Tag Archives: Arjuna

Noble Fury

When Parīkṣit came upon them, they appeared like an abandoned cow and bull being beaten with a club by a wicked man dressed like a king.

The bull, white as lotus-root, was urinating out of fear, trembling and terrified as his one remaining leg was beaten by the rogue.

The cow, whose milk is morality, became helpless and afraid as the rogue smashed her legs. Bereft of her calves, tears streamed down her face. She looked emaciated and in dire need of grass.

The king picked up his bow and spoke to the culprit in a voice that resounded from his completely golden chariot like deep thunder from the sky:

Who are you?! What are you doing in my kingdom?! What kind of ‘strong man’ attacks the weak??? Your kingly clothes are nothing but a costume, for such deeds are not those of a noble person!

Do you think you can get away with this because Krishna and Arjuna[1] are no longer among us? That will not happen! You are guilty of attacking the innocent when you think no one is looking. You deserve to die!

Then the king turned to the bull in a different tone of voice:

Here is a bull as white as lotus-root, moving on one leg with the others broken; are you a god taking this shape to show us the miserable future?

Moving his glance towards the cow, his voice became full of compassion:

Never before has anyone come to such lamentable grief in any land protected by the arms of Kuru Kings. O child of Surabhi,[2]no one in my kingdom should fear harm from wicked men. Mother, do not cry! Be blessed! I shall curb this rogue!

Oh saintly woman, destruction comes to the fame, longevity, fortune and afterlife of a king who allows anyone to be terrorized by the wicked. A king’s first duty is to remove the suffering of those who suffer. Therefore I shall kill this most worthless hater of creatures!

Turning again to the bull, the King asked for a testimony:

Who broke your three legs, O four-legged Surabhi’s-son? I have never seen such a thing in a country ruled by kings who follow Krishna.

But the bull said nothing.

The king continued:

Please speak, for the sake of those who are saintly and do no wrong. And for my sake, tell me who is disfiguring and destroying the fame of Pṛthā’s sons?

Those who harm the harmless must fear me wherever they go! Certainly the saintly prosper when the sinful are curbed. If any wildman harms the harmless I will unleash my arms without restraint, even if he is an armored immortal.

The foremost duty of a dutiful king is to protect the innocent and curb those who needlessly disregard the moral path.


[1] Arjuna is named here as the wielder of the powerful Gaṇḍīva bow.

[2] Surabhi is the divine cow.

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The Very Worst News Possible

While the king inquired fearfully, Arjuna became more and more morose over the loss of Krishna – a friend dearer to him than his very self. Sadness dried his mouth, and the lotus of his heart was robbed of luster. Enrapt in memory of his great friend, he could not answer for a long time. He made great efforts to stop his uncontrollable sobbing, smearing tears around his eyes with his hands. Pain grew deeper and deeper with him, from his powerful affection for one who was now out of sight.

Remembering his friend and companion – the well-wisher who had been his chariot driver and so much else – he turned to his eldest brother, the King, and spoke in stuttering and exploding words:

O Emperor, I am bereft of Hari… who had become our intimate relative. Without him all my astounding strength, which amazed even the gods, is gone.

Without him, even for a moment, the whole world becomes ugly, like our bodies look when bereft of life.

With Krishna I strode into the palace where Draupadī was choosing her husband from all the princes smitten with her, and erased their hopes by shooting an arrow straight into the fish.

With Krishna I defeated all the immortals, and handed the Khāṇḍava forest over to Agni, after arresting Indra who was hiding there. Maya then built our wondrous assembly hall, in which princes from every direction brought taxes and gifts to you.

With Krishna, your great younger brother who is as powerful as an army of elephants freed all the kings from the madman who sacrificed to the Lord of Madness and collected royal skulls at his feet. All of them gave you gifts in thanks.

Remember when your wife, gloriously dressed and bathed with a beautiful hair knot, was caught in a terrible assembly of cheaters who tried to untie that knot while tears fell down her face? With Krishna we turned their wives into widows with unkempt hair.

