“I am also the gambling of cheats, and of the splendid I am the splendor. I am victory, I am adventure, and I am the strength of the strong.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.36)
द्यूतं छलयताम् अस्मि
तेजस् तेजस्विनाम् अहम्
जयो ऽस्मि व्यवसायो ऽस्मि
सत्त्वं सत्त्ववताम् अहम्
dyūtaṁ chalayatām asmi
tejas tejasvinām aham
jayo ‘smi vyavasāyo ‘smi
sattvaṁ sattvavatām aham
“When I was a child and beginning to enter adolescence, video game consoles were beginning to take off. Prior to that, most of the games were only available in the arcades. You went to a pizza restaurant and there was this machine in one of the corners. You put in a quarter to get a turn at the game. You played until the turn was over, which usually equated to the main character getting mortally wounded.
“The home console changed everything. Though we didn’t have internet yet, children found out about these systems and begged their parents to purchase them. Our household was no different, and we kids took great delight in playing these simple, yet interesting games.
“A few of them had an adventure theme. In technical terms, they were ‘non-linear.’ If you played it for the first time, you wouldn’t necessarily know where to go. There was a general premise, an objective to meet, but there wasn’t a direct path made for you. You had to find clues here and there, trying new things, making discoveries, and so forth.
“The reason I bring this up is that some of those early games bear similarities to the stories we hear from Vedic literature. There is a central character who is in search of something. There are enemies along the way. There are various grades of weapons. You build upon your victories, and there are chance meetings with people offering valuable information.
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” src=”https://krishnasmercy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/image-18.png” border=”0″>“The penultimate scene is the hero against the main villain. This determines the outcome. If the hero emerges victorious, then everything is saved. Otherwise, there is no hope. The hero is the only person capable of taking on the enemy.“Do you see why people might mistake Vedic literature for mythology? There are so many similarities to the adventure theme. Is that just a coincidence? Why the elaborate play in stories such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata? Why can’t someone like Shri Rama figure out everything on His own?”
In Bhagavad-gita, Shri Krishna compares Himself to adventure. He is equivalent with determined effort. Resoluteness of purpose, to conquer a formidable foe, to win in a competition against a worthy adversary – this is one representation of God.
It would make sense that His adventures on earth would contain every necessary component to a good story. There is the backdrop of a stasis, with peace and calm. Then there is a dramatic turn of events, going in the wrong direction. Humor, tragedy, suspense, irony – every kind of literary tool we can think of exists within these real-life, historical tales.
The events involving the avatara highlight God to be the greatest of heroes. He also has the best people helping Him. This is both historically accurate and symbolic. There is no such thing as a quota for associates in the spiritual world. Though God eternally lives with the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi Devi, and has the best messengers, no one is ever shut out from His association.
They remain with Him in the spiritual world and also accompany Him in His travels to different realms. In those episodes they might take different forms, such as forest-dwelling kings, tribal leaders, boatmen, and even vultures.
Their roles in these real-life dramas enhance both their own stature as dedicated servants and also the greatness of the Supreme Lord. For instance, we have proof of just how amazing Shri Rama is based on the high qualifications and spotless character of Shri Hanuman.
These adventures also help to keep the mind engaged. Otherwise, the illusory energy of maya attacks. I can turn spiritual life into a profession if it becomes the topmost priority to my day. One of the ways to stay active, to maintain the occupation, is to hear. Fortunately, historical tales such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata are most pleasing to the ear, delivering spiritual nectar with every playthrough.
Most pleasing to the ear,
Daily I want to hear.
With anticipation great,
And a suspenseful state.
Even though outcome to know,
Excited in adventure to go.
Bhagavan greatest hero to save,
Thankful that this literature gave.