Call of Duty Over Call of Love

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.78.16 - Call of Duty Over Call of Love (download mp3)
by Radhika Vallabha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.78.16
evam yogesvarah krsno
 bhagavan jagad-isvarah
iyate pasu-drstinam
 nirjito jayatiti sah

Thus Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master all mystic power and Lord of the universe, is ever victorious. Only those of beastly vision think He sometimes suffers defeat.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti gives the following elaborate commentary on this section of Srimad-Bhagavatam:

Concerning the killing of Dantavakra, the Uttara-khanda (279) of the Padma Purana contains further details in the following prose passage: atha sisupalam nihatam srutva dantavakrah krsnena saha yoddhum mathuram ajagama. krsnas tu tac chrutva ratham aruhya mathuram ayayau. “Then, hearing that Sisupala had been killed, Dantavakra went to Mathura to fight against Krsna. When Krsna, moreover, heard of this, He mounted His chariot and went to Mathura.”

Tayor dantavakra-vasudevayor aho-ratram mathura-dvari sangramah samavartata; krsnas tu gadaya tam jaghana; sa tu curnita-sarvango vajra-nirbhinno mahidhara iva gatasur avani-tale nipapata; so ’pi hareh sarupyena yogi-gamyam nityananda-sukha-dam sasvatam paramam padam avapa: “Between the two of them — Dantavakra and Lord Vasudeva — there then began a battle at the gate of Mathura that lasted all day and night. Finally Krsna struck Dantavakra with His club, at which point Dantavakra fell lifeless to the ground, all his limbs smashed like a mountain shattered by a lightning bolt. Dantavakra achieved the liberation of gaining a form equal to the Lord’s, and thus he also achieved the Lord’s eternal, supreme abode, attainable by perfect yogis, which bestows the happiness of everlasting spiritual bliss.”

Ittham jaya-vijayau sanakadi-sapa-vyajena kevalam bhagavato lilartham samsrtav avatirya janma-traye ’pi tenaiva nihatau janma-trayavasane muktim avaptau: “So it was that Jaya and Vijaya — apparently because of being cursed by Sanaka and his brothers but actually to facilitate the Supreme Lord’s pastimes — descended to this material world and in three consecutive lifetimes were killed by the Lord Himself. Then, at the completion of these three lifetimes, they attained liberation.”

In this passage of the Padma Purana the words krsnas tu tac chrutva, “when Krsna heard of this,” indicate that the Lord heard from Narada, who travels as swiftly as the mind, that Dantavakra had gone to Mathura. Therefore immediately after killing Salva, without first entering Dvaraka, the Lord reached the vicinity of Mathura in a single moment on His chariot, which also moves as swiftly as the mind, and there He saw Dantavakra. Thus it is that even today, by the gate of Mathura facing the direction of Dvaraka, there is a village known in the vernacular as Datiha, a name derived from the Sanskrit dantavakra-ha, “killer of Dantavakra.” This village was founded by Krsna’s great-grandson Vajra.

In the same section of the Padma Purana, these statements follow: krsno ’pi tam hatva yamunam uttirya nanda-vrajam gatva sotkanthau pitarav abhivadyasvasya tabhyam sasru-sekam alingitah sakala-gopa-vrddhan pranamya bahu-vastrabharanadibhis tatra-sthan santarpayam asa. “And after killing him [Viduratha], Krsna crossed the Yamuna and went to the cowherd village of Nanda, where He honored and consoled His aggrieved parents. They drenched Him with tears and embraced Him, and then the Lord offered obeisances to the elder cowherd men and gratified all the residents with abundant gifts of clothing, ornaments and so on.”

kalindyah puline ramye
gopa-naribhir anisam
 kridayam asa kesavah

 gopa-vesa-dharah prabhuh
 masa-dvayam uvasa ha

“Lord Kesava sported continuously with the cowherd women on the Kalindi’s charming bank, which was filled with pious trees. Thus the Supreme Lord, assuming the appearance of a cowherd, resided there for two months, enjoying the pleasure of intimate pastimes in various moods of loving reciprocation.”

Atha tatra-stha nanda-gopadayah sarve janah putra-daradi-sahita vasudeva-prasadena divya-rupa-dhara vimanam arudhah paramam vaikuntha-lokam avapuh; krsnas tu nanda-gopa-vrajaukasam sarvesam niramayam sva-padam dattva divi deva-ganaih samstuyamano dvaravatim vivesa: “Then, by Lord Vasudeva’s grace, Nanda and all the other residents of that place, together with their children and wives, assumed their eternal, spiritual forms, boarded a celestial airplane and ascended to the supreme Vaikuntha planet [Goloka Vrndavana]. Lord Krsna, however, after bestowing on Nanda Gopa and all the other inhabitants of Vraja His own transcendental abode, which is free of all disease, traveled through the sky and returned to Dvaraka as demigods chanted His praises.”

