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Narayani Sena


1. Yadavas are known to be Great Warriors and even Greater Politicians. This combination can be best understood by looking at the Narayani Sena and the Politics of Lord Krishna .

2. Narayani Sena was the Army of Lord Krishna .

3. Lord Krishna used this narayani sena to win most of India, including Pragjyotisha, Shonitapura, Vidarbha, Gandhara, Pandya, and the mighty Magadha.

4. This Narayani Sena was instrumental when Yudhisthir did a Ashwamegh Yagya, all the kingdoms that didn't approved of the supremacy of Yudhishthir and Krishna were called to battle and defeated handsomely. This way they won all of India.

5. The great thing about Narayani Sena was that it was used as a threat to other rival kingdoms, but it was used into the battle only where there was a chance of extending the Yadav Empire. Unnecessary wars were avoided

Composition of Narayani Sena

Satyaki1. The total strength of Narayani Sena was around 10,00,000 Warriors.

2. In the Narayani Sena, Krishna had full eighteen thousand brothers and cousins.

3. 7 Atirathas :- Lord Krishna himself, Lord Balrama , Ahuka who had a hundred sons, Charudeshna with his brother Chakradeva, Satyaki, and Lord Krishna son son Samba who is equal unto Krishna in battle.

4. 7 Maharathas :- They are Kritavarman, Anadhrishti, Samika, Samitinjaya, Kanka, Sanku and Kunti.

5. There are also two sons of Andhakabhoja, and the old king himself.

6. The Kingdoms that were defeated by the Narayani Sena were The Angas, the Vangas, the Kalingas, the Magadhas, the Kasis, the Kosalas, the Vatsyas, the Gargyas, the Karushas and the Paundras,--all these they vanquished in battle.

7. In a war prior to Mahabharat War :- Ekalavya, the son of the ruler of the Nishadas, and the Kalingas and the Magadhas, and the Gandharas and the king of Kasi, and many rulers assembled together in the midst of the desert were vanquished by Vasudeva Krishna and his Narayani Sena.

6. Out of these great Warrior, Only Kritavarman with his Army unit fought for the Kauravas. Satyaki fought for the Pandavas. Other Yadav Atirathas and Maharathas abstained from the Mahabharat War on advice of Balrama and Krishna

Why Lord Krishna built the Narayani Sena

1. Krishna guiding principle was the establishment of a Yadava Empire on the political map of northern India. There are several reasons for this wish of his, and they are listed below.

2. In earlier times some Pauravas left Hastinapura and conquered Chedi from the Yadavas. Later, Lord Krishna re-established the Yadavas at Chedi using the Narayani Sena, and moved on to establish their sway in Magadha.

3. One of the finest statesmen of the time, ruling at Magadha was Jarasandha, whose Kingdom easily was superior to any contemporary, including pre-Krishna Mathura Kingdom, in might, diplomacy and power. He even managed to alienate the Southern Yadavas from the mainline Yadavas of Mathura and bring them inseparably under his tutelage. This made other Paurava Kings supremely antagonistic towards the Mathura Yadavas after the slaying of Kamsa. Jarasandha vowed to annihilate them totally.

4. The Yadavas were spread all over. The mainline Yadavas remained in and around Mathura. Other lines went to Dvaraka, Mahismati, Vidarbha. Chedi, Avanti, Dasharna, even up to Mysore. All the other kingdom practically was surrounded by the Yadavas. But though the Yadavas were a large clan, there was no cohesion among them. There was a lot of conflict within the Mathura Yadavas, mainly due to Kamsa who became king after imprisoning his father Ugrasena. There was no peace due to the power struggle between Andhakas, Shinis, Sattvatas, Vrishnis etc.

5. The southern Yadavas were not friendly towards the Mathura Yadavas. Even though two of King Vasudev’s sisters were married to the kings of Karusha Chedi, they remained firmly on the side of Jarasandha who took advantage of the situation. He married his daughters to Kamsa, supported him in his ascendancy and brought Mathura too under his control. In this way, it was Jarasandha who controlled the entire Yadava clan for some time. Even when Jarasandha attacked the Mathura Yadavas, Vidarbha, Chedi, Dasharna, Avanti, Karusha etc. joined his imperial forces.

6. Besides these warring relatives, there were other power centers in the country. The most important were the Matsyas of Virata (Jaipur of today) who played a vital role in shaping the course of history of the time, Salva of Sauva (Punjab) and Paudrak Vasudeva of Anga, Pundravardhana etc. Also, there were Gonanda of Kashmir, Subala of Gandhara, etc. These were all friendly towards Jarasandha and joined the imperial forces in their campaign against Mathura.

