Vraja

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 25 Jul 2011 12:34 and updated at 25 Jul 2011 12:34

VISHNU PURANA NOUN

vp.1.14 Prithu had two valiant sons, Antarddhi and Pali 1. The son of Antarddhana, by his wife Sikhandini, was Havirdhana, to whom Dhishana, a princess of the race of Agni, bore six sons, Prachinaverhis, sukra, Gaya, Krishna, Vraja, and Ajina 2. The first of these was a mighty prince and patriarch, by whom mankind was multiplied after the death of Havirdhana. He was called Prachinaverhis from his placing upon the earth the sacred grass, pointing to the east 3. At the termination of a
vp.5.5 Some time after they were settled at Gokula, the female fiend Putana, the child killer, came thither by night, and finding the little Krishna asleep, took him up, and gave him her breast to suck 2. Now whatever child is suckled in the night by Putana instantly dies; but Krishna, laying hold of the breast with both hands, sucked it with such violence, that he drained it of the life; and the hideous Putana, roaring aloud, and giving way in every joint, fell on the ground expiring. The inhabitants of Vraja awoke in alarm at the cries of the fiend, ran to the spot, and beheld Putana lying on the earth, and Krishna in her arms. Yasoda snatching up Krishna, waved over him a cow tail brush to guard him from harm, whilst Nanda placed dried cow dung powdered upon his
vp.5.6 a great passion, she said to him, "Now, you naughty boy, get away from hence if you can." She then went about her domestic affairs. As soon as she had departed, the lotus eyed Krishna, endeavouring to extricate himself, pulled the mortar after him to the space between two Arjuna trees that grew near together: having dragged the mortar between these trees, it became wedged awry there, and as Krishna pulled it through, it pulled down the trunks of the trees. Hearing the crackling noise, the people of Vraja came to see what was the matter, and there they beheld the two large trees, with shattered stems and broken branches, prostrate on the ground, with the child fixed between them, with a rope round his belly, laughing, and shewing his white little teeth, just budded. It is hence that Krishna is called Damodara, from the binding of the rope (dama) round his belly (udara) 3. The elders of the cowherds, with Nanda at their head, looked upon these circumstances with alarm, considering them as of evil omen. "We cannot remain in this place," said they; "let us go to some other part of the forest; for here many evil signs threaten us with destruction; the death of Putana, the upsetting of the waggon, and the fall of the trees without their being blown down by the wind. Let us depart hence without delay, and go to Vrindavana, where terrestrial prodigies may no more disturb us."
vp.5.6 Having thus resolved, the inhabitants of Vraja communicated their intention to their families, and desired them to move without delay. Accordingly they set off with their waggons and their cattle, driving before them their bulls and cows and calves; the fragments of their household stores they threw away, and in an instant Vraja was overspread with flights of crows. Vrindavana was chosen by Krishna, whom acts do not affect, for the sake of providing for the nourishment of the
vp.5.6 kine; for there in the hottest season the new grass springs up as verdantly as in the rains. Having repaired, then, from Vraja to Vrindavana, the inhabitants of the former drew up their waggons in the form of a crescent 4.
