Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 10 Chapter 34
Nanda Mahārāja Saved and Śaṅkhacūḍa Slain
prayayus te ’mbikā-vanam
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; ekadā — once; deva — (to worship) the demigod, Lord Śiva; yatrāyām — on a trip; gopālāḥ — the cowherd men; jāta-kautukāḥ — eager; anobhiḥ — with wagons; anaḍut — to oxen; yuktaiḥ — yoked; prayayuḥ — went forth; te — they; ambikā-vanam — to the Ambikā forest.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: One day the cowherd men, eager to take a trip to worship Lord Śiva, traveled by bullock carts to the Ambikā forest.
tatra snātvā sarasvatyāṁ
devaṁ paśu-patiṁ vibhum
ānarcur arhaṇair bhaktyā
devīṁ ca ṇṛpate ’mbikām
tatra — there; snātvā — bathing; sarasvatyām — in the river Sarasvatī; devam — the demigod; paśu-patim — Lord Śiva; vibhum — the powerful; ānarcuḥ — they worshiped; arhaṇaiḥ — with paraphernalia; bhaktyā — devotedly; devīm — the goddess; ca — and; nṛ-pate — O King; ambikām — Ambikā.
O King, after arriving there, they bathed in the Sarasvatī and then devotedly worshiped with various paraphernalia the powerful Lord Paśupati and his consort, goddess Ambikā.
gāvo hiraṇyaṁ vāsāṁsi
madhu madhv-annam ādṛtāḥ
brāhmaṇebhyo daduḥ sarve
devo naḥ prīyatām iti
gāvaḥ — cows; hiraṇyam — gold; vāsāṁsi — clothing; madhu — sweet-tasting; madhu — mixed with honey; annam — grains; ādṛtāḥ — respectfully; brāhmaṇebhyaḥ — to the brāhmaṇas; daduḥ — they gave; sarve — all of them; devaḥ — the lord; naḥ — with us; prīyatām — may be pleased; iti — thus praying.
The cowherd men gave the brāhmaṇas gifts of cows, gold, clothing and cooked grains mixed with honey. Then the cowherds prayed, “May the lord be pleased with us.”
jalaṁ prāśya yata-vratāḥ
rajanīṁ tāṁ mahā-bhāgā
ūṣuḥ — they stayed; sarasvatī-tīre — on the bank of the Sarasvatī; jalam — water; prāśya — subsisting on; yata-vratāḥ — taking strict vows; rajanīm — the night; tām — that; mahā-bhāgāḥ — the greatly fortunate ones; nanda-sunandaka-ādayaḥ — Nanda, Sunanda and the others.
Nanda, Sunanda and the other greatly fortunate cowherds spent that night on the bank of the Sarasvatī, strictly observing their vows. They fasted, taking only water.
kaścin mahān ahis tasmin
śayānam ura-go ’grasīt
kaścit — a certain; mahān — great; ahiḥ — snake; tasmin — in that; vipine — area of the forest; ati-bubhukṣitaḥ — extremely hungry; yadṛcchayā — by chance; āgataḥ — came there; nandam — Nanda Mahārāja; śayānam — who was lying asleep; ura-gaḥ — moving on his belly; agrasīt — swallowed.
During the night a huge and extremely hungry snake appeared in that thicket. Slithering on his belly up to the sleeping Nanda Mahārāja, the snake began swallowing him.
sa cukrośāhinā grastaḥ
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa mahān ayam
sarpo māṁ grasate tāta
saḥ — he, Nanda Mahārāja; cukrośa — shouted; ahinā — by the snake; grastaḥ — seized; kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa — O Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa; mahān — large; ayam — this; sarpaḥ — serpent; mām — me; grasate — is swallowing; tāta — my dear boy; prapannam — who is surrendered; parimocaya — please deliver.
In the clutches of the snake, Nanda Mahārāja cried out, “Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, my dear boy! This huge serpent is swallowing me! Please save me, who am surrendered to You!”
tasya cākranditaṁ śrutvā
grastaṁ ca dṛṣṭvā vibhrāntāḥ
sarpaṁ vivyadhur ulmukaiḥ
tasya — his; ca — and; ākranditam — the crying out; śrutvā — hearing; gopālāḥ — the cowherds; sahasā — suddenly; utthitāḥ — rising up; grastam — seized; ca — and; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; vibhrāntāḥ — disturbed; sarpam — the snake; vivyadhuḥ — they beat; ulmukaiḥ — with flaming torches.
