Śrīmad Bhāgavatam|Canto 11 Chapter 1
The Curse upon the Yadu Dynasty
kṛtvā daitya-vadhaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ
sa-rāmo yadubhir vṛtaḥ
bhuvo ’vatārayad bhāraṁ
javiṣṭhaṁ janayan kalim
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śuka said; kṛtvā — having performed; daitya — of the demons; vadham — the killing; kṛṣṇaḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa; sa-rāmaḥ — accompanied by Balarāma; yadubhiḥ — by the Yadus; vṛtaḥ — surrounded; bhuvaḥ — of the earth; avatārayat — caused to be lessened; bhāram — the burden; javiṣṭham — most sudden, leading to violence; janayan — raising; kalim — a state of quarrel.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, accompanied by Balarāma and surrounded by the Yadu dynasty, executed the killing of many demons. Then, further to remove the burden of the earth, the Lord arranged for the great Battle of Kurukṣetra, which suddenly erupted in violence between the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas.
ye kopitāḥ su-bahu pāṇḍu-sutāḥ sapatnair
kṛtvā nimittam itaretarataḥ sametān
hatvā nṛpān niraharat kṣiti-bhāram īśaḥ
ye — they who; kopitāḥ — were angered; su-bahu — excessively, time and time again; pāṇḍu-sutāḥ — the sons of Pāṇḍu; sapatnaiḥ — by their enemies; duḥ-dyūta — by duplicitous gambling; helana — insults; kaca-grahaṇa — grabbing the hair (of Draupadī); ādibhiḥ — and other impetuses; tān — them (the Pāṇḍavas); kṛtvā — making; nimittam — the immediate cause; itara-itarataḥ — confronting one another on opposite sides; sametān — all assembled; hatvā — killing; nṛpān — the kings; niraharat — took away once and for all; kṣiti — of the earth; bhāram — the burden; īśaḥ — the Supreme Lord.
Because the sons of Pāṇḍu were enraged by the numerous offenses of their enemies, such as duplicitous gambling, verbal insults, the seizing of Draupadī’s hair, and many other cruel transgressions, the Supreme Lord engaged those Pāṇḍavas as the immediate cause to execute His will. On the pretext of the Battle of Kurukṣetra, Lord Kṛṣṇa arranged for all the kings who were burdening the earth to assemble with their armies on opposite sides of the battlefield, and when the Lord killed them through the agency of war, the earth was relieved of its burden.
bhū-bhāra-rāja-pṛtanā yadubhir nirasya
guptaiḥ sva-bāhubhir acintayad aprameyaḥ
manye ’vaner nanu gato ’py agataṁ hi bhāraṁ
yad yādavaṁ kulam aho aviṣahyam āste
bhū-bhāra — existing as the burden of the earth; rāja — of the kings; pṛtanāḥ — the armies; yadubhiḥ — by the Yadus; nirasya — eliminating; guptaiḥ — protected; sva-bāhubhiḥ — by His own arms; acintayat — He considered; aprameyaḥ — the unfathomable Lord; manye — I think; avaneḥ — of the earth; nanu — one may say; gataḥ — it is gone; api — but; agatam — it is not gone; hi — indeed; bhāram — the burden; yat — because; yādavam — of Yadus; kulam — the dynasty; aho — ah; aviṣahyam — intolerable; āste — remains.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead used the Yadu dynasty, which was protected by His own arms, to eliminate the kings who with their armies had been the burden of this earth. Then the unfathomable Lord thought to Himself, “Although some may say that the earth’s burden is now gone, in My opinion it is not yet gone, because there still remains the Yādava dynasty itself, whose strength is unbearable for the earth.”
naivānyataḥ paribhavo ’sya bhavet kathañcin
mat-saṁśrayasya vibhavonnahanasya nityam
antaḥ kaliṁ yadu-kulasya vidhāya veṇu-
stambasya vahnim iva śāntim upaimi dhāma
na — not; eva — certainly; anyataḥ — from another cause; paribhavaḥ — defeat; asya — of this (dynasty); bhavet — there can be; kathañcit — by any means; mat-saṁśrayasya — which has fully taken shelter of Me; vibhava — with its power; unnahanasya — unrestricted; nityam — always; antaḥ — within; kalim — a quarrel; yadu-kulasya — the Yadu dynasty; vidhāya — inspiring; veṇu-stambasya — of a clump of bamboo plants; vahnim — a fire; iva — as; śāntim — peace; upaimi — I shall achieve; dhāma — My eternal personal abode.
