- From The Prison to Nanadgokula
- The Darling Child Of Yashoda
- The Govardhana Hill
- The Slaying Of Kamsa
- At The Guru’s Feet
- To Dwaraka
- The Heroic Krishna
- The Saviour of the Pandavas
- The Ambassador Of the Pandavas
- Paving The Way For The War
- ‘Forget Not Your Duty, Arjuna’
- Krishna’s Will
- End of Krishnavathara
- Yogeshwara Krishna
The matchless hero who held the fate of the emperors in the palm of his hand but himself never desired a throne. The great hero who was born in a prison and died in solitude in a forest.
He gave the world the Bhagavad-Gita. He is the architect of Dharma who lives forever in the hearts of the people of India.
Shri Krishna Jayanthi, the birthday of Lord Krishna is a great festive occasion, a day of rejoicing and is celebrated in every home from the Himalayas to Kanyakumari.
From The Prison to Nanadgokula
Mathura was a town in a region of India now known as Uttar Pradesh. Ugrasena was the king. Kamsa was a wicked, hard-hearted man. Kamsa was arrogant and boasted of his strength. He was an evil son who sent his father to prison and became a king.
Devaki, the sister of Kamsa, married Vasudeva.
On the day of the marriage, the new couple went out in grand procession. With great enthusiasm Kamsa was himself driving the chariot.
All of a sudden Kamsa heard a voice from the skies:
“You fool! You are driving the chariot of your sister and brother-in-law, but you do not know that the eighth son of this very woman will kill you”.
Kamsa was shocked. He was also furious.
Then he exclaimed, “If my sister lives, her son will be my death. Well, I shall kill Devaki herself!” and drew his sword. Vasudeva begged him not to slay a woman. Kamsa then put them both behind prison bars. Thereafter, he killed every child born to Devaki.
The eighth child was Krishna. He was born on Shravan Bahula Ashtami (the eighth day of the second half of the month of Shravan). He was dark as cloud, but his face had matchless radiance. Vasudeva felt he should save at least this child.
That night as the guards were in deep slumber, Vasudeva left with the child. It was raining heavily. Vasudeva had to cross the river Yamuna.
But he walked on with his precious burden. He reached distant Gokula and left the child in the house of Nanda, a cowherd. Nada’s wife, Yashoda, had just then given birth to a daughter.
Vasudeva hastened back to the prison with Yashoda’s child.
When the guards woke up, they heard the baby crying. They immediately raced to Kamsa and reported to him the birth of a child. “I shall slay the child,” said Kamsa, and rushed to the prison. But the child slipped from his hands and sprang to the sky. It said to Kamsa “Wretch! The child who is destined to kill you is growing up in Gokula,” and disappeared. Kamsa was stunned.
And then he decided that the child in Gokula should die. But how was he to kill it? He began to plan.
Yashoda, Nanda’s wife was supremely happy to see her beautiful son. The bewitching child’s smile made her forget the world. The stories about Krishna’s childhood are very interesting.
One day a well-dressed, beautiful woman came to Gokula. She was all smiling; she began to feed the child at her breast. This woman was Poothani, a wicked woman sent by Kamsa to kill Krishna. Her milk was poisonous. but Krishna smilingly sucked the milk from her breast and killed her by sucking out her life.
Kamsa sent two more rakshasas Trinavartha and Shakatasura. Krishna killed them, too.
It is said several such incidents foretold the future greatness of Krishna.
Kamsa was powerful and wicked. His persecution trouble Nanda and he was filled with fear. The Gopa, the cowherd decided to leave Gokula. They migrated to Brindavan. Brindavan soon developed into a township. Krishna and his friends were delighted.
The woods, the banks of the Yamuna, the valleys and the fields echoed and re-echoed with their loud shouts and gay laughter. Vasudeva had another wife Rohini by name; she was living in Gokula. She had a son, Balarama, who was older than Krishna. Their mischief and their laughter filled all Brindavan.
One day the cowherd boys drank the water of a lake. At once they fell dead. This was because of a huge serpent in the lake, which had poisoned the water. Krishna decided to put an end to this danger. The huge serpent tried to coil itself around him, but Krishna caught hold of its tail and stepped on its hood.
