Monday 29 June 2020




Kamsa in his Sabha

VAISHAMPAYANA said: - Hearing that Krishna was advancing in power like fire in Vraja, Kansa, anticipating fear from him, was filled with anxiety (1). On Putanā being slain, the two trees being dragged by the boy of no boy-like deeds, Kālya being vanquished, Dhenuka being killed, Pralamva being discomfitted, the mount Govardhana being raised up, Indra's commandment being disregarded, the kine being protected by enviable deeds and Kakudmi and Arishtha being destroyed the Gopas were filled with delight. Beholding these highly terrible portends indicating his impending death and these unthought of feats amongst his rising enemies Mathura's king Kansa considered himself as brought under the influence of death. And his organs and mind being deprived of consciousness he appeared like one dead (2–6). Thereupon in the noiseless dead of night, Mathura's king Kansa, the son of Ugrasena of fierce commands, summoned his father and kinsmen to his city (7). Summoning god-like Vasudeva, Kangka, Satyaka, Dāruka, Kanka's youngest brother, Bhoja, Vaitarana, the highly powerful Vikadru, the king Bhayesakha, Viprithu of great prosperity, the liberal Kritavarma, the highly energetic and bold Bhurishravā and various other descendants of Yadu race and welcoming them all in due order be said: "Listen, O ye Yadavas, ye are all business-like, devoted to the Vedas, expert in ascertaining the proper rules of conduct, the introducers of the three Vargas [1], ever observant of your duties, like gods in this world, and ever wending the good ways and firm as the mountains (8-13). Ye are all shorn of haughtiness and you have all lived properly in the families of your preceptors [2]; ye are all therefore proficient in archery and capable of holding royal counsels (14). Besides ye are all like lamps of glory in all these worlds, conversant with the real purport of the Vedas, the true import of the Ashramas (conditions of life), with the order of Varnas (castes), the propounder of the beautiful rules of conduct, the leaders of the givers of laws, the conquerors of foreign kingdoms, and the protectors of those seeking refuge with you (15-16).

[1] The three-fold objects of life, namely, Dharma, Artha and Kama.

[2] It was the practice in ancient India that the kings used to send their sons to their preceptors to receive proper instructions. These princes lived in the family of their preceptors.

You are all so very vivacious in your conversation and endued with such an unimpeachable character, what to speak of the earth even the celestial region may feel itself honored (by your presence) (17). Your conduct resembles that of the Rishis, your power is like that of the Maruts, your anger is like that of Rudras and your effulgence is like that of the fire (18). As the earth is supported by the mountains so the decaying race of Yadus is upheld by you all, heroes of far-famed glory (19) You all follow my will, why then are you at present disregarding the rising calamity of mine, (20)? Like unto a rising a cloud, Nanda Gopa's son, the celebrated Krishna of Vraja is about to strike at the root (of the race) (21). I have lost my heart and four eyes and I have no able ministers. And therefore that boy was kept secretly in Nanda Gopa's house (22). Like a malady disregarded, the swelling ocean and the roaring clouds of the rainy season that wicked-minded one is rising in power (23). I have not been able to find out the means of subduing or to understand the movements of that boy of wonderful deeds born in Nanda Gopa's house (24). That boy is either the offspring of a god or born of any other powerful being. I however do not know anything - but I surmise so by his superhuman deeds which even the celestials cannot perform (25). While asleep in his infancy he drank up the life of Putanā (going there in the form of a) bird under the pretext of sucking her breast (26). Vanquished in no time in the lake of Yamuna, that Nāga Kalya, ranging in the region underneath, has disappeared (27). But Nanda's son, by his Yoga power, has risen up again. Dropped down from the top of a palm tree Dhenuka has breathed his last (28). Pralamva too, whom even the gods could not surpass in battle, has been slain like an ordinary animal, by that powerful one with the strokes of his fist (29). Suppressing the festivity in honor of Indra, and putting a stop to excessive rain consequent upon his anger that boy held up the mount Govardhana for affording shelter to the kine (30). The powerful Aristha, with his horns shattered, has been slain by him in Vraja. From the actions of that boy living in the village of milk-men it appears that he is not a boy, but assuming the false guise of a child, is sporting there merely. While he stands before me for a battle, forsooth, I know that he is my Death (the destroyer) of my former body (31-33). There is a vast difference between the birth as a wretched milkman amongst men, weak for their death and his sporting in my cow-settlement with the power of a god (34). It appears to me as certain that a god, covering his own true form with a Gopa body, is sporting here like fire in the cremation ground (35). I have heard that in the days of yore in order to accomplish the work of the celestials, Vishnu, assuming the form of a dwarf, took away the earth from Bali (36). At another time assuming the form of a lion that powerful Vishnu killed Hiranyakashipu the grand-father of the Dānavas (37). Assuming a form, surpassing the range of thought, Bhava (Siva) the destroyer of Tripura killed all the Daityas on the Sweta Mountain (38). Being shaken off his promise [3] by his preceptor Angira's son (Kacha) resorting to a frog's illusion [4] Bhrigu's son (Sukra) caused a drought in the land of the Dānavas (39). Assuming the form of a boar that thousand-headed eternal deity Vishnu raised up the earth from the great ocean (40).

