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Did Krishna Follow Dharma? Doubts and Resolutions

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They all kept mum. All of this gives us an indication of the depths to which the society had degraded under Duryodhana’s rule. Instead. at many places Krishna advises Arjuna and his brothers to kill their enemies unethically. very noble and were also fully aware of the heinous crimes of Duryodhana. How are we to view these actions? Answer: This is an appropriate question. during His avatar on earth. but also ill-treated them in the most ignoble ways. So they even fought for him in the war. They had the capacity to check him also but they did not. He chose to dissuade Arjuna and advised him to go to war. and the answer begins with an analysis of the circumstances which led to the Mahabharata war. All the major warriors in the opposite army. In the basest of actions.. Not only that.July 2013 While undoubtedly Krishna is the supreme God. be it Bhishma. Gratitude to the one who feeds us is. the wife of the Pandavas. Indeed people like Bhishma and Drona in the assembly were no doubt. The reason for their inaction was that they were living off his food (as he was their king).Did Krishna Follow Dharma? Doubts and Resolutions Article of the Month . Drona. it was no surprise that things were . If there were misconceptions about Dharma even in great people like Bhishma etc. nevertheless many of His actions. There were many veterans sitting in the assembly while the above ignominy was taking place. in his huge assembly. But it does not mean that he should be supported even in his Adharma. of course. The most common doubt regarding Lord Krishna is framed as follows: Doubt: There are serious reservations about Lord Krishna’s actions in the Mahabharata war. Before even the war had begun Arjuna expressed the noble sentiment of disgust for war and desired to become a sannayasi. a great virtue. are difficult to reconcile with the fact that the avowed purpose of His incarnation was the protection of Dharma. he did what is unacceptable to Indian society at any level – tried to disrobe queen Draupadi. were killed by immoral tricks on His advice. Duryodhana had not only usurped the kingdom of the Pandavas (Arjuna and his four brothers). Shri Krishna had at that moment the perfect chance of preventing war and the consequent massive bloodshed. Karna or Duryodhana.

at the best it was muddled. . we should never commit the blunder of finding faults in either Rama or Krishna or the scriptures in general. Bhagavan Krishna educated him about the purpose of life as a whole and then prompted him to fulfil it by waging the war. Karna and Duryodhana were superior in valour to Arjuna and Bhima respectively. if the two happen to be in conflict. Therefore. Similarly in war or in life in general. Drona was the teacher of Pandavas. who were only his pupils. there are levels of values and one will have to sacrifice a lower value for the sake of a higher one. of the Pandavas and the Kauravas (family to which Duryodhana belonged). it is absurdly wrong for anyone to adopt an attitude of negligence or a fear complex. the mental state of Arjuna just before the war cannot at all be described as noble. The policeman on his trail breaks all traffic rules while chasing him. This is exactly what Shri Krishna has done. But now? Only a simpleton would say that he has to be booked for violating the traffic rules. It is very difficult for common people like us to understand the subtleties and nuances of Dharma.much worse with others. ethics. This is Adharma at its climax – a situation unacceptable to Lord Krishna. Therefore. it was to root out Adharma even if it necessitated a fullscale war. So. Consider an example: A criminal is speeding away in a car after committing heinous crimes. Given such a situation in Duryodhana’s rule. So. Rama and Krishna were born for the specific purpose of educating us about it. becomes secondary in comparison to what is to be achieved. So how were they to be faced by the Pandavas? It was the fight of Dharma against Adharma. the Kauravas’ army was one and half times bigger. The mighty Bhishma had the boon of choosing his own time of death. In fact.though important by itself. Next is the question of the relative military merits of the forces of Dharma and Adharma – i. and in the context before him. The latter’s army was very superior to that of the Pandavas – both quantitatively and qualitatively. Normally it his duty to book one who violates traffic rules. more so for a Kshatriya who himself is a victim like Arjuna.e. Let us now return to Arjuna on the battlefield. . His Dharma is towards the greater good.

To which Shukadeva Ji replied: ‘Tejiyasam Na Doshaya – No fault in this for Tejiyans’. Notice that nobody will be washing clothes or doing cooking etc in the dead of night. Some stopped cooking. This is exactly what the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad says. Then He said: ‘Is it not wrong for noble ladies like you to meet anyone othet than your husbands at this odd hour?’ They cried and said: ‘Krishna! We have come with great difficulty to join you here. some stopped eating. Krishna asked: ‘What brings you here? What help do you need?’ They bent their heads without answering Him. the listener Parikshit expressed the same doubt that has been expressed above. and concluded that indeed. The moment the gopis reached the forest. So the clarification hinges on the word Tejiyans and its meaning should be internally consistent with the description of Rasa. Shukadeva’s reply means that there is no fault in the activities of the dreaming gopis. also make it mandatory that conjugal pleasures be restricted to one’s own wife. The gopis who heard it became intensely attracted to it and ran to the forest. some stopped washing clothes. Nobody . This gives us a clue that the Rasa was a dream. You should not reject us like this’. Who is more lustrous than whom? The Upanishads call the wakeful Jiva as Vishwa and the dreaming Jiva as Taijasa.Further Doubt: The same scriptures you swear by. Also the next morning their husbands saw the gopis just sleeping by their side. This is confirmed as follows: Tejiyan means ‘more lustrous’ according to Panini’s grammar. how then did Lord Krishna indulge in amorous sports with the gopis of Vrindavana who were married to someone else? Resolution: This is a gross misconception in vogue about Lord Krishna. Then He condescended to play Rasa with them among bloomed lotuses. Its clarification begins with a brief summary of the Rasa Lila as described in the great scripture Srimad Bhagavatam. At the end of the narration of this episode by sage Shukadeva. the next morning their husbands saw the gopis just sleeping by their sides. etc. This Taijasa is more lustrous (tejiyan) than Vishwa. It was in the dead of night that Krishna set forth the tune from his flute in the forest. For that matter. and ran away. leaving aside anything they were doing then and there instantly. some stopped feeding. Therefore. we all know it ourselves.

Swami Paramananda. where the little boy Krishna can behave like an adult. We hope you have enjoyed reading the article. Any comments you may have will greatly appreciated. Copyright © 2013. 2003. Shridhar Swami’s Commentary on the Bhagvatam: Delhi. 2004. Shrimad Bhagavata Purana (2 Volumes): Gorakhpur. Why? The external world keeps our mind under leash when we are awake.). but the mind becomes totally free during dreams and mixes the experiences of the real world with its imaginations creating the dream. exoticindia. He has to first admonish the gopis for their conduct! This article is based almost entirely on the teachings of Param Pujya Swami Paramanand Bharati Ji. Please send your feedback to feedback@exoticindia.com . be References & Further Reading: • • • Bharati. Saraswati. Shri Pandit Ramtej (ed. Foundations of Dharma: Bangalore. any errors are entirely the author's own. Pande. However.deprecates anyone for the faults committed by him in his dreams. Swami Akhandananda (tr). Nevertheless. This article by Nitin Kumar. and lotuses can bloom in the night.com. 2008.

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