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Chapter 60: Jarasandha born from two halves of a baby

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Sri Krishna continued to say the story of Jarasandha to Yudhisthira.

Brihadratha was the mighty king of Magadha. His wives were the twin daughters of Kasi ruler. He led a happy life and was a famed king; his wives are gifted with beauty and intelligence. But they are unable to have children for a very long time. One day, he heard that a sage, Chandakaushika was camping at the border of his capital. The king and his wives visited the ashram of Chandakaushika and served him with utmost devotion. Saint was satisfied with their devotion and services and asked them what they want. The king told the sage of his desire to have a son. By God's grace, a fruit fell on the sage’s thigh at that time. The sage handed over the fruit to the king and asked him to give it to his wife. The sage then blessed them to beget a son who would be a mighty monarch.

King Brihadratha along with his wives returned to capital. Not wishing to displease either wife, Brihadratha cut the fruit in two equal halves and gave them to his wives. Both the wives ate the equal halves of the fruit. Soon the wives became pregnant and both delivered lifeless half of a baby with one arm, one leg and half a head. Each halves are left and right portions of a single baby. The disappointed queens wrapped the two half parts of child in a cloth and gave them to a maid to throw away. The maid threw it the parts at the backdoor of the palace. At that time, one demoness called Jara was wandering there in search of food. She found these two pieces and due to her curiosity, joined the pieces. Strangely, both the halves joined together into one and a healthy baby was formed. The baby cried loudly in a thunderous voice which created panic for Jara. Not having the heart to eat a living baby, Jara handed over the baby to the king and went away. King Brihadratha was very happy and so were the queens. The king later named the child as “Jarasandha”, since the child is attached by Jara.

Jarasandha grew as prince with a mighty personality and physical strength. One day, Saint Chandakaushika visited Magadha to see the son of King Brihadrada. King Brihadrada welcomed him with great admiration and respect. The sage then blessed Jarasandha to become a great king and emperor to conquer all the kingdoms and grab their wealth. The sage added that nobody can kill Jarasandha using weapons. Later, King Brihadrada enthroned Jarasandha as King of Maghadha. In time Jarasandha grew into a fearsome king. He prevailed over many kings. Many powerful kings like Narakashura, Shishupala of Chedi kingdom, Shalva of Shuva and Vishmak became his allies. His daughters were later married by Kamsa, whom was later killed by Krishna. Jarasandha attacked Krishna in vengeance for his son in law’s death. Krishna recognized that Jarasandha was unbeatable and his time for death was not yet arrived, so he migrated to Dwaraka from Mathura.

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