The serpent struggled and tried to bite him: but Krishna pressed down its hood harder and the serpent was helpless. Krishna then let it go and the serpent left the lake. Everyone rejoiced at the departure of the serpent.
The cowherd boys were a big crowd. Krishna was their leader. They played and sang, they danced and swam, as he bade them. They played gaily in the woods and swam in every lake.
The Darling Child Of Yashoda
So Krishna won the love of everyone and proved a born leader. But to Yashoda, he was her darling little child. Some times when he was too naughty the Gopies complained to Yashoda, and she punished him, too, before his mother he looked like an innocent little child.
There is a very interesting story about the boy Krishna. One day Balarama rushed to Yashoda: he said:
“Mother! Krishna is eating mud. His body is all covered with mud and his mouth is full of it.”
Just then the lovely child came up. His face and body were covered with mud. Yashoda began to question the boy, “You naughty fellow! Haven’t you had enough butter at home? Do you eat mud?”
With a wary face Krishna lisped:
“Oh no, mother! Brother is uttering a lie. I have not touched mud at all.”
Yashoda said angrily, “Enough! Open your mouth.” Krishna opened his mouth.
Yashoda looked. She was startled and could only exclaim ‘Ah!’ She did not see mud in Krishna’s mouth. But she saw all the world! As she looked she was dazed. She was terrified and folded her hands and closed her eyes.
When she opened her eyes she saw the laughing little child before her. She forgot all she had seen. She, too, laughed and swept the child into her arms. And Krishna laughed as if he knew nothing.
The Govardhana Hill
As Krishna grew in age, people’s respect for him also grew. Whenever a decision had to be taken, even elderly people would say, ‘Let us consult Krishna!’
Once in the rainy season, the Gopalas were making preparations to worship God Indra. To them, Indra was the God of rains. Krishna, however, did not like this idea. He felt it was the Govardhana Hill which caused the rains, and he suggested that they should worship the hill. All the others agreed.
Indra was angry that he was not worshipped.
He decided to punish the Gopalas. The very sky seemed to open and the rains came down in torrents.
People were terrified. Krishna then lifted the Govardhana Hill, like an umbrella over the people and the cattle. Indra was humbled and stopped the rains.
Several such incidents bring out the greatness of Krishna. He became the light and the joy of Brindavan. When he played on his flute, men, women and children, and the very cattle were thrilled and forgot the world.
The Slaying Of Kamsa
Here in ‘Mathura, Kamsa was beginning to feel more and more alarmed. Keshi, another rakshasa whom he sent, was also killed. Kamsa threw Vasudeva and Devaki into the prison and planned to invite Krishna to Mathura and kill him there.
He, therefore, sent his cousin Akrura to Brindavan to bring Krishna. Akrura was a great devotee of Krishna. He told Krishna of Kamsa’s evil intentions. Krishna rejoiced. He said, “Let us all go to Mathura.” With him went Akrura, Balarama, Nanda, and some other Gopalakas.
The news of the visit of Krishna spread in Mathura. So everywhere there was curiosity, excitement, and joy. As Krishna and Balarama were approaching the palace a big elephant of the name Kuvalayapida rushed towards Krishna.
Kamsa had deliberately stationed the elephant there to kill Krishna. Krishna cut off the trunk.
The huge animal fell and died.
As the brothers approached Kamsa’s court, two wrestlers, Mushtika and Chanura by name, stepped forward. They were famous all over the country for their wrestling. They were very strong. The spectators were filled with pity and murmured,
“Poor boys! What can they do against these rocklike? Wrestlers!”
Krishna took on Chanura and Balarama took on Mushtika. And the two wrestlers were killed.
When he saw his two formidable wrestlers killed by the boys, Kamsa was bewildered and filled with fear. Krishna pounced on Kamsa, caught hold of his hair and pushed him to the ground.
Kamsa tried to get up to save himself. He tried to fight. But Krishna killed him. The people of Mathura sighed in relief. They celebrated Krishna’s victory with great joy because Kamsa had been a tyrant. Krishna did not ascend the throne but crowned Ugrasena, his grandfather.
