Sunday, April 15, 2012

Krishna: Man or God? (Part I)

Arguably Krishna is the most complex character from great epic Mahabharat. I was always fascinated by complexity of Krishna’s character since my college days. He is a multidimensional character; one can see all shades of human nature in this single character. There are many characters in Mahabharat which display one or two traits of human nature brilliantly but in Krishna's character one can see everything, all in one, thats why people often think who is he? God, man, hero or villain? In Mahabharat Krishna is present as God himself, he is incarnation of Vishnu, book clearly mentions divinity of his character. But in epic not all his actions match with his character of God. In fact to many his character may seem to have dual personality, one who preaches the highest morality and another which doesn't hesitate to use dirtiest tricks to win the war. His presence was very essential for Pandava’s victory in war. Krishna didn’t fight in war using any weapon but he was brain behind Pnadava’s war strategy and played key role in killing of all commander-in chief’s of Kuru army. Despite all his faults and mistakes almost all characters in epic admire him. His popularity has grown over time even after people know all these contradictions about him. Krishna is one of the most popular Gods in India; maybe he has most number of followers among all Gods in India.

Krishna tried his best to avoid war, he even made very generous offer to Duryodhan on behalf of Yudhishthir (to give him just five villages instead of half of kingdom). He tried very hard to convince Duryodhan that war is not good for both the sides but he failed. Once his all attempts to avoid war failed.  Once war was declared, he believed in winning the war at any cost. He believed that Pandava’s cause was right and only thing mattered to him was their victory. It’s not unusual for a hero to win the battle using cunning ways there are many examples in history, but we don’t expect this type of behavior from God. If God is all powerful and all knowledgeable then why can't he fight the war by fair means? That means in epic he is also a human or God is not omnipotent (all powerful). Actually Mahabharat shows us many instances where it challenges the concept of omnipotent God. 

During war we see altogether different side of Krishna, his darker side is exposed during crucial moments of war. He wanted Pandavas to win and was ready to pay any price for that. He has to use all his charm, power and intelligence from the first day of war itself. First he has to use his power as a God to convince Arjun to fight war. He has to reveal his divine nature to Arjun to convince him that whatever he is telling is the right thing (Bhagvad Gita was delivered in this process).  He is also seen as opportunist who teaches honest man (Yudhisthir) to tell a lie (about the death of Ashwathnama), the only lie he told in his all life. He even advises hesitant Arjun to strike down Karna who was in helpless and defenseless state. Because of these acts as the war progresses and Kuru army’s commanders fall one by one, we somehow begin to sympathize with Kauravas. Even Duryodhan before dying on the battlefield lists Krishna’s many misdeeds during the war and accuses him for not fighting fairly. People might think that end result of his actions justified the means he used, but I don't think he himself thought like that. After winning the war, Krishna who is cheerful throughout the epic becomes serious and gives very sobering message to victorious Pandavas, he says that Kauravas were great warrior and they could not have defeated them in fair fight, that's why he had to use magic and deceit on their behalf. It seems that epic’s morality is subordinate to Krishna, the God.  

Many Critics and intellectuals have studied his character in very much detail but these books are not very popular in general public as they put you in very uncomfortable position. Krishna's role in Mahabharat forces us to confront a moral dilemma. It puts us in difficult situation, where it’s difficult to differentiate between good and bad. Both the sides in war engage in good, bad and even ugly deeds and there is greatness on both the sides. Krishna's character is also like that, it contains shades of all characters in epic, he is Karna, Arjun, Yudhisthir, Bhishma, Shakuni, Drona all in one. One must accept all sides of Krishna, no matter how contrast or opposite they are. But people divided his personality in many pieces, took the piece which they like or are comfortable with and totally neglected all other aspects. Some only accepted him as an adorable child, some are happy with his raas leelas, some took his image as a lover, some want only his Bhagvad Gita, some see him as villain and criticize him for his actions during war. Many bhakti movements only accept him in portions and present only one dimensional image of him. They glorify only certain aspects of his personality and keep mum or give some vague explanations about other aspects which they are not comfortable with. As I said, one can find whatever they want in his personality, so all these movements have taken bits and pieces of his personality and used them to propagate their own philosophies. I feel this is the great tragedy that people never tried to accept and understand him totally.

Thanks for reading and please share your comments.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing)

43 comments:

  1. The Krishna of 'Meera' and that of 'Radha' is a very fascinating perspective!

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  2. http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/hinduism-dir/107560-vivekananda-offender-krishna.html

    http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110211005152AA5Rmdq

    http://swamivivekananda-myeternalindia.blogspot.in/2012/02/is-so-great-says-lord-krishna-that-even.html

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  3. Jai Shree Krishna,

    I think you were trying to convey some message but it is poorly written.
    The logic of Krishna has not been justified. You are making the same mistakes that Judas and Pharases made about Jesus. The same mistake that atheist preach to theist.

    The sustained attack on Krishna without any balance of understanding is appalling in this article. One minute you are happy to describe him as God but when it suits --you convey him as a villain. All this in the name of 'what other people might be thinking.'

    There is no logic to the article. It is confusing. You are not sure what is moral and what is Dharma as it did not come up in the article.
    You are confused as to the role of God because there was nothing here to say so.
    Im sorry you may not like my comments but if you must dissect Krishna then you must give a balance from good Knowledge.

    As it reads your article has one purpose:- To destroy the name of Krishna.
    I hope children are not exposed to this article on their websites.
    Thank you.

    Jai Shree Krishna

    Kiran
    3~'

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    1. First of all thanks a lot for reading and commenting on article. I don’t know where you see sustained attack on Krishna in this article, please let me know as I don’t see anything like that. Who am I to destroy the name of Krishna and I dont think anyone can do that, there are some movements who are doing it by using his name to spread totally wrong message but dont worry no one can destroy his name.

      What makes you think that Krishna or (if you like to call him, God) won’t behave as a villain in certain situations where it’s required to behave like that? Why you are so allergic to that word? Why people want to see world (or characters in this epic) as either good or bad (black or white)? Why don’t people understand that it can be mixture of both (and I see all characters in this epic are like that, they are grayish)?

      I am glad that you at least found one purpose of this article (though you got it wrong). According to me Mahabharat doesn’t want to teach what is right or wrong Dharma as it’s different for everyone and depends on situation, it wants us to decide (like all characters in epic decide) what we want to do in any particular situation and then face consequence of our actions.

      You are right, there is no logic to article as it’s not about any logic. It’s not about judging Krishna's character and projecting him in good or bad light. It’s a simple analysis of what I understand from this great epic about him. May be its wrong, may be its confusing, may be its even incomplete but that’s what I understand till now and as I understand more I will keep sharing in my posts. If you have any better understanding then please share with us so that me and other readers will get benefited from it and won’t be misguided, I don’t have any problems with that.

      No need to be sorry or feel bad about your comment, I don’t have any problems with your comments, rather I like when people say openly what they think, I really appreciate that. I don’t like to preach and don’t know what atheist preach to theist or vice-versa. This is a knowledge sharing platform and not preaching place. Everything written on my blog is open for discussion and anyone can raise the question, I will try to answer it to best of my ability. There is enough preaching going on in this world and I don’t want to be part of it. And Don’t worry about children if they survive whatever is preached in many religious centers, books and so called bhakti movements (where poor kids have to go because their parents think they might learn some good stuff there) this is nothing in front of that. I can assure you that younger generation is much more intelligent than our generation and they can decide what is good and what is bad on their own. I know that I need to improve my writing skills; any suggestion to improve my writing is welcome. Jai Shri Krishna...

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    2. very good reply vinay, the above person found negatives, i find so many positives. Life and any character including Krishna are same. You can either see positives or negatives, you can debate any justification which suits you. we are lucky to have survived so many un necessary preachers who do not leave any choice of questioning and force their beliefs on their children. I pity those children who can not choose their own religion....

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  4. Namaste Vinay,

    Since you have asked my advice then I ask you to read what you have really written here. I could give explanations to each of the 19 points but Im sorry I don’t have much time. You are a very decent and understanding person and Im sure you will look into it yourself.
    Thank you




    You say [[I don’t know where you see sustained attack on Krishna in this article, please let me know as I don’t see anything like that.]]


