Chapter 1: The Advent of Lord Krishna: Introduction
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-16, 7:13 PM

    Chapter 1: The Advent of Lord Krishna: Introduction

    (1) The honorable king said: 'Your Lordship extensively described both the dynasties of the kings of the sun god and the moon god as also the most wonderful deeds of their members [*]. (2) Please describe to us the heroic acts of Lord Vishnu who [together with His plenary expansion Sankarshana in the form of Baladeva] appeared as an incarnation in [two] different parts in the line of the most dharmic and virtuous Yadus whom you also described to us oh best of the munis. (3) Be so kind to tell us all about the actions of the Supreme Lord, the Soul of the Universe, the Cause of the Manifestation, after He descended in the Yadu dynasty. (4) [By the disciplic succession or the paramparâ] listening to the pleasing vibrations of the glorification of the Lord Praised in the Verses, constitutes the proper medicine for the mind to be released from the material disease of its desires. Unless he is a killer of animals, a person by listening to and voicing such descriptions can become free [from the falsehood. See also B.G. 2: 44]. (5-7) My grandfathers [the Pândavas] in the past, when they on the battlefield were fighting with imperishable warriors like Devavrata [Bhîshma] and other great commanders who were like timingilas [shark-eaters], crossed in the boat that He is as easily the so very difficult to overcome ocean of Kaurava soldiers as one steps over a calf's hoof print. This body of mine, the only seed left of the Kurus and Pândavas, was scorched by As'vatthâmâ's weapon when I resided in the womb of my mother, but was by Him holding the cakra in His hand protected because she sought His protection [1.8: 11 and 1.12: 7]. Oh man of learning, please describe the glories of the Lord who by His own potency appeared as a normal human being, of the Giver of Death and Eternal Life so one says, He who is manifesting in physical forms bound to Time, of Him the Original Person who is present both inside and outside of all the embodied beings. (8) We know from you about Balarâma, who is Sankarshana, that He is the son of Rohinî. How could He without assuming another body be connected with the womb of Devakî? (9) Why did Mukunda, the Supreme Lord move from the house of His father to [the house of Nanda in] Vraja and where did He, the Master of the devotees, live with His relatives? (10) What did He do when He lived in Vraja and when He resided in the city of Mathurâ? Why did He, the killer of Kes'î, kill His uncle Kamsa, His mother's brother? Was that not something contrary to the scriptures? (11) For how many years did He who assumed a human body, live with the Vrishnis and how long did He live in the city of the Yadus [Dvârakâ]? How many wives did the Master have? (12) Oh sage, you know everything. You are the one to tell us about Lord Krishna's activities. Please describe this all in detail to me so full of faith and surrender, and everything there is more to say. (13) Now that I drink the nectar of the talks about the Lord that emanate from your lotus mouth, it is not even difficult to bear the hunger [of my fasting] or my forsaking of water.'

    (14) Sûta [see 1.1] said: "Oh son of Bhrigu [S'aunaka], after the mighty son of Vyâsa, the purest of all devotees, had heard his pious questions, the devotee of Vishnu paid his respects and began to describe the topics of Krishna that put an end to the darkness of Kali Yuga [compare 1.7: 2-8]. (15) S'rî S'uka said: 'Oh best of the wise kings, because of your lasting attraction for the stories about Vâsudeva [Krishna as the son of Vasudeva], your intelligence has developed a firm determination. (16) The way the world is purified by the [Ganges] water that flows from His toes [5.17: 1], the three persons of the speaker, the inquirer and the one attending are purified by questions concerning the stories about Vâsudeva. (17) When mother earth was overcome by an unbearable burden of countless numbers of conceited Daitya military forces [9.24: 67] and their so-called nobles, she [one day] went to Lord Brahmâ to take shelter. (18) Assuming the form of a cow she greatly distressed weeping piteously appeared before the Almighty One  [see also 1.16: 18] and submitted her complaints. (19) Lord Brahmâ with understanding for her predicament thereupon together with her, the godly ones and the Three-Eyed One [Lord S'iva] approached the shore of the milk ocean [wherein Vishnu resides, see also 8.7: 41]. (20) Reaching there they fully attentive with the help of the [Purusha-sûkta] hymns worshiped the Original Person, the Supreme Personality, the God of Gods and Master of the Universe who takes care of all.

