As I discuss in this question, the Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata describes how Krishna goes to Duryodhana on behalf of the Pandavas in order to try to negotiate peace and avert the Mahabharata war. When he hears that Krishna is coming, Duryodhana hatches a plan to kidnap and imprison Krishna. But Vidura advises against it, because of how powerful Krishna is:

O Duryodhana, listen now to these words of mine. At the gates of Saubha, that foremost of monkeys, known by the name of Dvivida, covered Kesava with a mighty shower of stones. Desirous of seizing Madhava by putting forth all his prowess and exertion, he did not yet succeed in seizing him. Seekest thou to apprehend that Kesava by force?

For those who don't know, Dvivida was one of the major Vanaras in the Ramayana; along with his twin brother Mainda, he helped Rama in his war in Lanka. As a result, he was blessed with a long life, which is why he was still alive at the time of Krishna. But Dvivida did not have such a positive relationship with Rama's next birth Krishna. As I discuss in this answer, for some strange reason Dvivida was friends with the demon Narakasura, so when Krishna killed Narakasura (the reason behind Deepavali), Dvivida was furious. The Srimad Bhagavatam describes the various things he did to take revenge on Krishna:

To avenge the death of his friend [Naraka], the ape Dvivida ravaged the land, setting fires that burned cities, villages, mines and cowherd dwellings. Once Dvivida tore up a number of mountains and used them to devastate all the neighboring kingdoms, especially the province of Ānarta, wherein dwelt his friend’s killer, Lord Hari. Another time he entered the ocean and, with the strength of ten thousand elephants, churned up its water with his arms and thus submerged the coastal regions. The wicked ape tore down the trees in the hermitages of exalted sages and contaminated their sacrificial fires with his feces and urine. Just as a wasp imprisons smaller insects, he arrogantly threw both men and women into caves in a mountain valley and sealed the caves shut with boulders.

Finally Dvivida harassed a group of young women who were with Krishna's brother Balarama, so Balarama killed him after an epic battle.

But my question is, what is the story of Dvivida trying to kidnap Krishna "at the gates of Saubha" as Vidura says? Saubha was the floating iron city of the king Shalva; Krishna killed Shalva and destroyed Saubha when Shalva attacked Dwaraka, as described in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

So what was Dvivida's role in Krishna's battle with Shalva? Did he use Dwaraka being under attack as an opportunity to try to kidnap Krishna? Or was Dvivida in league with Shalva?

  • Why you used two spelling for Dvivida. Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 7:36
  • @AnkitSharma I fixed it - it was just that the Mahabharata translation I was quoting from used a different spelling. In any case, in Sanskrit there's only one va sound, so the English letters v and w are just alternate transliterations of that sound. Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 7:56
  • I think you have misunderstood. During must be capturing Krsna to kill him - it doesn't make sense to kidnap Krsna during war. Plus capturing the leader equals to defeat of that Kingdom.
    – Surya
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 16:04
  • @Surya Well, I'm not sure if Dvivida was allied with Shalva or not. I think it's possible that Dvivida was using Shalva's attack on Dwaraka as an opportunity to kidnap Krishna, since Krishna would have been distracted fighting the battle. Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 17:16
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    @Surya Where does Kamsa talk about Dvivida? I knew Dvivida was allied with Narakasura, but I wasn't aware that he was also allied with Jarasandha. Just what has Rama's loyal Vanara gotten himself into... Commented Apr 9, 2016 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


Mainda and Dvivida are the valiant lieutenants in the army of Vānara. They are the sons of Ashwini Kumaras. Hanuman describes the plight of Lanka to his fellow vānaras and praises every Vānara including Angada, Jambavan, Neela etc., When it comes to Mainda and divida, Hanuman praises them as follows.

