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Shri Brahma-vaivarta Purana
Canto Four Shri Krishna-janma-khanda
The Birth of Lord Krishna
Table of Contents
The Story of Lord Krishna’s Birth Page 2
Vows, Worship, and Fasting on Janmastami Page 9
The Festival for Shri Nanda’s Son Page 14
The Liberation of Putana Page 18
The Killing of Trnavarta Page 21
The Story of Lord Krishna’s Birth
1 Shri Narada said: O glorious one, please describe Lord Krishna’s glorious and sacred birth. This description frees the hearer from birth, death and old-age.
2 Whose son was Vasudeva? Whose daughter was Devaki? Who were Vasudeva and Devaki? Please describe their marriage.
3 Why did cruel Kamsa kill their six sons? On what day was Lord Krishna born? I wish to hear this. Please describe it.
4 Shri Narayana Rsi said: Vasudeva was Kasyapa Muni in his previous birth, and Devaki was Aditi, the mother of the demigods. As a result of their previous deeds they attained Lord Krishna as their son.
5 Vasudeva was born from King Devamidha in the womb of Marisa. At the moment of his birth jubilant demigods sounded anaka and dundubhi drums. For this reason the elder saintly devotees gave Lord Krishna’s father the name Anakadundubhi.
6 Devaka, a king in the Yadu dynasty, was the son of King Ahuka. Devaka has a son, Jnanasindhu, and a daughter, Devaki.
8 Carefully following the rules of scripture, Garga Muni, the guru of the Yadu dynasty, performed the wedding ceremony of Vasudeva and Devaki.
9 There was a great reception for Vasudeva. At an auspicious moment King Devaka gave Devaki in marriage to Vasudeva.
10 O Narada, King Devaka then gave a dowry of a thousand horses and golden cups, a hundred beautiful and opulently decorated maidservants,...
11 ...many different kinds of gifts, many different kinds of jewels, many diamonds, which are the king of jewels, and many jewel cups.
12-14 Then Vasudeva took his bride, who was splendid as a hundred moons, decorated with splendid jewels, noble, glorious, able to enchant the three worlds, the best of women, a treasury of beauty, a treasury of virtue, smiling with crooked eyes, in full bloom of youth, and a perfect bride, placed her in his chariot and began to depart. Kamsa, who was filled with joy on the occasion of his sister’s marriage, accompanied them.
15 As Kamsa approached the chariot, a disembodied voice spoke from the sky.
16 The voice said: Why are you so happy, the king of kings? Hear these truthful words meant for your welfare. Devaki’s eight son will kill you.
17 Hearing this, powerful and sinful Kamsa, frightened by the oracle and filled with anger, grasped a sword in his hand and was about to kill Devaki.
18 Seeing Kamsa about to kill Devaki, intelligent Vasudeva, who was learned in the scriptures of ethics, spoke.
19 Shri Vasudeva said: You don’t know how a king should act. Please hear my auspicious words, which are perfectly appropriate, which are spoken by scripture, and which bring fame and destroy sin.
20 O king, if her eighth son will be your death, and you kill her instead of him, your reputation will be destroyed and you will go to hell.
21 If somehow he kills a ferocious beast that is attacking him, a wise man gives in charity coins equal to one karsapana. In this way, at the moment of his death, he is released from the sin of killing the beast.
22 In he kills an animal that is not attacking him, then, in order at the time of his death to be released from the sin, a wise man should perform an atonement a hundred times greater than the previous one. This is said by the demigod Brahma.
23 If without provocation he kills a higher animal, such as a goat, then the sin is a hundred times greater. Manu has said this.
24-26 If he kills a human being that is a mleccha, the sin is a hundred times grater than killing a higher animal. If he kills a pious sudra, the sin is a hundred times greater than killing a mleccha. If he kills a cow the sin is a hundred times greater than killing a pious sudra. If he kills a brahmana the sin is ten time greater than killing a cow.
27 By killing a woman one commits a sin equal to killing a brahmana.
28 O king, if one kills his own sister, who has taken shelter of him and deserves to be protected by him, he commits a sin a hundred times greater than killing a woman.
29 A person performs austerities, chants mantras, performs worship, sees holy places, feeds brahmanas, and performs yajnas in order that he may go to Svargaloka.
30 The saintly devotees see that this fearful material life is temporary like a dream or like bubbles in water. Therefore they always follow the principles of religion.
31 O saintly one, let your sister go. How many wise men are there? Ask them what you should do.
32 Friend, I will give you my eighth son. Why must I have an eighth son?
33 Or I will give you all my children. O best of the wise, none of them would be very dear to me.
34 O king of kings, let your sister go. She is like your own daughter. You, yourself reared her, every day giving her delicious foods to eat.
35 Hearing Vasudeva’s words, King Kamsa released his sister. Then Vasudeva took his bride to their palace.
36 O Narada, in the course of time six sons were born. Vasudeva gave each one to Kamsa, and Kamsa killed them all, one by one.
37 When Devaki was pregnant the seventh time, frightened Kamsa posted guards at her door. Then goddess Yogamaya protected the unborn child, pulling it out of Devaki’s womb and placing it in Rohini’s womb.
38 The guards said there was a miscarriage. Because the seventh child, who was the Personality of Godhead Himself, was pulled (sankarsana) from the womb, He was called Sankarsana.
39 Then Devaki became pregnant for an eight time. This time there was no child in her womb. It was filled with air.
40 When the ninth month passed and the tenth came, Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead who sees everything, glanced at Devaki’s womb.
41 As a result of the Lord’s glance, Devaki, who was naturally the most beautiful of all women, suddenly became four times more beautiful.
42 Kamsa noticed that Devaki, her eyes and face blossoming with happiness, filled the ten directions with her splendour like the goddess Yogamaya.
43 She was splendid like all the stars together. Kamsa, the king of demons, gazed at her and became filled with wonder.
44 Kamsa said, “From this pregnancy will come the child that is the seed of my death.” Then he posted guards at the seven gates to guard Devaki and Vasudeva with great care.
45 O Narada, when the tenth month came Devaki’s pregnancy was complete. Numb and stunned, she began to tremble.
46 When Devaki’s womb was thus filled with air, Lord Krishna, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, entered the lotus of her heart.
