Five Places Krishna Was During The Bharata War

[Bhishma end]“For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 12.5)

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क्लेशो ऽधिकतरस् तेषाम्
अव्यक्ता हि गतिर् दुःखं
देहवद्भिर् अवाप्यते

kleśo ‘dhikataras teṣām
avyaktā hi gatir duḥkhaṁ
dehavadbhir avāpyate

1. Standing before Arjuna

This is the setting of Bhagavad-gita. Krishna begins as the charioteer, the cousin-brother, the friend, and the well-wisher. At Arjuna’s request, at a critical time of decision, Krishna assumes the role of spiritual guide.

This is natural for Him, as He is the origin of everything. He is the adi-guru. No one is before Him. There is no higher truth than Him. Everything rests upon Him.

मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्
किञ्चिद् अस्ति धनञ्जय
मयि सर्वम् इदं प्रोतं
सूत्रे मणि-गणा इव

mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
kiñcid asti dhanañjaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ
sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva

“O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is no Truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.7)

2. In the mind of Bhishmadeva

A military conflict has events. The three time periods apply to the setting of the Bharata War. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end. During the middle period, a revered fighter for the Kauravas was severely wounded.

[Bhishma end]This was Bhishmadeva. Though aligned against Arjuna for that conflict, Bhishma kept Shri Krishna in mind. He was meditating on that charioteer as the final breath approached. Krishna could understand this meditation because He was in the mind of Bhishma.

3. In temples around the world

As the acharyas explain, ours is not the only universe. Just as the sun is always rising at some place in the world, there is always worship of the Supreme Lord taking place. This means that even during the Bharata War there is puja in honor of Krishna in temples or homes.

[Shri Krishna]Bells are ringing. Incense sticks are waving. Devotees are singing. Food is being distributed. Though of a singular identity, Krishna is in all of these places simultaneously.

4. In the spiritual world

The appearance of Krishna in this world is known as an avatara. The literal definition of this Sanskrit word is “one who descends.” From high to low. High atop a perch at one moment, and down at ground-level the next.

Though Krishna is an avatara, this does not mean He vacates any post. It is not like the spiritual world is absent His presence. He is not away on a trip. He is always in the Vaikuntha realm, in a variety of manifestations.

5. In the heart of every living entity

The living entities are seated as if on a machine. They consider themselves to be the driver, the animating force. While this is true, there must be the presence of another kind of spirit. Without this spirit, there is nothing.

ईश्वरः सर्व-भूतानां
हृद्-देशे ऽर्जुन तिष्ठति
भ्रामयन् सर्व-भूतानि
यन्त्रारूढानि मायया

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.61)

The personal or the impersonal? Worshiping the saguna or contemplating the nirguna? Dedicated offerings, on a repeated basis, or internal contemplation incorporated in a lifestyle of strict renunciation, sannyasa?

As Krishna explains in Bhagavad-gita, the impersonal path is more difficult for those who are embodied. Any person who is not Brahman realized is essentially embodied. They have a flawed conception of identity, inherited from the time of birth, due specifically to the nature of the realm.

This is the material world, populated by jiva souls. The jivas have the vulnerability to illusion. They are always tied to the Supreme Brahman, but there might only be consciousness of the link on one side. It is like talking to someone on the phone, and only one side can hear. One side is ready to listen and speak, while the other has no idea they are even participating in a phone call.

This explains how there can be something like atheism. It is nothing more than ignorance of the spiritual science. Of the truths of the individual entity, the entire collective, and the source of everything – a person is in the dark.

The personal path is identifying the final destination from the outset. The impersonal path is the roundabout way, and it might not be as clear for someone who is accustomed to distinctions, to keeping a flawed identity based on ignorance.

During the Bharata War, the personal was there right in front of Arjuna. Arjuna did not need to take the extended route since the straight line was unobstructed. He could see and hear from Krishna directly. He could understand Divinity in the sense of separation and distinction, dvaita.

There was also advaita in the sense of cooperation, of working together, in carrying out the interests of the personal God. The impersonal is actually just a concept. Therefore, oversight is lacking. The impersonal cannot give assistance in the way Krishna guided Arjuna.

The personal is simultaneously all-pervading. The impersonal is but a feature to His existence. While He is standing before Arjuna on the chariot amidst soldiers on the battlefield, Krishna is also in many other places. He is within the heart as the Supersoul. This means that He was equally present within each of the fighters, both with the Pandavas and against them.

Krishna is always right there. He is not far away. Worship under the guidance of a spiritual authority is for realizing this presence, for taking advantage of it, and for moving forward in a progressive manner such that there is liberation from the misunderstandings due to ignorance.

In Closing:

Standing on chariot to see,
But in many places was He.

Such as in Bhishma’s mind,
And in Vaikuntha to find.

In heart of even enemy aligned,
Well-wisher and kind.

But Arjuna direct path for understanding,
Upon complete picture landing.

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❣️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❣️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

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