At The Guru’s Feet
Sandipani was a great and wise sage. Krishna went to him for education. Like the other disciples, he also worked in his teacher’s house and learned in a Spirit of humility. Sandipani was pleased with his earnestness, his modesty, and his intelligence. Krishna soon mastered law, military science, political science, and other arts and sciences.
When his education was complete he said to his teacher, “Sir, what shall I give you as Gurudakshina?” (Gurudakshina is the Pupil’s offering to his teacher to express his gratitude.) Sandipani’s wife said, “We lost our son in the holy Prabhasa. Bring him back to us.”
The task seemed impossible, but Krishna did not hesitate. There was a rakshasa by name Panchajanya; he had carried away Sandipani’s son while he was bathing in the sea near holy Prabhasa. Krishna defeated Panchajanya and returned with the Guru’s son.
He also brought the conch ‘Panchajanya’. Krishna then returned to Mathura.
Kuchela was the classmate of Krishna and Balarama in the ashram of Sandipani Muni. They had been close friends. After his return, Kuchela had to live in utter poverty. His wife and children had to starve.
One day Kuchela’s wife said to him, “Is not Lord Krishna your classmate? Go to him and seek help.”
Kuchela agreed. But how could he go empty-handed to see his old friend? There was nothing in his house except for a handful of beaten rice.
Kuchela left for Mathura with this gift.
Kuchela was nervous. Krishna had become a very great and important person. Kings came to him for help and were eager to please him.
Would he talk to Kuchela?
As soon as Krishna saw Kuchela, he ran forward to receive him. He embraced him and took him into the palace and treated him with great affection.
Kuchela was hesitant to offer a handful of beaten rice. But Krishna grabbed it, ate it and offered it to others, and he praised its taste.
Kuchela spent four days happily in the palace.
And he forgot to ask Krishna to relieve his poverty.
By the time he reached home, Krishna had sent gold and rich clothes and money to his house. And a splendid mansion was built for Kuchela.
Jarasandha, the powerful King of Magadha, was the father-in-law of Kamsa. He had a powerful army. He was angry with Krishna for killing Kamsa and was roused to fury by the distress of his daughters. He was determined to kill Krishna.
He marched with a big army to Mathura. Krishna mobilized the Yadavas youths. Jarasandha’s army camped outside the fort. Krishna attacked the enemy’s forces like lightning. The Magadha soldiers fled. Jarasandha was filled with shame.
He invaded Mathura with a much bigger force.
Several kings also joined him.
Krishna’s army met the enemy halfway and attacked even before Jarasandha could reach Mathura. The Magadha forces were not prepared for this assault. In the confusion, their elephants crushed them. But again and again, Jarasandha attacked Mathura and did so seventeen times.
But how long could this kind of war go on?
Krishna observed that the strength of the Yadavas was diminishing. It is not enough to fight heroically on the battlefield. When one is at a disadvantage one should retreat from the battlefield and should strike again at the right moment and destroy the enemies.
When the Magadha forces attacked for the seventeenth time Krishna led all his people to Dwaraka, by a secret route. Why did Krishna go to Dwaraka? It was a city he had built to protect the Yadavas from Jarasandha.
Dwaraka was surrounded by the sea. And it was an impregnable fortress.
The Heroic Krishna
Rukmini (an avatar of Lakshmi) was the daughter of King Bhishmaka of Vidarbha. She was as beautiful as she was good. She had fallen in love with Krishna.
She had the blessings of her father also. But her elder brother Rukmi would not listen to her. He argued that Krishna was the son of a cowherd and belonged to a low caste. He decided that she should marry a king, Shishupala by name. Rukmini wept in misery and sent word to Krishna.
Krishna came to Vidarbha, put Rukmini in his chariot and made off for Dwaraka. Rukmi and his army set out in fierce pursuit of Krishna. He insulted Krishna. But he and his army could not face Krishna’s arrows. Krishna felled Rukmi and went to Dwaraka. And there Sri Krishna and Rukmini were happily married.