    Here is the list
    1. [[Despite all his faults and mistakes]]
    2. [[It’s not unusual for a hero to win the battle using cunning ways]]
    3. [[we don’t expect this type of behaviour from God]]
    4. [[If God is all powerful and all knowledgeable then why can't he fight the war by fair means?]]
    5. [[means in epic he is also a human or God is not omnipotent (all powerful)]]
    6. [[If God is all powerful and all knowledgeable then why can't he fight the war by fair means?]]
    7. [[different side of Krishna, his darker side is exposed during crucial moments of war.]]
    8. [[First he has to use his power as a God to convince Arjun to fight war.]]
    9. [[“He has to reveal his divine nature to Arjun to convince him that whatever he is telling is the right thing ]]
    10. [He is also seen as opportunist]
    11. [[who teaches honest man (Yudhisthir) to tell a lie]]
    12. [[advises hesitant Arjun to strike down Karna who was in helpless and defenseless state.]]
    13. [[we somehow begin to sympathize with Kauravas.]]
    14. [[People might think that end result of his actions justified the means he used, but I don't think he himself thought like that.]]
    15. [[why he had to use magic and deceit on their behalf. It seems that epic’s morality is subordinate to Krishna, the God. ]]
    16. [[are not very popular in general public as they put you in very uncomfortable position. ]]
    17. [[Krishna's role in Mahabharat forces us to confront a moral dilemma. ]]
    18. [[it’s difficult to differentiate between good and bad]]
    19. [[But people divided his personality in many pieces, took the piece which they like or are comfortable with and totally neglected all other aspects.]]




    Kiran

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    1. Again thanks for your reply, don’t worry about the length or number or your replies, we are here to discuss and learn. You brought quite interesting points here. We can discuss each one in detail and I also invite other readers to contribute their ideas to facilitate this discussion, it will be interesting. I will reply to each part separately lets start with the first,
      [1] I do see faults and mistakes in his personality (After reading many books and my own analysis), and I give examples of it in my post. I don’t see person with faults or who does mistakes as a bad person, every human has these qualities and if you agree that Krishna took human avatar in Mahabharat then he also had these qualities, what’s wrong in it. It doesn’t make me to like him less or hate him because of this.

      [2] There are many examples in history where heroes win battle by using cunning ways, its a part of war strategy nothing wrong in that, many times if one is fighting with mighty enemy on has to use this strategy.

      [Points 3 to 6] mentioned by you were in post just to show that Mahabharat doesn’t give an impression that Krishna’s avatar is all powerful and very much different than any other characters of epic. As I wrote epic clearly mentions about his divinity, but it’s because of his qualities and not because of his actions. I was talking about his actions when I wrote those lines not qualities and these two are totally different things.

      [7] Every person has a darker side so its also true with Krishna, why are we ashamed or scared to acknowledge it? It doesn’t make him less great, I love his character with all shades it has, I don’t use any filters to see his personality. You missed one important line from post ‘One must accept all sides of Krishna, no matter how contrast or opposite they are’

      [8-9] isn’t it true he has to reveal his divinity to Arjun to convince him to fight war? Otherwise what was the need to deliver Gita on battlefield? I just mentioned the incident from Mahabharat here; there is nothing I added from my side.

      [10-11] this is an example of how dharma is subtle and it changes according to situation. There is no right or wrong action, its all relative. Krishna’s action can be interpreted as opportunist (rare opportunity to kill Drona), nothing wrong in it, if one understands reason behind it, then they will get the true picture.

      [12-13] the way Kuru army’s commanders get killed; it’s natural that people start feeling sympathy towards them. I feel really surprised when so called peace loving, non-violence (ahimsa) supporting people support barbaric killing on battlefield of Mahabharat so convincingly and even enjoy it.

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    2. [14-15] Krishna himself at the end of war says this to Yudhisthir (that it was impossible to beat Kauravas by fair means). At various points it looks like Krishna’s actions are judged differently (by people and to some extent authors of epic) than other characters, that’s why it seems that epic’s morality is subordinate to Krishna, the God, its my personal opinion you have right to differ with it.

      [16] There are many books which analyze Krishna’s role very critically and I think that they are not very popular because people don’t like to read those views. It’s not only about Krishna but in India we don’t want to listen anything against any popular icons. Those books get banned, authors get attacked, sad but true.

      [17-18] Krishna’s role or character in Mahabharat does force us to confront a moral dilemma (I will give just few examples, Is killing good or bad, shall we hate sinner or sin, is lying OK under certain conditions or its sin, if Drona’s killing was justice then can we justify Ashwatthama’s revenge) and many times it’s difficult to differentiate between good and bad (that’s what is called ‘dharmasankat’)

      [19] I see many movements who present his personality very one-dimensional; they are happy with his God status and justify everything he did as his “leela” which common human mind can not understand. I find this strange and lame way to hide his darker side and you are free to disagree with it. He was in war and he won it and history is always written by winners, their all actions are justified because of win..thats how it works.

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  5. Part two. My reply is too long for one large post this reply is divided.



    [[Who am I to destroy the name of Krishna …… there are some movements who are doing it by using his name to spread totally wrong message…..]]]

    I worry about but the negative influence its going to have on young and innocent minds and ignorant people who may read this. Off course you are not from any authority or group but still I don’t want more bloggers writing the first thing that comes into their heads without giving it good thoughts. Since you ask for my opinion then I have given and I hope you don’t mind.


    Kiran

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    1. Your concern here is legitimate, but already organized religion and their Gods have divided people in this world in so many groups that its impossible to create more negative influence and hatred.
      Blogging is a platform to share personal views so you will see blogger's thoughts on all blogs. I don't mind anyone's opinion, as I mentioned before I like when people express their views openly, nothing wrong in it. I am doing it, its my right and everyone is free to do it, its their right as well.

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  6. Part 3

    [[What makes you think that Krishna or (if you like to call him, God) won’t behave as a villain in certain situations where it’s required to behave like that? Why you are so allergic to that word?]]

    By the very fact you see in front of you. GOD.
    I and millions like me declare Krishna God –not any other god; but the Supreme Personality, Brahman, Lord. By this logic He cannot do anything wrong. A God is not villain. He is loved worshipped adored and inspiration taken from His life. So I request you please don’t call Him villain or His actions villain. Some Muslims and Christians do a good job of that already without Hindus doing the same.


    Kiran

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    1. Personally I didnt see Krishna in front of me, I met him through all the books I read and stories I heard. I dont think anyone can 'declare' anybody as God. People do that very often, millions declared Osho as God, then millions declare Satya Sai God, then millions even worship Prabhupad, even people like Ambedkar or Gandhi are considered as God like, one can not criticize or say anthing about them. We like to create Gods and everyone thinks their God is supreme....and he/she can not do anything wrong..

      You are right God is not villain but villain can become God. We humans have power to create God from anything. I don't think Muslims or Christians have anything against Krishna, religion is simple business and to sell your product you have to call competitors product inferior or bad, its as simple as that.

      I didn't call him villain anywhere in my post. No only villains have darker side in their personality. Rather I didn't call him anything (not even hero or God), for me he is just Krishna, my favorite character from Mahabharat.

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  7. Part 4
    [[[Why people want to see world (or characters in this epic) as either good or bad (black or white)? Why don’t people understand that it can be mixture of both (and I see all characters in this epic are like that, they are grayish)?]]]

    I dot think any Hindu sees it as black or white because this is a specialty of Christians and Muslims only. The Hindu has a different perspective called Dharama and Karma which is what this Epic is about.
    What is the right thing to do under the different situations and circumstances and can we truly get that Dharma right?

    But as to Krishna you must treat him a God since God is the essence of Goodness in man and God.

    Besides if he is looked upon as God then we know He is proclaimed as Parmatama from His birth to ‘Death’. His Leela we can only begin to understand. A child might find the actions of a father who stops him from touching a hot plate but the child does not understand this and cries. God can see the bigger picture.

    What He does to Karna is predestined by the curses he obtained from his Guru. His death was inevitable after his unforgivable action against Abhimanyu.

    Bhismas life was destined for this day when he took Ambica by force. It was Lord Shiva who ordained it so and not even Krishna.

    Drona and the lie is the Dharma dilemma with which we as humans are tested with daily:- For the Greater good; Dharma has to be protected or Upheld. Im sure you have heard the story of an old man who always told the truth but oneday found a man hiding in his cottage. The villagers were going to kill him. They asked the old man if anyone was hiding in his cottage. What should he do? Save the man or stick to his principles of truth. Dharma says do the right thing for the greater good.

    All people killed on the battle field are given Moksha and besides no one is really ‘Dead’ or ‘Killed’ since they are mere souls and no weapon can kill it.

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    1. I dont know why you have such adverse opinion about Christians and Muslims. I dont see any difference between their teachings compared to any other religions, including Hinduism or any other organized religion or movements (like ISKON, Vaishnav and many others).

      This is where religion becomes authoritative and dictitative. You must do this and you must not think like this. If God is essence of goodness then how come there are so many Good and noble atheist people who don't believe in God at all? How come people kill each other in name of God? How come people who love 'their God' hate others just for not believing or loving 'their God'?