    (21) The lord of the Veda [Brahmâ] heard in his trance a vibration of words in the sky [see also 1.1: 1]. He said to the servants of the three worlds, the demigods: 'Hear further from me about the order of the Original Person oh immortal souls. Execute these instructions immediately, do not delay. (22) Before we came here the Personality of Godhead knew already about the distress of mother earth. He will expand Himself in the family of the Yadus by means of your good selves taking birth as His parts. Thus you should live on earth for as long as He, the Lord of Lords, needs to diminish the burden of the planet through His own potency of Time. (23) The Supreme Lord, the original transcendental person, will personally appear in the house of Vasudeva and also wants all the wives of the demigods to take birth to please Him. (24) Before Lord Vâsudeva appears first the part of Hari known as the fully independent Ananta with the thousands of hoods [Sankarshana, see also 5.25] will appear [as Baladeva] with the desire to please [Him]. (25) By the Master being ordered to appear and to manage His affairs [the grace of Vishnu known as the female incarnation of His potency called] Vishnu-mâyâ will also appear together with all her different potencies, she who is as good as the Supreme Lord Himself and who captivates all the worlds [see also B.G. 9: 12 & 13].'

    (26) S'rî S'uka said: 'After thus having pacified mother earth with sweet words and having informed the immortals, the supreme master of the founding fathers returned to his supreme abode. (27) In the past S'ûrasena the king of the Yadus [see 9.23: 27] lived in the city of Mathurâ from where he ruled the different districts Mâthura and S'ûrasena. (28) Mathurâ, the city intimately connected to the Supreme Lord Hari, from that time on was the capital for all the kings of Yadu [see also the bhajan Sâvarana S'rî Gaura Mahimâ]. (29) It was in that place that one day the divine character of Vasudeva, after having married Devakî, together with his bride mounted a chariot to return home. (30) Kamsa, the son of Ugrasena held, in order to please his sister for the occasion, the reins of the horses in the midst of thousands of golden chariots. (31-32) When she left home king Devaka, who was fond of his daughter, had given a dowry of four hundred elephants with golden garlands, ten thousand horses together with eighteen hundred chariots and a hundred young and attractive maidservants complete with jewelry. (33) My dearest King, when they departed conch shells, bugles, drums and kettledrums vibrated in concert to wish the bride and bridegroom all the best. (34) Being on their way, a voice from beyond addressed Kamsa who held the reins: 'The eighth child of this girl you are carrying with you oh fool, will put an end to your life!'

    (35) Thus being addressed he, who mischievous and sinful in the past had degraded the Bhoja family, took up a sword against his sister and grabbed her by her hair with the intention to kill her. (36) In order to pacify him who was ready to commit such a heinous and shameless crime, Vasudeva, that greatly fortunate soul addressed him.  (37) S'rî Vasudeva said: 'A man of so many praiseworthy qualities, such a brilliant star among the heroic Bhojas like you, how can you kill your own sister, a woman, especially at the time of her marriage [see also 1.7: 53-54]? (38) Death is included with the body that was born. Whether one dies today or in a hundred years, ultimately every living being is sure to die [see also B.G. 2: 27-28]. (39) When the body has to return to the five elements the indweller automatically according to his own karma receives a new body upon abandoning the old one. (40) The way a person as he walks changes from one foot to the other and the way a caterpillar on a plant [moves from one leaf to another], a living being likewise has to experience the consequences of his karma [see also B.G. 2: 22 and 2: 13]. (41) Just as one in a dream, being endowed with the qualities of a material body, is subjected to that what the mind is thinking and one's consciousness is fully absorbed by that what one hears and sees, one is the same way forgetful in one's present body [about the body and karma acquired in a previous life, see also 4.29: 60-79 and 5.26]. (42) The mind, impelled by fate and deliberation moves from one position to the next so that the embodied soul, after the demise of its physical frame, obtains a birth and arrives at a [new] body in accordance with the material quality [and the evolution] he was experiencing  [B.G. 13: 22, 14: 14-15 and 6: 34-35]. (43) The way the reflection of the luminaries, as one may observe them in water or other liquids that are moved by the wind, offers distortions in different shapes, the person, the living entity, likewise in the situation that was created by his own imaginative power in association with the gunas [the world with its changing qualities], gets bewildered depending his attachments [to different bodies or distortions of his form. See also 5.5: 4 and B.G. 9: 12-13, 12: 5]. (44) Therefore everyone to the interest of his own welfare [and good rebirth] should not harm anybody, for the evil-doer has to live in fear for others himself [the 'golden rule']. (45) This innocent woman, your younger sister, completely depends on you like she was your own daughter - do not kill her. She means good to you and she deserves your care and compassion!'

