Tag Archives: Ugrasena

Is Krishna Still With Us?

While the King was worrying and wondering, suddenly he saw the monkey insignia flag atop Arjuna’s chariot.  It came slowly towards him. Arjuna eventually descended, and came to his brother’s feet in unprecedented dejection.  Drops of tears fell from the lotus-eyes of his downcast face.

Seeing his brother’s troubled heart and paleness, the king began to question him then and there, in the middle of everyone; unable to get the words of Nārada out of his mind.

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

Are our allies in Dvārakā passing time happily? [1]

Arjuna did not look up or answer.

Is Grandfather Śūra and his wife Māriṣa passing time auspiciously?

No answer.

How is Uncle Vasudeva (for whom the drums of heaven resounded)?  What about our aunts, the seven sisters who are his wives, headed by Devakī; are they living happily among their children and daughters-in-law?

Arjuna can give no reply. So Yudhiṣṭhira continues to become more specific in his inquiries.

Does king Ugrasena still live with his children, among whom one was worthless?[2]  What about Great-grandfather Hṛdīka?  What of Krishna’s confidants: Akrūra, Jayanta, Gada, Sāraṇa – are they living happily, headed by Śatrujit?

Still, Arjuna could not move or speak. Forced to consider graver and graver possibilities Yudhiṣṭhira asked about Krishna’s brother:

How is Rāma, the All-Attractive protector of the saintly Sātvata dynasty?

No answer.  So now Yudhiṣṭhira must ask about Krishna’s sons:

Is Pradyumna living happily as the General of the Vṛṣṇi armies?

All-Attractive Aniruddha, profoundly dexterous, must be prospering!? So too must be all the great sons and grandsons of Kṛṣṇa like Suṣeṇa, Cārudeṣṇa, Sāmba, Jāmbavatī’s son, Ṛṣabha and so on…

Ever more worried and dreading to ask directly about Krishna, the King anxiously continues.

How are Kṛṣṇa’s constant companions: Śrutadeva, Uddhava and so on? How are Sunanda and Nanda, the best among leaders of the Sātvata family??? Aren’t they all well, being sheltered by the strength of Rāma and Kṛṣṇa? Do they ever remember us kindly, their affectionate relatives?

But Arjuna neither raises his eyes nor answers. Tears only stream down his pale cheeks all the more profusely with each question. Finally, Yudhiṣṭhira must ask the most awful question possible:

Certainly All-Attractive Govinda, who is so affectionate to devotees and thinkers, must be enjoying the city’s assembly hall, surrounded by well-wishers!?

Moved by the thought of Krishna, the King composes a poem, hoping it might cheer up his brother:

Viṣṇu reclines upon the universal ocean with Ananta,
for the sake of manifesting the worlds.

~

Krishna reclines among an ocean of family with Rāma,
for the benefit of the world.

Those who reside with Viṣṇu,
Enjoy paramount bliss and security.

~

Those who reside in Dvārakā,
Enjoy the protection of his scepter-arms,
and relish pastimes of paramount bliss.

Among those who reside with Viṣṇu, Goddess Lakṣmī is the foremost. The king now compares The Queens of Dvārakā to Lakṣmī:

Very attentively attending his feet
Is their prime concern;
The women headed by Satyabhāmā
Numbering twice eight-thousand.

They claimed the treasures of the gods,
And enjoy the property of the thunderbolt-master’s wives;
Standing undefeated
Against the thrice ten divinities.

Next, the King turned his attention to other residents of Dvārakā:

Under the protection of his scepter-arms,
His family have become great heroes,
ever fearless in every way.

So they strode into paradise on foot
And took the god’s prize possessions by force;
The Sudharmā assembly house.

Arjuna’s conditioned worsened the more the King’s spoke. In a weak, trembling, and hopeless voice, the King feelingly asked:

Dear brother, are you sick?  You look so pale and weak.  Or have you been disrespected or neglected?  Did someone insult you? Did they claim that you did not give to a beggar? Or did not fulfill a promise? Or did not give shelter to intellectuals, children, cows, the elderly, the sick, or the women who came to you seeking refuge?

Did you embrace an unworthy woman? Or did you mistreat a woman? Were you defeated by a junior? Or could it be that you ate before feeding the old and young?

Have you done something horrible and unforgivable?

Arjuna only cries all the more forcefully as tears pool on the ground beneath his lowered face. Yudhiṣṭhira has no choice but to admit the worst:

“Alas! I am vacant… I have forever lost the most precious, dear friend of my very soul”

Besides this, no other thought could trouble you so.


[1] These allies include the Madhu, Bhaja, Daśārha, Ārha, Sātvata, Andhaka and Vṛṣṇi clans

[2] The worthless child was Kaṁsa.

