What make’s a Leader? An overview of Indian mythological tale.
So, I wonder how many of you have read Mahabharata, and how many of you have really read Mahabharata or better, not read Mahabharata.
Well whatever the case is let me just give a short-liner summary of this Indian Epic. It was about two families namely Pandavas and Kauravas who waged a war for a piece of land and all the characters of this tale were distinct to each other as for one character would posses such arrogance that it would shudder a ferocious lion or another character who sacrificed everything and lead a life of valour that the coming generation chanted hymns praising him/her but all he/she did would be for love or family. But one mere fact that all these characters had or faced in common was the deepest urge for solitude. But it was more than that, in my opinion it was all about how one could elevate themselves from the eternal cycle of samsara(Repeated Mortality) and earn the elixir of salvation(Which in the end only one character achieves and all others were either brutally murdered mostly Kauravas and some of them where stirred in the oozing lava of narak(Hell) mostly Pandavas)
But right at this moment I would like to discuss and attempt to unravel one of the mysterious, whimsical and divine character of them all, Krishna - the god amongst humans and the unthroned Leader of Pandavas.
I will cut down some events, circumstances and what consequences they procured, so lets get started…
#1 shrewd and decisive
When the time came to chose either krishna’s army with their invincible armour or a lonely god who took an oath to not raise any weapon or pull up a divine spell that may end the war in a millisecond, Duryodhana — the king of Kauravas chose the army and Arjuna — the prince of Pandavas chose our lonely beloved god by saying “I choose my friend”. This was a masterplan by krishna, he knew he would side with the clan who would be selfless and trust worthy. Pandavas did not want the war to occur at the first place they just wanted to acclaim there land which Duryodhana, drowned in sublime pride which turned into tyrannical arrogance wrongfully took it away from them. So krishna’s choice from the first were the Pandavas but he just wanted to play the game right.
There was this character Karna in the tale who faced Moral conflict, as he fought along with his best friend Duryodhan(Kauravian) who supported him in the time of despair and he had to fight against the Pandavas his legitimate brothers. Krishna did try to manipulate him so that he could switch sides and fight with his brothers but Karna welcomed and rather preferred death than to be known as a traitor, because in his final moments when Arjuna (Pandava Prince) was holding a spade slightly above the chest of Karna, Arjuna realised that all this man was doing his Duty which seemed righteous in his eyes and a brother to he could be show mercy and spare his life but this time krishna succeeded to manipulate Arjuna by pointing his fingers towards Karna and saying this “While your wife clothes where being ripped by the savage monsters he was the one who laughed the most” Arjuna had no choice but to kill his kin because no matter what a woman’s dignity and purity shall always be valued more than even any precious gems. So yes, Krisna Made Arjuna murder his brother.
#3 A vigorous Lover of Mankind
Now krishna was also popular because of his relentless love for Gopis(Beautiful and chastely Herds-woman) in other words he was a playboy. But I admire him for this particular situation when one human had to be sacrificed and Arjuna’s illegitimate son Iravan was willing to do so but only on one condition he wanted to marry a woman and spend at least one splendid night with her. But hey brother don’t you see we are in a middle of war? There was a solution which krishna implied. He turned himself into the most gorgeous and petite woman who would be envied by apsaras(Angels of the heaven) and those two married and spent the night intertwined with fear, lust and ecstasy. It is also told that female-krishna wept for Iravan with the most unquenchable sorrow like never before, this is why I admire krishna the most because he knows to play and dance in this worldly illusion created and also know to love and mourn in this gruesome terrain of desolation.
Yup, Krishna Cheated a lot. But the very event I most admire of is this. Krisna Was the Sarthi(Driver) of the chariot that rode Arjuna — the greatest archer of all time. When Pandavas won the war they came and stopped just before the entrance doors of there humongous yet glorious palace. It is a tradition(or prejudice maybe) that all the drivers, soldiers and helpers should departure at first and then at last the princes of that clan may so all army followed the same. But the only chariot left was that of Arjuna. Krishna did not leave at all and all Arjuna can think of is how arrogant his friend has become. Krishna said “You leave first” and Arjuna thought it won’t be a pleasant scenery to deny a god so he did what Krishna said. And alas, krishna sprung out of the chariot and lo and behold! the chariot blasted with the most deafening noise and caught up in flames. That was the moment Arjuna realised why his friend said him to leave first as a mortal’s death is inevitable in such a catastrophe. Arjuna asked “How did this happen?” Krishna Replied “Drona had shot an arrow with the spell that could turn its target into ashes but i was with you all the time and made sure the spell would not be released till the last day.” That is how krishna cheated death itself.
So all I want is to leave you with this question what kind of leader Krishna was? and if you want to hear my answer here it goes…
As a Hindu he will be my god but as a character he would be one of the most cunning, shrewd, manipulative and deceitful leader of them all but we have to understand that he did it for greater good so that only one who will stand righteous will win any war against arrogance and totalitarianism, let it be a war we are waging in ourselves by one tale compiled of many Krishna has told that by hook or crook let freedom, claim and peace be our ultimate goal. And this is will be achieved if Lead our-self to overcome the mountainous hurdles by not being some God but by being more Human than the rest. Just like Krishna was.