105.KRISHNA PASSES AWAY
Soon, all the Yadavas were in the quarrel on one side or the other and presently from words they came to blows, which swiftly developed into a free fight. Satyaki, with his sword drawn, sprang upon Kritavarma and cut his head off, exclaiming: "Here is the end of the coward who killed sleeping soldiers! " Others immediately fell upon Satyaki with their drinking bowls and pots and anything they could lay hands upon. Pradyumna, Krishna's son, joined the fray to rescue Satyaki and there was a desperate melee in which both Satyaki and Pradyumna were killed. Krishna knew that the destined hour was come, and plucking the tall rushes, which fringed the beach, laid about him with them indiscriminately. This led to every one of the Yadavas doing the same and there was great indiscriminate slaughter. The rishis' curse had begun to work. The rushes that had grown out of the mace became each one of them a mace as it was plucked by the doomed men in their unreasonable fury. They used them on one another with deadly effect and soon all of them were destroyed in this drunken brawl. Balarama, who was seeing all this, was overwhelmed with shame and disgust and sank to the ground. He gave up his life as he lay in a yoga trance. Balarama passed away into the ocean in a stream of light, which issued from his forehead like a silver serpent. Thus ended the avatar of Narayana in Balarama. Krishna saw all his people thus destroy themselves as predestined. When he saw the passing of Balarama, he roamed about in deep meditation in the wilderness, pondering on the completion of his avatar. "The time has come for me to go," he said to himself and, lying on the ground fell asleep. In that wooded beach, a hunter, prowling for game, saw Vasudeva lying on the ground among the shrubs. From a distance, the hunter mistook Krishna for a wild animal resting on the ground. He bent his bow and shot an arrow at the prostrate figure which, piercing his foot in the insteep, went full through his body. Thus did the great Vasudeva depart from the world of men.