Remember when our enemy sent dangerous Durvāsa with countless disciples to eat at our modest hut in the forest? Krishna protected us: He ate a morsel of left over spinach and rice, and suddenly no one in the three worlds felt hungry. The sage and his disciples were satisfied before they even finished their baths.

Because of Krishna, I once even fought Śiva, the blessed trident wielder.  My skill astonished him and his wife so much that he gave me the secret of his own weapon, and other gods followed suit.  As a result, I could enter the house of Indra, king of paradise even with my mortal body, and share his throne!

While I was there, Indra and the gods took refuge of my strong arms, which hold the Gāṇḍiva Bow. I protected them from their enemy, because I was empowered by Krishna. But now I am robbed of him!

With Krishna, I was invincible and single-handedly traversed the unsurpassable ocean of the Kuru’s strength, to retrieve the treasures they stole and claim the dazzling jeweled crowns from their heads.

An enormous phalanx of great warriors and fine chariots encircled Bhīṣma, Karṇa, my Guru, and Śalya.  I went straight into it with Krishna at my side – and his glance deflated all their strength, enthusiasm, and longevity.

Because of his protection, their terrible weapons had no effect on me; just like the demons could not even scratch the boy Narasiṁha protected.

In our unusual relationship, he became my chariot driver; although he is the Supreme Master, the soul’s savior, and even his feet are worshipped by the wise who seek liberation. By his blessing, I had no fears when my horses became thirsty and I had to stand on the ground during the war.

We joked and jested so delightfully, beautified by his smile: “Hey Cousin! Hey my friend Arjuna! Hey Kuru’s-son!” …Oh, these conversations touched my very heart …my soul floods with memories of sweet Krishna.

We were always inseparable; sleeping, sitting, walking, eating, and boasting together. When one of us misbehaved, the other would sarcastically say, “Oh my, what an ideal person you are!”  Krishna, the greatest of the great, tolerated my awfully familiar attitude; just as a father tolerates his child, or friends tolerate one another.

Oh! Without him… without that supreme person: my friend, my beloved, my well-wisher… my very soul becomes vacant and void.

Recently, I was guarding the bodies of the Krishna’s queens when I was attacked… by farmers …who defeated me as easily as if I was a girl. I have the same bow, the same arrows, the same chariot, and the same horses. I am the same man whom great warriors praised …but without Krishna everything has lost its power. I have become like play money; like a sacrifice offered to ashes; like a seed in the desert.

Arjuna now became very stoic and spoke very plainly:

King, you asked about our well-wishers in their great city.  Here is the news: They got so drunk from liquor and wine that they couldn’t even recognize each other.  An argument broke out and they wound up killing each other.  Only four or five survived.

Perhaps it was a curse?  It seems more like the will of the All-Powerful Master, by which living beings sometimes want to kill each other but at other times want to protect each other.  The big fish eats the small fish.  The strong eat the weak.  Such are the ways of providence; and such was the manner in which the stronger Yadus killed the weaker ones; erasing themselves from the face of the earth.

There is nothing left for me but to remember the great wisdom Govinda spoke to me on the verge of battle, for that wisdom always extinguishes the flames of pain.


Is Krishna Still With Us?

While the King was worrying and wondering, suddenly he saw the monkey insignia flag atop Arjuna’s chariot.  It came slowly towards him. Arjuna eventually descended, and came to his brother’s feet in unprecedented dejection.  Drops of tears fell from the lotus-eyes of his downcast face.

Seeing his brother’s troubled heart and paleness, the king began to question him then and there, in the middle of everyone; unable to get the words of Nārada out of his mind.

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

Are our allies in Dvārakā passing time happily? [1]

Arjuna did not look up or answer.

Is Grandfather Śūra and his wife Māriṣa passing time auspiciously?

No answer.

How is Uncle Vasudeva (for whom the drums of heaven resounded)?  What about our aunts, the seven sisters who are his wives, headed by Devakī; are they living happily among their children and daughters-in-law?

Arjuna can give no reply. So Yudhiṣṭhira continues to become more specific in his inquiries.