    (46) S'rî S'uka said: 'He without pity, could by these attempts of good advise not be stopped or pacified oh son of Kuru, for he followed the course of the man-eaters [the Râkshasas]. (47) Seeing his determination Vasudeva thought deeply about how he, with this immediate threat of death, could hold him back and thus he came up with the following alternative. (48) [He thought:] 'An intelligent person should, as long as he is in control of his mental and physical faculties, ward off death, but when someone is faced with the inevitability of death, this rule does not apply. (49-50) If I promise to deliver my sons to this man of doom, I might set my innocent Devakî free. Perhaps I don't get any sons or maybe he will die beforehand. That might happen or the contrary. Who knows what fate has in store for us? That is difficult to say. Even though the threat remains hereafter, I, at least for the moment, may avert her death. (51) When a piece of wood for some reason escapes from a fire, that is decided by providence and nothing else. Even so one cannot determine why a living being assumes or abandons a [particular] body.' (52) After contemplating this way to the best of his ability, the God-fearing man paid the sinner his obeisances and submitted the proposal to him with the greatest attention. (53) With a big lotus-like smile on his face but with anxiety and sorrow in his heart he then spoke to the cruel hearted, shameless man. (54) S'rî Vasudeva said: 'You have, according to what the voice from heaven vibrated, nothing to fear from Devakî indeed. Her sons gave rise to your anxiety and I'll deliver them therefore all to you.'

    (55) S'rî S'uka said: 'Kamsa understanding the essence of what he said was for the time being stopped from killing his sister. With him more at ease, Vasudeva then was happy to come home [unharmed]. (56) Thereafter in due course of time Devakî, the mother of all divinity [see 4.31: 14 and B.G. 10: 2], year after year gave birth to indeed [as said in 9.24: 53-55] eight sons and a daughter. (57) Most afraid to break his promise Ânakadundubhi [or Vasudeva, see 9.24: 28-31] with great pain handed his first born baby, Kîrtimân, over to Kamsa. (58) What would be too painful for a saint, on what would a sage depend, what would be forbidden to a bad person and what would for someone holding on to the soul be too hard to forsake? (59) Oh King, when Kamsa saw that Vasudeva was equanimous, truthful and certain of himself, he satisfied about that with a grin on his face said: (60) 'You can take this child back, my fear does not concern him, my death was predicted from the eighth pregnancy you have with your wife.'

    (61) 'Very well' Ânakadundubhi said, took his son back and left without attaching too much value to the words of that untruthful character lacking in self-control. (62-63) Oh scion of Bharata, beginning with Nanda [Krishna's foster father] all the inhabitants of Vraja, all the cowherds and their wives as also all the Vrishnis beginning with Vasudeva and Devakî and the Yadu women, in truth were gods from heaven indeed. And also the relatives, friends and well-wishers following Kamsa were of that nature [see also verse 22 and B.G. 6: 41-42]. (64) This was all communicated to Kamsa by the all-powerful Nârada [**] who paid him a visit in order to tell him that all the Daityas who burdened the earth were going to be killed [see verse 17 and also 9.24: 56]. (65-66) After the rishi had left Kamsa thought that all the Yadus were divine and that therefore any child born from Devakî could be Vishnu. He thus in fear of his own death arrested Vasudeva and Devakî, confined them at home in shackles and killed one after the other each of their newborn sons not knowing whether it would be the 'Never-born' Lord or not [***]. (67) Kings like him who on this earth are driven by animalistic pleasures and greed, usually put to death mothers, fathers, brothers, friends or anyone else. (68) He had understood [from Nârada] that he in a previous life as the great Asura Kâlanemi personally had been killed by Vishnu [see 8.10: 56]. Therefore he, born again in this world, became an enemy of the Yadu dynasty [that carried the blessings of Vishnu]. (69) He, the almighty ruler subdued [and imprisoned] his own father Ugrasena, the king of the Yadus, Bhojas and Andhakas, so that he could enjoy the states of S'ûrasena all by himself.'