PADA: Its is strange that as Krishna was leaving the earth, all sorts of inauspicious events began taking place. And when Srila Prabhupada was leaving the earth, all sorts of inauspicious events began taking place. And many of the devotees began to fight among themselves in both instances.
And the overall society suffered from all the inauspiciousness / infighting and so forth in both cases. And a number of the devotees died untimely, in both cases. Krishna was allegedly killed by being hit with an arrow, and Srila Prabhupada complained he was being poisoned, hence — there was mystery surrounding both departures.
Some of Krishna’s family members thought he was an ordinary man, some of Srila Prabhupada’s family members thought he was an ordinary man, etc. Anyway, its something to think about. ys pd
Srila Prabhupada: Some of Lord Krsna’s pastimes are mentioned in the Mahabharata as mausala-lila. These include the stories of the destruction of the Yadu dynasty, Krsna’s disappearance, His being pierced by a hunter’s arrow, the story of Krsna’s being an incarnation of a piece of hair (kesa-avatara) as well as mahisi-harana, the kidnapping of Krsna’s queens. Actually these are not factual but are related for the bewilderment of the asuras, who want to prove that Krsna is an ordinary human being.
They are false in the sense that these pastimes are not eternal, nor are they transcendental or spiritual. There are many people who are by nature averse to the supremacy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu. Such people are called asuras. They have mistaken ideas about Krsna. As stated in the Bhagavad-gita, the asuras are given a chance to forget Krsna more and more, birth after birth. Thus they make their appearance in a family of asuras and continue this process, being kept in bewilderment about Krsna. Asuras in the dress of sannyasis even explain the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam in different ways according to their own imaginations. Thus they continue to remain asuras birth after birth.
The destruction of the Yadu dynasty
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, as well as His powerful brother, Balarama, executed the killing of many demons. The Yadu dynasty also helped in this regard. To further remove the burden of the earth, the Lord arranged for the great battle of Kurukshetra, which suddenly erupted in violence between the Kurus and the Pandavas. Previously, before the appearance of the Lord, He had ordered that the demigods appear in the pious families of the Yadus. However, some members of the Yadu dynasty still saw the Lord as an ordinary human being.
Because of their mundane vision of the Supreme Person, they considered themselves on the same level as the Lord. Because they took their birth in the Yadu dynasty, they had inconceivable strength, and thus they misunderstood Lord Krishna’s supreme position. Having forgotten that Krishna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they constituted a great burden.
Consequently, it was then necessary for Lord Krishna to remove that burden from the face of the earth. Although many members, who were devoted to Krishna, died in this fratricidal war, they were returned to their original positions as universal demigods. Others, who were eternal associates of the Lord, returned to His Own abode. Thus the Lord fulfilled his promise in Bhagavad-gita that His devotee never perishes.
After the battle of Kurukshetra, Gandhari had cursed the Yadu dynasty to be destroyed by fratricide. She did this because she considered Lord Krishna to be the cause of her sons’ death. This curse satisfied the Lord because He was considering how to remove His family from the face of the earth. The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, used the Yadu dynasty, which was protected by His own arms, to eliminate the kings, who with their armies, had been a burden to this earth.
Then the unfathomable Lord thought to Himself, “The abatement of the earth’s great burden, eighteen akshauhinis, has now been effected with the help of Drona, Bhishma, Arjuna and Bhima. But what is this? There is still the invincible strength of the Yadu dynasty, born of Myself, which may be a more unbearable burden.
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 within the dynasty a quarrel, it 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.”
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 brahmanas. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is the reservoir of all beauty. 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 Sri Krishna was on the earth, He attracted the eyes of all people.
When Krishna spoke, His words attracted the minds of all who remembered them. By seeing the footprints of Lord Krishna, people became attached to Him, and thus they desired to become His most obedient servants. In this way Krishna very easily spread His glories, which are sung throughout the world by the most sublime and essential Vedic verses. Lord Krishna 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.
Once upon a time, the sages Visvamitra, Asita, Kanva, Durvasa, Bhrigu, Angira, Kashyapa, Vamadeva, Atri and Vashistha, along with Narada and others, performed devotional 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 Yadu, Vasudeva, the father of Lord Krishna. After Lord Krishna, who was staying in Vasudeva’s home as time personified, respectfully sent the sages off at the conclusion of the ceremonies, they went to the holy place called Pindraka.
