16 / Lord Krsna in Indraprastha City
In the presence of the great sage Narada and all the other associates of Lord Krsna, Uddhava considered the situation and then spoke as follows: "My dear Lord, first of all let me say that the great sage Narada Muni has requested You to go to Hastinapura to satisfy King Yudhisthira, Your cousin, who is making arrangements to perform the great sacrifice known as Rajasuya. I think, therefore, that Your Lordship should immediately go there to help the King in this great adventure. However, although to accept the invitation offered by the sage Narada Muni as primary is quite appropriate, at the same time, my Lord, it is Your duty to give protection to the surrendered souls. Both purposes can be served if we understand the whole situation. Unless we are victorious over all the kings, no one can perform this Rajasuya sacrifice. In other words, it is to be understood that King Yudhisthira cannot perform this great sacrifice without gaining victory over the belligerent King Jarasandha. The Rajasuya sacrifice can only be performed by one who has gained victory over all directions. Therefore, to execute both purposes, we first of all have to kill Jarasandha. I think that if we can somehow or other gain victory over Jarasandha, then automatically all our purposes will be served. The imprisoned kings will be released, and with great pleasure we shall enjoy the spread of Your transcendental fame at having saved the innocent kings whom Jarasandha has imprisoned.
"But King Jarasandha is not an ordinary man. He has proved a stumbling block even to great warriors because his bodily strength is equal to the strength of 10,000 elephants. If there is anyone who can conquer this king, he is none other than Bhimasena because he also possesses the strength of 10,000 elephants. The best thing would be for Bhimasena to fight alone with him. Then there would be no unnecessary killing of many soldiers. In fact, it will be very difficult to conquer Jarasandha when he stands with his aksauhini divisions of soldiers. We may therefore adopt a policy more favorable to the situation. We know that King Jarasandha is very much devoted to the brahmanas. He is very charitably disposed towards them; he never refuses any request from a brahmana. I think, therefore, that Bhimasena should approach Jarasandha in the dress of a brahmana, beg charity from him, and then personally engage in fighting him. And in order to assure Bhimasena's victory, I think that Your Lordship should also accompany him. If the fighting takes place in Your presence, I am sure Bhimasena will emerge victorious because simply by Your presence everything impossible is made possible, just as Lord Brahma creates this universe and Lord Siva destroys it simply through Your influence.
"Actually, You are creating and destroying the entire cosmic manifestation; Lord Brahma and Lord Siva are only the superficially visible causes. Creation and destruction are actually being performed by the invisible time factor, which is Your impersonal representation. Everything is under the control of this time factor. If Your invisible time factor can perform such wonderful acts through Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, will not Your personal presence help Bhimasena to conquer Jarasandha? My dear Lord, when Jarasandha is killed, then the queens of all the imprisoned kings will be so joyful at their husbands' being released by Your mercy that they will all begin to sing Your glories. They will be as pleased as the gopis were when they were released from the hands of Sankhasura. All the great sages, the King of the elephants, Gajendra, the goddess of fortune, Sita, and even Your father and mother, were all delivered by Your causeless mercy. We also have been thus delivered, and we are always singing the transcendental glories of Your activities.
"Therefore, I think that if the killing of Jarasandha is undertaken first, that will automatically solve many other problems. As for the Rajasuya sacrifice arranged in Hastinapura, it will be held, either because of the pious activities of the imprisoned kings or the impious activities of Jarasandha.
"My Lord, it appears that You are also personally to go to Hastinapura to perform this great sacrifice so that demoniac kings like Jarasandha and Sisupala may be conquered, the pious imprisoned kings released, and at the same time the great Rajasuya sacrifice performed. Considering all these points, I think that Your Lordship should immediately proceed to Hastinapura."
This advice of Uddhava's was appreciated by all who were present in the assembly, and everyone considered that Lord Krsna's going to Hastinapura would be beneficial from all points of view. The great sage Narada, the elderly personalities of the Yadu dynasty, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna Himself all supported the statement of Uddhava. Lord Krsna then took permission from His father Vasudeva and grandfather Ugrasena, and He immediately ordered His servants Daruka and Jaitra to arrange for travel to Hastinapura. When everything was prepared, Lord Krsna especially bid farewell to Lord Balarama and the King of the Yadus, Ugrasena, and after dispatching His queens along with their children and sending their necessary luggage ahead, He mounted His chariot, which bore the flag marked with the symbol of Garuda.
