Krishna’s Mediation

Duryodhana was a very adamant person. He could never concede anything at all. The messenger sent by the Pandavas through Drupada, read out before Duryodhana his various misdeeds against the Pandavas and called upon him to return their kingdom. The messenger also warned Duryodhana of the consequences of war if he did not agree for a peaceful settlement. Duryodhana was enraged to receive such a message. The elderly Bhishma who was present in the court,
advised Duryodhana to honourably give back Pandava’s share of the kingdom. Otherwise the Kauravas would all be destroyed, he warned. Karna scorned Bhishma for siding the Pandavas. “They have foolishly lost their kingdom. Why should we return it,” was his argument.
Dhrithrashtra sent an appeal to the Pandavas through Sanjay that they should give up their claim over the kingdom and avert a war. Pandavas were temporarily staying near Virata city of Matsya land. When Sanjay tried to convince Yudhishtira to give up any claim over the kingdom, Yudhishtira politely refused, “I have been made a king once and hence cannot live like a beggar. We Pandavas are not greedy. We are only asking for our share of the kingdom. If Duryodhana opposes this, at least give us five villages, one for each of us. We shall be content with this offer
and shall not wage a war,” he said.
When Sanjay conveyed this message to Dhrithrashtra and his sons, Duryodhana laughed. The mighty Pandavas, with all their talk of dignity, asking for a mere five villages amused him. But his father found sense in this told him, “Son! I am sure you can give away the five villages. The rest of the empire will be yours.” Duiyodhana flatly refused by saying, “Dear father, I shall not part with even a needle-point of land,” and walked out of the meeting.
Duryodhana just did not want to listen to any good advice or to reason. He was obsessed with destroying the Pandavas totally. Kama, Shakuni, Dushyasana and others encouraged him in this. Elders like Bhishma, Drona and Krupp were totally ignored. The blind Dhrithicshtia was like a puppet in his son’s hands.
Duryodhana’s proclamation that he would not give even a needle-point of land to the Pandavas dismayed Krishna. He felt that there was no more scope for peace talks but as a final effort, decided to personally go to Hastinapur and negotiate with the Kauravas. Draupadi did not favour this. The wicked ones ought to be punished was her attitude. She told her five husbands, “If you do not want to wage a war, I will seek the help of my father, the king of Drupada and Dhrishtadyumna, my brother. I have five sons to go to the battlefield.” She could not forget the utter humiliation she faced at the hands of the Kauravas at a full gathering. Krishna consoled her by saying, “Dear sister, Duryodhana will never agree to a peaceful settlement and hence the final outcome will be a war. But I will have to make a last attempt.” So saying, he departed for Hastinapur.
Duryodhana wanted to accord a grand welcome to Krishna. But instead of going straight to the court of the Kauravas, Krishna spent some time at Vidura’s house and then went to the court, where Bhishma, Drona, Dhrithrashtra and Vidura were present. Duryodhana warmly welcomed Krishna and offered him a jewel-studded throne. “Krishna, it was below your dignity to stay with low-born Vidura. You should have accepted my hospitality,” chided Duryodhana. Vidura, hurt by Duryodhana’s cruel words refused to co operate with him any further. Duryodhana, at that moment, did not realise what a loss this would be.
Krishna rose from his seat and facing the king, explained his intention to avert a war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. “Dhrithrashtra, please treat the Pandavas honourably and return their share of the kingdom. Do not cause destruction to the Kuru clan,” Krishna said.
Dhrithrashtra pleaded his helplessness and so Krishna turned his attention towards Duryodhana and said gently, “Duryodhana, please be reasonable. If not half the kingdom at least five villages will make the Pandavas happy.” Duryodhana stuck to his word, said a firm ‘No’ and walked out of the court.
Krishna pleaded with the elders about the senseless attitude of Duryodhana. “It is better to do away with one Duryodhana to save the other Kauravas,” was Krishna’s better advice to the others.
“Krishna on the pretence of mediation, is plotting to kill me,” accused Duryodhana when he heard about this advice. He immediately ordered his brother Duhshyasana to seize Krishna with ropes.
How is it possible to tie down the Protector of the Universe, the Omnipotent Krishna? When Duryodhana and his brothers rushed back to the palace court to imprison Krishna. Krishna revealed his Viswarupa. Wherever Duryodhana and Duhshyasana turned, they saw only Krishna, there was Krishna on eveiy seat and on every throne. Who was the real Krishna?
Krishna’s Viswarupa was the magnificent revelation of the Supreme Being. Even the blind Dhrithrashtra temporarily regained his eyesight and was able to see the Vishwarupa. While all the others were stupefied by this revelation, the ignorant Duryodhana termed it as a magic trick of Krishna.
When Duryodhana reiterated his obstinacy, Krishna left the court after resuming his normal form.
He went straight to Kunthi and told her about the events of the day. She was extremely distressed to learn that her sons had to resort to war. When she thought of Kama, her heart-felt heavy. She wanted to reveal the secret about Kama’s birth, in the hope that once he learnt the truth, he would not fight against his own brothers. Krishna also agreed with her, but suggested that she should make Kama promise her that he would not use the same arrow twice in the war.
Mother and son were to come face to face at last.
Kunthi knew that Kama offered his prayers to the Sun God every morning by the side of the river. So she waited for him till his prayers were over. When he turned back, he saw Kunthi. He touched her feet in reverence. In a trembling voice, Kunthi addressed Kama as “Son!” Kama felt that she wanted to say something important to him.
“Son! you have always believed yourself to be Adiratha’s son. This is not the truth. You were born a Kshatriya and you were born to me.” So saying, she could no longer control her emotions and wept bitterly. She then told him about his birth and about setting him afloat in the river. She wanted to be forgiven for her action.
On hearing the truth about his birth, Kama said sadly, “Mother, you have got me into a predicament by revealing the truth. I can only say that fate has been very cruel to me.”
Kunthi touched him gently and continued to say, “Child! You are my eldest born. The Pandavas are your younger brothers. Not knowing the truth, you have joined hands with Duryodhana. But it is never too late. Come back to us and be a king. I assure you that you will have the abiding loyalty of your younger brothers.”
Kama was a true friend of Duryodhana. He was ever grateful to his friend for his large-heartedness in crowning him as the king of Anga. So he told Kunthi in a firm voice, “Mother! I cannot give up my friendship for the sake of a throne. Duryodhana has total confidence in me. I cannot betray him at this moment.”
“Son! You have no consideration for your poor mother?” asked Kunthi. Though Kama did not offer any reply, he could not forget the humiliation he had suffered in his entire life as being the son of a charioteer. Neither Kunthi nor the Pandavas could wipe out his unpleasant memories.
“Please forgive me,” said Kama to Kunthi, “I promise you that I shall not fight against Yudhishtira, Bhima, Nakul or Sahadev. But I shall not spare Arjun. I will not hesitate even to kill him. If he were to die at my hands, you still will have five sons. If I were to be killed by Arjun, you will still have five sons.”
Kunthi then took courage and told Kama, “Son! You speak like a true Kshatriya. But promise me that you shall not use the same arrow twice on Arjun.” The ever-generous Kama agreed to this and Kunthi returned home with a her vy heart.
Kama walked towards the palace with mixed emotions.
Such is the path of destiny!

Leave a Reply