47 When the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who maintains all the universes entered her womb, Devaki became stunned and filled with pain as she stayed in the confines of her palace.
48 Devaki became restless. One moment she would sit down, the next moment she would stand up, the next moment she would pace back and forth, and the next moment she would sleep.
49 Observing Devaki, and aware that the time of giving birth had come, noble-hearted Vasudeva meditated on Lord Krishna.
50 In the beautiful palace lit with jewel lamps Vasudeva reverently placed a sword, iron, water, fire,...
51 ...a person learned in chanting mantras, a learned brahmana, his relatives and their frightened wives.
52 When two hours of night had passed the sky became filled with clouds and lightning.
53 Great winds blew. The eight guards fell asleep. In their sleep they became motionless and unconscious as if dead.
54 Then the demigods Brahma, Siva, and Yamaraja came and offered prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Devaki’s womb.
55 The demigods said: You are the origin of the universes, but You have no origin. You are limitless, immutable, effulgent, sinless, and supremely exalted. You have no material qualities, for Your qualities are all spiritual. You are beyond the three modes of material nature.
56 Out of love for them You show Your transcendental form to the devotees. Your form is not material. You are independent. Your every desire is automatically fulfilled. You are the master of all. You are everything. You are the shelter of all transcendental qualities.
57 You are the origin of happiness and distress. You are the origin of all. You put an end to the demons. You are perfect. You are the shelter of everything. You are always fearless and free from any distress.
58 You are not material. You are not touched by matter. Your actions are not material. Your desires are all fulfilled. You are self-satisfied. You are eternal and free from any imperfection.
59 You are gentle, ferocious, difficult to please, unattainable, the author of the Vedas, the Vedas, the Vedangas, the knower of the Vedas, and the all-powerful Lord.
60 After speaking these words the demigods bowed down again and again. Tears of joy in their eyes, they showered flowers on the Lord.
61 A person who rises early and chants these forty-two names attains firm devotion for Lord Krishna. His desire to serve the Lord is fulfilled.
62 Shri Narayana Rsi said: After speaking these prayers, the demigods returned to their own abode. Then a great rain suddenly fell and no one moved about in Mathura City.
63 O sage, a terrible darkness covered the night. Seven muhurtas passed and the eighth muhurta came.
Note: One muhurta equals forty-eight minutes.
64 Then, at the most auspicious moments, a moment even the Vedas cannot properly glorify, a moment beyond all understanding, a moment when all auspicious planets were visible on the horizon and no inauspicious planets could be seen,...
65 ...a moment on the eighth tithi, O sage, when a half-moon had risen with the star Rohini and the auspicious Jayanti-yoga was present,...
66 ...at that moment the sun and the other planets both auspicious and inauspicious, gazed again and again at the horizon, became filled with awe, left their regular places and met in the sign Pisces.
67 Staying there, all the planets became auspicious. In this way, by the demigod Brahma’s order, all the planets happily stayed in the eleventh house for one muhurta.
68 Then the clouds rained, pleasantly cool winds blew, the earth became happy, and the ten directions became filled with joy.
69 Filled with joy, the sages, manus, yaksas, gandharvas, kinnaras, apsaras, demigods, and demigoddesses danced.
70 O Narada, the gandharva kings and the vidyadharis sang, the rivers happily flowed and the fires happily blazed.
71 In Svargaloka there was beautiful music of dundubhi and anaka drums. There was a great shower of parijata flowers.
72 The earth-goddess assumed the form of a human woman and visited Devaki’s maternity-room, there were loud sounds of conchshells and the sounds of ‘Victory!’ and ‘Hari!’
73 Then saintly Devaki fell to the ground and the air suddenly passed from her belly.
74 Then Lord Krishna, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, left the lotus-whorl of Devaki’s heart and manifested His transcendental form before her.
75-80 O sage, then Vasudeva and Devaki saw before them the supremely handsome and charming Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had two arms, a flute in His hand, glittering shark-earrings, a gentle smile, great mercy for His devotees, ornaments of the kings of jewels, a form dark like a monsoon cloud, yellow garments, limbs anointed with sandal, aguru, musk and kunkuma, an autumn moon face, handsome bimba fruit lips, a peacock feather crown, a splendid jewel-crown, a threefold bending form, and a forest garland, who had the mark of Shrivatsa on His chest, who was youthful, peaceful and handsome, and who was the Lord of both Brahma and Siva.
81 His hands respectfully folded, his neck bent with devotion, tears in his eyes and the hairs of his body erect, the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s father, Vasudeva, filled with wonder, and his wife Devaki by his side, offered prayers to the Lord.
82-86 Shri Vasudeva said: O almighty one, how can I properly glorify You, who are beyond the material senses, not manifest in the material world, imperishable, beyond the modes of nature, all-powerful, not attainable by meditation, the Supersoul present in everyone’s heart, the supreme controller whose every desire is at once fulfilled, the Lord who assumes any form at will, the Supreme Spirit, untouched by matter, the seed of all existence, eternal, bigger than the biggest, smaller than the smallest, the most subtle, all-pervading, invisible, the witness present in all bodies, the Lord who has a transcendental form with a host of transcendental qualities, the Lord who has no material form, the material world, the master of the material world, beyond the material world, the master of all, present in all forms, the death that puts an end to all that is material, deathless, immutable, the resting place on which all depends, depends on no one, and the supreme perfect one?
87 Lord Sesa is not able to glorify You properly. Goddess Sarasvati is not able. Lord Siva is not able. Karttikeya is not able.
88 Lord Brahma, the author of the Vedas is not able to glorify You properly. Ganesa is not able. The guru of the guru of the kings of the yogis is not able.
89 The great sages, demigods, manus, and human beings cannot see You, even in their dreams. How can they glorify You properly?
90 Even the personified Vedas cannot glorify You properly. How can the scholars of this world glorify You? O Lord, please leave this present form and now become a small boy.
91 A person who at sunrise, noon, and sunset recites these prayers of King Vasudeva attains devotional service for the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.
92 He attains a noble and virtuous son devoted to serving Lord Krishna. He quickly passes through all dangers. He is delivered from the fears of his enemies.