[3] Sukra promised not to consign the mantras of reviving a dead man to any body but this promise was falsified.

[4] As a frog revives as soon as he is dead so Kacha rose up many times alive after his death. The allusion, contained in this chapter, is as follows:-Vrihaspati (Angirasa) was the priest of the gods and Sukra that of the Danavas. There was a rivalry between these two Brahmanas. Sukra knew the mantra of reviving a dead man with which he revived many Daityas. Vrihaspati did not know it. Thereat Kacha, the eldest son of Vrihaspati, was sent to Sukra to learn it. Kacha became his disciple and began to please him and his daughter Devajani. By and by he exercised a great influence on Sukra's daughter who was greatly attached to him. One day while Kacha was tending kine the Danavas, learning that he was the son of Vrihaspati, hacked him into pieces, which were eaten up wolves. Devajani grew mad after him and pressed her father to revive him which Sukra did. Next time he was burnt to ashes and they were mixed up with liquor which Sukra drank up. Devajani again wanted her father to revive Kacha; this was a question of life, and death to him. He therefore taught Kacha the mantra first who came out of his womb and then revived again Sukra. Thus did Kacha learn the art of reviving a dead man. (See Mahabharata, chapters LXXV and VI, Adiparva.

When the gods and Asuras, assembled for (churning) for ambrosia, Vishnu, in the shape of a tortoise in the ocean, held up the Mandara mountain (41). And when there arose ambrosia he, assuming the form of a beautiful woman, created a highly terrible battle between the gods and demons (42). Assuming a wretched dwarf form in the days of yore he rescued the three worlds including the land of the celestials, with his three foot-steps from Bali (43). It was he, who having divided himself into four portions and taking his birth as Rāma in Dasharatha's house, killed Ravana (44). For accomplishing the work of gods Vishnu assumes various forms and deceitfully does his own work (45). Forsooth Vishnu, of whom Nārada spoke to me, or Sakra, the king of gods, has now come for bringing about my death (46). In this matter our fear proceeds from Vasudeva; this is even my firm conviction. By his sense we have been reduced to this strait (47). When I met Nārada again in Khatwanga forest that Brahmana said to me "O Kansa, Vasudeva, in the night, has baffled your great care regarding Devaki's child (48-49). The daughter, whom you dashed against a stone in that night, is Yashoda's daughter and know Krishna as Vasudeva's son (50). Vasudeva, your enemy in the guise of a friend, after due consultation, exchanged the children in night for bringing about your death (51). Having slain on the Vindhya mountain the two sky-ranging Dānavas, Shumbha and Nisumbha, that daughter of Yashoda, sprinkled by the gods, is being worshipped by the dreadful robbers and various animals. She is fond of human and animal sacrifices and confers boon (upon her worshippers) after their hearts (52–53). Embellished with two jars full of wine and blood and adorned with peacock-feathers she has made her own abode, by her own power, in the forest of the Vindhya range. It is filled with cries of proud cocks and crows, abounds in free birds and deer, echoes with the roars of lions, tigers and boars, is thick with trees and covered entirely with woods. The temple is filled with golden vases, clowries, mirrors and is resonant with the sound of thousands of trumpets. The beautiful goddess, the mother of fear unto the enemies, daily lives there with great delight and even the celestials adore her. Nārada has said that the boy who is known as the son of Nanda Gopa, Krishna, will be the agent of many important deeds. The second son that will be born of Vasudeva and pass by the name of Vasudeva, that kinsman of yours will easily put you to death. He is Vasudeva, the powerful son of Vasudeva. Morally he is my kins-man, but at heart a dreadful enemy (54-61). As a crow, with its beaks fond of flesh, distresses the eyes of a man on whose head it sets its foot, so this Vasudeva, brought up by me in my house, along with his son, kinsmen and fruits, is trying to strike at the root of my family (62-63). A man, after killing an embryo or a cow or a woman, can somehow save himself, but there is no region for an ungrateful person (64). An ungrateful man, who for a selfish end, gives vent to sweet words which prove dangerous in the long run, wends the way of out-castes (65). He, who having his mind bent on iniquity, injures an innocent man, is constrained to wend the way leading to hell (66). On account of our rules of conduct and accomplishments, we are worthy of praise to persons like you seeking friendship. And such sons are more worthy of praise (67). As by the dreadful fight of the elephants, trees are destroyed which, after the close of the combat, become their food, so when dissensions take place amongst kinsmen, either relatives or inferior arbitrators meet with destruction( 68–69). Vasudeva, while you are about to sow dissensions in this family, I now understand forsooth that without knowing you I fed you who are like death (70). O foolish man, you are always angry by nature, fond of creating enemies, sinful and of false humility. It is you who have brought this Yadu race into a pitiable strait (71) O Vasudeva, your old age is of no use. Unknowingly did I reward you who, in his hundred years with all his hairs grey, do not become old (72) ? He is aged in this world whose sense is ripe. But he is not aged whose hairs are grey (73). You are of a harsh temper; your intellect is not ripe and you are merely old in age like an autumnal cloud (74). O vain Vasudeva, you have thought. "On Kansa being slain my son will govern Mathura" (75). Your hope is already frustrated, O you who have uselessly grown old and your resolution is falsified. No, one who has the desire of living, will live before me (76). By this wicked mind you have thought of injuring me who have confided in you; I will take steps against it in the presence of your two sons (77). I have never killed an old man, a Brahmana, a woman, or any one specially amongst my kinsmen, and I shall never do it (78). You are born here and have been brought up by my father. Besides you are my sister's husband and the first preceptor of the Yadus (79). Born in the great family of the well-known Lords Paramount of the world you are being worshipped as a preceptor by the noble and religious Yadavas (80). Old man, what shall we do? For such a conduct of a leading Yādava like yourself, all the members of the Yadu race have become the butt of peoples' talk (81). O Vasudeva, if I am dead or defeated, for your improper conduct, it will put the Yadavas to shame before the pious (82). By concerting this measure for my destruction you have made yourself an object of distrust and the Yādavas of ridicule (83). What more, you have created such an enmity between me and Krishna that there will be no peace in the Yadu family unless one of us dies (84).

