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In the presence of the great sage Nārada and all the other associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Uddhava considered the situation and then spoke as follows: “My dear Lord, first of all let me say that the great sage Nārada Muni has requested You to go to Hastināpura to satisfy King Yudhiṣṭhira, Your cousin, who is making arrangements to perform the great sacrifice known as Rājasūya. I think, therefore, that Your Lordship should immediately go there to help the King in this great venture. However, although to accept the invitation offered by the sage Nārada as primary is quite appropriate, at the same time, my Lord, it is Your duty to give protection to the surrendered souls. Both purposes can be served if we understand the whole situation. Unless we are victorious over all the kings, no one can perform this Rājasūya sacrifice. In other words, it is to be understood that King Yudhiṣṭhira cannot perform this great sacrifice without gaining victory over the belligerent King Jarāsandha. The Rājasūya sacrifice can be performed only by one who has gained victory over all directions. Therefore, to execute both purposes, we first have to kill Jarāsandha. I think that if we can somehow or other gain victory over Jarāsandha, all our purposes will automatically be served. The imprisoned kings will be released, and with great pleasure we shall enjoy the spread of Your transcendental fame for having saved the innocent kings whom Jarāsandha has imprisoned.
“But King Jarāsandha is not an ordinary man. He has proved a stumbling block even to great warriors because his bodily strength is equal to the strength of ten thousand elephants. If there is anyone who can conquer this king, he is none other than Bhīmasena because he also possesses the strength of ten thousand elephants. The best thing would be for Bhīmasena to fight alone with him. Then there would be no unnecessary killing of many soldiers. In fact, Jarāsandha will be very difficult to conquer when he stands with his akṣauhiṇī divisions of soldiers. We may therefore adopt a policy more favorable to the situation. We know that King Jarāsandha is very much devoted to the brāhmaṇas and very charitably disposed toward them; he never refuses any request from a brāhmaṇa. I think, therefore, that Bhīmasena should approach Jarāsandha in the dress of a brāhmaṇa, beg charity from him and then personally engage in fighting him. And in order to assure Bhīmasena’s victory, I think that Your Lordship should accompany him. If the fighting takes place in Your presence, I am sure Bhīmasena will emerge victorious, for Your presence makes everything impossible possible. Indeed, Lord Brahmā creates this universe and Lord Śiva destroys it simply through Your influence.
“Actually, You create and destroy the entire cosmic manifestation; Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva are only the superficially visible causes. Creation and destruction are actually performed by the invisible time factor, which is Your impersonal representation. Everything is under the control of this time factor. If Your invisible time factor can perform such wonderful acts through Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, will not Your personal presence help Bhīmasena conquer Jarāsandha? My dear Lord, when Jarāsandha is killed, the queens of all the imprisoned kings will be so joyful at their husbands’ being released by Your mercy that they will all sing Your glories, being as pleased as the gopīs were when released from the hands of Śaṅkhacūḍa. All the great sages; the King of the elephants, Gajendra; the goddess of fortune, Sītā; and even Your father and mother were all delivered by Your causeless mercy. We also have been thus delivered, and we always sing the transcendental glories of Your activities.
“Therefore, I think that if the killing of Jarāsandha is undertaken first, that will automatically solve many other problems. As for the Rājasūya sacrifice arranged in Hastināpura, it will be held, either because of the pious activities of the imprisoned kings or the impious activities of Jarāsandha.
“My Lord, it appears that You are to go personally to Hastināpura to conquer demoniac kings like Jarāsandha and Śiśupāla, to release the pious imprisoned kings, and also to perform the great Rājasūya sacrifice. Considering all these points, I think that Your Lordship should immediately proceed to Hastināpura.”
This advice of Uddhava’s was appreciated by all who were present in the assembly; everyone considered that Lord Kṛṣṇa’s going to Hastināpura would be beneficial from all points of view. The great sage Nārada, the elder personalities of the Yadu dynasty, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa Himself, all supported the statement of Uddhava. Lord Kṛṣṇa then took permission from His father, Vasudeva, and grandfather, Ugrasena, and He immediately ordered His servants Dāruka and Jaitra to arrange for travel to Hastināpura. When everything was prepared, Lord Kṛṣṇa especially bid farewell to Lord Balarāma and the King of the Yadus, Ugrasena, and after dispatching His queens along with their children and sending their necessary luggage ahead, He mounted His chariot, which bore the flag marked with the symbol of Garuḍa.