Before starting the procession, Lord Krsna satisfied the great sage Narada by offering him different kinds of worshipable articles. Naradaji wanted to fall at the lotus feet of Krsna, but because the Lord was playing the part of a human being, he simply offered his respects within his mind, and fixing the transcendental form of the Lord within his heart, he left the assembly house by the airways. Usually the sage Narada never walks on the surface of the globe, but travels in outer space. After the departure of Narada, Lord Krsna addressed the messenger who had come from the imprisoned kings. He told him that they should not be worried. He would very soon arrange to kill the King of Magadha, Jarasandha. Thus He wished good fortune to all the imprisoned kings and the messenger. After receiving this assurance from Lord Krsna, the messenger returned to the imprisoned kings and informed them of the happy news of the Lord's forthcoming visit. All the kings became joyful at the news and began to wait very anxiously for the Lord's arrival.
The chariot of Lord Krsna began to proceed, accompanied by many other chariots, along with elephants, cavalry, infantry and similar royal paraphernalia. Bugles, drums, trumpets, conchshells, horns and coronets all began to produce a loud auspicious sound which vibrated in all directions. The 16,000 queens, headed by the goddess of fortune Rukminidevi, the ideal wife of Lord Krsna, and accompanied by their respective sons, all followed behind Lord Krsna. They were dressed in costly garments decorated with ornaments, and their bodies were smeared with sandalwood pulp and garlanded with fragrant flowers. Riding on palanquins which were nicely decorated with silks, flags and golden lace, they followed their exalted husband, Lord Krsna. The infantry soldiers carried shields, swords and lances in their hands and acted as royal bodyguards to all the queens. In the rear of the procession were the wives and children of all the other followers, and there were many society girls also following. Many beasts of burden like bulls, buffaloes, mules, and asses carried the camps, bedding and carpets, and the women who were following were seated in separate palanquins on the backs of camels. This panoramic procession was accompanied by the shouts of the people and was full with the display of different colored flags, umbrellas and whisks and different varieties of weapons, dress, ornaments, helmets and armaments. The procession, being reflected in the sunshine, appeared just like an ocean with high waves and sharks.
In this way the procession of Lord Krsna's party advanced towards Hastinapura (New Delhi) and gradually passed through the kingdoms of Anarta (Gujarat Province), Sauvira (Sauret), the great desert of Rajasthan, and then Kuruksetra. In between those kingdoms there were many mountains, rivers, towns, villages, pasturing grounds and mining fields. The procession passed through all of these places in its advance. On His way to Hastinapura, the Lord crossed two big rivers, the Drsvati and the Sarasvati. Then He crossed the province of Panchala and the province of Matsya. In this way, ultimately He arrived at Indraprastha.
The audience of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is not very commonplace. Therefore, when King Yudhisthira heard that Lord Krsna had already arrived in his capital city, Hastinapura, he became so joyful that all his bodily hairs stood on end in great ecstasy, and he immediately came out of the city to properly receive Him. He ordered the musical vibration of different instruments and songs, and the learned brahmanas of the city began to chant the hymns of the Vedas very loudly. Lord Krsna is known as Hrsikesa, the master of the senses, and King Yudhisthira went forward to receive Him exactly as the senses meet the consciousness of life. King Yudhisthira was the elderly cousin of Krsna. Naturally he had great affection for the Lord, and as soon as he saw Him, his heart became filled with great love and affection. He had not seen the Lord for many days, and therefore he thought himself most fortunate to see Him present before him. The King therefore began to embrace Lord Krsna again and again in great affection.
The eternal form of Lord Krsna is the everlasting residence of the goddess of fortune. As soon as King Yudhisthira embraced Him, he became free from all the contamination of material existence. He immediately felt transcendental bliss, and he merged in an ocean of happiness. There were tears in his eyes, and his body shook in ecstasy. He completely forgot that he was living in the material world. After this, Bhimasena, the second brother of the Pandavas, smiled and embraced Lord Krsna, thinking of Him as his own maternal cousin, and thus he was merged in great ecstasy. Bhimasena also was so filled with ecstasy that for the time being he forgot his material existence. Then Lord Sri Krsna Himself embraced the other three Pandavas, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. The eyes of all three brothers were inundated with tears, and Arjuna began to embrace Krsna again and again because they were intimate friends. The two younger Pandava brothers, after being embraced by Lord Krsna, fell down at His lotus feet to offer their respects. Lord Krsna thereafter offered His obeisances to the brahmanas present there, as well as to the elderly members of the Kuru dynasty, like Bhisma, Drona and Dhrtarastra. There were many kings of different provinces such as Kuru, Srnjaya and Kekaya, and Lord Krsna duly reciprocated greetings and respects with them. The professional reciters like the sutas, magadhas and vandinas, accompanied by the brahmanas, began to offer their respectful prayers to the Lord. Artists and musicians like the Gandharvas, as well as the royal jokers, began to play their drums, conchshells, kettledrums, vinas, mrdangas, and bugles, and they exhibited their dancing art in order to please the Lord. Thus the all-famous Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna, entered the great city of Hastinapura, which was opulent in every respect. While Lord Krsna was entering the city, everyone was talking amongst themselves about the glories of the Lord, praising His transcendental name, quality, form, etc.
