Sunday, April 29, 2018

Lord Krishna the union joint of two cultures

Lord Krishna, the Union Joint of two cultures.

Hinduism is one of the oldest religions of the world and the holy books of Vedas are the most ancient literature, derived from sruti (what heard). Lord of Fire, Lord of Winds, Indra, Ashwini Kumars, etc, are the major deities of Rigveda. The Richas of Rigveda are the prayers of these lords. Yajurveda focuses on rituals, Samveda on musical chanting of the prayers, and Atharva the mixer of all three. Offerings to these deities for security and prosperity was more common in the culture of those days. There are Richas referring Indra’s war with the demons and the black skin people. It is an indicator of the practice of discrimination by during Vedic era. 

Weaver (non Brahmin) Rishi Gutsamad (without ego), in second mandal of Rigveda, Sukta 19, Richa-6 and Sukta-20, Richa-7 describes the war of Indra with the natives of the land. 

स रन्धयत्सदिवः सारथये शुष्णमशुषं कुयवं कुत्साय । दिवोदासाय नवतिं चनवेन्द्रः पुरो व्यैरच्छम्बरस्य ॥(Rig 02.019.006)
(That Indra has destroyed 99 colonies of the exploiters and cruel people to protect the kutsa community)

स वृत्रहेन्द्रः कृष्णयोनीः पुरंदरो दासीरैरयद्वि । अजनयन्मनवे क्षामपश्च सत्राशंसं यजमानस्य तूतोत् ॥(Rig 02.020.007)
(That Indra killed the army of the blacks (practice of apartheid?), created land and water  for humans (his men), and fulfils the desires of the hosts).

The cultural pressure from the western area over the native Indians of the eastern India to follow Vedic rituals might had been a major issue of the  disputes, fire/wars between the Aryans (Vedic people) and Anaryan/Dravid/ (native Indians). 

At this junction point, Krishna enters. There is a story of Krishna’s fight with Indra, the lord of thunder and rains. Krishna opposes the annual offerings to Indra and defines Dharma for individual, the role to perform duties to the best of the abilities. He opposes prayers and offerings to the natural forces. Villagers of Vrindavan agree with him and stop the worship of lord Indra. Angry Indra floods the village and Krishna then lifts the Govardhan hill up and saves his people and cattle from the floods of Indra. Indra accepts the defeat and India thereafter moves to the path of Karma, the new philosophy preached by Lord Krishna. 

The major Kings of Mahabharata were not Kshatriyas! Rishi Ved Vyas was the son of Rishi Parasar (Brahmin), born out of the sexual act of Parasar with the fisherwoman Matsyagandha in a boat. Her father was away and the girl gave a lift to the Rishi to cross the river. Matsyagandha (Satyavati) then married to King Shantanu of Hastinapur. They had two sons, Chirtavirya and Vichirta Virya. When they grew up, their elder brother Bhishma (son of Shantanu and Ganga), abducted three daughters of Kashya, the King of Kashi. Two of them got married to the two sons of Matsyagandha and the third Amba committed suicide, later born as Shikhandi. After the death of Shantanu, the kingdom was run by Matsyagandha with the help of Bhishma. But in doubts over the relation between Matsyagandha and Bhishma, the two sons committed suicide. Bhishma as per his pledge couldn’t marry but to carry the race of the kingdom ahead, Ved Vyasa the son of Matsyagandha was called to performed niyoga with the widows. He performed niyoga over three, Ambika, Ambalika and the maid. From that, Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidur were born. Thereafter, there was fight for kingdom between the sons of Dhritarashtra and Pandu. Krishna sided with the five sons of Pandu. They were not the real sons of Pandu. Pandu had a curse, can die if go for sex, therefore Kunti delivered three children and Madri delivered two children through mantra/niyoga with the deities of Vedas (Lord of Dharma/Fire, Lord of Winds, Lord of rains Indra, and two Ashwini Kumars). Karna (Radhey) might be the son of Radha, but to add Kshatriya character in him, the story of Surya-Kunti putra might had been depicted. Similarly, Krishna the son of Yashoda and Nanda, the Yadavas (cattle rearers), but he became a legendary, therefore, again to prove that only Kshatriya can perform such act, the story of Vasudev-Devki might had been depicted. 

Look at the diplomacy of Krishna, he opposed and fought with Indra when he was in youth and his village was in floods; but as a king of Dwarika, he took side with Indra’s son Arjuna and his brothers, who were the sons of Vedic deities. He was Chandra Vanshi but tied himself with the Pandavas, the Surya Vanshi. His time was the time of the unification of India, merger of the culture of the west and east, the Vedic and non-Vedic. West (present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and western India) was the land of Indian Aryans and East was the land of the Native Indians. When Krishna was attacked by the kings of the east, he fled and settled in Gujarat near the Sea around Junagarh (not Jamnagar!). He was accepted as 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. 

The culture of ancient India has been described well in the great epic Mahabharata and when we look at the culture of the present day India around, things are not changed much. The same cultural conflicts and coordination go on amongst the upper and lower sections of the society. Equality still remains the biggest challenge of the country after the cultural journey of 5000 years. 

29 April 2018

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