While in that holy place, the princes of the Yadu dynasty had Samba, the son of Jambavati, dress up in a woman’s garb. Playfully approaching the great sages gathered there, the princes grabbed hold of the sages’ feet and impudently asked them, with feigned humility, “O learned brahmanas, 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.”
While the princes were thus joking in this way, the sages became angry. Narada then cursed them, “Fools! She will bear you an iron club that will destroy your entire dynasty.” Narada could never have any ill feeling toward the members of the Yadu dynasty, since his Lord was Sri Krishna. Narada is never influenced by the modes of nature like passion or ignorance. Therefore, in cursing the Yadu dynasty, he was simple acting as an instrument of the Lord.
Upon hearing the curse of the sages, the terrified princes quickly uncovered Samba’s belly, and indeed they observed that there was an iron club. The young men of the Yadu dynasty exclaimed, “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. The luster of their faces completely faded. The Yadu princes brought the club into the royal assembly and described what had happened to King Ugrasena in the presence of all the Yadavas.
When the citizens of Dvaraka heard about the infallible curse of the brahmanas and saw the mace, they were astonished and fearful. King Ugrasena thought to himself, “Samba and others should not feel any shame or fear.” Thus without consulting Lord Sri Krishna, he ordered the club ground into fragments and thrown into the water, along with a small iron lump that remained.
A certain fish swallowed the iron lump, and the bits of iron, carried to the shore by the waves, implanted themselves there and grew into tall, sharp canes. The fish was caught in the ocean along with other fish in a fisherman’s net. The iron lump in the fish’s stomach was taken by the hunter Jara, who fixed it as an arrowhead at the end of his shaft. Knowing fully the significance of all these events, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, though capable of reversing the brahmana’s curse, did not wish to do so. Rather, in His form of time, He gladly sanctioned the events.
While the Vrishnis and the Andhakas were thus endeavoring to avoid the impending calamity, the embodied form of eternal time (Kala) wandered every day about their houses. He was terrible to behold. His head was bald, and his complexion was blackish. His eyes were fierce like fire. Sometimes he was seen by the Yadus as he peered into their houses. The mighty bowmen of the Vrishnis shot hundreds and thousands of arrows at him, but none on these succeeded in piercing him, for he was none else than the destroyer of all creatures. Day by day strong winds blew, and there were many awful, evil omens that arose, foretelling the destruction of the Yadu dynasty.
The streets swarmed with rats and mice. Earthen pots were broken from no apparent cause. At night, the rats and mice ate away the hair and nails of sleeping men. Crows uttered inauspicious sounds within the houses of the Vrishnis, and they did not cease day or night. Many birds, impelled by death, appeared that were pale in complexion. Asses took birth from cows, and elephants took birth from mules. Cats were born of dogs, and mice took birth from the mongoose.
The Vrishnis committed sinful acts and did not feel any shame upon doing so. They showed disregard for the brahmanas, demigods and the deities. They insulted and humiliated their seniors and preceptors. Only Lord Krishna and Balarama acted otherwise. Wives deceived their husbands, and husbands deceived their wives. The sun seemed surrounded by headless trunks of human form.
Beholding the inauspicious omens, Hrishikesha, the Lord, understood that the thirty-sixth year had come, and that the curse of Gandhari and the brahmanas was now taking effect. He then ordered an assembly of the Yadus in the Sudharma imperial court. The Yadus fixed their eyes upon the transcendental form of the Lord and were unable to withdraw them.
Once that form entered their hearts and became fixed there, it would never depart. What to speak of acquiring fame, the great poets who described the beauty of the Lord’s form would have their words invested with transcendentally pleasing attraction. And by seeing that form on Arjuna’s chariot, all the warriors on the battlefield of Kurukshetra attained the liberation of gaining a spiritual body similar to the Lord’s.
When all the Yadus had gathered in the Sudharma royal court, Lord Krishna spoke the following words, “O leaders of the Yadu dynasty, please note all these terrible omens that have appeared in Dvaraka just like the flags of death. We should not remain here a moment longer. The women, children and old men should leave this city and go to Sankhoddhara. We shall go to Prabhasa-kshetra, where the river Saraswati flows toward the west.
There we should bathe for purification, fast, and fix our minds in meditation. We should then worship the demigods by bathing their images, anointing them with sandalwood pulp, and presenting them various offerings. After performing these pious rituals with the help of greatly learned brahmanas, we will worship those brahmanas by offering them cows, land, gold, clothing, elephants, horses, chariots and dwelling places.
