Shri Krishna dispatched Daruka to Hastinapura to inform Arjuna of the events, so that the Pandava prince could come and take the surviving Yadava women with him. Balarama, grieved at the slaughter of the Yadavas, walked into the forest. When Krishna caught up with him, he saw his brother’s soul leaving its body. A ten-headed serpent issued from Balarama’s mouth and drifted into the seas. Adisesha, the serpent under Lord Vishnu’s feet, had completed his mission on earth and was returning to the region of gods. Krishna decided that his own hour to give up his body had come.
Krishna laid himself down in the forest and entered into meditation. On an earlier occasion, Durvasa had given him the boon that his body would be invulnerable, excepting for his feet. A hunter, Jara by name, mistook him for a deer and shot at him. The arrow pierced Krishna’s foot at the sole and went through his body.
Alarmed at his mistake, the hunter sought Krishna’s pardon. Krishna comforted him and sent him away. The supreme deity returned to his abode in Heaven, to the welcome of all gods and demigods.
Receiving news about the happenings in Prabhasa, Arjuna went to Dwaraka where he met his uncle Vasudeva. The aged father of Krishna was found lying on the ground, deeply afflicted by the loss of his near and dear ones. Soon after Arjuna’s arrival, Vasudeva died, unable to bear the grief over his losses.
Arjuna performed the rites for his uncle. Vasudeva’s four wives, Devaki, Bhadra, Rohini and Madira also ended their lives, overwhelmed by the loss of their husband.
Arjuna gave seven days for the inhabitants of Dwaraka to leave the city. He knew that the Yadava capital would be swallowed by the sea. He told the citizens that the young prince, Vajra, Krishna’s grandson, would be their king. Arjuna then proceeded to Prabhasa to perform the last rites for Krishna, Balarama and the others who had died.
Seven days after his arrival, Arjuna started his journey back to Hastinapura. He proceeded with a huge entourage of women and children, and carried with him all the wealth that he could. Close on his heels, the city of Dwaraka disappeared under the rising waves of the ocean.
On his way home, Arjuna’s party was plundered by robbers. Besides gold and other valuables, the robbers carried away many of the women. Arjuna found himself bereft of the power to ward off the robbers, unable to invoke any of his celestial weapons.
Arjuna took all the surviving Yadavas to Kurukshetra. He then established Vajra as king at Indraprastha. Krishna’s wife, Rukmini, ended her life by entering fire. His other wife, Satyabhama, proceeded to the Himalayas to undertake penance.
From Kurukshetra, Arjuna went to the hermitage of Vyasa. There the sage consoled Arjuna by saying, “There is no need for you to be depressed. The robbers were successful because all your power has been lost since you have accomplished all that was expected of you. Whatever happened to the Kshatriyas and the Yadavas was pre-ordained.”