Lord Kṛṣṇa thought, “No outside force could ever bring about the defeat of this family, the Yadu dynasty, whose members have always been fully surrendered to Me and are unrestricted in their opulence. But if I inspire a quarrel within the dynasty, that quarrel will act just like a fire created from the friction of bamboo in a grove, and then I shall achieve My real purpose and return to My eternal abode.”
evaṁ vyavasito rājan
sañjahre sva-kulaṁ vibhuḥ
evam — in this way; vyavasitaḥ — deciding for certain; rājan — O King; satya-saṅkalpaḥ — whose desire always proves true; īśvaraḥ — the Supreme Lord; śāpa-vyājena — by the pretext of a curse; viprāṇām — of brāhmaṇas; sañjahre — withdrew; sva-kulam — His own family; vibhuḥ — the Almighty.
My dear King Parīkṣit, when the supreme almighty Lord, whose desire always comes to pass, had thus made up His mind, He withdrew His own family on the pretext of a curse spoken by an assembly of brāhmaṇas.
nirmuktyā locanaṁ nṛṇām
gīrbhis tāḥ smaratāṁ cittaṁ
padais tān īkṣatāṁ kriyāḥ
ācchidya kīrtiṁ su-ślokāṁ
vitatya hy añjasā nu kau
tamo ’nayā tariṣyantīty
agāt svaṁ padam īśvaraḥ
sva-mūrtyā — by His own form; loka — of all the material worlds; lāvaṇya — the beauty; nirmuktyā — which takes away; locanam — (He attracted) the eyes; nṛṇām — of men; gīrbhiḥ — by His words; tāḥ smaratām — of those who remembered them; cittam — the mind; padaiḥ — by His feet; tān īkṣatām — of those who saw them; kriyāḥ — the physical activities (walking, etc); ācchidya — having attracted; kīrtim — His glories; su-ślokām — praised by the best verses; vitatya — having spread; hi — certainly; añjasā — easily; nu — indeed; kau — upon the earth; tamaḥ — ignorance; anayā — by those (glories); tariṣyanti — people will cross over; iti — thus thinking; agāt — He obtained; svam padam — His own desired position; īśvaraḥ — the Lord.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the reservoir of all beauty. All beautiful things emanate from Him, and His personal form is so attractive that it steals the eyes away from all other objects, which then seem devoid of beauty in comparison to Him. When Lord Kṛṣṇa was on the earth, He attracted the eyes of all people. When Kṛṣṇa spoke, His words attracted the minds of all who remembered them. By seeing the footsteps of Lord Kṛṣṇa, people became attracted to Him, and thus they wanted to offer their bodily activities to the Lord as His followers. In this way Kṛṣṇa very easily spread His glories, which are sung throughout the world by the most sublime and essential Vedic verses. Lord Kṛṣṇa considered that simply by hearing and chanting those glories, conditioned souls born in the future would cross beyond the darkness of ignorance. Being satisfied with this arrangement, He left for His desired destination.
vipra-śāpaḥ katham abhūd
śrī-rājā uvāca — the King said; brahmaṇyānām — of them who were respectful to the brāhmaṇas; vadānyānām — charitable; nityam — always; vṛddha-upasevinām — engaged in serving elders; vipra-śāpaḥ — the brāhmaṇas’ curse; katham — how; abhūt — did it come about; vṛṣṇīnām — of the Vṛṣṇis; kṛṣṇa-cetasām — whose minds were totally absorbed in thought of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
King Parīkṣit inquired: How could the brāhmaṇas curse the Vṛṣṇis, who were always respectful to the brāhmaṇas, charitable, and inclined to serve senior and exalted personalities and whose minds were always fully absorbed in thought of Lord Kṛṣṇa?