vp.5.7 ONE day Krishna, unaccompanied by Rama, went to Vrindavana: he was attended by a troop of cowherds, and gaily decorated with wild flowers. On his way he came to the Yamuna, which was flowing in sportive undulations, and sparkling with foam, as if with smiles, as the waves dashed against the borders. Within its bed, however, was the fearful pool of the serpent Kaliya, boiling with the fires of poison 1; from the fumes of which, large trees upon the bank were blighted, and by whose waters, when raised by a gale into the air, birds were scorched. Beholding this dreadful lake, which was like another mouth of death, Madhusudana reflected that the wicked and poisonous Kaliya, who had been vanquished by himself (in the person of Garuda), and had been obliged to fly from the ocean (where he had inhabited the island Ramanaka), must be lurking at its bottom, and defiling the Yamuna, the consort of the sea, so that neither men nor cattle could slake their thirst by her waters. Such being the case, he determined to dislodge the Naga, and enable the dwellers of Vraja to frequent the vicinage without fear; for it was the especial purpose he considered of his descent upon earth to reduce to subjection all such violators of law. "Here," thought he, "is a Kadamba tree, which is sufficiently near; I can climb up it, and thence leap into the serpent s pool." Having thus resolved, he bound his clothes tightly about him, and jumped boldly into the lake of the serpent king. The waters, agitated
vp.5.7 poisonous vapour combined with the water; and the whole horizon was in a blaze. Krishna, having dived into the pool, struck his arms in defiance 3, and the snake king, hearing the sound, quickly came forth: his eyes were coppery red, and his hoods were flaming with deadly venom: he was attended by many other powerful and poisonous snakes, feeders upon air, and by hundreds of serpent nymphs, decorated with rich jewels, whose earrings glittered with trembling radiance as the wearers moved along. Coiling themselves around Krishna, they all bit him with teeth from which fiery poison was emitted. Krishna s companions, beholding him in the lake, encompassed by the snakes, twining around him, ran off to Vraja, lamenting and bewailing aloud his fate. Krishna"," they called out, "has foolishly plunged into the serpent s pool, and is there bitten to death by the snake king! Come and see." The cowherds and their wives and Yasoda, hearing this news, which was like a thunderbolt, ran immediately to the pool, frightened out of their senses, and crying, "Alas! alas! where is he?" The Gopis were retarded by Yasoda, who in her agitation stumbled and slipped at every step; but Nanda and the cowherds and the invincible Rama hastened to the banks of the Yamuna, eager to assist Krishna. There they beheld him apparently in the power of the serpent king, encompassed by twining snakes, and making no effort to escape. Nanda, as soon as he set his eyes upon his son, became senseless; and Yasoda
vp.5.7 when she beheld him, lost all consciousness. The Gopis, overcome with sorrow, wept, and called affectionately, and with convulsive sobs, upon Kesava. "Let us all," said they, "plunge with Yasoda into the fearful pool of the serpent king. We cannot return to Vraja; for what is day, without the sun? what night, without the moon? what is a herd of heifers, without its lord? what is Vraja, without Krishna? Deprived of him, we will go no more to Gokula. The forest will lose its delights; it will be like a lake without water. When this dark lotus leaf complexioned Hari is not present, there is no joy in the maternal dwelling. How strange is this! And as for you, ye cowherds, how, poor beings, will you live amidst the pastures, when you no longer
vp.5.7 Being thus addressed by Kaliya, Krishna replied, "You must not tarry here, nor any where in the stream of the Yamuna; depart immediately, with your family and followers, to the sea; where Garuda, the foe of the serpent race, will not harm you, when he sees the impressions of my feet upon your brow." So saying, Hari set the snake king at liberty, who, bowing reverentially to his victor, departed to the ocean; abandoning, in the sight of all, the lake he had haunted, accompanied by all his females, children, and dependants. When the snake was gone, the Gopas hailed Govinda, as one risen from the dead, and embraced him, and bathed his forehead with tears of joy: others, contemplating the water of the river, now freed from peril, were filled with wonder, and sang the praise of Krishna, who is unaffected by works. Thus eminent by his glorious exploits, and eulogized by the Gopas and Gopas, Krishna returned to Vraja.
