(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Asti and Prâpti, the two queens of Kamsa, o hero of the Bhâratas, unhappy that their husband had been killed, went distressed to their father's house. (2) Their father, the king of Magadha named Jarâsandha [see also 1.15: 9, 9.22: 8, 10.2: 1-2, 10.36: 36], they told all about the cause of their widowhood. (3) He hearing those bad tidings, full of sorrow and indignation o King, embarked upon the extreme endeavor of ridding the earth of the Yâdavas. (4) With twenty-three akshauhinîs amassed he around Mathurâ to besiege the royal capital of the Yadus on all sides. (5-6) When Krishna, the Supreme Lord Hari, saw how by his force, like an ocean having overflowed its boundaries, His city lay under siege and His subjects were confounded of fear, considered He as the Ultimate Cause in a Human Form what to the purpose of His descend into this world would be right to the time and place: (7-8) 'For sure I will annihilate his army, this burden on earth gathered by the king of Magadha in which he brought together all who subservient assumed leadership and now can be counted in akshauhinîs of infantry, cavalry, chariotry and elephantry; Jarâsandha however, I should spare so that he again will try to assemble an army. (9) This is the purpose of My descend: that from this earth the burden is removed, that the saintly are fully protected and that those who wage in opposition are killed. (10) Also other bodies are by Me assumed for the protection of the dharma as soon as after a certain period of time injustice predominates [see also 2.7 and B.G. 4: 7].'
(11) While meditating in this manner appeared the very instant from the sky [from Vaikunthha] two chariots with an effulgence like the sun complete with drivers and equipment. (12) So did also on their own accord the Lord His weapons ancient and divine, and seeing them said the Lord of the Senses to Sankarshana: (13-14) 'Please take notice, o Respected One, of this imminent danger for the Yadus who are protected by You Prabhu, and of this chariot that has arrived with Your favorite weapons. For this purpose indeed have We been born: to act o Lord, to the benefit of the saintly; so please remove now the burden of these twenty-three armies from this earth.'
(15) Thus inviting Him did the two descendants of Das'ârha, in armor resplendent with their weapons, depart from the city in their chariots accompanied by a very small contingent. (16) As the Supreme Personality with Dâruka at the reins appeared, blew He His conch shell which caused the hearts of the enemy soldiers to tremble in terror. (17) Jarâsandha looked at the two of Them and said: 'Krishna You worst of persons, I do not desire to contest with You, a boy only, hiding in shame! With a fool like You I won't fight, get lost You murderer of relatives! (18) And if You, Râma, have the guts to fight, then muster the courage; either You drop Your body cut by my arrows and go to heaven or You kill me!'
(19) The Supreme Lord said: 'Truly, heroes don't have to vaunt, they simply show their prowess; how can We take the words serious, o King, of a man who with his death impending is delirious?'
(20) S'rî S'uka said: 'The son of Jarâ, with his gigantic number of mighty forces then marched forward to the two descendants of Madhu, who were then surrounded by the soldiers, chariots, flags, horses and charioteers like the wind covers the sun with clouds or a fire with dust. (21) When Hari's and Râma's two chariot banners marked by the palm tree and Garuda could not be seen anymore in the battle, did the women of the city positioned in the watchtowers, palaces and gateways, swoon stricken by grief. (22) When the Lord saw how His army was harassed by the savage clouds of arrows the enemy forces repeatedly rained upon Them, twanged He who is worshiped by Sura and Asura, S'ârnga, His most excellent bow. (23) From His quiver then fixing, pulling back and releasing floods of sharp arrows, stroke He, like a burning torch whirled around, the chariots, elephants, horses and foot soldiers relentlessly. (24) Elephants fell with their foreheads split open, many a horse of the cavalry and the chariots simultaneously had their necks and flags severed by the arrows and the charioteers, their masters and the foot soldiers had their arms, legs and shoulders cut. (25-28) Of the limbs of the two-legged ones, the elephants and the horses being cut, flowed the blood in hundreds of streams that were filled with arms looking like snakes, people's heads that were like turtles, dead elephants like islands and dead horses like crocodiles. Replete with hands and thighs as fish, human hair like waterweeds, bows like waves and weapons as separate bushes were the chariot wheels like frightening whirlpools and the precious gems and fine jewelry as the stones and gravel. Terrifying to the timid and inspiring the intelligent with joy, stroke Sankarshana, with His unbounded potency, one after the other His furious enemies down with His plow. Those troops supervised by the king of Magadha for destruction, my dear, that were unfathomable, frightening and insurmountably limitless like the ocean, were for the Lords of the Universe, the two sons of Vasudeva, not more than a plaything. (29) It is not at all surprising when He, of Unlimited Qualities, who effects the maintenance, creation and annihilation of the three worlds, subdues an opposing party, but nevertheless is it [in response to philosophers who proclaim His being unconcerned] described as a game of His in imitation of the human ways. (30) The so very strong Jarâsandha, whose army had been destroyed and who, deprived of his chariot, was left with his breath only, was seized by Râma as forcibly as one lion would seize another lion. (31) But, in the process of tying up, with the ropes of Varuna [compare 5.24: 23] and of normal man, him who had killed so many adversaries, was He checked by Govinda for He needed him to serve another purpose.
