31-Krishn and MBH War
Krishn is often accused for His deceptive methods used in war. Let us try
to list out some of them and understand.
1. The Bheeshm Episode.
The very first one is Bheeshm episode. Bheeshm was fighting fiercely and
Arjun, because of his love to his grandfather, was not putting his best
efforts to kill him. So, Krishn had to encourage and arouse Arjun to fight
with him. The only method to do that was to take the weapon himself.
Although Krishn had taken the vow not to take any weapon in the war, he
took his chakra and this made Arjuna to come
running and stop him. Bheeshma was a devotee himself and he had taken
another vow that he would make Krishna take up a weapon. So, Krishn
served two purposes by taking the Chakra.
2. The Karn Episode.
Since Dhuryodhana refused the offer of peace in spite of Krishn's
best efforts, as a last effort, Krishna tried to avoid the unfortunate
war by telling Karna the secret of his birth. If Karna had taken
KrishnaТs advice, the war could be avoided and both the Pandavas and
Kouravas could have lived in peace with half kingdom each. This was
possible because Karna was DhuryodhanaТs best friend and main source
of strength. KarnaТs refusal to accept KrishnaТs advice made the
difference and the entire clan perished. KrishnaТs attempt was
laudable from this angle.
3. The Drone Episode.
There is a popular belief that Bheema killed an elephant by name
Ashwatthaamaa and Krishna made Yudhishtira to utter a lie to Drona 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 Drona did not lay down his bow immediately after that but he laid
down only after the several sages like Vishwaamitra, Jamadagni, Bharadwaaj, Gautam, Atri, Vashishth, Brighu etc, arrived and advised
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 Dhrishtdyumn beheaded him. Neither Yudhishthir,
nor Bheem nor Krishn did
any thing wrong. In case of Drone however he could have been defeated by
Arjun as the latter had all the divine weapons whereas Drone did not have
all these weapons. Only Arjun and Bheeshm had the mighty Paashupat weapon
from Shiv. However one is not permitted too kill one's Guru and such
being the case Arjun could not have killed Drone. The ruse of the dead
elephant worked as Drone forgot for a moment that his son could not be
killed as he was a Chiranjeevee.
4. The Jayadrath Episode.
Jayadrath, the Sindhu king was the brother in law of the Kauravas and
was a wicked person. He had abducted Draupadee once. He was primarily
responsible for the murder of the innocent Abhimanyu deceitfully and
against all norms. If Arjun could not kill him as per his vow before
darkness that day, he had to self immolate. Krishna, by his Yaugik power
(not by the discuss) created darkness so that Jayadrath came out and Arjun
could kill him. Krishna thus helped the establishment of Dharm
even by going out of the way but it was entirely justified.
5. Killing Karn
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, cheat them in the game of dice etc,
Karn had abetted the Kaurav. So, he had lost all claims to Dharma. Karn himself accepts the logic and
dies when he did not have any arms.
When Dhuryodhan was getting the upper hand, Arjun on a suggestion of
Krishn reminded Bheem of his vow to break Dhuryodhan's thigh.
If this was not done, Dharm would suffer and Duryodhan's A-Dharm
would perpetuate. It was just fulfilling the vow taken by Bheem at the
time of Draupadee Vastra Haran.
Like these, it is possible to see reason in whatever Krishna did as an
advisor and guide to the Paandav, His purpose was the 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.