Jarasandha Vadh

Jarasandha slayed and 84 Kshatriya rulers freed

 Jarasandha Vadha is one of the most important episodes of the Sabha Parva, the second book of Mahabharata. In this episode, high intelligence of Krishna and excellent strength of Bhima, both are displayed. Here Krishna follows disguise to enter the abode of Jarasandha and reach before him, but skilfully presents their identity before the king too. Thus in this lesson, Krishna gives a vital message that different means can be adopted for giving a better chance to success, but the final work must be done with perfect honesty and transparency. Jarasandha, finding that his foes are before him also wished to give a fight and chose Bhima as his contender. Finally Bhima slaughtered the King to end the episode. 

With the resolution to slay Jarasandha, Hrishikesh took with him Bheema and the great famed Dhananjaya, all dressed as Snataka Brahmana. Their long arms decked with sandal paste, neck worn with garlands, whoever looked at them felt them to be some celestials in disguise. The high souled three, fixing their mind on freeing the world from the wicked emperor with enormous strength, Jarasandha started their journey towards east. Crossing the mountains Kalakuta and Gandaki, they reached the Saraju river, beside which once there remained the abode of Rama. After crossing the river, they sighted the East Kosala. After marching through the kingdom, they reached the Holy Mithila Kingdom.

Paying homage there, the three supreme tigers among men, crossed the Ganga and Sone rivers to reach Magadha. Reaching that abode of prosperity, which has been granted boon to remain agile by Brahma to Gautama, the trio looked at the five high hills, protecting the capital of Jarasandha at wish. Among them, the highest one was Chaitya. Looking at the resplendent hill, Krishna said to both the sons of Pandu to break down the mount and enter the kingdom of Jarasandha through there. On asking, he said, Land of a foe must not be entered through the main gate. This is the resolution of Sastra and that is an indication to the foe too.

On the command of Sauti, Falguna and Bheema did their best and soon crumbled the mount of Chaitya to find their path to Magadha. As they entered the kingdom, people there in the market looked at them only, leaving every other things. The giant like three figures, with tall height, wide necks and strong shoulders seemed to them as if that thousand eyed one as come down with two chief of the sons of Aditi. Their long arms decked in sandal seemed as if they are the trunks of the elephant and their Kingly gesture stopped everyone’s remarks, as if they have gone dumb. Putting all marks to proof they are foes, the three lions among Kshatriyas reached the abode of Jarasandha.

As the trio reached the palace of Jarasandha, who was busy in his sacrifice came thither  fast and received the three high souled Sauris, all decked as Snataka Brahmanas. Krishna introducrd himself as well as the two of the sons of Pandu as Brahmanas only and urged that the two Brahmanas with him are on vow to remain speechless. Their vow will be till midnight of the day. Listening to that, the high energetic Jarasandha made arrangement for their rest and took permission of leave. He also said, that he will meet them at midnight and will have talk.

Truth is not going to hide from an emperor of high calibre like Jarasandha. As they met at midnight, his first question remained on the identity of them. He explained his astonishment to find them as Kshatriyas and still in Brahmana deck. He also noticed the fingers of them, that are hard and rough for the effect of Bows and heavy launchers. Krishna smilingly answered him that, anyone among Kshatriya, Brahmana and Vaishya can conduct the rules of Snataka Brahmana, as Upanayana is allotted by Sastra for all these three. They are Kshatriyas and in Sanataka Brahmana deck for that and he also remarked that the king should know them as his foes.

Jarasandha, reflecting on the words of Sauri, exclaimed how they can be foes to him, since he has knowingly not done any harm to them. Krishna answered with perfect diplomacy then these words. Janardan said, O King, you have imprisoned 84 Kshatriyas by force to offer sacrifice. There is not a single constitution in the sastras to offer Human being as sacrifice to God. For this wicked act of yours, being a compatible Kshatriya and willing to do good for the world, what is the need to do personal harm to be a foe?

 He added more, know O king, these two friends of mine to be the two Sons of Pandu, Bheema and Falguna by name. And know myself to be Hrishikesh. Know o King, we are here to free these Kshatriyas, whom by uneven means, you have captured for the sake of sacrifice to Rudra. Reacting on the words of Janardan, Jarasandha then replied that he have won these Kshatriyas and made them slave of his. Still, if they want to free them, they can fight with him and take back all of them. He also added that he is ready to fight one to one, one to two or even one to three.

Keshav, finding his intention to be narrowed down, then urged Jarasandha in these words. O king, you seem to feel that there is none in the world who can be more powerful than you. Time has come t o rectify your fault and understand your own strength. We will not allow you to claim you before the world that three Kshatriyas were employed to kill thee. Enough wrong fame you gained, o King. No more wrong fame. The world must know what your exact strength is and what your foes have in their strength. So, choose any one from us three, whom you want to fight. On listening those unpleasant words, Jarasandha, as Krishna predicted, chose Bheema to be his competent.

