Bhagwan Krishna when settled in Dwarka, prospered it and made it known as the city of gold. The kingdom established by Krishna flourished and extended its domain of opulence to nearby places. World’s first reclamation of land from the sea was done during Bhagwan Krishna’s rule on the shores of Dwarka which reclaimed 12 yojanas or 96 kilometres (60 mi) (8 kilometres (5.0 mi) per yojana) of land from the sea to create civilized Dwarka with accessible ports and connectivity.
History of India also recorded the events that led to destruction to world’s first and oldest city in modern times, Dwarka and how the Yadava clan got cursed on three occasions.
On first occasion, at the end of the Mahabharata war Gandhari curses Krishna and his clan to perish. On second occasion, great sages such as Vishwamitra, Brighu, Vashista and Narada among others curse the Yadava clan when Samba and his friends play a childish prank on them. On the third occasion, Bhagwan Krishna curses his wives that they will be kidnapped and killed by ruffians; he further curses his son Samba to suffer from Leprosy.
Demise of Krishna’s Yadav Clan
Incidents that Finally Submerged Dwarka into Sea
Gandhari’s curse on Krishna and Yadav Clan
At the end of the Mahabharata war, Gandhari lost all of her sons except Duryodhana (The mace fight between him and Bheema was yet to happen). Krishna comes to visit Gandhari. She knows all her sons have been killed by Bheema in the war. She could also hear the cries of all the slain soldier’s wives lamenting in grief and Gandhari was helpless and could find no way to console any of them. Gandhari blames Krishna to be the cause for this total destruction of the Kuru race. Gandhari believes that Krishna, though he had the power to prevent the war, did not do enough to prevent it. So, if Krishna had really willed, this bloodshed could have been avoided. In a fit of rage, Gandhari curses Krishna and says that the Yadav clan (Yaduvanshi) would also be destroyed through an internal strife in the same way as the Pandava and Kauravas were destroyed after fighting with each other. All the wives of the Yadav clan will lament over their dead husbands, the same way as the widows of the Kuru race lament over their dead husbands now. She also curses that Krishna will be a mute witness of this entire carnage. She also says Krishna would watch his entire clan perish and would himself die a death like an animal. Angry Gandhari did not repent or remorse for the evil deeds of her sons but instead cursed Bhagwan Krishna and Yadav clan.
Bhagwan Krishna Smiled on Curse
Krishna’s Calm Response on Gandhari’s Curse
On hearing the curse, Krishna replies that the Mahabharata war was a necessity and it was inevitable. He reminds Gandhari of the time that he came as the peacemaker to establish dharma on behalf of the Pandavas and how her son Duryodhana arrogantly declared that he would not share land big enough to fit the point of a needle let alone else, when the Pandavas were content even if Duryodhana was to offer them at least five small villages. He reminded her again the incident when Duryodhana with the help of Shakuni attempted to destroy the Pandavas on various occasions. So, he says that his duty was to protect Dharma and not to prevent the war. He reiterated to her that “although He controls the entire Universe, yet He does not interfere; He allows people to choose their own actions” similar to what He said in His discourse to Arjun in the Bhagavad Gita.
Shree Krishna in a way reminded Gandhari how kid Duryodhana tried to poison kid Bheema. Duryodhana and his brothers tried to burn Pandavas alive with Lakshagrih. Numerous similar incidents were orchestrated by Kurus to kill Pandavas deceitfully.
Destruction and Sinking of Dwarka: The Burden on Earth Removed by Krishna
Bhagwan Krishna is now contemplating the end of the Yadav race. They were very powerful under the protection of Shree Krishna. So, no external force on earth can defeat the Yadavas in a war.
If the Yadavas themselves are left unchecked, at some point of time in future, they will become a burden on the earth. So, Bhagwan Krishna realizes the importance of bringing the destruction of his own race. Gandhari cursing Bhagwan Krishna and Yadav clan fits in the design of Krishna’s leela. He thanks Gandhari who gave Krishna the opportunity of destroying his descendants from the inside when no external power could even touch them. For the last curse from Gandhari, Krishna accepts it as a blessing.
The Curse of The Sages
Once great sages like Vishwamitra, Durvasa, Vashista, Narada among others were on a piligrimage. After visiting various places, they visited Dwaraka to have a discussion with Krishna and Balarama. Over a period of time, the Yadavas which included Bhodakas, Vrishnis, Kekeyas and Andakas who were once virtous devotees of Krishna, had lost their sense of culture and discipline and were little more than hooligans. A group of Yadava boys who saw the great sages decided to play a prank on them in order to test their supernatural powers. They dressed Samba (the son of Krishna and Jambavati), as a woman and tied many robes to his belly so he’d appear a pregnant woman. They approached the sages and asked them predict whether the ‘woman’ would give birth to a boy or a girl. The Rishis knew the truth through their divine vision and realized that the boys were mocking them. In anger, the sages cursed them saying the disguised boy will give birth to a lump of Iron which will bring the destruction of the entire Yadava race.
