Yudhistera sat within his throne room; dressed in a ruby red cloth, a bright golden crown atop his head. He was surrounded by 20 armed guards dressed in the same color of clothing. His mood was grim and this was nothing anybody wanted to see. (especially since his father was yamaraj) He bent over in his throne his hand on his chin his eyes slits of bale-fire. He was deeply contemplating how he might preform the rajasurya yajna. His father Pandu sent Narada risi to ask him to preform it. He hardly ate, or slept. Music did not pacify him and he smiled such a smile as if to mock all those who ever did compel him thus.
He was the thinker and visionary of the group. he scanned the room and looked at his brothers.
First Bhima. How could you miss him? He sat like a giant mountain on his golden throne. His bronze complesion and amber colored eyes contrasting his raven black hair and dark almost black blue clothing. Bhima was strong, firm like the earth. He was as dependable as sunrise and his loyalty was without question. He was also practical and managed all internal affairs within the kingdom.
Arjuna was flashy and as handsome and flirtatious as cupid and was also an unmatched general and could conjure up a strategy at the drop of a hat. He was the face of the empire and was sent on all missions to foreign kingdoms.
It was Yudhistera who was the visionary. The eldest but also it was he who they turned to when they needed a direction. Deep did his visions and contemplations go. To realms almost beyond mortal conception. But the Rajasurya yajna presented a unique challenge. That challenge came in the form of Jarasanda.
Jarasanda the despot, the tyrant, the mighty ruler of one of the largest armies in the world. How could he preform the Rajasurya with Jarasanda on the throne of Maghada? An open war might be declared and open conflict joined but his large army would overwhelm them. Bhima and Arjuna were mighty champions but he could not risk losing a single one of them.
Yudhistera turned to his last hope; Krishna. Krishna was the greatest political genius he had ever known. He was a master of policy and diplomacy and he always seemed to know what everyone was thinking before they even said it. His voice was deep yet soft and resonant and all those who herd it were almost hypnotized into doing whatever he asked.
Krishna entered the meeting hall, before all the assembled kings and in trumpet voice declared to yudhistera "You cannot preform the Rajasurya yajna without killing Jarasanda."
Krishna entered the assembly like a stately lion full of confidence, his large lotus pedal eyes glancing at the Pandava brothers.
Yudhistera dressed in ruby red his expression worn yet cheerful at seeing krishna spoke up. "Who Oh Lord is this Jarasanda and what is his power that he does not burn to ashes by opposing you?"
Krishna replied. "Once the king of Maghada Vrihadratha; who was very powerful yet had no son was visited by a wise and mighty sage named Chandakausika. The king served the sage like a menial servant and gratified him greatly. The sage asked if there was any benediction he desired and the king requested a son. A mango fell from the tree and the sage foretold that if the king gave to one of his wives she would bare him a son. The king not wanting to cause jealousy cut the mango in half and gave one half to each wife. As a result each wife gave birth to half a baby. The baby was thrown in the woods and a mighty witch named Jara put the two halves together. Thus his name is Jarasanda(put together by Jara) He recieved many benedictions by utilizing his wealth and power to always serve the Bhramins. His ambition is great and he desires to sacrifice 100 kings to shiva in a great yajna. With the power he thus acquires he would rule the entire world. After Kamsa was killed he whirled about a huge iron club and threw it through the sky 100 yojanas all the way to mathura. Oh king his army is mighty and had hamsa and dimvaka who were matchless warriors they have now been slain and the time has come to attack Jarasanda. If you know my heart and wish to please me, hand over to me Bhima and Arjuna as a pledge without loss of time!"
Yudhistera almost fainted and then stared at his brothers who both grinned from ear to ear. he swallowed hard and then said in a choked whisper. "Achuta, Achuta say not so. You are the lord of the Pandavas and you never attend to any whom laxmi has turned her back. If you say to me Jarasanda will be defeated then I can consider him slain and the Rajasurya complete, but how can I give up Bhima and Arjuna who are like my eyes and limbs?"