When the cowherd men heard the cries of Nanda, they immediately rose up and saw that he was being swallowed. Distraught, they beat the serpent with blazing torches.
alātair dahyamāno ’pi
nāmuñcat tam uraṅgamaḥ
tam aspṛśat padābhyetya
bhagavān sātvatāṁ patiḥ
alātaiḥ — by the firebrands; dahyamānaḥ — being burned; api — although; na amuñcat — did not release; tam — him; uraṅgamaḥ — the snake; tam — that snake; aspṛśat — touched; padā — with His foot; abhyetya — coming; bhagavān — the Supreme Lord; sātvatām — of the devotees; patiḥ — the master.
But even though the firebrands were burning him, the serpent would not release Nanda Mahārāja. Then the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, master of His devotees, came to the spot and touched the snake with His foot.
sa vai bhagavataḥ śrīmat
bheje sarpa-vapur hitvā
saḥ — he; vai — indeed; bhagavataḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; śrī-mat — divine; pāda — of the foot; sparśa — by the touch; hata — destroyed; aśubhaḥ — all inauspiciousness; bheje — assumed; sarpa-vapuḥ — his snake body; hitvā — giving up; rūpam — a form; vidyādhara — by the Vidyādharas; arcitam — worshiped.
The snake had all his sinful reactions destroyed by the touch of the Supreme Lord’s divine foot, and thus he gave up his serpent body and appeared in the form of a worshipable Vidyādhara.
tam apṛcchad dhṛṣīkeśaḥ
tam — from him; apṛcchat — inquired; hṛṣīkeśaḥ — the Supreme Lord Hṛṣīkeśa; praṇatam — who was offering obeisances; samavasthitam — standing before Him; dīpyamānena — brilliantly shining; vapuṣā — with his body; puruṣam — the personality; hema — golden; mālinam — wearing necklaces.
The Supreme Lord Hṛṣīkeśa then questioned this personality, who was standing before Him with his head bowed, his brilliantly effulgent body bedecked with golden necklaces.
ko bhavān parayā lakṣmyā
kathaṁ jugupsitām etāṁ
gatiṁ vā prāpito ’vaśaḥ
kaḥ — who; bhavān — your good self; parayā — with great; lakṣmyā — beauty; rocate — shine; adbhuta — wonderful; darśanaḥ — to see; katham — why; jugupsitām — terrible; etām — this; gatim — destination; vā — and; prāpitaḥ — made to assume; avaśaḥ — beyond your control.
[Lord Kṛṣṇa said:] My dear sir, you appear so wonderful, glowing with such great beauty. Who are you? And who forced you to assume this terrible body of a snake?
ahaṁ vidyādharaḥ kaścit
sudarśana iti śrutaḥ
tair imāṁ prāpito yoniṁ
pralabdhaiḥ svena pāpmanā
sarpaḥ uvāca — the serpent said; aham — I; vidyādharaḥ — a Vidyādhara; kaścit — certain; sudarśanaḥ — Sudarśana; iti — thus; śrutaḥ — well known; śriyā — with opulence; svarūpa — of my personal form; sampattyā — with the asset; vimānena — in my airplane; ācaran — wandering; diśaḥ — the directions; ṛṣīn — sages; virūpa — deformed; āṅgirasaḥ — of the disciplic succession of Āṅgirā Muni; prāhasam — I ridiculed; rūpa — because of beauty; darpitaḥ — overly conceited; taiḥ — by them; imām — this; prāpitaḥ — made to assume; yonim — the birth; pralabdhaiḥ — who were laughed at; svena — because of my own; pāpmanā — sinful action.
The serpent replied: I am the well-known Vidyādhara named Sudarśana. I was very opulent and beautiful, and I used to wander freely in all directions in my airplane. Once I saw some homely sages of the lineage of Aṅgirā Muni. Proud of my beauty, I ridiculed them, and because of my sin they made me assume this lowly form.