vp.5.10 WHILST Kesava and Rama were sporting thus in Vraja, the rainy season ended, and was succeeded by the season of autumn, when the lotus is full blown. The small Saphari fish, in their watery burrows, were oppressed by the heat, like a man by selfish desires, who is devoted to his family. The peacocks, no longer animated by passion, were silent amidst the woods, like holy saints, who have come to know the unreality of the world. The clouds, of shining whiteness, exhausted of their watery wealth, deserted the atmosphere, like those who have acquired wisdom, and depart from their homes. Evaporated by the rays of the autumnal sun, the lakes were dried up, like the hearts of men when withered by the contact of selfishness. The pellucid waters of the season were suitably embellished by white water lilies, as are the minds of the pure by the apprehension of truth. Brightly in the starry sky shone the moon with undiminished orb, like the saintly being, who has reached the last stage of bodily existence, in the company of the pious. The rivers and lakes slowly retired from their banks, as the wise by degrees shrink from the selfish attachment that connects them with wife and child. First abandoned by the waters of the lake, the swans again began to congregate, like false ascetics, whose devotions are interrupted, and they are again assailed by innumerable afflictions. The ocean was still and calm, and exhibited no undulations, like the perfect sage, who has completed his course of
vp.5.10 At this season, when the skies were bright with stars, Krishna, repairing to Vraja, found all the cowherds busily engaged in preparing for a sacrifice to be offered to Indra 2; and going to the elders, he asked them, as if out of curiosity, what festival of Indra it was in which they took so much pleasure. Nanda replied to his question, and said, "satakratu or Indra is the sovereign of the clouds and of the waters: sent by him, the former bestow moisture upon the earth, whence springs the grain, by which we and all embodied beings subsist; with which also, and with water, we please the gods: hence too these cows bear calves, and yield milk, and are happy, and well nourished. So when the clouds are seen distended with rain, the earth is neither barren of corn, nor bare of verdure, nor is man distressed by hunger. Indra, the giver of water, having drank the milk of earth by the solar ray, sheds it again upon the earth for the sustenance of all the world. On this account all sovereign princes offer with pleasure sacrifices to Indra at the end of the rains, and so also do we, and so do other people."
vp.5.10 When Nanda and the other Gopas heard these words of Krishna, their faces expanded with delight, and they said that he had spoken well. "You have judged rightly, child," exclaimed they; "we will do exactly as you have proposed, and offer adoration to the mountain." Accordingly the inhabitants of Vraja worshipped the mountain, presenting to it curds and milk and flesh; and they fed hundreds and thousands of Brahmans, and many other guests, who came to the ceremony, even as Krishna had enjoined: and when they had made their offerings, they circumambulated the cows and the bulls, that bellowed as loud as roaring clouds. Upon the summit of Govarddhana, Krishna presented himself, saying, "I am the mountain," and partook of much food presented by the Gopas; whilst in his own form as Krishna he ascended the hill along with the cowherds, and worshipped his other self 5. Having promised them many blessings, the mountain person of Krishna vanished; and the ceremony being completed, the cowherds returned to their station.
vp.5.11 is on high; enter beneath it quickly, and it will shelter you from the storm: here you will be secure and at your ease in places defended from the wind: enter without delay, and fear not that the mountain will fall." Upon this, all the people, with their herds, and their waggons and goods, and the Gopis, distressed by the rain, repaired to the shelter of the mountain, which Krishna held steadily over their heads; and Krishna, as he supported the mountain, was contemplated by the dwellers of Vraja with joy and wonder; and, as their eyes opened wide with astonishment and pleasure, the Gopas and Gopis sang his praise. For seven days and nights did the vast clouds sent by Indra rain upon the Gokula of Nanda to destroy its inhabitants, but they were protected by the elevation of the mountain; and the slayer of Bala, Indra, being foiled in his purpose, commanded the clouds to cease. The threats of Indra having been fruitless, and the heavens clear, all Gokula came forth from its shelter, and returned to its own abode. Then Krishna, in the sight of the surprised inhabitants of the forests, restored the great mountain Govarddhana to its original site 1.
vp.5.12 Upon Krishna s ceasing to speak, he and Indra mutually embraced; and the latter, mounting his elephant Airavata, returned to heaven. Krishna, with the cattle and the herdsmen, went his way to Vraja, where the wives of the Gopas watched for his approach.
