1-7. Sukadeva Gosvami said: The master of the goddess of fortune resided happily in His capital city, Dvaraka, which was endowed with all opulences and populated by the most eminent Vrsnis and their gorgeously dressed wives. When these beautiful women in the bloom of youth would play on the city’s rooftops with balls and other toys, they shone like flashing lightning. The main streets of the city were always crowded with intoxicated elephants exuding mada, and also with cavalry, richly adorned infantrymen, and soldiers riding chariots brilliantly decorated with gold. Gracing the city were many gardens and parks with rows of flowering trees, where bees and birds would gather, filling all directions with their songs. Lord Krsna was the sole beloved of His sixteen thousand wives. Expanding Himself into that many forms, He enjoyed with each of His queens in her own richly furnished residence. On the grounds of these palaces were clear ponds fragrant with the pollen of blooming utpala, kahlara, kumuda and ambhoja lotuses and filled with flocks of cooing birds. The almighty Lord would enter those ponds, and also various rivers, and enjoy sporting in the water while His wives embraced Him, leaving the red kunkuma from their breasts smeared on His body.
8-9. As Gandharvas joyfully sang His praises to the accompaniment of mrdanga, panava and anaka drums, and as professional reciters known as Sutas, Magadhas and Vandis played vinas and recited poems praising Him, Lord Krsna would play with His wives in the water. Laughing, the queens would squirt water on Him with syringes, and He would squirt them back. Thus Krsna would sport with His queens in the same way that the lord of the Yaksas sports with the Yaksi nymphs.
10, Under the drenched clothing of the queens, their thighs and breasts would become visible. The flowers tied in their large braids would scatter as they sprayed water on their consort, and on the plea of trying to take away His syringe, they would embrace Him. By His touch their lusty feelings would increase, causing their faces to beam with smiles. Thus Lord Krsna’s queens shone with resplendent beauty.
11. Lord Krsna’s flower garland would become smeared with kunkuma from their breasts, and His abundant locks of hair would become disheveled as a result of His absorption in the game. As the Lord repeatedly sprayed His young consorts and they sprayed Him in turn, He enjoyed Himself like the king of elephants enjoying in the company of his bevy of she-elephants.
12. Afterward, Lord Krsna and His wives would give the ornaments and clothing they had worn during their water sports to the male and female performers, who earned their livelihoood from singing and from playing instrumental music.
13. In this way Lord Krsna would sport with His queens, totally captivating their hearts with His gestures, talks, glances and smiles, and also with His jokes, playful exchanges and embraces.
14. The queens would become stunned in ecstatic trance, their minds absorbed in Krsna alone. Then, thinking of their lotus-eyed Lord, they would speak as if insane. Please hear these words from me as I relate them.
15. The queens said: O kurari bird, you are lamenting. Now it is night, and somewhere in this world the Supreme Lord is asleep in a hidden place. But you are wide awake, O friend, unable to fall asleep. Is it that, like us, you have had your heart pierced to the core by the lotus-eyed Lord’s munificent, playful smiling glances?
16. Poor cakravaki, even after closing your eyes, you continue to cry pitifully through the night for your unseen mate. Or is it that, like us, you have become the servant of Acyuta and hanker to wear in your braided hair the garland He has blessed with the touch of His feet?
17. Dear ocean, you are always roaring, not sleeping at night. Are you suffering insomnia? Or is it that, as with us, Mukunda has taken your insignias and you are hopeless of retrieving them?
18. My dear moon, having contracted a severe case of tuberculosis, you have become so emaciated that you fail to dispel the darkness with your rays. Or is it that you appear dumbstruck because, like us, you cannot remember the encouraging promises Mukunda once made to you?
19. O Malayan breeze, what have we done to displease you, so that you stir up lust in our hearts, which have already been shattered by Govinda’s sidelong glances?
20. O revered cloud, you are indeed very dear to the chief of the Yadavas, who bears the mark of Srivatsa. Like us, you are bound to Him by love and are meditating upon Him. Your heart is distraught with great eagerness, as our hearts are, and as you remember Him again and again you shed a torrent of tears. Association with Krsna brings such misery!