Does king Ugrasena still live with his children, among whom one was worthless?[2]  What about Great-grandfather Hṛdīka?  What of Krishna’s confidants: Akrūra, Jayanta, Gada, Sāraṇa – are they living happily, headed by Śatrujit?

Still, Arjuna could not move or speak. Forced to consider graver and graver possibilities Yudhiṣṭhira asked about Krishna’s brother:

How is Rāma, the All-Attractive protector of the saintly Sātvata dynasty?

No answer.  So now Yudhiṣṭhira must ask about Krishna’s sons:

Is Pradyumna living happily as the General of the Vṛṣṇi armies?

All-Attractive Aniruddha, profoundly dexterous, must be prospering!? So too must be all the great sons and grandsons of Kṛṣṇa like Suṣeṇa, Cārudeṣṇa, Sāmba, Jāmbavatī’s son, Ṛṣabha and so on…

Ever more worried and dreading to ask directly about Krishna, the King anxiously continues.

How are Kṛṣṇa’s constant companions: Śrutadeva, Uddhava and so on? How are Sunanda and Nanda, the best among leaders of the Sātvata family??? Aren’t they all well, being sheltered by the strength of Rāma and Kṛṣṇa? Do they ever remember us kindly, their affectionate relatives?

But Arjuna neither raises his eyes nor answers. Tears only stream down his pale cheeks all the more profusely with each question. Finally, Yudhiṣṭhira must ask the most awful question possible:

Certainly All-Attractive Govinda, who is so affectionate to devotees and thinkers, must be enjoying the city’s assembly hall, surrounded by well-wishers!?

Moved by the thought of Krishna, the King composes a poem, hoping it might cheer up his brother:

Viṣṇu reclines upon the universal ocean with Ananta,
for the sake of manifesting the worlds.

~

Krishna reclines among an ocean of family with Rāma,
for the benefit of the world.

Those who reside with Viṣṇu,
Enjoy paramount bliss and security.

~

Those who reside in Dvārakā,
Enjoy the protection of his scepter-arms,
and relish pastimes of paramount bliss.

Among those who reside with Viṣṇu, Goddess Lakṣmī is the foremost. The king now compares The Queens of Dvārakā to Lakṣmī:

Very attentively attending his feet
Is their prime concern;
The women headed by Satyabhāmā
Numbering twice eight-thousand.

They claimed the treasures of the gods,
And enjoy the property of the thunderbolt-master’s wives;
Standing undefeated
Against the thrice ten divinities.

Next, the King turned his attention to other residents of Dvārakā:

Under the protection of his scepter-arms,
His family have become great heroes,
ever fearless in every way.

So they strode into paradise on foot
And took the god’s prize possessions by force;
The Sudharmā assembly house.

Arjuna’s conditioned worsened the more the King’s spoke. In a weak, trembling, and hopeless voice, the King feelingly asked:

Dear brother, are you sick?  You look so pale and weak.  Or have you been disrespected or neglected?  Did someone insult you? Did they claim that you did not give to a beggar? Or did not fulfill a promise? Or did not give shelter to intellectuals, children, cows, the elderly, the sick, or the women who came to you seeking refuge?

Did you embrace an unworthy woman? Or did you mistreat a woman? Were you defeated by a junior? Or could it be that you ate before feeding the old and young?

Have you done something horrible and unforgivable?

Arjuna only cries all the more forcefully as tears pool on the ground beneath his lowered face. Yudhiṣṭhira has no choice but to admit the worst:

“Alas! I am vacant… I have forever lost the most precious, dear friend of my very soul”

Besides this, no other thought could trouble you so.


[1] These allies include the Madhu, Bhaja, Daśārha, Ārha, Sātvata, Andhaka and Vṛṣṇi clans

[2] The worthless child was Kaṁsa.


Krishna Leaves the World

Arjuna had been gone for months and still had not returned from his trip to Dvārakā with news of their relatives and Krishna.  Meanwhile, King Yudhiṣṭhira observed many different omens of ill fortune. Unseasonal weather and behavior – cruelty, anger, greed and deceit – foretold the approach of a terrible fate.  Even fathers, mothers, well-wishers and brothers were polluted by cheating and duplicity; while husbands and wives quarreled.  Many such bad omens declared that the time for the decline of humanity was at hand.

