Harivamsha MahA PurANam - ViShNu Parva
harivamsha in the mahAbharata - viShNuparva
Lesson 90 - abduction of bhAnumatI and end of nikumbha
(O janamejaya !) As the yAdava-s, who perform auspicious deeds were enjoying
the water sports, the one with wicked intelligence, the enemy of deva-s,
the one who is difficult to conquer, saw an opportunity.
O king (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued) the demon (dAnava) named
nikumbha, desiring his own death, took away the maiden named bhAnumatI,
daughter of bhAnu.
O king! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued) Entering the women's quarters
invisible, confusing the yAdava women by illusion, the illusory nikumbha,
took the girl away, remembering old enmity.
Valiant pradyumna had taken away the maiden daughter, prabhAvatI, of
vajranAbha, slaying vajranAbha, nikumbha's brother.
bhAnorevatathAraNyevasatyavasareNA hi |
While bhAnu was away in the forest, (enjoying the sports), the lowly demon,
expert in using opportunities, was looking for a suitable opportunity,
knowing that the city is not protected,
O the one who conquers the enemies! (O janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued),
arrived at the quarters of the maiden (bhAnumatI) suddenly. As he took away
the maiden, who was crying, there was a huge uproar.
Hearing the cries of distress from the quarters of bhAnu's maiden, both the
valiant vasudeva and Ahuka (ugrasena), armed and mailed, went there.
nadR^iShTigocharau tau tudadR^ishAte.apakAriNam |
They could not see any criminal, as far as they could see. Then both of
them, armed and mailed went to the place where kR^iShNa was.
Hearing the matter from them, kR^iShNa, the one who excites or agitates
people, the conqueror of enemies, mounted his vehicle, tArkShya (garuDa),
the enemy of serpents, along with the son of pR^itha (arjuna).
tvaretigaruDaMvIraHsandidesha cha kAshyapam ||2-90-10
valiant kR^iShNa said, "follow me on your chariot", to the one with shark
(fish) as his flag (kAma, pradyumna) and asked garuDa, the son of kashyapa
to go fast.
The son of pR^itha (arjuna) and kR^iShNa, the ones with great souls, the
conquerors of enemies, confronted nikumbha, who is difficult to be conquered,
who was proceeding to the city of vajra.
O king! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued), the one with great
splendor, the best among the creators of illusions, pradyumna, also reached
there. Seeing them, nikumbha made himself into three forms.
nikumbha, comparable in strength to deva-s, fought all of them, laughing,
using a heavy mace with many thorns.
O king! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued), Holding the maiden
bhAnumatI with his left hand, nikumbha again beat them with his mace, with
his right hand.
kanyArthaMna cha kR^iShNovAkAmovAnR^iipasattamaH |
nirdayaMpraharantismanikumbhe cha mahAsure ||2-90-15
O the best among kings! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued) For the
safety of the maiden, neither kR^iShNa-s (kR^iShNa and arjuna), nor kAma
(pradyumna) struck the great asura, nikumbha, without kindness.
O the leader of men! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued) The great souls,
capable of slaying the enemies, who are difficult to conquer, distressed by
kindness, took deep breaths.
nAgoShTravidhinAdaityaMsharapa~NktyAjaghAna ha ||2-90-17
The best among the wielders of bow, the son of pR^itha (arjuna), expert in
battle by all means, shot groups of arrows at the daitya, nikumbha,
using the technique of nAgoShtra (see Note 1).
nakanyAMkalayAyuktyAshikShayA cha mahIpate ||2-90-18
arjuna shot many twelve finger long arrows at the dAnava, nikumbha, in the
battle without harming the maiden, O the lord of earth! (janamejaya!
vaishampAyana continued) with his art, logic and training.
AsurImAshritomAyAMna cha tAMvettikashchana ||2-90-19
Then nikumbha vanished from there along with the maiden, using the illusory
skill of demons. No one knew about this.
