Mahaabhaarat | Krishn
Krishn is not only Gopee's Kanhaiyaa, Yashodaa's Kaanhaa and Gop's Sakhaa, he is much more than them. He has come in this world with some good qualities to improve it. We refer to Krishn mentioned in Chhaandogya Upanishad as Devakee-Putra and not Krishn of Rig Ved (1.116.23) or Krishn of Kausheetakee Brahm (30.9) or Aitareya Aaranyak (3.26). We consider Krishn as a synergetic deity of four - Naaraayan, Vishnu, Vaasudev and Gopaal. Krishn has been ruling the hearts of millions for a long time. His Avataaar was for establishing righteousness (Dharm) on a firm foundation. Below are given some of the qualities of His character.
He was concerned for the underprivileged
His Human Nature
Charges Against Krishn
Some of the incidents of Krishn's life, both in His childhood and in adult life, have been criticized. Some of them have been appreciated while others have been criticized. Here are those incidents which are criticized ---
(1) Bhaagvat’s Gopee Vastra Haran
The stories as depicted in Mahaabhaarat and Bhaagvat are the basis for any charge against him. These pertain to his relationship with Gopee and his tricks in the war against Kaurav. Bhaagvat’s Gopee Vastra Haran and Raas Leelaa are the major incidents commented upon. The first incident is not mentioned in Vishnu Puraan and Harivansh whereas Raas Leelaa is mentioned in all the three.
Gopee were Kumaaree in the pre-puberty age group and Krishn himself was seven at that time. So, it is foolish to attribute any sexuality. Moreover, the girls were doing the Kaatyaayinee Vrat to get Krishn as their husband. This type of worship is recognized as Kantaa Bhaav or Madhuraa Bhaav (lover's emotions). (Incidentally, it may be mentioned that this is present in Christianity and Soofism also). What is intended here is the symbolic of total surrender of the Jeev to God. We should study the incident in the proper perspective. The Gopee stories are poetical fancies of later writers (Not at the time of MBH). Many mystics have cultivated this type of love towards the divine. Aandaal, Akkaa Mahaadevee, Meeraa Baaee, are well known mystics. Gopee remained faithful to their husbands although they loved God. Even their husbands had no objections.
(2) Raas Leelaa
(3) His 16008 wives really represent 16 parts of the human personality
Men are classified into three groups - the ordinary people, Jeevan Mukt, and Eeshwar. No Super-Dhaarmik doings of Eeshwar can be followed by any ordinary people. His 16008 wives really represent 16 parts of the human personality with which the Jeevaatmaa is associated - 5 organs of perception, 5 organs of action, 5 vital airs and the 16th is mind. In the ultimate analysis the Jeevaatmaa is identical with Paramaatmaa Krishn is depicted as having 16 (000) wives.
Criticized Actions of Krishn in the MBH war
Krishn's Tricks in the War Against Kaurav
War actions are most of the instant and just to win the war or to take revenge of some previous illogical action. Pearl harbor shall be paid for by Hiroshima. Stalingrad by carpet bombing, Godhra by Gujaraat. War is the result of raw emotions. Wars are fought when morality breaks down. There is no sense in invoking morality in wars. In war one either kills or gets killed. Most people prefer the first option. It is said "everything is fair in love and war".
(1) The Bheeshm Episode
Bheeshm was fighting fiercely and Arjun, because of his love to the his grandfather was not putting his best efforts. So, Krishn had to encourage and arouse Arjun to fight well. The only method to do that was to take the weapon Himself, although He had taken a vow not to take weapons in the war, but to arouse Arjun He took His Chakra and ran towards Bheeshm to kill him Himself. This made Arjun to come running to Krish to stop Him to break His vow. Bheeshm himself was a Krishn devotee and he had taken another vow that he would make Krishn take up a weapon. So, Krishn served two purposes by taking the Chakra - one to arouse Arjun and two, to fulfill His Bhakt Bheeshm's vow.
