Viṣṇu Purāṇa | Book 5 - Chapter 22

Chapter XXII


The mighty Kaṁsa had married the two daughters of Jarāsandha, one named Asti, the other Prāpti:

Jarāsandha was king of Magadha, and a very powerful prince; who, when he heard that Kṛṣṇa had killed his son-in-law, was much incensed, and, collecting a large force, marched against Mathurā, determined to put the Yādavas and Kṛṣṇa to the sword. Accordingly he invested the city with three and twenty numerous divisions of his forces.

Rāma and Janārdana sallied from the town with a slender, but resolute force, and fought bravely with the armies of Magadha:

The two youthful leaders prudently resolved to have recourse to their ancient weapons, and accordingly the bow of Hari, with two quivers filled with exhaustless arrows, and the mace called Kaumodakī, and the ploughshare of Balabhadra, as well as the club Saunanda, descended at a wish from heaven.

Armed with these weapons, they speedily discomfited the king of Magadha and his hosts, and re-entered the city in triumph.

Although the wicked king of Magadha, Jarāsandha, was defeated, yet Kṛṣṇa knew that whilst he escaped alive he was not subdued; and in fact he soon returned with a mighty force, and was again forced by Rāma and Kṛṣṇa to fly:

Eighteen times did the haughty prince of Magadha renew his attack upon the Yādavas, headed by Kṛṣṇa; and was as often defeated and put to the rout by them, with very inferior numbers.

That the Yādavas were not overpowered by their foes was owing to the present might of the portion of the discus-armed Viṣṇu.

It was the pastime of the lord of the universe, in his capacity of man, to launch various weapons against his enemies; for what effort of power to annihilate his foes could be necessary to him, whose fiat creates and destroys the world?

But as subjecting himself to human customs, he formed alliances with the brave, and engaged in hostilities with the base:

He had recourse to the four devices of policy, or negotiation, presents, sowing dissension, and chastisement; and sometimes even betook himself to flight.

Thus imitating the conduct of human beings, the lord of the world pursued at will his sports.