In the previous episode, we had witnessed a tragic and a shocking event in the life of the Paandava brothers wherein erstwhile King Paandu had passed away, owing to trying and getting into a union with his wife, Maadri Devi. On a rainy day when both King Paandu and Maadri Devi were roaming around amidst the dense forest, King Paandu was attracted towards Maadri Devi’s beauty and hence tried to get into a union with her. Although Maadri Devi tried stopping him and despite reminding him of the curse that he had obtained from Sage Kindama, King Paandu was in no mood to relent. As fate would have had it, King Paandu was immediately killed at the very moment he tried to get into a union with Maadri Devi. Shell-shocked by this, Maadri Devi cried aloud and with this, Kunthi Devi along with the five Paandava brothers rushed to the spot, only to find King Paandu dead! Unable to bare the guilt of “being responsible” for King Paandu’s death, Maadri Devi too finished off herself then and there, thus leaving the five children alone with Kunthi Devi. This was the first rude shock that the five children had in their lives, seeing their father’s demise at such a tender age.
As this happened, the last rituals of King Paandu were performed by Yudishtra, the eldest of the five brothers, along with the assistance of Kunthi Devi and the others around. Months and years rolled by, and the five children along with Kunthi Devi continued to reside in the forest, away from the kingdom. However, as time progressed, the Maharishis in the forest felt that it is not going to be right for these young princes to be loitering around in the forest, and that, they should immediately go to Hastinapura kingdom, since they had the due right to be the successor of their father, King Paandu. Thus, paying heed to the Maharishis’ advice, the Paandavas (Three Kaunteyas and two Maadreyas) along with Kunthi Devi made their way to the Hastinapura kingdom. This is one side of the story.
So we shall leave this story at this point and till now, readers should remember that we’ve been witnessing the family lineage of Puru. We’ve seen two important people as part of the “Chandra Vamsa” namely Yadu and Puru. All what we’ve seen till now with Paandu, Dhirdiraashtra, Paandavas, Duryodhana, etc. are part of the “Puru-Vamsa”. Now we’ve to witness what happened to Yadu, isn’t it? It should be remembered that Yadu should have ideally been the successor of his father, however, since Yadu wasn’t ready to donate his youthfulness to his father when he desired for it, his father denied Yadu the opportunity of becoming the next king. It was handed over to Puru, and from there, we witnessed the birth of King Shantanu, and the rest of them. Now, Yadu had children and these people were also called “Vrishnis” or “Yaadavas”. It is in this clan that Bhagawan Krishna incarnate, and this is the reason why Bhagawan Krishna has a divine name called “Yaadava”. In other words, Bhagawan Krishna is referred to as “Yaadava”, because he was born as part of the family lineage of Yadu.
As we’ve witnessed here, even though the Yaadavas were having the right to rule the kingdom, they were denied and the entire clan was insulted. Thus, one of the important purposes of Bhagawan Krishna’s birth is to uplift the Yaadava clan and make them regain their lost respect and opportunity to rule. If we look at the Bhagawad Gita, at many places Arjuna would refer Bhagawan Krishna as “Vaarshneya”. This is because Bhagawan Krishna was born in the clan of the Vrishnis. Thus, “Vaarshneya” is also another divine name of Bhagawan Krishna. In turn, at many places in the Bhagawad Gita, Bhagawan Krishna would refer to Arjuna as “Kaunteya” or “Paartha”. This is because, Arjuna was the son of Kunthi Devi (Kauntheya), who is otherwise known as Prutha (Paartha). We’ve witnessed earlier as to why Kunthi Devi had these two names.
Of course, apart from this important purpose of uplifting the Yaadava community and restoring their status, Bhagawan Krishna’s main purpose of incarnation was to restore and re-establish the “Dharma” in this world. It is for this reason Bhagawan Krishna moved very closely with the Paandavas and whenever the Paandavas were suffering in the hands of “Adharma”, Bhagawan Krishna was the first person to come and protect them. Thus, at this particular stage of the Mahabharata, precisely at the same time when the Paandavas and Duryodhana were born, Bhagawan Krishna too incarnated as the divine son of Devaki and Vasudeva. We’ve already seen in detail, the incarnation of Bhagawan Krishna during our “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” (Dashama Skandha) project, and hence, I’m not going into that detail again. Readers can go back to either our previous Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana or Shrimad Vishnu Puraana projects for references regarding Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation.
It is also to be noted that Bhagawan Krishna and the Paandavas were cousins to each other, because of the brother-sister relationship between Vasudeva and Kunthi Devi. This is also one reason why Bhagawan Krishna and the Paandavas were very closely knit to each other. Also, we would have a doubt here as to why Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna specially had a unique bonding with each other. Readers should note that Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna share a peculiar relationship with each other and this can be seen at various stages in the Mahabharata text, not only during the Kurukshetra war. Of course, all of us know that Bhagawan Krishna was even ready to be the charioteer to Arjuna, and not to any other Paandava brothers! What is the nexus between these two? Let us wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