śāpo me ’nugrahāyaiva
kṛtas taiḥ karuṇātmabhiḥ
yad ahaṁ loka-guruṇā
padā spṛṣṭo hatāśubhaḥ
śāpaḥ — the curse; me — my; anugrahāya — for the benediction; eva — certainly; kṛtaḥ — created; taiḥ — by them; karuṇa-ātmabhiḥ — who are merciful by nature; yat — since; aham — I; loka — of all the worlds; guruṇā — by the spiritual master; padā — with His foot; spṛṣṭaḥ — touched; hata — destroyed; aśubhaḥ — all inauspiciousness.
It was actually for my benefit that those merciful sages cursed me, since now I have been touched by the foot of the supreme spiritual master of all the worlds and have thus been relieved of all inauspiciousness.
taṁ tvāhaṁ bhava-bhītānāṁ
tam — that same person; tvā — You; aham — I; bhava — of material existence; bhītānām — for those who are afraid; prapannānām — who are surrendered; bhaya — of fear; apaham — the remover; āpṛcche — I request permission; śāpa — from the curse; nirmuktaḥ — freed; pāda-sparśāt — by the touch of Your foot; amīva — of all distress; han — O destroyer.
My Lord, You destroy all fear for those who, fearing this material world, take shelter of You. By the touch of Your feet I am now freed from the curse of the sages. O destroyer of distress, please let me return to my planet.
prapanno ’smi mahā-yogin
anujānīhi māṁ deva
prapannaḥ — surrendered; asmi — I am; mahā-yogin — O greatest of all possessors of mystic power; mahā-puruṣa — O greatest of all personalities; sat-pate — O master of the devotees; anujānīhi — please order; mām — me; deva — O God; sarva — of all; loka — of the worlds; īśvara — of the controllers; īśvara — O supreme controller.
O master of mystic power, O great personality, O Lord of the devotees, I surrender to You. Please command me as You will, O supreme God, Lord of all lords of the universe.
brahma-daṇḍād vimukto ’haṁ
sadyas te ’cyuta darśanāt
yan-nāma gṛhṇann akhilān
śrotṝn ātmānam eva ca
sadyaḥ punāti kiṁ bhūyas
tasya spṛṣṭaḥ padā hi te
brahma — of the brāhmaṇas; daṇḍāt — from the punishment; vimuktaḥ — freed; aham — I am; sadyaḥ — immediately; te — You; acyuta — O infallible Lord; darśanāt — by seeing; yat — whose; nāma — name; gṛhṇan — chanting; akhilān — all; śrotṝn — hearers; ātmānam — oneself; eva — indeed; ca — also; sadyaḥ — immediately; punāti — purifies; kim bhūyaḥ — what more, then; tasya — His; spṛṣṭaḥ — touched; padā — by the foot; hi — indeed; te — Your.
O infallible one, I was immediately freed from the brāhmaṇas’ punishment simply by seeing You. Anyone who chants Your name purifies all who hear his chanting, as well as himself. How much more beneficial, then, is the touch of Your lotus feet?
ity anujñāpya dāśārhaṁ
sudarśano divaṁ yātaḥ
kṛcchrān nandaś ca mocitaḥ
iti — thus; anujñāpya — taking permission; dāśārham — from Lord Kṛṣṇa; parikramya — circumambulating; abhivandya — offering obeisances; ca — and; sudarśanaḥ — Sudarśana; divam — to heaven; yātaḥ — went; kṛcchrāt — from his difficulty; nandaḥ — Nanda Mahārāja; ca — also; mocitaḥ — was delivered.
Thus receiving the permission of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the demigod Sudarśana circumambulated Him, bowed down to offer Him homage and then returned to his heavenly planet. Nanda Mahārāja was thus delivered from peril.
niśāmya kṛṣṇasya tad ātma-vaibhavaṁ
vrajaukaso vismita-cetasas tataḥ
samāpya tasmin niyamaṁ punar vrajaṁ
ṇṛpāyayus tat kathayanta ādṛtāḥ
niśāmya — seeing; kṛṣṇasya — of Lord Kṛṣṇa; tat — that; ātma — personal; vaibhavam — opulent display of power; vraja-okasaḥ — the inhabitants of Vraja; vismita — amazed; cetasaḥ — in their minds; tataḥ — then; samāpya — finishing; tasmin — at that place; niyamam — their vow; punaḥ — again; vrajam — to the cowherd village; nṛpa — O King; āyayuḥ — they returned; tat — that display; kathayantaḥ — describing; ādṛtāḥ — with reverence.
