Tuesday, December 20, 2022

A View of the Mahabharata War

Statue of Krishna and Arjuna in chariot

Kurukshetra (Haryana)

The Kauravas lost the Mahabharata war. The Pandavas were victorious. But the entire Kuru clan (the Kauravas and the Pandavas) went to Swarga-Loka (heaven) after the war. What does this imply? It implies that Dharma was on both sides. In Hinduism, Dharma is one of the four components of Purushartha (the primary objectives of life). The other three components are: Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Dharma means righteousness and observance of moral and religious values. 

The Mahabharata war was not about Dharma. Both sides were righteous. Both sides were strict in the observance of moral and religious values. Since there was no difference between the two sides on the issue of Dharma, it was difficult for Lord Krishna’s Yadava clan to decide which side they should support in the war. Lord Krishna joined the Pandavas because he felt that injustice had been done to them. But he did not pick up arms against the Kauravas; he served as Arjuna’s charioteer. His army joined the Kaurava side. Krishna’s brother Balarama, who was the commander of a powerful army, refused to join either side, as he could not see any difference between the two sides—he remained neutral. 

The Mahabharata war was about Kurukshetra and justice. The word “kshetra” means land— Kurukshetra signifies the land of the Kurus, which in context of the Mahabharata means the planet earth. The Pandavas believed that, according to the tenets of justice, the earth belonged to them; the Kauravas believed that it belonged to them. Both sides were intent on becoming the king of the world. Since neither side was ready to compromise, war was the only option.

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