Which character should be made responsible for the Mahabharata war?

By Sunil Kumar

I think your way of viewing the Mahabharata War as a blame game is totally wrong. Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion, but this was a ‘dharma yuddha’, not a normal terrestrial conflict where we have to find a hero and a villain.

If you are aware of the story of Barbareek, known in Rajasthan as Khatushyamji, the mystical aspect of the conflict comes to the fore. When the Pandavas are arguing as to who was responsible for the victory, Krishna asks the decapitated head of Barbareek to judge, he says that only the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna was responsible for the victory.

This was because he could see only a divine chakra spinning on the battlefield, killing all the people who were not on the side of Dharma. The other was Draupadi, who had taken the form of Mahakali, who had spread her tongue on the battlefield and consumed all the sinners as her sacrifice.

The goddess Kali is known as raktavilasini, who enjoys the gruesome spectre of the annihilation of miscreants. Appreciating this entails a certain amount of faith in Dharmic philosophy and standing on the pedestal of atmagyan(self knowledge) and realizing that this is another divine play(leela) of God.

Ofcourse, if you want to consider this as a normal conflict, mythology or a bloody war, there are many contenders. People tend to blame Duryodhana, the most obvious villain. But, Sanskrit texts and sources talk about his actual name ‘Suyodhana’ and the many noble acts and chivalry he did.

In fact, I’ve heard many people including the famous Hindi writer Narendra Kohli mention that Karna, the eldest Pandava, an egotist and adharmi as being worse than Duryodhana. He was the one who hated Draupadi with even more vengeance, deceived Parshurama and brought his personal ambitions and ego more in play than even Duryodhana. He also took a leading part in the killing of Abhimanyu, in fact his younger brother’s son.

Now, some people blame Draupadi and even more blasphemously, Shri Krishna. Not that this is something major these days, as Hinduism is the most liberal religion on the planet and people concoct as many theories as they deem fit. Bhishma, Drona, Dhristadyumna, Pandu, Kunti, Dhritarashtra, Gandhari, Satyavati the list can go on.

So, in my personal opinion, nobody to blame. It was a divine leela by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna to re-establish the principles of religion, deliver his devotees and annihilate the miscreants.

The principles laid out in this great Indian epic were meant to introduce generations of Indians who followed Sanatana Dharma to appreciate sublime values of integrity, compassion and forbearance. Despite hundreds of years of foreign rule, India retained something of its high-minded idealism. Interpretations differ, and so we have to contend with dastardly cowardly attacks like the one that took place yesterday on CRPF jawans. Nowhere does Sri Krishna talk about dereliction of duty, non-violence and not following your dharma(duty) in life.

Looking at the Mahabharata war depends on the drishti(vision) and chakshu(eyes) with which you approach the subject.

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