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Vishnu Purana – Fifth Kandha

Chapter 19

Slaughter of a washerman, the servant of Kansa

1-5THUS the Yādava Akrūra, standing in the river, praised Kṛṣṇa, and worshipped him with imaginary incense and flowers. Disregarding all other objects, he fixed his whole mind upon the deity; and having continued for a long time in spiritual contemplation, he at last desisted from his abstraction, conceiving he had effected the purposes of soul. Coming up from the water of the Yamunā, he went to the car, and there he beheld Rāma and Kṛṣṇa seated as before. As his looks denoted surprise, Kṛṣṇa said to him, “Surely, Akrūra, you have seen some marvel in the stream of the Yamunā, for your eyes are staring as if with astonishment.”
6-11Akrūra replied, “The marvel that I have seen in the stream of the Yamunā I behold before me, even here, in a bodily shape; for he whom I have encountered in the water, Kṛṣṇa, is also your wondrous self, of whose illustrious person the whole world is the miraculous developement. But enough of this; let us proceed to Mathura: I am afraid Kansa will be angry at our delay; such is the wretched consequence of eating the bread of another.” Thus speaking, he urged on the quick horses, and they arrived after sunset at Mathura. When they came in sight of the city, Akrūra said to Kṛṣṇa and Rāma, “You must now journey on foot, whilst I proceed alone in the car; and you must not go to the house of Vasudeva, for the elder has been banished by Kansa on your account.”
12-21aAkrūra having thus spoken, left them, and entered the city; whilst Rāma and Kṛṣṇa continued to walk along the royal road. Regarded with pleasure by men and women, they went along sportively, looking like two young elephants. As they roamed about, they saw a washerman colouring clothes, and with smiling countenances they went and threw down some of his fine linen. The washerman was the servant of Kansa, made insolent by his master’s favour; and he provoked the two lads with loud and scurrilous abuse, until Kṛṣṇa struck him down, with his head to the ground, and killed him. Then taking the clothes, they went their way, clad in yellow and blue raiment, until they came to a flower-seller’s shop. The flower-seller looked at them with astonishment, and wondered who they could be, or whence they could have come. Seeing two youths so lovely, dressed in yellow and blue garments, he imagined them to be divinities descended upon earth. Being addressed by them with mouths budding like lotuses, and asked for some flowers, he placed his hands upon the ground, and touched it with his head, saying, “My lords have shewn me great kindness in coming to my house, fortunate that I am; I will pay them homage.”
21b-28Having thus spoken, the flower-seller, with a smiling aspect, gave them whatever choice flowers they selected, to conciliate their favour. Repeatedly prostrating himself before them, he presented them with flowers, beautiful, fragrant, and fresh. Kṛṣṇa then, being much pleased with him, gave him this blessing; “Fortune, good friend, who depends upon me, shall never forsake you: never shall you suffer loss of vigour, or loss of wealth: as long as time shall last your descendants shall not fail. Having long tasted various delights on earth, you shall finally obtain, by calling me to recollection, a heavenly region, the consequence of my favour. Your heart shall ever be intent on righteousness, and fulness of days shall be the portion of your posterity. Your descendants shall not be subject to natural infirmities, as long as the sun shall endure.”
29Having thus spoken, Kṛṣṇa and Rāma, worshipped by the flower-seller, went forth from his dwelling[1].

NOTES:

[1] These incidents are told, with some unimportant differences, in the other accounts of Kṛṣṇa’s youth.

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