This is indeed the appropriate process for counteracting the evil omens we see, and it is sure to bring about the highest good fortune. Such worship of the demigods, brahmanas and cows can earn the highest birth for all living entities.”
Having heard these words from Lord Krishna, the enemy of Madhu, the elders of the Yadu Dynasty gave their assent, saying, “So be it.” After crossing over the ocean in boats, they proceeded on chariots to Prabhasa. There, with great devotion, the Yadavas performed the religious ceremonies according to the instructions of the Supreme Godhead, their personal Lord. They also performed various other auspicious rituals.
When their intelligence had been covered by Providence, they liberally indulged in drinking the sweet Maireya beverage, which can completely intoxicate the mind. Then Satyaki, intoxicated on wine, began laughing and insulting Kritavarman in the midst of the Yadu assembly. He scorned him as follows, “What kshatriya is there who, armed with weapons, would slay men locked in the embraces of sleep and, therefore, already dead? Hence, O son of Hridika, the Yadavas will never tolerate what you have done.”
When Satyaki had spoken these critical words, Pradyumna, the foremost chariot fighter, applauded them expressing his disregard for the son of Hridika. Highly incensed at this, Kritavarman spoke harshly with Satyaki, “You are professing yourself to be a hero, but you have slain the defenseless Bhurishravas, who was sitting in meditation.”
Hearing this criticism of Satyaki, Lord Krishna cast an angry glance at Kritavarman. Then Satyaki reminded Lord Krishna that Kritavarman had taken part in the assassination plot of Satrajit, the father of Satyabhama. Remembering her father’s death, Satyabhama came to her husband’s side and began shedding tears.
Rising up in rage, Satyaki pointed at Kritavarman and exclaimed, “I swear by truth that I shall soon cause this one to follow the path taken by the five sons of Draupadi, Dhristadyumna, and Shikhandi. Your period of life and fame has come to an end!” Having taken this oath, Satyaki rushed at Kritavarman and severed his head with a sword in the very sight of Keshava. Satyaki then began to strike down others present, and Lord Krishna ran to stop him.
The Bhojas and Andhakas were furious that Kritavarman was slain, and they attacked Satyaki intending to kill him. Pradyumnya rose to help Satyaki but it was too late. Both of them were slain by superior numbers. Infuriated, the Yadus seized their bows, arrows, swords, ballas, maces, lances and spears and attacked one another on the shore at Prabhasa. Completely abandoning their natural friendship, the members of the various Yadu clans, the Dasharas, the Vrishnis, the Andhakas, the Bhojas, the Satvatas, Madhus, the Arbudas, the Mathuras, the Surasenas etc. all slaughtered one another.
Thus bewildered, sons fought with fathers, brothers with brothers, nephews with maternal and paternal uncles, and grandsons with grandfathers. Friends fought with friends, and well wishers fought with well wishers. In this way intimate friends and relatives killed one another. When all their bows and weapons had been exhausted, they seized tall stalks of cane on the shore of the ocean. When they did, these stalks of canes turned into iron rods as hard as thunderbolts. With these weapons the warriors began attacking one another again and again.
When Lord Krishna tried to stop them, they attacked Him as well. In their confused state they also mistook Lord Balarama for an enemy. With weapons in hand they ran toward Him to kill Him. Lord Krishna and Balarama became furious, and picking up stalks of cane, they killed the remnants of the Yadu dynasty. When the slaughter was finished there was approximately 560,000,000, members of the Yadu dynasty lying dead at Prabhasa. The only two left were Babhru and Daruka. They approached Lord Krishna and spoke to him the following words, “O Lord, a large number of men have been slain. Let us leave this area and follow the path of Lord Balarama.”
Then Lord Krishna, Babhru, and Daruka began to search for Lord Baladeva, the son of Rohini. They found him sitting under a tree near the ocean. After finding His elder brother, Lord Krishna ordered Daruka, “Go to the Kurus and inform Arjuna of this great slaughter. Arjuna should come here as soon as possible.” After Daruka had gone away, Lord Krishna said to Babhru, “Go quickly to the city of Dvaraka and protect the ladies from robbers and thieves. Offer protection to the old and the young.” Thus commanded by Lord Krishna, Babhru, still intoxicated from wine and depressed from the slaughter of his kinsmen, started for Dvaraka. As soon as he had gone a short distance, an iron bolt attached to a hunter’s mallet struck Babhru, who was included in the curse of the brahmanas.
