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Friday, June 16, 2017

Krishna goes as a Peace Envoy - Maha Bharatha series 35

Krishna asks Yudhishtra not to show any compassion for Duryodhana.  He says: “You have been extremely patient with all the mistreatments heaped upon you and your brothers. You even tolerated Draupadi treated so badly in public. I know that Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva did not destroy the Kauravas only due to their respect for you as their elder brother. People like Duryodhana, whose character is so abominable may easily be destroyed like a rootless tree. However, I will go as an emissary to the Kauravas and try to bring peace”.

At this time Bhima requests Krishna to try hard to obtain peace. Krishna teases him badly by asking how he can talk peace with someone who has humiliated them and their wife. Bhima is hurt and shows his anger. Krishna then says “I did not mean to hurt you. But, I wanted to make sure you are still up to the task. I was testing you”.

Before this, Yudhishtra is recounting all that has passed and says that he does not want to go to war because he does not want to see bloodshed for the sake of land. “In a war only one can win. But the loss of life will be equal on both sides. War begets war. It creates animosity. The loser will seek revenge in some form or another. A Kshatriya cannot live on someone else’s mercy. Therefore, I will be satisfied if the Kauravas cede just five villages. But, they cannot just keep all the land”.

He wonders why Dhuryodhana covets someone else’s property. “When one covets other’s property one loses intelligence, loses virtue and lose all wealth. When one becomes poor it is akin to death, because nothing can be done without wealth. One can retire to the woods, or become someone’s servant. One who is poor from birth does not suffer as much as one who has wealth and then loses it. Such a person gets angry quickly even with friends, loses his senses and does evil acts. Only wisdom can save such a person”.

In Book 5, Section 93 (English translation Section 95), Krishna has gone as a peace envoy and is talking at the assembly of the Kauravas and all their supporters. Krishna specifically addresses Dhrithrashtra: “O King, your family is a noble one. Members of your dynasty have shown joy in the happiness of others, and have tried to alleviate the suffering of everyone. They never injured anyone, were sincere and truthful. How can you let your sons make such a mistake and how can you fall into this mistake?”.

Having said this, he says something special: “Reflect on what I have said and act accordingly”. This is important to me as someone who likes learning and education. Krishna, as the Brahman incarnate can easily say: “I am ordering you. Order your sons to stop fighting”.  In Bhagvad Gita also at the end of His discourse to Arjuna, Krishna uses the same words (Chapter 18- Sloka 63). The same words are repeated by Vasishta to Rama in the book Yoga Vasishta. The point is that even the Lord asks us to think for ourselves and do the right thing, out of conviction and  not out of fear of any punishment or blind faith.

The final sentence in this section is also interesting. At the end of Krishna’s address, Vyasa says that all those assembled (except Duryodhana and his followers) applauded “inside their hearts” but did not say anything in the assembly of Duryodhana!

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