22 / The Deliverance of Salva
After talking with his charioteer, the son of Daruka, Pradyumna could understand the real circumstances, and therefore he refreshed himself by washing his mouth and hands. Arming himself properly with bows and arrows, he asked his charioteer to take him near the place where Salva's commander-in-chief was standing. During the short absence of Pradyumna from the battlefield, Dyuman, Salva's commander-in-chief, had been taking over the positions of the soldiers of the Yadu dynasty. By appearing in the battlefield, Pradyumna immediately stopped him and struck him with eight arrows. With four arrows he killed his four horses, with one arrow his chariot driver and with another arrow he cut his bow in two; with another arrow, he cut his flag into pieces, and with another he severed his head from his body.
On the other fronts, heroes like Gada, Satyaki and Samba were engaged in killing the soldiers of Salva. The soldiers who were staying with Salva in the airplane were also killed in the fighting, and they fell into the ocean. Each party began to strike the opposite party very severely. The battle was fierce and dangerous and continued for twenty-seven days without stop.
While the fight was going on in the city of Dvaraka, Krsna was staying at Indraprastha along with the Pandavas and King Yudhisthira. This fighting with Salva took place after the Rajasuya yajna had been performed by King Yudhisthira and after the killing of Sisupala. When Lord Krsna understood that there was great danger in the city of Dvaraka, He took permission from the elderly members of the Pandava family, especially from His aunt Kuntidevi, and started immediately for Dvaraka.
Lord Krsna began to think that while He was arriving in Hastinapura with Balarama after the killing of Sisupala, Sisupala's men must have attacked Dvaraka. On reaching Dvaraka, Lord Krsna saw that the whole city was greatly endangered. He placed Balaramaji in a strategic position for the protection of the city, and He Himself asked His charioteer Daruka to prepare to start. He said, "Daruka, please immediately take Me to where Salva is staying. You may know that this Salva is a very powerful, mysterious man. Don't fear him in the least." As soon as he got his orders from Lord Krsna, Daruka had Him seated on the chariot and drove very quickly toward Salva.
The chariot of Lord Krsna was marked with the flag bearing the insignia of Garuda, and as soon as the soldiers and warriors of the Yadu dynasty saw the flag, they could understand that Lord Krsna was on the battlefield. By this time, almost all the soldiers of Salva had been killed, but when Salva saw that Krsna had come to the battlefield, he released a great, powerful weapon which flew through the sky with a roaring sound like a great meteor. It was so bright that the whole sky lit up by its presence. But as soon as Lord Krsna appeared, He tore the great weapon into hundreds and thousands of pieces by releasing His own arrow.
Lord Krsna struck Salva with sixteen arrows, and with showers of arrows He overpowered the airplane, just as the sun in a clear sky overpowers the whole sky by an unlimited number of molecules of sunshine. Salva struck a severe blow to Krsna's left side, where the Lord was carring His bow, Sarnga, and as a result the Sarnga bow fell from Lord Krsna's hand. This dropping of the bow was indeed wonderful. Great personalities and demigods who were observing the fighting between Salva and Krsna became most perturbed by this, and they began to exclaim, "Alas! Alas!"
Salva thought that he had become victorious, and with a roaring sound began to address Lord Krsna as follows: "You rascal, Krsna! You kidnapped Rukmini forcibly, even in our presence. You baffled my friend Sisupala and married Rukmini Yourself. And in the great assembly at King Yudhisthira's Rajasuya yajna, while my friend Sisupala was a little absent-minded, You took an opportunity to kill him. Everyone thinks that You are a great fighter and that no one can conquer You. So now You'll have to prove Your strength. I think that if You stand before me any longer, with my sharpened arrows I shall send You to a place wherefrom You will never return."
To this Lord Krsna replied, "Foolish Salva, you are talking nonsensically. You do not know that the moment of death is already upon your head. Those who are actually heroes do not talk much. They prove their prowess by practical exhibition of chivalrous activities." After saying this, Lord Krsna, in great anger, struck Salva on the collarbone with His club so severely that he began to bleed internally and tremble as if he were going to collapse from severe cold. Before Krsna was able to strike him again, however, Salva became invisible by his mystic power.