Both the kR^iShNa-s (kR^iShNa and arjuna) and the son of rukmiNI
(pradyumna) followed nikumbha. Then the great demon (nikumbha)
took the form of hArita bird.
Then the valiant dhana~njaya (arjuna) again shot 12 finger long arrows,
capable of splitting vulnerable spots at nikumbha, taking care to protect
As the great demon was circling this earth having seven islands, the valiant
oppressors of enemies (kR^iShNa and arjuna) followed him.
The great demon reached the top of gokarNa mountain. Then he fell on the
shores of the river ga~Nga, with the maiden.
Neither the deva-s nor the demons, not even the sages with the wealth of
penance cross the gokarNa mountain, which is protected by the splendor of
the great lord, shiva, O the one of bharata race! (janamejaya!
Using this opportunity, highly valiant pradyumna, the prominent bhaima
(yAdava), difficult to conquer in the war, rescued the maiden bhAnumatI.
O king ! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued) The demon nikumbha,
oppressed by the sharp arrows shot by kR^iShNa-s (kR^iShNa and arjuna),
abandoned the north gokarNa and proceeded in the southern direction.
Mounted on garuDa (tArkShya), kR^iShNa and arjuna followed him behind.
nikumbha entered ShaTpura where his relatives and friends were residing.
Both the valiant kR^iShNa and arjuna, waited at the entrance of the cave,
as it closed in the night.
As instructed by kR^iShNa, the son of rukmiNI (pradyumna) immediately
took the daughter of bhAnu (bhAnumatI) to the city of dvAraka, with a happy
dadarsha cha guhAdvArikR^iShNaubhImaparAkramau ||2-90-29
Taking bhAnumati to dvAraka, the valiant pradyumna returned to ShaTpura,
inhabited by the demons. At the entrance of the cave he saw both kR^iShNa
and arjuna, of high valiance.
Those having great power, both kR^iShNa and arjuna, along with pradyumna,
desiring the death of nikumbha, waited, as the entrance was closed.
Afterwards, nikumbha of high power and valiance, came out from the entrance
of the cave for battle.
O the ruler of earth! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued) As nikumbha came
out of the cave, the son of pR^itha (arjuna) blocked all the ways by
shooting arrows using the bow gANDIva.
nikumbha, the best among the powerful, as he came out, struck the son of
pR^itha (arjuna) on the head, with a terrible mace, full of thorns.
nikumbha vanished. The valiant son of pR^itha (arjuna) who was struck on
his head by the mace became unconscious. He vomited blood and became
The demon, proud of his power, laughed and struck the son of rukmiNI
nikumbha having the power of illusion, struck pradyumna, the best of
illusionists who was facing him and vanished. The valiant pradyumna,
struck on his head became unconscious.
tathAgatautudR^iShTvA tau muhyamAnausutADitau |
Seeing arjuna and pradyumna becoming unconscious after being struck
heavily, govinda (kR^iShNa) became highly angry and attacked nikumbha.
The elder brother of gada (kR^iShNa) took up his mace kaumodakI. Those
valiant, difficult to conquer, roared and attacked each other.
indra (shakra) mounted on airAvata, along with all groups of deva-s,
saw the great terrible battle between the gods and the demon.
The lord of senses (kR^iShNa) saw the deva-s. The oppressor of enemies
decided to kill the demon in a strange battle, for the benefit of deva-s.
The slayer of keshi (kR^iShNa), having powerful arms, expert in battle,
playing with his mace kaumodakI, showed a variety of techniques.
shikShayAbhrAmayANo.athamaNDalAnichachAra ha ||2-90-41
Then the chief of demons, whirling his mace with many thorns by training,
showed many techniques as well.
Like roaring bulls, trumpeting elephants and angry wolves, they attacked
each other within the instance of closing the eyelids.
