Viṣṇu Purāṇa | Book 5 - Chapter 24

Chapter XXVI

Muchukunda goes to perform penance. Kṛṣṇa takes the army and treasures of Kālayavana, and repairs with them to Dvārakā. Balarāma visits Vraja: inquiries of its inhabitants after Kṛṣṇa.

THUS praised by the wise Muchukunda, the sovereign of all things, the eternal lord, Hari, said to him:

"Go to whatever celestial regions you wish, lord of men, possessed of might irresistible, honoured by my favour.

When you have fully enjoyed all heavenly pleasures, you shall be born in a distinguished family, retaining the recollection of your former births; and you shall finally obtain emancipation."

Having heard this promise, and prostrated himself before Achyuta, the lord of the world, Muchukunda, went forth from the cave, and beholding men of diminutive stature, now first knew that the Kāli age had arrived. The king therefore departed to Gandhamādana, the shrine of Nara-Nārāyaṇa, to perform penance.

Kṛṣṇa having by this stratagem destroyed his enemy, returned to Mathurā, and took captive his army, rich in horses, elephants and cars, which he conducted to Dvārakā, and delivered to Ugrasena, and the Yadu race was relieved from all fear of invasion.

Baladeva, when hostilities had entirely ceased, being desirous of seeing his kinsmen, went to Nanda's cow-pens, and there again conversed with the herdsmen and their females, with affection and respect.

By some, the elders, he was embraced; others, the juniors, he embraced; and with those of his own age, male or female, he talked and laughed.

The cowherds made many kind speeches to Halāyudha; but some of the Gopīs spoke to him with the affectation of anger, or with feelings of jealousy, as they inquired after the loves of Kṛṣṇa with the women of Mathurā:

"Is all well with the fickle and inconstant Kṛṣṇa?" said they:

"Does the volatile swain, the friend of an instant, amuse the women of the city by laughing at our rustic efforts (to please him)? Does he ever think of us, singing in chorus to his songs? Will he not come here once again to see his mother?

But why talk of these things? It is a different tale to tell for him without us, and for us without him:

Father, mother, brother, husband, kin, what have we not abandoned for his sake? But he is a monument of ingratitude. Yet tell us, does not Kṛṣṇa talk of coming here?

Falsehood is never, O Kṛṣṇa, to be uttered by thee. Verily this is Dāmodara, this is Govinda, who has given up his heart to the damsels of the city, who has no longer any regard for us, but looks upon us with disdain."

So saying, the Gopīs, whose minds were fixed on Kṛṣṇa, addressed Rāma in his place, calling him Dāmodara and Govinda, and laughed and were merry;

and Rāma consoled them by communicating to them agreeable, modest, affectionate, and gentle messages from Kṛṣṇa. With the cowherds he talked mirthfully, as he had been wont to do, and rambled along with them over the lands of Vraja.