Krishna’s Dilemma



I am Krishna and I am going to confess the dilemma I had dealing with emotions of Arjuna.

Arjuna who I believe was an enlightened karma yogi, on the eve of the thirteenth day of the great war took an impulsive, self-defeating vow. Arjuna declared to kill Jayadratha before the sunset in the very next day. The pledge was daunting because Arjuna declared that if he fails to do so he will kill himself by jumping into a fire. That evening the whole Pandava camp was mourning the demise of Abhimanyu, and Arjuna’s pledge added more concerns in the camp. People still question me that how even I being on Pandava’s side could not change the destiny of Abhimanyu.

Earlier on the same day, Jayadratha was successful in brutally killing of Abhimanyu in a well-planned trap. Jayadratha, the brother in law of Kauravas, relying on chakravyuha formed by Dronacharya, along with Kaurava army decided to target all Pandavas except Arjuna because he knew that Arjuna can easily break the chakravyuha. To divert Arjuna from it, Kauravas plot a strategy by making their allies Susharma and Trigata army attacking Arjuna somewhere else to keep him busy. Due to sudden surprise, the other Pandava brothers along with Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna took the challenge and entered into the chakravyuha to break it. Unfortunately, none of them knew how to break all the stages of that trap. Only Abhimanyu knew the war-strategy for all the traps except the last one, the exit strategy. Jayadratha set up a plot to trap Pandava brothers in the initial traps itself. However, Abhimanyu managed to enter till last one, the vyuha, the trap, without knowing how to exit from there. That was what intended by Jayadratha who along with other Kaurava warriors killed Abhimanyu brutally.

When we returned and came to know all about that conspiracy, the emotions of losing his son occupied Arjuna with depression. That was natural, it’s obvious for any normal human being to get into such emotional crisis after losing someone so close. But how could I assume Arjuna to be any other ordinary person? He was the only one who had learned the knowledge of Gita directly from me. Where had he lost such divine knowledge? Had it been an instant mournful depression that does not last long, the situation could be justified. When I counselled him before the war I had clarified many times the importance of being equipoised even in an unfavourable situation. How could he forget his own conviction on his duty as a warrior fighting for a righteous purpose? He was free to choose karma either being a father or being a warrior committed to fighting for righteousness. Yet, his instant and impulsive decision was not aligned with the larger purpose of war, hence it concerned me. Being in human form, I sometimes envy humans sometimes feel pity for them. Humans have the freedom to karma yet they are limited by their own emotions.

I could only sympathise with Arjuna, but both Arjuna and I always knew that war demands loss from both the sides. Abhimanyu was not the first one who was killed from the Pandavas side, there were many who might have created a grief in their respective families in the previous twelve days. In none of the cases the purpose of war debilitated from the perspective of Pandavas. Arjuna’s vow taken in a knee-jerk reaction brought his personal purpose of revenge over the collective purpose of the great war.

Jayadratha on the other side won that day due to his war strategy that was against the niti, as at the time Abhimanyu was killed he was weaponless. Arjuna gifted him another opportunity to win another day; Jayadratha had to just manage to hide till the sunset. A failure for Arjun would drag him to his own self-defeating vow to kill himself. What could have been a better outcome than this in the favour of Kauravas? So, instead of accepting the challenge of Arjuna, Jayadratha chose to hide till sunset. And he was almost successful in that if I would not have intervened.

That was my dilemma, being in the human form with a promise to not take part in the war, could I take one side? But there was a universal purpose as well I was driving through the war. Would it be fair to intervene among freedom of human to think and act? What if someone debilitates from the right path and seeks divine help? I had to intervene and decided to.

I created an illusionary sunset using his power of yoga-maya. Looking at the sunset, Arjuna, bonded by his own vow decided to jump into the fire. During the same time, Jayadratha could not control his excitement and came forward in front of Arjuna to mock him. Arjuna was helpless as his pledge was limited to the sunset which was eventually happened. That was the time, I swung Prarabdha to help Arjuna and removed the temporary illusion of sunset. Arjuna took no time in killing Jayadratha and taking his revenge.

I can justify Arjuna’s emotional trauma that made him forget all the knowledge of Gita only on the grounds of human’s limitations. This happens to many when despite being committed to a long-term path people take the abrupt short-term, self-defeating turns? That’s where the role of Prarabdha which brings back them on righteous track comes. People call it luck, but there is a spiritual science behind it. It’s almost impossible to understand Prarabdha or luck by decoding the permutations and combinations of collective karma done by everyone in both the past and the present. So instead of pondering how Prarabdha works- just remember the promise I made in Gita. “यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत। अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदाऽऽत्मानं सृजाम्यहम्।।”. Whenever the virtue of righteousness is in danger I will come and intervene. That is why despite my promise to not to participate in the war, I helped Arjuna to take his revenge.

#mahabharat #spirituality #arjuna #Krishna
(C) Santosh Srivastava. The article derived based on a concept presented in the book ‘The Gita Way’


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