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In the Narayaneeyam, 77th Dashakam, there is the story of Lord Krsna blessing Sairandhri and Akrura. It follows the Bhagavatam until the 3rd sloka. Then the fourth sloka says this:

O Lord! Subsequently Thou on some nights delighted the doe eyed one in secret. Thou gave her a son who came to be well known as Upashloka. He learnt the knowledge in Satvata Tantra from Narada and shone as an exponent thereof.

So what is this new story of Krsna's son from Sairandhri, and that too before he married Rukmini?! And what else did Upashloka do?

P.S. I don't consider this story as imagination, since Narayana Bhattatiri composed it in front of Guruvayurappan, and therefore, if it was wrong, Guruvayurappan would have shook his head to deny the story.

  • This verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam says that Krishna granted her boon for him to spend some nights with her: vedabase.com/en/sb/10/48/10 Now Prabhupada and the other Gaudiya Vaishnava Acharyas interpret it as saying that he merely promised to fulfill her desire, rather than actually granting her boon, but I think the plain meaning of the verse is pretty clear. So I think it's entirely possible that Krishna had a son with this woman. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 19 '15 at 16:29
  • Are you suggesting that Vyasa included innuendos in Bhagavatam? Anyway, that verse doesn't say anything about the son. – Surya Nov 19 '15 at 16:43
  • I'm not sure what you mean by innuendos, but I think the text makes it pretty clear that he did spend a few nights with her. By the way, this Puranic Encyclopedia says that book 10 of Srimad Bhagavatam says that Upashloka became a proponent of Samkhya Yoga, but I'm not sure where it says that: nitaaiveda.com/All_Scriptures_By_Acharyas/Puranas/… – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 19 '15 at 16:49
  • You know this question cam singe handedly tarnish Krsna's reputation.... Rukmini will be aghast when she reads this. Or maybe she has already become aghast. – Surya Nov 19 '15 at 16:56
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    @Surya I just found a reference to Upashloka in the Dashavidhahetunirupana, a work by the Vaikhanasa Acharya Srinivasa Dikshitar: gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de/gretil/1_sanskr/4_rellit/vaisn/… He gives a supposed quote from book 10 of the Srimad Bhagavatam: श्रीभागवते दशमस्कन्धे: "त्रिवक्रायाम् उपश्लोकः पुत्रः कृष्णम् अनुव्रतः / शिष्यस् साक्षान् नारदस्य ददौ चित्तम् अखण्डितम् // तेनोक्तं सात्त्वतं तन्त्रं यत् ज्ञात्वा मोक्षभाग् भवेत् / यत्र स्त्रीशूद्रदासानां संस्कारो वैष्णवः स्मृतः //" इति Can you tell me what it means? – Keshav Srinivasan Aug 16 '16 at 3:29
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10th canto of Bhagavatham Kilippattu by Tunchatt Ezhuttachchan (Classical Retelling of Bhagavata Purana in Malayalam) has the following four lines on Upashloka :

Kondalnervarnnan tanikkakkalam sairandhriyi- luntayanupashlokanennoru charupuman

(At that time Kondalnervarnnan (Krishna) had a handsome son named upashloka from sairandhri (Kubja))

samkhyayillata shastram grahikkamulamavan samkhyayogacharyanay vannitennarinjalum

(Since he had mastered many shastras he became known as master of samkhyayoga)

Tunchatt Ezhuttachchan and Melputhur Narayana Bhattatiri are known to be contemporaries

Narayaneeyam is known to be composed in ME 762(~AD 1587)

Krishnagiti (Performance text of Krishnattam in Sanskrit ) composed by Manaveda (Zamorin) in ME 829 (AD 1654) also mentions that Krishna had a son upashloka from Kubja

Kubjamabjayatakshim sarasamupasarannuddhavenapi sardham datvopashlokasanjnam... ( shloka 7, svayamvaram, Krishnagiti)

Later the poet Kunchan Nambiar refers to Upashloka in the eighth canto of his kavya Shrikrishnacharitam Manipravalam :

sairandhri tan griham tannil svairam chennu janardhanan marakridamahanandamarmbhichchan nishantare

(Krishna went to the house of Sairandhri leisurely in the night and enjoyed with her)

putranejjanayamasa tatra sa kamalekshana avannuperupashlokanennu lokeshu vishrutam

(Krishna had a son with her. In the world he is famous with the name upashloka)

So we have Narayana Bhattatiri , Ezhuttachchan, Manaveda and Kunchan Nambiar mentioning upashloka as the son of Krishna and Kubja .

It will be interesting to check the Tamil, Kannada and Telugu Retellings of Bhagavata Purana about Upashloka.

Purushothaman

  • All this is in Malayalam which means within Kerala. I was wondering whether there are any Purana references. But your answer was helpful. – Surya Dec 6 '15 at 15:41
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    In Bhagavatham Kilippattu. Ezhuttachchan follows the version of Bhagavata Purana in Sanskrit available in Kerala at that time (in 16th century). This version is not available in print now. The current version of Bhagavata Purana available in print now is the Northern version inSankrit – Purushothaman Dec 7 '15 at 15:09
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In Bhagavatham Kilippattu, Ezhuttachchan follows the version of Bhagavata Purana in Sanskrit available in Kerala at that time (in 16th century).

This version is not available in print

The Bhagavata Purana in Sanskrit available in print is the Northern version, in which some episodes are missing (compared to Ezhuttachchan's text )

It is likely that the manuscript of Southern version of Sanskrit Bhagavata Purana is available in some manuscript library such as GOML, chennai or Sarasvati Mahal, Tanjaore or Manuscript Library at Trivandrum ( The case is same with Mahabharata ) .

While the texts by Ezhuttachchan and Kunchan Nambiar are in Malayalam, Narayaneeyam and Krishnagiti are Sanskrit texts - not Malayalam.

It is likely that all these great scholars are faithfully following almost the same original source in sanskrit. It appears unlikely that all of them will add something of their own imagination . It is to be noted that in spite of being an abridged version Dashama skanda , Narayana Bhattatiri mentioned upashloka learning satvata tantra from Narada in Narayaneeyam

Another way to establish the existence of a distinct southern recension of Bhagavata Purana will be to check the retellings of Bhagavata in Tamil, Kannada and Telugu for upashloka

In this context , bala lila of krishna at Ambati is another example.

While the printed Sanskrit Bhagavata Purana gives only a few shlokas on bala lila, Cherushsheri(Krishna Gatha), Ezhuttachchan, Manaveda (Krishnagiti- sanskrit) and Kunchan Nambiar describe many amusing episodes in detail. These episodes are found in the Southern Texts of Harivamsha (printed as Appendix II by Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute , Pune)

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    That is a valid point. And I agree that they could not have made it up - especially Narayana Bhattatiri, because each verse had Guruvayurappan's approval – Surya Dec 7 '15 at 16:05

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