At the onset of Mahabharat war, Arjuna wanted to flee away from Kurukshetra, the battlefield. But Krishna wanted Arjuna to fight the Mahabharat war. You may wonder why Krishna wanted the war? War brings mayhem. So, no sane man wants war. But still Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was unhappy when Arjuna was thinking not to fight.
You and I can list down many benefits if there was no Mahabharat war.
Tens and thousands of soldiers who died in the war would have been saved. Abhimanyu, Arjuna’s son, would have not lost his life. Bhisma and Drona would have not died. If Pandavas and Kauravas would have not fought there would have been no deaths, no widows, no orphaned children.
It appears to be a noble thought. Now picture a scenario. Group of terrorists have entered a city. Military comes to know about their hideout. They are about to ambush the terrorist camp. But the leader of the army develops cold feet. He does not want to attack the terrorists. Why should we kill them? They are our brothers; humans like us. Let us be non – violent. Let us let them live. The army aborts the mission. After few hours the terrorists create mayhem in the city. They kill hundreds of people – old, young, men, women, children none are spared.
What will you think about the leader of the army? A kind-hearted soldier? A generous leader or a coward? Will he be glorified or rebuked? Will he be punished or rewarded? The answer is obvious.
Duryodhana was not fit to become the king
Duryodhana was an atrocious person. Corrupt, cunning and cruel. To become the king of Hastinapur, he was ready to go to any extent. He had broken many religious principles to satisfy his wanton desires. Krishna knew Duryodhana’s demoniac mindset. He knew that if evil Duryodhana becomes the king, he will act against the religious principles. He will be an unjust ruler.
Duryodhana committed five major crimes. For these misdeeds, he should be punished and not rewarded.
Below we discuss the five major evil deeds of Duryodhana.
Five major crimes committed by Duryodhana which justifies the Mahabharat war:
1. Duryodhana tried to kill Pandavas deceitfully
Duryodhana was envious of his Pandava brothers since childhood. He envied them. Duryodhana especially disliked Bhima when they were kids. He tried to kill Bhima by mixing poison in his food. Later he threw unconscious Bhima into the water. But fortunately, Bhima did not die.
Later he tried to burn the Pandavas alive along with their mother, Kunti, in Lakshagriha. He did not have any hesitation in burning his aunt, Kunti, an old lady who was like his mother.
2. Duryodhana tries to disrobe Draupadi
In Kuru assembly, after the Pandavas lost the dice game, Duryodhana decided to insult Draupadi. Draupadi was his sister-in-law. It was his responsibility to protect her. But he was such a wicked person that he ordered his brother, Dushasana to bring Draupadi in the assembly hall. Karna supported him.
When Dushasana went to bring Draupadi, she was in her personal room. Dushasana dragged Draupadi, his sister-in-law, by her hair and brought her in the assembly. Draupadi was in shock. She was in tears. She feared for her honour and life. Duryodhana, Dushasana, Karna, Sakuni were laughing seeing the plight of Draupadi.
Laughing loudly, madly and arrogantly, Duryodhana gestured Draupadi to come and sit on his left thigh. While saying so, he was slapping his thigh.
None of the elders in the assembly could do anything or say anything. Dhritarashtra, the king, blindly attached to his son, Duryodhana, remained quiet. Elders like Bhisma, Vidura, Drona, Kripa all were helpless.
Duryodhana then asked Dushasana to strip Draupadi naked. Dushasana, Duryodhana’s younger puppet, started pulling Draupadi’s sari. Helpless Draupadi was tightly holding her sari begging everyone to save her. Duryodhana, Dushasana, Karna, Sakuni were laughing like mad men seeing the plight of Draupadi.
Duryodhana who wanted to be the king of Hastinapur was publicly shaming a woman. He wanted to preside the assembly where he was now shaming a woman.
Did Hastinapur deserve a king like Duryodhana who was abusing a woman publicly?
In the great Kuru assembly, surrounded by hundreds of great personalities, Draupadi found herself all alone. No one was there for her. She begged, pleaded, cried tears but no one came to help her.
Krishna saves Draupadi from Dushasana
Draupadi understood that other than the Lord there is no one who can help a mortal being. She left her sari which she was holding tightly, raised her both harms and helplessly cried Krishna’s names. Krishna was not there in the assembly hall. But Krishna is there in everyone’s heart. He heard Draupadi’s cry for help and immediately came for her help.
