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XII. The Kali Age dawns

Bhima said, "When Krishna was questioned in the court of Dhritharashtra, by Duryodhana, Dussasana and others as to why He should intercede in the family disputes of the Kauravas and Pandavas and favour one section more than another as if the Pandavas were nearer kin to Him than the Kauravas, what did the Lord reply? Remind yourselves of that reply now. Picture that scene before your eyes. Pacing up and down like a lion cub, He roared, 'What did you say? Are the Kauravas as near to Me as the Pandavas? No, they can never be on the same level. Listen, I shall tell you of the kinship that binds Me to the Pandavas: For this body of Mine, Dharmaraja is as the head; Arjuna is as the shoulder and arms; Bhima is as the trunk; Nakula and Sahadeva are as the two feet. For the body constituted like this, Krishna is the heart. The limbs act on the strength of the heart; without it, they are lifeless.'"

"What does that declaration mean to us? It means, we Pandavas will be lifeless since the heart has gone out of action. We are to meet dissolution. The Lord who is time incarnate is striving to merge us into Himself. We have to be ready to answer His call."

"This is proof enough that the Kali Age has come. The day Krishna left this world, that day the doors of Dwapara have been closed and the gates of Kali opened. Or else, can these evil forces and wicked minds roam about unchecked? Can this Arjuna who never forgets the ritual formulae for each divine arrow sent from his bow, even when the battle is raging most ferociously and fast, can he ever forget them in the direst crisis of the barbarian attack on that convoy of women and children? It is certainly the time-spirit of the Kali Age that has caused this dire calamity."

Nakula too joined at this stage. He said, "Brothers! The eastern sky reveals approaching dawn. Let us inform the queens and our revered mother of these developments; let us decide without delay the next step we have to take. The body will not be dissolved immediately the breath leaves, isn't it? Of course, life has gone out of us the moment Krishna left, the limbs will be warm a little while. We too have to reach the presence of Krishna today or tomorrow. Let us not waste time in grief and anguish. Let us rather think of the path we have to tread next and prepare for that journey." Every one agreed with this suggestion, so full of wise detachment.

There was some anxiety about how the news would affect Droupadi, Subhadra and the aged mother; but they ignored that anxiety and decided to communicate the news. For, when the Lord Himself has left, why should any one be anxious about what might happen to any one else? The brothers resolved that the eldest among them, Dharmaraja, should go to the mother; that was the proper course they thought.