vp.5.13 AFTER sakra had departed, the cowherds said to Krishna, whom they had seen holding up Govarddhana, "We have been preserved, together with our cattle, from a great peril, by your supporting the mountain above us; but this is very astonishing child s play, unsuitable to the condition of a herdsman, and all thy actions are those of a god. Tell us what is the meaning of all this. Kaliya has been conquered in the lake; Pralamba has been killed; Govarddhana has been lifted up: our minds are filled with amazement. Assuredly we repose at the feet of Hari, O thou of unbounded might! for, having witnessed thy power, we cannot believe thee to be a man. Thy affection, Kesava, for our women and children, and for Vraja; the deeds that thou hast wrought, which all the gods would have attempted in vain; thy boyhood, and thy prowess; thy humiliating birth amongst us; are contradictions that fill us with doubt, whenever we think of them. Yet reverence be to thee, whether thou be a god, or a demon, or a Yaksha, or a Gandharba, or whatever we may deem thee; for thou art our friend." When they had ended, Krishna remained silent for some time, as if hurt and offended, and then replied to them, Herdsmen", if you are not ashamed of my relationship; if I have merited your praise; what occasion is there for you to engage in any discussion concerning me? If you have any regard for me; if I have deserved your praise; then be satisfied to know that I am your kinsman. I am neither god, nor Yaksha, nor
vp.5.13 moon of autumn, a mine of gentle radiance; but the nymphs repeated the praises of Krishna alone. At times, one of them, wearied by the revolving dance, threw her arms, ornamented with tinkling bracelets, round the neck of the destroyer of Madhu: another, skilled in the art of singing his praises, embraced him. The drops of perspiration from the arms of Hari were like fertilizing rain, which produced a crop of down upon the temples of the Gopis. Krishna sang the strain that was appropriate to the dance. The Gopis repeatedly exclaimed, "Bravo, Krishna!" to his song. When leading, they followed him; when returning, they encountered him; and, whether he went forwards or backwards, they ever attended on his steps. Whilst frolicking thus with the Gopis, they considered every instant without him a myriad of years; and, prohibited in vain by husbands, fathers, brothers, they went forth at night to sport with Krishna, the object of their affection. Thus the illimitable being, the benevolent remover of all imperfections, assumed the character of a youth amongst the females of the herdsmen of Vraja; pervading their natures, and that of their lords, by his own essence, all diffusive like the wind: for even as in all creatures the elements of ether, fire, earth, water, and air, are comprehended, so also is he every where present, and in all.
vp.5.15 AFTER these things had come to pass, Arishta the bull demon and Dhenuka and Pralamba had been slain, Govarddhana had been lifted up, the serpent Kaliya had been subdued, the two trees had been broken, the female fiend Putana had been killed, and the waggon had been overturned, Narada went to Kansa, and related to him the whole, beginning with the transference of the child from Devaki to Yasoda, Hearing this from Narada, Kansa was highly incensed with Vasudeva, and bitterly reproached him, and all the Yadavas, in an assembly of the tribe. Then reflecting what was to be done, he determined to destroy both Krishna and Rama whilst they were yet young, and before they had attained to manly vigour: for which purpose he resolved to invite them from Vraja, under pretext of the solemn rite of the lustration of arms, when he would engage them in a trial of strength with his chief boxers, Chanura and Mushtika, by whom they would assuredly be killed. "I will send," he said, "the noble Yadu, Akrura the son of Swaphalka, to Gokula, to bring them hither: I will order the fierce Kesin, who haunts the woods of Vrindavana, to attack them, and he is of unequalled might, and will surely kill them; or, if they arrive here, my elephant Kuvalayapida shall trample to death these two cow boy sons of Vasudeva." Having thus laid his plans to destroy Rama and Janarddana, the impious Kansa sent for the heroic Akrura, and said to him, Lord" of liberal gifts 1, attend to my words, and, out of friendship
vp.5.16 the death of Kesin, and glorified the amiable god with the lotus eyes. Narada the Brahman, invisible, seated in a cloud, beheld the fall of Kesin, and delightedly exclaimed, "Well done, lord of the universe, who in thy sports hast destroyed Kesin, the oppressor of the denizens of heaven! Curious to behold this great combat between a man and a horse such a one as was never before heard of I have come from heaven. Wonderful are the works that thou hast done, in thy descent upon the earth! they have excited my astonishment; but this, above all, has given me pleasure. Indra and the gods lived in dread of this horse, who tossed his mane, and neighed, and looked down upon the clouds. For this, that thou hast slain the impious Kesin, thou shalt be known in the world by the name of Kesava 2. Farewell: I will now depart. I shall meet thee again, conqueror of Kesin, in two days more, in conflict with Kansa. When the son of Ugrasena, with his followers, shall have been slain, then, upholder of the earth, will earth s burdens have been lightened by thee. Many are the battles of the kings that I have to see, in which thou shalt be renowned. I will now depart, Govinda. A great deed, and acceptable to the gods, has been done by thee. I have been much delighted with thee, and now take my leave." When Narada had gone, Krishna, not in any way surprised, returned with the Gopas to Gokula; the sole object of the eyes of the women of Vraja 3.
