Just as the sublime and amazing perfume of a fragrant rose enters your being and you cannot help but fall in love with it intimately, Krishna’s presence was probably like that. In all my understanding of this amazing being, I have always struggled with articulating Krishna’s way of being a lover. The rose’s perfume is not personally yours, yet it is as intimate as any experience would ever be. It blossoms ever so majestically and beautifully with anyone who can get to it. No, the rose is not a “neat and easy” little thing. It has its thorns and be difficult to get to, but it is beautiful to perceive and amazing to smell.
Krishna was that perfume of the highest consciousness. He was there intimately for those who intertwined their own love with his being. So many men, but more importantly women dissolved themselves into his consciousness without any intellectual or spiritual drama. Simply gave in to his loving being.
In centuries where women couldn’t go out and follow the Spiritual paths that needed effort and travel, women found Krishna as their loving son or the loving partner – two relationships that bring out a woman’s intensity – and transcended.
Those who operate at the level of human prejudice and see the entire Universe, nay multi-verse revolving around human frailities and use morality as a temporary peg to feel better – will never be able to understand Krishna. He is one with the cosmos. A cosmos where galaxies devour each other, and where stars go out without a song or trace. A cosmos that is inclusive and accepting of every action and level of awareness, the moral humans search for sanitized ways. Sanitized moral ways are a sickness. Spiritual path starts where morality ends. Seeking can only begin when pretense is abandoned.
Krishna is cosmic in being and perception. He is one with All, he declared. Not a statement of megalomania but of responsibility and fact. In Mahabharat assumed the role of handling the chariot of the most marked man in the entire battle without recourse to any weapon. Prior to Mahabharat, he tried his best to avoid the bloody war even while being humiliated by ignorant fools. Once in war, irrespective of his own vulnerability, he was ruthless in his resolve. The side that had to win was the side which will bring peace and harmony going forward. Playiing both sides – as is often the wont of “Good and compassionate people” – is the handiwork of scoundrels and losers. There were many “wise scoundrels” who wanted to keep balance and in that balance define their life’s duty. They were witness to – and therefore, apologists of – such heinous crimes. Forgetting that there is NO balance to be had between Exclusivism and Inclusivism. The act of balancing between the two is itself the greatest act of violence!
Violence is not using arms or killing. It is going against life’s flow. Ahimsa is in aligning with the Dharma – which is the Truth in any moment. Sometimes you need to be ready to being humiliated by lesser beings for stopping bloodshed. And at other times, you should be ready to kill your own Guru, if need be, to stop the calamity of greater proportions. However humongous the evil you face in that moment.
Krishna was, therefore, not one who would play “equal”. He took sides even while being one with the entire existence. He was balanced so he could stay aligned to the existence where killing of one by the other ensured harmony of life.
No one can “do good”. You can only DO. Good is the qualifier of the result, not of action. Action doesn’t qualify the result, result qualifies the action. But Action does not ensure the result. They are independent although action may lead to “a” result. One who focuses on action, cannot be entangled with the nature of the result. That is the domain of eith God or an Imbecile.
Doing can only look at the appropriateness of the action in that circumstance. And, that can never be dictated by any morals or edicts. Or be cemented in stone by following templates. That is why those who come from the world of pretentious and fossilized morals can never understand Krishna. He is one with the ever alive existence, not cemented in a fossil. He is the fragrance of the rose not the petal. He is pervading not static.
Let us understand one of most important episode of Mahabharat through the verses which represent the dialog between Karna and Krishna. It is as relevant today as it was then.
Karna reminds Arjuna that dharma requires him not to shoot when he is engaged in lifting the wheels of his chariot. Arjuna is in doubt and is seriously considering to take Karna’s words who is bringing up the call to Dharma to confront Arjun and Krishna. This is when Krishna takes over to bring clarity. Krishna starts his questions:-
rAdhEya dishtyA smaraseeha dharmam
prAyENa neechA vyasanEshu magnA
nindanti daivam kukrtam na tu svam.