Whatever it may be, O giver of gifts, go to Vraja, at my command and bring these two boys, Nanda and other Gopas who pay tributes to me (85). Tell Nanda to come quickly to Mathura with his annual tribute along with other milkmen (86). Kansa, surrounded by his servants and priests, wants to see Krishna and Sangkarshana, the two sons of Vasudeva (87). He has heard that, that both of them are of hard limbs, powerful, careful, clever in fighting and well up in holding a match in the arena (88). Well-armed the two wrestlers of mine are rejoicing to combat with them. They are also experts in fighting and will match them (89). Besides these two boys, ranging in the woods of Vraja, the two immortal-like best of warriors are my sister's sons and therefore I should see them (90). Tell the inhabitants of Vraja that the king, of his own accord, is celebrating a bow festivity (91). Therefore let them come with necessary milk, curd, butter, &c., to cater the invited persons after their hearts and live at ease in the forest attached to the city (62-93). O Akrura, I am filled with curiosity to see Krishna and Sangkarshana. Do you go soon, bring them here and satisfy my command (94). If they come here I shall attain to supreme delight. Beholding those two highly powerful boys I shall engage in a work conducive to my well-being (95). If they do not come here at my behest I shall subdue them in time (96). O Akrura, it is better to use conciliatory words first towards the boys. Do you soon bring them here with sweet words (97). O you of firm vows, if you are not alienated from me by Vasudeva, do you accomplish this great work conducive to my pleasure (98). Do that by which they may come here."

Thus villified, Vasudeva, resembling a Vasu, resorting to gravity and patience, stood there motionless like an ocean (99). Assailed by foolish Kansa, with these shaft-like words, he, resorting to forgiveness, did not give any reply (100). Those, who saw him thus insulted at that time, all exclaimed, bending low their heads, "Oh fie! Oh fie!” (100). With his celestial vision the liberal Akrura could know everything. And so he was filled with great delight like a thirsty man on seeing water. And in order to see the lotus-eyed Krishna he left Mathura in that very moment (102-103).


