Krishna in my life…..Dharma, My Thoughts, Mythology ·
“Why do you have to ask so many questions?”, a teacher asked me many years ago. “In Geeta, even a God was questioned. Why would it be a problem to question humans?”, I used to wonder and get back to my annoying habit of asking questions.
When Arjun, who alone had defeated Kaurava army before, gets into ethical confusion at the start of the war and refuses to fight (he was not alone this time), Krishna first questions him over this sudden change of heart. He then attempts to help Arjun get over his confusion through a pragmatic response. However, the discussion then gets into Philosophical, Metaphysical and logical topics.
Beyond this, it’s interesting to see how the discussion ends. Even when Arjuna accepts that he is not confused anymore, Krishna asks him to think over everything and do what he thinks is right. With this, Krishna gives a perfect example of a perfect teacher. A perfect teacher is the one who does not command or control, but tries to develop awareness and knowledge of himself and his students through discussions (not lectures) so that everyone is more empowered to do what is right.
Krishna, thus, was not a God to be scared of. He does not claim to control the future or destiny of individuals and defines them as results of their own actions. Now, if you can question God, you can literally question everything and and everyone. Eventually, we realise that solving a problem is not about finding the right answer, but it’s about asking the right question.
Krishna, as a personality, as a divine figure, as a perfect teacher, as a great friend, as a deep philosopher, as a responsible person, ended up shaping my thought process and character. Before ending the post, here are some ways in which Krishna compliments other characters in Mahabharat to drive home, the idea of “Dharma”:
- Like Karna, Krishna was separated from his parents at birth. However, unlike Karna, he never ran after claiming his real identity. Both Karna and Krishna eventually ended up being King and part of ruling council respectively. But while Karna continued to feel insulted by the identity of “Suta Putra”, Krishna accepted the identity of Cowherd.
- Like Bhishma, Krishna considered Dharma as an important part of Human civilization. However, unlike Bhishma, Krishna was ready to sacrifice his personal promises and oaths to keep the collective Dharma relevant (and thus, to make sure it’s not misused).
- While Yudhishtir allowed his wife to be gambled away, Krishna rescued the 16000 girls kidnapped by Narakasura and accepted them in his kingdom when their families refused to accept them.
- While almost all major characters in Mahabharata were not ready to accept the situation as outcome of their own decisions, Krishna accepted the responsibility of the deaths in the war along with the curse from Gandhari that destroyed his own family and people.
- While Pandavas were not peaceful at the time of their deaths, Krishna died peacefully even after being killed and having witnessed the destruction of his people, family and the city.
- Unlike the other characters in Mahabharata who were either stuck in their past or were worried about their future, Krishna preferred to live his present. He danced, played flute, helped those in need, destroyed those causing trouble for others and even built two great cities.
Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum