1. The glorious King Pariksit said: I wish to hear further about Sri Balarama, the unlimited and immeasurable Supreme Lord, whose activities are all astounding. What else did He do?
2. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: There was an ape named Dvivida who was a friend of Narakasura’s. This powerful Dvivida, the brother of Mainda, had been instructed by King Sugriva.
3. To avenge the death of his friend [Naraka], the ape Dvivida ravaged the land, setting fires that burned cities, villages, mines and cowherd dwellings.
4. Once Dvivida tore up a number of mountains and used them to devastate all the neighboring kingdoms, especially the province of Anarta, wherein dwelt his friend’s killer, Lord Hari.
5. Another time he entered the ocean and, with the strength of ten thousand elephants, churned up its water with his arms and thus submerged the coastal regions.
6. The wicked ape tore down the trees in the hermitages of exalted sages and contaminated their sacrificial fires with his feces and urine.
7. Just as a wasp imprisons smaller insects, he arrogantly threw both men and women into caves in a mountain valley and sealed the caves shut with boulders.
8. Once, while Dvivida was thus engaged in harassing the neighboring kingdoms and polluting women of respectable families, he heard very sweet singing coming from Raivataka Mountain. So he went there.
9-10. There he saw Sri Balarama, the Lord of the Yadus, adorned with a garland of lotuses and appearing most attractive in every limb. He was singing amidst a crowd of young women, and since He had drunk varuni liquor, His eyes rolled as if He were intoxicated. His body shone brilliantly as He behaved like an elephant in rut.
11. The mischievous ape climbed a tree branch and then revealed his presence by shaking the trees and making the sound kilakila.
12. When Lord Baladeva’s consorts saw the ape’s impudence, they began to laugh. They were, after all, young girls who were fond of joking and prone to silliness.
13. Even as Lord Balarama looked on, Dvivida insulted the girls by making odd gestures with his eyebrows, coming right in front of them, and showing them his anus.
14-15. Angered, Lord Balarama, the best of fighters, hurled a rock at him, but the cunning ape dodged the rock and grabbed the Lord’s pot of liquor. Further infuriating Lord Balarama by laughing and by ridiculing Him, wicked Dvivida then broke the pot and offended the Lord even more by pulling at the girls’ clothing. Thus the powerful ape, puffed up with false pride, continued to insult Sri Balarama.
16. Lord Balarama saw the ape’s rude behavior and thought of the disruptions he had created in the surrounding kingdoms. Thus the Lord angrily took up His club and His plow weapon, having decided to put His enemy to death.
17. Mighty Dvivida also came forward to do battle. Uprooting a sala tree with one hand, he rushed toward Balarama and struck Him on the head with the tree trunk.
18. But Lord Sankarsana remained as motionless as a mountain and simply grabbed the log as it fell upon His head. He then struck Dvivida with His club, named Sunanda.
19-21. Struck on the skull by the Lord’s club, Dvivida became brilliantly decorated by the outpour of blood, like a mountain beautified by red oxide. Ignoring the wound, Dvivida uprooted another tree, stripped it of leaves by brute force and struck the Lord again. Now enraged, Lord Balarama shattered the tree into hundreds of pieces, upon which Dvivida grabbed yet another tree and furiously hit the Lord again. This tree, too, the Lord smashed into hundreds of pieces.
22. Thus fighting the Lord, who again and again demolished the trees He was attacked with, Dvivida kept on uprooting trees from all sides until the forest was left treeless.
23. The angry ape then released a rain of stones upon Lord Balarama, but the wielder of the club easily pulverized them all.
24. Dvivida, the most powerful of apes, now clenched his fists at the end of his palm-tree-sized arms, came before Lord Balarama and beat his fists against the Lord’s body.
25. The furious Lord of the Yadavas then threw aside His club and plow and with His bare hands hammered a blow upon Dvivida’s collarbone. The ape collapsed, vomiting blood.
26. When he fell, O tiger among the Kurus, Raivataka Mountain shook, along with its cliffs and trees, like a wind-tossed boat at sea.
27. In the heavens the demigods, perfect mystics and great sages cried out, “Victory to You! Obeisances to You! Excellent! Well done!” and showered flowers upon the Lord.
28. Having thus killed Dvivida, who had disturbed the whole world, the Supreme Lord returned to His capital as the people along the way chanted His glories.