Lord Krishna Nation Building Process

1. Lord Krishna involved himself in nation building, shifting power centers, politics, diplomacy, using peace and war according to requirements of the Nation. And Narayani Sena was assembled for this purpose.

2. Krishna used all the four principles of Dand-niti to destroy the malignant power centers, create new alliances that emerged as counter balances to the existing power structure and use diplomacy to bolster the National and Yadav interest.

3. He used war and peace, he used marriages and he used his basic superior intelligence for this one purpose. Consequently, the Yadavas accepted him as their supreme commander. It took some time. It also took some effort. But in the final analysis, he emerged as the leader whose judgement and veracity could not be disputed. This made him to select and assemble the best of Yadav fighters as a united army against the cruel kings.

4. His political acumen combined with his sharp intellect, personal courage and physical prowess established him as a major force. The contemporary powers came to regard the Yadavas under Krishna with respect and fear.

5. Krishna appeared on the scene with his heroic abilities, superior intellect and tremendous political foresight. He, having been thrown into the situation, was quite clear in his objective. He had to retrieve the Yadavas from the political quagmire into which they had fallen and slowly re-establish them as the supreme power in North India to take their rightful place as the heirs of Yayati by replacing the usurpers.

6. His course of action was also clear to him. He had to bring back unity among the belligerent Yadavas. He achieved this with a master’stroke of diplomacy, a combination of brain and brawn.

7. He slew Kamsa and his henchmen but did not assume power himself. Neither did he put King Vasudev, his father, on the throne. Instead, he brought back Ugrasena, Kamsa’s hapless father and set him on the throne. This endeared him to all the Yadavas, irrespective of clans, including Kamsa’s supporters.

8. Then, when Jarasandha attacked to avenge the death of his son-in-law, he kindled the Yadavas with the spirit of patriotism and provided inimitable leadership in the defence of Mathura. It is a remarkable achievement of Krishna that he was able to defend Mathura with a handful of Yadavas against the colossal imperial army that included practically all the major powers of India, namely, Salva, Gonanda of Kashmir, Chedi, Bhishmaka, Virata and of course Duryodhana and his brothers. This imperial force was thwarted time and again not only by Krishna’s personal courage and prowess, but also by the leadership provided by him.

9. All the Yadavas stood by him as one. By the time he retreated to Dvaraka in the face of the superior forces of Jarasandha, he had achieved his goal.

10. The entire Yadava clan, the Bhojas, Vrishnis, Andhakas, Shinis, Kukuras, Sattvatas etc. swore by him and looked up to him as their natural leader in all matters of importance. Every future incident reconfirmed his position as leader and the bond of the Yadava brotherhood went from strength to strength. The path was not free of obstacles.

11. Nevertheless, he achieved what he wanted-unity among the Yadavas. He did not succeed in bringing the southern Yadavas immediately into his fold. But by this time, the Mathura-Dvaraka Yadavas had already emerged as a major force, feared even by Hastinapura.
Satyaki Krishna Duryodhana

Jarasandha's Magadha Confederacy

1. Having united the Yadavas, and after the creation of Narayani Sena, Krishna found it necessary to consolidate. Though powerful, the Yadavas were politically isolated and had powerful enemies.

2. So, he needed political alliances, which would help him in containing or removing the enemies.

3. His main adversary was Jarasandha and his allies.

4. He realised that only after destroying him, could he turn his attention to Hastinapura, his final goal. That Duryodhana joined Jarasandha in the siege of Mathura, must have weighed with him considerably in his antipathy towards the Kauravas. But, first of all, the alliances.

5. Krishna saw that to destroy Jarasandha, he had to use the Kauravas, the other most powerful nation. For that, he needed to make an inroad into them.

6. Luck was with him. He found the Pandavas. There were three distinct reasons why the Pandavas must be chosen as allies. First, they were individually extremely gifted, not only in the art of warfare but also in the qualities of head and heart. Most important, they too were isolated, without much political support and constantly persecuted and hunted by their kinsmen of Hastinapura. They needed help. Secondly, they were matrimonially linked with the Panchalas, the biggest hardcore enemies of Hastinapura. That too suited him very well. Thirdly, the Pandavas were his natural allies, being his first cousins, through their mother Kunti who was the sister of his father King Vasudev.

7. Providence was therefore with him. He needed the Pandava-Panchala alliance and they needed the power of the Yadavas at their back. He therefore extended the hand of friendship which was gratefully accepted. He chose for his friend Arjuna, who he saw was the most versatile, balanced and capable among the five.

8. Arjuna was certainly the kingpin in this alliance and he needed cultivating. He did it with such consummate grace and finesse that Arjuna could nor even think without Krishna and was always willing to do what was pleasing to Krishna .

9. So, what began as a political need ended up as a deep emotional involvement for both. This attitude of Arjuna had far-reaching effects.

