In the 66th chapter of the 10th canto of the sacred Hindu scripture Bhagavata Purana, there is a mention about Paundrak Vasudeva, the infamous imposter of Lord Krishna. Paundrak was the King of the kingdom named Pundra. Paundrak was an ally of Jarasandh, the King of Magadh. Jarasandh was also the father in law of Kamsa. Lord Krishna had killed Kamsa, and thus, Jarasandh considered Lord Krishna as an enemy. Lord Krishna and his brother Balram had defeated Jarasandha seventeen times in war. Therefore, Paundrak also considered Lord Krishna as an enemy.Embed from Getty Images
Paundrak Vasudeva decided to question Lord Krishna’s divinity and announced himself as Lord Vishnu’s true incarnation. Paundrak instructed his Kingdom to stop worshiping Lord Krishna or any other deity.
Paundrak ordered everybody in his kingdom to start worshiping him. Paundrak had gone to extreme heights to prove that he was the true Lord Vishnu incarnate. Paundrak’s courtiers and ministers began spreading rumors about his fake miracles. Paundrak had fixed two false more hands and even painted his body bluish. Paundrak had even gotten the replica of all of Lord Krishna’s weapons. Paundrak carried around with him the replica of Panchajanya conch shell, Kaumadika Gada or mace, Saranga bow, Kaustubh gem, and Nandaka, which were famed Lord Krishna’s weapons. Paundrak had even got a fake Hanuman following him around to make his look more convincing. Paundrak was so convinced about his identity that he started accusing Lord Krishna of stealing the Sudarshan Chakra. As the only weapon that could not be replicated was the mighty Sudarshan chakra. Sudarshan chakra was the weapon only used by Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna. Paundrak even announced that he would kill Lord Krishna and prove that he was the true Vasudev, i.e., Lord Vishnu. Paundrak sent his messenger to Dwaraka and threatened Lord Krishna to return the Sudarshan Chakra or face his wrath in a battle.
Lord Krishna could not stop his laughter after the messenger had finished reading the message to Dwaraka’s royal court. Lord Krishna informed the messenger that he would meet Paundrak on the battlefield. Lord Krishna and the army of Dwaraka reached Kashi. Paundrak was staying in Kashi with his close associate Kashiraj, the King of Kashi. Upon hearing Lord Krishna and his army’s arrival, Paundrak gathered his army and reached the battlefield. Kashiraj also had to support his friend Paundrak and fight the war from Paundrak’s side.
Upon Paundrak’s arrival, Lord Krishna and Balram burst out laughing, looking at Paundrak’s attire. Outraged by his behavior, Paundrak addressed Dwaraka’s army, stating that Lord Krishna was just pretending to be a Lord Vishnu incarnate. Paundrak called Lord Krishna a mere cowherd and butter thief. Paundrak then told Dwaraka’s army that they were committing a mistake and ordered them to fight the war from his side. Paundrak started hauling abuses at Lord Krishna and started claiming the ownership of the Sudarshan Chakra.Embed from Getty Images
A fierce battle broke out between the two armies, and the military of Dwaraka wiped out the enemy side. Balram also killed Kashiraj in the struggle. Paundrak was left all alone on the battlefield.Lord Krishna then walked up to Paundrak and said, “Paundrak! since you wanted to own the Sudarshan chakra, I give the chakra to you.” Lord Krishna sent the Sudarshan chakra towards Paundrak. Looking at the Sudarshan chakra approaching him, Paundrak extended his hand and pointed his index finger upwards. The Sudarshan chakra landed on Paundrak’s index finger. The Sudarshan chakra then began to grow in size, eventually cutting Paundrak’s head.
Upon learning about Kashiraj’s death, his son Sudakshina swore to avenge his father’s death. Sudakhina performed a Tantrik Yagya, and a fearsome demon rose from the fire of the altar pit. The demon marched towards Dwarka, burning everything on his way. The monster massacred many innocent humans. When this news reached Lord Krishna, he dispatched the Sudarshan chakra towards the demon. Afraid of the Sudarshan chakra, the demon retreated and raced towards Kashi to kill Sudakshina. The Sudarshan chakra assumed the form of a burning sun and burned the entire city to the ground, killing Sudakshina and the demon. The Sudarshan chakra then returned to Dwaraka. Such was the story of Paundrak, an imposter of Lord Krishna.