Sri Krishna’s ascent to divine abode in the presence of Brahma and others – Arjuna arranges funeral rites of the slain-drowning of Dwarka – crowning of Vajra at Indraprasta and Parikshit at Hastinapur – departure of Pandavas to the Himalayas.
The 31st chapter is the concluding chapter in the Eleventh Skandha, giving a graphic account of the Lord’s ascent to His Realm and subsequent events. Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, along with Goddess Parvathi; other Gods led by the great Indra, sages, manes, siddhas, gandharvas, vidhyadharas, nagas, charanas, yakshas, rakshasas, kinnaras, apsaras and brahmans all appeared at the scene where Sri Krishna was seated, full of great longing to witness the Lord’s ascent to His Realm. They rained showers of flower petals on the Lord from their aerial cars. Casting His glance at Brahma as well as the other Gods, the Lord closed His eyes. Without consuming His own Divine Body in the yogic fire-the body, which sustains the entire universe and is the all-blissful object of meditation and concentration, Sri Krishna bodily ascended to His Divine Realm, like a lightning disappearing in the sky. Kettledrums sounded in heaven. Brahma and the other gods were astonished to witness the ascent of Sri Krishna, an ascent which could not be perceived by others. Sri Suka tells King Parikshit, that the acts of the Supreme Sri Hari, imitating the birth, actions, death of embodied beings, are His lila of own volition, like that of an actor in a drama (directed by Himself); for Sri Hari, by dint of His own potency, unaided by any other, creates this universe, sustains it by entering into it, sports in it and withdraws it into Himself at the time of dissolution; and ever remains established in His Own Glory.
When Daruka conveyed Sri Krishna’s messages and instructions to Vasudeva and Ugrasena, and learning of the wholesale destruction of the Vrishnis, and upset at the news of their separation from Sri Krishna, all people rushed to the spot where their kinsmen had been lying dead. Stricken with grief at not finding their sons Sri Krishna and Sri Balarama, Devaki and Rohini along with Vasudeva lost consciousness and gave up the ghost on that very spot. The womenfolk ascended the funeral pyre and hugging each her own husband entered the fire. Arjuna arranged for the funeral rites of those kinsmen who had perished along with their progeny. The ocean drowned in an instant the city of Dwaraka, forsaken by Sri Krishna, barring a palace of the Lord where even to this day, the Lord is ever present. Taking with him to Indraprastha, the women folk, infants and the aged men that survived the slain, and having settled them, Arjuna crowned as King, Vajra, the son of Anirudha and the only survivor among Yadus. Thereafter all the Pandavas proceeded in a body to Himalaya Mountain on their final voyage, after appointing Parikshit as their successor to the throne of Hastinapur. Thus ends the 31st chapter and with it the Eleventh Skandha.