Many people want to know how Lord Krishna died. If you’re one of them, then you’re perfectly at the right place as this post unfolds the Death of Lord Krishna.
Lord Krishna is regarded as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. So, Hindus treat Him as a God. Now, the question arises that if Krishna is God himself, then how can He die? What was the reason behind Krishna’s death? Who killed Lord Krishna in Mahabharata?
The post explores the very proceedings of Lord Krishna’s death. Let’s get started and get to know Lord Krishna’s death story.
The Great Mahabharata War (known as Kurukshetra War) left destruction all over. Although Pandavas won the war, they were not at all happy. The blindfolded Gandhari came to the battlefield, and she was in immense grief to see the mass killing. All her sons had died in the battle of the Mahabharata War.
She believed that this bloody war could have been avoided. Dhritarashtra (Gandhari’s husband) stood by her side, looking helpless. The Pandavas and Krishna came up to Gandhari. They wanted to offer their respects, condolences, and apologies to Gandhari.
Sanjay (King Dhristarashtra’s escort) bent down to Gandhari and informed the arrival of the Pandavas with Krishna to the blindfolded woman.
Hearing the arrival of Pandavas with Krishna, Gandhari stood up. All her grief was gone she was red in fury and vengeance. Gandhari ignored the Pandavas. Aided by Sanjay, she aggressively came up to Krishna.
Curse on Krishna
Gandhari came up to Krishna and shouted at him. She said to Krishna, “This is all you wanted? I worshipped you as an avatar (incarnation) of the Supreme Lord Vishnu. You could have averted this war with your divine will and power. I prayed to you daily, but you did not keep my hundred sons safe. Aren’t you ashamed of doing this?”
Gandhari continued, “Krishna, you could have easily averted this bloody war with your divine power, but you did not. Is that all you wanted? I prayed to you every day, but you did not answer my prayers”.
She said, “Ask your mother, Devaki, what is the pain of losing a child. Her seven children killed just after birth, and now my hundred children have been killed in this war. However, this war could have been avoided if you wished to do so.”
Upon hearing these words from Gandhari, Krishna laughed gently. Gandhari was all in a fury and said, “You are smiling after this horrific event. What kind of a person are you? What a nerve you have”.
At last, the moment arrived (which probably Krishna anticipated) when Gandhari cursed Krishna.
She exclaimed, “Listen to this, Oh mocking God! If my bhakti has been true towards Lord Vishnu and if I am have been true to my husband, then Oh Krishna, you will die in 36 years from today. Dwarka will be flooded, and your entire Yadavas clan will be destroyed, the same way as you made the Kurus kill one another”.
After saying these words, Gandhari broke down and started crying. All her anger was gone. She fell on her knees to the Lord’s feet. The gentle smile was stuck on Krishna’s face as He lifted Gandhari and said. “Maatey, your curse will take effect not only because of your true devotion to Lord Vishnu and your husband but also because change is inevitable, and it is the law of the Universe.”
Krishna knew that someday everything is going to change. Yadavas had become invincible under his protection, and nobody could defeat them. Now, because of Gandhari curse, the Yadavas will lead to destruction which otherwise could have become a burden on Earth.
Krishna consoled Gandhari and walked away with the Pandavas to tend the dead ones on the battlefield to send them on their journey to the heavens.
Days flew by, and Yudhistira was crowned as the King of Hastinapur. Krishna went back to his beautiful island kingdom of Dwarka. Slowly the curse of Gandhari started to take reality.
The Yadavas enjoyed an eternal bliss in Dwarka and had forgotten ethical conduct, morals, discipline, and humility. Yadavas were getting closer and closer towards their destiny of ultimate destruction as cursed by Gandhari.
The Rishis Cursed Samba – the Lord Krishna’s Son
Once it so happened that great sages such as Vashishta, Narada, Vishwamitra, Durvasa, and others were on a pilgrimage. They visited various places and reached Dwarka to meet with Lord Krishna and Balaram.
