Tenth Skanda

Krishna the Supreme Personality of Universal God:

Chapter 1
The Advent of Lord Krishna: Introduction

(1) The honorable king said: ‘Your Lordship extensively both described the dynasties of the kings of the sun- and moon-god and the exalted and wonderful characters of their members [*]. (2) Please describe to us Lord Vishnu who appeared as an incarnation in parts [that is: the full of Him along with His plenary expansion Sankarshana here being Baladeva] in the line of the strictly dharmic, well-behaved Yadus you also described, o best of the munis. (3) Be so kind to tell us all about whatever the Supreme Lord, the Cause of the Manifestation, did after descending in the Yadu dynasty. (4) The hearing [through the paramparâ] of the pleasing vibrations of the glorification of the Lord Praised in the Verses is the right medicine by which the mind is released from the material disease of its desires; a person, unless he is a killer of animals, can by such descriptions heard or sung keep himself away [from the falsehood, control himself, see also B.G. 2: 44]. (5-7) My grandfathers [the Pândavas] on the battlefield with imperishable fighters like Devavrata [Bhîshma] and other great commanders that were like timingilas [shark-eaters], in the past by the boat of Him crossed as easily the so very difficult to overcome ocean of Kaurava soldiers as one steps over a calf’s hoofprint. This body of mine, the only seed of the Kurus and Pândavas left, was, doomed to perish by As’vatthâmâ’s weapon, by Him, cakra in hand, protected, positioned within the womb of my mother who also had taken to the shelter of Him [1.8: 11 and 1.12: 7]. O man of learning, please describe the glories of the Lord who appeared as a normal human being, of the giver of death and eternal life as one says, of Him who in forms of Time is the Original Person inside as well as outside of the complete of all embodied beings. (8) Balarâma, who is Sankarshana, from you we know as the son of Rohinî; how can He without switching bodies be connected with the womb of Devakî? (9) Why went Mukunda, the Supreme Lord from the house of His father to Vraja and where did He, the Master of Vishnu’s adherents, situate Himself with His relatives? (10) Residing in Vraja and the city of Mathurâ, what did He do and why did He, the killer of Kes’î, kill Kamsa the brother of His mother, which is something against the scriptures!? (11) For how many years did He, assuming a human body, live with the Vrishnis and lived He in the city of the Yadus [Dvârakâ]; and how many wives were there with the Master? (12) O sage, knowing everything are you the one to tell us about Lord Krishna’s activities; describe to me, full of belief and surrender, in detail this all and everything there’s more to say. (13) Not even the difficult to bear hunger or my forsaking of water hinders me anymore in my drinking the nectar of the talks about the Lord emanating from your lotus mouth.’

(14) Sûta [see: 1.1] said: “O son of Bhrigu [S’aunaka], the mighty son of Vyâsa, the purest of all devotees, thus hearing his pious questions paid the one blessed by Vishnu 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: ‘With your intelligence have you developed the proper determination, o best of the wise kings, because you as a consequence in your heart developed a lasting devotion for the stories about Vâsudeva [Krishna thus as the son of Vasudeva]. (16) The way the world is purified by the [Ganges] water from His toes [5.17: 1], are the three kinds of persons of the speaker, the inquirer and the one attending purified by bathing in the talks about Vâsudeva. (17) Mother earth overburdened by the endless numbers of the conceited, needless, daitya military forces [9.24: 67] and their fake nobles [once] went to take shelter with Lord Brahmâ. (18) Assuming the form of a cow appeared she before the Almighty greatly distressed weeping piteously [see also 1.16: 18] and submitted she her complaints. (19) Lord Brahmâ, understanding all, thereupon approached together with her, the godly and the Three-Eyed One [Lord S’iva] the shore of the milk ocean [wherein Vishnu resides, see also 8.7: 41]. (20) Reaching there worshiped they with full attention with the [Purusha-sûkta] hymns for the Original Person the Supreme Personality, the God of Gods and Master of the Universe taking care of all.

