Shree Krsna Sharnam Mamaha

MAHABHARATA - The world War


This katha of Shree Krishna is one of the epic kathas of today, the mahabharata, it called so since it was a world war in which every king in this world took part. It was war between Dharma and Adharma , it was during this war that Krishna showed his universal form and gave us the invaluble Bhagvad Gita, which tells Mankind his true goals, which is to be one with the supreme and not to get entangled in this material world .

The Mahābhārata (Devanagari: महाभारत) is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa.
With more than 74,000 verses, long prose passages, and some 1.8 million words in total, it is arguably the longest epic poem in the world.[1] Taken together with the Harivamsa, the Mahabharata has a total length of more than 90,000 verses.
It is of immense religious and philosophical importance in India and Nepal, and is a major text of Hinduism. Its discussion of human goals (artha or wealth, kama or pleasure, dharma or duty/harmony, and moksha or liberation) takes place within a long-standing mythological tradition, attempting to explain the relationship of the individual to society and the world (the nature of the 'Self') and the workings of karma.
The title may be translated as "the great tale of the Bharata Dynasty", according to the Mahābhārata's own testimony extended from a shorter version simply called Bhārata of 24,000 verses[2] The epic is part of the Hindu itihāsas, literally "that which happened", along with the Ramayana and the Purāṇas.
Traditionally, the Mahabharata is ascribed to Vyasa. Due to its immense length, its philological study has a long history of attempts to unravel its historical growth and composition layers. It probably reached its final form in the early Gupta period

Pandavas were the couisen brothers of krishna. And Duryodhana along with his 99 brothers was couisen brother to pandavas. Duryodhana was very jealous of the rise of the Pandavas. The constant help that they were getting from Krishna, was an eye-sore to him as well. But he was helpless and so he chose to checkmate them through some trick. He knew the weakness of Yudhishthir for playing dice. So, he conferred with his maternal uncle, Shakuni, who was a past-master in dice-games. When Duryodhana invited Yudhishthir tothe game, he could not refuse and soon reached Hastinapur. Duryodhana deputed Shakuni to play on his behalf and he, through his unfair moves, kept heaping defeat after defeat on Yudhishthir. Having lost h is kingdom and every other belonging, Yudhishthir staked his four brothers. When he had lost them too, he staked himself and thereafter his wife Draupadi as well. Duryodhana's joy knew no bounds and he asked his brother Dushasana to bring Draupadi to his court and to strip her there itself. So, Draupadi was dragged to the court and Dushasana set about stripping her. The helpless queen prayed to God for help. How could Krishna sit silent? He responded through his miraculous power and the saree of Draupadi got increased to such a length that Dushasona grew tired of drawing it off her body.

Krishna had saved Draupadi and Duryodhana had not been able to disgrace her in the open court. But enraged at his vicious attempt, Bhima had pledged to kill Duryodhana and his brother Dushasana. This pledge frightened Duryodhana's father, Dhritrashtra, who returned to Yudhishthir everything he had lost in the game. This embittered Duryodhana and he decided to humble the Pandavas in other way. He asked Yudhishthir to have his lost things on the condition that the Pandavas would go into exile for thirteen years, the last year of which they would remain underground and untraced. Duryodhana was not satisfied even now. He pleased saint Durvasa through hospitality and then persuaded him to go to the Pandavas along with his ten thousand pupils and ask for meals. Durvasa complied with Duryodhana's request and went to the Pandavas along with his pupils. Out at elbows, Draupadi found it impossible to entertain the saint and apprehended a curse from him. She preyed to God and Krishna at once responded. He asked for the utensil which had been given to her by the Sun-god. He touched it and asked Draupadi to go on serving food to the saint and his pupils. The utensil I did not run short of food till all of them were satisfied fully. So, Durvasa returned happy and satisfied. So, Durvasa returned happy and satisfied.



The Pandavas, having passed thirteen years in exile had returned to Indraprastha. They asked Dhritrashtra to return their kingdom as the condition of the game had been duly fulfilled. But Duryodhana was not ready to part with what he had been possessing for over thirteen years. So, a war between the two became inevitable. Preparations started to be made for a big trial of strength between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Alliances started to be made on both sides. In the course of these moves, both Arjuna and Duryodhana approached Krishna far help. Incidently Krishna was enjoying a sound sleep at that time. Duryodhana was lucky to reach earlier than Arjuna. So, he sat towards Krishna's head. Ariuna, when he reached, sat near Krishna's feet. So, when Krishna got up and sat down, his eyes first fell on Arjuna because he was just in front of his face. He asked him to narrate the purpose of his visit. Duryodhana interrupted saying that he had come earlier and the first choice of demanding anything should be given to him. Krishna shook his head and allowed Arjuna to have his say asking him, "Arjun! I will help both of you. Choose one thing out of myself and my large army." Arjuna chose Shri Krishna and Duryodhana laughed at his folly. He was damn happy to have Krishna's powerful army. He was damn happy to have Krishna's powerful army.

