Monday, July 5, 2021

Mahanayaka of Mahabharata

 Mahanayaka of Mahabharata

Mahabharata is popularly known as the war epic of Kauravas and Pandavas. It was ignited by the insult of Duryodhana by Dropadi during his visit to Indraprastha, followed by chirharan of Dropadi by Dushasan in Hastinapura. And it brought out the Mahanayaka of India, Lord Krishna. There are many stories and sub stories in the epic, but the major story and one of the major reasons of the war was the insult of Drona by Drupada, his childhood friend.

Kurus, Panchalas and Maghadhas were the three major kingdoms of North India. Kurus rules along Yamuna river and Panchalas ruled along the Ganga river. Drupad, the son of Panchala King Prishata was sent for Ashram Education to Rushi Bhardwaj. Rishi’s son Drona was of the same age, therefore, Drupada and Drona became friend. And they pledged to share each other’s fortune and Drupada promised that after ascending the throne, he would share half of his kingdom with Drona.

Thereafter, Drupada became the King of Panchalas and Drona after marrying Kripi, the daughter of Kurus priest Kripacharya, was living in poverty. When Parshurama was distributing his wealth he went to him. But by the time he reached, Parashurama had distributed all his wealth. However, in sympathy, he taught Drona all the ware fare knowledge he had. Drona then went back home to raise his son Ashwatthama. But one day, when other children were playing after drinking milk, Kripi applied paste of water and flour to the lips of Ashwatthama so that he could also say that he had drunk milk. The poverty disturbed Drona, pushed him to arrive to the court of his friend Drupad to seek help. But Drupad insulted him saying that friendship exists between equals and not between a king and a poor brahmin. If had hurt Drona to the core. He took pledged to take revenge of the insult.

Drona then became the teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas, created the best warrior Arjun. In Gurudakshina, he told them to capture Drupad. Arjuna captured Drupad and Drona snatched one half of his kingdom to the north of river Ganga. The Kuru kingdom of Hastinapura grew faster with great warriors like Bhisma, Drona, Arjun, Duryodhana, Karna, etc. Humiliated from the defeat, to recapture his strength, Drupad was searching for a great warrior to marry his beautiful daughter Krishnaa who could outstrip Drona and his disciples. He raised the query before Rishi Sandipani during his visit to Panchala. He suggested few names but Drupad asked him to get Krishna Vasudev to marry his Krishnaa. Lord Krishna became famous by routing Jarasandha, destroyed Kalyavana and killed Karavirapura Vasudev. Rishi Sandipani then went to Dwarka and presented the offer of Drupa before Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna calculated the pros and cons. Accepting the proposal was making him enemy of Pandavas and rejecting it was making the union of Drupad (Panchala-UP) and Jarasandha (Maghadha-Bihar). He met Drupad and the meeting led to a famous Swayamvara of Dropadi (Krishna), the beginning of a great game of politics making Lord Krishna the Mahanayaka. 

After Lakshagriha event, everybody was believing that Pandavas had died but Krishna being a Lord was knowing the truth. He and Balram went to the Swayamvara, but when all the eyes were at Draupadi, the most beautiful lady of the time, (it was said that the lotus fragrance of her body was spreading to a yojan-13 kms), Lord Krishna was watching five Brahmins standing in a corner. He couldn’t recognise the four but was sure about the fifth, his disciple and friend Arjuna. Arjuna won the Swayamvara, and as per the tradition or by words of Kunti, Draupadi married to five Pandavas, but remained a close friend of Lord Krishna. The kingdom of Hastinapura was divided and Dhutrastra gave Indraprastha to Pandavas. During the visit of Duryodhana to Indraprastha, when he fell down on the illusion pond, Draupadi laughed at him and said, ‘the blind man’s son is also blind’. It could’ve been taken as a lighter joke between brother in law and sister in law, but it hurt Duryodhana to his core. He invited Pandavas to Hastinapura for Gotra yagya. And with the dice tricks of Shakuni, Yudhisthira lost his kingdom and Draupadi in dice gamble with Duryodhana. She was dragged to the court by her hair and was disrobed by Dushasana. Krishna was not present in the court. The old men Bhisma, Dhutrastra, Vidur, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, etc, became silent due to the terms of the agreement. Draupadi was saved by her Dharma. The Dharma of legal arguments. She raised the voice and questioned the validity of her being wager. As her husband after losing himself in the gamble became slave and the slave had no right to his wife, and therefore the wager was invalid. She warned Dhritarashtra for the dire consequences and her humiliation was put to an end. She was saved by herself, by her Dharma of defence. She left to the forest with her five husbands for thirteen years as per the terms of the agreement of the lost game. But she couldn’t forget and forgave the insult to her dignity. When Lord Krishna met her in the forest after the event of the insult, she had questioned him too. Why was she humiliated in public? What was the value of she becoming the daughter of brave King Drupad, wife of five great warriors Pandavas and a friend of Lord Krishna? Lord Krishna promised her that the revenge of her humiliation would be taken. The war of Mahabharata was fought and except twelve survivors, all the warriors of 18 Akshauhinis armies of both the sides were killed. One Akshauhini equals to 21870 Chariots, 21870 elephants, 65610 cavalry and 109350 soldiers. On the 15th day of the war, Drona killed Drupad and he was killed by Drupad’s son Dhristradyumna. Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu couldn’t prevent the events of the wars and the destructions. 

India from those days more reactive to insults and carries a culture of dislikes then the likes. The insult of Drona by Drupad was the seed of the war of Mahabharata that made Lord Krishna the Mahanayaka of India. His preaching of Gita to Arjun at the battlefield of Kurukshetra is the lighthouse for all those who are searching for the peace, solutions and liberation. 

Jai Shree Krishna.


25 August 2019


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