Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 1: “Creation”
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Chapter Fourteen

The Disappearance of Lord Krsna



suta uvaca

samprasthite dvarakayam

jisnau bandhu-didrksaya

jnatum ca punya-slokasya

krsnasya ca vicestitam


sutah uvaca—Sri Suta Gosvami said; samprasthite—having gone to; dvarakayam—the city of Dvaraka; jisnau—Arjuna; bandhu—friends and relatives; didrksaya—for meeting them; jnatum—to know; ca—also; punya-slokasya—of one whose glories are sung by Vedic hymns; krsnasya—of Lord Krsna; ca—and; vicestitam—further programs of work.


Sri Suta Gosvami said: Arjuna went to Dvaraka to see Lord Sri Krsna and other friends and also to learn from the Lord of His next activities.


As stated in Bhagavad-gita, the Lord descended on earth for the protection of the faithful and annihilation of the impious, so after the Battle of Kuruksetra and establishment of Maharaja Yudhisthira, the mission of the Lord was complete. The Pandavas, especially Sri Arjuna, were eternal companions of the Lord, and therefore Arjuna went to Dvaraka to hear from the Lord of His next program of work.



vyatitah katicin masas

tada nayat tato ’rjunah

dadarsa ghora-rupani

nimittani kurudvahah


vyatitah—after passing; katicit—a few; masah—months; tada—at that time; na ayat—did not return; tatah—from there; arjunah—Arjuna; dadarsa—observed; ghora—fearful; rupani—appearances; nimittani—various causes; kuru-udvahah—Maharaja Yudhisthira.


A few months passed, and Arjuna did not return. Maharaja Yudhisthira then began to observe some inauspicious omens, which were fearful in themselves.


Lord Sri Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead is ad infinitum, more powerful than the most powerful sun of our experience. Millions and billions of suns are created by Him and annihilated by Him within His one breathing period. In the material world the sun is considered to be the source of all productivity and material energy, and only due to the sun can we have the necessities of life. Therefore, during the personal presence of the Lord on the earth, all paraphernalia for our peace and prosperity, especially religion and knowledge, were in full display because of the Lord’s presence, just as there is a full flood of light in the presence of the glowing sun. Maharaja Yudhisthira observed some discrepancies in his kingdom, and therefore he became very anxious about Arjuna, who was long absent, and there was also no news about Dvaraka’s well-being. He suspected the disappearance of Lord Krsna, otherwise there would have been no possibility of fearful omens.



kalasya ca gatim raudram


papiyasim nrnam vartam



kalasya—of eternal time; ca—also; gatim—direction; raudram—fearful; viparyasta—reversed; rtu—seasonal; dharminah—regularities; papiyasim—sinful; nrnam—of the human being; vartam—means of livelihood; krodha—anger; lobha—greed; anrta—falsehood; atmanam—of the people.


He saw that the direction of eternal time had changed, and this was very fearful. There were disruptions in the seasonal regularities. The people in general had become very greedy, angry and deceitful. And he saw that they were adopting foul means of livelihood.


When civilization is disconnected from the loving relation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, symptoms like changes of seasonal regulations, foul means of livelihood, greed, anger and fraudulence become rampant. The change of seasonal regulations refers to one season’s atmosphere becoming manifest in another season—for example the rainy season’s being transferred to autumn, or the fructification of fruits and flowers from one season in another season. A godless man is invariably greedy, angry and fraudulent. Such a man can earn his livelihood by any means, black or white. During the reign of Maharaja Yudhisthira, all the above symptoms were conspicuous by their absence. But Maharaja Yudhisthira was astonished to experience even a slight change in the godly atmosphere of his kingdom, and at once he suspected the disappearance of the Lord. Foul means of livelihood implies deviation from one’s occupational duty. There are prescribed duties for everyone, such as the brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra, but anyone who deviates from his prescribed duty and declares another’s duty to be his own is following a foul and improper duty. A man becomes too greedy for wealth and power when he has no higher objective in life and when he thinks that this earthly life of a few years is all in all. Ignorance is the cause for all these anomalies in human society, and to remove this ignorance, especially in this age of degradation, the powerful sun is there to distribute light in the shape of Srimad-Bhagavatam.



