Dwarkadheesh - Bhagwaan Shree Krishna

   

+* Dwapar Yuga: Doubts & Discussions *+ (Page 24)

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Vibhishna

Goldie

Vibhishna

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Posted: 09 November 2011 at 9:57am | IP Logged
Karna's Generosity (1):

Once, Arjuna was bragging about himself and was wondering why everyone kept praising Karna for his generosity.

He told Krishna "I am as generous as he is - maybe even better."  Krishna too had told Arjuna that Karna's generosity was far better than Arjuna's.

While Krishna and Arjuna were conversing thus, an old brahman came by. He bowed respectfully to Arjuna and said "Sire, my wife has passed away. I need sandalwood to cremate her body. I have searched and asked many people but none of them have been able to give me any sandalwood. Therefore, I came to you. Please grant me some sandalwood for this purpose."

Krishna said to Arjuna "This is a chance for you to prove you are more generous than Karna. Can you grant this brahman the sandalwood he needs?"

(I wondered - why sandalwood? But, on further reading realised that the last rites those days depended on social status. The ones with high social status can cremate their dead with sandalwood and it was the age where Brahmans were still considered above Kshathriyas even if they were poor. So if a brahman could afford it, then he can cremate his kin with sandalwood.)

Arjuna immediately gave orders to fetch as much sandalwood as possible. The brahman waited expectantly. After a while, the men whom Arjuna sent to fetch sandalwood returned empty handed. When Arjun asked them, they replied, that sandalwood was nowhere to be found in the city.

Arjun turned apologising to the brahman, saying, "I'm sorry. I would have given you more than you need if it were only available." The brahman was disappointed. He said, "If I had gone to Karna instead of coming here, I would have obtained the sandalwood already."

Arjuna scoffed at this and said, "If I were not able to give you the sandalwood, neither can he."

The brahman went to Karna and made the same request. The men Karna sent also returned empty handed. The brahman gave up hope saying that it was his fate and nothing can be done.

However, Karna could not bear the thought of someone returning empty handed after asking him. He looked around and realised that some chambers of his palace were made of sandalwood. He asked the brahman to wait, grabbed an axe and started chopping off the pillars made of sandalwood. One section of the palace collapsed but Karna did not bother. The brahman stood there in complete awe at what Karna had done. Karna gave all the sandalwood he could to the brahman and said respectfully, "Now you can fulfill the last rites of your wife. Please be content with this sandalwood." The brahman gladly accepted the sandalwood and took them back to this village. Karna had also given him a cart to transport the wood.

On the way, the brahman met Arjuna again who was shocked to see that the brahman had obtained the sandalwood that was nowhere available in the country. When asked about it, the brahman said that 'the great and generous Karna' had chopped off a part of his palace to give him the sandalwood.

Krishna said "For a person who has the mind to give, nothing is impossible. Karna is more generous than anyone else."

Arjuna then realised his folly and accepted the truth.

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Vibhishna

Goldie

Vibhishna

Joined: 08 January 2009

Posts: 1945

Posted: 09 November 2011 at 10:08am | IP Logged
Karna's Generosity (2):

Again this story starts with Arjuna bragging about himself and Krishna referring to Karna being more generous.

The conversation ends with Arjuna challenging Krishna that he can prove himself more generous than Karna.

Krishna said that he would put Arjuna to the test and created two mountains - one of gold and the other of silver.

He told Arjuna "If you can give away all this gold and silver before dusk (It was morning then), I shall accept that you are more generous than Karna."

Arjuna immediately got to work with axes and crowbars. He chopped off huge chunks of gold and silver and distributed them to whoever passed by.

Even when the sun started going down, there were lots more left. Arjuna even called out to those who passed by to take the gold and silver offered by him.

It was nearly dusk but Arjuna was far from finished. A couple of hours before the sun set, Arjuna called Krishna and said "This is all I can do."

Krishna then replied, "If it was Karna, he would have finished the job long ago."

Arjuna retorted that Karna could never have done better than him.

In reply, Krishna created two more mountains - one gold, and another silver - and summoned Karna. (Remember - it was just 2 hours before sunset).

Krishna then told Karna that he has to give away all the silver and gold before the sunset.

Karna called two people who passed that way and said "There are two mountains - one silver and the other gold. Take them - I give them to you."

The two of them were very happy and praised Karna as the greatest of the generous souls.

Karna then said to Krishna, "I have fulfilled the task you had given me. Are you content?"

Krishna blessed Karna. Needless to say, Arjuna was speechless and realised that his jealousy was baseless.




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Nandiniraizaadavaraali.Vrish.

Vibhishna

Goldie

Vibhishna

Joined: 08 January 2009

Posts: 1945

Posted: 09 November 2011 at 10:11am | IP Logged
Originally posted by varaali

Vibhishana,

Are you referring to the Sandalwood story?


Yes. It is actually quite famous. There are much more than the two I have posted. I just can't think of them now. Will keep posting as and when I remember them.

There are so many quotes referring to Karna's generosity. Two very famous ones are:

Karna's hands are reddened due to his generosity (meaning he has given so much that his hands are sore of giving).

Karna, while giving something to people who ask him favours, would offer whatever he was to give on his open palms and not drop them into the other person's hands. It is said that the hands of the person who gives is (or should be) above the ones which receive. Since Karna feels that he gains more credit (the chance to be generous) than the person who receives his gift, he keeps his hands below the ones which receive his gifts.