Srila Rupa Gosvami comments as follows on this passage in his Laghu-bhagavatamrta (1.488-89):

vrajesader amsa-bhuta
 ye dronadya avataran
krsnas tan eva vaikunthe
 prahinod iti sampratam

presthebhyo ’pi priyatamair
 janair gokula-vasibhih
vrndaranye sadaivasau
 viharam kurute harih

“Since Drona and other demigods had previously descended to earth to merge as partial expansions into the King of Vraja and other devotees of Vrndavana, at this time it was these demigod expansions whom Lord Krsna sent off to Vaikuntha. Lord Hari is perpetually enjoying pastimes in Vrndavana with His intimate devotees, the residents of Gokula, who are dearer to Him than even His most dear other devotees.”

In the passage of the Padma Purana, the word putra in the phrase nanda-gopadayah sarve janah putra-daradi-sahitah (“Nanda Gopa and the others, together with their children and wives”) refers to such sons as Krsna, Sridama and Subala, while the word dara refers to such wives as Sri Yasoda and Kirtida, the mother of Radharani. The phrase sarve janah (“all the people”) refers to everyone living in the district of Vraja. Thus they all went to the topmost Vaikuntha planet, Goloka. The phrase divya-rupa-dharah indicates that in Goloka they engage in pastimes appropriate to demigods, not those suited to humans, as in Gokula. Just as during Lord Ramacandra’s incarnation the residents of Ayodhya were transported to Vaikuntha in their selfsame bodies, so in this incarnation of Krsna the residents of Vraja attained to Goloka in theirs.

Lord Krsna’s journey from Dvaraka to Vraja is confirmed by the following passage of Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.11.9): yarhy ambujaksapasasara bho bhavan kurun madhun vatha suhrd-didrksaya/ tatrabda-koti-pratimah ksano bhavet. “O lotus-eyed Lord, whenever You go away to Mathura, Vrndavana or Hastinapura to meet Your friends and relatives, every moment of Your absence seems like a million years.” Lord Krsna had been harboring a desire to go see His friends and relatives in Vraja ever since Lord Baladeva had gone there, but His mother, father and other elders in Dvaraka had refused to give Him permission. Now, however, after the killing of Salva, when Krsna heard from Narada that Dantavakra had gone to Mathura, no one could object to the Lord’s going there immediately without first entering Dvaraka. And after killing Dantavakra, He would have the opportunity to meet with His friends and relatives living in Vraja.

Thinking like this, and also remembering Uddhava’s allusion to the gopis in the words gayanti te visada-karma (Bhag. 10.71.9), He went to Vraja, dispelling the feelings of separation of the inhabitants. For two months Lord Krsna enjoyed in Vrndavana just as before, previous to His leaving there to kill Kamsa in Mathura. Then, at the end of two months, He withdrew His Vraja pastimes from mundane eyes by taking the demigod portions of His parents and other relatives and friends to Vaikuntha. Thus, in one complete plenary manifestation He went to Goloka in the spiritual world, in another He remained perpetually enjoying in Vraja while invisible to material eyes, and in yet another He mounted His chariot and returned alone to Dvaraka. The people of Saurasena province thought that after killing Dantavakra Krsna had paid a visit to His parents and other dear ones and now was returning to Dvaraka. The people of Vraja, on the other hand, could not understand where He had suddenly disappeared to, and so they were totally astonished.

Furthermore, Sukadeva considered that Pariksit Maharaja might think, “How is it that the same Krsna who caused the cowherds to attain Vaikuntha in their selfsame bodies also caused the residents of Dvaraka to attain such an inauspicious condition in the course of His mausala-lila?” Thus the King might consider the arrangement unfair because of his own affinity for the Yadus. That is why Sukadeva Gosvami did not allow him to hear this pastime, which, as mentioned above, is related in the Uttara-khanda of Sri Padma Purana.

In Sri Vaisnava-tosani, Sanatana Gosvami’s commentary on the Tenth Canto, we find the following sequential list of pastimes: First was the journey on the occasion of the solar eclipse, then the Rajasuya assembly, then the gambling match and attempted disrobing of Draupadi, then the Pandavas’ exile to the forest, then the killing of Salva and Dantavakra, then Krsna’s visit to Vrndavana, and finally the winding up of the Vrndavana pastimes.