We all love Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, don’t we? We celebrate it with great joy. The festival of Narakachaturdashi (also read ore about Bali and Bali Padyami here) marks the beginning of the celebrations of Deepavali.
Narakasura was the demon King of Pragjyotishapura. He was harassing all good and pious people. Even the gods suffered at his hands.
Krishna went to Pragjyotishapura. He destroyed the formidable fortifications and entered the city. A huge army opposed him. Krishna cut off the head of Narakasura with his ‘Chakra’ (or the wheel) just as dawn was breaking. So, that day came to be known as Naraka Chaturdashi. All the land rejoiced. And Krishna set free all the princesses whom Narakasura had thrown into prison.
The Saviour of the Pandavas
Draupadi was the daughter of King Drupada.
Preparations were being made for her marriage.
The bridegroom was to be chosen in a ‘Swayamvara’. There was a contest. The man who could shoot an arrow to hit the eye of a fish-like target suspended high above would win her. Arjuna, the third among the five Pandava brothers, succeeded.
It was at the Swayamvara that Krishna became his friend and the friend of the Pandavas. Arjuna was a matchless warrior. Krishna thought that he could destroy all the evil men in the world through Arjuna.
Later Subhadra, Krishna’s sister, married Arjuna. So Arjuna and Krishna came closer. The Pandavas grew in strength they started preparing for the Rajasuya Sacrifice. The Pandava army marched forth. Arjuna was in command, with him was Krishna.
Bhima, Arjuna, and Krishna arrived in Magadha.
There was a grim duel between Bhima and Jarasandha. Although Bhima had the upper hand Jarasandha could not be killed. Bhima was getting tired. So Krishna made a sign. Bhima understood him; he took Jarasandha by the legs and tore him into two and flung the pieces in opposite directions.
Shishupala, too, bore a grudge against Krishna.
At the time of the Rajasuya Sacrifice, Dharma raja offered the first honors to Krishna. Shishupala resented this. He abused Krishna using filthy language. Krishna hurled his ‘Chakra’ at Shishupala and cut off his head.
Duryodhana was the son of Dhritarashtra, the uncle of the Pandavas. The successes and the popularity of the Pandavas made Duryodhana jealous. He invited Dharma raja (a.k.a Yudishtira) to a game of dice. Dharma raja staked and lost everything. He staked and lost Draupadi; too. Duryodhana was intoxicated with success and behaved like a mad man. He summoned Draupadi to the royal court.
In the open assembly, Dusshasana, Duryodhana’s brothers, attempted to strip her naked. No one came to her rescue. In great anguish, Draupadi cried out to Krishna for help. Krishna blessed her, and the sari she was wearing became endless.
The honor of Draupadi was saved. She took an oath that she would tie her hair only after Dusshasana was killed.
The Pandavas had to spend twelve years in exile in the forests and then spend a year after that in disguise. This was the penalty for defeat, according to the conditions of the match. They had to face innumerable difficulties. But Krishna always came to their rescue.
Once Durvasa, a short-tempered sage, came to the Pandavas with hundreds of his disciples. They were all to be Dharmaraja’s guests. They went for a bath and were to return in a short time. The Pandavas were nervous, for there was no food to serve.
Draupadi prayed to Krishna. He appeared at once. He said, “Draupadi, I am hungry, give me food.” Draupadi both laughed and wept. Krishna asked her to bring the vessel which she used to cook food.
He ate the food sticking to one side of the vessel. He said he was satisfied. That very moment Durvasa and his disciples suddenly felt as if they had eaten sumptuously. Durvasa realized that Krishna had saved the Pandavas. After twelve years in the forest, the Pandavas had to spend a year in disguise, without being recognized by anyone. They spent this period in the court of Virata.
So the Pandavas had spent thirteen years in exile, according to the conditions of the game of dice. They justly demanded that Duryodhana should give them back their kingdom.
But Duryodhana was greedy, and also jealous.
He declared that, if the Pandavas wanted their kingdom, they could fight for it.
The Ambassador Of the Pandavas
Dharmaraja did not wish to fight for the kingdom. So he said to Krishna,
“We must avert a war. So you must negotiate for us. If they are not willing to give half the kingdom, let them at least give five villages.”