Yudhishthir, we know, was a sagacious person who hated war though he was a great worrier. His very name means--unshakable in war. He tried his level best to put off the war against Duryodhana but all in vein. As his last effort, he sent Krishna as his envoy to advise Duryodhana to give up the war-path and settle the matter through negotiations. Just on the eve of Krishna's departure, Draupadi came to him and showing her ruffled locks of hair said, "O Krishna! you are going with a message of peace to Duryodhana. I request you not to forget about my hair that was drawn and dragged in the open court by Dushasana. I have not dressed them for the last thirteen years." Krishna retorted, "Be consoled ; my peace-mission is not going to put the war off because it is inevitable. Rest assured that you will be duly avenged. Nevertheless my visit to Hastinapur will certainly prove that the Pandavas, on their part, did their best to avert the war and thus the entire blame will rest on the shoulders of the Kaurvas for which the posterity will never pardon them."

When Krishna got to the Kaurava court, he was accorded a warm welcome. Dhritrashtra entertained Krishna duly and asked him about the purpose of his visit. Krishna talked of avoiding the war by giving a small territory--five villages-to the Pandavas and thus restoring peace to the entire family. He argued with Duryodhana from every angle on this point in order to convince him that the impending war would be highly disastrous. Unluckily Duryodhana was in no mood to reconcile. He announced most indignantly." No, not at all no territory, not equal to a needle-point even. I have won their kingdom. It can't be returned until and unless they win it back with the force of their arms. Why shouId they beg for it like urchins?" When Krishna asked Duryodhana to restrain himself from using disgraceful words for the Pandavas, he flew into a rage and ordered his men to capture Krishna and imprison him. Hearing Duryodhana's words, Krishna felt upset not out of fear but due to disappointment over the failure of his mission. But he was not ready to take chances because Duryodhana could be wicked to any extent. So, he decided to exhibit to Duryodhana a glimpse of his divine power. He assumed his fearful colossal form and everybody present there was amazed as well as afraid to see it.

In spite of being offended with Krishna, Duryodhana could do no harm to him because according to the prescribed norm, an envoy could not be harmed or punished even if he used harsh words against the king to whose court he had been sent. As for Krishna, he was so displeased with Duryodhana that he rejected his stately hospitality and left the court at once. Vidur, a cousin of Dhritrashtra, was a godly person who knew that Krishna was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Having left the court, Krishna went to Vidur's house where he was received warmly. Vidur's wife was equally God-fearing and pious. She was beside herself with joy to see Krishna in her house. Lost in deep emotion and profound devotion, she decided to entertain Krishna with bananas. How strange ! Vidur's wife was offering banana-peels to Krishna for eating while the inner fruit was being thrown away into the dust-bin. She was, in fact, lost to herself in emotion and could not pay attention to what she was doing. As for Krishna, he enioyed the peels as if they were more delicious than the bananas. He did not even point out to her about what she was doing



Krishna's peace-mission had miserably failed and he had returned to Indraprastha to give a green signal for the preparations for the impending war. The war having been declared, both the armies marched to the field of Kurukshetrato face each other. Krishna had taken a vow not to fight as a warrior in this war. He had accepted to act as Arjuna's charioteer only. Directed by Arjuna, Krishna drove his chariot to the no-man's land so that he could view the warriors who had come to face him. When Arjuna saw his blood relations, revered guru Drona and respectable Bhishma standing in the opposite camp his mind shook and he was filled with doubts. He said to Krishna, "I won't fight at all. Is it proper and worthy of me to kill all my near-ond-deor ones only to get a throne ? No, not I won't do it at all." Krishna felt upset when he saw that Arjuna was quite averse to war and had placed his bow down. It was at this time that Krishna delivered his sermon of the Gita to Arjuna. He said, "O Arjuna ! you have got the right to act only without bothering about the result. Man's soul is immortal and it is the body only that perishes. This is a holy war and a true warrior (Kshatri) cannot afford to prove a coward." Hearing these words, Arjuna realised his mistake and got ready to fight.