10. It was not for nothing that Arjuna’s grandson inherited the empire. Krishna ensured it with a Yadava angle to it. It was a dubious Kaurava inheritance with a strong Yadava flavor. He conceived a plan the moment he saw the Pandavas and nurtured it fondly, always progressing steadily towards the fructification of his ultimate plan.

Lord Krishna 's Matrimonial Politics

1. Krishna used another traditional diplomatic instrument, matrimony, for securing political alliances.

2. Although they already had matrimonial relationships with other kingdoms, like Pritha, King Vasudev’s sister, was married to Pandu who did not live long. So this alliance did not produce the expected results, except, that it provided Krishna with the invincible Pandavas and, through them, with a strong foothold in the Hastinapura sphere of influence.

3. Two other sisters were married to the Yadavas of Chedi and Karusha, despite this, because of threat from Jarasandh, Chedi and Karusha remained firmly in alliance with Jarasandha.

4. However, there was another powerful Yadava kingdom in the neighborhood of Chedi. which also was an ally of Jarasandha. This was Bhishmaka of Vidarbha and his son Rukmi. Bhishmaka was also very friendly with Sishupala of Chedi and had planned to marry Rukmini, his daughter, with Sishupala.

5. Krishna wanted to rectify the situation and win the powerful Yadavas of Vidarbha to his side. He abducted and married Rukmini hoping that this marriage would unite the Vidarbhas with the Mathura-Dvaraka Yadavas, but this effort failed.

6. Vidarbha was incensed with the abduction and was driven more firmly to Jarasandha. This also enraged Sishpuala of Chedi, who was already a sworn enemy of his cousin Krishna . In the end of course, we find that Rukmi came to join the Pandava forces on the eve of the war, with an expressed desire ‘to do something pleasing to Krishna .’ But how much of it was political expediency (since the Krishna of now was a much more powerful person than the Krishna of yore) and how much of it was his genuine feeling for a brother-in-law, is a matter of conjecture. But it did not matter any more. Neither Krishna , nor the Pandavas needed him.

7. When Krishna realised that he would have to base his activities solely on this Pandava-Panchala alliance he strove to make it more lasting and powerful. He wanted to bring the Yadavas too into this alliance.

8. And this he decided would be done through Arjuna.

9. He arranged the marriage of his sister Subhadra with Arjuna. Also this marriage brought the Yadavas into the Panchala-Pandava alliance firmly. This marriage therefore he nurtured fondly. He brought up Abhimanyu and trained him to be the equal of Arjuna.

10. The new alliance becomes powerful but not enough. Now Abhimanyu had to be married. Opportunity presented itself in the form of the Matsya Princess, Uttara. Krishna ’s farsightedness and well-laid plains bore fruit now. Abhimanyu was the nephew of Krishna , being Arjuna’s friend. This marriage further confirmed the Yadava claim on India's throne, because Abhimanyu’s son Parikshit would be the king of Hastinapura later. And Abhimanyu or Parikshit were more Yadavas than Kauravas. Abhimanyu’s mother and grandmother were Yadavas. His father was not strictly a Kaurava. Both Arjuna and Pandu did not have any Kaurava blood in them. Both were ‘kshetrajna’ sons of their family.

11. The political outcome of this marriage was an invincible alliance of Paurava-Panchala-Yadava-Matsya. It brought the Yadavas into direct contact with the Matsyas. This axis very conclusively set up a balance of power which more or less neutralised the immense authority of the Hastinapura monolith.

12. In all this power game, what is bewildering is the marriage between Krishna’s son Samba and Duryodhana’s daughter Lakshmana. It is true that Krishna did not know anything about it. It was Balrama who went and rescued Samba and Lakshmana from the clutches of Duryodhana who had forcibly detained Samba for eloping with Lakshmana and trying to abduct her. However, this marriage did not in any way affect the course of history.

Krishna the Kingmaker

Back-To-Godhead-Bhima-Fights-Jarasandha1. All through these happenings on the matrimonial front, Krishna kept himself busy, with eliminating those malignant powers that were irretrievably inimical towards the Yadava cause. No amount of diplomacy would have helped.

2. Some he removed himself, others he tackled with the help of the Pandavas.

3. He systematically destroyed Kamsa, Kalyavana, Hamsa Dimbaka and Sauvaraj Salva.

4. Then he saw that unless Jarasandha was eliminated, the Magadha confederacy, the most powerful one at the time, could not be broken. He also knew that there was no power in the country that could take on the Magadha confederacy in direct conflict. Nor could he handle it alone. So he took recourse to stratagem and, with the help of Bhima and Arjuna, slew Jarasandha.