(21) The lord of the Veda [Brahmâ] in trance heard a vibration of words in the sky [see also 1.1: 1] and said to the servants of the three worlds, the demigods: ‘Hear from me what the Original Person His order is, o immortal souls, and resume your duties immediately without delay, as it is told. (22) Before we came here knew the Personality of Godhead about the distress of the earth; He will by your good selves as His parts expand Himself in the family of the Yadus, and thus taking birth live on earth for as long as He, the Lord of Lords, needs to diminish by His own potency of Time the planet its burden. (23) In the house of Vasudeva will the Supreme Lord, the original transcendental person, personally appear and so should [also] the wives of the godly, in order to please Him, all take birth. (24) The part of Vâsudeva before known as the fully independent Ananta with the thousands of hoods [Sankarshana, see also 5.25] will as the Lord to the Lord appear [as Baladeva] with the desire to act for His pleasure. (25) The grace of Vishnu [Vishnu-mâyâ], as good as the Supreme Lord by whom all the worlds are captivated, is with all her different potencies by the Master being ordered to appear as well to manage His affairs [see also B.G. 9: 12 & 13].’

(26) S’rî S’uka said: ‘After thus informing the immortals returned the almighty master of the founding fathers, having pacified mother earth with sweet words, to his own supreme abode. (27) S’ûrasena the king of the Yadus [see 9.23: 27] went to live in the city Mathurâ where he enjoyed the former kingdoms of Mâthura and S’ûrasena. (28) Mathurâ, intimately connected to the Supreme Lord Hari, was from that time the capital for all the kings of Yadu [see also the bhajan Sâvarana S’rî Gaura Mahimâ]. (29) It was in that place of God that a while ago the divine character of Vasudeva, after he had married Devakî, with his newly wed wife mounted a chariot to return home. (30) Kamsa, the son of Ugrasena held, to please his sister for the occasion, the reins of the horses in the midst of thousands of golden chariots. (31-32) With her leaving home had koning Devaka, fond of his daughter, as a dowry given away to her four hundred elephants hung with gold, ten thousand horses along with eighteen hundred chariots and a hundred maidservants young and beautiful, complete with jewelry. (33) O dearest King, conchshells, bugles, drums and kettledrums vibrated in concert to wish the bride and bridegroom the best with their departure. (34) Being on their way, addressed a voice from the beyond Kamsa who held the reins: ‘The eighth child from this girl you are carrying you fool, will kill you!’

(35) Thus addressed took he, who mischievous and sinful had degraded the Bhoja-family, up a sword against his sister, grabbing her by her hair with the intention to kill her. (36) To pacify him who was ready to commit such a heinous and shameless crime then spoke Vasudeva, that greatly fortunate soul. (37) S’rî Vasudeva said: ‘A man of so many qualities, such a brilliant star among the heroic Bhojas as your good self, how can you kill your sister, a woman notably, at the time of her marriage [see also 1.7: 53-54]? (38) Along with the body born is there death for all who took birth, o hero; whether one dies today or in a hundred years, in the end is each living being sure to die [see also B.G. 2: 27-28]. (39) When the body has to return to the five elements receives the indweller according his own karma automatically another body when he gives up the former frame. (40) Like a person walking changes from standing on one foot to the other and like a caterpillar on a plant [goes from one leaf to another], fares the same way the living entity undergoing the karmic consequence [see also B.G. 2: 22 and 2: 13]. (41) If one in the situation of a dream, when one in one’s consciousness is fully absorbed by the mental images, has to surrender in one’s thinking, feeling and willing to what one has seen or what one has heard, what then would would be the case when one has to forget one’s present body [see also 4.29: 60-79 and 5.26]? (42) The mind, driven by God or deliberation, goes engaged in guesswork from this position to the other so that in the end, according the change in thought, feeling and action, the embodied one at the time of death takes his birth according the material mode he is subjected to [B.G. 13: 22, 14: 14-15 and 6: 34-35]. (43) The same way as the reflection of luminaries observed in water or other liquids moved by the wind offers distortions in different shapes, becomes the same way the person, the living entity in the situation created by his own imagining to the modes, bewildered according his own attachments [see also 5.5: 4 and B.G. 9: 12-13, 12: 5]. (44) Therefore should one, taking one’s own interest to heart, not harm anybody, for the evil-doer has to live himself in fear for others. (45) This innocent woman, your younger sister, completely depends on you like she was your own daughter – do not kill her; she’s good news for you and deserves your care and compassion!’

