Yudhisthira had limitless affection towards Srikrishna. Afraid that enemies could attack Krishna during His journey, he sent all four divisions of his army consisting of elephants, cavalry, chariots and infantry, to Dwaraka for His protection.
The Pandavas, out of their deep love and affection towards the Lord, and worried about separation from Him, accompanied Him for a great distance. Then, Krishna gently bade them farewell and sent them back home. Together with His friends, Srikrishna then proceeded towards Dwaraka.
Crossing the Kurujāngala, Pāṇchala, Surasena, Brahmavarta, Kurukshetra, Matsya, Sāraswata, Maratdhanva provinces, He reached Ānarta kingdom (Dwaraka), which was to the west of Sauvīra and Ābhīra Kingdoms, by Sunset. All through the journey, at various places, people were accosting the Lord, worshipping Him and offering Him presentations. In this manner, by Sunset, He reached the western end. By then His horses were a little tired.
With this the 10th chapter of the first Canto comes to an end.
First Canto Eleventh Chapter
In this chapter, the welcoming and praising of Srikrishna by the citizens of Dwaraka, and the Lord entering His city are covered.
Srikrishna reached his prosperous city of Ānarta (Dwaraka). As if to indicate that He was dispelling the distress of the citizens who were dejected due to long separation from Him, Krishna blew His conch Pāncajanya, heralding His arrival!
As He held the strikingly white conch in His lotus hands and brought it near His lips, the red colour from His lower lip reflected upon the conch. With this it appeared as if the white conch had turned red in colour. The conch held in his hands appeared like a royal swan that was screeching while playing amidst lotuses!
Hearing from close quarters the loud sound from the Pāncajanya conch, the sound that had the ability to instill fear to fear itself, the citizens of Dwaraka were overjoyed. Becoming extremely anxious to see their Lord, they rushed towards Him. Just like a lamp that is offered to the Sun, the citizens offered gifts with utmost love to Srikrishna, who, being the form of the Self is eternally blissful and totally contented.
Just like children who welcome their father joyfully, the citizens of Dwaraka, with limitless elation and hoarse voices, joyfully said to him:
Natāḥ sma te nātha sadāṅghri-paṅkajaṁ
Parāyaṇaṁ kṣema mihecchatāṁ paraṁ
Na yatra kālaḥ prabhavet paraḥ prabhuḥ
Oh Lord! Even the shadow of that eternal time (kāla), which swallows Brahma and all other Gods, does not fall upon You! The great Lord Brahma, the eminent sages Sanaka, Sananda and others, and all the celestials beginning from Indra, offer obeisance to Your lotus feet! In this world, to all those who seek welfare Your feet are the sole shelter. I offer obeisance to those holy feet!
Bhavāya nas tvaṁ bhava viśva-bhāvana tvam eva mātātha suhṛt-patiḥ pitā
Tvaṁ sad-gurur naḥ paramaṁ ca daivataṁ yasyānuvṛttyā kṛtino babhūvima
O Lord who creates this universe! Please cause auspiciousness to me. To us You are the mother, father, friend, relative, King, Sadguru and even the Supreme Lord. You are everything. By serving You we have attained everything.
Aha! By serving You, we have obtained a protector (sa-nātha). We are seeing that beautiful auspicious face of Yours which is blossoming with Your loving tender smile and which causes us great joy’.
In Hastinapura, the people, who were drowned in grief of separation, praised Him profusely. Now here in Dwaraka, the citizens, in happiness upon His arrival, are praising Him. To this Lord both are equal. In Hastinapura, with grief they bid him farewell. Here with great excitement the people welcome Him. But to the Lord both are one and the same.
‘Even those who are in Heaven do not have the luck of seeing Your form so easily! O Lotus-eyed Lord! O Srikrishna! Whenever you leave us to see your friends in Hastinapura or in Mathura, our condition is like that of the eyes which are deprived of the Sun! Even a second appears like a crore years in your absence’.
Lord Srikrishna, who considers his devotees to be his children, heard these words spoken by the citizens and gazed at them tenderly with loving grace (anugraha).
Just as the city Bhogavati is guarded by the Nāgas, the city of Dwaraka was guarded by the members of Madhu, Bhoja, Daśārha, Arha, Kukura, Andhaka and Vṛśti clans, who were equal in might to Krishna.
In that city of Dwaraka, were many gardens that were all through the year replete with trees laden with flowers and fruits. The surrounding gardens, play grounds, ponds and lakes added beauty to the city. The citizens decorated the city with colourful archways. Colourful flags were flying high everywhere. All these not only added to the beauty of the city, but they also reduced the intensity of the heat. The streets were cool and simultaneously colourful.
In front of the houses many auspicious items, poorna kumbhas, presentations, incense sticks and lamps were all arranged for the Lord. This was the city into which Lord Krishna entered!
Mahatma Vasudeva (father), Akrura, grandfather Ugrasena, the courageous Balarama, Pradyumna, Charudeṣṭa, Sāmba heard the arrival of Krishna and were greatly ecstatic. Such was their excitement that they left their beds, seats, food etc. as is, and mounting chariots, they rushed forward to welcome Him. Before them were elephants. Vedic scholars holding the necessary auspicious articles walked behind them. Beautiful dancers, eager to have the darshan of Lord Krishna, mounted their vehicles and proceeded towards Him. Various dancers, story tellers, dramatists, expert speakers all accosted the Lord. Professional singers rendered His glories.
Krishna lovingly approached every citizen and every relative who had come there to welcome Him and greeted them personally. The Lord who protects one and all however bowed and offered obeisance only to some. Through respectful words, He offered his obeisance to some others. He embraced some of them. He shook hands with a few others. Some He greeted with His smile. He gazed into the eyes of some. To some others, He offered boons. In this way, Krishna greeted each and every person who had come to receive Him, right from the greatest to the smallest.
In addition He sought the blessings of His gurus who had come with their wives. He also obtained the blessings of the aged persons. In this way, while professional singers were rendering His glories, Lord Krishna entered the city of Dwaraka, accompanied by them all!
Jai Sri Krishna.