Sunday 22 November 2020




Krishna at war

Vaishampāyana said:—O emperor Janamejaya, when the kings, with their followers, were imprisoned fear entered into the mind of the Asuras. Completely  routed by Krishna, Anarta and other Yadavas, dreadful in fight, the heroes fled away on all sides. Seeing it, the foremost of Dānavas, Nikumbha, filled with anger, said:—"Why do ye, stricken with fear and stupified on account of your ignorance, break your promise and take to your heels? You promised to avenge the destruction of your kinsmen. If you now break your promise and fly away to what region will you all repair (1-4)? You will be able to reap the fruit if you can vanquish your enemies irrepressible in battle. Again if the heroes are slain in a battle-field they live happily in the region of the celestials. If you however fly away whose face will you behold in your house? What will your wives say? Oh fie on you! fie on you! you have not the least shame."

O king, thus addressed, the Asuras, filled with shame, returned with double vigour and again engaged in an encounter with the Yādavas. Dhananjaya, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva and Dharma's son, the king Yudhishthira destroyed all who went to that sacrificial ground where took place the martial festivity, consisting of diverse weapons, of those heroes. Those, who rose up into the sky, were slain by Indra's son and the foremost of the twice-born Pravara (5–9).

Thereupon, O Janamejaya, in that battle-field there flew a river of blood like a stream filled with water in the rainy season. It took its rise from the mountain Govinda and its water was the blood of the Asuras. The hairs were the mosses and creepers. The wheels were the tortoises and the cars were the whirlpools. It was beautified with rocks of elephants and covered with trees of flags. The cries constituted the noise of the flowing stream—and the foams of blood were the bubbles. The swords were the fishes. And it assailed the heart of the coward (10–12). Beholding all his comrades slain and the enemies increase in power, Nikumbha, by virtue of his own energy, all on a sudden leaped up. O descendant of Bharata, there Jayanta and Pravara, with arrows resembling thunder-bolts, obstructed Nikumbha irrepressible in fight. Desisting and biting his own lips the wicked Nikumbha struck Pravara with his Parigha who fell down on earth. As soon as he fell down Indra’s son held him up and embraced him with his arms. Knowing him alive he at once let him off and ran towards the Asura. Nearing Nikumbha Jayanta struck him with a Nishtringsha and the Daitya too struck him with a Parigha (13–17). In the very next moment Indra's son wounded Nikumbha's person with numerous shafts. Thus wounded in that dreadful battle the great Asura thought:—"I shall fight in the battle-field with my enemy Krishna who has killed my kinsmen. Why do I make myself exhausted by fightlng with Indra's son" (18-19)?

Having resolved thus Nikumbha disappeared from that place and went where the highly powerful Krishna was. Seated on his Airāvata the virtuous destroyer of Bala, Vāsava, had come there with the gods to witness the battle. Beholding his son victorious he was pleased. And extolling their actions repeatedly he embraced him and Pravara who was freed from stupifaction. Beholding Jayanta, dreadful in battle, victorious, celestial trumpets were struck at the command of the king of gods (20–23). On the other side beholding Keshava, dreadful in battle, along with Arjuna near the sacrificial ground, Nikumbha, setting up a leonine shout, attacked, with his Parigha, the king of birds Garuda, Baladeva, Satyaka, Nārāyana, Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhisthira, Sahadeva, Nakula, Vasudeva, Shāmva and Pradyumna. And so fought that quick coursing Daitya by virtue of his illusory powers that none among those heroes, masters of all sorts of weapons, could see him. Not seeing him there Hrishikesha (Krishna) meditated upon Vilwodakeshwara, the lord of goblins (24–28).

As soon as Krishna meditated on Him, they all, by the power of the highly powerful Vilwodakeshwara, could at once see Nikumbha, the foremost of those possessed of illusive powers stationed before them like the summit of the Kailāsa. At that time as if ready to devour all of them that hero was inviting his enemy Krishna the slayer of his kinsmen (29–30). From before Pārtha had set string to his Gāndiva bow. And seeing him for the present he struck his (Nikumbha's) body repeatedly with Parigha and other arrows (31), O king, as soon as that Parigha, whetted on a stone and other arrows touched his body, they fell down on earth shattered and broken. O descendant of Bharata, seeing the arrows shot off his bow thus baffled Dhananjaya asked Keshava saying;—"What is this, O son of Devaki? My arrows, resembling thunder-bolts, pierce even the mountains. But why are they useless here? I am greatly astonished at this (32-34)."

O descendant of Bharata, thereupon Krishna smilingly replied:—"O son of Kunti, hear, I shall describe in detail how Nikumbha has become so very powerful. Repairing to the province of Uttarakura, this irrepressible enemy of the gods, this great Asura practised hard austerities for one hundred thousand years. Pleased with it when Lord Hara was about to grant him a boon he prayed for three, as that he would not be killed by celestials and demons. The Lord Mahādeva, having the emblem of a bull on his banner, said:—'O great Asura, if you act against me, Vishnu and the Brāhmanas you will even then be slain by Hara only. None else will able to kill you. O Nikumbha, myself and Vishnu are both benefactors of the Brāhmanas and the Vipras are our greatest refuge'. O son of Pandu, this Dānava is that highly powerful Nikumbha. His three bodies, acquired by virtue of the boon, are accordingly invincible by all sorts of weapons (35–40). While carrying away Bhānumati I had destroyed one of his bodies: his other undestructible body lives in Shatpura, and the third, endued with ascetic energy, serves Diti. With his another body he always lives in Shatpura. O hero, I have thus given you a complete account of Nikumbha; now expedite the work of his destruction; the remaining history I shall narrate afterwards (41-43)".