(46) S’rî S’uka said: ‘He pitiless, could by the attempts of good advise this way not be stopped or pacified, o son of Kuru, for he followed the path of the man-eaters [the Râkshasas]. (47) Aware of his resolve thought Vasudeva deep on how he, with the threat of death at hand, could withhold him and so he came up with this other way. (48) By an intelligent person should, as long as he is in control of his faculties, death be avoided, but facing the inevitability of death this rule does not apply. (49-50) So he thought: ‘If I promise to deliver my sons to this man of death, I might set my innocent Devakî free, for before this man of death will get that far he might die himself; and if that is not the case he might just as well find his death, [because it was foretold that he would be killed by my son]. Who knows what lies ahead? That is difficult to say. Even though the threat remains hereafter, will I, at least for the moment, be able to save her life. (51) When a piece of wood for some reason escapes a fire is that decided by providence and is there no other cause; the same way can one either make out why the one would be embodied while the other has to give the body up.’ (52) After contemplating this way, paid the godloving man with all the intelligence he had, the sinner all respect, submitting the proposal to him in praise. (53) With a big smile externally posing himself as being happy before the cruelhearted, shameless man spoke he with a mind full of anxiety and sorrow. (54) S’rî Vasudeva said: ‘From Devakî have you indeed, to that which the voice from the beyond vibrated, nothing to fear, o sober one; I’ll deliver you all the sons born from her since it were they because of whom your fear has risen.’

(55) S’rî S’uka said: ‘Kamsa, admitting to the truth of what he said, was for the time being stopped from killing his sister so that with him more at ease, Vasudeva was happy to reach his home in one piece. (56) In due course of time thereafter gave Devakî, the mother of all divinity [see 4.31: 14 and B.G. 10: 2], year after year birth to indeed [as said in 9.24: 53-55] eight sons and a daughter. (57) Very afraid not to be true to his word delivered Ânakadundubhi [or Vasudeva, see 9.24: 28-31] to Kamsa with great pain Kîrtimân, the baby firstborn. (58) What now would be too painful to the saintly, what does dependence mean to the learned, what would be forbidden to the lower grade and what is there hard to forsake for the selfrealized? (59) O King, seeing that Vasudeva was unperturbed, truthful and certain of himself, was Kamsa contented and said he with a grin on his face: (60) ‘Take this child with you, my fear indeed is not there from him, it is from the eighth pregnancy you have with your wife that my death was predicted.’

(61) ‘Very well’ said Ânakadundubhi, taking his son back and leaving, without attaching too much value to the words of him who had no character or selfcontrol. (62-63) Beginning from Nanda [Krishna’s foster-father] were all in Vraja, all the cowherds and inhabitants and women, as well as the Vrishnis beginning with Vasudeva and Devakî and the Yadu-women, in truth gods from heaven indeed, o scion of Bharata; and so were even all the relatives, friends and well-wishers following Kamsa [see also verse 22 and B.G. 6: 41-42]. (64) All this was communicated to Kamsa by the all-powerful Nârada [**]; who paid him a visit to tell him that all the Daityas and such who burdened the earth were going to be killed [see verse 17 and also 9.24: 56]. (65-66) After the rishi had left thought Kamsa that all the Yadus were divine and that thus any child born from Devakî could be Vishnu. So in fear of his own death arrested he Vasudeva and Devakî confining them at home in shackles and killed he each of their newborn sons one after the other not knowing whether it would be the ‘Never-born’ Lord or not [***]. (67) Mothers, fathers, brothers, friends or anyone else are put to death by kings like him who on this earth are driven by envy and greed. (68) He, well aware that in a previous life he as the great Asura Kâlanemi [literally: ‘rim of the wheel of time’] personally had been killed by Vishnu [see 8.10: 56], became again born in this world inimical with the Yadu dynasty [declared blessed by Vishnu, as Nârada told him]. (69) His own father Ugrasena, the king of the Yadus, Bhojas and Andhakas was by him, the almighty ruler, subdued [- also imprisoned -] so that he all by himself could enjoy the states of S’ûrasena.