Chapter 20 The Evil Jarasandha
Indraprastha was governed gloriedly by the Pandavas. The people who were around Yudhishthira persuaded him to carry out the Rajasuya sacrifice and accede to the throne. It is obvious that even then, imperialism exuded an alluring glitter.
Yudhishthira asked Sri Krishna for guidance on this. Krishna left in a chariot drawn by nimble horses and arrived in Indraprastha after learning that Dharmaputra wanted to see him.
Says Yudhishthira “My people want me to conduct Rajasuya, but as you know, only he can carry out that sacrifice and obtain the title of emperor if he can acquire the respect and loyalty of all monarchs. Please tell me you are not one of those people whose love makes them biassed and blind. Furthermore, you are not among those who provide advice just to appease others and whose advice favours pleasure above sound judgement ”
Krishna answered: “True, and for that reason you are unable to rule as emperor as long as the strong Jarasandha of Magadha is still alive and unconquered. He has subdued several rulers by conquest. Every kshatriya, including the legendary Sisupala, is terrified of his might and submits to him. Have you not heard about Ugrasena’s son, the evil Kamsa? My people and I assaulted Jarasandha when he joined Jarasandha as his son-in-law and ally. We had to admit defeat after three years of nonstop combat, so we abandoned Mathura and migrated to Dwaraka in the west, where we established a new city and today live in peace and plenty. Jarasandha will undoubtedly oppose you accepting the title of emperor, even if Duryodhana, Karna, and others do not protest. And killing him is the only way to get rid of his opponents. The kings who are imprisoned by him can then be rescued, and you can gain their allegiance in addition to performing the Rajasuya ”
Yudhishthira responded to Krishna’s comments by saying: “I concur. I am only one of many kings who live contented, unambitious lives while presiding over their countries with fairness and justice. The urge to rule like an emperor is nothing more than ego and vainglory. Why can’t a king be content with his own realm? I will thus give up my ambition to rule as emperor. In all honesty, the title does not tempt me. My brothers are the ones that want it. What chance do we have when even you fear Jarasandha? ”
This attitude of cowardly happiness did not sit well with Bhima. Stated Bhima: “The highest quality that makes a ruler is ambition. If one does not understand their own power, what use is it to be strong? I find it impossible to accept a life of idle comfort and satisfaction. Even people who are stronger than themselves can be defeated by someone who overcomes indolence and uses political tactics wisely. Strength enhanced by cunning will undoubtedly accomplish much. What is it that my physical might, Krishna’s knowledge, and Arjuna’s deftness cannot perform together? If we three work together and attack it fearlessly, we can defeat Jarasandha’s might ”
Krishna stepped in: “Jarasandha deserves to be killed and should be killed without a doubt. Injustice was committed when he imprisoned 86 princes. He is waiting to seize fourteen more of the hundred kings he has planned to immolate. If Bhima and Arjuna agree, I will go with them, and together we will use a plot to kill that ruler and release the princes who were imprisoned. This proposal is good ”
This counsel did not sit well with Yudhishthira. He stated: “Bhima and Arjuna, who serve as my two eyes, may actually have to be sacrificed in order to fulfil a futile ambition to rule as emperor. I dislike sending them on this perilous mission. I think it would be far wiser to abandon the concept completely.”
Says Arjuna: “Given that we are descended from a distinguished dynasty, what purpose does a life devoid of valiant acts serve us? Even though a Kshatriya possesses all other positive traits, he will not become famous if he does not put in effort.
Success is bred from enthusiasm. If we work hard at our tasks, we can succeed. Even a strong man might fall short if he wastes his resources due to laziness. Most often, failure results from being unaware of one’s own power. We are confident in our strength and do not hesitate to exert all of it. Why would Yudhishthira think that we can’t do this? When we reach old age, it will be time to don the ochre robe, retreat to the forest, and spend the remainder of our days in fasting and penance. We should now lead demanding lives and perform brave actions befitting of the traditions of our people ”
When Krishna heard these comments, he was ecstatic and said: “What other advice can Arjuna, a Bharata race native born to Kunti, offer? Death comes to everyone, both the hero and the sluggard. But a kshatriya’s highest responsibility is to uphold his race and religion while defeating his enemies in just war in order to gain honour ”
Finally, Yudhishthira agreed with the group’s consensus that killing Jarasandha was their duty.
This debate has an oddly contemporary ring to it and demonstrates how influential men have always relied on flimsy justifications.
Keep Mahabharat Book at Home and Read Daily – DO NOT FALL TO FAKE PROPAGANDA and Allow Enemies to Weaken our Dharma and Bharat
This historical epic Mahabharat is known as fifth Veda. It is a common misconception spread by mlecchas; muslims and christian missionaries, and secular Hindus that reading Mahabharat or keeping it at home will likely lead to arguments and fighting. All of this misinformation was spread by illiterate mlecchas and anti-Hindus, and it is completely incorrect. It is done to mentally weaken Hindus so that they avoid reading Mahabharat. Because Mahabharat invokes bravery, pride and sense of confidence in Hindus.
Keep a copy of Mahabharat at home and read it online at the HariBhakt website. Mahabharat is rightly called the fifth Veda for Kaliyuga people because it is a tool and guidance to invoke confidence and bravery in Sanatan Dharmi Hindus.
You can read complete Mahabharat by following Chapter links given below. You can check Glossary of Mahabharat here.