(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'After Krishna and Râma had washed Themselves, o chastiser of the enemies, heard They the vibrations of kettledrums and went they there to take a look. (2) Reaching the gate of the arena saw Krishna standing there the elephant Kuvalayâpîda, directed by his keeper. (3) Tightening His clothes and tying together His curly locks, spoke He with words grave like the rumbling clouds to the elephant keeper: (4) 'Elephant keeper, o elephant keeper, give way to us, move aside right now or else will I send you with your elephant today to the abode of Yama [the lord of death].'
(5) Thus threatened goaded the angered elephant keeper the fierce elephant that was alike Yama, the time and death, toward Krishna. (6) The master elephant running forward violently seized Him with his trunk, but striking him He escaped from the grip and disappeared between his legs. (7) Infuriated not seeing Him spotted he Him by his sense of smell and took he hold of Him with the end of his long nose, but using force He freed himself once more. (8) Grabbing him by the tail dragged Krishna him, as easy as Garuda does with a snake, that mountain of power for twenty-five bow-lengths. (9) Acyuta with moving him to the left and to the right was also moved about by him, just like a calf with a young boy [at its tail] would [see also 10.8: 24]. (10) Then coming face to face, slapped He the elephant with His hand, ran away and thus hitting him at each step, made He him trip. (11) He, running, acted as if He fell to the ground, but then He suddenly got up so that the elephant angrily came to strike the earth with his tusks. (12) With his prowess foiled got that lord of the elephants out of frustration into a frenzy, but urged on by his keepers, attacked he furiously Krishna again. (13) The Supreme Lord, the killer of Madhu, confronting him in attack seized him firmly by his trunk and made him fall to the ground. (14) As easy as a lion jumping on the fallen one, yanked the Lord out a tusk and killed He the elephant and his keepers with it.
(15) Leaving aside the dead elephant entered He, sprinkled with drops of the elephant's blood and sweat and holding the tusk on His shoulder, the arena with His lotuslike face shining of the fine drops that had appeared of His own perspiring. (16) Surrounded by several cowherdboys entered Baladeva and Janârdana the arena, o King, with the elephant's tusks as their chosen weapons. (17) To the wrestlers He was lightning, to the men He was the best, to the women He was Cupid incarnate, to the cowherds He was a relative, to the impious rulers He was a chastiser, to His parents He was a child, to the king of Bhoja He was death, to the unintelligent He was the gross of the universe, to the yogis He was the Supreme Reality and to the Vrishnis He was the most worshipable deity - thus seen differently He entered the arena together with His brother [see * and rasa]. (18) Within Kamsa, who saw Kuvalayâpîda killed and the two of Them invincible, then rose a great anxiety o ruler of man. (19) The two mighty armed Lords the way They were dressed with garments, ornaments and garlands like two actors in excellent costumes, shone, present in the arena, with an effulgence that overwhelmed the minds of all onlookers. (20) Seeing the two Supreme Personalities opened the people sitting in the galleries, the citizens and the people from outside, o King, by the force of their joy, their eyes and mouths wide and drank they in Their faces, never getting enough of Them with their vision. (21-22) As if drinking with their eyes, licking with their tongues, smelling through their nostrils and embracing with their arms, spoke they among one another commemorating the beauty, qualities, charm and bravery of the things they had seen and heard: (23) 'These two surely are direct expansions of Hari, the Supreme Personality, who have descended to this world in the home of Vasudeva. (24) This one indeed was, born from Devakî, brought to Gokula where He lived hidden all this time growing up in the house of Nanda. (25) Pûtanâ as well as the whirlwind-demon were by Him put to death and so He also dealt with many others: the Arjuna trees, S'ankhacûda, Kes'î, Dhenuka... (26-27) The cows and their tenders were by Him saved from the forest fire, Kâliya the serpent He subdued, Indra was sobered up by Him, for seven days He held with one hand the best of all mountains delivering all the residents of Gokula from rain, wind and hail... (28) The gopîs seeing His always cheerful, smiling face and glance ever free from fatigue could transcend all sorts of distress and live happily... (29) They say that by Him this Yadu dynasty will grow very famous and, protected in every way, will achieve all riches, glory and power... (30) And this brother of His, the lotus-eyed Râma, He's of all opulence and killed Pralamba, [and we think...] Vatsâsura, Bakâsura and others...'
(31) As the people were thus speaking and the musical instruments sounded, spoke Cânûra, addressing Krishna and Balarâma, the following words: (32) 'O son of Nanda, o Râma, You two heroes are well respected and skillful at wrestling; the king hearing of it wanted to see that and called for You. (33) Citizens indeed when they in mind, deeds and words perform to the pleasure of the king will acquire good fortune, but opposite to this it is different. (34) The gopas obviously always very happy tend their calves in the forests and play and horse around while grazing the cows. (35) Therefore, let the two of You and us act to the pleasure of the king who embodies all alive, so that all living beings will be satisfied.'
(36) Hearing that spoke Krishna words befitting the time and place [see also 4.8: 54] in welcome of the wrestling that He Himself also considered desirable: (37) 'As subjects of the Bhoja king, must We also, even though wandering in the forest, always execute whatever pleases him, for that will confer upon Us the greatest benefit. (38) We young boys will as it should contest with those equal in strength; the wrestling match should take place so that the members of the audience in this arena will not fall from their belief.'
(39) Cânûra said: 'You and Balarâma are no boys or youngsters, You're the strongest of the strong who sported to kill the elephant that had the strength of a thousand elephants! (40) Therefore should the two of You fight with those who are strong, there's sure no injustice in that; it's Your prowess against mine, o descendent of Vrishni, and let Balarâma take it up with Mushthika.'