अश्विपुत्रौ महाभागावेतौ प्लवगसत्तमौ | एतयोः प्रतियोद्धारम् न पश्यामि रणाजिरे || ५-५९-१७

aśviputrau mahābhāgāvetau plavagasattamau | etayoḥ pratiyoddhāram na paśyāmi raṇājire || 5-59-17

"These two illustrious sons of Ashvini Kumaras, Mainda and Dvivida are the foremost among the monkeys. In the battle-field, I do not find anyone who can fight against these two monkeys."

पितामहवरोत्सेकात्परमम् दर्पमास्थितौ | अमृतप्राशनावेतौ सर्ववानरसत्तमौ || ५-५९-१८

pitāmahavarotsekātparamam darpamāsthitau | amṛtaprāśanāvetau sarvavānarasattamau || 5-59-18

Proud of having received boons from Brahma the creator and their grandfather and abiding in a supreme haughtiness, these two foremost among all the monkeys live on Amrita the nectar. The great Asura, the foe of the friends of the gods, Naraka, had a friend of exceeding prowess in the monkey named Dwivida, who was animated by implacable hostility against the deities, and vowed to revenge on the whole of them the destruction of Naraka by Krishńa, at the instigation of the king of the celestials, by preventing sacrifices, and effecting the annihilation of the mortal sphere.

Blinded by ignorance, he accordingly interrupted all religious rites, subverted all righteous observances, and occasioned the death of living beings: he set fire to the forests, to villages, and to towns: sometimes he overwhelmed cities and hamlets with falling rocks; or lifting up mountains in the waters, he cast them into the ocean: then taking his place amidst the deep, he agitated the waves, until the foaming sea rose above its confines, and swept away the villages and cities situated upon its shores.

Dwivida also, who could assume what shape he would, enlarged his bulk to an immense size, and rolling and tumbling and trampling amidst the corn fields, he crushed and spoiled the harvests. The whole world, disordered by this iniquitous monkey, was deprived of sacred study and religious rites, and was greatly afflicted.

On one occasion Halá yudha was drinking in the groves of Raivata, along with the illustrious Revatí and other beautiful females; and the distinguished Yadu, in whose praises songs were sung, and who was preeminent amidst graceful and sportive women, resembled Kuvera, the god of riches, in his palace. Whilst thus engaged, the monkey Dwivida came there, and stealing the ploughshare and the club of Baladeva, grinned at and mocked him, and laughed at the women, and threw over and broke the cups filled with wine. Balaráma, becoming angry at this, threatened the monkey; but the latter disregarded his menaces, and made a chattering noise: on which Bala, starting up, seized his club in wrath; and the monkey laid hold of a large rock, which he burled at the hero.

Bala casting his club at it, as it neared him, broke it into a thousand fragments, which, together with the club, fell upon the ground. Beholding the club prostrate, the monkey sprang over it, and struck the Yádava violently on the breast with his paws. Bala replied with a blow of his fist upon the forehead of Dwivida, which felled him, vomiting blood, and lifeless, to the earth. Also At Kishkindha, the monkey-kings Mainda and Dvivida were defeated in a 7-day war by Sahadeva during Rajasuya Yagya

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    Kindly don't copy paste without acknowledging the source . A huge chunk of your answer is lifted directly from Chp 36 of this book- books.google.co.in/… Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 11:56
  • Hey Carmen sandiego don't get angry. The book which you have cited above is a translation of The Vishnu Purana. While writing my answer I didn't copy any part of the book. Instead I referred to diffent translations of The Vishnu Purana and even a Hindi version, but not this. There might have been a misunderstanding. Please upvote my answer.
    – user21213
    Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 12:45
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    Sorry. It is not a translation of Vishnu Purana , but a commentary. And your answer is a copy paste . And I don't think it answers the question. Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 12:51
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    Well I don't understand. It must have been a misunderstanding. And for COMMENTARY I meant that I have read and then modified my answer, but it stil is based on the Purana
    – user21213
    Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 12:54
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    If you are copy pasting then reference the source and use the appropriate block quotes Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 16:18

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