jihma-prayam vyavahrtam

sathya-misram ca sauhrdam


dam-patinam ca kalkanam


jihma-prayam—cheating; vyavahrtam—in all ordinary transactions; sathya—duplicity; misram—adulterated in; ca—and; sauhrdam—regarding friendly well-wishers; pitr—father; matr—regarding the mother; suhrt—well-wishers; bhratr—one’s own brother; dam-patinam—regarding husband and wife; ca—also; kalkanam—mutual quarrel.


All ordinary transactions and dealings became polluted with cheating, even between friends. And in familial affairs, there was always misunderstanding between fathers, mothers and sons, between well-wishers, and between brothers. Even between husband and wife there was always strain and quarrel.


A conditioned living being is endowed with four principles of malpractice, namely errors, insanity, inability and cheating. These are signs of imperfection, and out of the four the propensity to cheat others is most prominent. And this cheating practice is there in the conditioned souls because the conditioned souls are primarily in the material world imbued with an unnatural desire to lord it over the material world. A living being in his pure state is not conditioned by the laws because in his pure state he is conscious that a living being is eternally subservient to the Supreme Being, and thus it is always good for him to remain subservient, instead of falsely trying to lord it over the property of the Supreme Lord. In the conditioned state the living being is not satisfied even if he actually becomes the lord of all that he surveys, which he never becomes, and therefore he becomes the victim of all kinds of cheating, even with his nearest and most intimate relations. In such an unsatisfactory state of affairs, there is no harmony, even between father and sons or between husband and wife. But all these contending difficulties can be mitigated by one process, and that is the devotional service of the Lord. The world of hypocrisy can be checked only by counteraction through devotional service to the Lord and nothing else. Maharaja Yudhisthira, having observed the disparities, conjectured the disappearance of the Lord from the earth.



nimittany atyaristani

kale tv anugate nrnam


drstvovacanujam nrpah


nimittani—causes; ati—very serious; aristani—bad omens; kale—in course of time; tu—but; anugate—passing away; nrnam—of humanity at large; lobha-adi—such as greed; adharma—irreligious; prakrtim—habits; drstva—having observed; uvaca—said; anujam—younger brother; nrpah—the King.


In course of time it came to pass that people in general became accustomed to greed, anger, pride, etc. Maharaja Yudhisthira, observing all these omens, spoke to his younger brother.


Such a pious king as Maharaja Yudhisthira at once became perturbed when there were such inhuman symptoms as greed, anger, irreligiosity and hypocrisy rampant in society. It appears from this statement that all these symptoms of degraded society were unknown to the people of the time, and it was astonishing for them to have experienced them with the advent of the Kali-yuga, or the age of quarrel.



yudhisthira uvaca

sampresito dvarakayam

jisnur bandhu-didrksaya

jnatum ca punya-slokasya

krsnasya ca vicestitam


yudhisthirah uvaca—Maharaja Yudhisthira said; sampresitah—has gone to; dvarakayam—Dvaraka; jisnuh—Arjuna; bandhu—friends; didrksaya—for the sake of meeting; jnatum—to know; ca—also; punya-slokasya—of the Personality of Godhead; krsnasya—of Lord Sri Krsna; ca—and; vicestitam—program of work.


Maharaja Yudhisthira said to his younger brother Bhimasena, I sent Arjuna to Dvaraka to meet his friends and to learn from the Personality of Godhead Krsna of His program of work.



gatah saptadhuna masa

bhimasena tavanujah

nayati kasya va hetor

naham vededam anjasa


gatah—has gone; sapta—seven; adhuna—to date; masah—months; bhimasena—O Bhimasena; tava—your; anujah—younger brother; na—does not; ayati—come back; kasya—for what; va—or; hetoh—reason; na—not; aham—I; veda—know; idam—this; anjasa—factually.