93 Shri Narayana Rsi said: After hearing Vasudeva’s words, handsome and glorious Lord Krishna, overcome with feelings of kindness for His devotee, and His face beaming with happiness, spoke to him.
94 Shri Krishna said: Because of your great austerities I have now become your son. Please ask for a boon. Your future will be auspicious. Of this there is no doubt.
95 Formerly you were the prajapati Sutapa, the best of ascetics. You and your austere wife worshipped Me with great austerities.
96 When you saw Me you asked for the boon of having a son like Me. I gave you the boon of having a son like Me.
97 After giving you that boon I thought, “In the whole world there is no one like Me.” For that reason I have now become your son.
98 By the power of your austerities you were the great sage Kasyapa and your wife was chaste Aditi, the mother of the demigods.
99 You are Kasyapa, now appearing as My f father Vasudeva, Your wife is Aditi, the mother of the demigods, who is now Devaki.
100 As a partial incarnation, I appeared as Vamana and became the son of You and Aditi. Now, by the power of your austerities, I have appeared in My original form.
101 Thinking of Me either as your son or as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you will attain Me. O wise one, you will be liberated even in this life.
102 O father, take me at once to Yasoda’s home in Vraja. Leave Me there and put Goddess Maya in My place.
103 After speaking these words, Lord Krishna assumed the form of a newborn infant. Vasudeva gazed at his sleeping, dark, infant son, on the ground before him.
104-5 Vasudeva said, “What happened when I looked at this child? Was I bewildered by Lord Vishnu’s illusory potency? Did I, overcome with exhaustion, see a dream in this maternity room?” Vasudeva and his wife gazed at the infant in their lap. Then Vasudeva took the infant to Nanda’s Gokula.
106 Vasudeva quickly went to Nanda’s Vraja, entered the maternity room there, and saw that Yasoda was asleep on her bed, Nanda was asleep, and everyone in the house was also asleep.
107 He saw a gently smiling infant girl, naked and gazing at the housetop.
108 When he saw the infant girl, Vasudeva became filled with wonder.
109 Taking the girl with him, and leaving his son in her place, he quickly returned to his wife’s maternity room in Mathura.
110 There he placed the infant girl, who was the goddess Maha-maya. When she saw the girl cry again and again, Devaki became afraid.
111 Crying, the infant girl awakened the guards, who quickly came and took her away.
112 As they took the child to Kamsa, grieving Vasudeva and Devaki followed them.
113 O great sage, when he saw the beautiful infant girl crying again and again, Kamsa was not at all pleased. He did not feel any mercy for her.
114 Grabbing the infant, cruel Kamsa was about to throw her against the stone and kill her, when Vasudeva and Devaki very respectfully addressed him.
115 They said: O Kamsa, O best of kings, O philosopher wise in the science of morality, Please hear our beautiful, true, and righteous words.
116-7 O kinsman, you killed our six sons. You had no mercy on them. If you kill our eighth child, who is a weak girl, how will your power and glory triumph on the face of the earth? How can a weak girl attack and kill you in battle?
118 After speaking these words Vasudeva and Devaki openly wept before wicked Kamsa and his assembly.
119 After hearing their words, cruel Kamsa said to them, “Listen to my words. Try to understand and I will explain.
120 Kamsa said: Destiny can kill a mountain with a blade of grass, a lion or a tiger with a tiny worm, an elephant with a mosquito,...
121 ...a great warrior with a child, an enormous animal with tiny creatures, a cat with a mouse, a snake with a frog,...
122 ...a father with his son, an eater with his food, water with fire, and a fire with hay.
123 A single brahmana once drank the seven seas. In the seven worlds the wonderful workings of destiny are beyond our understanding.
124 By destiny a girl will be able to kill me. Therefore, I will not kill this girl. Here I will not think whether the time is right.
125 After speaking these words, Kamsa grabbed the infant girl and was about to kill her, when Vasudeva spoke.
126 He said, “O King, you will kill this girl for no reason. O ocean of kindness, please give her to me.” O great sage, when he heard these words, intelligent Kamsa became a little pacified.
127 Then a disembodied voice said, “Fool Kamsa, who is this girl you would kill? You do not understand how destiny works.
128 “Your killer is somewhere else. In time He will reveal Himself.” Hearing the words of destiny, King Kamsa released the infant girl.
129 Taking the girl with them, Vasudeva and Devaki returned to their own home. They pressed her to their heart and accepted her as their own daughter.
130 As if they had recovered their daughter from the grip of death, they gave charity to the brahmanas. O brahmana, that girl, who was named Ekanamsa, was a partial incarnation of Goddess Parvati. She was the exalted sister of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
131 At the time of Rukmini’s marriage in Dvaraka, with great devotion Vasudeva gave her in marriage to Durvasa Muni, who was a partial incarnation of Lord Siva.
132 O sage, now I have told you everything of Lord Krishna’s birth. This narration brings happiness and piety. It rescues one from the world of birth, old-age and death.
Vows, Worship, and Fasting on Shri Janmastami
1 Shri Narada said: Now please tell me of the vow of Janmastami, which is the great vow of vows. Please tell me the result attained by following the ceremony of Jayanti-yoga.
2 O great sage, what sinful reaction does one meet by not following this vow or by eating on that day? What pious result does one attain by fasting on that day?
3 O Lord, please describe the result of following this vow, including the rules governing the day before the fast, and breaking the fast on the following day.
4 Shri Narayana Rsi said: On the saptami (seventh day) and on the day after the fast (the navami or ninth day) one should eat havisya (rice and ghee) only. On the day of Janmastami (the eight day) one should rise at dawn.
5 O brahmana, one should rise early, bathe, perform his morning duties, and be determined to follow the vow and the fast for the pleasure of Lord Krishna.
6 O brahmana, by bathing and worshipping the Lord during the eight day (Janmastami) of the month of Bhadra (August-September) one attains the result of bathing and worshipping the Lord for a manvantara.
7 If on this day one offers only a little water to the pitas, he attains the result of performing sraddha at Gaya for a hundred years.
8 On that day, after bathing and performing his regular duties, a wise person should arrange for a maternity-room, place in it water, fire, and an iron sword, post guards,...
9 ...place many things there, place there an instrument for cutting the umbilical cord, have a midwife there,...
