Krishna beheads Barbarika: Greatness of Guptaksetra Concluded ||66||

1-2Suta said: Thereafter, when the thirteenth year in the stipulated period was over, when at Upaplava (a suburb of Viratanagara), all the kings gathered together, Pandavas, the mighty warriors, stood in Kurukshetra ready for battle. The Kauravas too with Duryodhana as their leader, stood there.
3Yudhishthira heard through his men, the number of chariots and charioteers (told) by Bhisma in the midst of kings and then spoke these words:
4“O Krisna, chariots and charioteers were described by Bhisma. Thereafter, Duryodhana asked thus of his own leading warriors:
5‘Who, within what period of time, can kill these Pandavas along with their armies?’ Bhisma promised that he would do it in a month. Kripa too promised so.
6Drona said that he would do it in a fortnight. Asvatthama, the son of Drona, said that he would defeat them in battle within ten days. Karna who used to instil fear in me always, said that he would do it in six days.
7Therefore, I too ask you, my own people, ‘Who, within what time limit can kill (the enemies)?’ On hearing these words of the king, Phalguna spoke these words:
8“What has been promised by Bhisma and others is highly improper, O Yudhishthira. Any (pre)judgment about victory and defeat is futile and false.
9See the tigers among men, the kings who stand ready for battle on your side. They are on a par with Kala (‘the god of Death’). They are unassailable.
10-11Have a look at them, namely, Drupada, Virata, Dhristaketu, Kaikaya, Sahadeva, Satyaki, Cekitana, the invincible Dhristadyumna, Ghatotkaca of great prowess along with his son, Bhima and others, the wielders of great bows, and Kesava the unconquered one.
12-14I think I can kill this army of the Kauravas single-handed. Many charioteers (i.e. warriors who can fight from chariots) beginning with Bhisma are seen standing ready. But you need not be afraid of them. They are worthless and feeble like deer. With the sound of our bows, O descendant of Bharata, now itself the Kauravas will flee like deer afraid of a lion.
15What fear need be entertained there from Bhisma, an old man, from Drona and Kripa, old Brahmanas, from the son of Drona, childish and a simpleton, and from the wicked son of the charioteer (i.e. Karna)?
16Or if you wish to know for your own mental satisfaction, O descendant of Bharata, listen to my words that are addressed against the armies of the enemies:
17Let all those mighty warriors stand there in battle. I single-handed shall, in a single day, slay all the Kauravas accompanied by their armies.”
18On hearing these words of Arjuna, Damodara said smilingly, “What Phalguna says is true. It is never false.”
19Thereupon hundreds of conchs, war drums and kettle-drums (were sounded). Stopping them, Barbarika who was seated in the midst of kings, spoke these words:
20“Let what is said by him be heard by the person by whom penance has been performed in Guptaksetra, by whom the goddesses have been propitiated very well and whose strength of arms is unparalleled.
21O rulers of men, listen to the truthful words I speak compatible with my prowess but not out of arrogance.
22I do not put up with what has been promised by my noble-souled sire Arjuna. Those words, even this (time-limit), is a great wastage of time.
23All of you stand by along with Arjuna and Kesava. Within one Muhurta I shall despatch everyone beginning with Bhisma to the abode of Yama.
24While I stand erect, O Ksatriyas, no one should take up any weapon. Let it be a solemn vow on your own Dharma. When I am dead, it (the weapons) can very well be taken up.
25-27See the prowess of my arms that I have acquired through the propitiation of the goddess. (It is due to) the greatness of Guptaksetra and the devotion to the Pandavas. Have a look at my frightful bow and the inexhaustible quivers as well as the sword given by the goddess. Therefore, (on the strength of these) I speak these words.” On hearing those words of his, the Ksatriyas were surprised. Arjuna became ashamed and so he looked at Krisna with a side glance.
