The Samanta-pañcaka pilgrimage site is celebrated because Lord Paraśurāma performed great sacrifices there after killing all the kṣatriyas in the world twenty-one times. When Lord Paraśurāma killed all the kṣatriyas, their accumulated blood flowed like a stream. Lord Paraśurāma dug five big lakes at Samanta-pañcaka and filled them with this blood. Lord Paraśurāma is viṣṇu-tattva. As stated in the Īśopaniṣad, viṣṇu-tattva cannot be contaminated by any sinful activity. Yet although Lord Paraśurāma is fully powerful and uncontaminated, in order to exhibit ideal character He performed great sacrifices at Samanta-pañcaka to atone for His so-called sinful killing of the kṣatriyas. By His example, Lord Paraśurāma established that the killing art, although sometimes necessary, is not good. Lord Paraśurāma considered Himself culpable for the sinful killing of the kṣatriyas; therefore, how much more culpable are we for such abominable unsanctioned acts. Thus, from time immemorial the killing of living entities is prohibited all over the world.
Taking advantage of the occasion of the solar eclipse, all important persons from all parts of Bhārata-varṣa visited the holy place of pilgrimage. Some of the important personalities are mentioned as follows. Among the elderly persons were Akrūra, Vasudeva and Ugrasena, and among the younger generation were Gada, Pradyumna, Sāmba and many other members of the Yadu dynasty who had come there with a view to atone for sinful activities accrued in the course of discharging their respective duties. Because almost all the members of the Yadu dynasty went to Kurukṣetra, some important personalities, like Aniruddha, the son of Pradyumna, and Kṛtavarmā, the commander in chief of the Yadu dynasty, along with Sucandra, Śuka and Sāraṇa, remained in Dvārakā to protect the city.
All the members of the Yadu dynasty were naturally very beautiful, yet on this occasion, when they appeared duly decorated with gold necklaces and flower garlands, dressed in valuable clothing and properly armed with their respective weapons, their natural beauty and personalities were a hundred times enhanced. The members of the Yadu dynasty came to Kurukṣetra in their gorgeously decorated chariots, which resembled the airplanes of the demigods and which were pulled by big horses that moved like the waves of the ocean. Some Yadus rode on sturdy, stalwart elephants that moved like the clouds in the sky. Their wives were carried on beautiful palanquins by beautiful men whose features resembled those of the Vidyādharas. The entire assembly looked as beautiful as an assembly of the demigods of heaven.
After arriving in Kurukṣetra, the members of the Yadu dynasty took their baths ceremoniously, with self-control, as enjoined in the śāstras, and they observed fasting for the whole period of the eclipse in order to nullify the reactions of their sinful activities. Since it is a Vedic custom to give in charity as much as possible during the hours of the eclipse, the members of the Yadu dynasty distributed many hundreds of cows in charity to the brāhmaṇas. All those cows were fully decorated with nice dress and ornaments. The special feature of these cows was that they had golden ankle bells and flower garlands on their necks.
After the eclipse, all the members of the Yadu dynasty again took their baths in the lakes created by Lord Paraśurāma. Then they sumptuously fed the brāhmaṇas with first-class cooked food, all prepared in butter. According to the Vedic system, there are two classes of food. One is called raw food, and the other is called cooked food. “Raw food” does not indicate raw vegetables and raw grains but food boiled in water, whereas cooked food is made in ghee. Capātīs, dhal, rice and ordinary vegetables are called raw foods, as are fruits and salads. But purīs, kachoris, samosās, sweet balls and so on are called cooked foods. All the brāhmaṇas invited on that occasion by the members of the Yadu dynasty were fed sumptuously with cooked food.