Dushasana was trying to pull the sari and Krishna provided unlimited sari to Draupadi. Dushasana tried hard to undress Draupadi but failed. He was exhausted and almost fainted. Krishna saved Draupadi. Evil four – Duryodhana, Dushasana, Karna, Sakuni – stopped laughing. Duryodhana failed to disrobe Draupadi.
Draupadi, seething with anger, took a vow in that assembly, “I will not tie my hair until it is bathed with the blood of Dushasana.”
Bhima who was somehow controlling his anger, stood up and took two vows:
Bhima’s vow in the Kuru assembly
Fuming with anger Bhima looked towards Duryodhana and Dushasana. He then looked towards everyone present in the assembly and took a vow:
I will kill Dushasana, rip apart his chest and will drink his blood. With that blood I will bathe Draupadi’s lose hair.
“O kings of the world,” he thundered, “listen to my words! I shall now make a vow unlike any that has been made before. Nor shall such a vow be made in future. If I do not forcefully tear open the breast of this sinful wretch on the battlefield and drink his blood, then may I not obtain the path of my ancestors.” – Draupadī Dragged to the Assembly
Although Duryodhana failed to disrobe Draupadi, but it shows his evil mindset.
3. Duryodhana abducts a Gandharva lady
Pandavas were exiled to the forest after they lost the dice game. Without any riches, they were living frugally in the forest. Duryodhana, Karna and Sakuni thought to go to the forest to humiliate the Pandavas. They decided to stay near the place where the five Pandavas were residing. Duryodhana wanted to display his opulence. This he felt will embarrass the five brothers.
In the forest Duryodhana committed another crime. He abducted a lady who was a Gandharva. Later the Gandharvas led by Chitrasena rescued the lady by defeating Duryodhana and Karna. Gandharvas even captured Duryodhana. Duryodhana and Karna thought they were great warriors, but they were defeated by the Gandharvas.
In fact, later Arjuna and Bhima went and rescued Duryodhana. Duryodhana had gone to humiliate the Pandavas but himself got shamed.
This again shows Duryodhana’s character. He had no respect for women.
4. Duryodhana disobeyed everyone including Bhisma, his great grandfather, and Dronacharya, his guru
Duryodhana never listened to anyone’s advice. He disrespected Bhisma, who was his great grandfather. Duryodhana disobeyed his guru, Dronacharya. He always rebuked Vidura, his uncle and one of the most noble souls in Hastinapur. And Dhritrashtra, his father, who was the king was Duryodhana’s puppet. Dhritarashtra was so attached to his son that he did not have the courage to say no to him.
A king should always be open to advice from the elders and the ministers. But Duryodhana was full of arrogance. He did not listen to anyone. Duryodhana always wanted to have his way. He only wanted to satisfy his ignoble desires.
5. Duryodhana tried to imprison Krishna, the Supreme Lord
Pandavas led by Krishna were very pious. Although Duryodhana had committed so many sins but still they were ready to forgive him and start afresh.
Krishna personally went to Hastinapur as a peace messenger. He wanted to convince Dhritarashtra and Duryodhana to give up all enmity. Yudhishthira, the eldest Pandava, was the heir of the throne of Hastinapur. But Krishna told Dhritarashtra and Duryodhana that the Pandavas are ready to give the throne of Hastinapur to Duryodhana. However in return Duryodhana should give 5 villages to Pandavas to rule.
But Duryodhana said that he will not give them a land even of the size of the tip of a needle.
Duryodhana did not stop there. He decided to imprison Krishna who had come as peace messenger. He asked the soldiers to attack Krishna and capture Krishna. Krishna is not an ordinary person. He is the Supreme Lord. So, how can he be imprisoned? But Duryodhana who was full of pride thought he can capture Krishna and put him in prison.
Krishna expanded himself. He showed his gigantic form. Everyone present there was stunned. Duryodhana’s soldiers were fearful to even go near Krishna.
Krishna left the palace. All attempt to make peace came to an end. The war was inevitable.
Conclusion: Krishna wanted Arjuna to fight Mahabharat war to establish dharma
Duryodhana as a king would have been a disaster. So, Krishna did not want him to become the king of Hastinapur. It is said – yathā rājā tathā prajā. It means “as is the king, so are the subjects.”
The general public follows the footsteps of the ruler. So, if the ruler is corrupt, immoral then people follow his path and become corrupt and sinful.
Krishna had appeared to eliminate wicked people like Duryodhana and his supporters like Karna. He wanted to establish dharma.
Yudhishthira was pious. He was Dharmaraj – upholder of religious values and principles. This is why, Yudhishthira was fit to rule Hastinapur. So, Krishna wanted Arjuna to fight the Mahabharata war and establish Dharma.