logic, dharma and lack of it in Mahabharatham
I do feel the presence of a highly incisive and logical mind in the reading and analysis of Mahabharatham by Rajaji , even though abridged substantially..
If the whole one lakh and twenty five thousand couplets are fully digested , I have no idea what would be one's state of mind .
At the outset, two things have to be mentioned.
Firstly, Dharma, and the related virtues are to be viewed as instruments to enforce the welfare of the good people.
When bookish dharma is enforced, at micro level, making life unnecessarily miserable for a substantial group of human beings, then it can often become adharma
and action to annihilate the dissenting group that metes out this suffering to the victims becomes inevitable though the means followed for such retaliation may not be entirely on dotted lines prescribed by the theoretical dharma..
That is why in Mahabharatha itself it is said,
"Dharmasya tattwam nihatam guhaayam, mahajanaah yena gathah sa panthah... the path of dharma is so obscure as though it is consigned in darkness of a cave. So the ideal path of life should be that which was trodden by the great people."
Secondly, Mahabharatham is an Itihasam and a record of whatever that happened at that time slot.
And our ancient chroniclers were never worshipers of Individual's name and fame.
Even if they might have been aware of the greatness of Krishna and his team which won the war, the wrongs committed by any of them has not gone unrecorded..
Likewise the good on the part of the vanquished were also never mulled over.
This is the one difference you can find between the Indian chroniclers of yonder years and the later historians who on many occasions meddled with facts and figures and doctored history to distortion.
If you desired to find Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu as the sum and substance of all virtues alone, you are destined for great disappointment.
The Pandavas as a group stood for dharma if it has been beneficial to the majority, and they want to wreak vengeance for the unpardonable injustice and humiliation meted out to them .
Krishna, who is their first cousin (kunthi was the sister of krishna's father), being a kinsman who has married off his sister to Arjuna, and keeping in mind the devotion of Draupadi who was another sister to Him, and considering that preponderance of macro virtues were on the side of Pandavas, helped them to win the war. In fact, He plotted, intrigued worse than Sakuni in many ways. You can see the prototype of Machiavelli or Bismarck or Rasputin in Krishna.,
It is perhaps one reason why we go on praising Gods.
It is that if they are to remain on our side, we have to offer them havirbagam, eulogies, sometimes even undeserved sacrifices .
The obvious is the belief that they will help us, albeit in a partisan way, if we keep them in good humour.
This idea is running like a thorny thread across the fabric of almost any religion.
We have shaped our heroes in the mould of our own psyche, and we deserve what we get.
In the community of rats the God will be the rat which could keep other rats under control, marry as many lady rats as possible
and sire as many little rats as it could.
And may be if he can manage to cause the death of one or two Cats by hook or Crook it will be eulogised. .
This logic and analogy applies almost everywhere.
Krishna was an adroit tactician and his agenda was the strengthening of himself and his group.
He never hesitated to murder his uncle Kamsa, may be he is justified in doing so,( having his own reasons for it) but the consideration that weighed with him most was revenge for the death of his six siblings and the insult of his parents.
From Kamsa's side there is justification in showing cruelty.. he has been openly warned that this Krishna would be his killer.
Then Krishna, as an adroit strategist, has planned victory for Pandavas well in advance .
His strategy included destruction of some apparently invincible opponents, using devious means.
The most glaring example is Jarasandha.
If Jarasandha the father in law of Kamsa were alive, Krishna could never find peace.
There were eight strong mallas(wrestlers) of the period who were capable of matching strength with one another singly, and Krishna had only two of them in his friends list.
One is his own brother Balarama and the other is Bheemasena.
Others are Baka, Hidimba, Keechaka, Duryodhana, Jarasandha and one other minor one whom Bheema finished off in virata rajya during his sojourn there as a cook in disguise.,
Krishna was an expert in statecraft, a man who moved his pawns and dices adroitly, and when He became victorious, his divinity was recognised. This is the other side of Krishna for us.
We should try to assimilate it and manage to come to terms with our hero worship of Krishna.
The questions raised about some particular characters and incidents and their justification would require quite a large number of devious arguments and, maybe the bulk of such arguments will look at least as large as Rajajis Bharatham itself, if not as big as the original one.
Right from Jarasandha to Karna everyone has praised Krishna in spite of what he had done.
So every victim knew he himself was wrong and the Fate in human form that is Krishna, was overtaking them..
Only Gandhari cursed Krishna because in spite of her being a staunch devotee, she could not bear sorrow of the death of all her hundred sons.
We can see the tears of a mother in that