      If Krishna is paramatma then how come he was born and even died? As I said already word 'Leela' is often used as lame excuse to justify some of his actions for which his devotees don't have any rational justification. This example of hot plate is very often used in ISKON also, I think they should come up with something better. Rather than telling child just not to touch hotplate or fire, explaining him/her true nature of fire and even giving little feeling of it will do the trick and satisfy his/her curiosity, just forcing to follow some actions might solve the problem temporarily but if the curiosity remains that child is going to try it whenever it gets chance.

      Whatever curses Karna got, he was not at fault in any of them. People make big issue of killing of Abhimanyu, don't know why. In the epic this guy dies honorable death of warrior, its natural for father to get upset of his sons death. Did Drona invite Abhimanyu in chakravyuh, rather they were surprised to see him instead of Arjun or any other Pandavas. Pandavas failed to protect him and he died. No one talks what Arjun did to eliminate Bhishma, if two people can fight with Bhishma (Shikhandi and Arjun) then why to cry about foul play in case of Abhimanyu.

      Bhishma didnt take only Ambika by force he took all three sisters by force. Rather Ambika's lover didt accept her to satisfy his own ego and that poor lady cursed Bhishma for no reason.

      Morality and Dharma is relative concept and its human created concept. We all can justify whatever we think is right. Lie is a lie and Yudhisthir's lie killed many people (Drona and then whoever Ashwatthama killed).

      All people killed in battle field were given Moksha, right then why to cry for Abhimanyu? He also got moksha like Karna, Drona, Bhishma and others. It seems if anyone from Pandav army dies sin is committed and revenge has to be taken but if kaurava or their army person dies its result of their bad karma and justice is delivered???? does it sound like dual standards?

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  8. part 5
    If we look at Krishna as a man or symbol then this is a different outlook to him as a God or god. But what ever view you see him as; so long as you keep that view point singular then there is no confusion. If we look at him as a villain then don’t confuse him with a God who then becomes the villain. Why forget the equally noble bravery of a General a soldier of pride and glory, the Epic Hero. If we do then we loose sight of what message we are trying to convey.

    Lets see him as a man. As a man he had already fulfilled his duty to comply with every last option available to him to stop the war. Even to the point of giving way his huge army and choosing not to fight. A skilled warrior such as him is invaluable in a battlefield. For him not to fight had surely weakened the Panadav army. But one man can make a difference and he did. He stopped the Pandav Brothers revenge by war many times. He stopped them when they were trapped to be burnt alive He stopped them going to war when Draupadi was to be ‘raped’. He stopped them until the last option was exhausted. The warriors rage is immense in those days. Only Krishna had the balance of mind --time after time to stop the Pandavs. He was no weakling since he was equally a superior warrior. The Best of his time. But ultimately even he could not stop the war. Yet for some strange reasons the Hindu writers make him to be a villain to be despised and not glorified. I find that very strange. A man who teaches the supreme wisdom of Gita is no ordinary man.

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    1. My Image of Krishna is very simple, he is my favorite character from epic Mahabharat, I love that character and learned many things from his qualities mentioned in epic. I dont see anything more or less in him (god, hero or villain).

      I already wrote that he tried his best to avoid war, at least we agree on this point..:) He didn't give away his army to stop war, but once war was declared then Arjun and Duryodhan went to him to ask for help he put that proposal. If take a look at modern armies, all big generals and officers they don't fight war but design strategies (which is more important) and Krishna did that, it didn't weakened Pandava army, rather it strengthened as he was free to think about his plans rather than being busy in fighting.

      Believe me Hindu writers or any writer has nothing against Krishna. But his so called devotees don't want to listen anything against him that's why they feel like that. I didn't call him ordinary man, his character is not ordinary character in epic.

      There is nothing like supreme wisdom, its a continuous process and will continue till this planet exists. Hindus call Gita as supreme wisdom, Christians will call Bible, Muslims will call Qur'an, and others something else...the list is very long.

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  9. part 6

    Off course as a God we would have loved to see Him do magic and change all bad little people into good little people and they lived happily ever after like a fairy tale. But life is not like that and if he did that then what purpose would it be in creating a robotic Man/Universe.

    As a man and as a warrior once you go into battle it is no time to be faint hearted and feel sorry for your enemies and give up. Battles are won through the inspiration of words. The pen is mightier than the sword. The pen are his words. As a man it was his one pointed mission to win. He was not there to pamper anyone or to loose this war or make his friends loose. One way or another –he said since the war is declared by Duryodhana then it must be seen through or else they must wonder like beggars in India.

    As a man Krishna had to encourage and give guidance and a rousing speech to get Arjuna to kill Bhisma his beloved great grandfather. Krishna the man is just the best general the best patriot the best psychologist we could ever have. Our Armies in a fight against Pakistanis or Chinese don’t need half hearted people leading them. They need strong willed men.

    Only during the command of Bhisma was fight fair and just. His death was more like suicide since he himself revealed the weakness of how he can be killed. Besides Bhishma had no desire of living any longer.

    You can bring some morality to a battle field. You can bring rules and regulation but if that code of conduct is broken then you have no choice but also to play by your enemies conduct.
    Drona was the first to break these rules when he didn’t stop night time fighting and forced the death of Gatogacha. Its easy to forget that soldiers sacrifice their lives for us and the Country India. We praise the Army and their mothers and Generals in real life. But when we see such sacrifice is made in Mahabharata we suddenly become righteous and make villains of our Generals! How strange.
    The supposed Nobleman. Karna killed and trapped a defenceless, weapon less, lone child Abhimanyu through deceit. Such ignorant fools can only be killed in the same way. There is no shame in killing Karna since he had set that same standard of action by killing weapon less Abhimanyu. Yet some people try to make a hero out of this villain. Tell that to the mother of Abhimanyu.

    This is war. Lets not loose sight of where we are. Sometimes in writing such articles about Krishna the writer forgets where the battle takes place, the year of the century, the thought process of the culture at that time and quickly becomes confused.

    I don’t want to write too much and I hope this answers some of your questions and my concerns.

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    1. You got this one right Kiran, good point and I totally agree with you he didn’t want to create robotic human or universe. But we are trying to do that. We want the world with one God, one religion, one belief system. Where everyone should worship only one god, believe in only one faith, if they don’t then they are wrong, bad, sinful and what not. Krishna didn’t try to do that but organized religions are trying to do that today.

      Again I totally agree and even I wrote in my post once war was declared Krishna’s aim was to win it, at any cost. “The pen is mightier than the sword” that’s why I said by not fighting with sword, he took right decision as he was more powerful without sword. It made Pandava’s army strong. I don’t know how you got an impression our (Indian) army is lead by faint hearted people. I didn’t get it, may be you can elaborate on this topic. In war there is no right and wrong side, there is strong and weak, winner and looser but many times it’s very difficult to decide who is right and who is wrong. As Indian its natural to think that whatever we are doing is right but we should not look down to Pakistani army or Chinese army just because we have some difference of opinion with them. They are also protecting their country and doing job for their country, this is what I learned from Mahabharat.

      Bhishma favored Pandavas from beginning. They asked for his weakness and he revealed to them, he was partial and cheated Duryodhan. I don’t klnow how one can draw conclusion that he didn’t have desire to live any longer because he lived till end of the war. He should have died right on battle field the day he got injured, if he didn’t want to live. He lost his desire to fight not to live, he was curious about wars out come.

      If I behave same as my enemy then what’s the difference between me and my enemy. If God behaves same like human then what’s the difference?

      “The supposed Nobleman. Karna killed and trapped a defenceless, weapon less, lone child Abhimanyu through deceit. Such ignorant fools can only be killed in the same way. There is no shame in killing Karna since he had set that same standard of action by killing weapon less Abhimanyu. Yet some people try to make a hero out of this villain. Tell that to the mother of Abhimanyu.”…..
      Boy you hate Karna so much, each sentence shows that. Karna didn’t invite Abhimanyu to enter Chakravyuh, once he entered it was clear that he will die as he didn’t know how to come out. If you don’t know swimming and jump into water, that too in thunderstorm and blame river or sea for killing you in defenceseless state, is it right? It’s true that Karna (not alone but with others) killed Abhimanyu, they showed their desperation to win the war and incompetence to fight with this brave boy by doing that. What Arjun did by killing Karna in similar manure, didn’t he prove his incompetence? Or is it when Karna does it he is ignorant fool who deserve to get killed and if same thing is done by Arjun and Krishna they are great warriors.

      And why Abhimanyu’s mother is special? Any soldiers mother is same, be it Abhimanyu, Duryodhan, Karna, Indian soldier or Pakistani. All mothers have same feelings towards their child; Abhimanyu’s mother is no special than all other mothers who suffered similar tragedy.

