Krishna Episode 19- Redemption of Yamala Arjuna Trees

yamalarjuna trees

On becoming the attendants of god Rudra, those two sons of Kubera, grew puffed up with vain gloriousness. Dead drunk with the liquor called Varuņi, thoroughly inebriated with their eyes rolling through intoxication, they, in company of singing women, were strolling through a pleasure-garden in the vicinity of mount Kailasa, and through woodlands full of blossom, on the banks of the Mandakini (the Ganga in heaven).Entering the waters of the Ganga which were beautified by blossoming lotus-beds, they sported amorously with young damsels, like unto a pair of he-elephants with she elephants.


By the will of the Providence, the worshipful divine sage Narada happened to see the pair of gods there, and perceived them to be intoxicated (and speaking vulgarly), Oh descendant of Kurus.Seeing him, the celestial damsels felt ashamed at their nudity, and were afraid of being cursed. Instantly and quickly they put on their garments. But not so the two Yakṣas (whose godliness disappeared due to their being drunk), and they stayed stark naked (despite the persistent requests of the celestial nymphs).Observing that those two sons of god Kubera were inebriated with wine, and blind with arrogance of affluence, he (Narada) with a view of showering grace on them, intended to pronounce an imprecation, and spoke (lit. sang) as follows:


Nārada said: In the case of a person who indulges in the enjoyment of objects of pleasure, no other effect of rajo-guna (such as the pride of heredity or of scholarship) is powerful enough to cloud his understanding and good sense as the pride of one’s affluence. For wherever this form of vanity predominates, women, wine and gambling are found associated with it. Where such pride of wealth is dominant, animals are ruthlessly slaughtered by such merciless persons of uncontrolled mind who (wrongly) regard this transient perishable body as immune from decrepitude of old age and above mortality.


Though this body is designated as god (among men- naradeva or on the earth-bhadeva), it is ultimately reduced to what are called worms, excretion and ashes. Doe’s the person who harms living beings for the sake of his body, know his own interest? Does he know that such violence leads to hell? Does this body belong to the employer (who gives food or money for its maintenance), or to the procreator (or father), or to the mother (who conceives it and nourishes it during childhood), or the maternal grand-father (who adopts it by putrika dharma stipulations), or to the mighty (who compels forced labour), or to the purchaser (in the slave-market when presented for sale), or to fire (which consumes it when cremat ed), or to the dog (when it lies unclaimed and uncremated)?


Knowing that this body is the common property (of all as stated above), and that it comes out of and vanishes into something unmanifest, what wise person other than an ignorant fool, regards it as his real self, and would kill living beings (for its sake). Poverty is the best (sight-recovering) collyrium to wicked persons blinded with the pride of affluence. A poverty stricken person correctly realizes that all others are like himself (experiencing the same pleasures or pangs of life). Just as a person, part of whose body is pricked with a thorn, does not wish similar pain to other creatures, as he realizes the equality of other creatures by their gestures expressing pain. But such understanding sympathy is not found in those who have no experience of being pricked.


Being devoid of obdurate egotism, a poor person becomes free from all forms of pride here. The severe hardships that come to his lot, by the will of the Providence, serve as a great austere penance (Hence poverty is conducive to final Liberation). The senses and organs of a poverty-stricken person whose body gets over-emaciated with starvation, and who longs to have food (sufficient to keep body and soul together), become too dried up and feeble to commit injury and consequently the desire for violence also disappears. Saintly persons who regard all as equals (with impartiality) associate themselves only with the poor. It is in the company of the righteous that he destroys all his thirst (passion for having worldly objects), and in a short while becomes absolutely pure.”


What interest have the righteous saints who possess equanimity and equal regard to all, and yearn for the attainment of the feet of Lord Visņu, in the wicked people who are arrogantly proud of their wealth, and who resort to sinful company and hence deserve to be ignored? I shall, therefore, relieve the pride born of ignorance of these two woman-addicts of uncontrollable mind, blinded with the pride of wealth, and now inebriated with the sweet liquor Varuni.


Inasmuch as, these two, though the sons of an (exalted) protector of the sphere (Kubera) are too steeped in tamas (arrogance begotten of ignorance) to be conscious of their nudity, and are haughtily vainglorious (to remain so even in my presence), these deserve to be (nude, unbending) immobile trees so that they won’t behave so again. They will, however, through my grace and favour, retain the memory (and consciousness of their guilt and punishment) even in that immobile stage. After one hundred celestial years, they, who had by then acquired devotion (unto Vasudeva), will attain to the presence of Lord Vasudeva, and shall be restored to celestial status. After pronouncing the imprecation thus, the divine sage went to the hermitage of Nārāyaṇa, while Nalakübara and Manigrīva were transformed into the twin-Arjuna trees. 


