Punishment of Superiors

1.7.40

Sūta said:

Although Pārtha had his morals coaxed and put to the test by Kṛṣṇa, he did not desire to kill the son of his guru – even though that man had terribly murdered his children.

41

When he reached his camp with Govinda, his charioteer, he placed the man into the custody of his beloved wife, who was crying over the murder of her sons.

42

When Kṛṣṇā saw him dragged in, tied up like an animal speechless and humiliated for his horrific deeds, her own beautifully soft and compassionate nature swelled up, and she felt respectful towards the son of their guru.

Kṛṣṇā is a name for Draupadī, Arjuna’s wife, given due to her deep connection to Kṛṣṇa.

43-48

Unable to bear his being bound like that, she said:

“Untie this brahmana. Untie the son of your guru; by whose compassion you learned the deepest secrets of marital arts, including how to release and control mystical weapons. Droṇa lives on in the form of his son, and in his second half, his wife Kṛpī, who keeps living only for her son. You are very moral and blessed. Don’t cause suffering for your respected and always revered family. I constantly cry in pain because my children are dead. Don’t make his mother Gautamī, to whom your guru was so dear, become like me. If kings anger their teachers by not being submissive, their family is soon incinerated and everyone connected to them comes to misery.”

49-50

Sūta said:

The king, Dharma’s Son, supported the queen’s words as glorious, egalitarian, pure, merciful, just, and moral. Nakula and Sahadeva, Yuyudhāna, Dhanañjaya, the All-Attractive son of Devakī, and all the royal ladies agreed.

Dharma’s Son is King Yuddhiṣṭhira, Arjuna’s oldest brother. Nakula and Sahadeva are twin brothers of Arjuna. Yuyudhāna is Arjuna’s best friend and classmate. Dhanañjaya is another name of Arjuna.

51

Then, in anger, Bhīma said, “It is said that he should be killed for his own good! Without reason or need he uselessly killed sleeping children!”

Bhīma is another brother of Arjuna.

52

Having heard Bhīma, Draupadī, and the rest, the Four Armed looked upon the face of his friend with a smile and spoke.

Kṛṣṇa looked affectionately upon Arjuna and spoke.

53-54

The Beautiful All-Attractive said:

Someone related to our teacher must not be killed, but an aggressor must be killed. Both are true. You must abide by both and also must not break the promise you made to your beloved wife. You must pacify dear Bhīmasena, Pāñcālī, and myself as well.

Pāñcālī is another name for Draupadī, Arjuna’s wife.

55

Sūta said:

Arjuna then suddenly understood Hari’s heart, and so with his sword cut the jewel and hair from the head of the twice-born.

The “twice-born” refers to a brahmana. In this case it refers to the murder, Aśvatthāmā.

56

Bereft of power and influence due to having killed children, and being deprived of his jewel, he was released and exiled from their camp.

57

Cutting hair, taking wealth, and putting to exile are fit punishments for those related to Brahmins. Killing or other methods are not to be used.

58

Overwhelmed with misery, all the Pāṇḍavas accompianied Kṛṣṇā to do what they must for the sake of those who had died.

About Vraja Kishor


12 responses to “Punishment of Superiors

  • Premila

    so Arjun did keep his promise. He didn’t have a choice. The point is he made that promise in anger, didn’t he? So there was indeed an emotion of remorse, anger, revenge. But when it came down to action, he also followed the dharma.

    My understanding is spoken words (whether spoken in anger or out of excitement, momentary emotions) do create karmas. In other words, those words are fulfilled (manifested) one way or the other — when the time is ripe; whenever they find a trigger.

    If this is true, I’m going to be stuck in this miserable world forever!

    • vicdicara

      Of course Arjuna made the promise in Anger. His five children were decapitated in their sleep! It is the duty of a parent to be angry in such situations. That is the dharma of parenthood.

      Words are actions on a subtle level. The reactions are similarly subtle. We are doing enough wrong action that we barely need be concerned about the subtleties of our wrong words.

      • soulsunclothed

        My first reaction to your reply was a hearty laugh. On a serious note, won’t this reaction incur new karma?

      • vicdicara

        Fist let me say personally that I am thankful to you for engaging me in conversation on these topics.

        Now on to your question, no. To punish a criminal is ones duty. Not to punish a criminal causes karma and implicates one in crime. Especially when it is an organization that committed a crime, financial punishment is the best option in the modern world.

      • soulsunclothed

        I won’t thank you for becoming a channel in renewing my divine connection with my dearest friend Krishna and transferring so much knowledge to me via emails, blogs, reports. When the time is right, Krishna will help me repay you in the most appropriate and meaningful way.

        “Especially when it is an organization that committed a crime, financial punishment is the best option in the modern world.” — It’s really sad that we attribute so much importance to money. In the moments of wisdom, which don’t last long, I usually think that the money is the easiest thing to give way, and that if God would let me, I would trade all my money for eternal joy. I would happily give whatever I have. What’s an easy bargain that would be!

      • soulsunclothed

        You made a very interesting point of perceiving anger as a duty in cases like this. Am I misinterpreting the Gita by thinking that Krishna advised Arjun that no matter what the situation is neither be angry nor too happy (in reaction to pleasure)?

      • vicdicara

        yes and no.

        (and thank you for asking me these questions)

        Usually we get angry or happy in reference to how well something fulfills our desires. This is selfishness, it is not duty. It therefore generates karma. In the Gita Krsna says that the whole trick to understanding karma is to see action in inaction and inaction in action – meaning that the motive is equally important as the action. If the cause of the emotion or deed is a self-oriented thing that is outside the boundary of ones duty, then it is karma – whatever it is, even if it is moving into a temple and trying to be a holy person. if the cause of the emotion or deed is an attempt to serve the divine and others by doing ones duty properly then it is “akarma” / “non-karma” even if it means becoming ferocious and punishing people.

  • Premila

    One more thought:

    In those times, taking out a jewel and cutting a strand of hair was enough to destroy someone’s ego, but how to deal with a similar situation today? People will only be happy to trade their jewels and hair in return of their lives. You know what i mean.

  • soulsunclothed

    “Usually we get angry or happy in reference to how well something fulfills our desires. This is selfishness, it is not duty. It therefore generates karma.” – Yes, I try to keep this on mind. But sometimes it becomes more complex. For example, when we are becoming angry with politicians or those who take bribe. Deep down maybe some of us become jealous about the easy wealth they are accumulating.

    • vicdicara

      sure. but maybe there is no need to overanalyze.
      If there is a purpose and a reson to being angry than we should be angry. Anger is not evil. Narasimhadev is the incarnation of god’s anger.

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