Jarasandha, the King of Madgadha, was furious with
Krishna for having killed Kamsa, his son-in-law. He had come to know about Kamsa’s death when his daughters-Asti and Prapti- sent a message to him that they had now become widows, thanks to Krishna.
Jarasandha decided to teach
Krishna and the Yadavas a lesson. Since the Yadavas were concentrated in and around , he decided to battle them and destroy the race forever. Mathura
Jarasandha then repeatedly attacked
and each time, he caused massive death and destruction. The seventeen attacks that he led on Mathura had sapped the energy of the Yadavas and stunted the growth of the city. Mathura
The economy of the Yadavas was in shambles and the wars had emptied the treasury. Jarasandha was a powerful enemy with a huge army and the Yadavas barely managed to withstand his attacks with even the likes of
Krishna and Balarama on their side.
Krishna received disturbing news that Jarasandha had forged an alliance with several other kings to forever destroy the Yadava clan.
Jarasandha had entered into an armed alliance with Emperor Damghosha of Chedi, Dantavakra of Karusa, Rukmi of Vidarbha and the brothers Vind and Anuvinda of Avanti. The alliance had only one aim-destroy
and the Yadava clan. Mathura
There was more disturbing news for the Yadavas. The
expressed helplessness in coming to the aid of the Yadavas. Meanwhile, the alliance began its march towards Kingdom of Hastinapur . Thus the Yadavas were left forlon and at the mercy of a huge force. Mathura
The alliance decided to simultaneously attack
from several fronts. Jarasandha then sent a message to the Yadavas stating that they would be spared if they handed the heads of Mathura Krishna and Balarama to him.
The Yadavas refused and readied themselves for war.
Krishna was the only person who repeatedly cautioned his clansmen against the war. He then hit upon the idea of shifting the capital from to Dwaraka. Mathura
Ugrasena and all other courtiers and even the commanders of the Yadava army were against flight. Balarama too was against the move. He wanted to fight against Jarasandha.
Urgasena then pointed out to
Krishna that if he ran away from battle field, he would forever be known as a Ranchod or one who has run away from a battle field.
When Balarama again raised the war cry,
Krishna gently reminded him that war is not the solution for solving all the problems. He said the confederacy of kings against is so great that it would lead to the death of countless people. Mathura
“Why should people suffer because of me and Balarama”, he asked the gathering. He then suggested that the best solution would be leave the city and go to a new place where it would be difficult for Jarasandha to attack them.
He reminded the gathering that Jarasandha had already attacked
seventeen times and he would not rest till he succeeded in his mission of exterminating the Yadava clan. Mathura
It was then that Ugrasena pointed out that if krishna's suggestion to flee
Mathura was accepted, Krishna would forever be labeled a Ranchod-a man who had run away from the battlefield.
The gathering reluctantly accepted the suggestion but Ugrasena wanted to know how a
could be built in such a short span of time. The Magadha Army was already near new city and it would reach the city in a mater of days. “Then, how can a Mathura be built in days”, he asked. new city
Vishwakarma showed the court the plan of Dwarka. The entire gathering was stunned at the beauty of the city.
“How much time do you need to construct it”, asked Ugrasena of Vishwakarma.
The architect replied that the city had already been built but that it was under water. Please give me your permission and I will raise Dwarka from the ocean and place it on land. It will be ready for immediate occupation.
When all the Yadavas unanimously give their consent, the capital was shifted to Dwaraka. When Jarasandha and his army reached
, they were met with an empty city. An enraged Jarasandha put the city to destruction and called Mathura Krishna a coward-Ranchod-a man who had run away for battle.
Moreover, he knew that the time had not yet come for Jarasandha to be killed. He also knew that Jarasandha could only be slain in a wrestling match and that he would meet his death at the hands of Bheema.
Krishna bided his time and several years later, led Bheema and Arjuna to
where Jarasandha wrestled with Bheema for 27 days before being killed. Magadha
However, even today,
Krishna is also known as Ranchod in Gurajat-Ran meaning war and Chod meaning run away. Having run away from battlefield, he was given the name Ranchod.