Beholding Babhru slain, Lord Krishna said to Balarama, “Wait here till I place the ladies of Dvaraka under proper protection.” Lord Krishna then entered Dvaraka and informed the remnants of His family of the fratricide at Prabhasa. Lord Krishna addressed His father, “Please protect the ladies of our house till Arjuna comes. Just near the ocean in a forest Balarama waits for Me. I shall practice penances and austerities with Him. This massacre of the Yadus was similar to the slaughter of the Kurus at Kurukshetra. It is impossible for Me to live without the Yadavas as My companions.”
Lord Krishna touched the feet of His father, and left the palace to the sounds of crying women. Lord Krishna then proceeded to the ocean and saw His brother sitting in meditation. Suddenly, a great white snake issued from His mouth, and ascending that snake, He went back to the spiritual world. Lord Krishna, witnessing the ascendence of His brother to Vaikuntha, sat down under a nearby Pippala tree.
The Lord was exhibiting his brilliantly effulgent four armed form, the radiance of which, just like a smokeless fire, dissipated the darkness in all directions. His complexion was the color of a dark blue cloud, and His effulgence the color of molten gold. His all auspicious form bore the mark of the Srivatsa. A beautiful smile graced His lotus face. Locks of dark blue hair adorned His head. His lotus petal eyes were very attractive, and His shark shaped earrings glittered. He wore silken garments, an ornamental belt, sacred thread, bracelets, and arm ornaments, along with a crown, Kaustubha jewel, necklaces, anklets and other royal emblems.
Around His neck were flower garlands, and His personal weapons were next to Him in their embodied forms. As He sat He held His foot with its lotus red sole on His right thigh. At that time a hunter named Jara had approached that place, and mistook the Lord’s foot for the face of a deer. Thinking that he had found his prey, Jara released an arrow which he had fashioned from the remaining iron fragment of Samba’s club.
The arrow did not actually pierce the Lord’s foot but merely grazed it. Seeing the four armed form of the Lord, the hunter became terrified that he had made some kind of offense, fell down at the lotus feet of the Lord, and prayed, “O Lord Madhusudana, I am a most sinful person. I have committed this act out of ignorance. O purest Lord, O Uttamasloka, please forgive this sinner. O Lord Vishnu, the learned say that for any man constant remembrance of You will destroy the darkness of ignorance. O master, I have made a great offense.
Therefore, O Lord of Vaikuntha, please kill this sinful hunter of animals, immediately, so he may not commit offenses against divine personalities again. Neither Brahma, nor any of his sons headed by Rudra, or any of the great sages who are masters of Vedic mantras, can understand the function of your mystic power. Because your illusory potency has covered their sight, they remain ignorant of how Your mystic power works. Therefore, what can I, a low born person, possibly say.”
Replying to the hunter the Supreme Personality of Godhead said, “My dear Jara, do not fear. Please get up. What has been done is actually my desire. With my permission go now to the abode of the pious, the spiritual world.” So instructed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, who assumes His transcendental body by His own will, the hunter circumambulated the Lord three times and bowed down to Him. The hunter then ascended a Vaikuntha airplane which took him to the spiritual world.
After this incident, Daruka suddenly appeared because he could not bear separation from the Lord. As he approached that place where the Lord was sitting, he could perceive the aroma of Tulasi leaves in the breeze, and followed the direction of the scent. Upon seeing Lord Krishna sitting under a banyan tree, surrounded by His shining weapons, Daruka could not control the loving affection he felt in his heart.
Tears fell from his eyes as he descended from the chariot and fell at the Lord’s lotus feet. Daruka said, “Just as on a moonless night people are plunged into darkness and cannot find their way, now that I have lost sight of Your lotus feet, my Lord, I have lost my vision and am wandering blindly in darkness. I cannot find my direction, nor can I find any peace.”
While Daruka was speaking, the Lord’s chariot, horses, and emblem, which was marked with the sign of Garuda, ascended into the sky. All the Lord’s divine weapons also ascended following the path of the chariot. Daruka was most astonished to see all this, and the Lord compassionately spoke to him, “O Suta, go to Dvaraka and tell our family members how Lord Baladeva has dissappeared. Also tell them of my present condition. You and your family members should not remain in Dvaraka, because once I have abandoned that city, it will be inundated by the ocean.
Whatever family members are left should be gathered together, and under Arjuna’s protection leave for Indraprastha. My dear Daruka, you should be firmly fixed in devotion to Me. Remain fixed in spiritual knowledge and unattached to material considerations. Understanding these pastimes to be a display of My illusory potency, You should remain peaceful.” Thus ordered, Daruka circumambulated the Lord and offered obeisances to Him again and again. He placed Lord Krishna’s lotus feet on His head, and then with a sad heart went back to the city.