Before starting the procession, Lord Kṛṣṇa satisfied the great sage Nārada by offering him different kinds of articles of worship. Nāradajī wanted to fall at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, but because the Lord was playing the part of a human being, he simply offered his respects within his mind, and, fixing the transcendental form of the Lord within his heart, he left the assembly house by the airways. Usually the sage Nārada does not walk on the surface of the globe but travels in outer space. After the departure of Nārada, Lord Kṛṣṇa addressed the messenger who had come from the imprisoned kings and told him that they should not be worried, for He would very soon arrange to kill the King of Magadha, Jarāsandha. Thus He wished good fortune to all the imprisoned kings and the messenger. After receiving this assurance from Lord Kṛṣṇa, the messenger returned to the imprisoned kings and informed them of the happy news of the Lord’s forthcoming visit. All the kings were joyful at the news and began to wait very anxiously for the Lord’s arrival.
The chariot of Lord Kṛṣṇa started for Hastināpura accompanied by many other chariots, along with elephants, cavalry, infantry and similar royal paraphernalia. Bugles, drums, trumpets, conchshells and horns all produced a loud auspicious sound which vibrated in all directions. The sixteen thousand queens, headed by the goddess of fortune Rukmiṇīdevī, the ideal wife of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and accompanied by their respective sons, all followed behind Lord Kṛṣṇa. They were dressed in costly garments decorated with ornaments, and their bodies were smeared with sandalwood pulp and garlanded with fragrant flowers. Riding on palanquins nicely decorated with silks, flags and golden lace, they followed their exalted husband, Lord Kṛṣṇa. The infantry soldiers carried shields, swords and lances in their hands and acted as royal bodyguards to the queens. In the rear of the procession were the wives and children of all the other followers, and there were many society girls also following. Many beasts of burden like bulls, buffalo, mules and asses carried the camps, bedding and carpets, and the women who followed were seated in separate palanquins on the backs of camels. This panoramic procession was accompanied by the shouts of the people and was full with the display of different colored flags, umbrellas and whisks and different varieties of weapons, dress, ornaments, helmets and armaments. Shining in the sunlight, the procession appeared just like an ocean with high waves and sharks.
In this way the procession of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s party advanced toward Hastināpura (New Delhi) and gradually passed through the kingdoms of Ānarta (Gujarat Province), Sauvīra (Surat), the great desert of Rājasthān, and then Kurukṣetra. Between those kingdoms were many mountains, rivers, towns, villages, pasturing grounds and mining fields. The procession passed through all these places in its advance. On His way to Hastināpura, the Lord crossed two big rivers, the Dṛṣadvatī and the Sarasvatī. Then He crossed the province of Pañcāla and the province of Matsya. In this way, He ultimately arrived at Hastināpura, or Indraprastha.
The audience of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is not at all commonplace. Therefore, when King Yudhiṣṭhira heard that Lord Kṛṣṇa had arrived in his capital city, Hastināpura, he became so joyful that all his bodily hairs stood on end in great ecstasy, and he immediately came out of the city to properly receive the Lord. He ordered the musical vibration of different instruments and songs, and the learned brāhmaṇas of the city began to chant the hymns of the Vedas very loudly. Lord Kṛṣṇa is known as Hṛṣīkeśa, the master of the senses, and King Yudhiṣṭhira went forward to receive Him exactly as the senses meet the consciousness of life. King Yudhiṣṭhira was the elder cousin of Kṛṣṇa. Naturally he had great affection for the Lord, and as soon as he saw Him, his heart became filled with great love and affection. He had not seen the Lord for many days, and therefore he thought himself most fortunate to see the Lord present before him. The King therefore embraced Lord Kṛṣṇa again and again in great affection.
The eternal form of Lord Kṛṣṇa is the everlasting residence of the goddess of fortune. As soon as King Yudhiṣṭhira embraced Him, he became free from all the contamination of material existence. He immediately felt transcendental bliss and merged in an ocean of happiness. There were tears in his eyes, and his body shook in ecstasy. He completely forgot that he was living in this material world. After this, Bhīmasena, the second brother of the Pāṇḍavas, smiled and embraced Lord Kṛṣṇa, thinking of Him as his own maternal cousin, and thus he also merged in great ecstasy. Bhīmasena was so filled with ecstasy that for the time being he forgot his material existence. Then Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself embraced the other three Pāṇḍavas, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. The eyes of all three brothers were inundated with tears, and Arjuna embraced Kṛṣṇa again and again because they were intimate friends. The two younger Pāṇḍava brothers, after being embraced by Lord Kṛṣṇa, fell down at His lotus feet to offer their respects. Lord Kṛṣṇa thereafter offered His obeisances to the brāhmaṇas present, as well as to the elder members of the Kuru dynasty, like Bhīṣma, Droṇa and Dhṛtarāṣṭra. There were many kings of different provinces such as Kuru, Sṛñjaya and Kekaya, and Lord Kṛṣṇa duly reciprocated greetings and respects with them. The professional reciters like the sūtas, māgadhas and vandīs, accompanied by the brāhmaṇas, offered their respectful prayers to the Lord. Performing artists like the Gandharvas, as well as the royal jokers, began to play their paṇava drums, conchshells, kettledrums, vīṇās, mṛdaṅgas and bugles, and they exhibited their dancing art to please the Lord. Thus the all-famous Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Kṛṣṇa, entered the great city of Hastināpura, which was opulent in every respect. While Lord Kṛṣṇa was entering the city, all the people talked amongst themselves about the glories of the Lord, praising His transcendental name, qualities, form and so on.