With a terrible roar, the valiant nikumbha struck the elder brother of
gada (kR^iShNa) with his mace having eight bells.
O the one of bharata race! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued) At that
time, kR^iShNa also whirled his great mace and struck nikumbha on his
hari (kR^iShNa) touched the ground with his mace kaumodakI, for a moment.
Then the perceptor of the world, the one with intellect (kR^iShNa) became
unconscious and fell on the earth.
Then the entire world became distressed, O the lord of men (janamejaya!
vaishampAyana continued) since the great soul, the son of vasudeva
(kR^iShNa) became unconscious.
AkAshaga~NgAtoyenashItena cha sugandhinA |
The lord of deva-s, indra himself, sprinkled a mixture of nectar and the
cold fragrant water of the divine ga~Nga on kR^iShNa.
ko hi shaktomahAtmAnaMyuddhemohayituMharim ||2-90-48
(See Note 2)
It is certain that kR^iShNa, the best among deva-s, had done like this by
his own will. Otherwise, who is capable of making hari (kR^iShna)
the great soul, unconscious, in the battle?
O the one of bharata race! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued)
kRiShNa regained consciousness. He took up the discus. The destroyer of
enemies (kR^iShNa) asked the wicked soul (nikumbha) to fight.
nikumbha, the great creator of illusion, the one who is difficult to
conquer, rose up (in the sky) leaving that body. The slayer of
keshi (kR^iShNa) did not know this.
The oppressor of men, janArdana (kR^iShNa) was wondering whether he is dying
or he is dead. O lord, (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued) valiant
kR^iShNa was waiting as per the penance of valiant
(of not slaying the fallen enemy - see nIlakaNTha commentary).
Then pradyumna and the son of kunti (arjuna) regained consciousness.
Desiring the death of nikumbha, they stood near nArAyaNa (kR^iShNa).
Then pradyumna, who is an expert of illusion, realized (that nikumbha was
not there) and told kR^iShNa: O Father! nikumbha is not here. The one with
wicked intelligence has gone somewhere.
When pradyumna said this, that body was destroyed. Then lord kR^iShNa
laughed along with arjuna.
dadR^ishustetatovIrAHkShitaudivi cha sarvataH ||2-90-55
Then, O the lord of men! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued),
immediately, the valiant saw ten thousand thousands of nikumbha-s on the
earth, sky and all over.
Thousands (of nikumbha-s) fought with kR^iShNa, O the oppressor of enemies!
(janamejaya! vaisampAyana continued), thousands fought with the son of
pR^itha (arjuna) and thousands fought with the valiant son of rukmiNI.
This was a wonder.
Some of the great demons (nikumbha-s) held the bow of the pANDava
(arjuna), some others held his hand, some other great demons held his feet.
Holding the valiant (arjuna) in this manner, they rose up in the sky.
Then there were crores of sons of pR^itha held this way.
vichChidya tau sharairvIraunikumbhaMpArthavarjitau ||2-90-59
Neither kR^iShNa nor the son of kR^iShNa (pradyumna), the destroyers of
enemies, could see an end to this. They cut off the nikumbha-s
by shooting arrows, avoiding the son of pArtha (arjuna).
O the one of bharata race (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued),
Those split in two parts became one again. Lord kR^iShNa who had divine
knowledge understood this.
sraShTAraMsarvamAyAnAMhartAraMphAlgunasya cha ||2-90-61
The slayer of madhu (kR^iShNa) realized the true form of nikumbha, who
created hundreds of illusions, the one who took away the one, born under
the star of phAlguni (arjuna).
The slayer of demons (kR^iShNa), hari, the lord of the past, present and
future cut off his head as seen by the entire physical beings of the
O the one of bharata race! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued) As his head
was cut off, he released the one, born under the star of phAlguni (arjuna).
The chief of demons fell down like a tree whose roots are cut off.