At this time Lord Brahma arrived at Prabhasa along with Lord Shiva and his consorts, the sages, the Prajapatis and all demigods headed by Indra. The forefathers, Siddhas, Gandharvas, Vidyadharas and great serpents also came along with the Charanas, Yakshas, Rakshasas, Kinnaras, Apsaras, and the relatives of Garuda, greatly anxious to see the departure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Approaching Prabhasa, they all glorified the Lord Sauri, Krishna. Crowding the sky with their many airplanes, they showered flowers with great devotion.
Seeing Lord Brahma and the other demigods before Him. Lord Krishna closed His lotus eyes, and fixed His mind within Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Without employing the mystic meditation to burn up His body, Lord Krishna entered His own abode. As soon as Lord Krishna left the earth, truth, religion, faithfulness, glory and beauty immediately followed Him. Kettledrums resounded in the heavens, and flowers showered from the sky. Most of the demigods and higher beings lead by Lord Brahma could not see Lord Krishna as He was entering His own abode., since He did not reveal His movements. But some of them did catch sight of Him, and they were extremely amazed.
After the Lord had disappeared, Daruka returned to Dvaraka and threw himself at the feet of Vasudeva and Ugrasena. He drenched their feet with his tears, lamenting the loss of Lord Krishna. Daruka delivered the account of the total destruction of the Vrishnis, and upon hearing this, all became deeply distraught in their hearts and stunned with tears and sorrow.
Meanwhile, in Hastinapura, Yudhisthira had sent Arjuna to find out the next plans of the Lord. Upon reaching Dvaraka, Arjuna learned of the destruction of the Yadu Dynasty and the disappearance of the Lord. Proceeding to the city of the Vrishnis, Arjuna saw the city to be like a woman bereft of her husband. Seeing that Partha had come to protect them, the ladies sent up loud wails. Arjuna became greatly afflicted upon seeing the many wives of Lord Krishna without their protector.
Rukmini and Satya fell down on the ground next to Arjuna and uttered loud cries of grief. Arjuna then began to glorify the superhuman activities of the Lord, and thus he managed to pacify them to some extent. He then proceeded to see his maternal uncle Vasudeva. Arjuna found the father of Lord Krishna lying on the ground and burning in separation from his son. Upon seeing Arjuna, Vasudeva embraced him and wept aloud remembering Lord Krishna. Vasudeva said, “Without beholding my son who subjugated the whole earth and defeated the Daityas a hundred times, I do not desire to live.
No doubt the curse of the rishis is the cause of the destruction of this dynasty. How could the slayer of Madhu look on with indifference at the slaughter of His kinsmen. Yourself, Narada and the rishis know Him to be the eternal Lord Vishnu. My son must have allowed all this to happen. He is the Lord of the universe. He did not, however, wish to falsify the curses of Gandhari and the rishis. Thinking of My two sons and of the destruction of my Kinsmen, I am abstaining from food or drink. I shall neither eat nor live. You should now accomplish all that Krishna wanted you to do. This kingdom with all its wealth and women is now yours. As regards to myself, I shall follow the path of my son for I cannot bear His separation.”
Arjuna then replied to his uncle, “O Vasudeva, I am unable to look upon this earth without the presence of my friend Krishna. King Yudhisthira, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva and Draupadi have the same mentality as I do. The time for our departure from this world is at hand. However, I shall first of all remove the women of Dvaraka to the city of Indraprastha.” Arjuna then addressed Daruka, “I wish to see without delay the remnants of Vrishni house.”
Arjuna then entered the Sudharma assembly house. Very soon the leading heroes of the Yadu dynasty, who were left alive, entered the assembly hall. There also came many brahmanas, leading citizens and ministers of state. Surrounding the son of Kunti, they cried in deep separation from their master. With great effort Arjuna addressed them, “I shall take away the remnants of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas. The sea will soon engulf this city. Equip your chariots and place upon them all your wealth. The great grandson of Krishna, Vajra will be the King of Mathura. We shall depart from Dvaraka on the seventh day from today.”
After hearing the instructions from Partha, the Vrishnis and the Andhakas began to make preparations to leave with Arjuna. Arjuna spent that night in one of the palaces of Lord Krishna and was overwhelmed with grief and lamentation. When the morning dawned, it was learned that Vasudeva had left his body and attained the spiritual world. A loud and heart rending sound was heard in the palace of Vasudeva. Devaki, Bhadra, Rohini and Madira threw themselves on the body of their lord. Arjuna then arranged for the last funeral rites to be performed and the four wives of Vasudeva ascended the funeral pyre to attain the same destination as their husband.