Previous | Source | Tamil Translation | Next


அக்ரூரன் அக்னி அங்கிரஸ் அசமஞ்சன் அதிதி அதிரதன் அநிருத்தன் அந்தகன் அரிஷ்டன் அருந்ததி அர்ஜுனன் அனு அஜபார்ஷன் அஜமீடன் அஸ்தி ஆபவர் ஆயு ஆரியா தேவி ஆஹுகன் இந்திரன் இளை உக்ரசேனன் உக்ராயுதன் உசீநரன் உதங்கர் உத்தவர் உபரிசரவசு உமை உல்பணன் உஷை ஊர்வசி ஊர்வர் ஏகலவ்யன் ஔர்வர் கக்ஷேயு கங்கை கசியபர் கண்டரீகர் கண்டாகர்ணன் கண்டூகன் கதன் கபிலர் கமலாதேவி கம்ஸன் கருடன் கர்க்கர் கர்ணன் காதி காந்திதேவி கார்த்தவீர்யார்ஜுனன் காலநேமி காலயவனன் காலவர் காளியன் கிருஷ்ணன் குசிகன் குணகன் குணவதி கும்பாண்டன் குரோஷ்டு குவலயாபீடம் குவலாஷ்வன் கூனி கைசிகன் கைடபன் கோடவி சகடாசுரன் சக்ரதேவன் சங்கன் சததன்வன் சத்யகர்ணன் சத்யகர்மன் சத்யபாமா சத்ருக்னன் சத்வதன் சந்தனு சந்திரவதி சந்திரன் சம்பரன் சரஸ்வதி சனத்குமாரர் சன்னதி சாணூரன் சாத்யகி சாந்தீபனி சாம்பன் சால்வன் சிசுபாலன் சித்திரலேகை சித்திராங்கதன் சிருகாலன் சிவன் சுக்ரன் சுசீமுகி சுநாபன் சுனீதன் சூரன் சூரியன் சைசிராயணர் சௌதி டிம்பகன் தக்ஷன் தசரதன் தந்தவக்ரன் தமகோஷன் தரதன் தன்வந்தரி தாரை திதி திதிக்ஷு திரிசங்கு திரிவிக்ரை திருமிலன் திரையாருணன் திலீபன் திவோதாஸன் துந்து துந்துமாரன் துருவன் துர்வாசர் துஷ்யந்தன் தூம்ரவர்ணன் தேவகன் தேவகி தேவாவ்ருதன் தேனுகன் நந்தன் நந்தி நரகாசுரன் நரசிம்மன் நஹுஷன் நாரதர் நாராயணன் நாராயணி நிகும்பன் நிசுந்தன் நித்ராதேவி நீபன் பஞ்சஜனன் பத்மாவதி பத்ரன் பப்ரு பயோதன் பரசுராமர் பரதன் பரத்வாஜர் பலராமன் பலி பாணன் பார்வதி பானு பானுமதி பிரதீபன் பிரத்யும்னன் பிரபாவதி பிரமர்த்தனன் பிரம்மதத்தன் பிரம்மன் பிரலம்பன் பிரவரன் பிரஸேனன் பிரஹலாதன் பிராசேதஸ் பிராப்தி பிருது பிருதை பிருஹதாஷ்வன் பிருஹஸ்பதி பீஷ்மகன் பீஷ்மர் புதன் புரூரவன் பூதனை பூமாதேவி பூரு பூஜனி பௌண்டரகன் மதிராதேவி மது மதுமதி மயன் மனு மஹாமாத்ரன் மாயாதேவி மாயாவதி மார்க்கண்டேயர் மித்ரஸஹர் முசுகுந்தன் முரு முருகன் முஷ்டிகன் யசோதை யது யயாதி யுதிஷ்டிரன் ரஜி ராமன் ருக்மவதி ருக்மி ருக்மிணி ரேவதி ரைவதன் ரோஹிணி லவணன் வசிஷ்டர் வராகம் வருணன் வஜ்ரநாபன் வஸு வஸுதேவன் வாமனன் வாயு விகத்ரு விசக்ரன் விதர்ப்பன் விப்ராஜன் விப்ருது வியாசர் விரஜை விருஷ்ணி விஷ்ணு விஷ்வாசி விஷ்வாமித்ரர் விஷ்வாவஸு விஸ்வகர்மன் வேனன் வைசம்பாயனர் வைவஸ்வத மனு ஜயந்தன் ஜராசந்தன் ஜனமேஜயன் ஜனார்த்தனன் ஜஹ்னு ஜாம்பவான் ஜியாமோகன் ஜ்வரம் ஸகரன் ஸத்யபாமா ஸத்யவிரதன் ஸத்ராஜித் ஸத்வான் ஸஹஸ்ரதன் ஸ்ரீதாமன் ஸ்ரீதேவ ஸ்வேதகர்ணன் ஹம்சன் ஹயக்ரீவன் ஹரி ஹரியஷ்வன் ஹரிஷ்சந்திரன் ஹிரண்யகசிபு ஹிரண்யாக்ஷன்