“I’m the scruples in the heart of all living beings
I ‘m their start, their being, their conclusion
I’m the wits of the senses,
I’m the beaming sun amongst lights
I’m the song in revered lore,
I’m the sovereign of deities
I’m the cleric of great seers…”
One of the most powerful incarnations of Lord Vishnu, he is also the most popular Gods among the masses who consider Lord Krishna as their philosopher, guide, hero, teacher, friend and protector. Lord Krishna plays a very vital role in the Hinduism thoughts and beliefs, influencing not only the religion, philosophy and its mysticism but also the literature, culture and heritage. From his initial days as a little kid in Gokul, to an adolescent in Mathura and later as a King of Dwarka, Krishna is a hero and will always make me worship him in admiration but when it comes to his role in Mahabharat, the feelings however are not same.
You might wonder why this apprehension as it was Lord Krishna who rightly supported the “good” Pandavas in winning the battle against the so called “evil” Kauravas? Now that we are all well versed with Lord Krishna’s pivotal role in Mahabharat you might wonder then why do I portray him as a Villain? Here’s my point of view:
Game of Dice
The end of the game in Mahabharat, the humiliation of Draupadi is really distressing from the point of view of Pandavas but everything that started was in the knowledge of Krishna. How can one blame Duryodhana when Pandavas themselves had placed Draupadi as a bet? Krishna if wanted could have stopped Pandavas from betting their wife but he did not. He didn’t advice Pandavas who failed to respect a woman, leave alone their wife. They saw their wife as an object to bet or play with. Krishna instead of advising them against this act, decided to use the occasion against Duryodhan and his good friend Karna, who was not even present in the court room.
On the onset of the Kurukshetra, Krishna analyzes the weaknesses and strengths of Duryodhana. He recognizes his biggest strength in the form of Karna and so meets him in person to reveal his true identity. After announcing his connection with his mother Kunti, he then asks him to join Pandavas by deceiving Duryodhana which Karna straightly refuses. Now, since Krishna couldn’t get Karna straightforwardly, he tries to use the way from the back door by playing with his generous nature. So, he suggests Lord Indra to meet him in disguise and ask for his golden armor and earring fearing that it would make him victorious. Karna, who knew the man in disguise, was Lord Indra still obliges him with his requirement who in return offers him with “Brahmashtra.” Worried what Karna would do with the Brahmashtra, Krishna even sends Kunti as his aid to Karna. Karna in turn gives Kunti his words that he would never harm Pandavas and use the Ashtra only once.
The Unfortunate War
Karna remained true to his words and did not harm any of the Pandavas. However, when he met Arjuna, Krishna again played a nasty trick. He cunningly brought the chariot down to save Arjuna. Karna had aimed at Arjuna’s neck and not on his waist as suggested by his charioteer who annoyed by Karna’s behavior left the battlefield in anguish. Krishna was well aware that Karna would never use the Brahmashastra twice. Watching Karna struggling with his chariot, Krishna orders Arjun to attack him but Karna’s dharma for others saved him every time. Krishna knew killing Karna was a difficult task and so he ordered Arjuna to kill Karna while he was busy struggling with the chariot.
Lord Krishna was well aware that Karna is a generous and a righteous person. Bhagwad Gita also portrays him as a good individual and a gem of a person. At one stage in the midst of the war, Krishna even tells Arjuna that Karna is indeed a real warrior and far better than him. If Karna, was given a chance to live more, then dharma would have stood in the hearts and minds of the people. By killing Karna on the battleground, Krishna actually became a murderer of humanity and a villain by eradicating the potential dharma from the masses.
Part 2 Follows..
By Deepti Verma