Viṣṇu Purāṇa | Book 5 - Chapter 12

Chapter XII

AFTER Gokula had been saved by the elevation of the mountain, Indra became desirous of beholding Kṛṣṇa.

The conqueror of his foes accordingly mounted his vast elephant Airāvata, and came to Govardhana, where the king of the gods beheld the mighty Dāmodara tending cattle, and assuming the person of a cow-boy,

and, although the preserver of the whole world, surrounded by the sons of the herdsmen: above his head he saw Garuḍa, the king of birds, invisible to mortals, spreading out his wings to shade the head of Hari.

Alighting from his elephant, and addressing him apart, Śakra, his eyes expanding with pleasure, thus spoke to Madhusūdana:

"Hear, Kṛṣṇa, the reason why I have come hither; why I have approached thee; for thou could not otherwise conceive it.

Thou, who art the supporter of all, hast descended upon earth, to relieve her of her burden, in resentment of my obstructed rites I sent the clouds to deluge Gokula, and they have done this evil deed.

Thou, by raising up the mountain, hast preserved the cattle; and of a verity I am much pleased, O hero, with thy wondrous deed. The object of the gods is now, methinks, accomplished, since with thy single hand thou hast raised aloft this chief of mountains.

I have now come by desire of the cattle, grateful for their preservation, in order to install you as Upendra; and, as the Indra of the cows, thou shalt be called Govinda."

Having thus said, Mahendra took a ewer from his elephant Airāvata, and with the holy water it contained performed the regal ceremony of aspersion. The cattle, as the rite was celebrating, deluged the earth with their milk.

When Indra had, by direction of the kine, inaugurated Kṛṣṇa, the husband of Śachī said to him affectionately:

"I have thus performed what the cows enjoined me. Now, illustrious being, hear what farther I propose, with a view to facilitate your task:

A portion of me has been born as Arjuna, the son of Pritha: let him ever be defended by thee, and he will assist thee in bearing thy burden. He is to be cherished by thee, Madhusūdana, like another self."

To this Kṛṣṇa replied:

"I know thy son, who has been born in the race of Bhārata, and I will befriend him as long as I continue upon earth. As long as I am present, invincible Śakra, no one shall be able to subdue Arjuna in fight.

When the great demon Kaṁsa has been slain, and Ariṣṭa, Keśin, Kuvalaya-pīḍa, Nāraka, and other fierce Daityas, shall have been put to death, there will take place a great war, in which the burden of the earth will be removed.

Now therefore depart, and be not anxious on account of thy son; for no foe shall triumph over Arjuna whilst I am present. For his sake I will restore to Kunti all her sons; with Yudhisṭhīra at their head, unharmed, when the Bhārata war will be at an end."

Upon Kṛṣṇa's ceasing to speak, he and Indra mutually embraced; and the latter, mounting his elephant Airāvata, returned to heaven.

Kṛṣṇa, with the cattle and the herdsmen, went his way to Vraja, where the wives of the Gopas watched for his approach.