Arjuna gripping his gandiva bow and standing from his seat, dressed in black armor embossed in gold leaf with various patterns, his eyes large with enthusiasim now addressed Yudhishthira and said, "I have obtained, O king, a bow and divine weapons mystic energy and allies and dominions and fame and strength. Those are always difficult of acquisition, however much they may be desired. Learned men of repute always praise in good society nobleness of descent. But nothing is equal to might. Indeed, O monarch, there is nothing I like more than prowess. Born in a race noted for its valour, one that is without valour is scarcely worthy of regard. One, however, possessed of valour, that is born in a race not noted for it, is much superior to the former. He, O king, is a Kshatriya in every thing who increases his fame and possessions by the subjugation of his enemies. He that is possessed of valour, though destitute of all other merits, will vanquish his foes. One, however, that is destitute of valour, though possessed of every other merit, can scarcely accomplish anything! Every merit exists by the side of valour in an incipient state. Concentration of attention, exertion and destiny exist as the three causes of victory. One, however, that is possessed of valor does not yet deserve success if he acts carelessly. It is for this that an enemy endued with strength sometimes suffers death at the hands of his foes. As meanness overtakes the weak, so folly sometimes overtakes the strong. A king, therefore, that is desirous of victory, should avoid both these causes of destruction. If, for the purpose of our sacrifice, we endeavour to slay Jarasandha and rescue the kings kept by him for a cruel purpose, there is no higher act which we could employ ourselves in. If, however, we do not undertake the task, the world will always think us incompetent. We have certainly the competence, O king! Why should you, therefore, regard us as incompetent? So if we vanquish the foe, the imperial dignity will easily be ours. We shall, therefore fight the foe."
Krishna's eyes brightened and a large smile came across his face. he clapped his hands and gestured towards Arjuna saying " He is a worthy son of the Bharata dynasty and has indicated what the inclination should be of one that is born in the Bharata race, especially of one who is the son of Kunti. We know not when death will overtake us, in the night or in the day. Nor have we ever heard that immortality hath been achieved by desisting from anything This, therefore, is the duty of men, viz., to attack all enemies in accordance with the principles laid down in the Vedas. This always gives satisfaction to the heart. Aided by good policy, if not frustrated by Destiny, an undertaking becomes crowned with success. If both parties aided by such means encounter each other, one must obtain ascendency over the other, for both cannot win or lose. A battle. When such is the case, why should we not, aided by good policy, directly approach the foe; and destroy him, like the current of the river uprooting a tree? If, disguising our own faults, we attack the enemy taking advantage of his loopholes, why should we not succeed? Indeed, the policy of intelligent men, is that one should not fight openly with foes that are exceedingly powerful and are at the head of their well-arrayed forces. This too is my opinion. If, however, we accomplish our purpose secretly entering the abode of our foe and attacking his person, we shall never earn disgrace. That bull among men--Jarasandha--alone enjoys unfading glory. But I see his destruction before me. Desirous of protecting our relatives we will either slay him in battle or shall ascend to heaven being ourselves slain in the end by him."
Yudhistera thought deeply and said " What can Bhima and Arjuna not accomplish? However the wise have said that an army without a commander is useless. However without luck nothing may be accomplished. With Bhima we have strength, with Krishna wise policy and with Arjuna luck. With these three we shall certainly have victory
Thus addressed by Yudhishthira, the trio Krishna, Arjuna and Bhima, glowing with enthusiasm, set out for Magadha attired in the garb of Snataka Brahmanas. As they departed they were blessed by the agreeable speeches of friends and relatives. Possessed of superior energy and of bodies already like the Sun, Moon, and Fire, being inflamed with wrath remembering the pitiful situation of their relatives, those bodies of theirs became much more blazing. The people, beholding Krishna and Arjuna, both of whom had never before been vanquished in battle, with Bhima leading the way all united to achieve the same task, regarded Jarasandha as already slain.
With Bhima leading the way the three of them crossed the country between the Kurus and the empire of Maghada. They dressed in the red robes of snatakas or grown up Bhramacharis since this was unheard of in the ksatria class they were thought to be powerful brahmins.
When they arrived at the capitol of Jarasanda they beheld a great mountain which the people of the city would worship. The father of Jarasanda had killed a huge Racksasha and used its hide to make a large drum. The drum was so large that if you hit it once the sound lasted for 3 hours. At the dictates of Krishna; Bhima lifted the drum and cracked it on his knee.
Then Bhima and Krishna both grabbed the mountain and lifting it over there head threw the peak down into a valley smashing it into pebbles.This gesture was to spit in the eye of so to speak of Jarasanda.
The city of Jarasanda had many roads and high walls and towers and some roads were reserved for military personal and some gates only admitted military personal so that they could move in and out of the city without normal people getting in the way. The Trio came before the gate which was only for the military and the guard told them that they had to go. Krishna smiled and kept on walking.
The guard said. "Where is your permission"
Krishna pointed to the mighty Bhima who towered several feet above the guard. With his bull like neck he shook his lion like main of raven black hair. Then he focused his large amber predatory eyes into the guards and got a stern look on his face and clenched his firsts
"He is our permission. If you have a problem with that, well you can take it up with him."
