Chapter 70

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘I request thee, O Sanjaya, to tell me again of thelotus-eyed Krishna; for, by being acquainted with the import of hisnames, I may, O son, obtain that most exalted of male beings.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘The auspicious names (of Kesava) have been previouslyheard by me. Of those I will tell thee as many as I know. Kesava,however, is immeasurable, being above the power of speech to describe. Heis called Vasudeva in consequence of his enveloping all creatures withthe screen of illusion, or of his glorious splendour, or of his being thesupport and resting-place of the gods. He is called Vishnu because of hisall-pervading nature. He is called Madava, O Bharata, because of hispractising as a Muni, concentration of mind on truth and Yoga-absorption.He is called Madhusudana because of his having slain the Asura Madhu, andalso because of his being the substance of the twenty-four objects ofknowledge. Born of the Sattwata race, he is called Krishna because heuniteth in himself what are implied by the two words Krishi whichsignifieth ‘what existeth’ and na which signifieth ‘eternal peace’. He iscalled Pundarikaksha from Pundarika implying his high and eternal abode,and Aksha implying ‘indestructible’; and he is called Janardana becausehe striketh fear into the hearts of all wicked beings. He is calledSattwata, because the attribute of Sattwa is never dissociated from himand also because he is never dissociated from it; and he is calledVrishabhakshana from Vrishabha implying the ‘Vedas’ and ikshana implying’eye’, the union of the two signifying that the Vedas are his eyes, orthe Vedas are the eyes through which he may be seen, That conqueror ofhosts is called Aja, or unborn’, because he hath not taken his birth fromany being in the ordinary way. That Supreme Soul is called Damodarabecause unlike the gods his effulgence is increate and his own, and alsobecause he hath self-control and great splendour. He is calledHrishikesa, from Hrishika meaning ‘eternal happiness’ and Isa meaning’the six divine attributes’, the union signifying one having joy,happiness, and divinity. He is called Mahavahu, because he upholdeth theearth and the sky with his two arms. He is called Adhakshaja, because henever falleth down or suffereth any deterioration, and is called Narayanafrom his being the refuge of all human beings. He is called Purusottamafrom Puru implying ‘he that createth and preserveth’ and so meaning ‘hethat destroyeth, the union signifying one that createth, preserveth, anddestroyeth the universe’. He possesseth a knowledge of all things, and,therefore, is called Sarva, Krishna is always in Truth and Truth isalways in him, and Govinda is Truth’s Truth. Therefore, he is calledSatya. He is called Vishnu because of his prowess, and Jishnu because ofhis success. He is called Ananta from his eternity, and Govinda from hisknowledge of speech of every kind. He maketh the unreal appear as realand thereby beguileth all creatures. Possessed of such attributes, everdevoted to righteousness, and endued with divinity, the slayer of Madhu,that mighty-armed one incapable of decay, will come hither for preventingthe slaughter of the Kurus.'”

Chapter 71
Chapter 69
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