SATYAM & GOD
I heard this discourse for the second time when there was a repeat telecast of Bhakti Thiruvizha in Mumbai on Vijay TV last week. This was by Professor Ilampirai Manimaran.
The Mahabaratha war is about the begin. Lord Krishna is resting in his room and Duryodhana comes to meet him. Krishna is aware of his arrival but feigns sleep. Duryodhana sits at Krishna’s head waiting for him to wake up. Arjuna arrives and seeing Krishna asleep, sits at his feet.
Krishna wakes up, sees Arjuna and asks him when he came. Arjuna replies that he had just come, but Duryodhana had been waiting there before him. Krishna looks at Duryodhana in surprise. Though Duryodhana had come first, Krishna says he saw Arjuna first and gives Arjuna the choice between Him and his soldiers (Narayani sena) as help for the battle.
Arjuna promptly chooses Krishna. Krishna underlines that if Arjuna chooses Him, it will be only Him and he will not take part in the battle. Arjuna humbly agrees and reiterates that Krishna is enough for them. Duryodhana who was worried lest Arjuna asks for Narayani sena, is very happy to hear this and accepts the other choice – Narayani sena
Duryodhana triumphantly boasts to Bheeshma that he opted for Krishna’s soldiers whereas the Pandavas had chosen just Krishna who will not even take part in the battle. A surprised Bheeshma asks Duryodhana again and again if Krishna said that he will not take part in the battle.
Finally Bheeshma says “Krishna will take his weapons in the battle”. A rattled Duryodhana says Krishna had promised not to do so. Bheeshma swears on his Brahmacharya vrata that Krishna will touch his weapons.
The battle is in full swing and on the 10th day Bheeshma is in the forefront fighting aggressively. The Pandava side is not able to handle the fierce Bheeshma and were falling rapidly. Seeing this, a worried Arjuna asks Krishna for guidance. Krishna jumps down from his sarathi seat on to the ground, wields his chakrayudha and runs towards Bheeshma. Bheeshma is shocked and stops momentarily.
Arjuna rushes behind Krishna and falls at his feet, requesting him to not kill his grandfather. Bheeshma prostrates in front of Krishna. Krishna’s chakrayudha vanishes and he goes back to Arjuna’s chariot.
Now Arjuna is able to take on the not so ferocious Bheeshma and defeat him.
The battle is over and Bheeshma is lying on his arrow bed waiting for Utharayanam to leave this world. It is the Tamizh month of Maasi, Sukla paksham, Ashtami thithi and the man who has been bestowed with the power of choosing his time of death, is ready for mukti.
Lord Krishna and the Pandavas are standing around him. Seeing his favourite Lord, Bheeshma thinks that the Lord is so close, but he is not in a position to offer him some flowers. Lo and behold, a strong wind brings some wild thulasi to Krishna’s feet making Bheeshma happy. Bheeshma recites the Vishnu Sahasranama to Yudhishtra at his request.
Bheeshma asks Krishna “what is Satyam?” Krishna says Satyam is God. Bheeshma continues, “in that case, is God beyond Satya?” Krishna says “No” and then Bheeshma asks him, “in that case why did you break your Satyam in the battle? You had promised that you will not take part in the battle, but you took the chakrayudha.”
The ever smiling Krishna replies, “yes, I did take the chakrayudha, but I did not use it in the war and why did I do it? You, the man who in his youth, gave up the pleasures of the young for the sake of your father and took Brahmacharya vratha - when such a great person swears on his Brahmacharya vratha that Krishna will take part in the battle, I had no choice but to make your promise come true. In this my promise was not kept, but I had to keep your promise, this is why I took the chakrayudha. This also helped Pandavas as it reduced your ferocity and helped them defeat you!”
Such is the greatness of the benevolent God who is ready to sacrifice his promise for the sake of his bhakta!