(32-33) He, honored by heroes, was ashamed to be released by the two Lords of the Universe and thought of performing austerities, but was in his resolve half way home stopped by the rest of the royalty who explained to him in clear terms, in meaningful words as also with practical arguments: 'This being defeated by the Yadus has accrued because of your own karmic bondage'. (34) The son of Brihadratha with all his soldiers killed and left alone by the Supreme Lord, then arrived depressed back in Magadha.
(35-36) Mukunda with His forces unbroken having crossed the ocean of the armies of His enemy, was showered with flowers by the servants of the three worlds in praise. Being met by the people of Mathurâ, who with their fever allayed felt great joy, was His glory sung by bards, heralds and panegyrists. (37-38) As He entered the city with its sprinkled roads and many a banner, resounded conch shells, kettledrums, drums and horns all together with vinâs, flutes and mridangas [two-sided devotional drums] and chanted the elated citizens loudly vedic verses at the festively decorated gateways. (39) With eyes wide open full of love gazing affectionately covered the women Him with flowergarlands, yogurt, parched rice and sprouts. (40) The countless valuables of the heroes fallen on the battlefield were by the Lord all together presented to the king of the Yadus [Ugrasena]. (41) And so it happened this way seventeen times that the king of Magadha with his akshauhinîs fought the Yadus who were protected by Krishna's military strength. (42) The Vrishnis by the power of Krishna entirely destroyed the king his force: every time his soldiers were dead, was he deserted and went he away again. (43) Just as the eighteenth battle was about to take place appeared a foreign fighter [Kâlayavana] sent by Nârada. (44) Having heard about the Vrishnis arrived he there with three crores of barbarians [mlecchas] and besieged he Mathurâ, as he among the human beings had found no one to match him. (45) Seeing him thought Krishna with Sankarshana His helper: 'Ah, from two sides; a great problem indeed has risen for the Yadus! (46) This Yavana opposing us today is of the same great strength as Jarâsandha, who will also get here either today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. (47) While the two of Us are fighting with him will the son of Jarâ, when he comes, kill our relatives or else move them to his own stronghold. (48) Let's therefore today kill the barbarians and build us, for our intimates to settle there, a fortress impenetrable to the two-legged.'
(49) The Supreme Lord thus deliberating arranged for a fortress twelve yojanas [around] within the sea where He had a city [called Dvârakâ or 'many-gated', see also 1: 11] containing all kinds of wonders. (50-53) Within it could the science of the architecture of Tvashthâ [Vis'vakarmâ] be admired who with his expertise constructed the main avenues, courtyards and service roads to the ample plots of land. It contained splendid gardens and parks with the trees and creepers of the godly and gateways made of quartz with upper levels that with turrets of gold touched the sky. The service buildings with silver and brass were decorated with pots of gold, had jeweled rooftops and the houses had floors with precious emeralds. The households occupied by the four varnas of people had temples housing their presiding deities and were constructed with watchtowers; and most beautiful with it were the residences of the Yadu godhead. (54) Lord Indra delivered to the Lord the pârijâta [coral-]tree as also the Sudharmâ-hall ['good law'] situated in which a mortal is not affected by the laws of mortality. (55) Varuna delivered horses swift as the wind that were colored white and exclusively dark-grey; the treasurer of the godly delivered the eight mystic treasures [see nidhi] and each of the local rulers brought in their own opulences. (56) Whatever powers of control the Supreme Lord had given as their own perfections were all offered back to Krishna, now He had come to earth. (57) Krishna after bringing over there by the power of His yoga all His subjects [*], then on the advise of Balarâma, the protector of the citizens, unarmed went out of the city gate, wearing a garland of lotus flowers.'