Jarasandha was then prepared for the fight with garlands, robes and all elements that are needed for freehand fight. Bheema, got the necessary counselling from Krishna, and remain prepared for the bare hand wrestling. After both of them were ready, there started the great fight at the akhara of Jarasandha. Thousands gathered to see that fight that started on the first Lunar day of the month of Kartik. The two foremost of the fighters, both well renowned in wrestling rushed to each other then, with a leonine voice and grasped each other by arms. Those, who saw those two fighters on ground felt that two mad he-elephants are fighting with their trunks.

Sands and dusts were devastated in such a way, that at times it was impossible to find anyone among those two wrestlers, with high energy mount. Sometimes, they grasped each other by neck and other time by shoulders. Both of them seemed to be invincible in battle and it seemed that the war is not going to end ever. Thos of old age reminded the fight of Banar Chief Vali and Sugriva, while beholding the fight. Others felt that the war is between the Asura Vala and the chief of Celestials.

At times, they put each other down with Prishtavanga and at the next moment, they gift each other with Sampurna Murchha or Purna Kumbha. This way, the lions among men, that foremost of the heroes Vrikodara and the wrathful emperor Jarasandha showed each other their prowess and invincibility in war till the 13th Lunar day of Kartik month without any rest or delay, continuing the same tendency of vanquishing each other day and night. On the thirteenth lunar day of the month, it seemed that the emperor Jarasandha has been under the sway of fatigue. Krishna made no mistake and invoked Bheema with a sharp message, as if he is asking him to delay the war.

The message was very clear to Bheema, as he was counselled before the start of the wrestling match. Hence, Bheema reacted in the perfect manner. Desiring to slay the wicked super energetic emperor, Bhima threw himself on Jarasandha and increased his fatigue to a level, that he cannot raise again. Then putting his strong mountain like leg on one side of the spinal cord (Meru), Bhima tore apart the entire body of Jarasandha in two halves.

The sound hence made, was so loud and so horrible that many standing in the crowd fainted with that, then and there. Many women, who were pregnant, delivered their baby out of fear stricken on them, while standing with the crowd, on hearing that thunder like sound. This ends Jarasandha and at his end, his son Sahadeva, worships Krishna along with two foremost heroes, Partha and Vrikodara. He, with his joined palms, reached Krishna and asked what he shall do for him. Krishna, releasing pressure from his shoulder, asked him to free all the 84 Ksahtriyas, his father made captive. He also asked him and the 84 Kshatriyas to participate in the Rajasuya Yagna, carried out by Yudhisthira and makes Sahadeva as the successor of Jarasandha, on the throne of Magadha.

N.B. Note here that almost all the TV serials show Krishna to use Banana leaf to show cross throwing of Jarasandha’s body parts. But the original scripts of Mahabharata, Bharata or Jaya won’t tell the same. There is no mention of repeat act of Bhima to tear apart Jarasandha’s body and there is alo no mention to cross throw his body too. So that is an interpolation.

Krishna with Arjuna and Bhima reaches Jarasandha

With the resolution to slay Jarasandha, Hrishikesh took with him Bheema and the great famed Dhananjaya, all dressed as Snataka Brahmana. Their long arms decked with sandal paste, neck worn with garlands, whoever looked at them felt them to be some celestials in disguise. The high souled three, fixing their mind on freeing the world from the wicked emperor with enormous strength, Jarasandha started their journey towards east. Crossing the mountains Kalakuta and Gandaki, they reached the Saraju river, beside which once there remained the abode of Rama. After crossing the river, they sighted the East Kosala. After marching through the kingdom, they reached the Holy Mithila Kingdom.

Paying homage there, the three supreme tigers among men, crossed the Ganga and Sone rivers to reach Magadha. Reaching that abode of prosperity, which has been granted boon to remain agile by Brahma to Gautama, the trio looked at the five high hills, protecting the capital of Jarasandha at wish. Among them, the highest one was Chaitya. Looking at the resplendent hill, Krishna said to both the sons of Pandu to break down the mount and enter the kingdom of Jarasandha through there. On asking, he said, Land of a foe must not be entered through the main gate. This is the resolution of Sastra and that is an indication to the foe too.

On the command of Sauti, Falguna and Bheema did their best and soon crumbled the mount of Chaitya to find their path to Magadha. As they entered the kingdom, people there in the market looked at them only, leaving every other things. The giant like three figures, with tall height, wide necks and strong shoulders seemed to them as if that thousand eyed one as come down with two chief of the sons of Aditi. Their long arms decked in sandal seemed as if they are the trunks of the elephant and their Kingly gesture stopped everyone’s remarks, as if they have gone dumb. Putting all marks to proof they are foes, the three lions among Kshatriyas reached the abode of Jarasandha.

Jarasandha Convinced for a Fight

As the trio reached the palace of Jarasandha, who was busy in his sacrifice came thither  fast and received the three high souled Sauris, all decked as Snataka Brahmanas. Krishna introducrd himself as well as the two of the sons of Pandu as Brahmanas only and urged that the two Brahmanas with him are on vow to remain speechless. Their vow will be till midnight of the day. Listening to that, the high energetic Jarasandha made arrangement for their rest and took permission of leave. He also said, that he will meet them at midnight and will have talk.

