Descended from Viṣṇu thus:

BrahmāAtriCandraBudhaPurūravasĀyusNahuṣaYayātiYaduSahasrajitŚatajitHehayaDharmaKunti-(Kuṇi)BhadrasenaDhanakaKṛtavīrya-Kārttavīryārjuna-MadhuVṛṣṇiYudhājitŚiniSatyakaSātyaki (Yuyudhāna)-Yaya-Kuṇi-AnamitraPṛśniCitraratha-Kukūra Vahni– Vilomā- Kapotalomā –TumburuDundubhi-Daridra-Vasu-Nāhuka-Āhuka– Ugrasena- Kaṃsa.


Ugrasena became king.

Ugrasena became king of Mathurāpurī. His Kingship was not a hereditary acquisition. There is a story behind it. In olden days, in the plateau of Kālindī there was a famous place called Madhuvana. The place was called so because it was the abode of an Asura named Madhu. Madhu had a son, Lavaṇa. Śatrughna killed him as he was a very troublesome fellow and a thorn on the side of the Devas. Śatrughna then established a beautiful kingdom there and ruled it. He named it Mathurā. After the death of Śatrughna his two sons ruled Mathurā. Then, when the Solar dynasty came to its end, Mathurā came under the Yādavas. A Yādava king called Śūrasena ruled over the kingdom. Vasudeva, father of Śrī Kṛṣṇa was the son of Śūrasena. After the death of his father Vasudeva took up the profession of herding cows, and therefore Ugrasena, another king of the Yādava dynasty had to become king of Mathurā. (Devī Bhāgavata, 4th Skandha).


Ugrasena and Kaṃsa.

There is a common belief that Kaṃsa was the son of Ugrasena. But, the Bhāgavata relates the following to the effect that Kaṃsa was born to a Gandharva called Dramila of Ugrasena’s wife.

When once Ugrasena’s wife was in her monthly periods, she walked in the forest with her companions. A Gandharva called Dramila saw her then, felt attracted by her and made her pregnant. Angered at this, she cursed Dramila thus: “Since you have procreated a son in me, while I am in my periods this son will be killed by a boy born in my husband’s family.” Kaṃsa was the son born to her in the above manner. Kaṃsa ascended the throne after putting Ugrasena in prison. According to the curse of Ugrasena’s wife, Śrī Kṛṣṇa was born in Ugrasena’s family and he killed Kaṃsa. Nārada had informed Kaṃsa of the Dramila interlude. Kaṃsa told this story secretly to Akrūrawhen the latter was deputed by him to invite Kṛṣṇa to the dhanur yajña. (Bhāgavata, 10th Skandha).


The name Āhuka.

Genealogy states that Ugrasena was the son of Āhuka. But, in certain contexts Ugrasena is called Āhuka also. “Afterwards we made Āhuka-Ugrasena King…” (Mahā-bhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 128, Verse 39).


Ugrasena imprisoned.

Vasudeva, father of Śrī Kṛṣṇa was Ugrasena’s minister. Kaṃsa, when he attained majority imprisoned Ugrasena and became himself king. (Mahā-bhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 22).


Ugrasena regained kingdom.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa killed Kaṃsa with the permission of Ugrasena and made him king again. During the reign of Ugrasena, Jarāsandha and Śālva attacked Mathurāpurī. (See under Kṛṣṇa).


Ugrasena and the iron rod.

While Ugrasena was ruling the Kingdom, the sages Viśvāmitra, Nārada and Kañja once came to Dvārakā. To insult the sages, the Yādavas brought before them, Sāmba dressed as a pregnant woman. The Yādavas told the sages that she was Babhru’s wife, and wanted to be told whether the child she delivered would be male or female. The sages understood their evil mentality, and prophesied that Sāmba would deliver an iron rod fierce enough to annihilate the whole Yādava race. According to the prophecy the next day Sāmba delivered an iron rod. The Yādavas imparted the news to Ugrasena, who got the iron rod reduced to powder and deposited the powder in the sea. He also enforced prohibition of liquor in the country. (To know how the powder of the rod ruined the Yādava dynasty see under Kṛṣṇa). (Mahābhārata Mausala Parva, Chapter 1).


After death.

After his death, Ugrasena joined the Viśvadevatās. Bhūriśravas, Śala, Bhūri, Kaṃsa-Ugrasena, Vasudeva, Uttara with his brother Śaṅkhathese kings (after death) joined the company of Viśvadevatās. (Mahābhārata Svargārohaṇa Parva, Chapter 5, Verses 16, 17).




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