Religion

Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: Jarasandha is deceived – LXXXVIII

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Nilanjana recounts a tale from the Bhagavatam about how Jarasandha is deceived, exclusively for Different Truths.

Pariskhit asked, “So what happened to Jarasandha and the army of Kalayavana?”

Sukha smiled, “Oh, yes! That part of the story is equally engaging. After Kalayavana was reduced to ashes and Muchukunda went back to his meditation, Krishna happily walked back to Mathura. Kalayavana’s army did not know what had happened to their master. They waited for him but got destroyed by Balarama and his army.

“Meanwhile Jarasandha arrived at the gates of Mathura happy. He was sure this time he will conquer the city since he had the support of Kalayavana. However, he saw Balarama and Krishna sneaking away from the city. They seemed to be running very fast, perhaps to flee the huge army of Jarasandha. Appalled by their apparent cowardice, he chose to pursue them and teach them a lesson.

“Seated in his chariot he began to chase them. The Yadava brothers sped for their lives. Jarasandha would not give up. His army followed him too. He remembered all the times when he was defeated and humiliated by the two brothers. This was his time for revenge. He kept chasing the two brothers who were now running with great speed.

“The pursuit went on for a long time. Finally, the two brothers reached the foot of a mountain called Pravarshana. This hill was blessed with bountiful rainfall all the time. The slopes, therefore, were always wet. Balarama and Krishna quickly ran on top of the hill. They suddenly disappeared from everybody’s sight, leaving Jarasandha very annoyed and perplexed.

“Jarasandha formed a search party and tried his level best to trace Balarama and Krishna. They were nowhere in sight. He tried and tried for quite some time, but there were no results. Eventually, frustrated and angry, he decided to take a drastic step. He ordered his army to gather dry wood. Then they were instructed to surround the mountain from all sides, place the dry woods around and set fire to the mountain. That way they would ensure that Balarama and Krishna would not escape and if they try to run away the army would capture them. Jarasandha felt that this was a very effective way to either get rid of his enemies or capture them. He thought of his daughters, the wives of Kamsa, who were still mourning the death of their husband.

“His army followed his orders. They set fire to the mountain and waited, in case Balarama and Krishna stepped down. The brothers, however, had another plan. From the side nearest to the sea, they jumped down to the ground. The enemy did not notice them as they slowly went to the city of Dwaraka that was eagerly waiting for them and the new chapter of their lives…” 

(To be continued)

 Footnote: Srimad Bhagavatam is often called the Bhagavad Purana. Authored by Ved Vyasa, the stories are about the various  avatars    (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu, also known as Narayana. These stories are narrated by Ved Vyasa’s son Sukhadeva to King Parikshit.

©Nilanjana Dey

Photos from the Internet

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