21. O sweet-throated cuckoo, in a voice that could revive the dead you are vibrating the same sounds we once heard from our beloved, the most pleasing of speakers. Please tell me what I can do today to please you.
22. O magnanimous mountain, you neither move nor speak. You must be pondering some matter of great importance. Or do you, like us, desire to hold on your breasts the feet of Vasudeva’s darling son?
23. O rivers, wives of the ocean, your pools have now dried up. Alas, you have shriveled to nothing, and your wealth of lotuses has vanished. Are you, then, like us, who are withering away because of not receiving the affectionate glance of our dear husband, the Lord of Madhu, who has cheated our hearts?
24. Welcome, swan. Please sit here and drink some milk. Give us some news of the descendant of Sura, dear one. We know you are His messenger. Is that invincible Lord doing well, and does that unreliable friend of ours still remember the words He spoke to us long ago? Why should we go and worship Him? O servant of a petty master, go tell Him who fulfills our desires to come here without the goddess of fortune. Is she the only woman exclusively devoted to Him?
25. Sukadeva Gosvami said: By thus speaking and acting with such ecstatic love for Lord Krsna, the master of all masters of mystic yoga, His loving wives attained the ultimate goal of life.
26. The Lord, whom countless songs glorify in countless ways, forcibly attracts the minds of all women who simply hear about Him. What to speak, then, of those women who see Him directly?
27. And how could one possibly describe the great austerities that had been performed by the women who perfectly served Him, the spiritual master of the universe, in pure ecstatic love? Thinking of Him as their husband, they rendered such intimate services as massaging His feet.
28. Thus observing the principles of duty enunciated in the Vedas, Lord Krsna, the goal of the saintly devotees, repeatedly demonstrated how one can achieve at home the objectives of religiosity, economic
development and regulated sense gratification.
29. While fulfilling the highest standards of religious householder life, Lord Krsna maintained more than 16,100 wives.
30. Among these jewellike women were eight principal queens, headed by Rukmini. I have already described them one after another, O King, along with their sons.
31. The Supreme Lord Krsna, whose endeavor never fails, begot ten sons in each of His many wives.
32. Among these sons, all possessing unlimited valor, eighteen were maharathas of great renown. Now hear their names from me.
33-34. They were Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Diptiman, Bhanu, Samba, Madhu, Brhadbhanu, Citrabhanu, Vrka, Aruna, Puskara, Vedabahu, Srutadeva, Sunandana, Citrabahu, Virupa, Kavi and Nyagrodha.
35. O best of kings, of these sons begotten by Lord Krsna, the enemy of Madhu, the most prominent was Rukmini’s son Pradyumna. He was just like His father.
36. The great warrior Pradyumna married Rukmi’s daughter [Rukmavati], who gave birth to Aniruddha. He was as strong as ten thousand elephants.
37. Rukmi’s daughter’s son [Aniruddha] married Rukmi’s son’s daughter [Rocana]. From her was born Vajra, who would remain among the few survivors of the Yadus’ battle with clubs.
38. From Vajra came Pratibahu, whose son was Subahu. Subahu’s son was Santasena, from whom Satasena was born.
39. No one born in this family was poor in wealth or progeny, short-lived, weak or neglectful of brahminical culture.
40. The Yadu dynasty produced innumerable great men of famous deeds. Even in tens of thousands of years, O King, one could never count them all.
41. I have heard from authoritative sources that the Yadu family employed 38,800,000 teachers just to educate their children.
42. Who can count all the great Yadavas, when among them King Ugrasena alone was accompanied by an entourage of thirty trillion attendants?
43. The savage descendants of Diti who had been killed in past ages in battles between the demigods and demons took birth among human beings and arrogantly harassed the general populace.
44. To subdue these demons, Lord Hari told the demigods to descend into the dynasty of Yadu. They comprised 101 clans, O King.
45. Because Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Yadavas accepted Him as their ultimate authority. And among them, all those who were His intimate associates especially flourished.
46. The Vrsnis were so absorbed in Krsna consciousness that they forgot their own bodies while sleeping, sitting, walking, conversing, playing, bathing and so on.
