honorable Kurus, Sriñjayas and Kaikayas. (29) The bards, the chroniclers, the singers of heaven, the eulogists and jesters with mridangas, conches, kettledrums, vînâs, small drums and gomukha horns, all sang, danced and glorified with hymns the Lotus-eyed one as also did the brahmins. (30) The Supreme Lord, the Crest Jewel of the Renown of Piety, thus being glorified by His well-wishers around Him, entered the decorated city. (31-32) In the city of the king of the Kurus He saw the roads sprinkled with water fragrant of the mada [the rut-liquid] of elephants, colorful flags, gateways decorated with golden pots full of water and young men and women all in new apparel with ornaments, flower garlands and sandalwood on their bodies. In each home lamps were lit and offerings of tribute displayed with the smoke of incense drifting from the latticed windows and banners waving from the roofs that were adorned with golden domes with large silver bases. (33) Hearing of the arrival of the Reservoir for the Eyes of Man to Drink from, went the young women, to look on, onto the king’s road thereby immediately abandoning their households or their husbands in bed, with the knots still in their hair and their dresses loosened in their eagerness. (34) There, very crowded with elephants, horses, chariots and soldiers on foot, caught they the sight of Krishna with His wives, and while they embraced Him in their hearts, scattered the women who [because of the commotion] had climbed onto the rooftops, flowers while giving Him a heartfelt welcome with broad smiles to their glances. (35) Seeing Mukunda’s wives on the road like stars around the moon, exclaimed the women: ‘What did they do that the Diadem of Men with the small portion of His playful smiles and glances grants their eyes the honor of the [complete] festival?’ (36) Here and there approached citizens with auspicious offerings in their hands and performed the masters of the guilds, who banned their sins, worship for Krishna. (37) As He entered the king’s palace approached the members of the royal household all in a flurry to greet full of love and with blossoming eyes Mukunda. (38) When Prithâ [queen Kuntî] saw her brother’s son, Krishna, the Controller of the Three Worlds, rose she with a heart full of love from her couch together with her daughter-in-law [Draupadî] in order to embrace Him. (39) The king bringing Govinda, the Supreme God of All Gods, to His quarters could, overwhelmed by his great joy, not remember anymore what all had to be done for the reverential display of worship. (40) Krishna performed an offering of obeisances in respect of His father’s sister and the elderly women, o King, and so also did His sister [Subhadrâ] and Krishnâ [Draupadî] bow down to Him. (41-42) Prompted by her mother-in-law [Kuntî] worshiped Krishnâ [Draupadî] with clothing, flower garlands, jewelry and so on, all Krishna’s wives: Rukminî, Satyabhâmâ, Bhadrâ, Jâmbavatî, Kâlindî, Mitravindâ the descendant of S’ibi, the chaste Nâgnajitî as well as the others who had come. (43) The king of dharma [Yudhishthhira] comfortably accommodating Janârdana with His army, His servants and ministers and His wives saw to it that they were provided each and every moment. (44-45) Staying several months according His desire to please the king, went He, sporting with Arjuna and surrounded by guards, out riding with His chariot. He, accompanied by Arjuna, satisfied the fire-god by offering him the Khândava forest. Maya [a demon] whom He had saved, then built a celestial assembly hall for the king [in Hastinâpura].’