O the one who respects others! (janamejaya! vaishampAyana continued) As the
son of pR^itha (arjuna) who went up in the sky was falling down, the son of
kR^iShNa (pradyumna) caught him according to the words of kR^iShNa.
As nikumbha fell on the earth, the lord consoled dhana~njaya (arjuna).
Lord kR^iShNa, accompanied by the son of pR^itha (arjuna) and pradyumna
(kAma) went to the city of dvAraka.
nAradaM cha mahAtmAnaMvavandeyadunandanaH ||2-90-66
The lord dAshArha (kR^iShNa) arrived at the city of dvAraka happily. The son
of yadu (kR^iShNa) paid obeisance to the great soul nArada.
bhAno mA kArShIrmanyuMtvaMshrUyatAMbhaimanandana ||2-90-67
Afterwards, the one with splendor, nArada, told the yAdava, bhAnu: O bhAnu!
O the son of bhaima! Do not worry about the abduction of the maiden
(see nIlakaNTha commentary). Hear this:
Your daughter provoked sage durvAsa, while playing at the garden of raivata.
That sage, most enraged, cursed your daughter.
The highly wanton maiden will go to the enemy's hands (will be taken by the
enemy). For the sake of your daughter, I pleased the sage, along with other
(nArada said:) O great sage! O the one who knows dharma! O the best among
the observers of dharma! Why did you curse the young woman who was
observing the penance, without any defect?
We request you to give blessings to her.
O the son of bhaima! (nArada continued) When we told durvAsa thus, he
lowered his head for a moment and said kindly:
ripuhastamavashyaM hi gamiShyatinasaMshayaH ||2-90-72
The words I spoke will happen as such, not otherwise. The maiden will
definitely go to the enemy's hands, without any doubt.
bahuputrAbahudhanAsubhagA cha bhaviShyati ||2-90-73
The maiden will be unharmed. She will get a husband with dharma. She will
have many sons and wealth. She will also be fortunate and prosperous.
sugandhagandhA cha sadAkumArI cha punaHpunaH |
na cha shokamimaMghoraMtanva~NgIdharayiShyati ||2-90-74
She will have fragrance always. She will become virgin again and again. The
beautiful maiden will not remember this terrible tragedy.
Give bhAnumatI to the valiant sahadeva. The valiant pANDava is faithful and
is fixed in dharma.
(see Note 3)
Then the one with the soul of dharma, bhAnu, remembering the words of nArada
gave bhAnumatI to the son of mAdrI, sahadeva.
vivAhe cha tadAvR^ittesabhAryaHsapurIMgataH ||2-90-77
By sending a messenger, the wielder of discus, (kR^iShNa) brought sahadeva.
After the marriage ceremony, kR^iShNa bade farewell to sahadeva and his
wife and returned to his own city.
The one who recites the victory of kR^iShNa or hears it with attention will
achieve victory in all his actions.
Thus this is the ninetieth lesson of viShNuparva, harivamsha,
khila of mahAbhArata, abduction of bhAnumatI and end of nikumbha
Note 1: nAgoShtravidhi -
Technique of serpent (nAga) and camel (oShtra) in which a snake
which has coiled around the body of the camel is killed by shooting arrows,
without striking the camel's body.
Note 2: According to the southern recension of harivamsha, kR^iShNa
becomes unconscious during the battle with naraka. Then satyabhAmA takes up
the bow and arrows and continues the battle.
Note 3: The last line of shloka 76 is missing from bhAShAbhAratam, vol 6,
## Itranslated by K S Ramachandran, ramachandran_ksr @ yahoo.ca,
January 4 , 2009
Further proof-read by Gilles Schaufelberger, schaufel @ wanadoo.fr
If you find any errors compared to Chitrashala Press edition,
send corrections to A. Harindranath, harindranath_a @ yahoo.com
Translated to English by A. Purushothaman [purushothaman_avaroth @
yahoo.com] and A. Harindranath
January 15, 2011 ##