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August 21, 2011

Page: 29/42

Home > 2011 Issues > August 21, 2011

Kids’ Org
Sri Krishna: An icon of the masses

By KK Shanmukhan

SRI Krishna, the central character of the Mahabharata, played his role as a catalyst in this great epic. Sura, the patriarch of the Yadava clan had a beautiful daughter named Pritha. His cousin Kuntibhoja having no progency, Sura entrusted Pritha to him as a foster daughter. Thus Pritha was later known as Kunti.

Sri Krishna was the son of Pritha’s brother and therefore the Pandavas’ first cousin.

We first observe Sri Krishna along with his brother Balarama on the occasion of the marriage of Draupadi. They were seated among the on-lookers and not among the suitors. Sri Krishna and the Pandavas recognised each other at their very first sight but did not pretend so in public.

Sri Krishna having been defeated by Jarasandha, shifted his capaital from Mathura to Dwaraka. There he built a huge fortress on the seashore. Krishna came to know of the distress of the Pandavas only very late—after the deceitful dice game and the subsequent banishment. Having heard the plight of the Pandavas Sri Krishna was deeply moved and volunteered to undertake a peace mission to Hastinapura.

The entire Hastinapura, it seemed, was in great delight to receive and host Sri Krishna. It was only an external show. Dhritarashtra true to his prevarication could not make a decision. While he realised that suing for peace with the Pandavas was the best course for the sustenance of the race, he could not summon courage to oppose his son. Althought the veterans like Bhishma, Drona, Vidura, Kripa and other argued in favour of Sri Krishna’s counsel, Duryodhana was stubborn. There was a heated exchange of words in the open assembly between him and Sri Krishna. He even went to the extent of questioning the very birth of the Pandavas. As had been already planned, he ordered his brother to lock Sri Krishna up in prison. Thereupon Sri Krishna exhibited his cosmic figure and all in the assembly except Dhritarashtra and Vidura fell into swoon.

After Sri Krishna’s return from Hastinapura, war preparations on either side reached momentum. Each camp went on canvassing support for the armies of their friends. The Yadava army of Sri Krishna was very huge and Duryodhana thought that if he could somehow manage to get its support his battle was half won. He departed in his chariot for Dwaraka. Arjuna also pushed off to Dwaraka to meet Sri Krishna for the same purpose. Both the cousins reached simultaneously. When Sri Krishna was sleeping. Duryodhana sat at the head of the sleeping Sri Krishna and Arjuna stood waiting patiently at the foot, with supplicant hands in devotion. When Sri Krishna opened his eyes he saw Arjuna first. He turned his head and beheld Duryodhana also. Enquiries were made. Both of them put forth their demands.

Sri Krishna said: “Both of you are indispensible to me. My huge army will stand and fight on one side. I shall stand weaponless without fighting on the other. You can choose”.

Duryodhana chose the first offer. What is the use of a single soldier however able he is without wielding a weapon? Thus did Sri Krishna become Arjuna’s charioteer.

Sri Krishna’s expertise in chariot, his superhuman power of strategic management and foresight saved the Pandavas form destruction each time.

He saved Bhima from Jarasandha and showed way to the former to kill the latter. Sri Krishna guarded Arjuna carefully in the war with Karna and saved his life on many occasions.

The Pandavas emerged victorious in the war and received the country back because of Sri Krishna’s assistance.

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