Since he departed, seven months have passed, yet he has not returned. I do not know factually how things are going there.



api devarsinadistah

sa kalo ’yam upasthitah

yadatmano ’ngam akridam

bhagavan utsisrksati


api—whether; deva-rsina—by the demigod-saint (Narada); adistah—instructed; sah—that; kalah—eternal time; ayam—this; upasthitah—arrived; yada—when; atmanah—of His own self; angam—plenary portion; akridam—manifestation; bhagavan—the Personality of Godhead; utsisrksati—is going to quit.


Is He going to quit His earthly pastimes, as Devarsi Narada indicated? Has that time already arrived?


As we have discussed many times, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krsna has many plenary expansions, and each and every one of them, although equally powerful, executes different functions. In Bhagavad-gita there are different statements by the Lord, and each of these statements is meant for different plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions. For example, Sri Krsna, the Lord, says in Bhagavad-gita:

“Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself.” (Bg. 4.7)

“To deliver the faithful, to annihilate the miscreants and also to reestablish the principles of occupational duty, I appear in every age.” (Bg. 4.8)

“If I should cease to work, then all humanity would be misdirected. I would also be the cause of creating unwanted population, and I would thereby destroy the peace of all sentient beings.” (Bg. 3.24)

“Whatever action a great man performs, common men will follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.” (Bg. 3.21)

All the above statements by the Lord apply to different plenary portions of the Lord, namely His expansions such as Sankarsana, Vasudeva, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Narayana. These are all He Himself in different transcendental expansions, and still the Lord as Sri Krsna functions in a different sphere of transcendental exchange with different grades of devotees. And yet Lord Krsna as He is appears once every twenty-four hours of Brahma’s time (or after a lapse of 8,640,000,000 solar years) in each and every universe, and all His transcendental pastimes are displayed in each and every universe in a routine spool. But in that routine spool the functions of Lord Krsna, Lord Vasudeva, etc., are complex problems for the layman. There is no difference between the Lord’s Self and the Lord’s transcendental body. The expansions execute differential activities. When the Lord, however, appears in His person as Lord Sri Krsna, His other plenary portions also join in Him by His inconceivable potency called yogamaya, and thus the Lord Krsna of Vrndavana is different from the Lord Krsna of Mathura or the Lord Krsna of Dvaraka. The virat-rupa of Lord Krsna is also different from Him, by His inconceivable potency. The virat-rupa exhibited on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra is the material conception of His form. Therefore it should be understood that when Lord Krsna was apparently killed by the bow and arrow of the hunter, the Lord left His so-called material body in the material world. The Lord is kaivalya, and for Him there is no difference between matter and spirit because everything is created from Him. Therefore His quitting one sort of body or accepting another body does not mean that He is like the ordinary living being. All such activities are simultaneously one and different by His inconceivable potency. When Maharaja Yudhisthira was lamenting the possibility of His disappearance, it was just in pursuance of a custom of lamenting the disappearance of a great friend, but factually the Lord never quits His transcendental body, as is misconceived by less intelligent persons. Such less intelligent persons have been condemned by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita, and they are known as the mudhas. That the Lord left His body means that He left again His plenary portions in the respective dhamas (transcendental abodes), as He left His virat-rupa in the material world.



yasman nah sampado rajyam

darah pranah kulam prajah

asan sapatna-vijayo

lokas ca yad-anugrahat


yasmat—from whom; nah—our; sampadah—opulence; rajyam—kingdom; darah—good wives; pranah—existence of life; kulam—dynasty; prajah—subjects; asan—have become possible; sapatna—competitors; vijayah—conquering; lokah—future accommodation in higher planets; ca—and; yat—by whose; anugrahat—by the mercy of.