28-29Krishna spoke these great words to Phalguna in a delicate (smooth) tone: “What the son of Ghatotkaca says is what is useful to us. This wonderful news is heard that formerly Palasi who had been accompanied by nine crores (of Raksasas) was killed in a moment by him in Patala.”
30Arjuna then, said to him, “Let us ask him now: ‘By what means do you (say that you can) kill the Kauravas in a few minutes? Tell us.’ Let him be asked.”
31-34Thereupon the leader of the Yadavas (i.e. Krishna) spoke to the son of Ghatotkaca: “How will you kill in a moment the army that is well protected by Bhisma, Drona, Kripa, Asvatthama, Karna, Duryodhana and others—an army that cannot be conquered even by the three-eyed Lord Siva. This is a great surprise which arises from your words, O grandson of Bhima, to all the kings and to the intelligent Phalguna. Therefore, tell me, by what means will you slay the Kauravas in a few moments? After knowing the power of your means, let us also think about it.”
35-40aSuta said: On being asked thus by Vasudeva, the Lord of all living beings, Barbarika spoke out. He had the chest like a lion. He resembled a huge mountain. He was bedecked in different kinds of ornaments. His face resembled a pot. The sound of his laughter resembled the sound from a pot. The hair on his head stood up. He had great refulgence. His eyes shone like lightning streaks. He had the velocity of the wind. If he wished he could destroy the universe. He had unparalleled strength granted by the goddess. He spoke out thus, “O warriors, if you are inclined to see the means (to be) used, I shall exhibit it. All of you together with Kesava witness it.” After saying thus he strung his bow and hurriedly fitted the arrow thereto. The entire portion of the dart was filled with ash resembling saffron. The ash fell on the soldiers of both the armies exactly on the vulnerable spot. (If they were hit there they would die instantaneously.)
40b-43The ash fell on the hair of Bhisma; on the neck of Karna and Drona; on the thigh of Duryodhana; on the chest of Salya; the brilliant ash fell on the necks of Sakuni and Bhagadatta; on the sole of the foot of Krishna; on the necks of Drupada and Matsya; on the hip of Sikhandin; on the neck of the commander-in-chief of the army (Dhristadyumna). The red ash fell on the vulnerable spot of everyone. But the ash did not touch the Pandavas, Kripa and Asvatthama.
44-46After doing thus, Barbarika spoke once again: “Was this noticed by you all how the vulnerable spot was located by me? Now I shall discharge sharp arrows on the vulnerable spots of these, the arrows that will never fail, the arrows that the goddess granted me. Thereby, they will die in a moment. There is a solemn oath on the Svadharma—your own Dharma. No weapon should be taken up by any of you. I shall make these
enemies fall down (dead) within a short while by means of these sharp arrows.
47Then there arose a loud sound of ‘Well done! Well done! as everyone beginning with Yudhishthira began to praise with his mind struck with surprise.
48The infuriated son of Vasudeva cut off his head even as he was saying thus, by means of his sharp discus. It fell down.
49The entire circle of kings became frightened and distressed for a moment. They looked at Keshava in great surprise.
50They said: “What is this? Why was Barbarika killed?” The Pandavas shed tears along with the kings.
51Lamenting ‘Alas! my son!’ and faltering in his steps the pitiable Ghatotkaca swooned and fell over his son.
52-54In the meantime, the fourteen goddesses came there, viz. Siddhambika, Krodamata, Kapali, Tara, Suvarna, Trilokajetri, Bhanesvari, Carcika, Ekavira, Yogesvari, Candika, Traipura, Bhutambika and Harasiddhi. They came and stood there causing great surprise to the kings. Sri Candika consoled Ghatotkaca and spoke these words in a loud tone:
55“Listen ye all kings why the mighty Barbarika was slain by Krishna who knows his own mind.
56Formerly, while the Heaven-dwellers (Devas) assembled on the top of mount Meru, the Earth who had been over-burdened requested them, “May the burden on me be removed.”
57Thereupon, Brahma said to Vishnu, “O Lord, listen to this. The Devas will follow you. O Lord, remove the burden of the Earth.”
