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While debating on Quora on how the Bhagavad Gita does not advocate the present day birth-based casteism, a user pointed out that,

From Vishnu Parva, Chapter 84, it seems that Krishna with his Yadavas built a city near Ekalavya's village, without his permission; attracted by its natural resources. This story reminds very much of how the Indian government routinely destroys Adivasi villages for mining extractions.

It'd be great if someone provides proper references to:

  1. The above story from Vishnu Parva (Vishnu Purana? or Vishnu Parva of Harivamsha?)
  2. Reason behind their rivalry
  3. Actual reason behind Ekalavya's assassination
  • Nope being Sudra was not at all the reason. – TheLittleNaruto Aug 22 at 6:50
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    @YDS The citation given is wrong. The added image says Vishnu Parva but not Vishnu Purana. – Sarvabhouma Aug 22 at 9:47
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    @Sarvabhouma if it's Vishnu Parva of Harivamsha then also there is no mention of Ekalavya in that chapter.. – YDS Aug 22 at 10:21
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    Yes, @YDS The citation given in the image is wrong. I think the reason saying Yadavas trying to destroy Ekalavya's kingdom is also wrong. I had a glance over Ekalavya and Yadava's fight. But being shudra or occupying forest resources was not the reason. Ekalavya became allies with Paundraka and fought with Yadavas. That is the reason he was defeated (unsure about death). – Sarvabhouma Aug 22 at 10:29
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To answer your first question, here's the full story from Viṣṇu Parva of Harivaṃśa. According to this, Kṛṣṇa and Yādavas did occupy an area called Dvāravatī/Dvārakā where Ekalavya already resided and built a city there.

Chapter 84

Vaishampayana said,

After some time, in the assembly of the Yadus, Pundarikaksha spoke excellent words that were full of import.

This land of the Yadavas, around Mathura, has made our kingdom prosper. We have been born here and have been reared in Vraja. Our miseries are over and the enemies have been defeated. On account of the conflict with Jarasandha, there was an enmity among the kings. We possess mounts and an infinite number of foot soldiers. We have wonderful jewels and many friends. But this region around Mathura is small and our enemies can penetrate easily. Our prosperity over our enemies is due to our forces and our friends. We have crores of young ones and large numbers of infantry. Because of this, our residence here is seen to be difficult. O bulls among the Yadavas! Therefore, the idea of living here doesn’t appeal to me. Pardon me, but I will set up another city. There is an intention behind my words and I have spoken with reason. At the right time, for your sake, I always speak agreeable words in the assembly of the Yadus.

Cheerful in their minds, all of them told him,

For the welfare of the people, accomplish whatever it is that you wish.

The Vrishnis held excellent consultations and discussed this.

He cannot be killed by us. The enemy’s army is extremely large. Because of those kings, there has been a great destruction of soldiers. Even in one hundred years, we will not be able to slay all of their soldiers who remain. Therefore, we agree with the decision.

At this, the king and Kalayavana attacked Mathura with a large army. Jarasandha's army was huge and impossible to withstand. They also heard about Kalayavana's arrival.

Keshava, who always speaks the truth, again told the Yadavas,

Today is an auspicious day to leave, along with all those who follow us.

On Keshava's instructions, all the Yadavas emerged. Because of the large number of soldiers and elephants, this looked like the waves in an ocean. With Vasudeva at the forefront, all the wives were assembled. There were armed crazy elephants, chariots and horses. All the drums were sounded. With their riches, kin and relatives, all the Yadavas abandoned Mathura and left. There were chariots decorated with gold, and crazy and supreme elephants. There were speedy horses, lashed with whips by the riders. O bull among the Bharata lineage! Cheerfully, the Vrishnis headed in a western direction, resplendent as they drove along their respective forces. The best among the Yadavas were ornaments in the field of battle.

With Vasudeva leading the way, they were at the forefront of the army. They arrived at a spot that was colourful with creepers, with forests of coconut trees. There were groves of beautiful nagakeshara and ketaki flowers. There were pumnagas and many palm trees. There were some vines of grapes too. The bulls among the Yadus reached a marshy region that belonged to the king of Sindhu. They loved pleasure and this was an enchanting spot. All the Yadavas were delighted, like the gods when they reach heaven. Krishna, the slayer of enemy heroes, thought about constructing a city. He saw that extensive region, adorned by marshes along the ocean. It was good for the mounts and the ground was wet and red. It possessed all the signs required for setting up a prosperous city. Breezes blew from the ocean. There was water from the ocean. This beautiful dominion of the king of Sindhu bore all the auspicious signs required for a city. Not very far away, there was a mountain by the name of Raivataka. It dazzled in every direction and was like Mount Mandara. This was where Ekalavya resided and also the place where Drona lived for a long time. There were many men and all kinds of jewels. An excellent spot was created for the king’s pleasure. This extensive place was named Dvaravati.863 It was like a board for an ashtapada game.

Keshava made up his mind to construct a city there. The Yadavas found the prospect of the soldiers residing there agreeable. While it was still day and the night was red, the bulls among the Yadavas and the commanders of the army made arrangements for camps to be set up. Keshava and the Yadavas were firm in their decision to live there. The lord, the foremost among the Yadus, resolved to build a city at the spot. Gada's elder brother, best among men and supreme among the Yadavas, made up his mind to follow the instructions for construction and set up buildings that were named.

O king! Having obtained the city of Dvaravati, with his relatives, he was delighted, like the large number of gods on reaching heaven, and decided to reside there. Knowing about Kalayavana and the fear that was caused by Jarasandha, Krishna, the slayer of Keshi, went to the city of Dvaravati.


Footnotes

863 Dvaraka. Dvaravati means a place with gates (dvara). The text suggests that the place already existed, but the Yadavas built a new city there.

(Debroy, Bibek. Harivamsha)

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