O descendant of Kuru, while the two Krishnas were thus conversing that Asura, invincible in battle, entered into the cave Shatpura mentioned before. Seeing it and searching for him the Divine Slayer of Madhu entered into that dreadful cave of Shatpura. It was lighted up by its own effulgence and the sun and the moon did not pour its rays there. It distributes happiness, misery, heat, and cold. Entering that cave the Divine Janārddana said to the Yādava kings and engaged in an encounter with the dreadful Nikumbha (44–47). The other Yādavas headed by Baladeva and the Pandavas united, with Krishna's permission, followed him to the cave. Nikumbha began to fight with Krishna. And Rukshmini's son, according to the desire of his sire, released the friends who had been brought there by the Danava. Released by Rukshmini’s son, they, with a view to kill Nikumbha, delightedly arrived where Janārddana was. Thereupon Krishna again said "O hero, release the kings, subdued by thee." Hearing this the heroic and powerful son of Rukshmini released them all. Then the heroic kings, shorn of prosperity, could not say anything out of shame. Observing silence they only sat down with their faces cast down (48-52).

Govinda was fighting with his dreadful enemy Nikumbha who was trying his very best for victory. O lord, there Krishna was struck by Nikumbha with a Parigha and he was wounded by Krishna with a club (53–54). Thus cut sorely by each other they both lost their consciousness. Seeing the Pandavas and Yadavas aggrieved the Munis, desirous of doing good unto Krishna, began to recite Mantras and adore him with hymns laid down in the Vedas. Thereupon regaining their consciousness the Dānava and Keshava again addressed themselves for fighting. O descendant of Bharata, those two heroes, dreadful in battle, struck each other like two fighting infuriated bulls, or elephants or leopards (55–58).

O king, thereupon an invisible voice said to Krishna: "O thou of great strength, the Lord Vilwodakeshwara has order thee to kill this thorn of the Brāhmanas with thy discus and acquire great virtue and fame" (59–60). Hearing this Hari, the refuge of the pious and the protector of the world, said "So be it." And then saluting Mahādeva he discharged his discus Sudarshana, the destroyer of the Daitya race. That discus, effulgent like the solar disc, discharged off Nārāyana's hand, sundered Nikumbha's head adorned with most beautiful ear-rings (61–62). As a peacock falls down on earth from the summit of a mountain, so his head, beautified with ear-rings, dropped down on earth. O king, the powerful Nikumbha, the terror of the world being slain the Lord Vilwodakeshwara was pleased. O slayer of thy enemies, from the sky fell showers of flowers discharged by Indra and the celestial bugles were sounded. The whole world, especially the hermits, attained to an excess of joy. Thereupon the Lord Keshava, having Gada as his elder brother, delightedly conferred upon the Yadavas hundreds of Daitya maidens. And consoling the Kshatriyas repeatedly he gave them precious jewels and diverse raiments. And he gave the Pāndavas six thousand cars with horses. The rider of Garuda who always multiplies cities, gave that city of Shatpura to the Brāhmana Brahmadatta (63–69).

After the termination of Brahmadatta's Yajna the highly powerful Govinda, the holder of conch, discus and club, dismissed the Kshatriyas and gave a grand party with enough of rice, curry, meat and pudding before the Lord of Bel leaves and water. The self-controlled Lord Hari, fond of wrestling, made the expert wrestlers show their performances before that party and gave them money and clothes. Afterwards saluting Brahmadatta he set out for the city of Dwāravati with his father, mother and the other Yādavas. That hero, worshipped by people on his way, entered the charming city abounding in contented and beautiful people, and the streets of which were decorated with flowers. He, who listens to or reads the account of the conquest of Shatpura by the holder of discus, acquires victory in battle (70-75). By hearing or reading it one, having no son, gets one, a pauper gets riches, a sick man is cured of his diseases, and one bound is released from the fetters. If this story is recited on the occasion of a Punsavana,[1] Garbhadhāna[2] or a Srāddha it is considered as bringing about complete success. O Janamejaya, the man, who always reads the account of the victory of the high-souled Deity, the foremost of immortals of incomparable strength, is freed from tribulation and proceeds from here to a most excellent region. The Purusha, whose palms and feet are adorned with jems and gold, who is effulgent like the great burning sun, who is the subduer of his enemies, who is the Prime Lord, who lies on the bed of four oceans, who has four Atmans and who has a thousand names, always lives in the best place (76–79).

[1] A religious and domestic festival held on the mother's perceiving the first signs of a living conception.

[2] A ceremony performed prior to conception.


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