Krishna and his teachings

Krishna is the ninth avatar of Vishnu who came during Dwapar Yuga. Unlike his other avatars, Vishnu didn’t take Krishna’s form to kill a specific monster. In Dwapar Yuga, evil had risen a lot and Krishna came to teach us how to fight evil.

There are many stories of Krishna avatar. Right from his birth to his childhood antics to the well-know Mahabharata and his teachings in the form of Gita, there is a lot we can learn from Krishna.

In this series, I am going to focus on one particular story. Well, this is actually the end of a story started long ago.

Remember the brothers Jaya and Vijaya who were the gatekeepers of Vaikuntha and devotees of Vishnu? The same ones who got cursed and had to take birth in the mortal realm three times? Remember them?

So, Jaya-Vijaya took their first birth as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu and in their second birth, they came as Ravana and Kumbhakaran. Well, in their third and last life they came as Shishupal and Dantavakra.

Shishupal was Krishna’s aunt’s (father’s sister) son. Krishna loved and respected his aunt a lot. But Shishupar’s vile nature was evident from a young age. Worried for his life, Shishupal’s mother asked Krishna to forgive his hundred mistakes. She thought that Krishna will keep Shishupal safe. She was right and Krishna did save Shishupal several times. This made Shishupal more brazen and he misbehaved even more.

Shishupal was invited to Yudhishthira’s coronation ceremony. Many other kings and noblemen were invited for the ceremony. Shishupal chose this place to insult Krishna and practically everyone. He kept throwing insults at everyone. Everyone was getting angry and were about to attack him but Krishna stopped everyone. This made Shishupal even bolder and his insults got more intense. Krishna was keeping his promise made to his aunt. But at the same time, he was counting Shishupal’s insults. Krishna kept quite for 100 insults. As soon as 101st insult came out of Shishupal, Krishna used his famous weapon Sudarshan Chakra to behead Shishupal.

This is how Shishupal’s life came to a sudden end.

Dantavakra was a close friend of Shishupal. When he learnt that Krishna had killed Shishupal, he practically lost his mind. In a rage, he decided to go and fight Krishna. Instead of gathering his army and planning a sensible attack, he went to Krishna all alone just with his mace. Krishna saw him and came out of his palace to face him. Dantavakra tried a lot to hit Krishna but in reality, he just wasn’t very skilful with a mace. Eventually, Krishna’s patience ran out and he picked his own mace. In one shot Krishna killed Dantavakra and that ended the three lives of Jaya-Vijaya brothers. They were now free to go back to Vaikuntha.

Analysis

Krishna’s story is an integral part of the epic Mahabharata. This avatar is about fighting for what is right even if it means fighting your family. While Krishna kills a lot of monsters and other bad characters, his biggest contribution is perhaps in teaching that we have to fight ourselves. His teachings in the form of Gita is still considered a very holy text.

We see a shift in Lord Vishnu’s approach here. Instead of fighting evil himself (like he did in earlier avatars), his focus is on teaching how to fight evil ourselves.


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