      Yes, it was war that’s why we should not try to bring morality and dharma there, its all relative. You are looking at it from winners prospective and my view is neutral, that’s the only difference.

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  10. last points sorry so many points

    [[You are right, there is no logic to article as it’s not about any logic.]]
    Im sorry but you must write logically when it concerns Krishna whom I and millions worship. There is enough misinformation on the web without one more being added.
    It would be more wiser to read much about Krishna or anything from Hinduism before making such articles.



    [[……but that’s what I understand till now and as I understand more I will keep sharing in my posts.]]
    Thank you for writing this. In this instance all I would ask you to do is that you make this point clear to your readers and instead make an in-depth study of Hindu philosophy or on anything you write. Its no good saying I will write what ever good or bad comes into my head. Think about it.

    You know on Amitabhs blog the poor man laments at how the press destroyed his life—or attempted through misinformation and misconceived ideas and logic and proofs against him. The loneliness he and torment he endured all those years because some press thinks they can write whatever lies that comes into their heads. Im sure it sold millions of his papers but did he think about the life of others?
    Im sure you will understand this point and then understand where I am coming from.
    Here is the link Day 1459
    http://bigb.bigadda.com/?p=9538
    Jai Shree Krishna

    Kiran

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    1. You are free to raise as many points or objections or questions you have, don’t worry about it. I thank you for making this discussion so interesting and thought provoking. For me Krishna’s character is beyond any logic, its full of contrast, that’s why I said its not about any logic. I am very well aware that many people worship him and my intention is not to hurt anybody’s feelings. If knowingly or unknowingly it happened from my side then I am sorry. Thanks for your advice about reading; I will do it for sire. I think I already read a lot about Krisha and Hinduism (and I am still reading) and will continue to read.

      This blog is totally about what I think about any particular subject and what my understanding of that issue is. This is place to discuss, everything is open for discussion and as I already mentioned I am not here to preach anything, accept or take whatever you like and leave the rest.

      I am big fan of Amitabh, but don’t follow him blindly and he is not God for me. I love his acting and many aspects of his personality. Media didn’t do any harm to him specifically, media treats any celebrity like that. He was closely associated with Congress party and Gandhi family during and after emergency. Media suffered great torture during emergency in 1975-77 and somehow they felt Amitabh was part of that plan. They wrote few bad things about him (due to his association with ruling party) and commented about his role in emergency. Amitabh didnt like that banned media and they banned him (so it was ban from both sides). Amitabh flourished in his career, became megastar and media also didn’t die because they didn’t write about him, rather Amitabh mentioned that those were most successful years of his career, so I dont understand how media destroyed his peace of mind (all celebrities go through this phase). Not being in news doesn’t mean you don’t exist; he was very much popular and successful. His relationship with media was always strained and he was not happy with them during Boforce days also (there was news about his role in 1984 anti-Sikh riots also). I personally don’t know what is the truth so can’t comment on who is right. I love him, he is great actor and icon for me and I don't hate media for criticizing him. Media plays great role in society and it’s unfair to blame entire media and ban it for 1-2 tabloid articles.

      There are many translations and interpretations of Gita, in some of them translators have taken huge artistic liberty and propagated their own views and ideas as true meaning of Gita, millions of copied are sold, many people are following it, even some of these books preach hatred about non-believers, we should worry about that.

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    2. my replies are even longer than yours...:)
      Again thanks a lot Kiran for initiating such thought provoking discussion. I learned a lot from it hopefully you can also take some positive message out of it. Feel free to comment on any posts on blog or raise questions, I don't mind it at all.

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  11. @Kiran, I will talk from pro vinay's blog. first of all, sorry if Vinay's post hurt your feelings... but unfortunately its hard to understand why feelings are so weak that they are getting hurt even after listening one single negative word about your GOD? First of all, I am an atheist and do not believe in existence of god, but at the same time I do not ask everyone to do so. Everyone should believe in something and I believe in nonexistence of god, indirectly saying I only believe in existence of myself. Anything which is beyond my understanding do not exist for me, that to say, I do not ask everyone to follow this philosophy. If you believe in existence of krishn, good for you, but do not force others to believe in his existence or do not force others not to write about him (good or bad).

    I also do not believe that Vinay has written anything bad about Krishn. It really depends on who is reading. As the saying goes, beauty lies in the eyes of beholder. Same thing here, you can have 10 meanings of what he has written. Sure, you have right to choose which meaning to choose, but please do not ask someone to stop writing his feelings just because you do not agree with what he is writing. Vinay is also a common man just like you or any other living being with same rights as anyone else has. If he starts thinking about everyone's feelings, who will think about his feelings? If he feels like writing whatever he understood from his little bit (according to you incomplete) reading, why cant we respect his feelings?

    I do not have time to go over amitabh's blog to see what happened to that person as I am not a big fan of amitabh to read his blog, but you also have choice to read vinay's posts which you like or skip what you dont like. Who asked you to take all his points as if they are rules? start thinking about any writings as knowledge and not rules. Apply which suit you and discard the ones which dont. But please do not ask anyone to write. I do not ask you to stop commenting, because thats your right. whether you want to persue that right is your choice, just like Vinay who has right to write anything he wants/thinks.

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  12. Namaste Vinay,

    You write [[This blog is totally about what I think about any particular subject and what my understanding of that issue is.]] ---May I take your point you made and explain my take on this. :-
    In the past before the blog days --the media in particular the Newspapers printed what they thought was their Truths and how they understood it.

    It tormented the lives of people whom they hurt but they didn’t care.

    Today Bloggers everywhere have power to write their Truths as they see fit.
    If it hurts others then they don’t care because “Its my blog and I write whatever I want because this is MY Truth”.

    I wish I had time to discuss more with you but as I have said, I really don’t. Perhaps oneday I may revisit.

    From you replies I can see that you have not understood my many points. I will mention one example later.

    May I say this (and you have already understood this point) that just because you or your friends don’t believe in Krishna in the same way that I do then it does not give you the right to write what you like about Him without proper understanding.
    Just because others write rubbish about Krishna does not give you or me justification to do the same.
    By the way I have not had time to read part 2 of your blog yet.

    I will leave you with the experience of one man whose life has been plagued by such writers all his life. Writer who wrote their Truths—Amitabh Bachchan.
    Please read the links to the blog and how Amitabh laments and cries and is angry at these writers of truths.
    1]
    Posted on: April 24, 2008
    http://bigb.bigadda.com/?p=45
    At the end of his blog Amitabh laments yet again
    “So..electronic media mischieviously mutilated a piece of news and projected it putting me into trouble, for creating a wrong impression in society.”

    2]
    Another blog and another irresponsible games played by the media.
    - `Amitabh Bachchan - a traitor to the nation !'
    http://bigb.bigadda.com/?p=40

    3]
    And another
    http://bigb.bigadda.com/?p=16
    "Aishwarya has not married one tree, or two or three. She has married my son.

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Kiran
    3~’

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    1. Few questions: If truth hurts, then should it not be said? Is comforting lie better than hurting truth?

      I cant say whatever others wrote is rubbish because I didn't come across anything totally rubbish. Whatever I read I found something relevant for me and I took whatever I found relevant and left the rest.

      Blogging/facebook or internet is powerful tool which gives me chance to share my views with others and also learn about others views, I don't see anything wrong in it. Blogging is not journalism. Journalist report news, on my blog I share my views, there is huge difference between news and views. There can be your opinion and my opinion, everyone can have their own opinions but we can not have our own facts or truths. I am not sharing my truth here, it's my opinion, it's based on my reading, observations, experience and thinking.

      Whatever you mentioned about Amitabh and his blog, I already know about it. As I mentioned I am his fan and followed him since my childhood, you forgot to mention few more gossips about him, his affair with Rekha and then feud between him and his brother or his relationship with Amar Singh and many more things, there is no end for gossip. I don't know the actual truth about these incidents as all the information about these incidents is not in public domain but one can not say same thing about Mahabharat and its characters. Everything about it is available in public domain and anyone is free to read it and comment about it. Many people have done that and I see nothing wrong in it, You and me are doing same thing.