(RaadhEya, you are remembering dharma now! This is the practice of rascals. Immersed in sorrow criminals ordinarily blame God. But they do not blame their own bad deeds.)
mAnAyayEstvam cha suyOdhanascha
duhshAsanaha shakunihi soubalascha
natE karNa pratyabhAttatra dharmaha.
(Yourself, suyOdhana, DuhshAsana, Subala’s son Shakuni – all the four of you dragged Droupadi who was in a single garment. Karna, at that time, you did not remember dharma, is it?).
yadA sabhAyAm rAjAnamanakshajnam yudhishtiram
ajaisheecchakunirjnAnAtkva tE dharmastadA gataha.
(Yudhishtira did not know akshavidya. This was known to Shakuni very well. He defeated Yudhishtira in the open court with vengeance. Where had your Dharma gone then?).
vanavAsE vyateetE cha karNa varshE trayOdashE
na prayacchasi yadrAjyam kva tE dharmastadA gataha.
(After 12 plus one year of pAndava’s forest life, you did not try to get them back their kingdom as per the agreement. Where had your dharma gone then?).
yadbheemasEnam sarpaischa vishayuktaischa bhOjanaihi
AcharattvanmatE rAjA kva tE dharmastadA gataha.
(On your advice, dhuryOdhana got Bheema bitten by snakes. He fed Bheema with poison also. Where was your dharma and adharma concepts then?).
YadA rajasvalAm krishNAm duhshAsanavashE sthitAm
sabhAyAm prAhasaha karNa kva tE dharmastadA gataha.
(In the grip of DuhshAsana, Droupadi who was in menses was insulted by you. Did you not know that it was adharma and a criminal act? where was your dharma at that time?).
yadanAryaihi purA krishnAm kleeshyamAnAmanAgasam
upaprEkshasi rAdhEya kva tE dharmastadA gataha.
(When the uncultured DhuryOdhana and others troubled Droupadi, you went near her and saw her with a bad eye. Did you not know that it is adharma at that time?)
vinashtAha pANdavAha krishnE shAshvatam narakam gatAha
patimanyam vrNeeshvEti vadamstvam gajagAmineem
upaprEkshasi rAdhEya kva tE dharmastadA gataha.
(You went near Droupadi saying, ” pANdavas are destroyed. They fell permanently in hell. They cannot get up from there. So, marry some one else”. So saying you went near her and looked intently at her face. You did not find that to speak like that to a respectable lady is adharma. Where was your dharma at that time?)
rAjyalubdaha punaha karNa samAvyathasi pANdavAn
yadA shakunimAshritya kva tE dharmastadA gataha.
(Being interested in the power, on the advice of Shakuni you brought pANdavas back from Indraprasta for defeating them again by deceit. Where was your dharma then?).
yadAbhimanyum bahavO yuddhE jaghnurmahArathAha
parivArya raNE bAlam kva tE dharmastadA gataha.
(Several great warriors rounded up and killed that boy who was alone. Where was your dharma gone then?)
yadyEsha dharmastatra na vidyatE hi, kim sarvaThA tAluvishOshaNena
adyEha dharmyANi vidhatsva soota, taThApi jeevanna vimOksyasE hi.
(The dharma that you are speaking of now was not there in your behaviour earlier. So, when you speak of that, your mouth alone will go dry. No other benefit would come out of it. You cannot escape with life today).
Karna felt ashamed with these words and lowered his head. However, he started fighting fiercely with powerful astras and hurt Arjuna severely. Again, he started lifting the wheel of his chariot. Krishna advised Arjuna at that moment,
“chindhyasya moordhAnamarEh sharENa na yAvadArOhati vai ratham vrshaha”
(Partha, before Karna comes up to his ratha cut his head.)
Arjuna sent the great Anjalika arrow with the relevant mantras and with a vow that if he has followed dharma in his life, it should kill Karna. Karna fell to his death.
Featured Image – Flickr\Biswajit Das