Thursday, September 11, 2008

PDE Mahabharata: Krishna's Mission to the Kauravas

Reading Guide. Krishna has acted as a peace broker before, and he will try once again. This time he will even manifest himself in his divine form as Vishnu, specifically, in the Vishvarupa, the All-Form. He will do the same again in an even more famous scene at the Battle of Kurukshetra, urging Arjuna to fight.

Image. In addition to the image below, you can see more examples of the Vishvarupa in this Wikipedia article: Vishvarupa.

Source. Indian Myth and Legend by Donald A. Mackenzie (1913). [400 words]

Krishna | 56. Krishna's Mission | Karna

In time Drupada's priest appeared in the city of Hastinapura, and then the blind old monarch sent his minister and charioteer, Sanjaya, to the Pandavas. When Sanjaya reached the Pandavas, he was astonished to behold that they had assembled together a mighty army. Yudhishthira spoke to him and said, "Tell thou Duryodhana that we will accept that portion of the raj which we ourselves have conquered and settled: he can retain the rest. My desire is for peace."

Many days went past, and the Pandavas waited in vain for an answer to their message. Said Krishna, "I will now journey unto Hastinapura and address the maharajah and his counsellors on thy behalf." All the Kauravas went forth to meet the royal ambassador save Duryodhana, who scarcely looked upon Krishna when he arrived at the palace.

Krishna arose, and in a voice like thunder spake forth, saying, "I have come hither not to seek war, but to utter words of peace and love."

Duryodhana heard these words in anger, but was silent, and then he rose and left the council chamber. Duhshasana and Karna and Shakuni followed him.

Shakuni and Karna and Duhshasana waited outside for Duryodhana, and they plotted to lay hands on Krishna so that the power of the Pandavas might be weakened. But to Krishna came knowledge of their thoughts, and he informed the elders who were there.

Once again the maharajah summoned Duryodhana before him, and Krishna said, "Ah! Thou of little understanding, is it thy desire to take me captive? Know now that I am not alone here, for all the gods and holy beings are with me."

Having spoken thus, Krishna suddenly revealed himself in divine splendor. His body was transformed into a tongue of flame; gods and divine beings appeared about him; fire issued from his mouth and eyes and ears; sparks broke from his skin, which became as radiant as the sun.

All the rajahs closed their eyes; they trembled when an earthquake shook the palace. But Duryodhana remained defiant.

Krishna, having resumed his human form, then bade farewell to the maharajah, who lamented the doings of Duryodhana. The divine one spake and said, "O Dhritarashtra, thee I forgive freely, but alas! A father is often cursed by the people because of the wicked doings of his own son."

Krishna | Krishna's Mission | Karna

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