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  13. Namaste,

    As mentioned before here is one example of the point I wish to hopefully make you understand.
    By the way I don’t have any issues with Muslims or Christians or Karna or India army or Chinese etc etc which you point out.
    My points were by way of examples to make you see my point. Obviously I have done a bad job.
    Let us take one example and hopefully put you in the right picture.
    You think I hate Karna. I used very words which you did not like and think I hate Karna. No. They were merely words to describe exactly what happened and I don’t see why you don’t like that. Karna, Durydhana and Drona and other brave warriors took the life of one defenseless child.
    You make it sound like it was Abhimanyus fault for getting himself killed brutally. The chakravue set up by Drona meant defeat for the Pandavs. So Abhimanyu sacrificed his life to make sure his side did not loose. This is what brave soldiers do. You should praise the bravery of this sacrifice and not make sarcastic comment that sounds like --he deserved to die.
    Now lets look at Karna. He was strongly against killing unarmed soldiers, yet he himself killed the unarmed Abhuimanyu. Now in a situation when he himself was going to be killed unarmed he was preaching to Arjuna it is not the principle to kill an unarmed person. So where were his principles when he killed Abhimanyu?
    Now the point I was making is that the Pandavs have done no wrong. A father took revenge for his son and as a soldier he killed another bad soldier who did not deserve any morality.
    Anyway there are many such misunderstanding by you in your reply to me and in seeing the war so I will beg forgiveness from you and leave at this stage and apologies if any offence was caused to you or your friends in my reply.


    Namaste Vishnu-- thank you for your views and I hope my comments in these last points answers the points you have raised. We have seen how lives are destroyed by paparazis and writers. Yes they can write what they like and they will. I cannot stop them but I can tell them how I feel about what they have written. In many instance the writers do like to provoke the readers to get some money and fame. Im not saying this is what Vinay is doing. I am referring to what happened to Amitabh and Lay Dianna of England who was chased and ‘killed’ by paparazzi. Vinay has innocently written his views. I have expressed my feelings of his writings. I don’t wish him to stop writing.
    Jai Shree Krishna

    Kiran
    3~’

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    1. As I said kiran, I have not read anything about amitabh's life neither I know anything about lady diana, but I know 1 thing, that is the price everyone pays to be celebrity, and as gita says, all outcomes should be accepted. the law is there to control such things and we are not equipped to make decisions on their behalf. We can have opinions, but not decisions. Thanks for understanding and mentioning about it. Sorry from my side too in case needed.

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  14. Namastey Kiran and thanks for prompt response. I dint say that Abhimanyu deserved to get killed like that or justified Karna or anyone's mistake. Pandavas were equally responsible for his death as they failed to protect him. Kauravas proved their desperation and incapability by killing him like that. I don't have any problems with the words you used for Karna, its your opinion and I respect it. I like his character that doesn't mean I should expect that everyone should like him. My question was what Arjun gained by killing Karna in same manure (except revenge and I don't think revenge is right thing to preach)...remember an eye for an eye leaves whole world blind. Karna's acted like coward and I think so did Arjun. Karna broke rules and so did Arjun, so why one is wrong and one is right?

    If Arjun can take revenge in whatever way he can for his son's death then do you think Ashwatthama was right in taking revenge for his father's death in a way he did? I don't think so. I might have interpreted your opinion about Muslims and Christians wrongly, but you said in your reply that they misinterpret Krishna very often thats why I got that impression.

    As I said Amitabh's relationship with media was always strained. Grey journalism is part and parcel of tabloid culture. I don't blame entire media for that. Media has done great job in India and its important part of any modern society. Amitabh's side is one side of story I would like to know other side of story before passing any judgement about the issue. I don't pay much attention about celebrity marriage news and other gossip so I cant comment about that. All e-media or news sites don't report just news they put lot of stuff just for entertainment and people in entertainment business know very well its a part and parcel of their job.

    You didn't cause any offense at least to me. I already thanked you for initiation this discussion and tried to answer all your concerns one by one. Let me know if you still have any doubts.

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  15. Namaste Vinay,

    I know I said I wont reply anymore but I cant help but post this one more since you are still on the wrong track.

    You said [[Pandavas were equally responsible for his death as they failed to protect him.]]
    No. Yet again you have not studied the battle that took place. The Pandavs were about to loose the war and their only hope was Abhimanyu. They all protected him for a while but the Charkravue of Dorna was too powerful for them and fell behind.
    You still need to understand the situation of whats going on here please.


    [[My question was what Arjun gained by killing Karna in same manure (except revenge and I don't think revenge is right thing to preach)...remember an eye for an eye leaves whole world blind.]]

    Yet again you are forgetting they are at WAR. They are going to kill each other one way or another. Arjuna raised morality at the beginning of the battle and it had already been dismissed by Krishna so when you talk of further morality—same manure and eye for an eye and revenge --then this has no meaning or relevance in the battle field and the situation they are in. I know I said Arjunas revenge was justified but it was a WAR, so his killing Karna was fine.
    You have to understand the culture of time and the warrior. These are people born to fight and kill or be killed.


    [[Karna's acted like coward and I think so did Arjun. Karna broke rules and so did Arjun, so why one is wrong and one is right?]]
    This is not some tit for tat story. Again your emotion to be righteous and justice and moral is blinding you from seeing what is taking place on the BATTLEFIELD. This is not a game they are playing. They are out to kill each other. Pleas please please please read and study before making any more comments like this. Karna killed out of cowardice. Arjuna killed as a father and a warrior.


    [[[do you think Ashwatthama was right in taking revenge for his father's death in a way he did?]]]
    His father was killed by his own actions of foolishness in being so overwhelmed by the death or the NEWS of his sons death. He is the greatest teacher of his time and knows that in a battle anyone can get killed. If he was so attached to his son he should have told him to stay at home.
    These are warriors fighting and he proved perhaps there was no place for a priest no matter how skilled in weaponry he was.
    To be honest he let Duryodhan down and instead of doing the duty of a warrior in a battlefield he gave up. There is nothing worse for a warrior then giving up. He should have been like Arjuna and taken revenge for his sons death.

    He was not killed by the Pandavs but a man who had a grudge against him and he wanted to kill him many years ago. It was a personal revenge by Dhrishtadyumna rather than anything to do with the Pandavs. One way or another Dhrishtadyumna was going to kill Drona.

    Ashwathamma had a right to be upset by his fathers death but he too knows that this is a battlefield. But he had no right to take revenge when he also took part in killing Abhimanyu! Remember! This so called brave Drona and his son Aswathama also took part in killing a defenceless child.
    How can such noble people act this way?
    You seem to forget time and time again the crimes of Duryodhan and his men. The Pandavs only reacted to their crimes and are in no way at fault in anything they have done.


    Kiran :)

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    1. Namastey Kiran,
      Thanks again for your reply. I don't understand how come I am on wrong track. I am not taking any sides here, I didn't justify any killing, neither Abhimanyu's nor Karna's (or for that matter anyone). For me both were killed by using unfair means and were victims of foul play. Please read carefully, there only hope was not Abhimanyu but Arjun. Chakravyuh plan was to capture Yudhisthir and win the war and no one from Pandavas knew how to break Chakravyuh. Abhimanyu only knew how to enter, so he had only half of knowledge and Pandav knew it, it was their choice to risk his life instead of loosing the war and that brave kid fulfilled his duty by sacrificing his life. It was not Drona who stopped them (Pandavs) from entering Chakravyuh but Jayadrath. Interestingly Abhimanyu's death is used as shield to justify all misdeeds done by Pandav warriors. Arjun held Jayadrath responsible for his son's death, not Drona or Karna or anyone else. He killed Jayadrath next day and to take revenge for his son's death. Krishna used Arjun's weakness (memory of his son's death) to incite him to kill Karna as he knew it will be impossible to kill him in fair fight. I think that it was a brilliant strategy and nothing wrong in it, Krishna's aim was to win the war. I only have problem when people bring dharma and adharma, one side being totally right, another totally corrupt...and things like that. As you said, it was WAR and they were there to kill each other and win the war, how they kill, it doesn't matter it seems. But looks like, it mattered when someone from Pandav army (specially their blood relative) got killed but it doesn't matter if anyone from Kuru army get killed [as they were all sinners who tried to trouble Pandavs, took their kingdon so deserved to get butchered...:)]

      I am not at all emotional or trying to be righteous here. Why should I have any soft corner for Kauravs for me they are same like Pandavs (I must agree Pandavs were better in their conduct and much more clever). And according to you why Arjun killed only Karna to take revenge for his son's death? Why he didn't kill Drona, Duryodhan, Ashwatthama, Shalya, Kripa, etc.? All these were present during Abhimanyu's death and were also responsible for his death, wasn't it his duty to take revenge with these people also?

      It seems Drona even don't have right to mourn for his son's death, I agree that he choose a wrong time to do that, but I think the punishment he got doesn't match his stupid mistake. Dhrishtadyumna had no power and capacity to kill Drona under normal circumstances (if you have read the book then you should know this) that's why he grabbed that chance and took his revenge. And if Arjun was so attached to his son (Abhimanyu) he should have told him to stay home, why unnecessarily put that kid in danger. I thought the war was 'Dharmayuddha' and not about personal revenge of anyone, but by your description its looks like it was staged to settle some personal issues between few people.
      cont....