The King turned to his younger brother, Bhīma, and said:

It is now seven months since Arjuna went to Dvārakā.  I have heard nothing from him and have no idea why he has not returned.  Maybe it is what the Sage of Gods [Nārada] told us: Maybe the time has come for the All-Attractive to dissolve the manifestation of himself and his expansions?

By his kindness we vanquished our enemies, regained our kingdoms, and protected our wealth, power, wives and our very lives.

O Lion of Men, look at the ill signs in the sky, on the earth, and in ourselves.  These are signs of imminent danger, fear, and bewilderment.

My left thigh, eye, and arm quiver again and again.  My heart palpitates fearsomely.

Look: This she-jackal howls at the rising sun, with fire in her mouth!  Brother, do you see this dog barking and growling at me without fear!?  Animals pass me with their left side, and my horses weep when they see me. Look there!  A dead dove lies like a messenger of death.  Owls and crows shriek as if they are trying to dissolve the entire world.

Thick fog and smoke is everywhere.  The earth and her hills tremble.  Thunder and lightning comes without clouds.  The blasting wind cuts us.  The dust raised creates darkness and makes the rain look like a downpour of blood.  The ground looks like a blood-soaked disaster-area.

The Sun is eclipsed, and the planets war with one another in the sky.  Possessed by ghosts, people howl as if they were on fire!

What fate is about to befall us!?  Streams, rivers and ponds are polluted, reflecting the state of our minds.  Oil will not catch fire. Calves do not drink and their mothers do not give milk.  The bulls do not play in the fields; they simply stand with tears streaming down their face.

What horrors await us!?  Deities seem to cry and perspire like they want to leave their temples.  The beauty and happiness of these cities, villages, towns, gardens, hills, and cottages is ruined. I believe these terrible upheavals are omens that the Earth, who once bore the beautiful footprints of the All-Attractive, is now dispossessed of her greatest fortune: Śrī Krishna has left her.


The Birth of Parikshit

Śaunaka then spoke out, breaking the satisfied silence that had accumulated on the beautiful conclusion of Krishna’s return to Dvārakā. He asked Sūta:

“Now please tell us all about Parīkṣit, the one whom Śuka enlightened by teaching the Bhāgavatam. We know that the Master saved him, while he was still in his mother’s womb, from the terrible power of Aśvatthāmā’s ultimate weapon. We are enthusiastic to learn about his birth, life, death, and afterlife!”

Sūta replied:

His father, King Yudhiṣṭhira was a very moral and excellent ruler, like his forefathers, so all the citizens in his kingdom were happy. He never tried to fulfill any personal ambitions; he only wanted to be useful, even if in the smallest way, to divine Krishna.

The king’s wealth, rituals, queens, brothers, kingdom and sovereignty were famous throughout the three skies. Even gods desire what he had, but the king’s mind had no hunger for anything, because it was full of Lotus-Faced Krishna.

When his child was still in his mother’s womb he began to suffer from the blast of a terrible weapon. It was then that the child saw someone else with him in the womb; a small figure, very pure, pleasing to behold, with a black complexion like a dark cloud surrounded by lightning-like yellow clothes and a blazing golden crown. He had four beautifully long arms and earrings of purest gold. His eyes were red with anger and there was a mace in his hand. He moved like a shooting star, encircling the child and constantly swinging his mace – dissipating the blast like the sun evaporates fog.

Astonished, the child thought, “Who is this!?”

When seen by the child, All-Attractive Hari immediately disappeared back into the inner recesses of reality. The child would become famous as “The Examiner” (Parīkṣit) because in his search to again see that amazing person, he would examine everyone he met; “Is this him?” Thus he constantly contemplated Viṣṇu.

He was born when the planets became favorable for all the good fortune required to make the dynasty’s heir as powerful as his grandfather, Pāṇdu. Overflowing with affection, the king called the most learned scholars – like Dhaumya & Kṛpa – to read the auspicious astrological nativity of his newborn son.