From Him only, all our kingly opulence, good wives, lives, progeny, control over our subjects, victory over our enemies, and future accommodations in higher planets have become possible. All this is due to His causeless mercy upon us.


Material prosperity consists of a good wife, good home, sufficient land, good children, aristocratic family relations, victory over competitors and, by pious work, attainment of accommodations in the higher celestial planets for better facilities of material amenities. These facilities are earned not only by one’s hard manual labor or by unfair means, but by the mercy of the Supreme Lord. Prosperity earned by one’s personal endeavor also depends on the mercy of the Lord. Personal labor must be there in addition to the Lord’s benediction, but without the Lord’s benediction no one is successful simply by personal labor. The modernized man of Kali-yuga believes in personal endeavor and denies the benediction of the Supreme Lord. Even a great sannyasi of India delivered speeches in Chicago protesting the benedictions of the Supreme Lord. But as far as Vedic sastras are concerned, as we find in the pages of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the ultimate sanction for all success rests in the hands of the Supreme Lord. Maharaja Yudhisthira admits this truth in his personal success, and it behooves one to follow in the footsteps of a great king and devotee of the Lord to make life a full success. If one could achieve success without the sanction of the Lord then no medical practitioner would fail to cure a patient. Despite the most advanced treatment of a suffering patient by the most up-to-date medical practitioner, there is death, and even in the most hopeless case, without medical treatment, a patient is cured astonishingly. Therefore the conclusion is that God’s sanction is the immediate cause for all happenings, good or bad. Any successful man should feel grateful to the Lord for all he has achieved.



pasyotpatan nara-vyaghra

divyan bhauman sadaihikan

darunan samsato ’durad

bhayam no buddhi-mohanam


pasya—just see; utpatan—disturbances; nara-vyaghra—O man of tigerlike strength; divyan—happenings in the sky or by planetary influence; bhauman—happenings on the earth; sa-daihikan—happenings of the body and the mind; darunan—awfully dangerous; samsatah—indicating; adurat—in the near future; bhayam—danger; nah—our; buddhi—intelligence; mohanam—deluding.


Just see, O man with a tiger’s strength, how many miseries due to celestial influences, earthly reactions and bodily pains—all very dangerous in themselves—are foreboding danger in the near future by deluding our intelligence.


Material advancement of civilization means advancement of the reactions of the threefold miseries due to celestial influence, earthly reactions and bodily or mental pains. By the celestial influence of the stars there are many calamities like excessive heat, cold, rains or no rains, and the aftereffects are famine, disease and epidemic. The aggregate result is agony of the body and the mind. Man-made material science cannot do anything to counteract these threefold miseries. They are all punishments from the superior energy of maya under the direction of the Supreme Lord. Therefore our constant touch with the Lord by devotional service can give us relief without our being disturbed in the discharge of our human duties. The asuras, however, who do not believe in the existence of God, make their own plans to counteract all these threefold miseries, and so they meet with failures every time. The Bhagavad-gita (7.14) clearly states that the reaction of material energy is never to be conquered, because of the binding effects of the three modes. They can simply be overcome by one who surrenders fully in devotion under the lotus feet of the Lord.



urv-aksi-bahavo mahyam

sphuranty anga punah punah

vepathus capi hrdaye

arad dasyanti vipriyam


uru—thighs; aksi—eyes; bahavah—the arms; mahyam—in my; sphuranti—quivering; anga—left side of the body; punah punah—again and again; vepathuh—palpitations; ca—also; api—certainly; hrdaye—in the heart; arat—due to fear; dasyanti—indicating; vipriyam—undesirables.


The left side of my body, my thighs, arms and eyes are all quivering again and again. I am having heart palpitations due to fear. All this indicates undesirable happenings.