10 ...place there, O Narada, sixteen articles for worshipping the Lord, eight fruits and candies,...
11 ...the eight fruits and candies being jatiphala, kakkola, pomegranate, shriphala, coconut, jambira, kusmanda, and manohara,...
12-13 ...and the sixteen articles for worship being a sitting place, garments, padya, madhuparka, arghya, water for acamana, water for bathing, a bed, fragrances, flowers, food-offerings, betel nuts, ointments, incense, lamps, and ornaments,...
14 ...wash his feet, put on clean clothes, perform acamana, say the word ‘svasti’, sit on the seat,...
15 ...place a pot there, worship the five deities, invite Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to appear there,...
16 ...invite Vasudeva, Devaki, Yasoda, Nanda, Rohini, Balarama, Goddess Sasthi, Goddess Vasundhara,...
17 ...Rohini, Brahma, Asthami, the Sthana-devata, Asvatthama, Bali, Hanuman, Vibhisana,...
18 ...Krpacarya, Parasurama, Vyasadeva, and Markandeya and then meditate on Lord Krishna.
19 Then a wise person should place a flower to his head and meditate on the description of the Lord spoken in the Sama Veda. O Narada, please listen and I will tell you that description, which Lord Brahma told the Kumaras in ancient times.
20 I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is an infant boy, who is splendid as a dark monsoon cloud, who is very handsome, whose lotus face is smiling, whom Brahma, Siva, Sesa and Yama glorified for how many days? Whom the kings of sages cannot approach in their meditations, whom the munis, siddhas, and sons of Manu cannot attain, whom the kings of the yogis cannot imagine in their thoughts, who is the greatest, who is without peer, who is all-seeing witness.
21 The follower of this vow should thus meditate on the Lord. Then, reciting mantras, he should offer the flower, and all the other articles to the Lord. Please hear these mantras.
22 Here are the mantras: O Lord Krishna, please accept this all-beautiful jewel throne, wonderfully decorated with graceful and colourful pictures and designs.
23 O Lord Krishna, please accept these wonderful and colourful garments pure as fire and made by Visvakarma from threads of pure gold.
24 O Lord Krishna, please accept this golden pot filled with water to wash Your feet. Please accept this pure padya water and this beautiful flower.
25 O Lord Krishna, please accept these gold pots of honey, ghee, yoghurt, milk and sugar.
26 O Lord Krishna, please accept this durva grass, whole rice, white flower, clear water, sandal, aguru, and musk.
27 O Supreme Lord, please accept this clear, pure, sweet, scented acamana water.
28 O Lord Krishna, please accept this scented Vishnu-oil, amalaki paste, and bath water.
29 O Lord Krishna, please accept this beautiful bed made of the best of jewels and covered with exquisite cloth.
30 O Lord Krishna, please accept this scented paste made of musk the powdered tree-roots.
31 O Supreme Lord, please accept this fragrant flower so dear to all the demigods and grown from a blossoming tree.
32 O Lord Krishna, please accept this offering of ripe fruits, sugar-candy, svastika candy and other candies.
33 O Lord Krishna, please accept this laddu, modaka, ghee, milk, molasses, honey, fresh yoghurt, and buttermilk.
34 O Lord Krishna, please accept these betel nuts mixed with camphor and other things, which I offer to You with devotion.
35 O Supreme Lord, please accept this beautiful avira powder made with sandal, aguru, musk and kunkuma.
36 O Lord Krishna, please accept this incense made by cooking the nectars of many trees, incense very dear to all the demigods.
37 O Lord Krishna, please accept this splendid and auspicious lamp that destroys the terrible blinding darkness.
38 O Lord Krishna, please accept this pure drinking-water scented with camphor and other fragrances, water that is the life of all living entities.
39 O Lord Krishna, as an ornament for Your transcendental body please accept this garland of many flowers on a fine thread.
40 O Supreme Lord, please accept these fruits, which are the seeds of trees, and which make one’s dynasty prosper.
41 In this way, at that place, one should offer many appropriate things to Lord Krishna.
42 The person following this vow should then devotedly worship the many deities there and then offer them all three palmfuls of flowers.
43-45 In this way one should worship Sunanda, Nanda, Kumuda, the gopas, the gopis, Shri Radha, Ganesa, Karttikeya, Brahma, Siva, Parvati, Laksmi, Sarasvati, the dik-palas, the planets, Sesa, Sudarsana, the liberated associates of the Lord, and all the demigods, and one should offer obeisances to them, falling to the ground like a stick. Then one should offer food and daksina to the brahmanas.
46 Then the person following this Janmastami vow should hear the chapter of scripture describing Lord Krishna’s birth, and then he should, sitting on a seat of kusa grass, keep an all-night vigil.
47 At dawn he should perform his regular duties and then he should worship Lord Krishna. Then he should feed the brahmanas and then he should chant the glories of Lord Krishna.
48-49 Shri Narada said: When a person follows the Janmastami vow, fasts, and keeps the all-night vigil, what result does he attain? What is the sin one commits by eating on this holy day? O best of the knowers of the Vedas, referring to the Vedas, Vedangas and ancient Samhitas, please, please describe this.
50 Shri Narayana Rsi said: If (in the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadra) even only a quarter of the astami is present at midnight, that day is considered Janmastami, the time when Lord Krishna was born.
51 Because it brings victory (jaya) and piety, this day is called Jayanti. A wise person should fast, follow the Janmastami vow, and keep an all-night vigil on this day.
52 This is the most auspicious of all times. The demigods Brahma and knowers of the Vedas say this.
53 One who fasts, follows the Janmastami vow, and keeps an all-night vigil on this day becomes freed from the sins of ten million births. Of this there is no doubt.
54 One should not celebrate Janmastami on an astami mixed with the saptami. Even if the star Rohini (is conjoined with the moon) this astami is not considered Janmastami.
55 Lord Krishna, the son of Devaki, was born on an astami unmixed with the saptami, an astami when the star Rohini was conjoined with the moon. When this most auspicious moment, an astami when the moon is conjoined with Rohini, is passed, a person who has followed the Janmastami vow should break his fast.