Well aware of what should be done to celebrate the birth of a child, the King gave the scholars gifts of the highest quality gold, cows, land, villages, elephants and horses; and sumptuously fed them.

Very satisfied, those intellectuals spoke:

“This spotless child will certainly be the foremost in the dynasty. Unstoppable destiny intended to destroy him, but out of affection for you all-powerful and all-pervading Viṣṇu rescued him. Thus the boy will be famous throughout the world by the name Viṣṇu Rāta (Viṣṇu-Rescued). Undoubtedly he is a great soul, extremely blessed, and is the pinnacle of divine love.”

The blessed King asked:

“Oh best of truthful souls, will this boy have glory and fame by following the footsteps of his forbearers: great souls famous as pious philosopher-kings?”

The intellectuals replied by naming each important trait of a king, and each forbearer who most perfectly exemplified it.:

In maintaining the citizens
he will be exactly like Ikṣvaku, Manu’s son.
In truthfulness and obedience to teachers
he will be exactly like Rāma, Dāśaratha’s son.
In giving charity and shelter
he will be like Śibi, Uśīnara’s son.
In expanding the renown of his kin by performing sacrifices
he will be like Duṣyanta’s son.
In bowmanship
he will equal the Arjunas. [1]

He will be
as unstoppable as an inferno,
as insurmountable as an ocean,
as powerful as a lion,
as unwavering as the Himalaya,
as forbearing as the earth,
as patient as parents,
as merciful and generous as grandparents.

In giving shelter to all living beings
he will be like Śiva
and Viṣṇu,
who shelters even the goddess of fortune.
In having all glorious spiritual qualities
he will be like Krishna,
to whom he is devoted.
In altruism
he will be like Rantideva.
In following rules
he will be like Yayāti.
In patience
he will be like Bali.
In saintly devotion
he will be like Prahlāda.[2]

He will conduct many horse sacrifices.[3]
He will be a follower of the experienced.
He will father many philosopher-kings.
For the sake of world peace
he will curb the insubordinate
and extinguish the cantankerous.

His death will come from the dragon Takṣa, as a result of a curse from the child of a twice-born. When he hears of this he will cast off all attachments, take full shelter in Hari, and inquire about the true goal of the soul from the learned son of Vyāsa. He will then leave his body beside the Ganges and go directly to the abode of fearlessness.

After advising the king, the learned experts of natal astrology returned to their homes, wondrously paid. The young prince grew quickly and luxuriantly like the waxing moon day after day, under the care of his many parents.


[1] Śibi wanted to give others his own right to enter heaven, and was ready to give his own life to protect a bird. Ikṣvaku was the first king to prohibit meat eating. This implies that the most important maintenance of citizens is to establish morality. Duṣyanta’s son is Bhārata, after whom the great Mahābhārata is named. The other Arjuna besides the Pāṇḍava is Kārttavīrya-Arjuna: a powerful thousand-armed warrior who was the impetus for Parśurāma killing 21 generations of warriors.

[2] Rantideva was a king famous for being virtually obsessed with giving everything he had to others. Yayāti, a very ancient king, performed thousands of different Vedic sacrifices. Bali exemplifies patience because he kept his cool resolve to fulfill his promise to Viṣṇu, even when his guru told him not to. His grandfather was the famous Prahlāda, son of Hiraṇyakaśipu.

[3] Even a cursory study of Vedic culture will show that their conception of animal rights was quite different from what we have today. This is not to insinuate that they had any less concern for the well-being of all living entities, but they implemented this concern in a manner would initially confuse us. We will discuss this point in more detail when it is more important to the context of the story.


A Real Leader Would Never…

SB 1.17.1

Sūta said:

Then the king saw an abandoned cow and bull, being beaten by a wicked man holding a club and dressed like a king.

2

The bull, who was white like lotus-root, was urinating out of fear, trembling and terrified as his one remaining leg was beaten by the low-class man.

