Uddhava—one of the closest friends of Sri Krishna—narrates to Vidura, who wants to know about him. Sri Krishna came to the city of Mathura just to make his parents Devaki and Vasudeva happy as he had been away from them since he was a baby.
He went to the assembly of the arrogant King Kamsa along with his brother Balarama and dragged him around as if he were a toy and finished him off, relieving the people of a tyrant administrator.
He went to the hermitage of Rishi Sandeepani and learnt the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Vedangas or the six parts of phonetics, grammar, etymology, prosody, astronomy and the art of conducting rituals.
As Guru Dakshina or tribute to the teacher for teaching him the supreme knowledge, he got back his son who was long dead and gone, by fighting with a demon called Panchajana under the ocean. The child came back from the living quarters of death—Lord Yama.
Uddhava spoke of the exploits of Sri Krishna up to the Mahabharata war and the final extermination of the Yadu race of Krishna and the conclusion of his time of manifestation on earth.
He established Yudhishthira on the throne and also equipped him with the knowledge of righteous ruling. When Parikshit, who was in Abhimanyu’s wife—Uttara’s—womb, he was chased to near death by the Brahmastra but it was Sri Krishna who protected the foetus, said Uddhava.
He advised Yudhishthira to perform three great Ashwamedha yagnas, which the latter obeyed implicitly due to the love and patronage of the people.
He narrated the whole brief history of Krishna, which is also symbolic of the beginnings of the universe and the destruction of the Yadu clan by killing each other in an inebriated condition as if the bamboo trees in the bamboo forest rubbed against each other, creating a spark and fire that burnt up the forest.
Krishna wanted to end his sojourn on earth. He sipped water from the Saraswati river and sat beneath a peepul tree. He told Uddhava to proceed to Badarikashrama where the divine sages Nara and Narayana were doing severe penance.
Uddhava was unable to part with Krishna seated alone on the banks of the Saraswati. Krishna’s form was blissful as he placed his right foot on his left knee. He imparted the truth of self-realisation to Uddhava who then left for Badarikashrama.
Vidura asked Uddhava about that knowledge of the reality that he listened to from Krishna and Uddhava said that he would learn it from Sage Maitreya who was also present there when Krishna was teaching the same.
King Parikshit asked Sage Shuka about how it was that Uddhava alone remained while all the Yadus and even Sri Krishna left. It was Sri Krishna’s wish that since it was only Uddhava who had the purity of mind to receive the full knowledge about the self, he was asked to stay on and impart it to the world.
The writer is Sevak, Chinmaya Mission, Coimbatore; email:firstname.lastname@example.org; www.chinmayamission.com