LORD BALARAMA DRAGS HASTINAPURA WITH HIS PLOW
Samba, the darling son of Jambavati, kidnapped Duryodhana’s daughter Laksmana from her svayamvara assembly, in which she was to choose her husband. In response, the Kauravas joined forces to arrest him. After Samba resisted them single-handedly for some time, six warriors of the Kaurava party deprived him of his chariot, broke his bow to pieces, seized him, bound him, and brought both him and Laksmana back to Hastinapura.
When King Ugrasena heard of Samba’s capture, he called upon the Yadavas to retaliate. Angered, they prepared to fight, but Lord Balarama pacified them, hoping to avoid a quarrel between the Kuru and Yadu dynasties. The Lord set off for Hastinapura, together with several brahmanas and Yadava elders.
The party of Yadavas set up camp in a garden outside the city, and Lord Balarama sent Uddhava to ascertain King Dhrtarastra’s frame of mind. When Uddhava appeared in the Kaurava court and announced Lord Balarama’s arrival, the Kauravas worshiped Uddhava and went to see the Lord, taking auspicious items to offer Him. The Kauravas honored Balarama with rituals and items of respect, but when He conveyed Ugrasena’s demand that they release Samba, they became angry. “It is very amazing,” they said, “that the Yadavas are trying to give orders to the Kauravas. This is like a shoe trying to climb atop one’s head. It is from us alone that the Yadavas have obtained their royal thrones, and yet now they are presuming themselves our equals. No longer will we extend to them royal privileges.
Having said this, the Kaurava nobles went inside their city, and Lord Baladeva decided that the only way to deal with those who are maddened by false prestige is through brute punishment. Thus He took His plow weapon and, intending to rid the earth of all the Kurus, began dragging Hastinapura toward the Ganges. Seeing that their city was in imminent danger of falling into the river, the terrified Kauravas quickly brought Samba and Laksmana before Lord Balarama and began to glorify Him. Then they prayed, “O Lord, please forgive us, who were so ignorant of Your true identity.
Baladeva assured the Kauravas that He would not harm them, and Duryodhana presented various wedding gifts to his daughter and new son-in-law. Then Duryodhana, extending his greetings to the Yadavas, requested Lord Baladeva to return to Dvaraka with Samba and Laksmana.
PAINTING BY PUSKARA DASA (1988)