Samba Gives Birth to an Ironbolt
The Yadava boys laughed till Samba’s stomach actually felt heavy and then Samba actually delivered a massive iron block. The boys panic and go to King Ugrasena and narrate the whole incident. Ugrasena advises them to grind the lump into a fine powder and dump it in the sea. They do as instructed but are unable to grind the entire lump into fine powder. A small piece of Iron couldn’t be crushed. The boys discarded the powdered iron and the remaining piece in the Prabhasa sea. Assuming Krishna had no knowledge of all that occurred the boys are at peace. Time would tell though. The powder gets deposited on the sea coast and grow like stalks of bamboo. (These were later referred to as clubs of mace made of Iron called Mausala in Sanskrit).
Krishna Curses His wives and His son Samba
Samba was the son of Krishna and Jambavati. He was very handsome and good looking. He was the cause of the third curse.
Once Narad visited Dwaraka to accomplish the tasks of Bhagwan Krishna. But, Samba did not paid respect to him. In order to teach him a lesson, Narada offered alcohol to various wives of Krishna and Samba. After drinking too much of alcohol, the wives of Krishna lost their senses and control. They got s*xually attracted towards Samba (Even today 90% of the crimes across world happens due to alcohol drinking, men and women lose senses of morality and humanity after alcoholic intoxication). When the drunk wives of Krishna who were related to Samba as mother, ventured to have relationship with their son Samba, then Krishna came to know the ill-intentions of his wives. He cursed them that robbers will kidnap them soon after his death. He further cursed Samba to suffer from leprosy to lose his attractiveness. The incident occurred at the transition phase of Yug cycle, end of Dwapar Yug and beginning of Kaliyug.
The incident was designed to let people know that drinking alcohol in Kaliyug will be cause of misery, famine and destruction of family lives.
Following this incident, two more incidences were recorded where Ugrasena the King of Mathura, on the advice of Krishna imposed ban on liquor consumption in the kingdom. It showed that the people were abusing liquor and were failing in their day to day tasks. The official ban on alcohol is still practiced in the city of Dwarka and Gujarat even today.
Sinking of Dwarka: The Final Destruction of the Yadavas
The Yadavas soon forgot all about their curses. The consumption of alcohol was banned in the entire kingdom of Dwaraka. However, after 36 years of Mahabharat war, lots of divine associates of Bhagwan Krishna disappeared from the Dwaraka city. The Sudarshana chakra, Panchajanya shankh, the Maharatha Daruga chariot of lord Krishna and the Plough weapon of Balarama left earth. This was seen as a sign of final destruction among the Yadavas. They approached Krishna. Bhagwan Krishna suggested them to visit various holy places and to take bath in holy water at each places. Following advice, the Yadavas were on pilgrimage to various places. They all soon came to a place named Prabasha. After taking bath in the sea, the Yadavas forgot the teachings and again started to drinking, spending their time cheerfully in the night. They all became intoxicated by alcohol.
In the past, Satyaki and Kritavarma fought on the side of Pandavas and Kauravas respectively in the Mahabharata war. They were one of the few handful survivors of Mahabharata war. Their battle exploits in the Mahabharata war becomes the starting point to trigger the conflict among the Yadava men. It was like a small fire created by the rupture of two bamboo trees, leading to a wildfire in the entire forest. Gradually, when these intoxicated people chat, the chat used to develop into an argument and the argument into a conflict. Satyaki said to Kritavarma that he was not a Kshatriya and strongly criticized him for his involvement in the killing of Upapandavas (five sons of Draupadi and Pandavas), Dhritadumna, Shikandi and for launching an ambush attack on the Pandava camp along with Kripacharya and Ashwatthama during midnight.