3

The cow, who gives the milk of morality, became helpless and afraid as the low-class man smashed her legs. Bereft of her calves, tears streamed down her face. She looked emaciated and in dire need of grass.

Sadly, this scene can be seen almost everywhere nowadays. The mistreatment of animals, especially the gentle cow and bull, is a great disgrace and dishonor to the modern human race. Governments who allow such depravity are sub-human.

4-6

Upon his completely golden chariot, holding a bow, with words that sounded like the deep rumbling of clouds, the King inquired:

“Who are you!? What are you doing in this land that I protect!? You are strong yet you violently attack the weak!? The kingly clothes you wear are nothing but a costume, for such deeds are not those of a king!

“Are you here because Kṛṣṇa has gone far away, along with the wielder of Gāṇḍīva? You are guilty of attacking the innocent when you think no one is looking. You deserve to die!

Arjuna is the wielder of the powerful Gāṇḍīva bow.

7-8

“And you, a bull white like the roots of a lotus, moving on one leg with the others broken; are you a god taking this shape to show us the miserable future?

“Never before has anyone besides you come to such grief and tears in any part of the world protected by the arms of the Kings in the Kuru family.

9-11

“O child of Surabhi, here you should not have to fear harm from this wicked man! Mother, do not cry! Be blessed! I shall curb down all rogues!

“If anyone in his kingdom is terrorized by the sinful, oh saintly woman, his fame, longevity, fortune and final destination are bewildered and destroyed. This is the prime duty of a king: to remove the suffering of those who suffer. Therefore I shall kill this most worthless hater of creatures!”

In a poster condemning the consumption of beef...


Arjuna’s Non-Duality

SB 1.15.31

Without grief and endowed with spirituality, he [Arjuna] completely cut off all dualistic doubts and dissolved them into energy that is unqualified by shapes and manifestations.

Confusion and grief arises due to dvaita, duality. In the final issue, duality means to consider the self different from Godhead. We are not identical to God, but God is identical to us. It may not be feasible to suitably explain this subtle spiritual principle here in words, which are subject to argument and interpretation. But if the sincere soul meditates upon this with eagerness to please Godhead by the endeavor, it will become clear.

Arjuna felt himself to be separated from Kṛṣṇa, therefore he plunged into extreme doubt and grief. But by deeply contemplating the wisdom he received from Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna was able to rid himself of the grief that arises from dualism. He got rid of the duality (daita-saṁśaya) by dissolving it into spiritual energy, an energy that is beyond qualification (līna prakṛti-nairguṇyāt) by shapes (alinga) and manifestations (asambhava). Specifically, Arjuna felt that Kṛṣṇa was gone simply because his shape could no longer be tangibly seen manifest in the world. He got rid of this ignorance by realizing that Kṛṣṇa is everywhere at all times. The knowledge of Bhagavad Gita helped him realize this.

When he attained this realization his lamentation was finished (viśoka) and in its place he became filled with a wealth of spirituality (brahma-sampattyā). Another interpretation may be that his lamentation became very special, and purely spiritual as a result of realizing the non-duality of Kṛṣṇa and his simultaneous absence and presence.

32

Yudhiṣṭhira was very troubled about the road taken by the All-Attractive and the destruction of the Yadu family. Feeling lonely and alone, he made up his mind to himself follow the same road.

33

When Pṛthā [Kuntī] heard the Wealth Winner [Arjuna] speak of the Yadu’s destruction and the final destination of the All-Attractive, with undeviating and nakedly soulful divine love for the transcendent All-Attractive she ceased her material existence.

Arjuna’s mother gave up her life in Bhakti-Yoga Samadhi when she heard the horrible news from Arjuna.

34-35

One removes a thorn using another thorn and then discards both. Similarly the Unborn took a body to remove the burdens of the world and then discarded both. He grasps the forms of a fish and so on and then lets go of them, just like a magician. When they have relieved the world of her burdens, he lets go of that body.

36

When the All-Attractive Lotus Face in this world let go of his body, which is the subject for spiritual discussion and praise, right then and there Kali appeared, causing ill-fortune and underdevelopment of the mind and intellect.

