18 February – 5115 years after Krishna’s bodily departure
“Don’t be scared or sorry as these are the ways of destiny…”, this was the last words of Krishna as told to Jara, a hunter mistook former’s feet to be a deer and accidentally shot him with the arrow. For, Krishna knew the law of Karma is universal. Even gods and avatars are subject to it.
On 18 February 3102 BCE Krishna went to a forest near Prabhasa theertham (the junction point where Gomathi river joins the sea), in Gujarat to meditate, in his chariot driven by Dharuka. Once reached there, he told Dharuka: “Go back. Inform all those left in Dwaraka, that it would be shortly submerged by ocean as Dwapara Yug was ending and that all should move to other places for safety…”
In the forest, Krishna witnessed his brother Balram attain the final liberation or videha mukti (consciously and intentionally leaving one’s body). After this he wandered about immersed in deep thought and finally began to accept his destiny. Then Krishna sat down to meditate.
He understood that his karma in this earth is almost over. He knew there is one more Karma left for Jara. It was a consequence of his own act of killing Bali in his previous incarnation as Lord Rama. When the hunter came by, he mistook Krishna for a deer and shot an arrow into his foot.
When Jara came and saw Krishna he was shocked and asked for forgiveness. Krishna smiled at him.
“You need not repent, because you were Bali in your previous birth and I as Rama had killed you in Tretayuga. Now, I have to leave this body and was waiting for an opportunity to end my life. I was waiting for you so that the karmic debt between you and me is finished. Since all acts in this world are done as desired by me, you need not worry for this”. Krishna solaced him.
Still, on realizing his grave error he was filled with remorse and grief. But Krishna consoled him and asked him not to be scared or sorry as these were the ways of destiny. Those were the great Lord’s last words on earth.
The time stood still on February 18, 3102 BC Friday at 02 hours, 27 minutes and 30 seconds in the afternoon. His death marked the end of Dwapar yuga. The period after his disappearance has another significance – it marks first day of Kali Yug.
(Incidentally, Krishna was born the 22nd day of the fourth month of the 863,874th year of Dwapar Yug, which was the eighth day of the second half of the Hindu calendar month of Shravan, the day Janmashtami, or the birth of Krishna – it was 19 July 3228 BCE (When adjusting with current English Calendar, Janmashtami date differs)
Krishna had predicted that exactly seven days after his disappearance; the Golden city of Dwarka in Gujarat will drown in the sea. Indeed Dwarka city is said to have been merged in sea owing to torrential rain.
Just before that most of Yadus (Yadavs) had already died in the war of Prabhas. Prior to that, Gandhari, wife of Dhritarasta, had cursed Krishna that his clan would also finish like Kauravas. After Dwarka sank, rest of the Yadus children and pregnant women went back to Mathura.
Krishna lived for 126 years and 5 months. The first ten years of his life were spent in the towns of Gokul and Vrindavan, in Northern India. From11th year till the age of 28 were spent in Mathura. Krishna later established Dwarka, a city in Gujarat and lived the rest of his life there with his wife Rukmini and sons.
For those who do not know about Gandhari’s curse: After the end of Mahabharata war Krishna visited Mother Gandhari to offer his condolence. On seeing him she burst into anger and cursed Krishna that just as the Kaurava dynasty had ended fighting with each other, similarly the Yaduvansh would end fighting and killing each other.
“Just as these Kshatriyas slew one another, so would your Yadua race perish, killing one another? As for you, you would meet with an inglorious end in the wilderness. This is my curse on you.”
Krishna happily accepted the curse. He replied, “Your curse will certainly take its course since you are endowed with great virtue.”
Yadus had become very strong under Krishna’s regime and they had been into gambling, drinking and fighting. Krishna knew that if Yaduas are left untouched, they would create havoc as they had become very strong.
Krishna told Gandhari: “Mother, but you have wasted your energies on this curse. I am not going to leave Yadus too, because my purpose is to end Adharma. However, it will take some more time, as I have onemore Karma to fulfill”
Yes- Krishna’s fight was against Adharma. And there was no room for nepotism or attachment. And Yadu clans, including Krishna’s own sons, fight each other and died.