Truth is not going to hide from an emperor of high calibre like Jarasandha. As they met at midnight, his first question remained on the identity of them. He explained his astonishment to find them as Kshatriyas and still in Brahmana deck. He also noticed the fingers of them, that are hard and rough for the effect of Bows and heavy launchers. Krishna smilingly answered him that, anyone among Kshatriya, Brahmana and Vaishya can conduct the rules of Snataka Brahmana, as Upanayana is allotted by Sastra for all these three. They are Kshatriyas and in Sanataka Brahmana deck for that and he also remarked that the king should know them as his foes.

Jarasandha, reflecting on the words of Sauri, exclaimed how they can be foes to him, since he has knowingly not done any harm to them. Krishna answered with perfect diplomacy then these words. Janardan said, O King, you have imprisoned 84 Kshatriyas by force to offer sacrifice. There is not a single constitution in the sastras to offer Human being as sacrifice to God. For this wicked act of yours, being a compatible Kshatriya and willing to do good for the world, what is the need to do personal harm to be a foe?

 He added more, know O king, these two friends of mine to be the two Sons of Pandu, Bheema and Falguna by name. And know myself to be Hrishikesh. Know o King, we are here to free these Kshatriyas, whom by uneven means, you have captured for the sake of sacrifice to Rudra. Reacting on the words of Janardan, Jarasandha then replied that he have won these Kshatriyas and made them slave of his. Still, if they want to free them, they can fight with him and take back all of them. He also added that he is ready to fight one to one, one to two or even one to three.

Keshav, finding his intention to be narrowed down, then urged Jarasandha in these words. O king, you seem to feel that there is none in the world who can be more powerful than you. Time has come t o rectify your fault and understand your own strength. We will not allow you to claim you before the world that three Kshatriyas were employed to kill thee. Enough wrong fame you gained, o King. No more wrong fame. The world must know what your exact strength is and what your foes have in their strength. So, choose any one from us three, whom you want to fight. On listening those unpleasant words, Jarasandha, as Krishna predicted, chose Bheema to be his competent.

Jarasandha Defeated and Killed

Jarasandha was then prepared for the fight with garlands, robes and all elements that are needed for freehand fight. Bheema, got the necessary counselling from Krishna, and remain prepared for the bare hand wrestling. After both of them were ready, there started the great fight at the akhara of Jarasandha. Thousands gathered to see that fight that started on the first Lunar day of the month of Kartik. The two foremost of the fighters, both well renowned in wrestling rushed to each other then, with a leonine voice and grasped each other by arms. Those, who saw those two fighters on ground felt that two mad he-elephants are fighting with their trunks.

Sands and dusts were devastated in such a way, that at times it was impossible to find anyone among those two wrestlers, with high energy mount. Sometimes, they grasped each other by neck and other time by shoulders. Both of them seemed to be invincible in battle and it seemed that the war is not going to end ever. Thos of old age reminded the fight of Banar Chief Vali and Sugriva, while beholding the fight. Others felt that the war is between the Asura Vala and the chief of Celestials.

At times, they put each other down with Prishtavanga and at the next moment, they gift each other with Sampurna Murchha or Purna Kumbha. This way, the lions among men, that foremost of the heroes Vrikodara and the wrathful emperor Jarasandha showed each other their prowess and invincibility in war till the 13th Lunar day of Kartik month without any rest or delay, continuing the same tendency of vanquishing each other day and night. On the thirteenth lunar day of the month, it seemed that the emperor Jarasandha has been under the sway of fatigue. Krishna made no mistake and invoked Bheema with a sharp message, as if he is asking him to delay the war.

The message was very clear to Bheema, as he was counselled before the start of the wrestling match. Hence, Bheema reacted in the perfect manner. Desiring to slay the wicked super energetic emperor, Bhima threw himself on Jarasandha and increased his fatigue to a level, that he cannot raise again. Then putting his strong mountain like leg on one side of the spinal cord (Meru), Bhima tore apart the entire body of Jarasandha in two halves.

The sound hence made, was so loud and so horrible that many standing in the crowd fainted with that, then and there. Many women, who were pregnant, delivered their baby out of fear stricken on them, while standing with the crowd, on hearing that thunder like sound. This ends Jarasandha and at his end, his son Sahadeva, worships Krishna along with two foremost heroes, Partha and Vrikodara. He, with his joined palms, reached Krishna and asked what he shall do for him. Krishna, releasing pressure from his shoulder, asked him to free all the 84 Ksahtriyas, his father made captive. He also asked him and the 84 Kshatriyas to participate in the Rajasuya Yagna, carried out by Yudhisthira and makes Sahadeva as the successor of Jarasandha, on the throne of Magadha.

N.B. Note here that almost all the TV serials show Krishna to use Banana leaf to show cross throwing of Jarasandha’s body parts. But the original scripts of Mahabharata, Bharata or Jaya won’t tell the same. There is no mention of repeat act of Bhima to tear apart Jarasandha’s body and there is alo no mention to cross throw his body too. So that is an interpolation.

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