Krishna-Arjuna Friendship – Summary Redux Part 2

Author: Pranshu Saxena

Source – The Real Mahabharat of Sage Vyasa

Background Stories –  Why does Krishna love Arjuna more than his family?

Part  1Why does Krishna love Arjuna more than his family?

Why does Krishna love Arjuna more than his wives?
.

Let us look at Krishna’s relationships.
Let us look at his wives.

(I have a separate series of posts on the Wives of Krishna, the qualities they represent, the messages and lessons they represent, what they are and how many et all. Those details will be handled there. Here we focus on how those relationships edify our presentation of story of Krishna and Arjun.)
.
Rukmini is maybe Lakshmi herself. She is connected to Krishna by destiny.

Krishna is forced to marry Jambavati because Sita or Vibhishana promised the lady in previous birth.

Hanuman made promise to another lady born as another wife of Krishna.

Krishna married others like Satya et all as part of political alliances against Jarasandha or to fulfill destinies handed down to him and them from previous sanchita karma of previous births.

(Full details of these can be found also in Padma Purana especially the section where Jaigisaivya (Brother –in-law of Yudhishthara and an avatar of Siva) discusses details with Jambavati who is his disciple.)
.
.
Krishna’s marriage to some of these ladies is because of promises his FRIENDS made in previous births. Again, FREINDSHIP is most important quality cherished by Krishna and his previous incarnations.

Friendship and bonds given by friends transcend births…
.
(which reminds me, can a true friend of mine bless (or even curse) Madhuri Dixit to be my wife in next birth!! Please… it evidently works!! Actually make that Geeta Bali..kesava….).
.
Other marriages of Krishna are basically his cousins.
Actually, only one he basically chooses to marry on his own is again very interesting and again explains a very important feature of our culture and older cultural strands.
He chose Kalindi outside the normal cycle of rebirth and even normal cycle of kingly alliances of the day. Kalindi is very very interesting here.

Here Krishna is basically very strongly representing Dharma.

Kalindi is representing Yamuna. Yama-Yami samvad in Vedas represent an older paradigm, an older societal more, an older cultural context no longer viable in culture of the day. An older form of ritual that metamorphosed over time is represented here.
.
Kalindi and Krshna represents again on three levels very-very unique and edifying explanations and in a way they tend to disprove Bhagwad Purana vis a vis the story of Balarama and Yamuna.
OR
Krishna espousing Kalindi is snubbing Balarama and making up for his supposed crime!
.
Anyway, this is not the time and place for that discussion. Krishna Kalindi relationship and the lessons and messages that alliance represents should have its own article and discussion space.
.
Actually, any alliance, marriage and connection shown in Ramayana and Mahabharata were not put into place blithely. Each of these bonds, unions and interactions carry enlightening stories and enriching messages that add to the didactic of the Epic.
.
Anyway, Krishna’s wives represent almost no choice in Krishna’s control.
.
तू ही ये मुझको बता दे, चाहूँ मैं या ना
अपने तू दिल का पता दे, चाहूँ मैं या ना
इतना बता दूँ तुझको,
चाहत पे अपनी मुझको
यूँ तो नहीं हैं इख़्तियार
फिर भी ये सोचा दिल ने, अब जो लगा हूँ मिलने
पूछूँ तुझे एक बार
तू ही ये मुझको बता दे…
.
चाहूँ मैं या ना
..
And then there is Radha!
.
चाहूँ मैं या ना
.
Well, Bin Radhey sab adhey! We will table that discussion for a later point in the narrative.
….

So Krishna again could exercise little control or choice in selecting his wives. They were part of his destiny and maybe they represent awarding of Krishna as Husband as a reward to the ladies.
.
There is an old joke which I always enjoyed.
.
.
There were two monks, one an wizened old Abbot and his disciple. They observed laity and good counsel all their lives and in fullness of time, the Abbot left for hopefully the Good Place! .
The disciple took over as Abbot and continued a life of helping others and keeping good counsel.

