Get Email Updates
Demented Diary
Going Wodwo
Crochet Lady
Dan Gent
Sky Friday
Kindle Daily Deal
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

2410166 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Arjuna and Sri Krishna
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (4)

Arjuna is one of the heroes of the Mahabharata, which itself is a significant part of the Upanishads, an enormous work of Hindu philosophy, sociology and psychology, encompassing 12 volumes (the shelf weighed down) accepted by all Hindu scholars, to a maximum of 123 volumes (the whole bookcase), many apocryphal and/or disputed in other ways.

But I was talking about Arjuna, a fascinating character, one of the five Pandava brothers. He is an engaging personality, handsome, quick of wit, skilled in archery, high-principled and loyal to his friends and family. All the masculine martial attributes extolled in chivalry and praised down through the centuries. His best friend was Krishna—you know him by his blue face—yes, that Krishna, cousin, brother-in-law and Divine counselor.

Many are the stories, like Medieval morality plays, attached to the Arjuna tales and exemplifying human strengths, virtues, evils and weaknesses. As a husband, Arjuna won his wife in an archery contest. But his Mother told him to share equally with his brothers, so his wife became a co-wife for the five siblings (I don’t know what she thought about that). Mother is always right.

He had to enter a forbidden room to get his weapons when a pack of cattle thieves threatened and then he insisted on going into the required 12 years in exile, though his entire family opposed his decision. An oath is to be kept at all costs.

He traveled the length and breadth of India during his exile, and, like Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, his life story accrued many not always mutually consistent legends. But best known is the account told in the Bhagavad-Gita, when Arjuna returns from exile to find his kinsmen arrayed against him, refusing to return his kingdom to him. He is devastated by their betrayal, by the knowledge that he will fight and kill men he grew up with, and he is worried about the cost and consequences of his actions and choices. I am reminded here of issues raised in the Round Table legends.

His friend, cousin and brother-in-law, Sri Krishna (you know him by his blue face), comes to his aid as his charioteer, describing who he really is and revealing his Godly Form. In Chapter 4, he says (paraphrased), “Whenever and wherever there is decline of dharma (righteousness) and a rise of unrighteousness, I myself come forth. For the protection of the righteous and destruction of the wicked, and for the sake of establishing dharma again, I am born from age to age.” This is his promise to the downtrodden, the persecuted, widows, orphans, dispossessed and his condemnation of the wicked, who receive their just desserts at the hands of the righteous warrior.

He goes on to lecture Arjuna at length, urging him to fight for righteousness, without worrying about reward or failure or cost or consequences. He must perform his moral duty, as this is the position where he finds himself, the result of choices he has made. Christians will recognize echoes of a familiar Holy Scripture describing God’s advice to Man about the right way to act during times of terrible ethical dilemma: “Is it right to annihilate his own kin for the sake of a kingdom?” is Arjuna’s question. Mankind has been trying to justify war and killing ever since.

Doesn’t sound like our stereotypical view of Hinduism, does it?

Read/Post Comments (4)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 JournalScape.com. All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.