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The battle between Shalva and the Vrishnis.
Shalva had accompanied his friend, Sishupala, at the time of Rukmini’s svayamvara, and he had been defeated by the Yadu warriors. At that time, he made this vow, “I will rid the earth of the Yadavas. Just witness my prowess!”
Shalva then began to perform austerities, while worshiping Lord Shiva and eating only a handful of ashes each day, and nothing more. At the end of one year, Lord Shiva became pleased with Shalva and asked him to accept a benediction. In reply, Shalva asked for an airplane that could not be destroyed by any demigod, demon, human being or Rakshasa- that could fly anywhere he desired, and that would be fearful to the members of the Yadu dynasty.
Lord Shiva said, “so be it” and on his order, Maya Danava constructed an iron airplane, as large as a city. It was named “Shaubha” and Maya Danava presented it to Shalva. Shalva boarded the airplane, which was so fast that it was almost impossible to see, and flew to Dvaraka.
While his army besieged Dvaraka on the ground, Shalva attacked the city from the sky. Surrounding Dvaraka, the soldiers destroyed the gardens, walls and gates on the outskirts, while Shalva rained down torrents of stones, tree trunks, thunderbolts, snakes and hailstones.
Shalva then created a fierce whirlwind, so that all directions became dark due to the dust. Seeing that the inhabitants of Dvaraka were being harassed, Pradyumna gave them assurances and mounted his chariot. Followed by Satyaki, Charudeshna, Samba, Akrura and many others, and supported by a large army, Pradyumna rode out of the city so that a hair-raising battle took place.
With his golden-feathered arrows, Pradyumna dispelled the dense darkness and severely injured Shalva’s commander, Dyuman. Then, with one hundred arrows, Pradyumna pierced Shalva. With one arrow each he pierced Shalva’s soldiers, he killed Shalva’s chariot driver with ten arrows, and many horses and elephants with three arrows each.
Upon seeing this wonderful display of prowess, the soldiers on both sides praised Pradyumna. Shalva’s airplane began to act very mysteriously, however, causing the Yadus to become bewildered. Sometimes it appeared as if there were many identical airplanes in the sky, and at the next moment, the airplane would become invisible. Sometimes the airplane appeared on the ground, sometimes it moved erratically in the sky like a firefly, sometimes it rested on a mountain peak, and sometimes it was seen within the water.
Still, the Yadus attacked the airplane each time it became visible so that at last, Shalva fell unconscious. Although previously wounded by twenty-five arrows, Shalva’s commander-in-chief, Dyuman, suddenly rushed at Pradyumna, while roaring loudly, and struck him very forcefully with his club.
When Pradyumna fell unconscious, his chariot driver, the son of Daruka, drove him off the battlefield to a secluded place. After regaining consciousness two hours later, Pradyumna angrily said, “O driver, you have done a terrible thing by removing me from the battlefield. Except for me, no one born in the Yadu dynasty has ever fled from a conflict. You have certainly spoiled my reputation. How will I be able to show my face to my father or my uncle, Balarama. Surely, the women of the family will laugh at me and say, ‘O hero, how did you become such a eunuch?’ ”
The charioteer replied, “O long-lived one, I have done this in full knowledge of my prescribed duty. A chariot driver must protect his master when he is in danger, just as the master must protect his driver. With this in mind, I removed you from the battlefield, for I thought that you were severely injured.”