- Introduction by Prof.K.T.Pandurangi 

Chapter XX 

Benevolent administration of Pandavas This chapter begins with the description of the benevolent administration of Pandavas in Indraprastha. The portfolios allotted by Pandavas among themselves are quite interesting. Yudhishtira took charge of performing sacrifices, bestowing gifts, hospitality to sages etc. Bhimasena took charge of the defense, education in spiritual knowledge, maintenance of the Varnashrama duties etc. Draupadi looked after women’s welfare, welfare of the servants, supervision of the treasury and helping women developing devotion to the Supreme God Vishnu. Arjuna looked after foreign relations. However, in the case of Jarasandha etc strong enemies Bhima used to keep watch. Nakula and Sahadeva looked after the welfare of the army and the political policy of sandhi , vigraha etc. During the administration of Pandavas, particularly, that of Bhimasena, there was no poverty, no premature death, no diseases, no body transgresses varnashrama duties, and no body opposed the Supremacy of God Vishnu. People had no need to meet the king for their needs, since all their needs fully satisfied. They met the king to have his darshana only. After narrating the good administration of Pandavas certain family details are i.e.Yudhishtira married Devaki the daughter of Shishupala. She was Shyamala the wife of Yama in her original form. He begot a son viz. Suhotra. Bhima married Kaali the daughter of the king of Kashi. The Kaali was Bharati herself. When Jarasandha found the Kaali garlanded Bhima, he went on abusing Vishnu and praising Shiva and attacked Bhima. It was a double attack, an attack on the Supremacy of Gods Vishnu and an attack on Bhima physically. Bhima had to first defeat Jarasandha in respect of the first attack. The Vedas declare the Vishnu is supreme. Even in Saivagamas Vishnu is described as supreme. The Buddha is also an incarnation of Vishnu. The preceptor of Charvakas viz. Brihaspati claims Vishnu as his preceptor. Vishnu bestows liberation to all. On the other hand Shiva ran away when Bhasmasura confronted him the poison gulped by Shiva made his neck dark.  From these facts it is clear that Shiva is not supreme.  Once at Hastinavati when I was proceeding to worship Vishnu Ganga obstructed me. I pushed her with my left hand. Once Shiva came in the form of tiger perusing Parvati who had taken the form of a cow to test me. I hit him with my mace and he went into a linga which is now known as Vyaghralinga. Shiva appeared in the form of a Brahmana at Kedara and debated with me about the supremacy of God . He was defeated and entered into a linga. That is why the devotees of Vishnu are prohibited from going to Kedara.  Bhimasena gives these details to impress upon Jarasandha that even the devotees of Vishnu are so strong that there is no need to establish the supremacy any further. Silencing Jarasandha in this way in respect of the Supremacy of Vishnu Bhimasena won the first round of the battle. Then he threw Jarasandha in the water of Ganga. Jarasandha ran away. Bhima returned to Indraprastha with Kaali the daughter of the king of Kashi. Bhima begot a son Sarvatrata through Kaali. 

Duryodhana Studies under Balarama 

At Dwaraka Sri Krishna killed Shatadanva to get Symantakamani from him. However it was with Akrura. Krishna knew it, but still made it an excuse to kill him. Balarama was upset by it and went to Videha region. HE stayed there for five years. Duryodhana desired to take advantage of this seeming difference between Krishna and Balarama. He became the disciple of Balarama and studied gadayuddha under him He asked Balarama to give his sister Subhadra to him in marriage. He made him to take an oath to give Subhadra holding his hand marked by plough. Subhadra was Trijata in the earlier birth. As a result of her service to SIta she was now born as the sister of Krishna.

Eight queens of Shri Krishna 

Krishna married Kalindi the sister of yamuna. He married Nila by controlling seven bulls simultaneously. Shri Krishna married Mitravrinda defeating her brothers Vinda and Anuvinda. He also married Bhadra and Lakshana, The condition for seeking hand of Lakshana was more difficult than Draupadi. The aim of the arrow was placed reverting it and the arrow had to move above and hit it moving back. Jarasandha, Duryodhana etc failed. Arjuna tried but deliberately did not hit it. He knew that she was to be married by Shri Krishna. Bhima did not even look at the bow out of high regard to Shri Krishna. These marriages resulted in Krishna having eight queens viz Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Nila, Mitravrinda, Bhadra and Lakshana. The first two were full incarnations of goddess Lakshmi. The others had only the avesha of Lakshmi. 

