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SB 11.1.

śrī-śuka uvāca
kṛtvā daitya-vadhaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ
sa-rāmo yadubhir vṛtaḥ
bhuvo ’vatārayad bhāraṁ
javiṣṭhaṁ janayan kalim


śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śuka said; kṛtvā — having performed; daitya — of the demons; vadham —
the killing; kṛṣṇaḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa; sa-rāmaḥ — accompanied by Balarāma; yadubhiḥ — by the
Yadus; vṛtaḥ — surrounded; bhuvaḥ — of the earth; avatārayat — caused to be lessened; bhāram —
the burden; javiṣṭham — most sudden, leading to violence; janayan — raising; kalim — a state of


Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, accompanied by Balarāma and surrounded by
the Yadu dynasty, executed the killing of many demons. Then, further to remove the burden of
the earth, the Lord arranged for the great Battle of Kurukṣetra, which suddenly erupted in
violence between the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas.


The Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins with a reference to the pastimes executed by Lord
Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the Tenth Canto. The beginning of the Tenth Canto describes that when the earth was
overburdened by demoniac rulers, the personified earth, Bhūmi, approached Lord Brahmā with tears
in her eyes, begging for relief, and Brahmā immediately went with the demigods to approach the
Supreme Lord in His form of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. As the demigods waited respectfully on the shore
of the Milk Ocean, the Supreme Lord announced through Brahmā that He would soon incarnate on
earth and that the demigods should also descend to assist in His pastimes. Thus from the very
beginning of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s appearance it was understood that He would descend to the earth to
remove the demons.
As Śrīla Prabhupāda states in his commentary to Bhagavad-gītā (16.6), those who agree to obey the
injunctions of revealed scriptures are known as demigods, whereas those who defy the orders of
Vedic scriptures are known as asuras, or demons. The Vedic literatures are presented within the
universe for the guidance of the conditioned souls, who are trapped under the three modes of material
nature and who are therefore rotating in a continuous cycle of birth and death. By strictly adhering to
the Vedic injunctions, we can easily satisfy our material needs and at the same time make tangible
progress on the path back home, back to Godhead. Thus we can achieve an eternal life of bliss and
knowledge in the Lord’s own abode simply by obeying the Lord’s instructions as they are presented
in Vedic literatures such as Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The demons, however,
minimize or even mock the absolute authority of the Supreme Lord and His teachings. Because
these asuras envy the sovereign status of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they minimize the
importance of the Vedic scriptures, which emanate directly from the breathing of the Lord. The
demons establish a society governed by their own concocted whims and inevitably create chaos and
misery, especially for pious living entities who sincerely desire to follow the will of God.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa states in Bhagavad-gītā that when there is a predominance of such chaotic, irreligious
societies on the earth, He personally descends to rectify the imbalance. Thus from the very beginning
of His transcendental infancy, Kṛṣṇa systematically killed the powerful asuras, or demons, who were
an intolerable burden for the earth. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was assisted by His brother, Balarāma, who is also
the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although God is one, He can expand Himself to enjoy in many
forms at once. That is His omnipotence. And the first such expansion is Balarāma, or Baladeva.
Balarāma killed many noteworthy demons, including Dhenukāsura, Dvivida and the envious Rukmī.
Kṛṣṇa was also accompanied by the members of the Yadu dynasty, many of whom were demigods
who had descended to assist the Lord.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, however, has revealed that although many demigods had
taken birth in the Yadu dynasty to assist the Lord, some members of the Yadu dynasty were actually
inimical toward Kṛṣṇa. Because of their mundane vision of the Lord, they considered themselves to
be on the same level as Kṛṣṇa. Having taken birth in the family of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead Himself, they had inconceivable strength, and thus they misunderstood Kṛṣṇa’s supreme
position. Having forgotten that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they would constitute a
great burden, and consequently it was necessary for Kṛṣṇa to remove them from the earth. There is a
popular saying that familiarity breeds contempt. To destroy the contemptuous members of His own
dynasty, the Lord caused a quarrel among them. For this purpose, He arranged for Nārada and other
sages to display anger against the Kārṣṇas, the members of His family. Although many Yadus who
were devoted to Kṛṣṇa were apparently killed in this fratricidal war, Lord Kṛṣṇa actually returned
them to their original positions as universal directors, or demigods. It is the Lord’s promise
in Bhagavad-gītā that He will always protect those who are favorable to His service.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, in his commentary on this verse, has given a summary of the
entire Eleventh Canto as follows. Chapter One describes the beginning of the mauṣala-līlā, or the
prelude to the destruction of the Yadu dynasty. Chapters Two through Five describe the
conversations between the nine Yogendras and King Nimi. Chapter Six describes the prayers of
Brahmā, Śiva and other residents of heaven. Chapters Seven through Twenty-nine present the
conversation between Kṛṣṇa and Uddhava that is known as the Uddhava-gītā. Chapter Thirty
describes the withdrawal of the Yadu dynasty from the earth. The final chapter describes the
disappearance of Lord Kṛṣṇa.