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An Unforgettable Lesson Krishna Taught Me

Lessons learned from Lord Krishna

Credit: Asaph Photography

Krishna was an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The tales of his mischievous childhood, the adventures of his teenage life, and his role as the guide of the legendary Mahabharata are well known. Krishna’s every action is an inspiration. It is impossible not to be captivated by his mystique. He is undoubtedly my favourite god of the 84000 Hindu gods. And I may not be able to summarise the things I have learned from Krishna ji in this life, but I want to share one of my most favourite lessons. Below are two stanzas from a poem by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. Read the complete poem here.

‘दो न्याय अगर तो आधा दो,
पर, इसमें भी यदि बाधा हो,
तो दे दो केवल पाँच ग्राम,
रक्खो अपनी धरती तमाम।
हम वहीं खुशी से खायेंगे,
परिजन पर असि न उठायेंगे!

दुर्योधन वह भी दे ना सका,
आशीष समाज की ले न सका,
उलटे, हरि को बाँधने चला,
जो था असाध्य, साधने चला।
जब नाश मनुज पर छाता है,
पहले विवेक मर जाता है।

Give us partial justice,
but if you are yet unwilling,
then give us at least 5 grams,
and keep the rest with you.
We will devour that with joy
without any grudge.

But Duryodhan was unwilling to provide even that.
He did not seek blessings of the fraternity,
rather, he attempted to ravish the Lord.
He tried to surmount the unsurmountable.
First wisdom is annihilated when
evil clouds a being.

In Mahabharata, these stanzas describe the moment when Sri Krishna arrived to deliver a message from the Pandavas to the Kauravas. Because the Kauravas were unwilling to give up the Pandavas’ empire, Sri Krishna arrived to convey the message of Dharma and Justice. He reminds Duryodhana that the Pandavas would accept half or negligible justice, but the path of justice cannot be deviated from. Duryodhana, who is greedy and egotistical, refused to give Pandavas even a speck of land. He also sought to enslave Sri Krishna.

There are two extremely important lessons we learn from this instance:

  1. Never forsake what is rightfully yours. Never turn your way from the path of Justice.
  2. It is alright to be satisfied with partial justice for the sake of peace.

Ignoring or sacrificing what is rightfully yours out of fear, kinship, or because it is trivial to you leads to a series of injustices that eventually leads to catastrophe for an entire civilization. Sri Krishna advises you to never quit the path of Dharma, even if it comes at the cost of your blood.

अथ चेतत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं संग्रामं न करिष्यसि |
तत: स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि || 33||

If, however, you refuse to fight this righteous war, abandoning your social duty and reputation, you will certainly incur sin.

Happy Krishna Janmashtami!❤️

Jai Shree Krishna!



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I am a pastiche of every character I have ever liked, loved and hated.