At ninety years of age, the disciple died and went to heaven. The first person he sees there is his own mentor, the great Abbot, who had died a few years earlier.
But the extremely shocking thing for the Disciple was the company the Abbot was keeping.

He was shocked to see the Abbot sitting in a heavenly chair with a very busty and beautiful blonde on his lap.
.
“Oh dear Abbot,” cried the disciple, “Sir, In all the time I knew you, you were always the most righteous of men. This is heaven and heaven have finally rewarded you for all your abstinence on the Earth. O Joy, I can expect the same rewards!!”
.
“My dear padwan,” replied the wise Abbot “She is not my reward, I am her punishment!!”.
.
Krishna was basically the reward for the sanchit karmas of his wives!!! They were his punishment and people raise comments on his hard labors of sixteen something wives!!
.
So, Krishna would easily consider the choice of his free will, his friendship as dearer and more difficulty obtained than any of his wives!!
.
.
Let us now look at his kinsmen. And kinswomen Aka Family.
.
.

Arjuna and Krishna are also connected as kinsmen. Krishna is technically son of Vasudeva and Vasudeva and Kunti are blood siblings.
.
So, Kunti’s children Yudhishthara, Bhima and Arjuna are equally related to Krishna.
.
(Actually in expanded version I have detailed 7-8 relationships Krishna has with each of the Pandavas. You can review them there).
.
That does not mean Yudhishthira is more dear to Krishna than his wives or children. Or Bhima is more dear to Krishna than his wives and children.

Only Arjuna is.
.
Of course, people point out that Arjuna is married to Subhadra. That relationship makes Krishna closer to Arjuna.
.
That is another incorrect assumption. Krishna is similarly connected to all Pandavas. (See P.P.S. for details).
.
Subhadra and Arjun relationship is highlighted and passed to us in popular perception is because of artifice of how we get information.
.
That highlighting is the artifice of how Epic has passed down to us.
.
In popular perception, the marriage of Arjun and Subhadra is more famous; it is connected to the birth of their child Abhimanyu and his exploits on field of battle and is connected eventually to the Pandava lineage of Asandivata that is through Parikshita (son of Abhimanyu).
.
That is famous partly because of how people have been telling it again and again.
.
The Mahabharata as we have it was put down in written form starting 4th 5th cen BC (some 56 generations after War, 20 years per generation takes is 1120 years and thus using 1500BC as the event time for the War) and the major Kuru lineage of the time when it was written was that of Udayana of Vatsa.
.
Close friend and connect to the most famous Indian in world history, Sidhhartha Buddha.
.
The fame of Vatsa lineage would have influenced the highlighting of the Vatsa ancestors in the story of Mahabharata when it was being written down. The Buddhist texts are clear that there were several Kuru lineages at the time of Buddha including Kuru lineages in Indraprastha, Hastinapur and also near Mathura still at that same period plus several Kuru republican ganarajyas ruled by single family Bhayads. On top of that, we have famous trinity of Yaudheya, Malava and Arjunayanas states which were descended from three sons of Kunti and then of course over next eight hundred years, Malavas also rose up in popularity, Vikramaditya was a Bhimaite!!.