56 When the tithi of Janmastami is over, one should remember Lord Krishna, worship the devas and asuras, and break his fast. Breaking the fast in this way is very purifying and destroys all sins.
57 Breaking the fast in this way, an essential part of the fast, brings purification and the attainment of other results. The breaking of the fast should be performed during daytime.
58 Otherwise, if the fast is not broken during the daytime, the results of fasting, following the Janmastami vow, and breaking the fast are all destroyed.
59 One should not break the fast at night. The only exception is the Rohini-vrata, when the fast may be broken at night, but not at midnight.
60 In the morning one should worship the brahmanas and demigods and then break the fast. All the saintly persons agree this is the best time to break the fast. Only in the Rohini-vrata is it not the best time.
61 If follows the Janmastami vow on a Janmastami when Mercury is conjoined with the moon, he will never again enter a mother’s womb.
62-63 If one a certain Janmastami the navami begins at sunrise and the moon is conjoined with Mercury or the star Rohini, that Janmastami is very auspicious. Such a Janmastami occurs perhaps in a hundred years. One who follows the Janmastami vow on that day delivers ten million of his relatives.
64 Lord Krishna is pleased with His devotees that observe the fast of Janmastami, even though, because of not having sufficient wealth, they cannot perform the Janmastami vow.
65 To one who follows the vow, worshipping the Lord with various articles and keeping an all-night vigil, Lord Krishna, the enemy of the demons, gives the result of following the Janmastami vow.
66 A person who observes Janmastami in a way appropriate to his financial means attains the proper result, but a wealth person who does not observe Janmastami in a way appropriate to his wealth does not attain the same result.
67 A wise person should not break his fast during Janmastami or while the star Rohini is still conjoined with the moon. To do that is to destroy his past pious deeds and the transcendental result earned by fasting.
68 Breaking the fast during the tithi of Janmastami destroys one’s pious deeds eight times over, and breaking the fast while the star Rohini is conjoined with the moon destroys one’s pious deeds four times over. Therefore one should be careful to break his fast when Janmastami and the star Rohini have passed.
69 O best of sages, when the tithi of Janmastami and the star Rohini both end at midnight, a person following the Janmastami vow should break his fat on the third day from Janmastami.
70 O Narada, one who eats during the midnight of Janmastami attains the sinful reaction of killing a brahmana.
71 On a pure Janmastami (not mixed with the saptami) one should not eat even fruit or betel nuts, or even drink water. Eating these is like eating stool or cow’s flesh, or like drinking urine. What, then, can be said of eating rice?
72 The wise say that night lasts for 9 hours and is bounded, at its beginning and end, by sunrise and sunset, which last for 48 minutes each.
73 A person who on a pure Janmastami (not mixed with the saptami) follows the Janmastami vow and keeps an all-night vigil becomes free from the sins of a hundred births. Of this there is no doubt.
74 A person who on a pure Janmastami (not mixed with the saptami) fasts but does not follow the Janmastami vow or keep the all-night vigil, attains the result of performing an asvamedha-yajna.
75 He is freed from the sins performed in the infancy, childhood, youth, and age of seven lifetimes.
76 One who eats on Lord Krishna’s birthday is lowest of mankind. His sinful reaction like that of having raped his mother and murdered a hundred brahmanas.
77 His pious credits of ten million births are at once destroyed. He become impure. He becomes unfit to worship the demigods or the pitas.
78 At the end of his life he enters the hell called Kalasutra (the rope of time). As long as the sun and moon shine in the sky he is devoured by worms with teeth sharp like spears.
79 When his time in hell is over he rises to the earth, where he becomes a worm in stool for sixty thousand years.
80 Then he becomes a vulture for ten billion births, a pig for a hundred births, a dog for a hundred births, and a jackal for a hundred births.
81 Then he becomes a snake for seven births and then a row for seven births. Then he takes birth as a human being, where he is unable to speak and where he becomes a leper, always suffering.
82 Then he becomes a butcher and then a hunter of wild beasts. At the end he becomes a thief and a murderer, a man with no scruples.
83 Then he becomes a washerman, then an oil-merchant, and then a professional brahmana, always impure at heart.
84 If one is unable to fast he should feed a brahmana and give him charity equal to twice the value of the food.
85 Or, he should chant mantras to Goddess Laksmi a thousand times, or he should practice pranayama twelve times.
86 Thus I have described, as I heard it from Yamaraja’s mouth, the fasting, vows and worship performed on Janmastami.
The Festival of Shri Nanda’s son
1 Shri Narada said: After Vasudeva placed Lord Krishna in Yasoda’s home in Gokula, what did King Nanda do to celebrate the birth of a son?
2 What did Lord Krishna do there? How many years did the Lord stay there? O master, please describe the Lord’s childhood pastimes there.
3 How in the forest there did Lord Krishna keep the promise He made to Radha in Goloka?
4 What was Vrndavana like? What was the rasa-dance circle like? Please tell. O master, please describe the Lord’s rasa dance and the water pastimes.
5 What austerities did Nanda, Yasoda, and Rohini perform? Before the appearance of Lord Krishna, where did Lord Balarama rake birth?
6 This recounting of Lord Krishna’s pastimes is nectar sweeter than any other. Especially in the mouth of a poet, it brings new and sweet poetry at every step.
7 Please describe the Lord’s pastimes in the rasa-dance circle. A poet’s words are more glorious when he himself has seen the events he describes.
8 You are a direct incarnation of Lord Krishna Himself. Because You are His incarnation, You are full of transcendental bliss. You are the guru of the guru of the kings of the yogis.
9 You have described how You entered the feet of Lord Krishna, the master of Goloka. Therefore You are a direct incarnation of Lord Krishna. You are Lord Krishna.
10 Shri Narayana Rsi said: Brahma, Siva, Sesa, Ganesa, Kurma, Yamaraja, Nara, Karttikeya, and I are nine incarnations of Lord Krishna.
11 Who can describe the glories of Lord Krishna, the master of Goloka? We incarnations of Krishna cannot understand Him. How can the great philosophers understand Him. How can the great philosophers understand Him?
12 O sage, Varaha, Vamana, Kalki, Buddha, Kapila, and Matsya are among His primary incarnations. How many are His secondary incarnations?