Kritvarma in turn tells how Satyaki killed an unarmed Bhurisravas who sat on meditation on the 14th day of Mahabharata war. This irritates Satyaki further who says to Krishna as how Kritavarma was involved in the killing of Satrajit (Sathyabama’s father) during the Shamantaka mani episode and that he will not spare his life now. So, a conflict erupts between Satyaki and Kritavarma. Pradyumna tries to stop the fight, but in vain. Satyaki took his sword and killed Kritavarma. Now, the Yadava men start dividing themselves into two groups: One group supporting Satyaki and the other supporting Kritavarma. All start fighting with each other by using swords, bows and arrows. After a huge fight, Satyaki got killed. However, sooner all their ammunition gets consumed. So, each one of them take the bamboos (clubs) that were grown nearby in Prabasha and hit each other. It was like as though they were hit by an Iron mace. They start killing each other. Even Krishna and Balarama tried very hard to stop the fight. But, few of the Yadava men who were already intoxicated by the alcohol, even went to an extent of attacking Krishna. Bhagwan Krishna took the bamboos himself and hit few of the Yadavas who attacked him. Within few days, the entire clan of the Yadavas consisting of approximately over 40 lakh people including sons of Krishna, grand sons of Krishna, great grand sons of Krishna, his cousins and other relatives perish by killing each other in this drunken brawl which is known as the mass destruction at Prabasha. In the end, both Krishna and Balarama along with a few people witness the entire carnage of their kinsman and get depressed.
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End of Krishna Leela and Sinking of Dwarka
Krishna, Balarama, Daruka and Babrua Leaving Earth
After witnessing the fratricide of his kinsman, Bhagwan Krishna and Balarama get depressed. Balarama goes to the forest immediately. But, Krishna asked Daruka and Babaru to go to Hastinapur and bring Arjun so that he can take all the women (who were not part of the brawl) safely to Hastinapur. But, both of them get killed by the blade of grass that falls on them. Hence, Krishna resorts this responsibility on his father Vasudeva. Vasudeva sends one of his left out kinsman to inform the entire proceedings of the Yadavas destruction to Arjun and make him to come to Hastinapur immediately. Krishna informs all the women that Arjun will soon come to take all of them to Hastinapur and that he will now retire to forest in order to do meditation. Yadava women cry for Krishna. Bhagwan Krishna consoles them, leaves the place and started his journey towards the forest. Krishna foresee that Dwaraka will soon sink into the sea. On his way, he sees a serpent emerging from Balarama and reaching ocean. In this manner, Balarama gives up his life and reaches Vaikunta.
In the past, the small (uncrushed, not powdered) piece of Iron that was dropped inside the seacoast in Prabasha will be swallowed by a fish. An hunter by name Jara caught the fish and got the Iron piece from its stomach. He makes them sharp, adds poison to it and fixes them at the edge of his arrows. After witnessing the movement of Balarama, Krishna sat under a tree in yogic meditation with his head down and his leg upward. Bhagwan Krishna thought about his past. He recollected “the killing of Kamsa, the killing of various demons, the destruction of the Kuru race in the Kurukshetra war, Gandhari’s curse on him and his kinsman”. He soon realised that the destruction of all his kinsman was in accordance with Gandari’s curse and the curse of great Sages. He also thought that the entire purpose of his birth on earth was completely fulfilled, and that now the time has come for his own departure from Earth. In the meantime, the hunter Jara was passing by. The Hunter looks at Krishna’s feet. He mistakes it as the face of a deer. So, he aims his arrow at and shoots an arrow. The arrow hits Krishna’s left foot. The Hunter comes towards the deer and soon realised that it was Bhagwan Krishna and not a deer. He realised his mistake and pleads the Bhagwan for forgiveness of his sin. Bhagwan Krishna consoles him and says that in his previous birth as Sree Ram in the Tretayuga, Ram killed Baali (Sugreeva’s brother) from behind. So, Krishna has now reaped the Prarabdh for the same Karma through Jara who was king Baali in his previous birth. Bhagwan Krishna left the mortal world. The exact time from which Krishna left for Vaikunta is considered to be the beginning of Kaliyuga.
Arjun Took People from Dwarka to Hastinapur
Arjun plans to take all the women and children to Indraprastha. He gave them seven days of time in order to vacate Dwaraka. Vasudeva, Krishna’s father leave for heavenly abode while being in meditation. Struck by huge grief, the wives of Krishna and Balarama pounce into burning pyre. Arjun performs the last rites for Krishna and his kinsman. Women and children take whatever wealth they have and start moving towards Indraprastha along with Arjuna. As the people walked away from the Dwaraka city, the city sank into sea when the first Tsunami waves of Kaliyug hit the city. On their way, some thieves of Nishada tribe saw that there was only one man with a bow protecting so many women and children. They try to rob them. Arjun could not save the people. Arjun who was once a very great archer, now finds it very difficult to even lift his bow. Without Krishna, Arjun is a common person. On earlier occasion he used to lift his bow like a feather. Now, his bow appears to be very heavy. Somehow, he managed to lift the bow. Now, he find that it was very difficult to tie the bow string. Earlier, Arjuna could string his bow at a wink of an eye. After a lot of strenuous efforts, he managed to string his bow. Now, Arjun tried to invoke his Divya astras, but he forgot all those incantations. Arjun started to fight with the thieves using only normal arrows. He used all his arrows and his shaft has now became empty. On earlier fights, Arjun never had a situation wherein his shaft was empty, he was blessed for Mahabharat war. The thieves kill many of people and kidnap the wives of Krishna. Some of the women fell into the nearby river to give up their lives. Others burnt themselves alive. Arjun arrived with a very few people to Hastinapur in a crestfallen condition. Thus, Krishna’s curse on his wives getting kidnapped after his death realized now. Arjun visits sage Ved Vyas and narrates him everything about the Yadavas destruction, Krishna’s death and his inability to save the alive Yadava clan. The Sage Vyas consoles Arjun that all the Yadavas were predestined to perish that way; The purpose of Arjun’s archery skills are served on earth; So, his archery skills have diminished.