58-61Thereupon, the immutable Vishnu accepted that request saying “So be it”. In the meantime, a Yaksa leader named Suryavarcas, lord of eighty-four crores, lifted his hand and spoke loudly: “What for do you promise to take birth in the human world which is a receptacle of many defects (and that too) while I am alive? All of you may rejoice in the heavenly worlds along with Vishnu. I alone shall incarnate and kill these people who become burden to the Earth. There is a solemn oath on your Dharma, if you take up birth.”
62-65When he spoke these words, the infuriated Brahma spoke to him: “O evil-minded one, you say that you can accomplish (the removal of) the great burden unbearable to all the Devas. It is only due to your delusion. O childish fellow, you are worthy of being cursed. Without pondering over what is relevant to the time and place, one’s own power and that of the enemy, if anyone says anything in the midst of lords and masters, he deserves punishment. Hence at the start of the battle for the purpose of removing the burden, you will undoubtedly meet with the destruction of your body at the hands of Krishna.” On being cursed thus by Brahma, he requested Vishnu as follows:
66“If my death must occur thus, O Lord, I make a single request. Grant me an intellect that accomplishes all tasks, ever since my birth.”
67“So be it”, said Kesava in the assembly of the Devas. “People will worship your head. You will be worthy of being adored by goddesses.”
68-69After saying this, Hari took his incarnation along with the Devas then. This Krishna is indeed that Hari and all of you those Suras. The son of Bhima’s son who is killed (now) is Suryavarcas. It was on remembering the earlier curse of Brahma that he was killed by this noble-souled (Krishna). Hence Krishna should not be found fault with by all the kings.”
70-72Sri Krishna said: O king, what is said by the goddess is true. There is no doubt about it. If I had not killed him now, the words of Brahma would have been falsified. Remembering this, he has been struck down by me. At Guptakshetra it was by me alone that he was engaged in the recollection (i.e. meditation) of the goddess, since I remembered the boon granted formerly by myself in the assembly of the Devas.
73When this was told, goddess Candika sprinkled the head of the devotee (i.e. Barbarika) with nectar immediately and made it ungazing and immortal.
74It was immortal like the head of Rahu. Then that head bowed down to them and said: “I wish to see the battle. Let it be permitted.”
75-79Thereupon, with words majestic in tone like thunder, Lord Krsna spoke thus: “As long as the earth, the stars, the moon and the sun exist, O dear one, you will remain worthy of being adored by all the people and all the worlds. You will move about like the goddess in all the worlds of the Devis. You will offer abode to your devotees in the worlds of the Devis. On being worshipped, you will easily remove the tumours, swellings etc. of children caused by gas, phlegm and bile. Climb on to this peak and witness the battle when it begins. The Kauravas rush at us Let us rush at them.” When this was said by Vasudeva, the Devis entered the sky.
80-83The head of Barbarika went up the peak of the mountain. The purificatory rites were performed on the earth for the body alone and not for the head. Then a great battle took place between the armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Drona, Karna and others were killed within eighteen days. When at the close of the eighteenth day the cruel Duryodhana was killed, Yudhisthira spoke to Govinda in the midst of the kinsmen: “O Purusottama, we are able to survive this battle only because of you as the (the protector and) leader. O Hari, O Purusottama, obeisance to you!” On hearing his words, Bhima spoke these words disdainfully:
84“O king, it was I who destroyed all the sons of Dhrtarastra. But you have excluded me. Why do you, like a deluded person, speak of Krishna as the best among men.
85You speak (highly) of a charioteer after disregarding Dhrshtadyumna, Phalguna, Satyaki and me, O son of Pandu. Fie upon you, O Yudhishthira!”
86-87Arjuna said: Don’t, don’t say thus, O Bhima. You do not know Janardana. Neither by me, nor by you nor by anyone else, O son of Pritha, have the enemies been killed. I used to see a Nara (‘man’) always at the head of the battle-front killing the enemies there. I don’t know who he was.