13 The primary forms of the Lord are Nrsimha, Rama, and the splendid master of Svetadvipa. The most perfect, full, most complete, original form of the Supreme Lord is Shri Krishna, who resides in Goloka, the highest realm in the spiritual sky.
14 In Vaikuntha He appears in many forms as four-armed Lord Narayana, the beloved of Laksmi. In Goloka and Gokula He appears in His original form as two-armed Lord Krishna, the beloved of Radha.
15 The yogi’s meditate on His Brahman light, but the devotees meditate on His lotus feet. How can there be a light without a source?
16 O brahmana, listen and I will describe the austerities of Nanda, Yasoda and Rohini, austerities that enabled them to see Lord Krishna face to face.
17 In his previous birth Nanda was the ascetic Drona the best of the Vasus, and saintly Yasoda was his ascetic wife Dhara.
18 In her previous birth Rohini was Kadru, the first mother of the snakes. Listen and I will describe to you what they did in their previous birth.
19-20 O sage, in Bharata-varsa, on Mount Gandhamadana, near Gautama Muni’s asrama, in a secluded place by the Suprabha river, Drona and Dhara performed austerities for ten thousand years so they might see Lord Krishna face to face.
21 When after this time they still could not see Lord Krishna, Drona and Dhara decided to enter a lake of fire.
22-23 Then a disembodied voice, its speaker seeing that they wished to die, said, “O best of the Vasus, in your next birth, on the earth, you will see Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whom the yogis cannot see, whom the philosophers cannot attain by their thinking, to whom Brahma and the demigods bow down. He will become your son.
24 Hearing this, Drona and Dhara happily returned to their home. Taking birth on the earth, they saw Lord Krishna face to face.
25 Thus I have described the activities of Nanda and Yasoda. Now please hear the activities of Rohini when she was a demigoddesses.
26 O sage, one time, on the day most suitable to conceive a child, saintly Aditi, the mother of the demigods sent a message of this to her husband, Kasyapa Muni.
27 The beautiful goddess, carefully bathed and wearing jewel ornaments, decorated and dressed herself very elaborately. In the mirror she carefully examined her face,...
28 ...which was decorated with dots of musk and sindura, beautiful with patra ornaments and jewel earrings,...
29 ...beautiful as an autumn moon, its autumn lotus eyes splendid with mascara, its beautiful nose decorated with an elephant pearl, its mouth gracefully curved in a smile,...
30 ...its teeth splendid like ripe pomegranate seeds, its beautiful always smiling lips splendid like ripe bimba fruits,...
31 ...and its features so beautiful they charmed the hearts of the regal sages.
32 After carefully examining her face in this way, the beautiful goddess, wounded by Kamadeva’s arrows, stayed at home, waiting for her husband to come and looking for him on the path.
33 Then Aditi heard the news that Kasyapa was with Kadru, that he was sweetly playing with her and resting on her breast.
34 Tortured with amorous desires, and her hopes to satisfy them now destroyed, saintly Aditi became filled with anger when she heard this news. Out of love for him she would not curse her husband, but she did curse Kadru.
35 She said: That sinful woman has no right to live in the world of the demigods. She should leave Svargaloka and go far away to the womb of a human being.
36 Hearing of this curse from a messenger, Kadru cursed Aditi. Kadru said: Aditi should go to the womb of a human being, a womb in the world where there is old age and death.
37 Then Kasyapa said to Kadru: O girl with the beautiful smile, when you go to the human world, I will go with you.
38 Give up your fears. Be happy. You will see Lord Krishna face to face.
After speaking these words, Kasyapa went to Aditi’s home.
39 Powerful Kasyapa fulfilled Aditi’s desire, and as a result Indra, the leader of the demigods was born.
40 In this way Aditi became Devaki, Kadru became Rohini, and Kasyapa became Vasudeva, Lord Krishna’s noble father.
41-43 O sage, what I have told you is very confidential. Now please hear the birth story of Lord Balarama, who is limitless, immeasurable, thousand-headed Lord Sesa. By Vasudeva’s order, Rohini fled to Gokula to protect Balarama from the danger of Kamsa.
44 By Lord Krishna’s order goddess Maya (Parvati) took Devaki’s eighth pregnancy, placed it in Rohini’s womb, placed the unborn child in Gokula, and then returned to Mount Kailasa.
45-46 After some days in Nanda’s house, Rohini gave birth to a gently smiling son splendid as molten silver, a son who was the Personality of Godhead Himself.
47 When Lord Balarama was born the demigods in Svargaloka sounded conchshells, played dundubhis, anakas, murajas, and other musical instruments, and called out “Victory!”
48 Jubilant Nanda gave many kinds of charity to the brahmanas. The midwife cut the umbilical cord and bathed the infant boy.
49 The lavishly decorated gopis called out “All glories!” Then Nanda celebrated a great for the birth of his foster son.
50 Then Yasoda happily gave charity to the gopis and brahmanis. She gave them oil, sindura, and many other things.
51 O child, thus I have told the stories of Lord Balarama’s birth, Nanda and Yasoda’s austerities and Rohini’s activities.
52 Now please hear the beautiful story of the celebration for Nanda’s son, a story that brings happiness and liberation, a story that stops birth, death, and old age.
53 Lord Krishna’s auspicious pastimes are the life of the devotees. They destroy all that is inauspicious and they bring devotional service to the Lord.
54 Vasudeva placed Lord Krishna in Nanda’s home, and then happily took Nanda’s daughter to his own home.
55 O sage, I have already described her activities. Now please hear of Lord Krishna’s blissful and auspicious pastimes in Gokula.
56 After Vasudeva left for his own home, Nanda and Yasoda woke up in the auspicious and glorious maternity room.
57 They gazed at their very handsome son glorious like a new monsoon cloud, naked, resting on the ground and looking up at the ceiling,...
58 ...His face an autumn moon, His eyes dark lotus flowers, crying and laughing, His transcendental form resting in the dust,...
59 ...and His two hands leaving impressions of a club and lotus in the dust. Nanda and his wife gazed at Krishna, and Krishna gazed at them.
60 The midwife bathed the infant boy with cool water and cut the umbilical cord. The gopis happily called out, “All glories!”