The Yadavas, including Bhodakas, Kekeyas, Vrishnis, and Andakas that were once virtuous devotees of Lord Krishna had turned into enormous hooligans. They had lost all their sense of culture and discipline. Some Yadavas boys decided to play a prank on these great sages to test their powers.
These Yadavas boys dressed Samba (the son of Krishna and Jambavati) as a woman. They tied many robes on to his belly so that he may appear as a pregnant woman. Now, these boys approached the sages. They asked them to predict whether the “pregnant woman” would give birth to a baby boy or a girl.
However, the sages were quick to realize their prank. They used their divine vision and saw that it was Samba who dressed as a pregnant woman. They became highly enraged with these boys. The Sages cursed that the boy would give birth to a lump of iron that will destroy the whole Yadavas race.
Although the Yadavas were shocked, they did not even apologize to the Rishis. The Rishis left the scene laughing, saying that the Yadavas had lost all their sanity. The next morning, Samba developed labor pains and soon delivered a mace from within him. This incident made the Yadavas struck with fear. They immediately ran to Akroora and Ugrasena in the presence of Krishna himself. Now, they narrated the whole tide of events.
Akroora ordered the Yadavas boys to grind the mace into a fine powder and throw it into the seas. The Yadavas nodded and retreated to do the same. Akroora looked at Krishna with his eyes full of questions. However, Krishna simply smiled back.
Now, Krishna uttered these words, “The wheels of time have turned Uncle. He continued, “And Samba has played his part perfectly.” Then Krishna left the scene without uttering another word. Akroora and Ugrasena were both bewildered and could not comprehend what Krishna had said to them.
Now, Ugrasena asked Rukmani what Krishna had meant. Rukmani replied, “Thirty-six years ago, Krishna prayed to the God of destruction, Lord Shiva, for a son. So, Krishna wanted Samba to aid in destruction.” She continued, “The time of Gandhari’s curse had arrived.” Both Akroora and Ugrasena nodded in agreement.
Outside the palace, the Yadavas boys had grinded the mace finely except a sharp triangular piece that was very hard indeed. They threw the fine powder and the lone piece into the Sea. They were happy that they had taken care of the matter so easily. Now, they returned to their general state of intoxication.
As time rolled on, the triangular piece of mace was swallowed by a fish. A hunter caught that fish. He found the piece in the fish’s entrails and used it to make a fine poisonous arrow.
On the other hand, the fine powder was washed back ashore and deposited itself on the coast of Dwarka. A certain type of wild grass grew in the surrounding area where the powder had been deposited.
So, everything was set up for the final showdown.
Destruction of the Yadavas
The Yadavas clan forgot about their curses. They drowned themselves in alcohol and intoxication. It was 36 years from the Mahabharata War, and lots of omens started to appear in the Dwarka city.
For instance, the chariot of Lord Krishna, the Panchajanya Shankha, the Sudharshana Chakra, as well as the Plough weapon of Balaram disappeared from Earth. One day, the Yadavas came together and assembled on the beach. They had drunk liquor and had lost their senses completely.
They began to tease one another. Yadavas pointed mistakes of each other and brought up their gory pasts. The doom of Dwarka was on the cards. It was Satyaki and Krithavarma that acted as the starting points of the doom of Dwarka.
Satyaki was the one who had fought on the Pandavas side in the Battle of Mahabharata. Krithavarma had fought on the Kaurava side. They began to taunt one another, bringing out memories of the horrific war.
Satyaki was caught up in a rage and jumped on Krithavarma to cut off his head. When the friends of Krithavarma saw this, they pounced on Satyaki which started a great brawl between them.
Pradyumana (who was the son of Krishna) was caught up in the fight and got killed. The Yadavas had come to the seashore for pleasure and were not carrying any weapon with them. They picked up the long grass along the seashore and started to beat and kill one another with them.
These grass stems had turned into blades and had the powder of the Iron lump that was born to Samba. So, the curse of the sages had become a reality. Each blade of grass had become a mace which killed the Yadavas instantly.