Within a few moments, a mysterious unknown man came before Lord Krsna. Crying loudly, he bowed down at the Lord's lotus feet and said to Him, "Since You are the most beloved son of Your father Vasudeva, Your mother Devaki has sent me to inform You of the unfortunate news that Your father has been arrested by Salva and taken him away by force. He took him just as a butcher mercilessly takes away an animal." When Lord Krsna heard this unfortunate news from the unknown man, He at first became most perturbed, just like an ordinary human being. His face showed signs of grief, and He began to cry in a pitious tone, "How could that happen? My brother Lord Balarama is there, and it is impossible for anyone to conquer Balaramaji. He is in charge of Dvaraka City, and I know He is always alert. How could Salva possibly enter the city and arrest My father in that way? Whatever he may be, Salva's power is limited, so how could it be possible that he has conquered the strength of Balaramaji and taken away My father, arresting him as described by this man? Alas! Destiny is, after all, very powerful."
While Sri Krsna was thinking like this, Salva brought before Him in custody a man exactly resembling Vasudeva, His father. These were all creations of the mystic power of Salva.
Salva began to address Krsna, "You rascal, Krsna! Look. This is Your father who has begotten You and by whose mercy You are still living. Now just see how I kill Your father. If You have any strength, try to save him." The mystic juggler, Salva, speaking in this way before Lord Krsna, immediately cut off the head of the false Vasudeva. Without hesitation he took away the dead body and got into his airplane. Lord Krsna is the self-sufficient Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet because He was playing the role of a human being, He became very depressed for a moment, as if He had actually lost His father. But at the next moment He could understand that the arrest and killing of His father were demonstrations of the mystic powers which Salva had learned from the demon Maya. Coming to His right consciousness, He could see that there was no messenger and no head of His father, but that only Salva had left in his airplane, which was flying in the sky. He then began to think of slaying Salva.
Krsna's reaction is a controversial point among great authorities and saintly persons. How could Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of all power and knowledge, be bewildered in such a way? Lamentation, aggrievement and bewilderment are characteristics of persons who are conditioned souls, but how can such things affect the person of the Supreme, who is full of knowledge, power and all opulence? Actually, it is not at all possible that Lord Krsna was misled by the mystic jugglery of Salva. He was displaying His pastime in playing the role of a human being. Great saintly persons and sages who are engaged in the devotional service of the lotus feet of Lord Krsna and who have thus achieved the greatest perfection of self-realization have transcended the bewilderments of the bodily concept of life. Lord Krsna is the ultimate goal of life for such saintly persons. How then could Krsna have been bewildered by the mystic jugglery of Salva? The conclusion is that Lord Krsna's bewilderment was another opulence of His supreme personality.
When Salva thought that Krsna had been bewildered by his mystic representations, he became encouraged and began to attack the Lord with greater strength and energy by showering volumes of arrows upon Him. But the enthusiasm of Salva can be compared to the speedy march of flies into a fire. Lord Krsna, by hurling His arrows with unfathomable strength, injured Salva, whose armor, bow and jeweled helmet all scattered into pieces. With a crashing blow from Krsna's club, Salva's wonderful airplane burst into pieces and fell into the sea. Salva was very careful, and instead of crashing with the airplane, he managed to jump onto the land. He again rushed towards Lord Krsna. When Salva ran swiftly to attack Krsna with his club, Lord Krsna cut off his hand, which fell to the ground with the club. Finally deciding to kill him, the Lord took up His wonderful disc, which was shining like the brilliant sun at the time of the dissolution of the material creation. When Lord Sri Krsna stood up with His disc to kill Salva, He appeared just like the red sun rising over a mountain. Lord Krsna then cut off his head, and the head, with its earrings and helmet, fell on the ground. Salva was thus killed in the same way as Vrtrasura was killed by Indra, the King of heaven.
When Salva was killed, all his soldiers and followers began to cry, "Alas! Alas!" While Salva's men were thus crying, the demigods from the heavenly planets showered flowers on Krsna and announced the victory by beating on drums and blowing bugles. At this very moment, other friends of Sisupala, such as Dantavakra, appeared on the scene to fight with Krsna in order to avenge the death of Sisupala. When Dantavakra appeared before Lord Krsna, he was extremely angry.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Second Volume, Twenty-second Chapter, of Krsna, "The Deliverance of Salva."
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