The roads, streets and lanes of Hastināpura were all sprinkled with fragrant water through the trunks of intoxicated elephants. In different places of the city there were colorful festoons and flags decorating the houses and streets. At important crossroads there were gates with golden decorations, and at the two sides of the gates there were golden water jugs. These beautiful decorations glorified the opulence of the city. Participating in this great ceremony, all the citizens gathered here and there, dressed in colorful new clothing and decorated with ornaments, flower garlands and fragrant scents. The houses were all illuminated by hundreds and thousands of lamps placed in different corners of the cornices, walls, columns, bases and architraves, and from far away the rays of the lamps appeared to be celebrating the festival of Dīpāvalī (a particular festival observed on the New Year’s Day of the Hindu calendar). Within the walls of the houses, fragrant incense was burning, and smoke rose through the windows, making the entire atmosphere very pleasing. On the top of every house, flags were flapping, and the golden waterpots kept on the roofs shone brilliantly.
Lord Kṛṣṇa thus entered the city of the Pāṇḍavas, enjoyed the beautiful atmosphere and slowly proceeded ahead. When the young girls in every house heard that Lord Kṛṣṇa, the only object worth seeing, was passing on the road, they were very eager to see this all-famous personality. Their hair loosened, and their tightened saris became slack due to their hastily rushing to see Him. They gave up their household engagements, and those who were lying in bed with their husbands immediately left them and came directly down onto the street to see Lord Kṛṣṇa. The procession of elephants, horses, chariots and infantry was very crowded; some of the girls, being unable to see properly in the crowd, got up on the roofs of the houses. Pleased to see Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa passing with His thousands of queens, they showered flowers on the procession, embraced Lord Kṛṣṇa within their minds and gave Him a hearty reception. When they saw Him in the midst of His many queens, like the full moon situated amidst many luminaries, they began to talk amongst themselves.
One girl said to another, “My dear friend, it is very difficult to guess what kind of pious activities these queens have performed, for they are always enjoying the smiling face and loving glances of Kṛṣṇa.” While Lord Kṛṣṇa was thus passing on the road, at intervals some of the citizens, who were all rich, respectable and freed from sinful activities, presented auspicious articles to the Lord, just to offer Him a reception to the city. Thus they worshiped Him as humble servitors.
When Lord Kṛṣṇa entered the palace, all the ladies there were overwhelmed with affection just upon seeing Him. They immediately received Lord Kṛṣṇa with glittering eyes expressing their love and affection for Him, and Lord Kṛṣṇa smiled and accepted their feelings and gestures of reception. When Kuntī, the mother of the Pāṇḍavas, saw her nephew Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she was overpowered by love and affection. She at once got up from her bedstead and appeared before Him with her daughter-in-law, Draupadī, and in maternal love and affection she embraced Him. As Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira brought Kṛṣṇa within the palace, the King became so confused in his jubilation that he practically forgot what he was to do at that time to receive Kṛṣṇa and worship Him properly. Lord Kṛṣṇa delightfully offered His respects and obeisances to Kuntī and other elder ladies of the palace. His younger sister, Subhadrā, was also standing there with Draupadī, and both offered their respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of the Lord. At the indication of her mother-in-law, Draupadī brought clothing, ornaments and garlands, and with this paraphernalia they received the queens Rukmiṇī, Satyabhāmā, Bhadrā, Jāmbavatī, Kālindī, Mitravindā, Lakṣmaṇā and the devoted Satyā. These principal queens of Lord Kṛṣṇa were first received, and then the other queens were also offered a proper reception. King Yudhiṣṭhira arranged for Kṛṣṇa’s rest and saw to it that all who came along with Him—namely His queens, soldiers, ministers and secretaries—were comfortably situated. He had arranged that they would experience a new feature of reception every day while staying as guests of the Pāṇḍavas.
It was during this time that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, with the help of Arjuna, allowed the fire-god, Agni, to devour the Khāṇḍava forest for his satisfaction. During the forest fire, Kṛṣṇa saved the demon Mayāsura, who was hiding in the forest. Upon being saved, Mayāsura felt obliged to the Pāṇḍavas and Lord Kṛṣṇa, and he constructed a wonderful assembly house within the city of Hastināpura. To please King Yudhiṣṭhira, Lord Kṛṣṇa remained in the city of Hastināpura for several months. During His stay, He enjoyed strolling here and there. He used to drive on chariots with Arjuna, and many warriors and soldiers used to follow them.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Seventy-first Chapter of Kṛṣṇa, "Lord Kṛṣṇa in Indraprastha City."