The roads, streets and lanes of Hastinapura were all sprinkled with fragrant water through the trunks of intoxicated elephants. In different places of the city there were colorful festoons and flags decorating the houses and streets. At important road crossings there were gates with golden decorations, and at the two sides of the gates there were golden water jugs. These beautiful decorations glorified the opulence of the city. Participating in this great ceremony, all the citizens of the city gathered here and there, dressed in colorful new clothing, decorated with ornaments, flower garlands, and fragrant scents. Each and every house was illuminated by hundreds and thousands of lamps placed in different corners of the cornices, walls, columns, bases and architraves, and from far away the rays of the lamps resembled the festival of Dipavali (a particular festival observed on the New Year's Day of the Hindu calendar). Within the walls of the houses, fragrant incense was burning, and smoke rose through the windows, making the entire atmosphere very pleasing. On the top of every house flags were flapping, and the gold waterpots kept on the roofs shone very brilliantly.
Lord Krsna thus entered the city of the Pandavas, enjoyed the beautiful atmosphere and slowly proceeded ahead. When the young girls in every house heard that Lord Krsna, the only object worth seeing, was passing on the road, they became very anxious to see this all-famous personality. Their hair loosened, and their tightened saris became slack due to their hastily rushing to see Him. They gave up their household engagements, and those who were lying in bed with their husbands immediately left them and came directly down onto the street to see Lord Krsna. The procession of elephants, horses, chariots, and infantry was very crowded; some, being unable to see properly in the crowd, got up on the roofs of the houses. They were pleased to see Lord Sri Krsna passing with His thousands of queens. They began to shower flowers on the procession, and they embraced Lord Krsna within their minds and gave Him a hearty reception. When they saw Him in the midst of His many queens, like the full moon situated amidst many luminaries, they began to talk amongst themselves.
One girl said to another, "My dear friend, it is very difficult to guess what kind of pious activities these queens might have performed, for they are always enjoying the smiling face and loving glances of Krsna." While Lord Krsna was thus passing on the road, at intervals some of the citizens, who were all rich, respectable and freed from sinful activities presented auspicious articles to the Lord, just to offer Him a reception to the city. Thus they worshiped Him as humble servitors.
When Lord Krsna entered the palace, all the ladies there became overwhelmed with affection just upon seeing Him. They immediately received Lord Krsna with glittering eyes expressing their love and affection for Him, and Lord Krsna smiled and accepted their feelings and gestures of reception. When Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, saw her nephew Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she became overpowered with love and affection. She at once got up from her bedstead and appeared before Him with her daughter-in-law, Draupadi, and in maternal love and affection she embraced Him. As he brought Krsna within the palace, King Yudhisthira became so confused in his jubilation that he practically forgot what he was to do at that time in order to receive Krsna and worship Him properly. Lord Krsna delightfully offered His respects and obeisances to Kunti and other elderly ladies of the palace. His younger sister, Subhadra, was also standing there with Draupadi, and both offered their respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of the Lord. At the indication of her mother-in-law, Draupadi brought clothing, ornaments and garlands, and with this paraphernalia they received the queens Rukmini, Satyabhama, Bhadra, Jambavati, Kalindi, Mitravinda, Laksmana and the devoted Satya. These principal queens of Lord Krsna were first received, and then the remaining queens were also offered a proper reception. King Yudhisthira arranged for Krsna's rest and saw that all who came along with Him--namely His queens, His soldiers, His ministers and His secretaries--were comfortably situated. He had arranged that they would experience a new feature of reception everyday while staying as guests of the Pandavas.
It was during this time that Lord Sri Krsna, with the help of Arjuna, for the satisfaction of the fire-god, Agni, allowed Agni to devour the Khandava Forest. During the forest fire, Krsna saved the demon Mayasura, who was hiding in the forest. Upon being saved, Mayasura felt obliged to the Pandavas and Lord Krsna, and he constructed a wonderful assembly house within the city of Hastinapura. In this way, Lord Krsna, in order to please King Yudhisthira, remained in the city of Hastinapura for several months. During His stay, He enjoyed strolling here and there. He used to drive on chariots along with Arjuna, and many warriors and soldiers used to follow them.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Second Volume, Sixteenth Chapter, of Krsna, "Lord Krsna in Indraprastha City."
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