Arjuna had been gone for months and still had not returned from his trip to Dvārakā with news of their relatives and Krishna. Meanwhile, King Yudhiṣṭhira observed many different omens of ill fortune. Unseasonal weather and behavior – cruelty, anger, greed and deceit – foretold the approach of a terrible fate. Even fathers, mothers, well-wishers and brothers were polluted by cheating and duplicity; while husbands and wives quarreled. Many such bad omens declared that the time for the decline of humanity was at hand.
The King turned to his younger brother, Bhīma, and said:
It is now seven months since Arjuna went to Dvārakā. I have heard nothing from him and have no idea why he has not returned. Maybe it is what the Sage of Gods [Nārada] told us: Maybe the time has come for the All-Attractive to dissolve the manifestation of himself and his expansions?
By his kindness we vanquished our enemies, regained our kingdoms, and protected our wealth, power, wives and our very lives.
O Lion of Men, look at the ill signs in the sky, on the earth, and in ourselves. These are signs of imminent danger, fear, and bewilderment.
My left thigh, eye, and arm quiver again and again. My heart palpitates fearsomely.
Look: This she-jackal howls at the rising sun, with fire in her mouth! Brother, do you see this dog barking and growling at me without fear!? Animals pass me with their left side, and my horses weep when they see me. Look there! A dead dove lies like a messenger of death. Owls and crows shriek as if they are trying to dissolve the entire world.
Thick fog and smoke is everywhere. The earth and her hills tremble. Thunder and lightning comes without clouds. The blasting wind cuts us. The dust raised creates darkness and makes the rain look like a downpour of blood. The ground looks like a blood-soaked disaster-area.
The Sun is eclipsed, and the planets war with one another in the sky. Possessed by ghosts, people howl as if they were on fire!
What fate is about to befall us!? Streams, rivers and ponds are polluted, reflecting the state of our minds. Oil will not catch fire. Calves do not drink and their mothers do not give milk. The bulls do not play in the fields; they simply stand with tears streaming down their face.
What horrors await us!? Deities seem to cry and perspire like they want to leave their temples. The beauty and happiness of these cities, villages, towns, gardens, hills, and cottages is ruined. I believe these terrible upheavals are omens that the Earth, who once bore the beautiful footprints of the All-Attractive, is now dispossessed of her greatest fortune: Śrī Krishna has left her.