Episode # 117 – The “Guru-Sishya” relationship between Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna – A background!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the simultaneous incarnation of Bhagawan Krishna, along with the Paandavas and Kauravas. As the five Paandava brothers and the hundred Kaurava brothers take birth, it is precisely at the same time did Bhagawan Vishnu decided to incarnate as the divine son of Devaki and Vasudeva as part of the Yaadava clan. We’ve seen how Yadu had lost his opportunity to rule the kingdom of the Yaadavas, and Bhagawan Vishnu took it upon Himself to incarnate as Bhagawan Krishna to uplift the entire Yaadava community. At the same time, Bhagawan Krishna also played a pivotal role in the lives of the Paandava brothers, as we’ve witnessed that the Paandavas were cousins to Bhagawan Krishna. We’ve seen that Prutha (Kunthi Devi) and Vasudeva were sisters and thus, the relationship between Bhagawan Krishna and the Paandavas is visible for all of us to understand. However, in the last episode, we had asked an important question towards the end – Although we say that the Paandavas are cousins to Bhagawan Krishna, why was Bhagawan more inclined towards Arjuna than the other four brothers. Let us witness the answer to this question in today’s episode. 

If we’ve to trace back to the past a little bit, Bhagawan Krishna and Arjuna are actually incarnations of “Narayana” and “Nara” who form the main deities of the divine Badrinatha Kshetra amidst the Himalayas. We can worship this Badrinatha Kshetra even today and it forms one amongst the 108 Divya Desas of Bhagawan Vishnu. The main deity of Badrinatha Kshetra is Bhagawan Narayana, and His closest disciple was none other than Nara (Meaning, a normal human being). Nara wanted to learn all the aspects of the Vedas, Upanishads, and the nuances of life, and with this, he wanted to be under Bhagawan Narayana directly. Bhagawan Narayana too accepted Nara as His own disciple and blessed Nara with all the requisite knowledge. It is this same “Nara-Narayana” combination that has incarnated here as Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna! This is why we witness the close nexus between the two. Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna share a “Guru-Sishya” relationship, more than being biological cousins. This is the reason why Bhagawan Krishna chose Arjuna amidst the battlefield to educate him on the Bhagawad Gita. 

Even otherwise, at various instances in the Mahabharata text, we’re going to witness how Bhagawan Krishna guided Arjuna whenever he faced hurdles, and it is important to also know that Arjuna followed Bhagawan Krishna’s advice word by word, without any blemish. This is also important isn’t it? Bhagawan can give all the advice, but it is upto us to follow whatever Bhagawan says, or reject it totally! Arjuna took it upon himself to make sure that he follows whatever Bhagawan Krishna asked him to do. If he had to fight the war, he was ready to fight the war, even though the enemy camp was full of his own relatives, including his own Guru. Dhronachaarya. This was Arjuna’s dedication towards Bhagawan Krishna. In fact, we’re going to witness a stage in the Mahabharata during the war wherein Bhagawan Krishna Himself declares to the world that life for Him would be extremely difficult if Arjuna wasn’t there with Him! If Bhagawan has to mention a “Jeevatma” and feel that His life had no meaning without the presence of that “Jeevatma”, we can witness how much of an impact that Arjuna made in Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation! Thus, this is the nexus between Arjuna and Bhagawan Krishna, who were cousin brothers to each other! 

We might wonder here – Maybe Bhagawan Krishna was close to the Paandavas only because He was related to them! Perhaps, if we’re Bhagawan’s relatives in some way, Bhagawan would automatically become closely associated with us! Is this true? The answer is “No”! There is a classical example of being a rebel to Bhagawan, even though Bhagawan was his cousin! This example is none other than Sishupala! Readers should understand here that Sishupala was also Bhagawan Krishna’s cousin, but even then, Sishupala was a Raakshasa and he revolted against Bhagawan Krishna, only to be killed by Him! We’re going to witness this at a later stage. Thus, here’s a cousin who did not want to follow Bhagawan’s footsteps! We can thus understand here that just by merely being related to Bhagawan biologically, it is not a guarantee that one would be an ardent “Bhakta” towards Bhagawan! 

So for today, let us understand these two important points and let us wait till the next episode to continue the discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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