at the end of the great war


Barbarika was woefully shocked to see the impact war has created. Perhaps he regretted why he wished to participate in such duel between two of the biggest armies of the ancient civilisation. Battlefield becomes the biggest loser in any war and it was evident there. The head of Barbarika with its flesh and cells was still active and witnessing the war nearing its conclusion.

Sage Vyasa was on the rescue operation, saving spirits still intact and ensuring a smooth departure of those who could not hold the body of soldiers died fighting heroically. The majority of soldiers who died would be forgotten. Those who survived would take years to heal. They, from both sides, unconditionally fought for their leaders, for the crown of Hastinapur, ignorant to the gain from victoriousness. Barbarika’s peculiar wish was about to end. He had witnessed enough of the war with his living head, without the body, remained after his own sacrifice. He might be appraising sage’s effort post-war, but would probably regret watching these all.

Before Barbarika’s liberation, sage Vyasa approached him and asked “your special boon granted by Krishna is about to over now. We thank you for keeping your pain intact and being alive in last eighteen days. However, before your salvation, we would like to hear from you about the war, about the hero of the war, about all you witnessed”

“I am grateful that lord Krishna granted me such a wish” Barbarika replied ” however, had I know the damage this war created, I would have wished otherwise” Barbarika took a deep breath, slowly blinking his eyes and continued “In the beginning I was thrilled to be part of this war, I wanted to show my strength and the art I learned in so many years. I never thought of the cause of war, or even the outcome, the gains and the pains. The only thing was there in my mind was the duty of a warrior. However, after witnessing the great war, I am thankful that Krishna had given me an opportunity to sacrifice myself and not being part of this loathful conflict”

Barbarika looked into the eyes of Sage Vyasa, who seemed not surprised by Barbarika’s comments as if he knew the inevitable pains of post-war damages. “Just before the war I saw humans standing on the battlefield, some of them are with purpose, ready to fight for a cause. Some of them were just following their respective leaders ignorant to both cause and gain of winning the war. Some were warriors, well prepared, looked like they are born for this day. Some looked like they know everything, the cause, righteousness and amiss, still taken one side” Barabarika said with a satirical smile and continued.

“Just as the war began I saw an illumination equivalent to thousand suns in the center. I felt the unbearable heat of that energy, and it was difficult to glaze over it. I noticed thousands of arms emerging out of that energy releasing Sudarshan Chakra in all directions. Then I witnessed ‘Kali’ roaming around collecting beheaded heads all over the field”

Barkarika took a pause and concluded “I saw only two persons in the field- Krishna with Sudarshana Chakra and Kali with hunger to decimate everything”

” Now I am ready to leave for salvation” said Barbarika ” But before that can I ask you a question Maharishi?”

Sage Vyasa nodded the permission. Barbarika asked, “Would Pandavas be happy after winning this war?”

Vyasa smiled and replied ” You know the answer my dear invincible Barbarika. You saw Krishna and Kali everywhere, that is the destiny. Pandavas followed Krishna in the war not for happiness. They fought to establish Dharma for righteousness”

Barbarika was now ready to depart from his deteriorating remains of the body, he took a deep breath probably the last one.

Advertisements

Why was Barbarika sacrificed?


056 Mahabharata Warriors at Angkor Wat

Barbarika was one of the heroes of Mahabharata who never got his due in the history of time. The people, who know this character, know that he could have been the best warrior in the great war of Mahabharata. Unfortunately, he did not get the chance to prove this point.

Barbarika, who earned an exceptional skill to destroy the complete army in just one shot of an arrow, once demonstrated the same to Krishna. Krishna asked him to pierce all the leaves of a ‘Peepal’ tree. While Barbarika was chanting the mantra just before releasing the arrow, Krishna took one leaf of the tree and hid it under his foot. Barbarika released the arrow and it did what it meant, after piercing all the leaves it started revolving around Krishna’s feet. The demonstration of this skill surprised everyone who witnessed. Barbarika claimed that he could finish the war in just a few hours. The interesting part of the story was Barbarika’s pledge to fight always from losing side. Krishna knew that this warrior has the capacity to diminish any side, and so the other side will always be the losing one; and if Barbarika changes sides, he would kill everyone on both sides of the war. Krishna foresaw the consequences of using Barbarika in the war and decided that Barbarika should be sacrificed. He asked Barbarika, to whom he considers his guru. He replied that all the skills he earned keeping only lord Krishna in his mind, so he, lord Krishna, is the prime guru. Then Krishna asked for gurudakshina (fee or gift asked by teachers for their teachings). He asked the head of Barbarika in the gurudakshina. Barbarika took no time to cut his head and gave it to Krishna on his own and in return, Krishna granted him a wish to live till the battle of Mahabharata ends and watch the same from a nearby mountain.

Now I have two points to discuss. One, why was Barbarika sacrificed? Was that the only option left to Krishna? Two, if the consequences were different, could Barbarika have proved to be the greatest warrior of time?

Arjuna emerged as the hero of the Great war of Mahabharata. If I my assumptions are right, most of the heroes are made. On the way of their making, lots of Barbarika are sacrificed. The heroes we know need to be judged whether they are an Arjuna, a Barbarika or a Krishna. And if you want to be an Arjuna, you need a Krishna. This conclusion seems a little political and conflicting to the religious belief we hold. So I am leaving this topic open for a debate till my, opposite and concluding argument in next paragraph.

The other side of the argument is the indecisiveness of Barbarika. He made a pledge which could not make him loyal to anyone. If Krishna allowed Barbarika to participate in Great War of Mahabharata, he could finish the war only by killing himself because any side represented by Barbarika were the winning one. In this conclusion, lord Krishna took a call, in the interest of Dharma, and scheduled the destiny of Barbarika a little before. If I argue with religious belief in lord Krishna, there is a message in this story. Whenever there is indecisiveness in your mind, remember you are killed. Our skills and knowledge do not count when we are not on one side of a decision. You can only fight from one side.

Recently, this story is adopted in ‘theory of indecisiveness’ section of my book ‘The Gita Way’ which is due for release in May 2016. To know more about the book please visit.http://www.amazon.in/dp/9380914873

(Source of the image used in the post: 056 Mahabharata Warriors at Angkor Wat Photograph from Angkor Wat in Cambodia taken by Anandajoti, downloaded from Wikimedia Commons)