Ascharya and Dhanya 

Duryodhana performed a sacrifice. Many kings and dignitaries participated in it. They desired to see the newly built Dwaraka. They were received at Raivata hill. Krishna welcomed them at this stage Narada arrived. He greeted Krishna as 'Ascharya' and 'Dhanya'. Krishna enquired what he means by these expressions. Narada explained that 'Ascharya' means you alone are supreme and 'Dhanya' means all others are under your control and you sustain them. Narada explained the way in which he discovered this fact. Narada said: once I saw a deity in the Kurma form in the river Ganga. I told him that there is no one who is superior to you. He said Ganga is superior to me. Ganga said Varuna is superior to her. Varuna said Prthivi i.e., Uma. Uma said Shiva, Sesha and Garuda. They said Brahma is superior to them. He said Rama is superior. Rama is abhimani diety of Vedas. She said my Yagnabhimano form Yajna is superior to me. She said my lord Shri Krishna is superior to me and to all. Narada tells Krishna that I greeted you as Ascharya and Dhanya discovering this fact from these deities. Krishna said there is one more form of Rama viz.Dakshina. She is a part of my very personality. That is why I am called Ardhanarayana. I am superior to her. This Dakshina Devi is Rukmini. The three forms of Lakshmi. Viz, Vedhabhimani Rama, Yajnabhimani Yagna and Dakshinabhimani Dakshina are the forms of one and the same Lakshmi. They are equal. The superiority of the second and the third forms is stated keeping in mind only their placement. Vedhabhimani form is outside, Yajnabhimani is on the lap of the God and Dakshinabhimani is the very part of the body. Narada told Kunti and others that. Shri Krishna is all powerful. Krishna demonstrated it by taking away the weapons of Bhishma, Drona, Karna, and Kripa etc all within a moment. Bhima did not take his weapon against Krishna as he never opposed God. He was just thrown away from his chariot. This was all a play to realize the all powerfulness of God .Narada praised Rukmini and gave parijata flower to her. This upset Satyabhama. However, Krishna assured her that he would get the very Parijata tree for her. 

Narakasura vadha 

Indra deities approached Krishna with an appeal to kill Narakasura. Krishna left for Pragjyotisapura with Satyabhama. Narakasura was born from Varatha form of God through Dharadevi. He was invincible as a result of boon from Brahma. His ministers were also similarly blessed. He had built three tiers fronts viz. Giridurga, Jaladurga and Pasadurga. The last was prepared by Mura with six thousand ropes. Peetha, Mura, Nikumbha, Hayagriva and Panchanga were the ministers of Narakasura. He had forcibly taken away the Swetachatra of Varuna, Manishikara from Indra, and the ear-rings of Aditi. Krishna attacked Prag-jyotisha city, destroyed the three forts. Killed the five ministers, and thirty-five sons of these ministers. Narakasura came out of the city and attacked Sri Krishna with his mace Shatagni. Krishna swallowed the mace and pretended as if he is exhausted. Satyabhama took the Sarnga bow and destroyed the chariot and the weapons of Narakasura. She also pretended to be exhausted. Krishna killed Narakasura with his chakra. He entered into the palace. Narakasura mother Bhudevi returned the ear-rings of Aditi. Bhagadatta the son of Narakasura was coronated as a successor of Narakasura. Krishna took six thousand elephants and other wealth and sent it to Dwaraka. The big elephant Supratika was left for Bhagadatta. Krishna found the sixteen thousand girls imprisoned in his palace by Narakasura. These were Agniputras in their original form. They desired to marry Sri Krishna and were born as girls. Krishna arranged to send them Dwaraka. These girls have the avesha of Lakshmi and therefore are eligible for the contact with Shri Krishna. Krishna took back Manishikara of Indra and Swetachatra of Varuna and went to Indraloka. He gave the earrings to Aditi. Krishna sported with Satyabhama in Nandana garden. She saw Parijata tree at Nandana and desired to have it. Krishna removed it and placed it on Garuda. Sachi was upset by it. Indra together with other deities attacked Krishna and Satyabhama. Satyabhama herself took the Shranga bow and cut the weapons of Kubera. Garuda threw Varuna in the sea. Shiva with Nandi was also thrown out. Indra threw his Vajrayudha at Krishna. It was prevented by his left hand by Shri Krishna Indra surrendered. Krishna returned to Dwaraka. Planted Parijata and Manishikara in the foreyard of Satyabhama's house. He married the sixteen thousand girls bought from Narakasura's palace. He begot ten sons and one daughter from each of them. Among these sons, Satyabhama begot a son viz. Bhani. He was originally one of the twelve suns viz. Savita, Rukmini begot the sons of Pradyumna and Charudeshna. Originally he was Ganesha. Pradyumna and Samba undertook digvijayayatra and went to Patala, defeated Vasuki. They defeated Maya also who came in their way. They defeated Jayanta and Vrishaba in the Indraloka. 

Sunda and Upasunda 

Sunda and Upasunda the sons of Nikumba a descendent of Hiranyakashipu were considerably troubling the sages. These two had obtained a boon from Brahma that they should not be killed by anybody excepting the very brother. They thought they will never have any enmity to kill each other. When these brothers started harassing the ascetics. Brahma created a beautiful woman Tilottama. She was so charming that even Siva assumed four daces to look at her all around. She appeared before Sunda and Upasunda. Both were captivated by her charm and started fighting to get her. Ultimately they were killed by each other. 