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    2. cont..
      It seems according to you only Pandavs have right to take revenge!!! no one else. Killing of Abhimanyu gave free license to Pandav army to kill anyone, any way they wish, strange logic. On similar logic do you think denial of Kingdom to Dhritarashtra just because he was blind give Duryodhan right to grab that kingdom by whatever means he can just to take revenge of that injustice? If you read Mahabharat carefully and then you will find out all these actions and killing during war has nothing to do with what happened on battlefield, every action performed there had some link to the event in past and want to teach us some lesson, there was no right or wrong, only winner and looser, very simple. Pandavs won it (using whatever methods, its doesn't matter), that's why they are glorified and praised.

      In war there is no winner or looser, there are only dead and sufferers (who remain alive, including winners and losers). If you read the last chapter of book then you will understand what I mean (Specially Yudhisthir's dialogs after winning the war).

      Your question is right, Mahabharat asks that very often, how can such noble people act this way? and it's not only about Kauravs but also about Pandavs. I didn't forget anything from Mahabharat or related stories. I know very well Duryodhan's mistakes and his nature described in epic. Pandavs not only reacted to his mistakes (which was their right and duty to do so) but also made many mistakes themselves, every character in Mahabharat has good side and bad side, that's how it is, whether you like it or not.

      Somehow I think you think that I am supporting Kaurav's side and want to justify their actions and mistakes...I dont know how you got that impression (??). I am neutral and trying to study this great epic and learn lessons from it. I am not blinded by any belief or faith, for me its the most wonderful book or script ever written and I love it. Authors have created great epic, and this story of family feud about property is highlight of it....Criminals should get punished but their punishment should be according to their crime and everyone should be treated equal in front of law, these are well accepted norms of civil society, this is the simple logic I follow in all the cases I discussed here. Your comments are always welcome, don't hesitate to continue the discussion.

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  16. Namaste Vinay,

    [[it was their choice to risk his life instead of loosing the war and that brave kid fulfilled his duty by sacrificing his life.]]

    [[Abhimanyu's death is used as shield to justify all misdeeds done by Pandav warriors.]]]

    Think about it. They were not there to loose the war because one person was going to die. That’s silly.
    (misdeeds)--They never committed any crime because they were in a war and there to kill anyone and anyhow they could. So there is no misdeed.


    [[Arjun held Jayadrath responsible for his son's death,]] Yes but they were all to blame for his death. Even if we are to dismiss the death of his son altogether, then Arjuna killed in the war because that was the nature of the war. To Kill. The nature of warfare is to use any means at you possession to disarm, find weakness by sending spies, and in anyway kill your opponents. Because if you don’t kill then they will kill you. Logical istn it. The only problem with this war was that rules were set –yes even in a war but the rules were broken one by one by Kauravs and this gave Kauravs advantage and the Pandavs cannot just stand back and let them walk all over them.


    [[Krishna used Arjun's weakness (memory of his son's death) to incite him to kill Karna as he knew it will be impossible to kill him in fair fight.]]
    You have used the wrong word yet again-- ‘incite’ to see Krishna.
    Krishna as you say used strategy and inspire to win and not incite. Either you genuinely believe Krishna was bad (when you use incite word) or you don’t know how to use right words in sentences.
    Look where they are. In a battlefield and they are here to win.
    The duty of a coach, trainer, manager, General is to inspire by using the right words and tactics to win eg boxing match or football or cricket or war etc etc How can these people be inciting. Its totally wrong.


    [[I only have problem when people bring dharma and adharma, one side being totally right, another totally corrupt...and things like that.]]
    When the good guys win then this Dharma and there is nothing wrong in saying and seeing it as such. Villains are villains and that is adharma. Come on easy to see and understand. Pandavs were good and Kauravs were bad. Its clear cut. Anyone who sides with villainy is also a villain no matter how noble their life may have been.








    [[But looks like, it mattered when someone from Pandav army (specially their blood relative) got killed but it doesn't matter if anyone from Kuru army get killed [as they were all sinners who tried to trouble Pandavs, took their kingdon so deserved to get butchered...:)]]]
    Correct observation. Yes it matters when good is killed. When bad is killed we don’t care. Yes they Kauravs deserved to get killed because they brought the war onto themselves by not giving the Panadav five villages or even a pin points worth.

    Some people see this war symbolically as good and bad in the mind. So even here when our bad habits eg say smoking is killed then we don’t care.



    [[Why he didn't kill Drona, Duryodhan, Ashwatthama, Shalya, Kripa, etc.?]]
    Because others before him had vowed to kill them. He respected their vow as it was important for a warrior to fulfil them in those days. Otherwise he would have defeated them all. He had already defeated them all once before. Arjuna indeed was Mahan.



    Kiran
    3~'

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    1. Thanks a lot Kiran for continuing the discussion. I anticipated all these replies and you didn’t disappoint me, believe me you are not the first person to give all these reasons. I heard them before, read the book Bhagvad Gita-as it is by Prabhupad (if you haven’t already, you will definitely enjoy it), its full of things like this. I am planning one post on that book and would like your opinion there also.

      I didn’t expect that I have to go in so much detail, but I don’t mind. I already gave very detailed replies to all your previous comments, I think they were too long that’s why you didn’t read them completely and left some points conveniently, but that’s fine, it’s not the issue here. Now let’s go step by step so we don’t miss anything. If I miss any obvious points then let me know I will explain them also.

      [Think about it. They were not there to loose the war because one person was going to die. That’s silly.
      (misdeeds)--They never committed any crime because they were in a war and there to kill anyone and anyhow they could. So there is no misdeed. ]

      I didn’t say they were going to lose war because one person was going to die. I wrote ‘their (Kuru army) plan was to capture Yudhisthir (or kill him) and win the war’. In any game or war, if king is killed or captured opposite side either looses war/game or have to compromise heavily to rescue their king. I think we all understand and agree on this. Abhimanyu’s death was not matter of win or lose, but Yudhisthir’s death or even capture was and they avoided it by sacrificing Abhimanyu, same way Ghatotkach was used to nullify Karna’s weapon (shakti) which Indra gave (as I already said clever strategy, but they took the risk).

      [Arjuna killed in the war because that was the nature of the war. To Kill. The nature of warfare is to use any means at you possession to disarm, find weakness by sending spies, and in anyway kill your opponents. Because if you don’t kill then they will kill you. Logical istn it.]

      I thought the nature of war is to fight and win, it’s not only KILL. I must admire your statement as I can’t think like that (to kill enemy by whatever way you can or by use of any means or in your words ‘They were in a war, to kill anyone and anyhow they could) by this you just justified holocaust, Hindu-Muslim riots, suicide bombing, terrorism, Taliban’s style of war, atomic bombing, etc. as they all believed that there was declared war against their enemies and they had right to kill them by whatever means they can (just kill doesn’t matter how). I don’t think like this, but if you think it’s right then I don’t have anything to say, you are right, because as a human I can’t go beyond certain limits even in case or cruelty and revenge.

      [The only problem with this war was that rules were set –yes even in a war but the rules were broken one by one by Kauravs and this gave Kauravs advantage and the Pandavs cannot just stand back and let them walk all over them]

      Not only in this war, in any war there are certain rules and people follow them as well as break them. I am of the opinion that if I break the rule, I accept my mistake rather than justifying it. Yes, Kauravs broke the rules, so did the Pandavs, where is the difference? That’s why I think there is no right or wrong side in this war. Bhishma was killed first by breaking the rule (1:1 fight), but even that doesn’t give Kauravs right to kill Abhimanyu the way they killed. I am just giving this example to show that rules were broken by both the sides not only by Kauravs.

      contd.

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    2. contd.
      [You have used the wrong word yet again-- ‘incite’ to see Krishna. Krishna as you say used strategy and inspire to win and not incite. Either you genuinely believe Krishna was bad (when you use incite word) or you don’t know how to use right words in sentences. Look where they are. In a battlefield and they are here to win. The duty of a coach, trainer, manager, General is to inspire by using the right words and tactics to win eg boxing match or football or cricket or war etc etc How can these people be inciting. Its totally wrong.]

      I don’t know if you have heard anything like “sportsman spirit”. Yes, every coach trains his student to win, but win by playing fair game not at any cost. In boxing coach don’t teach boxer to hit below the belt just to win the match. Recently Indian cricket team has shown some great examples of sportsman spirit at the cost of losing the match; I loved it and really appreciate their sportsman spirit, you may not have liked that as they didn’t play to win at any cost. May be you love the way Aussies play their cricket, they play to win, how it doesn’t matter (sledging, by bowling underarm delivery). I like their cricket too but not the way they play. I do care about how they play, rather than only they win or not. I am not comparing sport and war here but just commenting on win at any cost attitude. There is definitely difference between inspire and ‘incite’. You inspire person to do GOOD things, when he/she needs confidence, motivation. Arjun was already inspired and was in the middle of fierce battle, he didn’t need any inspiration (Gita was enough to inspire him) on the contrary you ‘incite’ a person to do things which normally he/she won’t do it and Krishna exactly did that, I am sure Arjun won’t kill any unarmed person as he was brave warrior. If we go by your logic we see many inspired (in your words, incited according to me) Jehadis killing innocent people which they won’t kill normally. I used totally correct word there.