37

Yudhiṣṭhira comprehended that serpent crawling forth through his city, state, and his home and even his own person. He saw greed, falsehood, trickery, violence and so on forming a wheel of immorality. So, he made ready to leave.

38

He had educated his grandson to be as qualified as him, and enthroned him to reign in Gajāhvaye City as the emperor of all the earth bordered by the seas.

39

Then he made Vajra the king of Śūrasena, in Mathurā. Having fulfilled his duties as a householder, he became capable to follow the inner fire.

40

Letting go of everything, his exquisite clothing and jewelry, without sense of “mine” and without selfishness, he completely cut off unlimited relationships.


Arjuna Recovers His Composure

SB 1.15.21

It is my bow, they are my arrows, it is my chariot, they are my horses
I am me, the chariot-warrior whom kings praise,
But, robbed of our Master, all of this suddenly becomes insubstantial,
Like sacrifice offered to ash, play money, or seeds in the desert.

22-23

King, you asked about our well-wishers in their dear city. Bewildered by the curse of scholars, they killed each other with their own hands. They were so drunk from liquor and wine that they couldn’t even recognize each other. Only four or five survived.

24-26

It almost seems like the will of the All-Powerful Master, by which living beings sometimes want to kill each other but at other times want to protect each other. Like with the fish in the water, the bigger one swallows the smaller. O King, The weak are eaten by the strong, and the strong are eaten by the strongest. O powerful one, thus the strongest Yadus killed the more common ones. So the Yadus themselves removed themselves from the face of the earth.

27

My mind is now drawn to remembering what Govinda spoke to me: which extinguishes flames of pain in any situation.

Arjuna refers now to what we call Bhagavad-Gita. His mind is drawn to find solace now in Kṛṣṇa’s excellent instructions regarding death and the temporary nature of the world.

28

Sūta said:

Contemplating thus, Victorious Arjuna’s mind became pure and peaceful, remembering the lotus-like feet of Kṛṣṇa with deep intimacy and extreme friendship.

29

Arjuna’s continuous meditation upon the feet of Vasudeva’s son caused his divine love to rapidly expand, and his troubled thoughts shrunk.

30

Time and tide had covered him in darkness, but once again Arjuna gained self-control through the wisdom that was sung by the All-Attractive in the midst of war.

This verse contains a direct reference to Bhagavad-Gita: gītaṁ bhagavatā jñānaṁ.

 

Lord Krishna instructing the Bhagavad Gita to ...

Lord Krishna instructing the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna in Kurukshetra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 


Arjuna Remember’s Krishna – Part II

11

He protected us in the forest when we were in very deep trouble,
When Durvāsa, who eats with unlimited disciples, was sent by our enemy.
When he had a morsel of left over spinach and rice, the three worlds felt full
In their minds, while they were still submerged within the water.

Duryodhana, the main enemy of the Pāṇḍavas, sent the powerful sage Durvāsa with his thousands of disciples to dine with Yudhiṣṭhira while they were exiled in the forest. There was no way Yudhiṣṭhira could feed so many people, so Durvāsa would be inconvenienced. Durvāsa is famous for getting angry easily and cursing people seriously, so Duryodhana made this scheme in the hopes that Durvāsa would curse the Pāṇḍavas.

In this midst of this calamity, Kṛṣṇa also visited Yudhiṣṭhira and ate a small morsel that was still left in the cooking pot. He felt great satisfaction. Because Godhead is the root from which all other souls are branches, when he felt full, Durvāsa and all the sages also felt completely full and did not return to Yudhiṣṭhira after taking their baths in the nearby river..

12

By his power, once I fought against the Blessed Trident Wielder (Śiva),
And astonished him and the daughter of the mountains (Pārvatī),
so that he gave his own weapon to me.
And others also followed suit. Thus even with my mortal body
I could enter the house of the Great King (Indra) and have half of his throne.

13

While there, my two scepter-like arms,
Whose trademark is to hold the Gāṇḍiva Bow,
Became the shelter for Indra and the gods, while I killed their enemy.
All because I was empowered by him (Kṛṣṇa).
And now I am robbed of that empowering person.