yan-nimittaḥ sa vai śāpo
katham ekātmanāṁ bheda
etat sarvaṁ vadasva me
yat-nimittaḥ — arising by what cause; saḥ — that; vai — indeed; śāpaḥ — curse; yādṛśaḥ — what kind; dvija-sat-tama — O purest of twice-born brāhmaṇas; katham — how; eka-ātmanām — of those who shared the same soul (Śrī Kṛṣṇa); bhedaḥ — the disagreement; etat — this; sarvam — all; vadasva — please tell; me — to me.
King Parīkṣit continued inquiring: What was the motive for this curse? What did it consist of, O purest of the twice-born? And how could such a disagreement have arisen among the Yadus, who all shared the same goal of life? Please tell me all these things.
bibhrad vapuḥ sakala-sundara-sanniveśaṁ
karmācaran bhuvi su-maṅgalam āpta-kāmaḥ
āsthāya dhāma ramamāṇa udāra-kīṛtiḥ
saṁhartum aicchata kulaṁ sthita-kṛtya-śeṣaḥ
śrī-bādarāyaṇiḥ — Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Bādarāyaṇa; uvāca — said; bibhrat — bearing; vapuḥ — a divine body; sakala — of all; sundara — beautiful things; sanniveśam — the amalgamation; karma — activities; ācaran — performing; bhuvi — on the earth; su-maṅgalam — very auspicious; āpta-kāmaḥ — being satisfied in all His desires; āsthāya — residing; dhāma — in His abode (Dvārakā); ramamāṇaḥ — enjoying life; udāra-kīrtiḥ — He whose glories are very magnanimous in themselves; saṁhartum — to destroy; aicchata — He wanted; kulam — His dynasty; sthita — there remaining; kṛtya — of His business; śeṣaḥ — some remnant.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: The Lord, who bore His body as the amalgamation of everything beautiful, dutifully executed the most auspicious activities while on the earth, although He was, in fact, without any endeavor already satisfied in all desires. Residing in His abode and enjoying life, the Lord, whose glorification is in itself magnanimous, now wanted to annihilate His dynasty, as there still remained some small part of His duty to be carried out.
karmāni puṇya-nivahāni su-maṅgalāni
kālātmanā nivasatā yadu-deva-gehe
piṇḍārakaṁ samagaman munayo nisṛṣṭāḥ
viśvāmitro ’sitaḥ kaṇvo
durvāsā bhṛgur aṅgirāḥ
kaśyapo vāmadevo ’trir
karmāṇi — fruitive rituals; puṇya — piety; nivahāni — which bestow; su-maṅgalāni — most auspicious; gāyat — chanting (about which); jagat — for the whole world; kali — of the current, degraded age; mala — the impurities; apaharāṇi — which take away; kṛtvā — having performed; kāla-ātmanā — by Him who is the very personification of time; nivasatā — residing; yadu-deva — of the lord of the Yadus (King Vasudeva); gehe — in the home; piṇḍārakam — to the pilgrimage site known as Piṇḍāraka; samagaman — they went; munayaḥ — the sages; nisṛṣṭāḥ — being let out; viśvāmitraḥ asitaḥ kaṇvaḥ — the sages Viśvāmitra, Asita and Kaṇva; durvāsāḥ bhṛguḥ aṅgirāḥ — Durvāsā, Bhṛgu and Aṅgirā; kaśyapaḥ vāmadevaḥ atriḥ — Kaśyapa, Vāmadeva and Atri; vasiṣṭhaḥ nārada-ādayaḥ — Vasiṣṭha, Nārada and others.