Chaptrer Sixty-Eight The Marriage of Samba
1. Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, Jambavati’s son Samba, ever victorious in battle, kidnapped Duryodhana’s daughter Laksmana from her svayamvara ceremony.
2. The angry Kurus said: This ill-behaved boy has offended us, forcibly kidnapping our unmarried daughter against her will.
3. Arrest this ill-behaved Samba! What will the Vrsnis do? By our grace they are ruling land that we have granted them.
4. If the Vrsnis come here when they learn that their son has been captured, we will break their pride. Thus they’ll become subdued, like bodily senses brought under strict control.
5. After saying this and having their plan sanctioned by the senior member of the Kuru dynasty, Karna, Sala, Bhuri, Yajnaketu and Suyodhana set out to attack Samba.
6. Seeing Duryodhana and his companions rushing toward him, Samba, the great chariot-fighter, took up his splendid bow and stood alone like a lion.
7. Determined to capture him, the angry bowmen led by Karna shouted at Samba, ‘Stand and fight! Stand and fight!’ They came straight for him and showered him with arrows.
8. O best of the Kurus, as Krsna’s son Samba was being unjustly harassed by the Kurus, that darling of the Yadu dynasty did not tolerate their attack, any more than a lion would tolerate an attack by puny animals.
9-10. Twanging his wonderful bow, heroic Samba struck with arrows the six warriors headed by Karna. He pierced the six chariots with as many arrows, each team of four horses with four arrows, and each chariot driver with a single arrow, and he similarly struck the great bowmen who commanded the chariots. The enemy warriors congratulated Samba for this display of prowess.
11. But they forced him down from his chariot, and thereupon four of them struck his four horses, one of them struck down his chariot driver, and another broke his bow.
12. Having deprived Samba of his chariot during the fight, the Kuru warriors tied him up with great difficulty and then returned victorious to their city, taking the young boy and their princess.
13. O King, when the Yadavas heard news of this from Sri Narada, they became angry. Urged on by King Ugrasena, they prepared for war against the Kurus.
14-15. Lord Balarama, however, cooled the tempers of the Vrsni heroes, who had already put on their armor. He who purifies the age of quarrel did not want a quarrel between the Kurus and Vrsnis. Thus, accompanied by brahmanas and family elders, He went to Hastinapura on His chariot, which was as effulgent as the sun. As He went, He appeared like the moon surrounded by the ruling planets.
16. Upon arriving at Hastinapura, Lord Balarama remained in a garden outside the city and sent Uddhava ahead to probe King Dhrtarastra’s intentions.
17. After he had offered proper respects to the son of Ambika [Dhrtarastra] and to Bhisma, Drona, Bahlika and Duryodhana, Uddhava informed them that Lord Balarama had arrived.
18. Overjoyed to hear that Balaräma, their dearmost friend, had come, they first honored Uddhava and then went forth to meet the Lord, carrying auspicious offerings in their hands.
19. They approached Lord Balarama and worshiped Him with gifts of cows and arghya, as was fitting. Those among the Kurus who understood His true power bowed down to Him, touching their heads to the ground.
20. After both parties had heard that their relatives were doing well and both had inquired into each other’s welfare and health, Lord Balarama forthrightly spoke to the Kurus as follows.
21. [Lord Balarama said:] King Ugrasena is our master and the ruler of kings. With undivided attention you should hear what he has ordered you to do, and then you should do it at once.
22. [King Ugrasena has said:] Even though by irreligious means several of you defeated a single opponent who follows the religious codes, still I am tolerating this for the sake of unity among family members.
23. Upon hearing these words of Lord Baladeva’s, which were full of potency, courage and strength and were appropriate to His transcendental power, the Kauravas became furious and spoke as follows.
24. [The Kuru nobles said:] Oh, how amazing this is! The force of time is indeed insurmountable: a lowly shoe now wants to climb on the head that bears the royal crown.
25. It is because these Vrsnis are bound to us by marital ties that we have granted them equality, allowing them to share our beds, seats and meals. Indeed, it is we who have given them their royal thrones.
26. Only because we looked the other way could they enjoy the pair of yak-tail fans and the conchshell, white umbrella, throne, and royal bed.
27. No longer should the Yadus be allowed to use these royal symbols, which now cause trouble for those who gave them, like milk fed to poisonous snakes. Having prospered by our grace, these Yadavas have now lost all shame and are daring to command us!
28. How would even Indra dare usurp anything that Bhisma, Drona, Arjuna or the other Kurus have not given him? It would be like a lamb claiming the lion’s kill.