61 All the gopis and brahmanis, young and old, with large hips and the breasts that moved as they ran, hurried to the maternity room.
62 All gave their blessings, happily gazed at the infant boy, placed Him on their laps, and praised Him. Some stayed there.
63 Nanda bathed, put on clean garments, and with a happy heart performed the rituals learned through the disciplic succession.
64 He fed the brahmanas, had them give their auspicious blessings, had the musicians play on their instruments, and gave charity to the poets.
65 Then Nanda happily gave charity to the brahmanas. He respectfully gave them diamonds, coral, and many precious jewels,...
66 ...seven mountains of grains, much gold and silver, a mountain of wealth, many garments, a thousand beautiful cows,...
67 ...yoghurt, milk, rock candy, butter, ghee, honey, many candies, a flood of laddus, many delicious modakas,...
68 ...land rich with many crops, horses fast as the wind, many betel nuts, and much oil. After giving this charity Nanda became happy in his heart.
69 To protect the maternity room he engaged many gopis peaceful at heart and many brahmanas expert at chanting Tantric mantras.
70 He had the brahmanas recite the Vedas, chant Lord Krishna’s holy names, and worship the demigods.
71 Many beautiful smiling brahmanis, young and old, and bringing their children with them, came to Nanda’s home. Nanda gave them jewels and many other valuable things in charity.
72 Many smiling elderly gopis decorated with jewel ornaments hurried to Nanda’s home. He respectfully gave them fine garments, silver, and thousands of cows.
73 Books in hand, many eloquent astrologers learned in the jyotir Veda came to Nanda’s home.
74 Nanda bowed to them and happily honoured them. All gazed at the transcendental infant boy and gave their blessings.
75 After all was done, Nanda, the king of Vraja, had the astrologers predict what good and evil lay in the future.
76 In Nanda’s home the infant boys Krishna and Balarama sucked their mother’s breasts and grew as the waxing moon grows.
77 O sage, pleased at the ceremony for the infant boy, Yasoda and Rohini happily gave in charity oil, sindura, and betel nuts to the women there.
78 After placing many blessings on the infant boy’s head, the women returned to their homes. Yasoda, Rohini, and Nanda, filled with happiness, stayed in their home.
The Liberation of Putana
1 Shri Narayana Rsi said: As, surrounded by his courtiers, he sat on a golden throne Kamsa heard an eloquent disembodied voice in the sky.
2 The voice said: Fool, what are you doing? Now you should worry about your fate. Your killer is now born on the earth. O king, do something to stop him.
3 Helped by goddess Maya, Vasudeva gave his son, who will kill you, to Nanda. Then he took Nanda’s daughter and gave her to you.
4 Nanda’s daughter is Goddess Maya, and Vasudeva’s son is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Vasudeva’s son will kill you. At this moment He is growing up in Nanda’s house.
5 Devaki’s seventh pregnancy was not a miscarriage, as you heard. Her child did not die. Goddess Maya placed the unborn child in Rohini’s womb.
6 That child was born. He is powerful Balarama, an incarnation of Lord Sesa. He and Vasudeva’s son, who will both kill you, are now growing up in Nanda’s house.
7 Hearing these words, Kamsa bowed his head. Filled with worry, he pushed his meal away.
8 Calling her to the assembly, King Kamsa, who though himself a great moralists, spoke to his good sister Putana, who was more dear than life to him.
9 Kamsa said: Putana, go at once on a mission to Gokula. Smear poison on your breasts and give them to the infant in Nanda’s house.
10 Child, you can travel as fast as the mind. You are learned in the science of magic and illusion. O mystic yogini, transform yourself into a human being and go to Vraja.
11 O famous one, because of a great mantra you received from Durvasa Muni you have the power to assume any form and go to any place.
12 O Narada, after speaking these words King Kamsa stood up in the assembly. Then Putana, who had the power to travel wherever she wished, bowed down before him and left.
13 Then she transformed herself into a girl fair as molten gold, decorated with a jasmine garland and many ornaments, with beautiful braided hair,...
14 ...happily decorated with a musk dot and red sindura, and wearing a belt and anklets that softly tinkled,...
15 ...and travelled to Vraja, where she saw Nanda’s beautiful palace surrounded by a series of impassable deep moats,...
16 ...a palace Visvakarma had built of sapphires, emeralds, rubies and other jewels,...
17 ...a palace with splendid wonderful, and elaborately detailed golden domes, with great walls touching the sky, with four gates,...
18 ...with iron doors, and with gatekeepers, a palace beautiful and charming, filled with beautiful women,...
19 ...filled with golden domes, precious pearls, rubies, cintamani jewels, with ten million cows,...
20 ...and with a hundred thousand gopa servants and a thousand maidservants eager for their duties.
21 Then beautiful smiling Putana, who was actually a great devotee, entered Nanda’s palace. When they saw her, the gopis did not think that she was a demoness.
22 They said among themselves, “Is she Goddess Laksmi? Is she goddess Durga come to see the infant Krishna?” All the gopis bowed down before her, asked her about her welfare, placed her on a throne, and offered her padya.
23 Saintly Putana asked about the welfare of the gopas and of the infant Krishna, sat on the throne, smiled, and accepted the padya.
24 All the gopis said to her: O goddess, who are you? Where do you live? What is your name? Why have you come here? Please tell.
25 Hearing their words, beautiful Putana said to them: I live in Mathura. I am a brahmana’s wife.
26 I have heard the good news that Nanda now has a great son.
27 Hearing this, I have come here to see and bless Him. Please bring Him. I will see and bless Him, and then I will go on my way.
28 Hearing the brahmani’s words, Yasoda became happy at heart. Bowing down, she placed her son in the brahmani’s lap.
29 Saintly Putana placed the infant on her lap and kissed Him again and again. Making herself comfortable, she offered her breast to the child.
30 Putana said: Oh! He is wonderful. O beautiful gopi, your boy is very handsome. He is like Lord Narayana Himself.
31 Infant Krishna happily drank from Putana’s poison breast. Cradled on Putana’s chest, He smiled and drank both the poison milk and Putana’s life as if He were drinking nectar.
32 O sage, pulling back from infant Krishna, saintly Putana suddenly died and fell to the ground. Lying on the ground with her face up, she suddenly changed into a gruesome monster.