Draupadi was unhappy; if there was no war, how could Duryodhana and his followers be punished for humiliating her? How could she fulfill her vow?
The entrails of Dusshasana were to be dug out, Duryodhana’s thigh had to be broken, and Karna had to die. She said to Krishna, “Decide in favor of a war. Krishna replied, “Dear. Sister, do not weep. Even though I go as a mediator I shall decide only in favor of a war.
I can never forget your untied hair. All the wicked and impious people in the world should die together. A kingdom based on Dharma has to be established. For this, war is inevitable.” Before calling on Duryodhana, Krishna first went to Vidura’s house.
Vidura was a member of Duryodhana’s court.
His mother had been one of the servants of a former queen. But Vidura was a venerable sage.
He lived a pure and righteous life. So he was dear to Krishna. Vidura was overjoyed when Krishna went to his house. Krishna received his hospitality and then went to Duryodhana’s court.
Paving The Way For The War
There were great and wise and brave men like Bheeshma and Drona, in Duryodhana’s court.
But everyone respected Krishna. In a dignified way and measured words he explained why he had come to Hasthinavathi.
“The Pandavas follow Truth. They have fulfilled their promise by spending twelve years in exile and one year in disguise. It is, therefore, right that Duryodhana should return their kingdom and live with them in peace and friendship.”
Sages like Parashurama, Kanva, and Narada advised Duryodhana to accept the offer of the Pandavas. Dhritarashtra, Duryodhana’s father, also said, “Listen to the advice of Krishna; do not ruin by insisting on fighting.” Duryodhana’s grandfather Bheeshma, a man of great wisdom, Drona, Duryodhana’s Guru, all told Duryodhana that he should make peace with his cousins.
“Do not unnecessarily sacrifice the lives of millions of people on the battlefield.” Duryodhana was – obstinate. “Say what you will, I am not – prepared to return the kingdom to the Pandavas. I am not afraid of war. As long as I am alive I will not give the Pandavas, even enough land to drive the point of a needle in.”
An evil thought flashed to Duryodhana, Dusshasana, and Karna. ‘Krishna is the friend of the Pandavas and without him they are nothing. If he is captured and put behind the bars…!
Krishna understood their minds. The Kauravas tried to tie up Krishna; Krishna then assumed his cosmic form. All the gods were seen in his body flames flashed from his face and he was more dazzling than the sun.
Karna was a great friend of Duryodhana. He was a great warrior. It was difficult to decide who was great in the art of archery, Karna or Arjuna; He had unflinching loyalty to Duryodhana.
Krishna knew that Karna would be a danger to the Pandavas on the battlefield.
Karna was in truth the son of Kunthi, the mother of Pandavas. She gave birth to him before she married Panduraja. Karna was brought up by, a childless Fisherman and his wife. Later Duryodhana treated him as a friend and showered honors on him.
Krishna thought if Karna could be attracted to the camp of the Pandavas, Duryodhana would be considerably weakened. Krishna took Karna into his chariot and spoke to him affectionately:
“You are the son of Kunthi, come away with me.
The Pandavas will be very glad to welcome you as their elder brother. You will be the king.” Karna refused. He said, “Duryodhana has complete faith in me. When all people looked down upon me as low-born, only Duryodhana treated me as a man. I cannot betray him.” Krishna said, “If there is a war do not kill the Pandavas. Do not forget they are your brothers.”
“There will be a war. Duryodhana, Dusshasana, I and others are going to die. I know this.
Permit me to take leave of you,”
Krishna admired Karna’s loyalty and embraced him. Krishna’s mission succeeded. He knew that Karna would lose half his strength if he came to know that the Pandavas were his brothers. Kunthi also met Karna. This meeting, too, was planned by Krishna.
Karna promised that he would not kill any of the Pandavas except Arjuna. The stage was set for the war. Both Duryodhana and Arjuna waited on Krishna. Each wanted that Krishna should join him with his Yadavas.
Krishna said, “I am not going to fight. I shall join one side. The entire Yadavas army will join the other side. Now choose.”
