In the previous episode, we had witnessed a war of words that was happening between Bhagawan Krishna and Jaraasandha. Bhagawan Krishna decided to play this game along, as Jaraasandha did not identify Him. Bhagawan Krishna used this and without revealing who He was, He tried to introduce Bheemasena and Arjuna to Jaraasandha. By doing so, Bhagawan Krishna explained how Yudishtra was the most righteous king in this world and he would not tolerate any “Adharma” that happens around him. Hence, Yudishtra’s brothers had come to Magadha Desha to take on the “Adharmic” Jaraasandha and kill him! Upon saying thus, Bhagawan Krishna also gave an ultimatum to Jaraasandha – Either to release all the kings whom he had kept under arrest without any reason, or to face the heat of the war!
As Bhagawan Krishna gives one final warning thus, Jaraasandha got provoked! Instead of realizing his mistake, his ego got hurt and with this, he was ready for an all-out war. Jaraasandha replied to Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Brahmana Rishi! You do not know to whom you’re talking such unpardonable words! I’m one of the greatest and the most powerful kings in this entire world. You’ve not faced the wrath of fighting a war against me. If all these kings aren’t able to win over me, how are you guys going to achieve it? Anyway! If you voluntarily want an all-out war with me, I’m nore than ready for it! You may collect all your weapons (if at all you have any) and get prepared!” As the decision was made thus, a huge “Ranga-Bhoomi” was arranged and the entire audience gathered around it to witness an interesting war.
As this was being narrated, King Janame-Jaya asked Sage Vaishampayana an important question here! Readers might wonder from where did King Janame-Jaya come here all of a sudden! It should be remembered by all of us that this entire Mahabharata story is being witnessed as a huge narrative given by Sage Vaishampayana to King Janame-Jaya. We’ve witnessed some important events that led to Sage Vaishampayana giving this narration to King Janame-Jaya many episodes back. Now that King Janame-Jaya is intervening here, let us witness what he had asked. King Janame-Jaya asks thus, “Oh Sage Vaishampayana! Of course I understood that King Jaraasandha was an “Adharmic” person who had held many kings hostages for no reason and hence, Yudishtra was right in giving the apt punishment to him. I also understood King Jaraasandha’s birth story as well. However, I’m not understanding what was the feud between Bhagawan Krishna and Jaraasandha. Why did both of them become enemies? Of course, Bhagawan Krishna killed Kamsa, who was Jaraasandha’s son-in-law, but was this the only reason why Jaraasandha invaded Bhagawan Krishna seventeen times? Is there any other reason as well?”
As King Janame-Jaya asks thus, Sage Vaishampayana replies: “Oh Janame-Jaya! I’m sorry! I had left one important story untold, and I think if I narrate that story, you would get an answer for the question that you’ve asked. Bhagawan Krishna’s parents are Devaki and Vasudeva, isn’t it? Now I’ll tell you an incident that happened when Devaki and Vasudeva got married to each other. As soon as the marriage was over, Kamsa (Devaki’s brother) wanted to escort both of them in his chariot from Mathura. As Kamsa was driving the chariot, there was an “Aakaasha-Vaani” which thundered from above, saying that Kamsa is going to meet his death from the eighth child which is going to take birth to the Devaki-Vasudeva couple! Upon hearing this from the “Aakaasha-Vaani” from above the skies, Kamsa was shocked, and eventually imprisoned both of them back at Mathura jail. Thus, as the couple started having children, child after child was massacred by Kamsa mercilessly. Six babies were destroyed this way, and the divine game started to unfold with the seventh baby! It was mysteriously transferred into Rohini and this baby was none other than Balarama. Now for the eighth baby – Vasudeva transferred this baby to Gokula and took Yashoda’s new-born daughter to Mathura. As Kamsa tried to kill this baby, it flew away from his hands and warned him that the eighth son for Vasudeva was already born!”
Now as Sage Vaishampayana was narrating thus, readers might slowly understand that he was paving the way for the entire Krishna-Avatara to be narrated. Bhishmaachaarya is going to narrate this in a short while from now, and this serves as a good introduction for the same. If we look at various “Puraanas” and the “Ithihaasaas” of our Sanaatana Dharma Literature, if there is a major event that is going to be described, a prelude or a trailer would be given in the beginning, with which, we can understand that a major event is going to be narrated very soon! This is exactly what is happening here – Sage Vaishampayana, in the pretext of narrating the feud between Bhagawan Krishna and Jaraasandha, commences his narration right from Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation in this world! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode, we shall slowly move into why King Jaraasandha had a long-standing enmity with Bhagawan Krishna! Stay tuned! 🙂