47. The heavenly Ganges is a holy place of pilgrimage because her waters wash Lord Krsna’s feet. But when the Lord descended among the Yadus, His glories eclipsed the Ganges as a holy place. Both those who hated Krsna and those who loved Him attained eternal forms like His in the spiritual world. The unattainable and supremely self-satisfied goddess of fortune, for the sake of whose favor everyone else struggles, belongs to Him alone. His name destroys all inauspiciousness when heard or chanted. He alone has set forth the principles of the various disciplic successions of sages. What wonder is it that He, whose personal weapon is the wheel of time, relieved the burden of the earth?
48. Lord Sri Krsna is He who is known as jana-nivasa, the ultimate resort of all living entities, and who is also known as Devakinandana or Yasoda-nandana, the son of Devaki and Yasoda. He is the guide of the Yadu dynasty, and with His mighty arms He kills everything inauspicious, as well as every man who is impious. By His presence He destroys all things inauspicious for all living entities, moving and inert. His blissful smiling face always increases the lusty desires of the gopis of Vrndavana. May He be all glorious and happy!
49. To protect the principles of devotional service to Himself, Lord Krsna, the best of the Yadus, accepts the pastime forms that have been glorified here in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. One who desires to faithfully serve His lotus feet should hear of the activities He performs in each of these incarnations—activities that suitably imitate those of the forms He assumes. Hearing narrations of these pastimes destroys the reactions to fruitive work.
50. By regularly hearing, chanting and meditating on the beautiful topics of Lord Mukunda with ever-increasing sincerity, a mortal being will attain the divine kingdom of the Lord, where the inviolable power of death holds no sway. For this purpose, many persons, including great kings, abandoned their mundane homes and took to the forest.
Chapter One The Curse Upon the Yadu Dynasty
1. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: Lord Sri Krsna, accompanied by Balarama 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 Kuruksetra, which suddenly erupted in violence between the Kurus and the Pandavas.
2. Because the sons of Pandu were enraged by the numerous offenses of their enemies, such as duplicitous gambling, verbal insults, the seizing of Draupadi’s hair, and many other cruel transgressions, the Supreme Lord engaged those Pandavas as the immediate cause to execute His will. On the pretext of the Battle of Kuruksetra, Lord Krsna 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.
3. 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 Yadava dynasty itself, whose strength is unbearable for the earth.”
4. Lord Krsna 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.”
5. My dear King Pariksit, 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.
6-7. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, 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 Krsna was on the earth, He attracted the eyes of all people. When Krsna spoke, His words attracted the minds of all who remembered them. By seeing the footsteps of Lord Krsna, people became attracted to Him, and thus they wanted to offer their bodily activities to the Lord as His followers. In this way Krsna very easily spread His glories, which are sung throughout the world by the most sublime and essential Vedic verses. Lord Krsna 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.
8. King Pariksit inquired: How could the brahmanas curse the Vrsnis, who were always respectful to the brahmanas, charitable, and inclined to serve senior and exalted personalities and whose minds were always fully absorbed in thought of Lord Krsna?
9. King Pariksit 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.
10. Sukadeva Gosvami 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.
11-12. The sages Visvamitra, Asita, Kanva, Durvasa, Bhrgu, Angira, Kasyapa, Vamadeva, Atri and Vasistha, along with Narada 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 Krsna. After Lord Krsna, 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 Pindaraka.
13-15. To that holy place, the young boys of the Yadu dynasty had brought Samba, son of Jambavati, 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 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.”
16. 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.”
17. Upon hearing the curse of the sages, the terrified boys quickly uncovered the belly of Samba, and indeed they observed that therein was an iron club.
18. 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.
19. The Yadu boys, the luster of their faces completely faded, brought the club into the royal assembly, and in the presence of all the Yadavas they told King Ugrasena what had happened.
20. O King Pariksit, when the inhabitants of Dvaraka heard of the infallible curse of the brahmanas and saw the club, they were astonished and distraught with fear.
21. After having the club ground to bits, King Ahuka [Ugrasena] of the Yadus personally threw the pieces, along with the remaining lump of iron, into the water of the ocean.
22. 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.
23. 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 Jara, who fixed it as an arrowhead at the end of his shaft.
24. Knowing fully the significance of all these events, the Supreme Lord, though capable of reversing the brahmanas’ curse, did not wish to do so. Rather, in His form of time, He gladly sanctioned the events.