Arjuna's Tirtha yatra 

Narada instructed the Pandavas to be with Draupadi by the rotation of one year each instead of a rotation by one day. Accordingly they lived with her by the rotation of a year. When a couple is in privacy no one is expected to disturb them However, once Arjuna had to enter the private chamber of Yudhishtira when he was engaged in a private conversation with Draupadi. This is because, a Brahman’s cow was to be protected and Arjuna had to take his bow that was kept in Yudhishtira’s chamber. Consequently, he had to undertake Tirtha yatra for a year. In the course of his pilgrimage he came across Ulupi a widow girl of Naga race at his request he begot a son Iravan through her. The Nagas declared her and her son as outcaste. However, Indra took care of the both in Indraloka. Then, Arjuna went to Pandya country. He married Chitrangadha the daughter of Pandya king. According to north Indian recusion of Mahabharatha, Chitrangadha is the daughter of Chitravahana the king of Manipura. Arjuna begot a son Babruvahana through Chitrangadha. He was given in adoption to the Pandya king by way of Putrika putra dharma. The Pandya king Virasena was an amsa of Surya of Tvasta form. Chitrangadha was originally Sachi Devi. Arjuna proceeded to Prabhasa. On the way, at Kanyatirtha, he was caught by five crocodiles. He dragged the five out of water. These were originally five apsaras and were cursed to be born as crocodiles by a Brahmana. These apsaras viz. Vargas, Saurabheyi. Samichi, Budbuda and Lata were in crocodile form in five lakes viz. Agastya, Saubhadra, Pauloma, Karandhama and Bharadvaja. The Brahmana had told them that when some strong man drags them out, they will get their original form. Accordingly, when they were dragged out by Arjuna they were releases from the crocodile form. 

Subhadra parinaya 

From Prabhasa Arjuna proceeded towards Dwaraka. He took the form of a Sanyasi and sat under a tree on Raivata hill. Balarama saw him and asked Krishna to arrange accommodation for this sanyasi near kanyagara during chaturmasya and provide all facilities to him. Krishna pretended to caution Balarama by saying that it is not safe to provide accommodations for this young sannyasins near Kanyagara. Balarama said that the sannyasins are above temptations and one should not question the bonafides of an ascetic. Subhadra was asked to serve sannyasin. One day Balarama and all others went to Pindoddhara Kshetra. There was a big festival. Sanyasi did not go as he was not to leave the place until the chaturmasya was over. Subhadra also remained as she had to serve him. Subhadra enquired sannyasin whether he knew the where-abouts of Arjuna who is on a pilgrimage. Sanyasi revealed his identity as Arjuna. He proposed that they should marry by Gandharva way. She said that without Krishna's consent and blessing she cannot proceed in the matter. At this juncture Krishna arrived with his parents. Indra, Satyaki, Narada etc also arrived. The marriage was celebrated. Krishna left his chariot for Arjuna and returned to Pindoddhara Kshetra. Arjuna left the place with Subhadra. The security guards of the city tried to prevent him. Viprithu who was in charge of the security was already secretly instructed by Krishna not to prevent Arjuna. Subhadra herself was taking the chariot ahead. Balarama came to know about it. Balarama was enraged. However Krishna pacified Balarama and other Yadavas. Arjuna came to Indraprastha with Subhadra. Draupadi and his brothers were very happy to receive them. Pandavas begot five sons viz. Prativindya, Srutasoma, Srutakirti, Srutanika ,Srutakriya. These were originally Visva devas. These had the avesha of the five Gandharvas viz. Chitrarath, Abhitamra, Kishora, Gopala and Bala . Abhimanyu was born after Prativindya and Srutasoma. Originally he was Budha. He had also the avesha of Chandra. 

Khandava dahana 

One day Krishna and Arjuna went to Khandava forest with Satyabhama and Subhadra. Agni appeared before them in the form of Brahmana and appealed for food. He said he needs the whole of this forest as his food. This forest belongs to Indra. He is obstructing me. Agni had tried to burn this forest seven times. However, Takshaka was living in this forest prevented him with the support of Indra. Agni brought chakra from Narayana at Badri and gave it to Sri Krishna. This was already once obtained by Sri Krishna. This was already once obtained by Sri Krishna at Gomantaka. Agni Procured Gandiva bow from Varuna and gave it to Arjuna. He also gave white horses, chariot and the flag with the emblem of Hanuman. Arjuna encircles the entire Khandavavana with his arrows and saw that no one went out of it; Krishna and Arjuna destroyed the whole forest and offered it to Agni. Indra surrendered. Maya who was in that forest appealed to Arjuna to save him. Arjuna let off him.