Arjuna then proceeded to Prabhasa where the fratricide of the Yadu dynasty took place. Seeing the slaughter of so many men for whom he had such great affection, he became despondent. He then arranged for the proper funeral rites to be performed for all those dead heroes. He found the bodies left by Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama, and he caused the shraddha rites to be performed for those two Personalities of Godhead. The body that was left by the Lord was considered by great saintly persons to be the Universal form of the Lord. Lord Krishna left a body like an ordinary mortal to satisfy those atheistic men who looked upon the Lord as an ordinary human being.
After the seventh day had passed, Arjuna led the procession of the Vrishnis and Andhakas out of the city of Dvaraka. Most of the procession were women, the aged and children. Arjuna personally took care of the sixteen thousand wives of Lord Krishna. The widows of the Vrishni, Bhoja and Andhaka heroes numbered many millions. When all had left Dvaraka, the ocean suddenly engulfed the whole city. The waves of the ocean smashed the walls of the beautiful city and completely engulfed the celestial mansions, parks, palaces and market places. The place of pastimes of the Supreme Lord was now removed from the face of the earth.
As the great procession was passing through the various provinces, a group of robbers numbering many thousands attacked the caravan and began to abduct the beautiful women and plunder the wealth. Urged on by the course of time, they fell upon the procession frightening it with loud shouts. The son of Kunti, Arjuna, seeing the situation at hand, ordered the robbers, “You sinful persons, stop this action if you desire to live! I will sever your limbs and send you to the abode of Yamaraja.”
Enraged, Arjuna endeavored to string the Gandiva bow. However, he did so with great difficulty. The robbers disregarded Arjuna’s command and continued to plunder the women of Dvaraka and its wealth. Arjuna then began to think of his celestial weapons, but they would not come to his mind. Beholding the loss of his strength and the non appearance of his weapons, he became ashamed. The Vrishni warriors were also not able to stop those robbers from taking away the women and the wealth.
Arjuna managed to strike the robbers with arrows from his Gandiva bow, but soon his arrows became exhausted. In former days his shafts had been inexhaustible. Now, however, they proved otherwise. The son of Indra then began to strike the robbers with the horn of his bow, but the mlecchas, in the very sight of Partha, took away those ladies of the Vrishni and Andhaka dynasties. Regarding all of this as the work of destiny, he breathed heavily. He then proceeded with the remnants of that procession and soon reached Kurukshetra.
He established the son of Kritavarman in the city of Marttikavat with the remnant of the women of the Bhoja King. On the banks of the Saraswati, Arjuna installed the son of Satyaki and handed over to his care many of the old men and women of Dvaraka. The sovereignty of Mathura was given to Vajra, the great grandson of Lord Krishna. Rukmini, Saivya, Himavati, and Jambavati ascended the funeral pyre unable to tolerate the separation of their Lord. Satyabhama and many other queens of Lord Krishna entered the forest to practice austerities.
Arjuna then went to the ashrama of Vyasa and offered his obeisances unto the great sage. He explained to his grandfather about the disappearance of the Yadu dynasty and about the departure of the Lord. He also informed Vyasadeva about the robbers who had stolen many of the women from the procession, and how he was powerless to stop them. Arjuna said, “Thinking repeatedly of the carnage of the Yadava warriors and of the departure of Lord Krishna, I do not desire to live in this world. Alas, bereft of Govinda, I have nothing left to live for. O best among men, please tell me what I should do now, for I wander aimlessly with an empty heart.”
Vyasadeva replied, “The mighty chariot fighters of the Yadu dynasty have been consumed by the curse of the brahmanas. O chief of the Kurus, you should not grieve for them. It was ordained by providence. It was Govinda who removed them from the face of the earth.
Do not think otherwise. The Lotus-eyed Lord Krishna, having lightened the burden of the earth, has ascended to His own abode. You and your brothers have also assisted the Lord in killing many demons and establishing world peace. O foremost of the Kuru race, I consider you as crowned with success. The time for your departure from the world has now come. O Bharata, the time has now come for you to attain the highest goal of life. You should now follow the Lord to His Own abode. In my opinion this is the most beneficial course of action.” Having heard the advice of Vyasa, Arjuna left that place and entered the city of Hastinapura.