To make good the veracity of the words of the sage (Narada) who is the prominent one among his devotees, Lord Kṛṣṇa slowly went to the spot where the twin Arjuna trees grew together.  “The divine sage Narada is the most beloved of me. These (twin-Arjuna trees) are the sons of Kubera. I shall now accomplish what has been sung (prophesied) by the noble souled sage”. With this aim in view, Kṛiṣhṇa crawled in between the twin-Arjuna trees. By the mere entry of his person between them, the mortar fell crosswise.


The trees were vehemently uprooted by the child, with a rope tied round its belly, while it was dragging the mortar after him. They fell down with a terrific crash, their trunks, leaves and branches were heavily shaken by the forcible pull exerted by the Supreme Lord. Irradiating all directions with their dazzling lustre, emerged the two Siddhas like fire emanating from trees. Bowing down with their heads to Kṛiṣhṇa, the Lord and protector of the entire universe, they, now absolutely free from egotism, praised him with folded palms.


“Oh Krishna! Oh Supreme Brahman in human form! Oh great yogin (whose infinite power is unimaginable), you are the primordial ‘Supreme Person’. Brahmanas (i.e. persons who have realized the Brahman or are experts in the Vedas) know that the universe both manifest and unmanifest is your form. You are the One, the controller of the body, vital breaths, the ‘I’-ness,senses and organs of all beings. You are the glorious Lord Visņu, whose form (sport) is the time-spirit, and who is the imperishable Absolute Ruler. You are the Subtle Prakṛti constituted of the three gunas-sattva, rajas and tamas. You are the (evolute of Prakriti

called) Mahat-tattva. You are the witness, the Purusha-the Inner controller of all beings who know all the modifications and changes in all beings. it is not possible that you can be perceived through the modifications of Prakriti (e.g. intelligence, ‘I’-ness, cognitive and cognitive senses), or through the guyas (modes of Prakriti) which lie within the ken of perception. What being in this world, enveloped as he is in the product of gunas (viz. his physical body), is capable of realizing you who were already in existence before the creation (of the Universe).


Obeisance to you glorious Lord Vasudeva, the Creator (of the Universe), the perfect Brahman who has concealed your great glory by means of gunas which are illumined by your own effulgence. You are (really) incorporal. But your incarnations in corporal frames are perceived by their various heroic feats. which are too unparallel or unequalled and of too supreme. excellence to be found in those associated with and conditioned by corporal forms. You, the Lord of all auspicious blessings, are such (as described above). At present your Lordship has descended in this incarnation with a part of your divine self, for the prosperity and emancipation of the entire world.  Salutation to you The Supreme bliss! Hail to you the supremely auspicious Lord, the son of Vasudeva, the blemishless happiness incarnate, the Lord and protector of Yadavas and Gopas.


Be pleased to allow us, the two servants of your follower (Rudra), to go, Oh Perfect Lord! It is through the Grace of the Sage Nagada, that we had the good fortune of being blessed with the sight of your glorious Lordship. May our previous nature not reappear. May our speech be engaged in extolling your excellent qualities and actions; our ears in listening to your stories; our hands be devoted to do your work, and our mind in musing over and remembering your feet; our head bowing to the world which. is your abode, and our sight in seeing saintly persons who are but your form.


The glorious Lord Krsna, the ruler of Gokula who remained tied down to the mortar with a rope, laughingly spoke to the two yakshas who had glorified him thus. The Lord replied: It was already known to me that the sage Narada of a compassionate heart had favoured you with his grace, in degrading you (to the status of trees), by uttering an imprecation on you, who were blind with the arrogance of affluence. Just as no obstruction (from darkness etc.) to the sight of man can remain when the sun appears, no bondage of sin can exist at the sight of righteous Souls who have realized the atman and possess equanimity of mind and have thoroughly devoted their hearts to me.


Oh Nalakūbara and Manigrīva! Now that unswerving devotion toward me is enkindled in you, you proceed to your own abode. The most covetable supreme devotion unto me which terminates the samsara, has now been generated in you. Being thus addressed, they both circumambulated the Lord tied to the wooden mortar. They repeatedly prostrated themselves before him (to show respect), and with his leave, proceeded towards the North.


Hearing the crashing sound of the falling (Arjuna) trees, cowherds headed by Nanda, thinking it to be a roar of thunder, rushed to the spot, afraid as if they were hit by a thunder bolt. They saw the twin Arjuna trees fallen to the ground. They were bewildered as they could not guess the cause of that fall which was quite obvious. It was the child who was dragging the wooden mortar tied to it with a cord. But not believing in it they got distressed as to who did it, what could be the cause of that wonder or whether it is an evil portent.


The boys who were present there reported, “It the uprooting of the trees has been done by him (Krsna) who going between the trees dragged the mortar, which lay athwart the trees. We also saw two divine figures rising from the fallen trees.”  They did not believe in the report of the boys. The sceptics reasoned with themselves the impossibility of uprooting the two big trees by the child, while a few others had some reservations in their minds (as they remembered Kṛṣṇa’s previous feats). On seeing his own child tethered with a cord and dragging the mortar, Nanda with his countenance beaming with a smile, set him free.

Categories: Bhagwat Puran, Krishna Avataar, Lord Krishna

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