14

Because of being with him, the unsurpassable ocean of the Kuru’s strength
I surpassed in a single chariot, full of invincible power.
I retrieved the great wealth stolen by my enemies
And claimed the effulgent bejeweled crowns from their heads.

15

Bhīṣma, Karṇa, our guru, and Śalya,
Protected by an enourmouse phalax of great warriors
and a circle of decorated chariots
When I went into it, O powerful king,
It was his glance that deflated all their strength, enthusiasm, and longevity.

16

Because he protected me
The terrible weapons of my guru,
Bhīṣma, Karṇa, Naptṛ, Trigarta, Śalya, Saindhava, Bāhlika and others
Were ineffective
Just like the demons could not even scratch the servant of Nṛhari.

Nṛhari is another way of saying Narahari, or Narasiṁha.

17

My strange attitude made the soul’s-savior, the Master, my own chariot driver
Though his lotus-like feet are worshipped by the wise who see salvation.
When my horses were thirsty and I had to stand on the ground
The great warriors did not attack!
By his mercy I was completely free of worry.

18

We joked and jested so delightfully, beautified by his smile.
“Hey Cousin! Hey my friend Arjun! Hey Kuru’s-son!”
Oh god of kings, these conversations touched my very heart
Remembering sweet Kṛṣṇa (Mādhava) floods me to the core.

19

On a bed, or a seat, or on a walk, boasting, eating… Always we were one!
When one misbehaved the other would sarcastically say,
“Oh what an ideal person you are!”
Like a friend towards a friend, or a father towards his child
That greatest of the great tolerated my horribly familiar attitude.

In extreme grief, reality becomes distorted. Therefore Arjuna now feels that he was wrong to behave so intimately with Kṛṣṇa. But the truth is that Kṛṣṇa was delighted by his friendship incalculably more than he can ever be pleased with endless universes of worshipfully distant awestruck penitents.

20

Without him, oh lord of kings, without that supreme person
My friend, my beloved, my well-wisher… my very soul becomes a void.
Recently I was guarding the bodies of the The Adventurer’s women,
Was attacked by farmers, and defeated as if I was a woman.


Arjuna Remembers Krishna

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.15.1

Sūta said:

Thus Kṛṣṇa’s friend, “Kṛṣṇa” became more and more bereaved over the loss of Kṛṣṇa as his brother, the King, expressed so many fears and doubts.

2

Sadness had dried his mouth, and the lotus of his heart was robbed of luster. Enrapt in memory of his great friend, he could not answer.

3

With great effort he held back his sobbing, and smeared the tears from his eyes with his hands. He became more and more pained by powerful affection for one who was now out of sight.

4

Remembering his friend, companion, and well-wisher who had been his chariot driver and so much else, he turned to his eldest brother, the King, and spoke; his words stuttering and exploding.

5

Arjuna said:

O Emperor, I am bereft of Hari, who became our relative. Without him all my astounding strength, which amazed even the gods, is gone.

6

Even a moment without him makes the entire word look ugly, like all these bodies would look if they were corpses bereft of life.

7

By his strength, in the assembly at Drupada’s palace
During the moment she was choosing her husband amongst all the princes smitten by her.
I erased all their power and shot the arrow straight into the fish,
Gaining Kṛṣṇā [Draupadī].

8

O!
In his company I could deliver Indra to Agni, from his hiding in Khāṇḍava forest;
Expertly defeating all the immortals;
Obtaining Maya to build an assembly house of wondrous craftsmanship,
In which princes from every direction brought taxes and gifts to you.

9

By his power, your great younger brother who is as powerful as an army of elephants
Freed all the kings from he who had collected the heads of kings at his feet
After sacrificing them to the Lord of Madness.
And all of them gave you gifts.

10

Your wife, gloriously dressed and bathed with a beautiful hair knot
Was caught in the great assembly of cheaters,
Who tried to untie that knot while tears fell down her face.
He turned their wives into widows, with untied hair.