      [When the good guys win then this Dharma and there is nothing wrong in saying and seeing it as such. Villains are villains and that is adharma. Come on easy to see and understand. Pandavs were good and Kauravs were bad. Its clear cut. Anyone who sides with villainy is also a villain no matter how noble their life may have been.]

      I wish the differentiation of Dharma and Adharma would have been so simple. If you want to see good guy winning and bad guy loosing, why to go to Mahabharat, just watch any bollywood movie (or any fairy tale) you will get more than enough dose of Dharma winning and Adharma loosing. It’s not that easy to understand this in Mahabharat, that’s why I wrote “They (authors) showed us how dharma is subtle and many times its difficult to differentiate right from wrong” in my second part of this post. I like that you see Mahabharat like any other bollywood movie (I said that its best script ever written, but didn’t think that you will take that meaning literally) where one side is all good (Pandavs, Hero) and other is all bad (Kauravs, Villain). I wish I can think like that….Victory of good over bad is one of the much generalized lesson for people who don’t understand the details of that story.

      contd.

      Delete
    3. contd.
      [Yes it matters when good is killed. When bad is killed we don’t care. Yes they Kauravs deserved to get killed because they brought the war onto themselves by not giving the Panadav five villages or even a pin points worth.]

      Great opinion, but I care when people get killed in war or any attack. I feel bad for them, normally there is no pure good or pure bad in war, and everyone is fighting for some reason or cause. I don’t want to go in all details here as I already said it’s not that simple. Kuru dynasty ended with Bhishma, after him no one belonged to Kuru lineage. Actually I don’t care about lineage, but it seems in Mahabharat it mattered a lot. At least Duryodhan was biological son of Dhrutrashtra, but Pandu didn’t have any biological son of his own, so why Duryodhan should give them anything? Anyway this is just a technical point. I am bit surprised that you believe in violence so convincingly.

      [Some people see this war symbolically as good and bad in the mind. So even here when our bad habits eg say smoking is killed then we don’t care.]

      I don’t have any problems with who wins the war; I already mentioned what issues I have and explained them in great detail you can refer them. I already said it’s not that simple like war of good against bad.

      [Because others before him had vowed to kill them. He respected their vow as it was important for a warrior to fulfil them in those days. Otherwise he would have defeated them all. He had already defeated them all once before. Arjuna indeed was Mahan.]

      Who said that Arjun was not great or mahan. There were so many great warriors there and he was one of them. Except for Drona and Duryodhan others were available for Arjun to kill (as no one claimed them so according to you it should have been safe for Arjun to kill them), but he didn’t I wonder why? I know you have reasons for this, I just want to know according to you, why he didn’t kill Ashwatthama, Shalya, Kripa? Two of them didn’t even die during war, do you wonder what happened to revenge, blood for blood theory?

      Delete
  17. contd
    [[It seems Drona even don't have right to mourn for his son's death,]
    On a battlefield people are dying all around you. There is no time to mourn in the midst of such battle. His mistake is fatal.
    Im sure the first lesson he taught his students was Concentrate and stay focused. There is a time and place for morning –ie after the end of battle.


    [[Dhrishtadyumna had no power and capacity to kill Drona]]
    Exactly. This is why Drona was foolish and deadly mistake cost him his life. This is WAR not some childish game.


    [[And if Arjun was so attached to his son (Abhimanyu) he should have told him to stay home]] he did. But the situation was such that only Abhimanyu could get them out of it. Besides Abhimanu was no useless warrior. He was probably equal to his father. He was trained by the best –Krishna.
    Whereas Dronas son we know was brave but weak in comparison. He was only respected because they didn’t want to kill a Brahmins son.



    [[I thought the war was 'Dharmayuddha']]
    Yes you are right. It was a Dharma Yudh.
    Dharma won.


    [[only Pandavs have right to take revenge!]]
    Yes because the other side forced them in that situation through cheating lies deception plotting raping and not even giving them five villages etc etc etc They had to fight for their right.



    [[Killing of Abhimanyu gave free license to Pandav army to kill anyone, any way they wish, strange logic.]]
    What are you talking about??
    Abhimanyu was not the sole reason to kill anyone.
    Don’t you understand that a war was declared and this what gives them the right to kill anyone and however they see fit. Similarly the other side had the same option.
    Come on Vinay.



    [[On similar logic do you think denial of Kingdom to Dhritarashtra just because he was blind give Duryodhan right to grab that kingdom by whatever means he can just to take revenge of that injustice?]]
    That is not upto me to decide. His own Karma and Dharma will decide for him. My own dharma and karma will be my fate.



    [[then you will find out all these actions and killing during war has nothing to do with what happened on battlefield, every action performed there had some link to the event in past and want to teach us some lesson, there was no right or wrong, only winner and looser, very simple.]]
    Oh so you do understand. Did we just waste time when you already understand this. Therefore the moral of the story is live a righteous life and dont be jealous of anyone. Today so many families are breaking up for the same reason. The Krishna factor is what will keep us all from falling foul of these miseries.

    Well done.



    [[I dont know how you got that impression (??).]]
    It’s the words you use in your sentences and how you use them. Its fine to study what made Kauravs bad good etc. But that does not mean you must make others villains too and use all those negative words towards Krishna This is what started this discussion. Again its your sentences. One minute you are thinking right and the very next you seem confused about whats going on overall and justify your thinking.
    Hope that clarifies that point.



    [[Criminals should get punished but their punishment should be according to their crime and everyone should be treated equal in front of law, these are well accepted norms of civil society, this is the simple logic I follow in all the cases I discussed here.]]
    Your thoughts are noble but we cannot apply this in a war when it’s a free for all kill kill kill situation. This is why I differ from your words and not your nobility.


    All the Best

    Kiran

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right about Drona’s mistake; sure he forgot his duties as a warrior and paid for it. It was war and no childish game. I have nothing against it. My point was, he got killed in wrong way; his killer was coward, nothing else. If you feel that’s right way to fight in war and Dhristadyumna did great job by killing him like that. I have no issues.

      [Whereas Dronas son we know was brave but weak in comparison. He was only respected because they didn’t want to kill a Brahmins son. ]

      Ashwathama fought whole battle and survived, while Abhimanyu died, I don’t see how we can compare these two people. I cant say who was strong and who was weak, according to me both were very skilled warriors. And if they can kill the ‘Brahmin’ himself then what’s wrong in killing his son? I didn’t get it, what's so special about Brahmins son but not the Brahmin..please elaborate.

      It was continuous battle between Dharma and Adharma (not between just two sides) and Dharma or Adharma didn’t reside totally with any one side, that’s the beauty of Mahabharat for me. Glad that you see it as simple fairy tale or bollywood movie where there is hero and villain and at the end hero wins…simple isn’t it…:)

      [Yes because the other side forced them in that situation through cheating lies deception plotting raping and not even giving them five villages etc etc etc They had to fight for their right.]

      Who was raped? Probably you are referring to Draupadi’s molestation, there is difference between rape and molestation but that’s not important here. No one can justify Draupadi’s insult. She insulted Duryodhan (by calling him blind father’s blind son) and Karna (rejecting him during swayanwar as ‘sutaputra’) and this incident is an example of what mans wounded ego can make him to do. Both were looking for chance to take revenge on her and they got it on that day, again here I am not justifying their actions (like you justify all actions of Pandavs right or wrong). They crossed their limits, so never hurt mans ego, results can be very dissasterous. Karna was molested in similar way by Pandavs, when they laughed at his lineage (for being ‘sutaputra’ and challenging Arjun), no one even talks about this incident (may be because he was not disrobed only insulted by words) this created lifelong amnesty between them. There are important lessons to learn in both the incidents.

      contd.

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    2. contd.

      [Don’t you understand that a war was declared and this what gives them the right to kill anyone and however they see fit. Similarly the other side had the same option.]

      I dint know that war gives us right to kill anyone and however we see fit. I already mentioned that by this way we can justify all mass murders happened during wars (including holocaust, Hiroshima-Nagasaki, etc.). I don’t think like this. So if Pakistani terrorists kill civilians we also have option of doing same with civilians of their country using same method?

      Very convenient stand about Dhritrashtra, I like that, brilliant.

