Chapter X - 36 Home | Index | Previous | Next

"He decides what this person should say or that person should do and He prompts in them the appropriate words and deeds. And, the consequence of the Karma performed and inherited by each individual from previous lives also adds its quota to this destiny. The Yadavas who are our own kith and kin were spiritual personages, full of devotion to God as you all know well. Perhaps, some day, some sage had cast a curse on them; or else some day some dire sin was committed by them... For, how else can we explain this sudden upset in their history, this unexpected tragedy?"

"They performed a magnificent sacrifice (Yajna) at Prabhasakshethra; for seven full days, the Yajna was celebrated in unprecedented pomp and style; the valedictory offering in the sacred fire was poured in true Vedic grandeur in the presence of Lord Krishna Himself; the participants and priests performed later the ceremonial bath in holy waters; the Brahmins then received their share of the Yajna offering and distributed it to the Yadavas also; everything went off in an atmosphere of perfect calm, contentment, and joy."

"Towards noon, Brahmins were served with food; afterwards, the Yadavas seated themselves in long lines to partake of the feast. During the feast, as ill-luck would have it, some of the Yadavas filled themselves with drink and lost self-control so much that they mistook their own kinsmen for foes. They started quarrels which raged into a fight of severe fierceness. It must have been in the plan of God, for however unruly and vile a man might be, he would not slaughter with his own hands his own children and his parents. O, the horror of it! In the general melee that ensued, son killed father, father killed son, brother slew brother, son-in-law killed father-in-law, father-in-law killed son-in-law, in one insane orgy of blind hate, until there was no one alive!" Arjuna could not speak further; he leant against the wall; he held his head, bursting with pain and grief, between his pressing palms.

Dharmaraja heard this account with anguish and amazement. He placed his hands on Arjuna's back, and said: "What is this that you are saying? It is an unbelievable story. Since your tongue will never speak untruth I am forced to put faith in its correctness; or, else, how can we ever imagine such a sudden transformation of character and such a lightning massacre? I have never seen or heard anywhere else such intensity of mutual friendship as marked the Yadava clan. Besides they do not deviate in the least from the path marked out for them by Krishna. They will not deflect from it on the most frantically furious occasions. That such people should, in the very presence of Krishna, regardless of all canons of good behaviour, beat one another to death is strange indeed; such a turn of events comes only when the end of the world is near."

"Well, Arjuna! Could not Krishna stop the fight and advise them to desist? Did He attempt to bring about some compromise between the factions and send them back to their places? Krishna is the greatest adept in the arts of war and peace, is it not? That He did not try to stop this tragedy makes me wonder more at this awful tale of destruction."