5. Then he went on to destroy Sishupala of Chedi, Paundraka Vasudeva of Pundravardhana and other minor adversaries to clear the stage for the final War which he knew must come. The Magadha confederacy was completely defused.

6. An interesting gambit, which was often employed by Krishna , also bought him considerable allegiance from the erstwhile enemies. He never usurped the territory of the vanquished. He established their surviving relatives or the throne and returned the territory.

7. He made Ugrasena, father of Kamsa, the king of the Yadavas.

8. He gave the empire of Jarasandha to his son Sahadeva.

9. He made Dhrislaketu the king of Chedi after his father Sishupala was slain.

10. These kings gave their loyalty to Krishna out of gratitude for his magnanimity.

11. Consequently we find them at the side of the Pandavas during the War.

12. Krishna placed one of the female relatives of Gonanda on the throne of Kashmir. He was a kingmaker and not a king. And in the history of mankind we have seen time and again that it is the kingmaker who wields real power, never the king thus made.

Mahabharat War

armyorme1. The Yadavas initially refrained from joining the War. Balrama didn't even participate in the war, as he said that if either him or Krishna took arms, the battle would be swung into one side's favor.

2. Krishna offered only himself without arms, and an akshauhini of Narayani Sena who were as powerful as he was. That is all.

3. In the war of Kurukshetra, the Narayani sena was a threat to Duryodhana, hence Shakuni asked Duryodhana to go to Lord Krishna and ask him not to field his Narayani sena against him.

4. With the War imminent both Duryodhana (kaurava) and Arjuna (Pandava) go to seek support from Sri Krishna .

5. Being related to both, Krishna finds it an obligation to show support to both for the cause of the war although his heart always went to the Pandavas.

6. Krishna opened up the options and said each of them could either choose him, or his Narayani sena which was a group of a million, hardened battle ready Yadav soldiers to side them in the war.

7. Duryodhan choose the Narayani Sena thinking a million seasoned soldiers is all it takes to decide the fate of the battle, While Arjuna choose Narayan (Krishna ) who agreed to be his charioteer and lead him into battle.

8. Satyaki joined the Pandavas out of friendship with Arjuna, and Hardikya Kritavarma joined the Kauravas with the Narayani Sena.

9. The results; obvious from the course of the battle , while the army of a million plus soldiers fought bravely but were never a match for the battle of strategy that Krishna drew and the Pandavas executed. In the end a powerful army of a million plus soldiers led by the hundered Kauravas suffered a humiliating defeat in front of the smaller army managed by the five Pandava brothers and lead by the chief strategist Krishna.

10. And, most surprisingly, at the end of the War when everyone died, the only survivors, besides the Pandavas, were Satyaki and his Sena and Kritavarma and his Sena.

11. Krishna , one feels, prevented the Yadavas from annihilation by keeping them away.

12. Out of all the nations, only the Yadavas survived to be supreme and to be the rulers of the earth. It was an unparalleled master-stroke which may not be a appreciated but was in total consonance with his policy of establishing a Yadav Empire.

After the Mahabharat War

1. At the end of the War, Abhimanyu’s unborn son was also killed (which eventuality even he had not foreseen), he resurrected him so that he could become king. It was another masterstroke of Lord Krishna to create the Invincible Yadav Empire, which would rule the Earth for coming many centuries.

2. At the end of it all when all the dust settles down on Kurukshetra, when the earth has drained the blood of eighteen akshauhinis and is ready once again to pick up the reins of life after bathing in death, we find the Yadavas at the helm of affairs, with such huge Narayani Sena to boost their Empire.

3. And a little later, we find Subhadra’s grandson Parikshit on the throne of Hastinapura and Krishna ’s grandson, Vajra, on the throne of Indraprastha that was founded by the Pandavas on the site of Yayati’s ancient capital.

4. The wheel had indeed turned full circle. Yayati created a rift between Puru and Yadu by throwing out Yadu. His successor, after 26 generations, brought the Yadavas back into power in the land of their ancestors. If one is a little more gracious to Krishna , one can of course say that he brought the progeny of two brothers, who had fallen out, once again together in Parikshit who was both a Paurava as well as a Yadava.




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    July 8, 2013 7:16 amPosted 10 years ago
    Bir singh Yadav

    Krishna was the first management Guru who gave the dictum: Go where your customer is.

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    July 8, 2013 2:12 pmPosted 10 years ago
    Balvir singh yadav

    Jai shri radhey krishana 2 all yadavas pallavas madhavas pauravas

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    August 23, 2013 7:10 amPosted 10 years ago

    what does the name etymologically mean? narayani = ….? sena=….?, thank you

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      March 3, 2014 8:41 amPosted 10 years ago
      admin (Author)

      Narayan is Krishna. Sena means Army. Narayani Sena means Lord Krishna’s Army.


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