Viṣṇu Purāṇa | Book 5 - Chapter 21

Chapter XXI

Kṛṣṇa encourages his parents; places Ugrasena on the throne; becomes the pupil of Śandīpana, whose son he recovers from the sea: he kills the marine demon Pañchajanya, and makes a horn of his shell.

HAVING permitted to Devakī and Vāsudeva a short vision of true wisdom, through the contemplation of his actions, Hari again spread the delusions of his power over them and the tribe of Yadu.

He said to them:

"Mother; venerable father; you have both been long observed by Sankarṣaṇa and myself with sorrow, and in fear of Kaṁsa.

He whose time passes not in respect to his father and mother, is a vile being, who descends in vain from virtuous parents. The lives of those produce good fruit, who reverence their parents, their spiritual guides, the Brahmans, and the gods.

Pardon therefore, father, the impropriety of which we may have been culpable, in resenting without your orders, to which we acknowledge that we are subject, the oppression we suffered from the power and violence of Kaṁsa."

Thus speaking, they offered homage to the elders of the Yadu tribe in order, and then in a suitable manner paid their respects to the citizens.

The wives of Kaṁsa, and those of his father, then surrounded the body of the king, lying on the ground, and bewailed his fate in deep affliction.

Hari in various ways expressed his regret for what had happened, and endeavoured to console them, his own eyes being suffused with tears.

The foe of Madhu then liberated Ugrasena from confinement, and placed him on the throne, which the death of his son had left vacant.

The chief of the Yādavas, being crowned, performed the funeral rites of Kaṁsa, and of the rest of the slain. When the ceremony was over, and Ugrasena had resumed his royal seat, Kṛṣṇa addressed him, and said:

"Sovereign lord, command boldly what else is to be done. The curse of Yayāti has pronounced our race unworthy of dominion; but with me, for your servant, you may issue your orders to the gods. How should kings disobey them?"

Thus having spoken, the human Keśava summoned mentally the deity of the wind, who came upon the instant, and said to him:

"Go, Vāyu, to Indra, and desire him to lay aside his pomp, and resign to Ugrasena his splendid hall Sudharmā: tell him that Kṛṣṇa commands him to send the royal hall, the unrivalled gem of princely courts, for the assemblage of the race of Yadu."

Accordingly Vāyu went, and delivered the message to the husband of Śachī, who immediately gave up to him the hall Sudharmā, and Vāyu conveyed it to the Yādavas, the chiefs of whom thenceforth possessed this celestial court, emblazoned with jewels, and defended by the arm of Govinda.

The two excellent Yadu youths, versed in all knowledge, and possessed of all wisdom, then submitted to instruction, as the disciples of teachers:

Accordingly they repaired to Śandīpani--who, though born in Kāśī, resided at Avanti--to study the science of arms, and, becoming his pupils, were obedient and attentive to their master, exhibiting an example to all men of the observance of instituted rules.

During the course of sixty-four days they went through the elements of military science, with the treatises on the use of arms, and directions for the mystic incantations, which secure the aid of supernatural weapons.

Śandīpani, astonished at such proficiency, and knowing that it exceeded human faculties, imagined that the sun and moon had become his scholars.

When they had acquired all that he could teach, they said to him:

"Now say what present shall be given to you, as the preceptor's fee."

The prudent Śandīpani, perceiving that they were endowed with more than mortal powers, requested them to give him his dead son, drowned in the sea of Prabhāsa.

Taking up their arms, they marched against the ocean; but the all-comprehending sea said to them:

"I have not killed the son of Śandīpani; a demon named Pañchajanya, who lives in the form of a conch shell, seized the boy: he is still under my waters.

On hearing this, Kṛṣṇa plunged into the sea; and having slain the vile Pañchajanya, he took the conch shell, which was formed of his bones (and bore it as his horn), the sound of which fills the demon hosts with dismay, animates the vigour of the gods, and annihilates unrighteousness.

The heroes also recovered the boy from the pains of death, and restored him in his former person to his father.

Rāma and Janārdana then returned to Mathurā, which was well presided over by Ugrasena, and abounded in a happy population both of men and women.