Edited by Vibhishna - 09 November 2011 at 10:18am

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Nandiniraizaadavaraali.Vrish.

.Vrish.

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.Vrish.

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Posted: 09 November 2011 at 10:49am | IP Logged
In the 2nd story, Arjun tried to maximize the number of people who got rich.  Karna just took the easy way out and gave the 2 mountains away.  Had only 1 person come, he'd have given it all to him.

So how was generosity defined - someone who simply gives more away, or someone who benefits more people?  The judgement of the recipients of Karna's generosity were being subjective, since they got everything he had, w/o trying to benefit others.  This seemed more like a contest of wits, w/ Karna getting the better of Arjun.

Vibhishna

Goldie

Vibhishna

Joined: 08 January 2009

Posts: 1945

Posted: 09 November 2011 at 10:55am | IP Logged
Originally posted by .Vrish.

In the 2nd story, Arjun tried to maximize the number of people who got rich.  Karna just took the easy way out and gave the 2 mountains away.  Had only 1 person come, he'd have given it all to him.

So how was generosity defined - someone who simply gives more away, or someone who benefits more people?  The judgement of the recipients of Karna's generosity were being subjective, since they got everything he had, w/o trying to benefit others.  This seemed more like a contest of wits, w/ Karna getting the better of Arjun.


Its like this:

Karna does not think of how much he gives and to whom he gives etc. He just gives.

Arjuna thought that he has to give only so much to a person.

That way, Karna was better - not counting what he gave but just gave what he had with him.

That was what defined generosity those days. It was easy for person to give little to many but not easy for a person to just give whatever he had to those who asked - even if it was much more than what was asked. Naturally, a person would think would he/she need so much. But a generous soul does not think that but just gives away.

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Nandiniraizaadakinny_ranvirvaraali.Vrish.

Vibhishna

Goldie

Vibhishna

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Posts: 1945

Posted: 16 November 2011 at 10:19am | IP Logged
Its probably well known, but what happened to Kripacharya at the end of the battle? Dronacharya and Bheeshma were killed in battle but what happened to Kripacharya? Also, I wondered why they chose to fight - I thought as teachers and brahmans they didn't have to involve themselves in battle. Was it because they promised that they would take care of the Kaurava children?

.Vrish.

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.Vrish.

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Posted: 16 November 2011 at 10:39pm | IP Logged
I never exactly understood why Bheeshma fought on the Kaurava side - his loyalty was stated to be Satyavati's descendants - that's the promise he gave to her father.  Drona, after being well received in Hastinapur, in sharp contrast to in Kampilya, decided that he was in debt of the Kurus, but that still somewhat begs the question.  I think he saw Bheeshma as his benefactor, and decided to fight on the same side that the former fought, and as a result, Ashwatthama & Kripa followed him.  The part I never understood was Bheeshma's.

Anyway, Kripacharya, after Yudhisthir's coronation, was a constant companion to Dhritarashtra & Gandhari, as long as they remained in Hastinapur.  According to some accounts, after that he became the guru to Parikshit (but I'm not sure about that)  If the latter is true, I think it was very inappropriate - Kripacharya shouldn't have been given such an honorary job after what he along w/ Ashwatthama & Kritavarma did.  What was he going to teach Parikshit - how to murder sleeping people?  I think that when Dhritarashtra, Gandhari, Vidura & Kunti left, the Pandavas should have sent Kripa & Kripi w/ them as well.

Vibhishna

Goldie

Vibhishna

Joined: 08 January 2009

Posts: 1945

Posted: 20 November 2011 at 7:34am | IP Logged
Originally posted by .Vrish.

I never exactly understood why Bheeshma fought on the Kaurava side - his loyalty was stated to be Satyavati's descendants - that's the promise he gave to her father.  Drona, after being well received in Hastinapur, in sharp contrast to in Kampilya, decided that he was in debt of the Kurus, but that still somewhat begs the question.  I think he saw Bheeshma as his benefactor, and decided to fight on the same side that the former fought, and as a result, Ashwatthama & Kripa followed him.  The part I never understood was Bheeshma's.

Anyway, Kripacharya, after Yudhisthir's coronation, was a constant companion to Dhritarashtra & Gandhari, as long as they remained in Hastinapur.  According to some accounts, after that he became the guru to Parikshit (but I'm not sure about that)  If the latter is true, I think it was very inappropriate - Kripacharya shouldn't have been given such an honorary job after what he along w/ Ashwatthama & Kritavarma did.  What was he going to teach Parikshit - how to murder sleeping people?  I think that when Dhritarashtra, Gandhari, Vidura & Kunti left, the Pandavas should have sent Kripa & Kripi w/ them as well.


Bheeshma was honour bound to Hastinapur, more than Satyavati's descendants, I think. He gave up his happiness for his father's and took care of the country on behalf of Satyavati's descendants. I think he couldn't desert Hastinapur (probably he loved the place more than anything else - even more than the Pandavas - and perhaps he could not bare to wage a war on Hastinapur himself) even after Dridrashtra's wrong decisions. One thing I've always wondered is why the elders didn't interfere when Shakuni was being a bad influence to Duryodhan. Or why didn't they put a stop to all the wrong way when it went too far. I don't know why they sat worrying about how things turned out but did nothing to stop it.

I never though Kripacharya became the guru to Parikshit. I didn't know this so far. I knew he did not leave along with Dridrashtra and the others but never thought he would still be in Hastinapur...



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