Thursday, 22 March 2018

Why did Lord Krishna love Arjuna more than his family, including his wives and sons?

Question Details:

Krishna said:
"My wives, my kinsmen, my relatives, none amongst these is dearer to me than Arjuna. O Daruka, I shall not be able to cast my eyes, even for a single moment, on the earth bereft of Arjuna.

My Answer:
The quote that you had extracted is as follows:
"My wives, my kinsmen, my relatives, none amongst these is dearer to me than Arjuna. O Daruka, I shall not be able to cast my eyes, even for a single moment, on the earth bereft of Arjuna.
What is the context of the quote?
After Abhimanyu’s death, Arjuna was in a state of shock , and then makes a deadly vow of self-immolation if he does not kill Jayadratha before the sunset of the next day. Now, crossing the vast Kuru army and getting to Jayadratha, let alone overpowering and killing him, was no easy job. It would involve defeating some of the best warriors like Drona, Karna, Bhurishravas, Ashwatthama, etc… Hence, Krishna, being a well-wisher of Arjuna was naturally worried, as it was doubtful that Arjuna would fulfill his vow. Arjuna eventually did let out another side of his prowess the next day, and not only killed Jayadratha, but also demolished 7 Akshouhinis of the Kuru army (that was around 1/3 of the Kuru army he annihilated in a single day), putting Duryodhana in a state of extreme shock and sadness… Duryodhana lost all hope that Karna could kill Arjuna, and that he could win the war.
We all know that Arjuna fulfilled his vow and killed Jayadratha. But the evening prior to that, Krishna was very worried for Arjuna’s life, and hence said:
"My wives, my kinsmen, my relatives, none amongst these is dearer to me than Arjuna. O Daruka, I shall not be able to cast my eyes, even for a single moment, on the earth bereft of Arjuna. 
He then went on to further say:
I tell thee, the earth shall not be reft to Arjuna. Myself vanquishing them all with their steeds and elephants by putting forth my strength for the sake of Arjuna, I will slay them with Karna and Suyodhana. Let the three worlds tomorrow behold my prowess in great battle, when I put forth my valour, O Daruka, for Dhananjaya's sake. Tomorrow thousands of kings and hundreds of princes, with their steeds and cars and elephants, will, O Daruka, fly away from battle. Thou shalt tomorrow, O Daruka, behold that army of kings overthrown and crushed with my discus, by myself in wrath for the sake of the son of Pandu. Tomorrow the (three) worlds with the gods, the Gandharvas, the Pisachas, the Snakes, and the Rakshasas, will know me as a (true) friend of Savyasachin. He that hateth him, hateth me. He that followeth him, followeth me. Thou hast intelligence. Know that Arjuna is half of myself.
From such speech one can gauge the bond of friendship between the two. They were two bodies, but one friggin’ soul… When Krishna felt pain, Arjuna felt pain, and vice versa. We can see this in Arjuna’s final fight with Karna. Arjuna initially does not put forth all his prowess and hence Karna has an upper hand initially. Bhima urges Arjuna to put some more effort, and Arjuna tries, but due to Karna’s momentum, he continued to retain the upper hand. Then Karna made the biggest mistake. He pierces Krishna, and not only that… He then goes on to give an oblique glance to Arjuna, as if saying “Ha, Arjuna! I injured your best friend and charioteer in front of your very eyes and you could not stop me”:
At that time, Karna, glancing obliquely at Dhananjaya, pierced that foremost of persons, viz., Krishna, with ten shafts whetted on stone and equipped with peacock feathers.
And that was the beggining of the end for Karna. Karna’s act of piercing Krishna and then the oblique glance enraged Arjuna, and he pulled his bowstring all the way back to his ear and released arrows that pierced Karna’s body. Just have a read at how badly Arjuna injured Karna:
Then Dhananjaya, piercing Karna with a dozen well-shot and keen arrows equipped with heads like the boar's ear, sped a cloth-yard shaft endued with the energy of a snake of virulent poison and shot from his bow-string stretched to his ear. That foremost of shafts, well shot by Arjuna, penetrated through Karna's armour, and as if suspending his life breaths, drank his blood and entered the earth, its wings also having been drenched with gore.
Karna did not learn from his mistake, even after being injured badly, and again pierced Krishna. After that he started laughing at Arjuna:
Endued with great activity, Vrisha, enraged at the stroke of the shaft, like a snake beaten with stick, shot many mighty shafts, like snakes of virulent poison vomiting venom. And he pierced Janardana with a dozen shafts and Arjuna with nine and ninety. And once more piercing the son of Pandu with a terrible shaft, Karna laughed and uttered a loud roar.
This act really enraged Arjuna, and he gave Karna no mercy. He pierced Karna’s vital organs, cut off his headgear, earrings, destroyed his previous armor that was carefully crafted over a long period of time, by the foremost of artists, and then injured Karna so badly that he “suffered great pain like a diseased person afflicted by bile, phlegm, wind, and fever”. As a result of this pain, Karna was forced to cast his bow aside, and “stood inactive, stupefied, and reeling, his grasp loosened and himself in great anguish”:
The son of Pandu, however, could not endure his enemy's joy. Acquainted with all the vital parts of the human body, Partha, possessed of prowess like that of Indra, pierced those vital limbs with hundreds of arrows even as Indra had struck Vala with great energy. Then Arjuna sped ninety arrows, each resembling the rod of Death at Karna. Deeply pierced with those shafts, Karna trembled like a mountain riven with thunder. The head-gear of Karna, adorned with costly gems and precious diamonds and pure gold, as also his earrings, cut off by Dhananjaya with his winged arrows, fell down on the earth. The costly and bright armour also of the Suta's son that had been forged with great care by many foremost of artists working for a long time, the son of Pandu cut off within a moment in many fragments. After thus divesting him of his armour, Partha then, in rage, pierced Karna with four whetted shafts of great energy. Struck forcibly by his foe, Karna suffered great pain like a diseased person afflicted by bile, phlegm, wind, and fever. Once more Arjuna, with great speed, mangled Karna, piercing his very vitals, with numerous excellent shafts, of great keenness, and sped from his circling bow with much force and speed and care. Deeply struck by Partha with those diverse arrows of keen points and fierce energy, Karna (covered with blood) looked resplendent like a mountain of red chalk with streams of red water running adown its breast. Once more Arjuna pierced Karna in the centre of the chest with many straight-coursing and strong shafts made entirely of iron and equipped with wings of gold and each resembling the fiery rod of the Destroyer, like the son of Agni piercing the Krauncha mountains. Then the Suta's son, casting aside his bow that resembled the very bow of Sakra, as also his quiver, felt great pain, and stood inactive, stupefied, and reeling, his grasp loosened and himself in great anguish.
Karna’s act of attacking Krishna set off the trigger in Arjuna that eventually led to him leading Karna to such a miserable state. As I earlier said, Krishna and Arjuna were two bodies, but one soul. Arjuna felt the pain that Krishna felt when Karna attacked him (Krishna), and hence was enraged and strove to avenge every bit of pain he (Karna) made Krishna feel.
Such was the bond of affection between the two Krishnas, Arjuna and Vasudeva! Should it really be a surprise why Krishna loved Arjuna more than his family?
Source: KRISHAN ARJUN

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