The sages Viśvāmitra, Asita, Kaṇva, Durvāsā, Bhṛgu, Aṅgirā, Kaśyapa, Vāmadeva, Atri and Vasiṣṭha, along with Nārada and others, once performed fruitive rituals that award abundant pious results, bring great happiness and take away the sins of Kali-yuga for the whole world by merely being recounted. The sages duly executed these rituals in the home of the chief of the Yadus, Vasudeva, the father of Lord Kṛṣṇa. After Lord Kṛṣṇa, who was staying in Vasudeva’s house as time personified, respectfully sent the sages off at the conclusion of the ceremonies, they went to the holy place called Piṇḍāraka.
krīḍantas tān upavrajya
te veṣayitvā strī-veṣaiḥ
eṣā pṛcchati vo viprā
praṣṭuṁ vilajjatī sākṣāt
kiṁ svit sañjanayiṣyati
krīḍantaḥ — playing; tān — them (the sages); upavrajya — approaching; kumārāḥ — the young boys; yadu-nandanāḥ — the sons of the Yadu dynasty; upasaṅgṛhya — taking hold of the sages’ feet; papracchuḥ — they asked; avinītāḥ — not humble; vinīta-vat — acting as if humble; te — they; veṣayitvā — dressing; strī-veṣaiḥ — in a woman’s clothes and ornaments; sāmbam jāmbavatī-sutam — Sāmba, the son of Jāmbavatī; eṣā — this woman; pṛcchati — is asking; vaḥ — you; viprāḥ — O learned brāhmaṇas; antarvatnī — pregnant; asita-īkṣanā — black-eyed; praṣṭum — to ask; vilajjatī — embarrassed; sākṣāt — directly herself; prabrūta — please speak; amogha-darśanāḥ — O you whose vision is never bewildered; prasoṣyantī — she who is just about to give birth; putra-kāmā — and desirous of getting a son; kim svit — what indeed (a son or daughter?); sañjanayiṣyati — will she give birth to.
To that holy place, the young boys of the Yadu dynasty had brought Sāmba, son of Jāmbavatī, dressed in woman’s garb. Playfully approaching the great sages gathered there, the boys grabbed hold of the sages’ feet and impudently asked them with feigned humility, “O learned brāhmaṇas, this black-eyed pregnant woman has something to ask you. She is too embarrassed to inquire for herself. She is just about to give birth and is very desirous of having a son. Since all of you are great sages with infallible vision, please tell us whether her child will be a boy or a girl.”
evaṁ pralabdhā munayas
tān ūcuḥ kupitā nṛpa
janayiṣyati vo mandā
evam — thus; pralabdhāḥ — tricked; munayaḥ — the sages; tān — to those boys; ūcuḥ — they spoke; kupitāḥ — angered; nṛpa — O King Parīkṣit; janayiṣyati — she will give birth; vaḥ — for you; mandāḥ — O fools; muṣalam — to a club; kula-nāśanam — which will destroy the dynasty.
Thus ridiculed by deceit, the sages became angry, O King, and told the boys, “Fools! She will bear you an iron club that will destroy your entire dynasty.”
tac chrutvā te ’ti-santrastā
sāmbasya dadṛśus tasmin
muṣalaṁ khalv ayasmayam
tat — that; śrutvā — having heard; te — they; ati-santrastāḥ — extremely afraid; vimucya — uncovering; sahasā — hastily; udaram — the belly; sāmbasya — of Sāmba; dadṛśuḥ — they saw; tasmin — within it; muṣalam — a club; khalu — indeed; ayaḥ-mayam — made of iron.
Upon hearing the curse of the sages, the terrified boys quickly uncovered the belly of Sāmba, and indeed they observed that therein was an iron club.
kiṁ kṛtaṁ manda-bhāgyair naḥ
kiṁ vadiṣyanti no janāḥ
iti vihvalitā gehān
ādāya muṣalaṁ yayuḥ
kim — what; kṛtam — has been done; manda-bhāgyaiḥ — who are very unfortunate; naḥ — by us; kim — what; vadiṣyanti — will they say; naḥ — to us; janāḥ — the family; iti — thus speaking; vihvalitāḥ — overwhelmed; gehān — to their homes; ādāya — taking; muṣalam — the club; yayuḥ — they went.