Material existence is full of undesirables. Things we do not want are forced upon us by some superior energy, and we do not see that these undesirables are under the grip of the three modes of material nature. When a man’s eyes, arms and thighs all quiver constantly, one must know that something is going to happen which is undesirable. These undesirables are compared to fire in a forest. No one goes into the forest to set fires, but fires automatically take place in the forest, creating inconceivable calamities for the living beings of the forest. Such a fire cannot be extinguished by any human efforts. The fire can be extinguished only by the mercy of the Lord, who sends clouds to pour water on the forest. Similarly, undesirable happenings in life cannot be checked by any number of plans. Such miseries can be removed only by the mercy of the Lord, who sends His bona fide representatives to enlighten human beings and thus save them from all calamities.



sivaisodyantam adityam

abhirauty analanana

mam anga sarameyo ’yam

abhirebhaty abhiruvat


siva—jackal; esa—this; udyantam—rising; adityam—unto the sun; abhi—towards; rauti—crying; anala—fire; anana—face; mam—unto me; anga—O Bhima; sarameyah—dog; ayam—this; abhirebhati—barks towards; abhiru-vat—without fear.


Just see, O Bhima, how the she jackal cries at the rising sun and vomits fire, and how the dog barks at me fearlessly.


These are some bad omens indicating something undesirable in the near future.



sastah kurvanti mam savyam

daksinam pasavo ’pare

vahams ca purusa-vyaghra

laksaye rudato mama


sastah—useful animals like the cow; kurvanti—are keeping; mam—me; savyam—on the left; daksinam—circumambulating; pasavah apare—other lower animals like asses; vahan—the horses (carriers); ca—also; purusa-vyaghra—O tiger among men; laksaye—I see; rudatah—weeping; mama—of mine.


O Bhimasena, tiger amongst men, now useful animals like cows are passing me on my left side, and lower animals like the asses are circumambulating me. My horses appear to weep upon seeing me.



mrtyu-dutah kapoto ’yam

ulukah kampayan manah

pratyulukas ca kuhvanair

visvam vai sunyam icchatah


mrtyu—death; dutah—messenger of; kapotah—pigeon; ayam—this; ulukah—owl; kampayan—trembling; manah—mind; pratyulukah—the rivals of owls (crows); ca—and; kuhvanaih—shrieking scream; visvam—the cosmos; vai—either; sunyam—void; icchatah—wishing.


Just see! This pigeon is like a messenger of death. The shrieks of the owls and their rival crows make my heart tremble. It appears that they want to make a void of the whole universe.



dhumra disah paridhayah

kampate bhuh sahadribhih

nirghatas ca mahams tata

sakam ca stanayitnubhih


dhumrah—smoky; disah—all directions; paridhayah—encirclement; kampate—throbbing; bhuh—the earth; saha adribhih—along with the hills and mountains; nirghatah—bolt from the blue; ca—also; mahan—very great; tata—O Bhima; sakam—with; ca—also; stanayitnubhih—thundering sound without any cloud.


Just see how the smoke encircles the sky. It appears that the earth and mountains are throbbing. Just hear the cloudless thunder and see the bolts from the blue.



vayur vati khara-sparso

rajasa visrjams tamah

asrg varsanti jalada

bibhatsam iva sarvatah


vayuh—wind; vati—blowing; khara-sparsah—sharply; rajasa—by the dust; visrjan—creating; tamah—darkness; asrk—blood; varsanti—are raining; jaladah—the clouds; bibhatsam—disastrous; iva—like; sarvatah—everywhere.


The wind blows violently, blasting dust everywhere and creating darkness. Clouds are raining everywhere with bloody disasters.



suryam hata-prabham pasya

graha-mardam mitho divi

sasankulair bhuta-ganair

jvalite iva rodasi


suryam—the sun; hata-prabham—its rays declining; pasya—just see; graha-mardam—clashes of the stars; mithah—among one another; divi—in the sky; sa-sankulaih—being mixed with; bhuta-ganaih—by the living entities; jvalite—being ignited; iva—as if; rodasi—crying.


