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The Lord travels to Indraprastha.
After hearing the words of Narada, as well as the opinions of the assembled Yadus and Krishna, Uddhava replied, “O Lord, You should help Your cousin perform the Rajasuya sacrifice, and You should also protect the kings that are begging for Your shelter. Only one who has become victorious over all other kings can perform the Rajasuya sacrifice, and so, in my opinion, conquering Jarasandha will serve both purposes.”
“Jarasandha is as strong as ten thousand elephants, and so, only Bhima is equal to him in strength. The king is very devoted to brahminical culture, and He is famous for never refusing a brahmana’s request. Therefore, Bhima should go to him disguised as a brahmana and beg for charity. Let him ask for single combat, so that no one else will be unnecessarily killed. In Your presence, Bhima will no doubt kill Jarasandha.”
Lord Krishna, Devarshi Narada, and the Yadu elders all welcomed Uddhava’s proposal. Krishna then took permission to leave from His father, King Ugrasena, and Lord Balarama. He then ordered His servants, headed by Daruka, to prepare for their departure, and thus it was soon arranged that Krishna’s wives, children and luggage were all ready.
After being honored by Him, Narada bowed down to Lord Krishna. After placing Him firmly within his heart, Narada departed through the airways. Krishna said to the representative of the kings, “My dear messenger, I shall arrange for the destruction of the King of Magadha. Do not fear.”
The messenger then departed, and after receiving the Lord’s assurances, the imprisoned kings began to wait for the Lord’s arrival.
Meanwhile, Krishna mounted His chariot, which was marked with the flag of Garuda, and departed, surrounded by His soldiers. In the grand procession, the Lord was followed by His queens, along with their children, who were seated on golden palanquins that were carried by powerful men. The queens were dressed in fine clothing and they were surrounded by guards carrying swords and shields. There were a great number of beasts of burden, pulling carts that carried the necessary servants, and that were fully loaded with tents, blankets, and clothing,
The Lord’s army was adorned with royal umbrellas, chamaras, and flagpoles with waving banners. During the day, the sun’s rays reflected brightly from the soldiers’ fine weapons, jewelry, helmets and armor. Noisy with shouts and clatter, the army appeared just like a great ocean with agitated waves and large aquatics.
As Lord Krishna travelled through the provinces of Anarta, Sauvira, Marudesha and Vinashana- He crossed many rivers, passed through mountainous regions- and saw innumerable villages, cow pastures and quarries. After crossing the River Sarasvati, the Lord passed through the Panchala and Matsya kingdoms and then finally came to Indraprastha.
When Maharaja Yudhisthira heard of Krishna’s arrival, he became so ecstatic that the hair on his body stood up on end. Yudhisthira immediately got up and went out of the city to greet the Lord, and his entire entourage followed him. As soon as he saw Krishna, after such a long period of separation, the King’s heart melted with affection. With great warmth, Maharaja Yudhisthira embraced the Lord again and again, and by doing so, he became free from all material contamination, and became merged in the ocean of transcendental happiness. Tears filled his eyes and his entire body trembled due to ecstasy. Indeed, Maharaja Yudhisthira completely forgot that he was living in this material world!”
While laughing with joy, his eyes filled with tears, Bhima next came and embraced his maternal cousin, Krishna, who then also embraced Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Indeed, being very intimate friends, Krishna and Arjuna embraced again and again, while Nakula and Sahadeva fell at the Lord’s lotus feet to offer obeisances. Krishna then offered His obeisances unto the brahmanas, as well as all the respectable elderly persons present there.
Surrounded by His relatives, all kinds of musicians and entertainers, as well as the brahmanas- all of who were engaged in His glorification, Lord Krishna entered the city. At this time, all of the citizens gathered to see Him, talking amongst themselves about the Lord’s glories.
Being very anxious to see Krishna, all the young girls and women of Indraprastha had abandoned their household duties, or even lying down with their husbands, and hurriedly left their houses. As they rushed to see Krishna, their hair became scattered and their clothing loosened. From the rooftops, these women showered flowers upon Krishna and embraced Him within their hearts, thus giving the Lord a hearty reception. While looking at Krishna’s queens, the women exclaimed, “What had these ladies done, so that now, the best of all men bestows upon their eyes the pleasure of His generous smiles and playful sidelong glances?”
At various places, the people presented offerings to the Lord, while some of the leading citizens came forward to worship Him. When Krishna entered the Pandavas’ palace, all the members of the royal household were gathered at the gate. When Queen Kunti saw her nephew, Krishna, she became overwhelmed with affection. Getting up from her bed along with Draupadi, Kuntidevi went and embraced the Lord.
While Maharaja Yudhisthira was escorting Lord Krishna, he became so overcome with joy that he forgot the proper rituals for receiving his guest. Krishna offered His obeisances to Kuntidevi and other elderly ladies, while Draupadi and Subhadra bowed down to Him.
Being instructed by Kunti, Draupadi went and worshiped the Lord’s wives, beginning with the principal ones, and then she presented them gifts of clothing and jewelry.
Maharaja Yudhisthira then arranged for Krishna to rest, and he made sure that all who accompanied the Lord- His queens, soldiers, ministers, and all others- were comfortably situated. Indeed, the King made arrangements so that they would experience a new feature of reception every day while they remained in Indraprastha as his guests. (It is curious to note that many times, Shrila Prabhupada refers to the Pandavas’ city as Hastinapura.)
Desiring to please Maharaja Yudhisthira, Lord Krishna remained at Indraprastha for several months. During that time, Krishna allowed Agni to devour the Kandava forest, and after Maya Danava was saved, he built the Pandavas’ celebrated assembly hall.
During His stay, Lord Krishna used to enjoy strolling here and there about the city, and He frequently took Arjuna on His chariot and went to the countryside, surrounded by many soldiers.