      All families don’t get divided because of jealousy; there are so many reason to it. I wonder what is Krishna factor?

      I already said, this post is not about any logic. I see positives and negatives in both the sides. I describe character of Krishna in same way as I see him. I am very clear about my thinking and not confused about any part of this story.

      [Your thoughts are noble but we cannot apply this in a war when it’s a free for all kill kill kill situation. This is why I differ from your words and not your nobility. ]

      For me free for kill….situation only exist in jungle where might is always right. In war also there are rules and there is term called ‘war crimes’, if war is free to kill situation then there won’t be any trials or prosecutions after war as everyone is using their right free to kill. We humans won’t deal that way and Mahabharat certainly doesn’t teach that. I don’t know from where you got that impression. This is a great book which taught me lot; hopefully you will also be able to see multi-dimensional nature of this story. It’s not simple story of good vs bad, you don’t need such a big book to convey that message, any bollywood movie if enough for that.

      My views won’t make sense to you may be because you are looking at only one side of the story refusing to accept that there can be another side also. Similar way many fundamentalist think that their religion is the only and only way to go (their God is only supreme) and all others are wrong. I don’t think that way that might be the difference between your thinking and mine also.

      Delete
  18. Namaste Vinay,


    [[it was their choice to risk his life instead of loosing the war and that brave kid fulfilled his duty by sacrificing his life.]]

    [[Abhimanyu's death is used as shield to justify all misdeeds done by Pandav warriors.]]]

    Think about it. They were not there to loose the war because one person was going to die. That’s silly.
    (misdeeds)--They never committed any crime because they were in a war and there to kill anyone and anyhow they could. So there is no misdeed.


    [[Arjun held Jayadrath responsible for his son's death,]] Yes but they were all to blame for his death. Even if we are to dismiss the death of his son altogether, then Arjuna killed in the war because that was the nature of the war. To Kill. The nature of warfare is to use any means at you possession to disarm, find weakness by sending spies, and in anyway kill your opponents. Because if you don’t kill then they will kill you. Logical istn it. The only problem with this war was that rules were set –yes even in a war but the rules were broken one by one by Kauravs and this gave Kauravs advantage and the Pandavs cannot just stand back and let them walk all over them.


    [[Krishna used Arjun's weakness (memory of his son's death) to incite him to kill Karna as he knew it will be impossible to kill him in fair fight.]]
    You have used the wrong word yet again-- ‘incite’ to see Krishna.
    Krishna as you say used strategy and inspire to win and not incite. Either you genuinely believe Krishna was bad (when you use incite word) or you don’t know how to use right words in sentences.
    Look where they are. In a battlefield and they are here to win.
    The duty of a coach, trainer, manager, General is to inspire by using the right words and tactics to win eg boxing match or football or cricket or war etc etc How can these people be inciting. Its totally wrong.


    [[I only have problem when people bring dharma and adharma, one side being totally right, another totally corrupt...and things like that.]]
    When the good guys win then this Dharma and there is nothing wrong in saying and seeing it as such. Villains are villains and that is adharma. Come on easy to see and understand. Pandavs were good and Kauravs were bad. Its clear cut. Anyone who sides with villainy is also a villain no matter how noble their life may have been.








    [[But looks like, it mattered when someone from Pandav army (specially their blood relative) got killed but it doesn't matter if anyone from Kuru army get killed [as they were all sinners who tried to trouble Pandavs, took their kingdon so deserved to get butchered...:)]]]
    Correct observation. Yes it matters when good is killed. When bad is killed we don’t care. Yes they Kauravs deserved to get killed because they brought the war onto themselves by not giving the Panadav five villages or even a pin points worth.

    Some people see this war symbolically as good and bad in the mind. So even here when our bad habits eg say smoking is killed then we don’t care.



    [[Why he didn't kill Drona, Duryodhan, Ashwatthama, Shalya, Kripa, etc.?]]
    Because others before him had vowed to kill them. He respected their vow as it was important for a warrior to fulfil them in those days. Otherwise he would have defeated them all. He had already defeated them all once before. Arjuna indeed was Mahan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I already replied to this post yesterday, please go through it and let me know if you still have any questions. As I said you might want to read the book Bhagvad Gita- As It Is by Prabhupad, its full of argument like you mentioned in all your posts. I have recently posted one article about this book on my blog, please take a look at it if you are interested.

      [When the good guys win then this Dharma and there is nothing wrong in saying and seeing it as such. Villains are villains and that is adharma. Come on easy to see and understand. Pandavs were good and Kauravs were bad. Its clear cut. Anyone who sides with villainy is also a villain no matter how noble their life may have been.]

      Sure its good to see good guys winning, but problem in Mahabharat there is no totally good or totally bad side and I already clarified this point in very much detail in all my replies. For me anyone who sides with villain is not villain and anyone who sides with Hero is not a Hero....There can be so many reasons when a person supports somebody. I don't see the world in either black or white image (only good or bad people) the way you see it, may be thats the difference. For me every person has good and bad qualities in them and the balance between them decides their overall character. When I accept any person I accept them totally with all their shades and in similar manure I accept Krishna and all other characters of Mahabharat.

      Delete
  19. contd

    [[It seems Drona even don't have right to mourn for his son's death,]
    On a battlefield people are dying all around you. There is no time to mourn in the midst of such battle. His mistake is fatal.
    Im sure the first lesson he taught his students was Concentrate and stay focused. There is a time and place for morning –ie after the end of day.


    [[Dhrishtadyumna had no power and capacity to kill Drona]]
    Exactly. This is why Drona was foolish and deadly mistake cost him his life. This is WAR not some childish game.


    [[And if Arjun was so attached to his son (Abhimanyu) he should have told him to stay home]] he did. But the situation was such that only Abhimanyu could get them out of it. Besides Abhimanu was no useless warrior. He was probably equal to his father. He was trained by the best –Krishna.
    Whereas Dronas son we know was brave but weak in comparison. He was only respected because they didn’t want to kill a Brahmins son.



    [[I thought the war was 'Dharmayuddha']]
    Yes you are right. It was a Dharma Yudh.
    Dharma won.


    [[only Pandavs have right to take revenge!]]
    Yes because the other side forced them in that situation through cheating lies deception plotting raping and not even giving them five villages etc etc etc Pandavs had to fight for their right and life.



    [[Killing of Abhimanyu gave free license to Pandav army to kill anyone, any way they wish, strange logic.]]
    Incorrect.
    Abhimanyu was not the sole reason to kill anyone.
    The war was declared and this is what gave them the right to kill anyone and however they see fit. Similarly the other side had the same option.



    [[On similar logic do you think denial of Kingdom to Dhritarashtra just because he was blind give Duryodhan right to grab that kingdom by whatever means he can just to take revenge of that injustice?]]
    That is not upto me to decide. His own Karma and Dharma will decide for him. My own dharma and karma will be my fate.



    [[then you will find out all these actions and killing during war has nothing to do with what happened on battlefield, every action performed there had some link to the event in past and want to teach us some lesson, there was no right or wrong, only winner and looser, very simple.]]
    Oh so you do understand. Did we just waste time when you already understand this. Therefore the moral of the story is live a righteous life and dont be jealous of anyone. Today so many families are breaking up for the same reason. The Krishna factor is what will keep us all from falling foul of these miseries.

    Well done.



    [[I dont know how you got that impression (??).]]
    It’s the words you use in your sentences and how you use them. Its fine to study what made Kauravs bad good etc. But that does not mean you must make others villains too and use all those negative words towards Krishna This is what started this discussion. Again its your sentences. One minute you are thinking right and the very next you seem confused about whats going on overall and justify your thinking.
    Hope that clarifies that point.



    [[Criminals should get punished but their punishment should be according to their crime and everyone should be treated equal in front of law, these are well accepted norms of civil society, this is the simple logic I follow in all the cases I discussed here.]]
    Your thoughts are noble but we cannot apply this in a war when it’s a free for all to kill kill kill situation. This is why I differ from your words and not your nobility.


    All the Best

    Kiran
    3~’

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Namastey Kiran,
      I already posted detailed reply to your both the posts yesterday, please go through them and let me know if you still have any doubts. I think I made all points clear in all replies above, but if you still have any questions feel free to ask.

      Delete
    2. Namastey Kiran,
      I am glad that I could clarify your doubts about my post. I know its very difficult to change anyone's view but definitely we can try to explain and clear each others doubts by sharing the information so that people can understand our stand better.

      Thanks for your time and participation in discussion. Don't hesitate to comment or ask questions about posts on my blog or share them with others if you think they are interesting.
      I will be more than happy to answer all questions to the best of my ability.
      Thanks again,
      With Best Regards,
      Vinay

      Delete
  20. very nice article about Krishna...
    http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=3864

    ReplyDelete