Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mahabharata/Jaya - Krishna and Khandavaprastha

"Make Khandavprastha your land of action - karmbhoomi". Thus spoke Krishna to Yuddhistira and his brothers who were brooding over the fact that they got a raw deal.

Krishna's story in a nutshell: Krishna and his leela was very famous. Krishna was the son of Kunti's brother Vasudeo, son of Surasena (who had given Kunti in adoption to Kuntibhoja). Kamsa was Krishna's maternal uncle. At the time of Vasudeo's marriage with Devaki, astrologers had predicted that the eighth child born will kill Kamsa. Kamsa was an unjust king who had jailed his own father Ugrasena and forcefully, claimed the throne. Paranoid, Kamsa jailed Vasudeo and his wife and killed every baby of theirs. The seventh child was conceived in Devaki's womb but transferred to Vasudeva's other wife, Rohini, who lived with her brother Nanda who lived in Gokul by goddess Yogamaya. Her eight child is smuggled out of the jail  on the night he was born by Vasudeo who exchanges him with Yashoda's (Nanda's wife) girl child. It is said that Yogamaya had ensured deep sleep in everyone at that time. Kamsa, tries to kill the girl child the next day but the child transforms into a goddess who says his killer child is already born and what is destined will happen.

Krishna and Balaram grew up in Gokul. Kamsa tried many ways to kill the newborn babies but Krishan would always defeat those plans. Krishna was a favourite among the village girls. He would often steal their clothes while they were having bath in the river. He would make them come out naked and then return the clothes to him. Yet, they never found him vulgar. Maybe, they saw that there was no lust but pure love and naughtiness in the eyes of Krishna.

Krishna grows and kills Kamsa and then instills Ugrasena as the king of Mathura. Kamsa's powerful father in law, Jarasandha, attacked Mathura for 17 times. It is said that Kalayavan, the commander of Jarasandh's army who would attack the 18th time, was destined to destroy Mathura. But maybe it was only Krishna's love for violence and political knowledge that he advised the Yadava clan to move to Dwaraka, island in the west coast of India. This proves that Krishna realizes the limitations of his army and he would rather move and live in peace somewhere else rather than live in constant war conditions in Mathura.He had no qualms in being called a coward as the result was that he avoided a war and provided a better life to his clan. Sometimes, it makes sense to withdraw from the battle. 

Krishna used marriage alliances to strengthen and widen his political friends and reach. Thus, when his aunt Kunti's sister was married to the Pandavas he came to visit them. Thus, entered Krishna into Pandava's life.

Krishna was a wise and self-realized man. He is unique among all the realized beings yet. He would marry many women, flirt with many, get involved in administration and yet, he was attached to none of his roles. Through the life of Krishna, the world can learn how to live a detached life and act without any worry about it's results. He encourages man to participate in the world and yet, not be it or of it but yes, be in it. He shows us to renounce not the world or our actions but the feelings, concepts and desires that come with it. 

Coming back to Hastinapur, Dhritharashtra invites Kunti and the pandavas along with their newly wedded wife to their home. Word had reached them and Kunti too knew that they cannot do anything to the Pandavas as King Drupada was their ally.

King Dhritharashtra then decides to divide the current kingdom into equal halfs and gives Khandavaprastha (a great forest) to Yuddhistira to rule. When brothers are discussing about this, Krishna instructs them to accept it and transform it. This was just the start of the strong relationship that would develop between Krishna and Pandavas, the ones who always following the righteous conduct meets injustice throughout.


  1. "But how to show lust, Saar? Lust..." - Nagesh Kukunoor in Bollywood Calling.

    November Mahabharat is over... Moving on to December Mahabharat!?

    Awaiting with bated breath. Am loving your condensed version a lot. :-)