33 Suddenly leaving that gigantic body, she manifested a spiritual body and entered a chariot of precious jewels,...
34 ...a chariot decorated with ten thousand white camaras and ten thousand mirrors, a chariot whose passengers were many effulgent associate of the Lord,...
35 ...a chariot splendid with fine cloth pure as fire, a chariot decorated with jewel domes wonderful with colourful designs,...
36 ...a chariot beautiful with a hundred wheels and splendid with the light of many jewels. The associates of the Lord placed Putana on the chariot and took her to the realm of Goloka, the highest place in the spiritual world.
37 Gazing at this wonder, the gopas and gopis became filled with wonder. When Kamsa heard of it, he also became filled with wonder.
38 O sage, Yasoda took her boy, placed Him on her lap, and gave Him her breast. Then she had the brahmanas perform auspicious rituals for His protection.
39 When Nanda happily burned Putana’s monstrous body, it became fragrant like sandal, aguru, and musk.
40 Shri Narada said: O sage, who was that woman in the form of a demoness? She must have been a great devotee. By the power of what pious deeds was she able to see Lord Krishna and then go to His transcendental abode?
41 Shri Narayana Rsi said: When King Bali’s daughter Ratnamala saw Lord Vamana’s handsome form in the yajna area, she at once felt for Him the love a mother feels for her son.
42 She thought: If I had a son like Him, I would cradle Him to my chest and give Him my breast.
43 Understanding her mind, in another birth Lord Krishna drank from her breast. An ocean of mercy that fulfils all desires. He made her His mother.
44 O sage, the demoness Putana gave a poison breast to Lord Krishna and still she attained liberation and became His mother. Except for Lord Krishna, whom should I worship?
45 O brahmana, thus I have described Lord Krishna’s transcendental qualities. The pastimes I tell you are supremely sweet at every step.
The Killing of Trnavarta
1 Shri Narayana Rsi said: One day in Gokula, Nanda’s wife, saintly Yasoda, held infant Krishna to her chest as she performed her household duties.
2 Seeing the demon Trnavarta coming to Gokula as a whirlwind, and understanding his intent, infant Krishna made Himself suddenly very heavy.
3 Unable to hold Him, Yasoda put her boy down. She put Him to sleep and then she went to the Yamuna.
4 Then the whirlwind demon came, grabbed Krishna and, whirling around and around, took him eight hundred miles into the sky.
5 After breaking many tree branches and for the moment blinding Gokula, the magician demon finally crashed to the ground.
6 Free, by Lord Krishna’s touch, of his past karma, the demon mounted a beautiful chariot and travelled to Lord Krishna’s spiritual abode.
7 This demon had been the king of Pandya-desa, but by the curse of Durvasa Muni, he became a demon. By the touch of Shri Krishna’s feet, he went to Goloka.
8 O sage, the gopas and gopis frightened by the whirlwind demon did not find the infant Krishna sleeping in His cradle.
9 Overcome with grief, everyone beat their chests. Some cried piteously and some fainted.
10 After a great search, the people of Vraja found infant Krishna, His limbs covered with dust, sitting in a flower garden,...
11 ...by a lake, staring at the sky, frightened, and crying without stop.
12 Picking up his son and pressing Him to his chest, grieving Nanda gazed again and again at His face and wept.
13 Yasoda and Rohini gazed at the boy, wept, pressed Him to their breast, and kissed His face again and again.
14 Yasoda bathed her boy, had ceremonies performed to bring Him auspiciousness, and, her face and eyes filled with happiness, gave Him her breast.
15 Shri Narada said: Why did Durvasa Muni curse the king of Pandya-desa? O brahmana, please tell the story.
16 Shri Narayana Rsi said: In the country of Pandya-desa there was a very powerful king named Sahasraksa who, wounded by Kamadeva’s arrows, married a thousand wives.
17 In a beautiful and secluded garden by a riverbank on beautiful Mount Gandhamadana, he enjoyed with his wives.
18 Biting and scratching, he enjoyed many conjugal pastimes, beginning with the pastime of viparita, with his passionate wives.
19 A great yogi, that king expanded himself into a thousand forms to enjoy pastimes on the land and in the water.
20 Expanded into a thousand forms, the naked king enjoyed with his naked wives on the beautiful shore of the Puspabhadra river.
21 At that moment, on his way to visit Lord Siva in Mount Kailasa, and accompanied by a hundred thousand disciples, Durvasa Muni came by that path.
22 When he saw the sage, the king, absorbed in his passionate activities, did not stand up, bow down, or greet him with pleasant words or a handshake.
23 Seeing this, Durvasa became angry and, his lips trembling, cursed the king, “Sinner, become a demon! Loose your yoga powers and go to the earth!”
24 “O lowest of men, you will live on the earth for a hundred thousand years and then, because you will be touched by Lord Krishna’s feet, you will go to Goloka.
25 “O beautiful queens, you must take birth again and again in the royal palaces of the different countries of the earth, again and again the daughters of mighty kings.”
26 After speaking these words, Durvasa Muni, his compassionate disciples lamenting, “Alas! Alas!”, continued on to Lord Siva’s abode.
27 When Durvasa Muni had departed, the king wept by the riverside, and his beautiful wives, tormented by the thought of being separated from him, also wept.
28 Again and again they lamented: O master, O best of lovers, without you, where will we go? Where will you go now?
29 Never again will we enjoy pastimes with you in secluded places. Never again will you rule your kingdom. Never again will we return to our homes.
30 Never again will we see your face, which robs the moon of its splendour. Never again will you embrace us with your arms and hold us to your chest.
31 Speaking these words, they gathered before him on the riverside, grasped his feet, wept and fainted.
32 O Narada, the king built a lake of fire, and, remembering Lord Krishna’s lotus feet, entered it with his wives.
33 All the demigods in the sky lamented, “Alas! Alas!” The sages commented, “Destiny is very powerful”.
34 The king became Trnavarta and went to Lord Krishna’s spiritual abode. The queens took birth on the earth and eventually attained the fulfilment of their desires.
35 In this way I have told you everything of Lord Krishna’s transcendental glories and I have told you how a king became liberated by Durvasa Muni’s curse.