The rays of the sun are declining, and the stars appear to be fighting amongst themselves. Confused living entities appear to be ablaze and weeping.



nadyo nadas ca ksubhitah

saramsi ca manamsi ca

na jvalaty agnir ajyena

kalo ’yam kim vidhasyati


nadyah—rivers; nadah ca—and the tributaries; ksubhitah—all perturbed; saramsi—reservoirs of water; ca—and; manamsi—the mind; ca—also; na—does not; jvalati—ignite; agnih—fire; ajyena—with the help of butter; kalah—the time; ayam—extraordinary it is; kim—what; vidhasyati—going to happen.


Rivers, tributaries, ponds, reservoirs and the mind are all perturbed. Butter no longer ignites fire. What is this extraordinary time? What is going to happen?



na pibanti stanam vatsa

na duhyanti ca matarah

rudanty asru-mukha gavo

na hrsyanty rsabha vraje


na—does not; pibanti—suck; stanam—breast; vatsah—the calves; na—do not; duhyanti—allow milking; ca—also; matarah—the cows; rudanti—crying; asru-mukhah—with a tearful face; gavah—the cows; na—do not; hrsyanti—take pleasure; rsabhah—the bulls; vraje—in the pasturing ground.


The calves do not suck the teats of the cows, nor do the cows give milk. They are standing, crying, tears in their eyes, and the bulls take no pleasure in the pasturing grounds.



daivatani rudantiva

svidyanti hy uccalanti ca

ime jana-pada gramah


bhrasta-sriyo niranandah

kim agham darsayanti nah


daivatani—the Deities in the temples; rudanti—seem to be crying; iva—like that; svidyanti—perspiring; hi—certainly; uccalanti—as if going out; ca—also; ime—these; jana-padah—cities; gramah—villages; pura—towns; udyana—gardens; akara—mines; asramah—hermitages, etc.; bhrasta—devoid of; sriyah—beauty; niranandah—bereft of all happiness; kim—what sort of; agham—calamities; darsayanti—shall manifest; nah—to us.


The Deities seem to be crying in the temple, lamenting and perspiring. They seem about to leave. All the cities, villages, towns, gardens, mines and hermitages are now devoid of beauty and bereft of all happiness. I do not know what sort of calamities are now awaiting us.



manya etair mahotpatair

nunam bhagavatah padaih


hina bhur hata-saubhaga


manye—I take it for granted; etaih—by all these; maha—great; utpataih—upsurges; nunam—for want of; bhagavatah—of the Personality of Godhead; padaih—the marks on the sole of the foot; ananya—extraordinary; purusa—of the Supreme Personality; sribhih—by the auspicious signs; hina—dispossessed; bhuh—the earth; hata-saubhaga—without the fortune.


I think that all these earthly disturbances indicate some greater loss to the good fortune of the world. The world was fortunate to have been marked with the footprints of the lotus feet of the Lord. These signs indicate that this will no longer be.



iti cintayatas tasya

drstaristena cetasa

rajnah pratyagamad brahman

yadu-puryah kapi-dhvajah


iti—thus; cintayatah—while thinking to himself; tasya—he; drsta—by observing; aristena—bad omens; cetasa—by the mind; rajnah—the King; prati—back; agamat—came; brahman—O brahmana; yadu-puryah—from the kingdom of the Yadus; kapi-dhvajah—Arjuna.


O Brahmana Saunaka, while Maharaja Yudhisthira, observing the inauspicious signs on the earth at that time, was thus thinking to himself, Arjuna came back from the city of the Yadus [Dvaraka].



tam padayor nipatitam

ayatha-purvam aturam

adho-vadanam ab-bindun

srjantam nayanabjayoh


tam—him (Arjuna); padayoh—at the feet; nipatitam—bowing down; ayatha-purvam—unprecedented; aturam—dejected; adhah-vadanam—downward face; ap-bindun—drops of water; srjantam—creating; nayana-abjayoh—from the lotuslike eyes.


When he bowed at his feet, the King saw that his dejection was unprecedented. His head was down, and tears glided from his lotus eyes.

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