The young men of the Yadu dynasty said, “Oh, what have we done? We are so unfortunate! What will our family members say to us?” Speaking thus and being very disturbed, they returned to their homes, taking the club with them.
tac copanīya sadasi
rājña āvedayāṁ cakruḥ
tat — that club; ca — and; upanīya — bringing; sadasi — into the assembly; parimlāna — completely faded; mukha — of their faces; śriyaḥ — the beauty; rājñe — the King; āvedayām cakruḥ — they informed; sarva-yādava — of all the Yadus; sannidhau — in the presence.
The Yadu boys, the luster of their faces completely faded, brought the club into the royal assembly, and in the presence of all the Yādavas they told King Ugrasena what had happened.
dṛṣṭvā ca muṣalaṁ nṛpa
śrutvā — hearing about; amogham — infallible; vipra-śāpam — the curse of the brāhmaṇas; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; ca — and; muṣalam — the club; nṛpa — O King; vismitāḥ — amazed; bhaya — with fear; santrastāḥ — distraught; babhūvuḥ — they became; dvārakā-okasaḥ — the inhabitants of Dvārakā.
O King Parīkṣit, when the inhabitants of Dvārakā heard of the infallible curse of the brāhmaṇas and saw the club, they were astonished and distraught with fear.
tac cūrṇayitvā muṣalaṁ
yadu-rājaḥ sa āhukaḥ
tat — that; cūrṇayitvā — having ground to bits; muṣalam — club; yadu-rājaḥ — the King of the Yadus; saḥ — he; āhukaḥ — Āhuka (Ugrasena); samudra — of the ocean; salile — in the water; prāsyat — he threw; loham — the iron; ca — and; asya — of the club; avaśeṣitam — the remnant.
After having the club ground to bits, King Āhuka [Ugrasena] of the Yadus personally threw the pieces, along with the remaining lump of iron, into the water of the ocean.
kaścin matsyo ’grasīl lohaṁ
cūrṇāni taralais tataḥ
lagnāny āsan kilairakāḥ
kaścit — a certain; matsyaḥ — fish; agrasīt — swallowed; loham — the iron; cūrṇāni — the bits of powder; taralaiḥ — by the waves; tataḥ — from that place; uhyamānāni — being carried; velāyām — on the shore; lagnāni — becoming stuck; āsan — they became; kila — indeed; erakāḥ — a particular species of grass with long, sharp-edged blades.
A certain fish swallowed the iron lump, and the bits of iron, carried back to the shore by the waves, implanted themselves there and grew into tall, sharp canes.
matsyo gṛhīto matsya-ghnair
sa śalye lubdhako ’karot
matsyaḥ — the fish; gṛhītaḥ — being seized; matsya-ghnaiḥ — by fishermen; jālena — with a net; anyaiḥ saha — along with other fish; arṇave — within the ocean; tasya — of the fish; udara-gatam — contained in the stomach; loham — lump of iron; saḥ — he (Jarā); śalye — on his arrow; lubdhakaḥ — a hunter; akarot — placed.
The fish was caught in the ocean along with other fish in a fishermen’s net. The iron lump in the fish’s stomach was taken by the hunter Jarā, who fixed it as an arrowhead at the end of his shaft.
īśvaro ’pi tad-anyathā
kartuṁ naicchad vipra-śāpaṁ
bhagavān — the Supreme Lord; jñāta — knowing; sarva-arthaḥ — the meaning of everything; īśvaraḥ — quite capable; api — although; tat-anyathā — otherwise; kartum — to make; na aicchat — He did not desire; vipra-śāpam — the brāhmaṇas’ curse; kāla-rūpī — exhibiting His form of time; anvamodata — He gladly sanctioned.
Knowing fully the significance of all these events, the Supreme Lord, though capable of reversing the brāhmaṇas’ curse, did not wish to do so. Rather, in His form of time, He gladly sanctioned the events.