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The Beauty of Krishna Entering Dvaraka

The city of Dvārakā was protected by powerful allies all around, like the capitol of the underworld. Surrounding it was a temperate climate, natural amenities, and groves of very good flowers and trees; in which lived many saints and birds. Beautiful, auspicious flags decorated the gates, doors and roads, and everything was painted in lively colors. Pleasant shade spread out beneath these decorations. The shops, halls and roads big and small were very clean and sprinkled with perfumes, flowers, fruits, and whole seed.

In the doorway to each and every house were gathered all the things for welcoming a respected guest: yoghurt, fresh fruit, sugarcane, full water pots, incense and lamps.

When Krishna’s family heard that their darling had returned, they all spontaneously stood up, forgetting everything they had been doing.[1] They rushed towards Krishna, magnetized by love, in a parade of chariots led by great elephants, brāhmaṇas carrying auspicious symbols, and gloriously purifying sounds of conch shells and bugles.

The foremost courtesans of the city, extremely desirous to see him, came on palanquins by the hundreds with dazzling earrings swaying over the cheeks of their beautiful faces; while dancers, actors, singers, bards, historians, and great orators sang of his wondrously poetic activities.

All-Attractive Krishna greeted each of them, showing each one befitting respect by bowing, conversing, embracing, taking by the hand, glancing playfully, or speaking encouraging words. Thus Krishna fulfilled everyone’s wishes, even down to the lowest class dog-eater.

His entry into the city was graced with blessings from learned teachers and their impressive wives, and with respects from his admirers. He went by the royal road; kept cool by umbrellas, fans and showers of flowers. When these surrounded his yellow clothes and flower necklaces it seemed like a thick cloud surrounded at once by the sun, the half-moon, a rainbow, and lightning.[2]

The women of Dvārakā’s important families rushed up to their rooftops to enjoy their favorite festival: the opportunity to see him! Even though they saw him often, their thirst to behold the infallible form that is the wellspring of all beauty could not be slaked.

They exclaimed:

His chest is the abode of Goddess Beauty.
His face is a full goblet for the eyes.
His arms protect the worlds.
His lotus-like feet delight his lovers.

One lady explained:

“Many people appreciate the beauty of Śrī, the Goddess of Fortune and Beauty. His chest is so beautiful, that Śrī herself dwells there! Some people value the elixir of the gods, Soma. If you look upon his face your eyes will enjoy more nectar than the gods! Still others worship the gods for protection and safety. His strong arms protect even the gods! As for us, we are simply in love with him, like swans delighting among the lotuses that are his feet.”


[1] Family members explicitly mentioned: Krishna’s father Vasudeva, grandfather Ugrasena, “uncle” and commander-in-chief, Akrūra, brother [Bala]Rāma, and his sons Pradyumna, Cārudeṣṇa, and Sāmba.

[2] Kṛṣṇa’s brilliant black complexion is the thick cloud. His yellow clothes are the sun. The flowers falling all around him twinkle and sparkle like lightning. The umbrella above his head is like the half-moon. His multicolored flower necklaces are like rainbows.


Krishna, Prostitutes, and Dog Eaters.

16-17

When they heard that their darling had returned, the greatly respected Vasudeva, Akrūra, Ugrasena, astonishingly heroic Rāma, Pradyumna, Cārudeṣṇa, and Jāmbavatī’s son Sāmba stood up, forced by extreme eagerness to abandon their rest, seats, and meals.

Vasudeva is Kṛṣṇa’s father. Akrūra is a family relative who became the commander-in-chief and close confidant of Kṛṣṇa. Ugrasena is Kṛṣṇa’s grandfather. The “astonishingly heroic Rāma” is Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa’s brother. Pradyumna, Cārudeṣṇa and Sāmba are three important sons of Kṛṣṇa.

18

Putting before them great elephants and brāhmaṇas with all auspicious symbols, glorified by the spiritual sounds of conch shells and bugles, their chariots enthusiastically rushed towards him with attentive devotion.

19-20

Extremely desirous to see him, the city’s foremost courtesans came with dazzling earrings swaying over the cheeks of their beautiful faces, on palanquins by the hundreds; while dancers, actors, singers, bards, historians, and great orators sang of the wondrous activities of the Subject of Topmost Poetry.

21-22

The All-Attractive met all the relatives and citizens who came to meet him. He greeted each of them with befitting respect: by bowing, conversing, embracing, taking by the hand, glancing playfully, and by encouragements he greeted everyone down to the lowest class “dog-eater.” Thus the Almighty fulfilled their desired benedictions.