How Lord Krishna Designed the End of Durdaksha

Out of the ninety-nine brothers of Duryodhana, Durdaksha was the only one who was supporting the stand of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata war. He was the only one from the Kourava clan who always dissuaded Duryodhana from the path of deceit and violence. But Duryodhana would never listen to his advice. Instead, he ousted Durdaksha from the Kourava clan. When Durdaksha asked for Yudhishthira’s help at those troubled times, he offered him solace till end of the war. But Dhritarashtra and Gandhari, parents of the Kouravas, were unaware of such a happening.

At the end of the Mahabharata war, it was tough for Dhritarashtra and Gandhari to believe that their beloved son Duryodhana had also been slain, like all his brothers. What was tormenting more was their pride of having hundred sons was meaningless. Gandhari, who blind-folded herself after marrying Dhritarashtra to prove her love and devotion for her blind husband, was then desperate to open her eyes to have the last glimpse of her sons’ bodies. What she was perhaps unaware was that her first sight after her years of feigned blindness would burn anything to ashes, maybe due to her divine devotion for her husband.

While taking stroll in the battle field with Bidura and Sanjaya, Gandhari wished Yudhishthira to meet her. As Yudhishthira was getting ready to come to meet Gandhari, Lord Krishna appeared with Durdaksha and wished to accompany Yudhishthira. After they reached the place where Gandhari was eagerly waiting for Yudhishthira, Lord Krishna advised him not to go to the front of Gandhari. Upon Yudhishthira’s innocent inquiry, Lord Krishna answered that it would be a solace for Gandhari to see her only son alive after the demise of her ninety-nine sons. Yudhishthira agreed and sent Durdaksha to stand before Gandhari’s eyes.

Gandhari requested Lord Krishna to unwrap the blind-fold on her eyes so that she could see her son at first sight. Lord Krishna did that. In a fleet second, Durdaksha was burnt to ashes, thus scripting the end of the Kouravas. The heart-broken Gandhari looked at Lord Krishna and was surprised to see Him smiling mysteriously. After realizing the situation, Gandhari cursed Lord Krishna: ‘The end of the Yadavas (to which Lord Krishna belongs) be similar to that of the Soma dynasty (the Kouravas).’

Weighing the sorrows that Gandhari had owned so far, Lord Krishna agreed to live through her curse. Therefore, later, when the Yadavas in Dwarika were in inebriated state and were infighting among themselves thus signalling their end, Lord Krishna did take recluse from all of them, and planned His end while resting at the far-off Prayag Teertha. [You may like to read When Lord Krishna planned His end …]

Lesson learnt: Unless Lord Krishna had it planned that way, Gandhari’s fearsome first sight might have burnt Yudhishthira to ashes. How could the Pandavas who have lost so much in their struggle to defeat the Evil face such an end while a part of the Evil is still alive? In the court of God, Justice reigns supreme.


When Lord Krishna Answered Draupadi’s Prayers

All know and wonder about the divine camaraderie that existed between Lord Krishna and Draupadi, the only wife of the Pandavas in the epic, Mahabharata. The episode when the Pandavas bet on Draupadi to win a game against Duryodhana and his brothers as a trump card has been perhaps the most talked about one in the epic’s popularity.

When the Pandavas lost the game due to the cunning Shakuni playing his part in supporting the dice calls, Duryodhana wanted his younger brother Dushasana to bring Draupadi to the banquet place and denude her before all parties. Well, it is not that the Pandavas did not have the might to fight with the Kauravas to stop that act of inhumanness. They left the fate of Draupadi to Providence only because they respected their committed words. They did realize that it was a phenomenal wrong to bet on their beloved wife to win back their fortune in a highly unpredictable game played by clever opponents. So, the crisis was of their own doing, and it was against their swadharma (that is, self-religion) to distance themselves from their words that they have committed, in real life or in a mere game.

Draupadi for once cursed her fate to be used as a pun in the game and prayed fervently Lord Krishna to save her from the shameless humiliation that the Kauravas were causing her. Lord Krishna was playing dice with Queen Satyabhama while Draupadi’s prayers reached Him. The omniscient Lord was visibly disturbed for a moment while listening to the prayers, and then kept playing for a few more moments. When He unwrapped the cloth from His wounded finger and released that in air, He murmured, with His inimitable smile on lips, that finally the debt was repaid. Upon Satyabhama’s inquiry, Lord Krishna told her about Draupadi’s helplessness at the moment and His action.

When Satyabhama asked why Lord Krishna delayed in offering Draupadi His help, He answered that He wanted Draupadi to put in her best to avoid the crisis on her own. And if she failed after her honest efforts, she must submit herself before the Lord completely. So it was only when Draupadi reposed her complete faith in Him and lifted her hand towards heaven, did He release the piece of cloth that was coincidentally the piece of saree that Draupadi had torn (from her own saree) and wrapped on Krishna’s wounded finger in their last meeting. Lord Krishna narrated the incident further. Last time, when His finger was wounded and bleeding continued in the presence of all His queens and Draupadi, all His queens screamed for the maids and physicians. But before any of them could spring into action, Draupadi tore a piece of her saree that she was wearing to wrap the wounded finger to stop bleeding. That act of her human kindness had cemented the platonic friendship between them. And of course, that small piece of saree extended till infinity at a time when it mattered most and Draupadi could get out of the shameful situation.

Lesson learnt:

  • Always show acts of your human kindness whenever and wherever you are in a capable position. God remembers every small act of your human kindness and returns you the favour at a time when you need that the most.
  • When you wait on God’s interference to help you out of a crisis, first, ensure that: 1) You have put in your honest efforts to fight it out with all the resources and skills you have with you. 2) When your efforts failed, you have surrendered yourself completely before God to get you a solution.
  • God’s action depends more on how honest your efforts were and how complete your surrender (to Him) is.