vp.5.18 so do our limbs wither, and the bracelets slip from our arms: and now the cruel Akrura urges on the horses: all conspire to treat unhappy females with unkindness. Alas! alas! we see now only the dust of his chariot wheels! and now he is far away, for even that dust is no longer to be seen!" Thus lamented by the women, Kesava and Rama quitted the district of Vraja 1. Travelling in a car drawn by fleet horses, they arrived at noon at the banks of the Yamuna, when Akrura requested them to halt a little, whilst he performed the
vp.5.24 Muchukunda goes to perform penance. Krishna takes the army and treasures of Kalayavana, and repairs with them to Dwaraka. Balarama visits Vraja: inquiries of its inhabitants after Krishna.
vp.5.24 him without us, and for us without him. Father, mother, brother, husband, kin, what have we not abandoned for his sake? but he is a monument of ingratitude. Yet tell us, does not Krishna talk of coming here? Falsehood is never, O Krishna, to be uttered by thee. Verily this is Damodara, this is Govinda, who has given up his heart to the damsels of the city, who has no longer any regard for us, but looks upon us with disdain." So saying, the Gopis, whose minds were fixed on Krishna, addressed Rama in his place, calling him Damodara and Govinda, and laughed and were merry; and Rama consoled them by communicating to them agreeable, modest, affectionate, and gentle messages from Krishna. With the cowherds he talked mirthfully, as he had been wont to do, and rambled along with them over the lands of Vraja 1.
vp.5.25 [paragraph continues] Rama in a rage took up his ploughshare, which he plunged into her bank, and dragged her to him, calling out, "Will you not come, you jade? will you not come? Now go where you please (if you can)." Thus saying, he compelled the dark river to quit its ordinary course, and follow him whithersoever he wandered through the wood. Assuming a mortal figure, the Yamuna, with distracted looks, approached Balabhadra, and entreated him to pardon her, and let her go: but he replied, "I will drag you with my ploughshare in a thousand directions, since you contemn my prowess and strength." At last, however, appeased by her reiterated prayers, he let her go, after she had watered all the country 3. When he had bathed, the goddess of beauty, Lakshmi, came and gave him a beautiful lotus to place in one ear, and an earring for the other; a fresh necklace of lotus flowers, sent by Varuna; and garments of a dark blue colour, as costly as the wealth of the ocean: and thus decorated with a lotus in one ear, a ring in the other, dressed in blue garments, and wearing a garland, Balarama appeared united with loveliness. Thus decorated, Rama sported two months in Vraja, and then returned to Dwaraka, where the married Revati, the daughter of king Raivata, by whom he had two sons, Nishatha and Ulmuka 4.
vp.5.32 Parasara. I have enumerated to you Pradyumna and the other sons of Rukmini. Satyabhama bore Bhanu and Bhairika. The sons of Rohini were Diptimat, Tamrapakshi, and others. The powerful samba and other sons were born of Jambavati. Bhadravinda and other valiant youths were the sons of Nagnajiti. saivya (or Mitravinda) had several sons, of whom Sangramajit was the chief. Vrika and others were begotten by Hari on Madri. Lakshmana had Gatravat and others: and sruta and others were the sons of Kalindi 1. Krishna had sons also by his other wives, in all one hundred and eighty thousand. The eldest of the whole was Pradyumna, the son of Rukmini: his son was Aniruddha, from whom Vraja was born: his mother was Usha, the daughter of Bana, and grand daughter of Bali, whom Aniruddha won in war. On that occasion a fierce battle took place between Hari and sankara, in which the thousand arms of Bana were lopped away by the discus of the former.

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