(2) The Jayadrath Episode
Jayadrath had abducted Draupadee once. He was primarily responsible for the murder of the innocent Abhimanyu deceitfully and against all norms. Arjun had taken vow to kill him the very next day before sunset and if he could not kill him as per his vow before darkness fell on that day, he would immolate himself. Krishn, by His Yaugik power (not by the Discus) created darkness so that Jayadrath came out of his security and Arjun could kill him. Krishn thus helped the establishment of Dharm even by going out of the way but it was entirely justified.
(3) The Drone Episode
There is a popular belief that Bheem killed an elephant by the name Ashwatthaamaa and Krishn made Yudhishthir to utter a lie to Drone about the death of Ashwatthaamaa, Drone’s son. The verse which tells this has been found to be a later insertion and has been dropped by several scholars including VS.Sukthankar (see Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune). It is obviously so because the story continues to say that Drone did not lay down his bow immediately after that but he laid down only after the several sages like Vishwaaamitra, Jamadagni, Bharadwaaj, Gautam, Atri, Vashishth, Brighu etc, arrived and advised Drone against using the Brahmaastra against innocent people and to renounce the weapons. They also told him that he was doing things against his Braahman Dharm and that he should take up to spiritual path. It was after this that he retired and sat in meditation at which instance Drishtadyumn beheaded him. Neither Yudhishthir, Bheem nor Krishn did any thing wrong.
(4) The Karn Episode
Karn Parv gives a detailed narration of the rebuttal given by Krishn when Karn questioned on the method adopted. When Kaurav adopted all deceitful methods like poisoning Bheem, trying to burn the Paandav in the Lac house, molesting Draupadee, cheating them in the game of dice etc., Karn had abetted the Kaurav, so he had lost all claims to Dharm. Karn himself accepts the logic and dies while he was taking out the wheel of his chariot..
(5) Gadaa Yuddh of Bheem and Duryodhan
Like these, it is clear to see the reasons why Krishn behaved in the way He did; and why He advised Paandav the way He advised as an advisor. His purpose was restoration of Dharm and vanquishing the A-Dharm. Small procedural irregularities in order to achieve a major objective are acceptable. They are like amputating an unhealthy limb in order to save a whole life.
One Good Action of Krishn
There was only one good action of Krishn which if Duryodhan agreed, could stop the war; and that was His going to Hastinaapur as a Peace Messenger and He played His role there with full sincerity. It was only Duryodhan's bad luck that he did not agree on giving even 5 villages to Paandav. This was the only time and the best time when the war could be stopped, but...
(6) Raadhaa Concept
I do not accept Christian doctrine of lechery and adultery by lustful thought. Platonic love is a common failure among humans.
Here is a quote from "Encyclopedia of Hinduism" by Swaamee Harshananda - "... ...Raadha is nowhere to be seen in the four well known sources of Krihn story: Mahaabhaarat, Harivansh, Vishnu Puraan amd Bhaagvat Puraan. There is a reference in Bhaagvat Puraan (10.30.25) to a fortunate Gopee who had gone alone with Krishn just before Raas Kreedaa. The words used here - "Anayaaraadhitah (being propitiated by her) might have provided the seeds for the later concept of Raadhaa as the Gopee dearest to Krishn."
The story of Raadhaa in detail appears in the Krishn Janma Khaand of Brahm Vaivart Puraan - a late work. She is described here as Krishn's Shakti or power having emerged out of Krishn. It is perhaps the poet Jayadev that has immortalized her through his well known lyric Geet Govind. Bangaal Vaishnavism nourished by Chaitanya Mahaaprabhu and others has given her a unique place in Krishn theology and metaphysics. "It is plausible that the Prakriti Pradhaan)mother nature) of the earlier Saankhya system of philosophy has gradually got metamorphosed into Raadhaa personality of the later Vaishnav Schools of theology.
Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 03/23/13