In a few moments, all the Yadavas lay dead. Their own clan members killed them. However, Krishna survived, and all the other Yadavas got killed. Other than Krishna, Daruka and Babhru also survived who was Krishna’s charioteers. They approached Krishna and said, “All the Yadavas have been killed, Krishna. Balaram is missing. We must search for him”.
They immediately searched for Balaram and found him sitting under a tree in deep meditation. Now, Krishna instructed Daruka to rush to Hastinapur and inform Yudhistira about the mass killing of the Yadavas. He also instructed him to bring Arjun along with him.
Now, Krishna approached Balaram and said to him, “O my brother Balaram; I will sit along with you in meditation.” However, Balaram did not reply. Instead, a serpent emerged from the body of Balaram, which marked the end of Balaram from his mortal body.
When Krishna saw Balaram leaving his body, he realized that time has come to leave this world and go back to the Vaikunta Lok, which is his original abode.
Rishi Durvasa prophecy about the death of Krishna
When Krishna started to contemplate about the ways and means for leaving his body, he remembered the words uttered by Rishi Durvasa.
Once it so happened that Krishna applied Payasam (it is a liquid food that is prepared with milk, sugar, and rice) throughout the body of Rishi Durvasa as per his wish.
However, Krishna left his feet as they were resting on the ground. So, Rishi Durvasa observed this and said to Krishna, “Krishna you have not applied Payasam to my feet. Your death lies destined in your foot.”
How Lord Krishna Died?
A fierce hunter by the name of Jara came near the place where Krishna was stationed. He was looking to hunt a deer. He mistook Krishna for a deer who was stretched on to the Earth in Yogic posture. Jara shot an arrow at Krishna that pierced him at the heel. When the hunter reached Krishna, he realized his mistake and pleaded Krishna to forgive him. Krishna consoled him and told that his death was inevitable.
Krishna told Jara that in his previous birth as Lord Rama in the Treta Yuga, Ram had killed Baali (Sugriva’s brother) hiding behind a tree. He told Jara that he was Baali in his previous birth. So, Krishna told Jara that He had reaped the price for the same through Jara.
This is how Lord Krishna left this mortal world. The death of Lord Krishna brings out the very fact that even for the Ruler of the Universe, the laws of Karma remains the same. It is said that the age of Kali Yuga began after the death of Krishna.
Arjun Reached Dwarka
In the meanwhile, Daruka (sent by Krishna) reached Hastinapur and informed the Pandavas about the tragic deaths of the Yadavas. The Pandavas plunged into great grief on hearing this sad event. Arjun left for Dwarka. It was destined that Dwarka would be flooded within seven days from the death of Krishna.
So, Arjun took the leftover people to Indraprastha along with him. Krishna’s father left his body for the heavenly abode while being in meditation. The wives of Krishna and Balaram performed Sati. Finally, Arjun did the last rites for Krishna and also for his kinsman.
Dwarka sank into the Sea
The leftover ladies and children followed Arjun for Indraprastha. As the people moved away from Dwarka, the city sank into the Sea. On the way, some thieves tried to rob the people. The thieves killed many people and kidnapped women. Arjun, who was once a great archer, found it very difficult to save the people. He forgot all mantras and could not invoke the Divya astras. Finally, Arjun arrived in Hastinapur in a very disheartening condition.
Pandavas leave for the Himalayas
The Pandavas visited Sage Veda Vyasa. They narrated the Yadavas destruction, Krishna’s death, and the inability with which Arjun could not save the Yadavas women. Then, Veda Vyasa consoled the Pandavas. He informed them that they had served their purpose on Earth. So, Pandavas crowned Parikshit as the king of Hastinapur and started their journey towards Himalayas and heaven.
What was the age of Lord Krishna when he died?
There are many arguments about the age of Lord Krishna when he died. Some scholars think that Lord Krishna died at the age of 125. However, there are other sets of people that believe that He lived for 112 years. Krishna was aged 76 years at the time of the Great Mahabharata War. After that, he lived for 36 years more and died when an arrow shotted him on his feet from hunter Jara.
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