We are on tour of Dwaraka, in Kannanin Aaramudu program. We have reached Prabhasa Kshetram in Gujarat. It is also called Ban ka Theertham. Prabhasam means well illuminating or very bright or well exposed. What was exposed? Some of the auspicious qualities of the Lord are brightly exposed here. In Chapter 4, Arjuna asked the Lord, whether His birth was real. The Lord replied that just as Arjuna's birth was real, His Avatar also was real. Our bodies are made of Pancha Bhoota [space, air, fire, water and earth]. Was His body also similar? The Lord told that His body was made of Aprakrytam and not made of Pancha Bhoota. His body was made of Pancha Shakti. It is neither created nor destroyed. The Three qualities are not in it. Only sattva quality is there. In Srimad Bhagavatam, Sukhacharya tells that at the end of Avatar, Sri Krishna went to Vaikuntam, with His body as such. We have come to that place, from where He left for Vaikuntam.
In our case only atman travels to Vaikuntam and body is dropped here. The Lord lived on this Earth for more than 100 years. Kurukshetra war was over and many good things were done by the Lord. He decided to leave for Vaikuntam. He came here and left for Vaikuntam. Here we can see the Lord sculpted. He is sitting on a branch of a tree. One leg is on the branch and the other is on the knee of the other leg. One could see the sole of His Divine foot. He is decorated with flowers and tulsi. He is holding conch and discus in His upper two hands. He is relaxing merrily! Nearby, we can see a hunter, kneeling before the Lord and his eyes reflect fear and sorrow. Hunter might have done something wrong and so is requesting for pardon. Jara is the name of the hunter. He shot an arrow to hit the toe of the Lord. After completing His mission in Sri Krishna Avatar, the Lord decided to destroy Yadu group of people [Yadavas], and leave for Vaikuntam. For that, a drama was enacted. Once, Yadavas misbehaved with sages, after taking liquor. They tried to tease the sages by asking what child would be born to Samba, a lad in the guise of a pregnant woman! Sages understood the mischief and cursed that a pounder [pestle உலக்கை] would be born and that would annihilate Yadavas. Yadavas found a pounder and gave it to the King. Thinking that by crushing the pounder to powder, they could avoid the curse of sages, they powdered the pounder and sprinkled the powder in the ocean. A small piece of iron was thrown into the ocean. The wooden powder all grew into wild grass on the shore and the iron piece was swallowed by a fish! The fish was caught by a fisherman and he found the piece of iron in the fish. This was taken by hunter Jara. He sharpened the iron piece and fixed it to his arrow! All Yadavas once assembled in this place, near which ocean is there. Famous Somnath temple is also here. Yadavas started fighting among themselves using the wild grass and all of them died! Only Sri Krishna was alive! He came to this place in His chariot driven by Dharuka. While He was relaxing on the tree as told above, the hunter mistook the sole of the Lord as the face of deer and shot the arrow. Using that as an excuse, the Lord departed for Vaikuntam. Unlike Sri Rama, Who was accompanied by the entire population of Ayodhya, to Vaikuntam, Sri Krishna went alone! He consoled the hunter, as he was merely a tool in His drama. The Lord told Dharuka to inform all in Dwaraka, that it would be shortly submerged by ocean as Dwapara yug was ending and that all should move to Prabhasa Kshetram for safety. Saying so, He left for Vaikuntam. His chariot First went up and He followed! All Devas and Brahma witnessed the scene from the sky! Here His auspicious quality of blessing His devotees like Dharuka and Jara was exhibited. Not only that, He left along with His body in tact! This place is called Ban ka theertham, because the arrow caused all these incidents.
Now we will see summary of Chapter 8:
ai´svary¯aks.aray¯ath¯atmya bhagavaccaran.¯arthin¯am |
vedyop¯adeyabh¯av¯an¯am as.t.ame bheda ucyate || (12)
Chapters 7, 8 and 9 explain Bhakti yoga. Here, the Lord tells Arjuna that different people come to Him for different purposes, like more wealth; but some come to Him only for His sake! What should be practiced and what should be abandoned by them is explained. Wealth, kaivalyam and Bhagavt anubhavam are sought and what they should hold on and what should be left away, are mentioned. These are told in Chapter 8, says Swami Alavandar. Do's and Dont's are mentioned for the Three categories of devotees. In sloka 8.6, the Lord says that everyone dies and if a devotee desired to reach Him, then at the last moments, he should have Sri Krishna smaranam or think of the Lord. Because, whatever is in the thoughts at the last moments, the person is reborn in that way. We have heard of Jata Bharata story, where he was thinking of a deer in his last moments and he was born as deer in his next birth. So, in 8.7. He says that one should always be thinking of Him. By worshiping the Lord here we can practice that.