The guard ran away and Krishna and Bhima each ripped off one of the mighty Iron gates
At this point Krishna led them through the streets and they came upon a market and took various items from the vendors without paying. This was all done because Jarasanda was there enemy and they had to follow this procedure in order to enter his city
They soon came to the pallace of Jarasanda and entered and he recieved them as Bhramins. They turned there backs to him and then krishna said. "We have taken a vow of silence till midnight then we will speak to you"
As midnight approached Jarasanda got word of all the activities of the three Snatakas. He puzzled at their might and bold deeds and wondered why they were so hostile towards his empire.
The mighty king entered there chambers and bowed before them. They all proclaimed with thunder like voices "May you soon attain liberation." When he stood he looked at them closely. One who seemed to be the spokesmen for the group was a very strange hue which seemed familiar and the others had broad muscular chests and necks as thick as tree trunks.
Jarassanda replied "You are welcome.... Please be seated."
The trio sat down on the ground and the way they sit looked like 3 resplendent gods sitting at some blazing sacrifice. They had large flower garlands and sandal paste smeared on there bodies and were adorned with many ornaments they had stolen from the street vendors in the city.
Jarasanada said. "I have never herd of those Bhramins who have taken the Snataka vow wearing garlands and sandal paste.Who are you who look like Gods and who have arms which are scarred with battle? I have herd that you have ripped up the great mountain and broken the drum and done many other feats. Tell me your purpose for truth is even a virtue of warriors."
Krishna said. "You should not be mistaken O king. Any of the Dvija classes may take Snataka vows and each class has its own rules and regulations for observing that vow. Further more the warrior class is known by its actions and not its words unlike the Bhramins and so therefore all can be revealed of our purpose with you by our actions. "
Jarasanda said. "I cannot recall ever causing you any harm so why do you treat me like a foe."
Krishna said. There is one noble person who your actions have offended and taking up his cause we have ventured to your city to challenge you. Have you not captured so many kings keeping them like animals for a sacrifice? Do you not recollect this wrong? Has it not occurred to you that you may have caused some offense by this action?
Jarasanda said. "I only enslave those who I have defeated in combat. There is only one rule in this world and that is might. I am the most mighty and therefore what I say is as good as religion. Non have challenged me and won.
Krishna said. " Those who are strong will always encounter one who is stronger. Do not become to proud of your heroism for one who can defeat you may be at your doorstep."
Jarasanda said."Either with armies or in single combat against one or even all three of you I shall not back down. Let us fight this instant."
Krishna said. "Then you should know that I am Vasudeva and this is Arjuna and this is Bhima. Pick who you would fight against"
Jarasanda said. "I should have known a coward like you Krishna would come in this dress. I will not fight you or Arjuna for you are not strong enough. The only one who will give me a challenge is Bhima."
On the morning of the Day Bhima and Jarasanda faced each other in a simple arena outside the city. They both wore simple lower clothes which girdled there loins and fought bare chested and bare legged. They fought with there bare hands and elbows and knees and feet.
The Fight started on the first day of the holy month of Kartik
A huge crowd gathered from around the countryside and were so tightly packed that you could hardly distinguish between the people and they seemed like one large mass of flesh. Some to get a better vantage stood on the back of elephants some on the back of Chariots or horses and others on the shoulders of there friends.
Bhima and Jarasanda fought so hard that even within the middle of the city there strikes could be herd above the general noise. When they hit each other it sounded like the splitting of rocks or the crash of lightning bolts.
They fought that way man to man punching kicking and wrestling for a total of 15 days. Both of them were the foremost of mighty men and took delight in the battle. The fighting went on during the day and at night they would be hosted by Jarasanda who would feed them and arranged for there lodging. On the 15th Day (the day we celebrate Go-Puja or when Krishna lifted the mountain) seeing the sheer might of Jarasanda and wanting a quick end to the fight Krishna got the attention of Bhima by waving his hands and then split a leaf. Krishna and Bhima were so in tune that by this gesture a message was sent to Bhima which conveyed that Jarasanda was weak in the middle and that he should be split in half.
Bhima grabbed Jarasanda and threw him down and then placing both his feet on one leg grabbed the other with his hand and with all his might and uttering a leonine roar which mixed with the death knell of Jarasanda, Mighty Bhima split Jarasanda down the middle and spilled his guts and internal organs all over the ground.
This Deed was done before the Gaze of Sri Krishna and he was greatly pleased by this seva which Bhima had done. Mhadvacarya says that Krishna enjoys doing heroic feats but when his pure Bhaktas do great feats for his pleasure his enjoyment is even greater