88Bhima said: You are mistaken and stupefied certainly, O son of Pritha. There is no other person as the slayer here. If at all there is one, I shall ask your grandson staying at the top, Alas, as to who it was.
89Thereafter, Bhima approached Barbarika and asked him, “Say, by whom were these enemies, the sons of Dhritarastra killed?”
90-94Barbarika said : One man was seen by me fighting with the enemies. On the left side he had five faces and on the right side he had only one face. On the left, he had ten hands holding trident and other weapons aloft; on the right he had four hands holding discus and other weapons aloft. On the left he was having matted hair; On the right, a large crown. On the left side, he had smeared ash and on the right he had applied sandal paste. On the left he wore the moon and on the right there was the lustre of Kaustubha jewel. On seeing him even I was frightened much. Such a man and no other person, who killed them (the enemies) was seen by me. When this was said there was a shower of flowers of very great lustre from the sky.
95The divine musical instruments were sounded. They said, “Well done! Well done!” The sons of Pandu became surprised. They bowed down to Purushottama.
96-99aBhima became ashamed and heaved deep sighs. Lord Kesava took a firm hold of his hands and said, “O tiger among the descendants of Kuru, come.” After saying this he remembered Garuda, the son of Kasyapa. As he (i.e. Garuda) approached the moment he was remembered, he (Krishna) mounted Garuda accompanied by Bhima. They went through the sky to the southern quarter. They crossed the sea and the great mountain Suvela. On seeing a lake near Lanka, Krishna spoke these words:
99b-104“O tiger among the descendants of Kuru, see this lake extending to twelve Yojanas. If you are a bold warrior, quickly fetch some mud from its bottom.’ On being told thus, the mighty one immediately leapt down into the water. With the speed of wind he went down a Yojana and still did not see the bottom thereof. Disappointed and with shattered strength, Bhima came out and said: “This great lake is fathomless. I was well nigh eaten up by some powerful fellows. Somehow I came out.’ On being told thus, Krishna laughingly lifted up the great lake. The refulgent Lord lifted it up with his thumb. It was reduced to a fourth of its original size. On seeing this, (Bhima) was surprised. He said, “O Krishna, what is this? tell me.”
105Sri Krishna said: Formerly there was a demon well-known as Kumbhakarna. He was killed by the arrows of Rama and the head of the evil-minded fellow was cut off.
106This is a piece of its palate(?), O Vykodara. It has an extent of twelve Yojanas. It is soft and shattered. It has been cast all round.
107-108Those by whom you were held up are the Suras(?) called Sarogeya who had been crushed into powder in crores by the rocks of Trikuta. They were the enemies of the universe and were killed by means of stratagem. O Bhima, we shall go back to the Pandavas. The son of Drona is certainly in a hurry.
109-113Then Bhima bowed down and said: “O Keshava, forgive all the evils committed by us ever since birth, mentally, verbally and intellectually. O Purushottama. O Lord, be pleased with me (who had been) childish.” Then Hari said, “It is forgiven.” He went back to the battlefield accompanied by Bhima and spoke these words to Barbarika: “O Suhridaya, always move about like this in all the worlds. You will be worshipped by all the worlds. Grant them the boons chosen by them- This Guptakshetra which is the most excellent among all the excellent holy spots should never be abandoned. Residing in Dehisthali (? modern Delhi) forgive the evil actions committed by them.” On being told thus, the son of Ghatotkaca bowed down to them and went away joyously to move about as he pleased.
114-115Vasudeva made them perform all the subsequent (funeral) rites. Thus, O Brahmana, the origin of Barbarika has been expounded to you. I shall say out a prayer whereby the king of Yaksas will be delighted.
