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The Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, [1840], at

p. 560


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

HAVING permitted to Devakí and Vasudeva an interval of true knowledge, 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 Sankarshańa and myself with sorrow, and in fear of Kansa. 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 Kansa." 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 Kansa, 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 chanced, 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 Yádavas, being crowned, performed the funeral rites of Kansa, and of the rest of the slain. When the ceremony was over, and Ugrasena had resumed his royal seat, Krishńa addressed him, and said, "Sovereign lord, command boldly what else is to be done. The curse of Yayáti has pronounced our race unworthy of dominion 1; but with me, for your servant, you may issue your orders to the gods. How should kings disobey them?"

p. 561

Thus having spoken, the human Keśava summoned mentally the deity of the wind, who came upon the instant, and said to him, "Go, Váyu, to Indra, and desire him to lay aside his pomp, and resign to Ugrasena his splendid hall Sudharman: tell him that Krishńa commands him to send the royal hall, the unrivalled gem of princely courts, for the assemblage of the race of Yadu." Accordingly Váyu went, and delivered the message to the husband of Śachí, who immediately gave up to him the hall Sudharman, and Váyu conveyed it to the Yádavas, 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 Sándípani--who, though born in Káśí, 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. In the course of sixty-four days they had gone 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 2. Sándípani, 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 Sándípani, perceiving that they were endowed with more than mortal powers, requested them to give him his dead son, drowned in the sea of Prabhása 3. Taking up their arms, they marched against the ocean; but the all-comprehending sea said to them, "I have not killed the son of Sándípani; a demon

p. 562

named Panchajana, who lives in the form of a conch shell, seized the boy: he is still under my waters. On hearing this, Krishńa plunged into the sea; and having slain the vile Panchajana, 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. Ráma and Janárddana then returned to Mathurá, which was well presided over by Ugrasena, and abounded in a happy population both of men and women 1.


560:1 The curse pronounced on the elder sons of Yayáti, on their refusing to take upon them their father's infirmities. See p. 414.

561:2 They read through the Dhanur-veda, which treats of military matters; with the Rahasyá, 'the mystical part;' and the Sangraha, 'collection' or 'compendium,' said to be here the Astra-prayoga, the employment of weapons:

561:3 Prabhása is a place of pilgrimage in the west of India, on the coast of Guzerat, near the temple of Somanath, and town of Pattan Somanath. It is also known by the name of Soma-tírtha; Soma, or the moon, having been here cured of the consumption brought upon him by the imprecation of Daksha, his father-in-law. Mahábhárata, Śalya P., vol. III. p. 249.

562:1 The incidents of the two last chapters are related in the Bhágavata and Hari Vanśa, often in the words of the text, but with many embellishments and additions, especially in the latter. The Brahma Vaivartta, on the other hand, makes still shorter work of these occurrences than our text.

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