The inhabitants of Vraja were astonished to see the mighty power of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Dear King, they then completed their worship of Lord Śiva and returned to Vraja, along the way respectfully describing Kṛṣṇa’s powerful acts.
kadācid atha govindo
vijahratur vane rātryāṁ
kadācit — on one occasion; atha — then; govindaḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa; rāmaḥ — Lord Balarāma; ca — and; adbhuta — wonderful; vikramaḥ — whose deeds; vijahratuḥ — the two of Them played; vane — in the forest; rātryām — at night; madhya-gau — in the midst; vraja-yoṣitām — of the women of the cowherd community.
Once Lord Govinda and Lord Rāma, the performers of wonderful feats, were playing in the forest at night with the young girls of Vraja.
upagīyamānau — Their glories being sung; lalitam — charmingly; strī-janaiḥ — by the womenfolk; baddha — bound; sauhṛdaiḥ — in affection for Them; su-alaṅkṛta — finely decorated; anulipta — and anointed with (sandalwood pulp); aṅgau — whose limbs; srak-vinau — wearing flower garlands; virajaḥ — spotless; ambarau — whose garments.
Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma wore flower garlands and spotless garments, and Their limbs were beautifully decorated and anointed. The women sang Their glories in a charming way, bound to Them by affection.
niśā-mukham — the beginning of night; mānayantau — the two of Them honoring; udita — having risen; uḍupa — the moon; tārakam — and stars; mallikā — of the jasmine flowers; gandha — by the fragrance; matta — intoxicated; ali — by the bees; juṣṭam — liked; kumuda — from the lotuses; vāyunā — with the breeze.
The two Lords praised the nightfall, signaled by the rising of the moon and the appearance of stars, a lotus-scented breeze and bees intoxicated by the fragrance of jasmine flowers.
tau kalpayantau yugapat
jagatuḥ — They sang; sarva-bhūtānām — of all living beings; manaḥ — for the mind; śravaṇa — and ears; maṅgalam — happiness; tau — the two of Them; kalpayantau — producing; yugapat — simultaneously; svara — of musical tones; maṇḍala — by the entire scale; mūrcchitam — augmented.
Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma sang, producing the entire range of musical sounds simultaneously. Their singing brought happiness to the ears and minds of all living beings.
gopyas tad-gītam ākarṇya
mūrcchitā nāvidan nṛpa
gopyaḥ — the gopīs; tat — of Them; gītam — the singing; ākarṇya — hearing; mūrcchitāḥ — stunned; na avidan — were not aware of; nṛpa — my dear King; sraṁsat — slipping; dukūlam — the fine cloth of their garments; ātmānam — themselves; srasta — disheveled; keśa — their hair; srajam — the garlands; tataḥ — (slipping) from that.
The gopīs became stunned when they heard that song. Forgetting themselves, O King, they did not notice that their fine garments were becoming loose and their hair and garlands disheveled.
evaṁ vikrīḍatoḥ svairaṁ
śaṅkhacūḍa iti khyāto
evam — thus; vikrīḍatoḥ — as the two of Them were playing; svairam — as They desired; gāyatoḥ — singing; sampramatta — to the point of intoxication; vat — as if; śaṅkhacūḍaḥ — Śaṅkhacūḍa; iti — thus; khyātaḥ — named; dhana-da — of the treasurer of the demigods, Lord Kuvera; anucaraḥ — a servant; abhyagāt — arrived.
While Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Balarāma thus played according to Their own sweet will and sang to the point of apparent intoxication, a servant of Kuvera named Śaṅkhacūḍa came upon the scene.
tayor nirīkṣato rājaṁs
krośantaṁ kālayām āsa
diśy udīcyām aśaṅkitaḥ
tayoḥ — the two of Them; nirīkṣatoḥ — as They looked on; rājan — O King; tat-nātham — having Them as their Lords; pramadā-janam — the assemblage of women; krośantam — crying out; kālayām āsa — he drove; diśi — in the direction; udīcyām — northern; aśaṅkitaḥ — without fear.
O King, even as the two Lords looked on, Śaṅkhacūḍa brazenly began driving the women off toward the north. The women, who had accepted Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma as their Lords, began to cry out to Them.
krośantaṁ kṛṣṇa rāmeti
yathā gā dasyunā grastā
krośantam — crying out; kṛṣṇa rāma iti — “Kṛṣṇa! Rāma!”; vilokya — seeing; sva-parigraham — Their devotees; yathā — just as; gāḥ — cows; dasyunā — by a thief; grastāḥ — seized; bhrātarau — the two brothers; anvadhāvatām — ran after.
Hearing Their devotees crying out “Kṛṣṇa! Rāma!” and seeing that they were just like cows being stolen by a thief, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma began to run after the demon.
mā bhaiṣṭety abhayārāvau
āsedatus taṁ tarasā
mā bhaiṣṭa — do not fear; iti — thus calling; abhaya — giving fearlessness; ārāvau — whose words; śāla — logs of the śāla tree; hastau — in Their hands; tarasvinau — moving quickly; āsedatuḥ — They approached; tam — that demon; tarasā — with haste; tvaritam — who was moving swiftly; guhyaka — of Yakṣas; adhamam — the worst.
The Lords called out in reply, “Do not fear!” Then They picked up logs of the śala tree and quickly pursued that lowest of Guhyakas, who swiftly ran away.
sa vīkṣya tāv anuprāptau
viṣṛjya strī-janaṁ mūḍhaḥ
saḥ — he, Śaṅkhacūḍa; vīkṣya — seeing; tau — the two; anuprāptau — approached; kāla-mṛtyū — Time and Death; iva — as; udvijan — becoming anxious; visṛjya — leaving aside; strī-janam — the women; mūḍhaḥ — confused; prādravat — ran away; jīvita — his life; icchayā — with the desire of preserving.
When Śaṅkhacūḍa saw the two of Them coming toward him like the personified forces of Time and Death, he was filled with anxiety. Confused, he abandoned the women and fled for his life.
tam anvadhāvad govindo
yatra yatra sa dhāvati
tasthau rakṣan striyo balaḥ
tam — after him; anvadhāvat — ran; govindaḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa; yatra yatra — wherever; saḥ — he; dhāvati — was running; jihīrṣuḥ — desiring to take away; tat — his; śiraḥ — upon the head; ratnam — the jewel; tasthau — stood; rakṣan — protecting; striyaḥ — the women; balaḥ — Lord Balarāma.
Lord Govinda chased the demon wherever he ran, eager to take his crest jewel. Meanwhile Lord Balarāma stayed with the women to protect them.
śiras tasya durātmanaḥ
avidūre — nearby; iva — as if; abhyetya — coming toward; śiraḥ — the head; tasya — of him; durātmanaḥ — the wicked one; jahāra — took away; muṣṭinā — with His fist; eva — simply; aṅga — my dear King; saha — together with; cūḍa-maṇim — the jewel upon his head; vibhuḥ — the almighty Lord.
The mighty Lord overtook Śaṅkhacūḍa from a great distance as if from nearby, my dear King, and then with His fist the Lord removed the wicked demon’s head, together with his crest jewel.
maṇim ādāya bhāsvaram
paśyantīnāṁ ca yoṣitām
śaṅkhacūḍam — the demon Śaṅkhacūḍa; nihatya — killing; evam — in this manner; maṇim — the jewel; ādāya — taking; bhāsvaram — brilliant; agra-jāya — to His elder brother (Lord Balarāma); adadāt — gave; prītyā — with satisfaction; paśyantīnām — as they were watching; ca — and; yoṣitām — the women.
Having thus killed the demon Śaṅkhacūḍa and taken away his shining jewel, Lord Kṛṣṇa gave it to His elder brother with great satisfaction as the gopīs watched.