“Be victorious , be victorious, O Lord with eighty-four crores of attendants, named Suryavarcas! O king of Yakshas, be victorious ! O Lord who has determined to remove the burden of the Earth, who was born in the womb of a demoness on account of a minor curse, be victorious! O royal swan born of the belly of Kamakatankata, be victorious IO Lord who increased the delight of Ghatotkaca and is named Barbarika, be victorious! O Lord who attained incomparable vigour and vitality by means of the propitiation of the goddess at Guptaksetra as advised by Krishna, be victorious! O bestower of Siddhi on Vijaya, be victorious! O Lord who resembled the forest fire in consuming Pingala, Repalendra, Duhadruha and Palasi, the Lord of nine crores (of attendants), be victorious! O Lord who avoided the serpent-maidens in the intervening space between Bhumi and Patala, be victorious! O Lord who suppressed the pride of Bhima, be victorious! O Lord who exerted himself in slaying the entire army of the Kauravas in a short while, be victorious! O Lord who acquired the ability to grant boons unto all due to the boon got from Sri krishna, be victorious! Be victorious, O Lord saluted by the age of Kali! Obeisance! Obeisance to you! Save, save [me]”
116With this prayer, a devotee should worships Suhydaya, O excellent Brahmana, on the new-moon day in the month of Bavaria or on the thirteenth day in the dark half of Vaisakha. He should worship with a hundred lamps, Purikas (‘fried pancakes’) as food offerings and then eulogize him. He will be delighted with the devotee.
117Then the Brahmanas and Narada propitiated Mahesvara and installed Sankara at the holy place Mahinagaraka.
118For the benefit of all the worlds, he installed the excellent Kedara Lihga in the northern part of Atrisa. It is destructive of great sins.
119 -122aA man should take his bath in the Kunsha here and perform Sraddha in accordance with the injunctions. After bowing down to Atrisa, he should visit Kedara. He will never drink a mother’s milk thereafter. He will attain liberation. Then Rudra Nilakaptha granted a boon to the noble-souled Narada. After granting the boon, he himself remained in the splendid Mahinagaraka. One should take bath in Kotitirtha and visit Nilakaptha. After bowing down to Jayaditya, he shall attain Rudra’s world.
122b-123The excellent men who take bath in the well and worship Jayaditya will never meet with the extinction of their family, by the favour of Jayaditya. There will never be ailments, poverty or stigma in their family.
124They will be endowed with sons and grandsons, wealth and food grains. After enjoying many pleasures here, they reside in the world of the Sun-god.
125Thus, O Brahmana, the Guptakshetra has been succinctly described by me. Its extent was formerly mentioned by the Self-born Lord as seven Krosas (i.e. 7×3 kilometres). This holy spot is the bestower of all desired objects.
126Thus, this sacred Mahi-Sagara-Sangama has been ex-tolled to you . One who listens to this or glorifies this is liberated from all sins.
127A scholar who narrates this great and excellent glory (of this holy place) shall be freed from all sins and will go to Rudraloka.
128If anyone narrates completely the greatness of Gupta- ksetra, he attains all riches. He dispels the sin of the slaughter of a Brahmana.
129He who listens to or narrates the greatness of Kotitirtha and Mahinagaraka becomes capable of realizing Brahman.
130If a man takes his bath in Kotitirtha, performs Sraddha elaborately and offers charitable gifts in accordance with his ability, listen from me (as) to his merit.
131That merit is obtained by men which one gets after offering charitable gifts in all the holy spots that are in heaven nether worlds and the mortal world.
132-133In Kotitirtha, O Brahmana, there is no doubt that one gets that Punya (merit) which is obtained by means of Yajnas beginning with horse-sacrifice, by means of sacrifices with due monetary gifts as well as by performing all holy rites and penances.
134This is sacred. This always yields merit. It imparts fame; dispels sins. It is greater than the greatest. The man who listens to it with devotion attains merit. When he dies, he goes to the same world as Rudra.
135It is conducive to wealth and fame. It is invariably meritorious. It yields heavenly pleasures and salvation. It dispels the sins of men. The man who is always pure and listens to this passes beyond the Sun and goes to the region of Vishnu.