प्रभासं सुमहत्पुण्यं यास्यामोऽद्यैव मा चिरम् ॥ ३५ ॥
yāsyāmo ’dyaiva mā ciram
My dear respected elders, we must not remain any longer in this place if we wish to keep our lives intact. Let us go this very day to the most pious place Prabhāsa. We have no time to delay.
Many demigods, coming to the earth to assist Lord Kṛṣṇa in His pastimes, took birth within the Yadu dynasty and appeared as Lord Kṛṣṇa’s associates. When the Lord had completed His earthly pastimes He wanted to send these demigods back to their previous service in universal administration. Each demigod was to return to his respective planet. The transcendental city of Dvārakā is so auspicious that whoever dies there immediately goes back home, back to Godhead, but because the demigod members of the Yadu dynasty, in many cases, were not yet prepared to go back to Godhead, they had to die outside the city of Dvārakā. Thus Lord Kṛṣṇa, pretending to be an ordinary living being, said, “We are all in danger. Let us all immediately go to Prabhāsa.” In this way, by His yoga-māyā Kṛṣṇa bewildered such demigod members of the Yadu dynasty and led them away to the holy place Prabhāsa.
Since Dvārakā is parama-maṅgala, the most auspicious place, not even an imitation of inauspiciousness can take place there. Actually, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastime of removing the Yadu dynasty is ultimately auspicious, but since it outwardly appeared inauspicious, it could not take place in Dvārakā; therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa led the Yadus away from Dvārakā. After having sent the demigods back to their planets, Lord Kṛṣṇa planned to return to the spiritual world, Vaikuṇṭha, in His original form and remain in the eternal city of Dvārakā.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura has made the following important comments on this verse. Prabhāsa is a famous holy place located near the Veraval railway station, within the region of Junagarah. In Chapter Thirty of the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is written that after hearing the words of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Yādavas went to the mainland from the island city of Dvārakā by means of boats and then traveled to Prabhāsa in chariots. At Prabhāsa-kṣetra they drank a beverage called maireya and became engaged in a mutual quarrel. A great battle ensued, and killing each other with hard stalks of cane, the members of the Yadu dynasty acted out the pastime of their own annihilation.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, manifesting His four-armed form, sat down under a pippala tree, placing His left foot, the heel of which was colored red like the red koka-nada lotus, upon His right thigh. A hunter named Jarā, watching from the shore of the ocean at Prabhāsa, mistook the Lord’s red-colored foot to be the face of a deer and shot his arrow at it.
At the base of that same pippala tree under which Lord Kṛṣṇa had sat there is now a temple. One mile away from the tree, on the seashore, is the Vīra-prabhañjana Maṭha, and it is said that from this point the hunter Jarā fired his arrow.
In the conclusion to his work Mahābhārata-tātparya-nirṇaya, Śrī Madhvācārya-pāda has written the following purport to the mauṣala-līlā. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in order to bewilder the demons and ensure that the word of His own devotees and of the brāhmaṇas be maintained, created a body of material energy into which the arrow was shot. But the Lord’s actual four-armed form was never touched by the arrow of Jarā, who is actually the Lord’s devotee Bhṛgu Ṛṣi. In a previous age Bhṛgu Muni had placed his foot on the chest of Lord Viṣṇu. In order to counteract the offense of improperly placing his foot on the Lord’s chest, Bhṛgu had to take birth as a degraded hunter. But even though a great devotee willingly accepts such a low birth, the Personality of Godhead cannot tolerate seeing His devotee in such a fallen condition. Thus the Personality of Godhead arranged that at the end of Dvāpara-yuga, when the Lord was winding up His manifest pastimes, His devotee Bhṛgu, in the form of the hunter Jarā, would cast the arrow into a material body created by the Lord’s illusory energy. Thus the hunter would become remorseful, gain release from his degraded birth and go back to Vaikuṇṭha-loka.
Therefore, to please His devotee Bhṛgu and to confuse the demons, the Supreme Lord manifested His mauṣala-līlā at Prabhāsa, but it should be understood that this is an illusory pastime. The Personality of Godhead, Lord Kṛṣṇa, from His very appearance on the earth, did not manifest any of the material qualities of ordinary human beings. The Lord did not appear from the womb of His mother. Rather, by His inconceivable power He descended into the maternity room. At the time of His giving up this mortal world, He similarly manifested an illusory situation for the sake of bewildering the demons. To bewilder the nondevotees, the Lord created an illusory body out of His material energy while simultaneously remaining personally in His own sac-cid-ānanda body, and thus He manifested the downfall of an illusory material form. This pretense effectively bewilders foolish demons, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s actual transcendental, eternal body of bliss never experiences death.
Also at Prabhāsa-kṣetra there is the holy place known as Bhṛgu-tīrtha, which was manifested by Lord Paraśurāma. The place at which the two rivers Sarasvatī and Hiraṇyā flow together into the ocean is named Bhṛgu-tīrtha, and there the hunter cast his arrow. There is an elaborate description of Prabhāsa-tīrtha in the Prabhāsa-khaṇḍa of the Skanda Purāṇa. There are also many phala-śrutis given within the Mahābhārata in connection with Prabhāsa-tīrtha. Phala-śrutis are scriptural statements that promise various auspicious results for one who performs a particular pious activity. In the following verses the Lord Himself will explain the particular benefits to be derived from visiting Prabhāsa-kṣetra and performing religious activities there.