What was Krishna's role in Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is the most important and extensive Sanskrit epic of the Hindus, which tells of events in world history up to the present age of Kali. It tells the story of the great Bharata dynasty and describes the battle of the Kauravas with the Pandavas, which was fought on the sacred battlefield of Kurukshetra.
Historians assume that this ballad was written about 3000 years ago. The Mahabharata known today, however, dates from the 4th and 5th centuries BC. Bharata was a ruler who ruled the entire Indian subcontinent through his wise and brave actions. The Indians often call themselves the sons of Bharatas and India themselves Bharat or Bharatavarsha. Kuru, a descendant of Bharata, was the progenitor of the royal family of the Kauravas. Family disputes resulted in an 18-day fratricidal war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, which took place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra and almost wiped out the old tribe. Probably the best known and most beautiful part of the Mahabharata is the Bhagavad Gita.
It describes the conversations between Arjuna, a Pandava, and Lord Krishna, who fights on the side of the Pandavas. Arjuna wants to avoid the fratricidal war because he sees no point in killing his cousins and uncles. Krishna, however, challenges him to fight by making it clear to him that Arjuna as Kshatriya (warrior) has to fulfill the law of his caste and that there is no real death, since the living being as a spiritual soul (atma - the real I) is indestructible. Krishna teaches Arjuna submission to the divine will through clear demonstration. He rejects the inaction and calls on him to do his duty and not to ask about the success of the action. This path of selfless fulfillment of duty and genuine believing, loving trust in God leads to salvation. The followers of Krishna and many Hindus still live this Bhakti path (devotion to God) today.
From a literary point of view, the Bhagavad-gita is part of the famous Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, which tells of events in world history up to the present age of Kali. When this age began about 5000 years ago, the great battle of Kurukshetra took place and immediately before this battle began, Krishna proclaimed the Bhagavad-gita, which is the culmination of the Mahabharata.
The Bhagavad-gita, the "song of God (Bhagavans)" contains the teachings of Krishna to his friend and devotee Arjuna, and it has been venerated in India for thousands of years by all philosophical schools as a book of the highest wisdom and truth ...
The Battle of Kurukshetra was a family war within the glorious Kuru dynasty, whose famous ancestors, such as King Bharata, King Kuru, and King Shantanu, are also described in the Mahabharata. Shantanu's son Vicitravirya had three sons: Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura. Dhritarashtra, the eldest of the three brothers, was blind from birth, and therefore the throne passed to Pandu. King Pandu had five sons named Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Dhritarashtra had a hundred sons, the eldest of whom was named Duryodhana. These are the most important names of the Mahabharata, besides Krishna, and they are also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita, especially in the First Chapter.
However, when King Pandu died prematurely, his five children came under the care of their uncle Dhritarashtra, who in turn came to the throne because Pandu's children were not old enough to inherit from their father. So the sons of Dhritarashtra and Pandu grew up in the same royal environment. Together they learned the art of war from the experienced Drona and received the advice and instructions of Bhishma, the venerable "grandfather" of their family.
But the sons of Dhritarashtra, especially Duryodhana, harbored hatred and envy of the Pandavas, and the blind, wicked Dhritarashtra wanted his own sons, and not the sons of Pandu, to inherit the kingdom.
It so happened that Duryodhana, with Dhritarashtra's consent, took various steps to kill the young sons of Pandu, and it was only thanks to the careful protection of her uncle Vidura and her cousin Sri Krishna that they escaped all these assassinations.
Although Shri Krishna was related to the Pandavas, as we learn from the Bhagavad-gita, He was not an ordinary person, but the Supreme Lord Himself, who had descended on earth and now played the role of a king. In this role Krishna was the nephew of Pandu's wife Kunti, also called Pritha, the mother of the Pandavas. As the eternal protector of His devotees and the principles of religion, Krishna favored and protected the righteous sons of Pandu.
A decisive turning point came when the insidious Duryodhana challenged the Pandavas to a game of dice. In the course of this fateful game of chance, Duryodhana and his brothers won the entire property of the Pandavas, even Draupadi, their chaste and faithful wife. In their presumptuousness they tried to undress Draupadi before the eyes of all the assembled princes and kings, from which Krishna's divine hand protected them. This game of chance, which was fraud from the start, robbed the Pandavas of their kingdom and forced them into exile for thirteen years.
When the Pandavas returned from exile, they turned to Duryodhana on Krishna's advice to assert their rightful claim to the kingdom; but Duryodhana promptly refused her request. As members of the royal class (kshatriyas), the Pandavas were obliged to take care of the protection of society, and so it was necessary that they had a domain. The five Pandavas, however, were prepared to limit themselves to five villages, but Duryodhana replied with arrogance that he would not even give them enough land to stick a needle on. Duryodhana was aware that his uncompromising demeanor was provoking war, and so he began to actively prepare for such a decisive confrontation.
It is reported in the Mahabharata that all the kings and rulers of the world divided themselves up and sided with either the sons of Dhritarashtra or the sons of Pandu. Krishna himself took on the role of an envoy in the name of the Pandavas and went to Dhritarashtra's royal court to make final efforts for peace. But Krishna's proposals were rejected and it was only a matter of time before the battle began.
The Pandavas, famous for their greatness of character, recognized the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Shri Krishna, but did not recognize the sinful sons of Dhritarashtra. Krishna, for his part, left it up to the wishes of the two opposing parties which side of the battle He would be on. As the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He would not fight personally, and He left it up to both parties to choose whether they wanted Krishna's army or Himself as an advisor and helper. Duryodhana, the power-hungry strategist, immediately chose Krishna's armed forces, while the Pandavas were equally eager to have Krishna personally on their side.
Krishna took over the role of the charioteer of Arjuna, and so Arjuna, the famous archer, and Krishna as his servant stood on the same chariot, in the middle of the two armies that had gathered on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. This brings us to the beginning of Bhagavad-gita, where old Dhritarashtra worriedly asks his secretary, "What did my sons and Pandu's sons do?"
This is a brief summary of the prehistory as told in the Mahabharata. The content of the Mahabharata and especially the time after the battle is described in detail in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, which together with the Bhagavad-gita is the essence of Vedic literature.
The teachings of the Bhagavad-gita are the culmination of the entire Mahabharata. In it Shri Krishna explains the remedy for all individual and social problems. Because His statements refer to eternally valid principles behind the constantly changing appearances of time, the Bhagavad-gita is just as relevant and practically applicable today as it was then ...
Here you will find the Bhagavad-gita, the jewel of the Mahabharata,
in a unique and authentic edition ...
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