Arjuna reached Dwaraka hearing Krishna’s disappearance and the in-fight of Yadus out of ignorance, greed and arrogance. He couldn’t do anything. Meanwhile, the hunter Jara approached Arjuna, Daruka and the priests (who came to perform last rites of dead Yadus) lead them to the place where the body of Krishna was lying.
Beholding the mortal body of Krishna, Arjuna fell down with great grief. Arjuna hugged the body of Krishna and began to cry loudly. Arjuna lost all his courage and was crying like a child.
Arjuna cremated the mortal body of Sri Krishna in the deep forest. Then they went in search of Balarama and found the dead body of Balarama. Arjuna cremated the dead body of Balarama also in the forest. Arjuna did not even find time to cry aloud for the death of Balarama and Sri Krishna. Then, Arjuna returned back to Dwaraka.
“O Daruka! I believe what I did is correct. Otherwise, we cannot control the grief of Rukmini, Satyabhama and other wives of Krishna. If I am engaged in consoling them, meanwhile entire Dwaraka will be inundated. The entire world will accuse me for not saving Dwaraka. Hence I took such a decision to cremate the dead bodies of Krishna and Balarama in the forest itself.” said Arjuna. He tried to save remaining Yadu women and children, but in vain.
Pandavas lose interest in earthly matters after hearing about the destruction of Dwaraka and the death of Krishna. They crowned Parikshit, grandson of Arjuna and left for a pilgrimage to various places in India.
Philosophers and scholars of the time wanted to preserve this heritage and the history and stories of Krishna for future generations, they held a convention in the Forest of Naimasharanya. Those seers forsee the the present age of degradation and foreign invaders would destroy our culture. So the sages discussed all these stories and Vyasa, one among them, wrote everything down. The work is known as Srimad-Bhagavatam. If you really want to know about Krishna, this is a must read.
Now, what was the Karma left for Krishna just after Gandhari’s curse?
After Kurushetra war, Krishna retired and later his love of life Radha Rani came to be with him for the last fourteen years of his life.
Radha was long separated from Krishna because of a curse from Sridhama who cursed her: “Radha, I am cursing you. For one hundred years you will not be able to meet with your Lord. There will be a great separation for one hundred years!”
A terrible separation of love. And 100 years of pain. I guess the sweetness and the ecstasy of her loving relationship with her most beloved cannot be understood by a mundane mind like that of ours, but is experienced by those who have fully awakened to real love.
After Krishna left she wandered around wilderness as if she were mad. She embraced trees especially tamal trees (dark colored trees that were the same color as Krishna) thinking them to be Krishna.
There is a nice song by Narottam das Thakura that roughly translated to: “If I were ever to give up the lotus feet of Sri Radhika, I would become totally devastated in an instant. For Her sake, I am prepared to tolerate the pain and the agony of death hundreds of times. When will I be able to serve such a divine pair of lotus feet as Radha’s? Alas, I beg you all, oh residents of Vraja, please be merciful to me now! When will you take me in the transcendental forests of Vrindavana?”
How long after he left did she die? I can’t even imagine what she must’ve gone through after he died… Imagine those poor feet that wandered around the forests of Vrindavan longing for Krishna – and we talk big concepts of love!!! Thousands of folklore sing the love songs of Radha and Krishna.
Radha and Krishna are the epitome of true love. The love is purely platonic which only proper thoughts can help you to understand. Radha lives forever and forever, on the face of the world, in the minds of every woman.
Every suffering woman in this world crying out to Krishna is an embodiment of Radha!
These are excerpts from one of my unfinished project – “Seven Days to Kali Yug”. I have learned our puranas for nearly 18 years in my life. I write based on my limited understanding, my personal experience and things revealed in meditation. Chances are there leaned pundits would contest me. However, I was very keen to know how Krishna ended his life and what was the last words – now, after days of meditation on Krishna, I can confirm that this would have been the last words of Krishna: “Don’t be scared or sorry about anything as these are the ways of destiny…”
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