29. Sri Badarayani said: O best of the Bharatas, after the arrogant Kurus, thoroughly puffed up by the opulence of their high birth and relations, had spoken these harsh words to Lord Balarama, they turned and went back to their city.
30. Seeing the bad character of the Kurus and hearing their nasty words, the infallible Lord Balarama became filled with rage. His countenance frightful to behold, He laughed repeatedly and spoke as follows.
31. [Lord Balarama said:] “Clearly the many passions of these scoundrels have made them so proud that they do not want peace. Then let them be pacified by physical punishment, as animals are with a stick.
32-33. “Ah, only gradually was I able to calm the furious Yadus and Lord Krsna, who was also enraged. Desiring peace for these Kauravas, I came here. But they are so dull-headed, fond of quarrel and mischievous by nature that they have repeatedly disrespected Me. Out of conceit they dared to address Me with harsh words!
34. “King Ugrasena, the lord of the Bhojas, Vrsnis and Andhakas, is not fit to command, when Indra and other planetary rulers obey his orders?
35. “That same Krsna who occupies the Sudharma assembly hall and for His enjoyment took the parijata tree from the immortal demigods—that very Krsna is indeed not fit to sit on a royal throne?
36. “The goddess of fortune herself, ruler of the entire universe, worships His feet. And the master of the goddess of fortune does not deserve the paraphernalia of a mortal king?
37. “The dust of Krsna’s lotus feet, which is the source of holiness for all places of pilgrimage, is worshiped by all the great demigods. The principal deities of all planets are engaged in His service, and they consider themselves most fortunate to take the dust of the lotus feet of Krsna on their crowns. Great demigods like Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, and even the goddess of fortune and I, are simply parts of His spiritual identity, and we also carefully carry that dust on our heads. And still Krsna is not fit to use the royal insignia or even sit on the royal throne?
38. “We Vrsnis enjoy only whatever small parcel of land the Kurus allow us? And we are indeed shoes, whereas the Kurus are the head?
39. “Just see how these puffed-up Kurus are intoxicated with their so-called power, like ordinary drunken men! What actual ruler, with the power to command, would tolerate their foolish, nasty words?
40. “Today I shall rid the earth of the Kauravas!” declared the furious Balarama. Thus He took His plow weapon and rose up as if to set the three worlds ablaze.
42-43. Seeing that their city was tumbling about like a raft at sea as it was being dragged away, and that it was about to fall into the Ganges, the Kauravas became terrified. To save their lives they approached the Lord for shelter, taking their families with them. Placing Samba and Laksmana in front, they joined their palms in supplication.
44. [The Kauravas said:] O Rama, Rama, foundation of everything! We know nothing of Your power. Please excuse our offense, for we are ignorant and misguided.
45. You alone cause the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the cosmos, and of You there is no prior cause. Indeed, O Lord, authorities say that the worlds are mere playthings for You as You perform Your pastimes.
46. O unlimited one of a thousand heads, as Your pastime You carry this earthly globe upon one of Your heads. At the time of annihilation You withdraw the entire universe within Your body and, remaining all alone, lie down to rest.
47. Your anger is meant for instructing everyone; it is not a manifestation of hatred or envy. O Supreme Lord, You sustain the pure mode of goodness, and You become angry only to maintain and protect this world.
48. We bow down to You, O Soul of all beings, O wielder of all potencies, O tireless maker of the universe! Offering You obeisances, we take shelter of You.
49. Sukadeva Gosvami said: Thus propitiated by the Kurus, whose city was trembling and who were surrendering to Him in great distress, Lord Balarama became very calm and kindly disposed toward them. “Do not be afraid,” He said, and took away their fear.
50-51. Duryodhana, being very affectionate to his daughter, gave as her dowry 1,200 sixty-year-old elephants, 120,000 horses, 6,000 golden chariots shining like the sun, and 1,000 maidservants with jeweled lockets on their necks.
52. The Supreme Lord, chief of the Yadavas, accepted all these gifts and then departed with His son and daughter-in-law as His well-wishers bid Him farewell.
53. Then Lord Halayudha entered His city [Dvaraka] and met His relatives, whose hearts were all bound to him in loving attachment. In the assembly hall He reported to the Yadu leaders everything about His dealings with the Kurus.
54. Even today the city of Hastinapura is visibly elevated on its southern side along the Ganges, thus showing the signs of Lord Balarama’s prowess.