Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: Dwaraka – LXXXVI

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Jarasandha attacked Mathura seventeen times. Each time his army was vanquished, and he was set free. But he would not give up. He had to avenge the death of Kamsa, says Nilanjana, recounting a well-known take from the Bhagavatam. A Different Truths exclusive.

Sukha continued narrating, “When Akrura reached Mathura, he updated everybody about his visit to Hastinapur. He also told them that King Dhritarashtra would never go against the wish of his son, Duryodhana.

Now, Kamsa had two wives named Asti and Prapti. They were the daughters of Jarasandha. After Kamsa’s death they returned to their father’s abode and narrated their sorrowful tale of Kamsa’s death. Jarasandha was very angry and decided to tech Krishna a lesson. He gathered his huge army and marched towards Mathura.

Meanwhile, the heavens helped Krishna out. They sent a chariot full of weapons to enable Krishna to tackle the huge army.

Balarama and Krishna discussed amongst themselves and decided to vanquish the army but leave Jarasandha alive. They did exactly that; the army was completely vanquished and Jarasandha was left alive. The defeated king was beside himself with grief and anger. But he would not give up. He kept on attacking Mathura.

It is said that Jarasandha attacked Mathura seventeen times. Each time his army was vanquished, and he was set free. But he would not give up. He had to avenge the death of Kamsa.

The eighteenth time when Jarasandha was on his way to attack Mathura again, he met a very powerful king named Kalayavana, who agreed to help him. Balarama and Krishna discussed the course of action again and decided that they should shift their citizens to a safer place.

Krishna summoned Vishvakarma, the architect of gods and briefed him about the city that had to be built in the middle of the ocean. Vishvakarma did as requested and soon Dwaraka was built. The city was gifted various goodies by the devas (celestial beings) and was believed to be built on the pattern of the city of the gods. It was not easily accessible to anybody and hence would protect the citizens from further attacks from enemies.

Krishna transferred his citizens to Dwaraka overnight. The city of Mathura became empty.

At night the army of Kalayavana was resting, but they kept an eye of the gates of Mathura. At the break of dawn, they spotted a young man leaving the city, looking stealthily around. They concluded that someone was trying to escape the city and informed Kalayavana.

Kalayavana walked towards the direction that was indicated and soon he could see Krishna walking away. Kalayavana did not have any weapon in hand but he decided to follow Krishna. Krishna began running now, as if he was fleeing for life. Kalayavana kept following him with equal speed. He even asked Krishna to stop at times. But Krishna would not listen. At times, he thought he would just catch Krishna, but Krishna escaped at the nick of time.

The chase continued for a while…

(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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