Bhagawatam 49: Yudhisthira fears ill-omens seen


Yudhisthira continued, “O Bheema, dust has completely enveloped all the four directions so much so that it appears as if many galaxies are forming around the Sun and the Moon. The earth together with mountains trembles dreadfully. Even in the absence of clouds frightening thunder can be heard. Look at that lightening.

The wind blows vehemently throwing dust in all directions and creating darkness. Clouds wickedly rain down fearful blood-coloured disastrous showers. Sun’s illumination has weakened. In the sky the planets fight amongst themselves. It appears as if everything is burning and the hordes of living beings are weeping.

Bheema, all rivers, ponds, lakes and even human minds appear totally agitated. Even when ghee is poured, fire no longer ignites. I wonder what calamity this eternal time is going to bring.

Look, calves no longer seek to drink milk. Cows have also stopped yielding milk. Just see these cows stand and shed tears. The bulls are no longer happy while grazing.

From the idols of the deities tears flow profusely. Villages, cities, towns, ashrams, gardens, fields, all lack vigour and splendor. What form of calamity are they trying to indicate I fail to understand? Wherever and whatever I see, irrespective of whether it is big or small, indicates to me of some inauspicious impending disaster. Everywhere I see only ill omens.

From all these various ill-omens I believe that very shortly the earth is going to lose its splendor. These inauspicious omens indicate that very shortly the earth will be bereft of the divine lotus footprints of Lord Srikrishna”.

While Yudhisthira, observing all these ill-omens, was lamenting profusely in this manner, Arjuna returned from the city of Dwaraka.

Intensely grieving in a manner that was never seen in the past, Arjuna entered and bowed at the feet of his elder brother. With his head bent down he was profusely shedding tears.

Seeing his younger brother who was totally lusterless and ashen, Yudhisthira recollected the words of Sage Nārada. With overpowering anxiety and agitation, in the presence of all relatives and friends, he questioned Arjuna in the following manner:

“O Arjuna, in the city of Dwaraka are all our Yadava relatives, belonging to the Madhu, Bhoja, Daśarha, ārha, sātvata, Vṛśni and Andhaka clans, happy and peaceful? Is our maternal grandfather Surasena happy? Are our maternal uncles Vasudeva and his brothers doing well? Are his 7 wives including Devaki, their sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren doing well?

How is King Ugrasena? With the death of the wicked Kamsa he is now bereft of a son. Is Devaka, the brother of Ugrasena, still living? Are Dadhīka and his son Krtavarma doing well? Are Akrura, Jayanta, Gada, Sāraṇa happy and comfortable? Are Sratrujit and other Yadava warriors faring well? How is Balarama, the worshipful Lord of Yadavas?

How is Pradyumna, the great warrior of the Vṛśni tribe? How is the worshipful Aniruddha, who displays unimaginable great speeds during war? Is he happy? Hope Suṣena, Charudeśṭa, Jāmbavati’s son Sāmba, Rṣabha and other sons of Srikrishna, along with their children, are doing well?

Are Śrutadeva, Uddhava and others attendants of Srikrishna, happy and well? Are Nanda, Sunanda and other exalted Yadava kinsmen doing well? Are all the others who live under the constant protection of Lord Srikrishna doing well? Are they comfortable and happy?”

Notice that he enquires about Balarama and Srikrishna in the end. How can he directly ask, ‘Is Paramatma dead or alive?’ In this questioning of Yudhisthira, the softness of his mind and sweetness in his speech are clearly visible. It is noteworthy.  The intensity of his feelings can be gauged from this speech of his.

“Balarama and Srikrishna love us dearly, is it not? Do they still seek our welfare? Is Srikrishna, who possesses extreme love towards learned Vedic scholars and devotees, comfortable and happy being seated amidst friends in the royal-assembly of Sudharma, in the city of Dwaraka?

Maṅgalāya ca lokānāṁ kṣemāya ca bhavāya ca

Āste yadu-kulāmbhodhāv ādyo ananta-sakhaḥ pumān

The primordial being Sriman Narayana, together with Balarama who is none other than Ananta, for the purposes of ensuring the well being, prosperity and protection of this world, has from the oceans, incarnated into the Yadu lineage in the form of Srikrishna.

Yadavas who reside in the city of Dwaraka, are under the constant protection of His powerful arms. Such Yadavas are the most fortunate persons. Staying as servants and attendants to that Lord Mahavishnu, who is worshipped in all the lokas (planes of existence), they are happy and blissful.

Satyabhama and the 16000 women of Srikrishna consider worshipping and serving the His lotus feet as their most important service to the Lord. These queens have obtained for their enjoyment, Pārijāta and other celestial luxuries, which otherwise were the exclusive enjoyments of Sacidevi, wife of Lord Indra (Lord of heaven) and which had been obtained by Lord Indra through defeating all other celestials in a war. Serving the lotus feet of that Supreme Lord is the sole reason for obtaining these enjoyments!

The Yadava heroes, who are under the protection of Lord Krishna’s arms, roam about happily and fearlessly everywhere. These ordinary Yadavas walk about freely and fearlessly in the Dwaraka’s royal court Sudharma, which actually is befitting only to celestials such as Indra (Lord of heaven) and other guardians of the world and which has been forcefully snatched away from them. Srikrishna has incarnated into such Yadu lineage.

O my dear brother, I forgot to ask you something. Are you doing well? Why do you appear pale and lusterless? Could it be possible that having overstayed in Dwaraka, you were humiliated, instead of being honoured? Has someone uttered unworthy words and hurt your feelings in any way? Is it possible that you, the protector of one and all, perhaps could not offer protection to Vedic Brahmins, cows, young boys, old men, diseased persons, women or to any other living being?

I hope you have not obtained a woman with whom cohabitation is forbidden.  Hope you have not behaved disrespectfully towards a worthy woman. Is it possible that someone who is equal or inferior to you in strength has humiliated you? Is it possible that you consumed all the food alone neglecting old people and young children who should have been fed? Or is it possible that you have performed some forbidden act?

Or is it possible that you are deeply grieving because Srikrishna, who is your dearest friend and relative, is not by your side? O my dear brother, say something. Please speak”.

With this the fourteen chapter of the first canto comes to an end.

Narayana. Datta Narayana.


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