All these lineages had different starting ancestors including Sootasoma, Sarvaga, Sarvotunga, Vairocana, Prativindhya, Kara-Mataya et all. Heck, even in Yajnavalkya Maitreyi discussions, it is stated that Parikshitas were a minor lineage of Pandavas who were not even crowned kings.
.
But, five hundred years later, When the book was written down, the minor lineage was a major power and got prime position in Epic and thus popular perception.
.
Abhimanyu died on Day 13. On day Eight, a son of Arjuna died. On day Nine, five sons of Arjuna died. On Day twelve, a son of Arjuna celebrated in local Mithila annals died along with many Upa-Pandavas. But Abhimanyu has entered our popular imagination and takes place in imagination not only because of his valor and sacrifice but also because of later ennobling of his descendants at the crucial point when the putting down of the Epic on tamra patra started.
.
.
That sort of selective highlighting is also reflected in other famous Epics around the world.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was written over five hundred years but the main texts that now survive were written under the control of Wessex monarchy and we have thus details and achievements of that lineage highlighted to the extent that Wessex gets assigned all great achievements per se.
.
Funny part is that in Post Roman Britain, from start of the period to writing down of the chronicle itself,
Mercia dominated and ruled Heptarchy as supreme power for 300 plus years, the last great king dying mere 13 years before the final edition of Chronicles was rewritten and there is no mention of Mercia or its achievements, well they are mentioned but hidden under the deluge of Wessex information.
The Land is called England from the name of Angles ruling in Mercia!! but in popular imagination it is West Saxons that dominate!
Basically, Wessex got the footage and prime time while Mercia got late night when most public is asleep !!
It like someone writing history of Ranji Trophy of India as a series of events for Rajasthan team the recent double champions and ignoring most of Bombay victories!! Wessex was most of this history best team of Second division and not among the Premiership of Mercia, Kent and Northumbria!!
.
Even in 21st century, when asked to create a new earldom, Queen’s youngest son Edwatd chose the title Wessex and not Mercia as Wessex is what is there in public perception. (thanks again to Hollywood and character of Earl of Wessex in movie Shakespear in Love!).
.
Similarly, the fame of later descendants like Udayana have seen the focus of Epic on post-Mahabharata events on descendants of Subhadra ignoring others.
..
So Subhadra Arjuna marriage would connect Krishna even more closely to Arjuna and thus is that why Arjuna is the favorite would be popular perception!!
.
.
Well Devi is in the details.
.
Bhima married twenty daughters of Rohini. Bhima is thus twenty time more closely related to Krishna!! Does that mean, Bhima is twenty times closer connected to Krishna than Arjuna is!!
.
Full examinations of all brothers would yield a lot of close relationships and cross marriages with Yadava ladies! (I have listed elsewhere)
.
Heck, Duryodhana was married to Bhanumati, daughter of Balarama (Skand Purana) and that makes him son-in-law to Krishna! And Jamai always enjoys high status in household!!
.
Hum ek baat batana to bhool hi gaye! Baratiyon ka swagat Manikchand (RMD) se ho!
Why not Paan Parag?
Unnche Log Unchhi pasand!!
.
.
There were many more Yadava ladies like Sheshavati who is married to Bhima or into his family. And Yudhishthara or someone in his family is married to another Yadava princess et all. Cross connections are many, Matsaya Purana makes it a clear that not all are wives, some are daughters-in-laws and grand daughter in laws of the Pandava family. These make them Sambhandi rather than husbands.
.
.
Here is another popular mistranslation. Sambhandhi, Suhrada, सुहृद, gets translated incorrectly by many of the translators.
.
Even in Mahabharata Udyoga Parva, when Kashi and Sivi armies arrive, the term is that they come for their friend Yudhishthara.
.
In other recessions, the term is sambandhi. But, most recent translations are Son in law! Yudhishthara is samabandhi to Kashi king as Bhima is married Balandharaa but he may or may not have married a Kashi princess himself. One of his sons did.
Lot of times, I have seen that translators uses the term to translate as Son in law which is one of the meanings. But more likely, it is friend, ally or Kinsman that should come here.
.
Point here is that All Pandavas are equally well related by marrying Yadava princesses or having them as daughters in law and other relationships in their households.
.
Thus, all Pandavas are equally well related to Krishna. Furthermore, Satyabhama is the favorite wife of Krishna and her son Bhanu also called Asva is married to Suthanu, eldest daughter of Yudhisthara and Draupadi. So literally, Krishna and Yudhishthara are most closely well related.
.
The biggest relationship shibboleth is the who gets to do death rituals for someone. If there are no adult relations surviving, the closest kinsmen do the death rituals. When Pandavas were killed in Lakshagraha, Krishna came to Varnavata to do the death rituals for them.
.
Krishna was thus equal and closest kinsmen to all of them. So why Arjuna is favored?
.
.
So again, Relationship is not important. The reason for choosing Arjuna is beyond that. Again the emphasis is on the Friendship.
.
.
Now this is basically one level.

Let us continue in next part….

Shree Hari..

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s