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Yadav / यादव

Yadvas are the descendants of Yadu, the eldest son of King Yayati.Krishna, Balram, etc. were born in this race. The Yadavs were residing at Mathura. After the death of Kans, Ugrasen was crowned king by Krishna. Jarasandh, friend and father-in-law of Kans, constantly attacked Mathura to avenge the latter's death. The continuous war depleted the funds of the Yadav treasury and after consenting Mathura to Jarasandh, the Yadavs retreated to Dvarka where they set up their new capital. On seeing the destruction of the Mahabharat war, Gandhari cursed Krishna that his race too would be destroyed in thirty-six years from then. The Yadav race was also cursed by the sages Vishvamitra, Kanva and Narad. Once, when the sages were visiting Dvarka, Shamb and his friends decided to play a joke on them. They dressed Shamb up as a pregnant woman and led him to the sages. When asked if Shamb would give birth to a son or a daughter, the sages, who had seen through the disguise, cursed them that Shamb would give birth to an iron mace which would cause the destruction of the Yadav races. The following day, Shamb gave birth to an iron mace and on the orders of king Ugrasen, the mace was pound and thrown into the sea. Bad omens began appearing everywhere. Krishna knew that the end of the Yadav race was at hand. One day, the Yadavs were having a drinking bout. The powdered iron mace had been washed ashore and had grown into blades of grass, which soon were transformed into iron maces. Intoxicated by the drinks, the men started quarrelling among each other. They began plucking out the iron maces and killed each other with them. Beholding their destruction, Krishna sent his charioteer Daruk to Hastinapur to fetch Arjun immediately and he sent his son Babhru to protect the ladies of the palace. Babhru had proceeded just a few steps, when a mace came flying and killed him. Krishna went to the palace himself and told his father Vasudev to protect the ladies till Arjun arrived from Hastinapur and then proceeded to perform penance with Balram. When he reached Balram, he saw that the latter had already applied himself to meditation and from Balram's mouth emerged a huge white snake, which went into the ocean.

After Balram's death, Krishna wandered about for sometime and then concluding that his hour of death had come, lay down and began to meditate. The hunter Jar, mistaking Krishna for an animal, shot him with an arrow which pierced Krishna in the heel, thus making the words of sage Durvasa come true. Arjun arrived at Dvarka and announced that he would take with him the children, women and the aged of Dvarka to Hastinapur. The last rites of Vasudev, Krishna and Balram were performed by Arjun. Krishna's eight principal wives ascended the funeral pyre and so did the four wives of Vasudev. Arjun proceeded to Hastinapur with the ladies, children, the remaining Yadav troops and other inhabitants, the 16000 wives of Krishna and Vajra, the son of Aniruddh. Dvarka was flooded and the city was engulfed by the ocean. On their way to Hastinapur, they were attacked by the robbers from the forest. Arjun could not recollect his celestial weapons is and with much effort strung his bow. He soon ran out of arrows and he and the Yadav warriors failed to rescue the Yadav women who were carried away by the robbers. Some of the women, not wanting to fall into the hands of the bandits, drowned themselves in the river. The depressed Arjun led the remaining members of the procession to Hastinapur. Vajra was appointed as king of the Yadavs at Indraprasth.

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