Chapter 76: The Battle Between S'âlva and the Vrishnis
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-19, 11:42 AM

    Chapter 76: The Battle Between S'âlva and the Vrishnis

    (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Please, o King, now hear how Krishna, in His body playing the human, in yet another wonderful deed of His killed the lord of Saubha. (2) He with the name of S'âlva, came as a friend of S'is'upâla to Rukminî's wedding and was by the Yadus defeated in battle together with Jarâsandha and others [see 10.54 and also 10.50]. (3) Before all the kings listening he made the pledge: 'Wait and see, I'll rid the earth of the Yâdavas with all I can.'

    (4) The foolish king vowed thus ate only once a day a handful of dust in worshiping as his master the lord protecting the animallike [pictured as Pas'upati or S'iva with S'âlva praying as a boy together with Yama]. (5) At the end of a year gave the great lord who is quickly pleased [Âs'utosha], the master of Umâ, S'âlva, who had approached him for shelter, the choice of a benediction. (6) He chose a vehicle terrifying to the Vrishnis with which he could travel at will and which would be indestructible to the gods, the demons, the humans, the singers of heaven, the serpents and the wild men. (7) With the lord of the mountain saying 'so be it' was Maya Dânava, there for outdoing the cities of the enemies [see 7.10: 53], commissioned to construct for, and offer to S'âlva a [flying] fortress made of iron named Saubha. (8) When he obtained the vehicle that, as an abode of darkness, moving to his liking, was unassailable, went S'âlva to Dvârakâ, bearing in mind the enmity shown by the Vrishnis. (9-11) O best of the Bharatas, S'âlva, besieging the city with a large army, laid in ruins the parks, the gardens and all the towers, gateways, mansions, outer walls, outlook posts and recreational areas surrounding it. From that superior vimâna of his descended torrents of weapons, stones and trees as also thunderbolts, snakes and hailstones, while with the rise of a fierce whirlwind all the directions were covered with dust. (12) The city of Krishna thus terribly tormented by Saubha could, just as the earth with Tripura [see 7.10: 56], o King, find no peace.

    (13) The Great Lord Pradyumna seeing how His subjects were being harassed then said to them: 'Do not fear!', after which the great hero who was of an untold glory mounted His chariot. (14-15) Sâtyaki, Cârudeshna, Sâmba, Akrûra and his younger brothers, Hârdikya, Bhânuvinda as also Gada, S'uka and Sârana and other leading warrior bowmen of eminence, went out [of the city] in armor and being protected by chariotry, elephantry, cavalry and infantry. (16) Then a hair-raising battle commenced between the Yadus and the followers of S'âlva, that was as tumultuous as the battle between the demons and the demigods [see 8.10]. (17) The way the warm rays of the sun dissipate the darkness of the night, were by the son of Rukminî in an instant with His divinely empowered weapons the magical tricks destroyed of the master of Saubha. (18-19) With twenty-five iron-tipped, in their joints perfectly smoothened arrows with golden shafts struck He S'âlva's commander-in-chief [Dyumân], with a hundred He pierced S'âlva, with one each his soldiers, with ten each his charioteers and with three each of the carriers [elephants, horses]. (20) Seeing that amazing, mighty feat of Pradyumna, the great personality, was He honored by all of His and the enemy soldiers. (21) Then seen in many forms, then seen as one only and then again not being seen at all, had that magical illusion created by Maya turned into something that with all its change could impossibly be located by the opponent. (22) Moving hither and thither like a whirling firebrand, from one moment to the next seen on the earth, then in the sky, on a mountain top and then in the water, remained that Saubha airship never in one place. (23) Wherever S'âlva with his soldiers appeared with his Saubha ship, were right at that spot the arrows aimed by the army commanders of the Yadus. (24) S'âlva lost because of the enemy his grip when his army and fortress unbearably had to suffer from the arrows that, hitting like fire and sun, worked like snake-venom. (25) Even though the heroes of Vrishni, eager for the victory in this world and the next, were extremely pained by the floods of weapons launched by the commanders of S'âlva, did they not leave their positions. (26) S'âlva's companion named Dyumân - previously hurt by Pradyumna - positioning himself before Him with a club of maura iron, stroke with a powerful roar. (27) Pradyumna, the subduer of the enemies, knocked unconscious by the mace, was then by His chariot driver, a son of Dâruka, faithful in his duty removed from the battlefield.

    (28) Immediately regaining His consciousness, said the son of Krishna to His chariot driver: 'It was a wrong thing to do driver, to remove Me from the battlefield! (29) Except for Me, has no one born in the house of Yadu ever been known to have abandoned the battlefield; now My reputation is stained because of a driver who thinks like a eunuch! (30) What should I who fled from the battlefield say now when I meet My fathers Râma and Krishna? What should I say then in my defense?? (31) Certainly My sisters-in-law will deride Me saying: 'How o hero, could Your enemies succeed in turning You into a coward in battle?'

    (32) The charioteer said: 'O Long-lived One, what I did have I done in faith to the rules of dharma, o Lord; a driver should protect the master who ran into danger, just as the master should protect the driver. (33) Since You factually were knocked out by the enemy, have I removed You with that in mind from the battlefield. As far as I was concerned had You been wounded!'