Bhishma loved the Kaurvas and the Pandavas alike. Though he was fighting on behalf of Duryodhana, yet he had never tried to kill any of the five Pandavas. He had been killing only their soldiers. Duryodhana did not like it and he said to Bhishma, "Grand-father ! you are avoiding the murder of the Pandavas while fighting. Do you want them to be victorious? I do not expect such a thing from you as you have always been faithful to the Kaurava throne." Bhishma had nothing to reply back and so he said, "I shall direct my arrows at the Pandavas if Krishna does keep his vow of not fighting as a warrior." Duryodhana was very pleased to hear these words. The next day, Bhishma fought like a lion so much so that he caused Arjuna to swoon when struck by his arrows. The horses of Arjuna's chariot were also killed. How could Krishna tolerate all this 2 His anger knew no bounds and he decided to break his pledge. Raising the wheel of a broken chariot, he ran towards Bhishma. Bhishma felt frightened and folded his hands in order to beg his pardon. Seeing this, Arjuna came running, pacified Krishna and taking him by the arm, he took him back to his chariot.

Incited by Duryodhana, Bhishma once again took a pledge to kill the Pandavas. The news of this pledge reached the Pandava camp and they were extremely worried. They knew that Bhishma had the boon to die only when he wanted to do so and so it was impossible to kill him. Once again Krishna came to their help and asked them not to fee) anxious at all. Escorting Draupadi to Bhishma's place at night, Krishna advised her to go inside and make obeisance to the old worrier who was sitting for meditation with his eyes closed. Draupadi went in and said, "Glory be to you, grandfather!" Without opening his eyes, Bhishma uttered a blessing, "May you never be a widow and enjoy the company of your husband till your death!": When Bhishma opened his eyes, he was surprised to see Draupadi sitting in front. He at once followed that she had come to him on the advice of Krishna who must be there somewhere around. Just then, Krishna stepped in and Bhishma stood up to greet him with profound devotion and piety. In this way, Krishna had saved the Pandavas from the fatal wrath of Bhishma.



After the fall of Bhishma, Drona assumed the command of the Kaurva army but he was killed. His son Ashwathama got very offended with the Pandavas. So, he directed the Narayanastra at them. It was a quality of this weapon that it never hit a soldier who was on foot or armless or who had turned his back towards it. Seeing the dangerous Narayanastra, all the warriors threw their arms and got down their chariots turning their backs towards it. But Bhima considered it an insult to do all these things. On the other hand, he kept roaring aloud brandishing his mace in the air. The result was that innumerable fire-arrows came out of the above-named Narayanastra and shot towards Bhima. When Krishna saw this, he rushed towards Bhima and stood in front of him turning his back towards the Narayanastra. Not only this, he bent Brim's head down with his hands and hid it in his arms. Also, he snatched his mace and threw it on the ground. As a result, the Narayanstra went back without doing any harm to any of the Pandavas.
Ashwathma was highly enraged with the Pandavas. He set the Pandava camp on fire and, as a result most of the Pandava soldiers and five sons of Draupadi were burnt alive. When the Pandavas returned the next day, Draupadi told them about the woeful happening. The Pandavas were struck with grief and enraged Arjuna chased and captured Ashwathama. He was going to kill him but Draupadi asked him to spare his life because he was the son of his guru. So, Arjuna got his head shaven clean and dug the jewel out of his forehead and then set him free. Ashwathma felt highly insulted and he shot his divine weapon (Brahmastra) at the Pandavas with a view to extinguishing their generation. But Krishna saved all of them and then ran to Uttra, wife at Arjuna's son Abhimanyu, who was in the family way. As soon as she delivered a son, Brahmastra attacked the infant but Krishna made it ineffective using his chakra. It was this infant, named Parikshat, who became the next Pandava king.



The battle of Mahabharata ended with a defeat for the Kaurvas and a glorious victory for the Pandavas. So, Krishna drove Arjuna's chariot back to the Pandava camp and asked him to get down at once. But Arjuna refused saying that conventionally it was the charioteer who got down first followed by the warrior. But Krishna insisted on Arjuna's getting down from the chariot first. Arjuna could not afford to disobey Krishna and got down along with his bow and quiver of arrows. It was after this that Krishna came down from the chariot.   Arjuna was surprised to see that the chariot along with the horses, was burnt to ashes as soon as Krishna got down from it. He was at a loss to understand how and why it had happened. He asked Krishna to explain the puzzle in detail. Krishna said, "The chariot was already going to be burnt but had checked this phenomenon deputing Hanumana on guard. If conventionally I had got down earlier than you did, you would also have been burnt along with the chariot and the horses. That was why I insisted on your getting down first. As soon as I got down, Hanumana flew away leaving the chariot unguarded and it was burnt to ashes.