“I choose the army”. Said Duryodhana.
“I shall be content with Krishna,” said Arjuna.
And so it came about that the Yadava forces joined Duryodhana.
‘Forget Not Your Duty, Arjuna’
The Pandava and the Kaurava armies faced each other on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
Lakhs of soldiers were there and with them were elephants and horses. Bheeshma, Drona, Ashwatthama, Karna, Dusshasana and such other great warriors were on the side of Duryodhana.
In the other camp were, Drupada, Virata, Abhimanyu, and other mighty warriors. The entire might of Bharata (India) was assembled there and all were ready for a grim blood bath.
Krishna became Arjuna’s charioteer. He held the reins of the fortunes of the Pandavas in his hands, did he not? On the first day of the war, Krishna drove the chariot between the two armies. Arjuna saw his grandfather, his teacher, his friends and relatives in the Kaurava army.
And he thought, ‘Should I kill all these just to gain the kingdom? He sank into his seat. He perspired, His famous bow, the Gandeeva, slipped from his hands. “No, Krishna let us not fight,” he said, “Bheeshma is my grandfather. Drona is my revered Guru. Ashwatthama is my good friend.
How can I kill them? And what do I gain by killing them?”
Krishna said, “Arjuna, such words are not worthy of a hero like you. You must fight.
Those who have joined the forces against justice and righteousness have to perish. The good must be protected. Attachment to friends and relatives should not come in the way of your duty.”
It was then that Krishna preached the Bhagavad-Gita, consisting of eighteen chapters.
“Man must do his duty. Do not think of the fruits, the results. ‘These are mine, those are not mine’, do not have such thoughts. A wise man treats all alike. Anger and desire dull your intelligence. Accept pain and pleasure in the same way.
A man must understand and do what is right. Everyone that is born must die. Justice is more important than human beings. Partha, give up this base faint-heartedness, arise and do your duty.” Thus the teacher of the Geetha guided Arjuna.
Even today the Geetha is a light to all mankind. It has been translated into many languages.
People of man, lands study it and seek to gain peace of mind by following its teaching. Arjuna’s mind grew clear. The zest to fight returned to him. He picked up the Gandeeva.
The fierce epic war began. It went on for eighteen days. The heads of great kings rolled on the battlefield while sometimes the Pandava achieved striking successes, Bheeshma the commander of Duryodhana’s army destroyed some of their forces. How could they overcome this mighty warrior?
On the advice of Krishna, Arjuna posed this very question of Bheeshma. Bheeshma had vowed that he will not fight against Shikhandi.
On the tenth day, Arjuna stood behind Shikhandi and shot arrows and Bheeshma laid down his arms.
Thereafter Drona became the commander-in-chief of the Kaurava army. Krishna plotted to do away with Drona. Krishna knew that Drona loved his son Ashwatthama deeply and if Dharmaraja told Drona that Ashwatthama was dead Drona would lay down his arms and then he could be killed. But Dharmaraja was unwilling to tell a lie. He spoke only the truth and cried aloud,
“Ashwatthama, the elephant, is dead.” Krishna sounded his conch so that Drona could not hear the words of the elephant’. Drona was stunned and put down his arms. He, too, was killed. Was all this fair? Did Krishna use fair methods to get rid of Bheeshma and Drona?
True, Drona and Bheeshma were great men.
They were not evil men. They did not do anything immoral for their gain. But they had joined the forces of the unjust Duryodhana.
Similarly, Karna was also a good man. He had respect for Dharma and Krishna. While Karna was pulling out one of the wheels of his chariot that had struck in the mud, Krishna asked Arjuna to shoot and kill Karna.
Karna cried out to Arjuna, “Fight justly.” Arjuna then began to doubt if Krishna’s advice was just.
Krishna said, “Who is to distinguish between Dharma (justice) and Adharma (injustice)? Not those who have themselves been unjust, not those who have been against the just. Only those who are themselves just and live for the sake of justice can do. So it is right to kill your enemies in this war. Those who are against Dharma and their followers should be wiped out by using all possible means. This is Dharma so said, Krishna.
Accordingly, Karna was killed.
There was yet another incident that threw light on the policy pursued by Krishna on the battlefield. Abhimanyu was the son of Arjuna and Subhadra, the beloved sister of Krishna.
When Arjuna was fighting in a distant part of the battlefield, Abhimanyu was killed. On hearing the news of Abhimanyu’s death, Arjuna took an oath. Jayadratha, a supporter of Duryodhana, was mainly responsible for Abhimanyu’s death.
Arjuna declared, “I shall kill Jayadratha before the sun sets.” But Duryodhana hid Jayadratha, and Arjuna could not kill him. The sun was about to set. Arjuna decided to kill himself. Krishna threw his Chakra at the sun and made it appear as if the sun had set. Jayadratha came to watch the death of Arjuna. Krishna withdrew his Chakra.
The sun had not yet set. Arjuna killed Jayadratha. It was a terrible war. Bheeshma, Drona, Dusshasana, Karna, Abhimanyu, Dhrishtadyumna – many such heroes were killed. Who could keep count of the ordinary soldiers who were killed or blinded or lost their limbs? Streams of blood turned the earth red.
The end of the war was in sight. Of all the mighty warriors of the Kaurava army, Duryodhana alone was alive. He was hiding in a lake. Krishna discovered this and came to the lake with the Pandavas. Bhima cried out, “You coward! Come out.” Duryodhana came out. The two fought with maces.
Bhima could not overcome Duryodhana.
Krishna signaled to Bhima to strike on the right thigh of Duryodhana (Which he had indecently exposed, asking Draupadi to sit on it). Bhima dealt a terrific blow and broke it. Duryodhana fell.
‘The war was over. Dharmaraja ascended the throne. The country was free from the unjust and the wicked rulers.
Krishna spent many years in Dwaraka, with the Yadavas. But gradually the Yadavas grew arrogant and wicked. They began to insult the sages.
They began to think that they were unequaled in strength and that no one could check them.
Once they went to a holy place called Prabhasa. They enjoyed themselves and also drank heavily. They began to quarrel among themselves. They drew out their swords. Krishna watched them and thought that they were going to become a menace to people and that they were inviting their destruction.
True, they were all his relatives, and he had grown up in their midst. Krishna had no attachment which would blind him to the truth. The protection of peace and Dharma was paramount.
He thought that the Yadavas should perish in their internal quarrels. He did not attempt to save them. They fought among themselves and almost all the Yadavas lay dead.
The mission of Krishna’s life had been achieved.
The evil was destroyed and the good protected.
Krishna decided to leave the world. He sent messengers to bring the Pandavas. Sitting under a tree he began deep meditation and soon forgot the rest of the world.
A hunter came that way. He saw Krishna’s foot from a distance and mistook him for a deer. He shot an arrow. The arrow entered Krishna’s foot.
The hunter ran to the spot and saw what had happened. He was shocked. Krishna comforted him and left the world.
Krishna’s teachings from the Bhagavad-Gita.
What he taught he practiced all through his life.
Every incident in his life is a lesson to the world.
Sanjaya, who narrated the story of the Mahabharatha war, said:
“Wherever Krishna, who is Yogeshwara (the Lord of Yoga, that is, vision), and Arjuna, the archer, is present, there surely will be fortune, victory, welfare, and morality.”
Krishna was born in a prison. Immediately after his birth, he was separated from his parents.
And he died in solitude killed by a hunter’s arrow.
As a boy, he killed his uncle Kamsa with his own hands. In extremely old age, when his sons, grandsons, relatives, and friends fought among themselves, he let them perish, and all for the sake of Dharma.
He dethroned many kings and put others in their places. But he did not sit on the throne even for a day. Abhimanyu was his darling nephew, but he did not attempt to save him. As the life of anyone else, Krishna’s life, too, was a mixture of joy and sorrow. And he accepted both unperturbed.
Dharma is more important than anything and anyone. Kings and others in power should live for good people. Krishna wiped out those who ignored this principle and protected Dharma, and the helpless masses lived and died. Sri Krishna – the author of Geetha, and Yogeshwara.