The other Pandava brothers hear everything that occurred about Krishna and his kinsmen through Arjun. They lost interest in the world. The Pandavas coronate Parikshit and visit various pilgrimage places of India before moving towards heaven.
Arjun Realizes The Greatness of Krishna Again
On hearing Veda Vyasa’s words, Arjun recollected the following two instances:
1) When the Pandavas were in exile, Krishna had visited them and encouraged Arjun to seek Pashupatastra and other divine weapons from Shiv and Indira respectively. Hence, Arjun possessed the divine weapons only after the advice of Bhagwan Krishna.
2) After the end of the Mahabharata war, Krishna and Arjun were to descend from the chariot. Bhagwan Krishna being the charioteer, asked Arjuna to descend from the chariot first. It was against the practice followed those days, wherein, it was the charioteer who first descended from the Chariot followed by the Maharathi. So, Arjun was surprised by this act of Krishna, and yet, he descended from the Chariot first. Krishna also descended from the Chariot. Hanuman who was in the Arjun’s Flag also moved away from the Chariot. When everyone moved away, the chariot burst into flames.
Arjun asked Krishna as “why did the Chariot burst?”
Krishna replied to Arjuna that “the divine weapons hurled by Bhishma, Drona, Karna and Kripacharya on his chariot were the cause for the bursting of this chariot into flames.”
“It was Krishna’s and Hanuman’s presence, the effect of these Astras were postponed. So, if Arjun were to descend after Krishna, then Arjun would have got killed when the Chariot burst into flames.”
Further, Krishna told Arjun that all the strength that Arjun possessed in the war were due to the majestic presence of Krishna on his side.
Consequently, Arjuna was able to understand as why his archery skills disappeared soon after the death of lord Krishna.
Karma Made Mahabharat War
Krishna was Never the cause for everything, It was Karma of Kurus and Pandavas
Some of the interpretations based on Mahabharat wrongly portrays Bhagwan Krishna to be the cause for every incident encountered in Mahabharata. But, it has to be understood that the original version of Mahabharata composed by Ved Vyas never made such inferences about Krishna. Krishna was a supreme being who never intervened in anyone’s matter unnecessarily on his own. Krishna participated in the Kurukshethra battle only after Arjun and Duryodhana themselves voluntarily came to seek his help in Dwaraka. He gave his Narayani sena to Duryodana and became a charioteer to Arjuna.
Bhagwan Krishna considered the war to be a last resort. He made every effort to establish peace between Pandavas and Kauravas. Several attempts were made, Kurus never sided the peace but war. After the peace negotiations failed and war was inevitable then he became a ruthless strategist. Further, it was Gandhari who first pointed out that Krishna was accountable for the destruction of the Kuru race and cursed him. Later, Barbarik attributed the cause behind Pandavas victory to the policies and strategies adapted by Shree Krishna. The great sage Utanka also believed just like Gandhari that Krishna had a power to stop the bloodshed of Kurukshetra war. When the great sage was about to curse Bhagwan, Krishna revealed his Vishwaroopa (Universal form) to him. The sage immediately recognized that Krishna was an incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu; The destruction of Kauravas and protection of the Pandavas was the need of the hour in order to establish Dharma on earth; So, he withheld his curse on Shree Krishna. When Parikshit was cursed and ordained to die within a week by snake-bite, he was advised by his elders to listen to the story of Mahabharat and realize the greatness of Krishna in order to attain salvation. Thus, many people including Bhishma who were contemporary to Krishna themselves believed that Krishna was the cause for everything in the world. Consequently during the end of Dwaparayuga, many people (including the Gods) approached Krishna for solution when their problems/disputes/issues remained unsolved and Bhagwan Krishna resolved their difficulties within Vedic principles. Meeting Krishna is very easy and simple for Kaliyugi people, they need to chant ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya on regular basis.