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Radha and Arjuna

Wednesday March 2 2005 08:26 IST

By Karmayogi

Good leading to good, bad leading to bad is a general rule with strange exceptions. There was someone who rose from being a shop assistant in his little town to a VIP in the city. Everyone in his town went to him for help, for a transfer, appointment, admission, or hospitalisation. He rarely said no to anyone.

In his own town people started saying Who is there who has not received a handful of substantial help from this benevolent soul? He conducted marriages of poor relations by the dozen. It was not in him to refuse to help. Life rose and in its rise had several sharp turns that were red hot. Those are moments when one knows it is life or death. They were crucial moments when a kind word from those in power would save his life. At such moments he invariably found help offered to him from known and unknown quarters. He was never let down. Good deeds done return Good help in time.

This rule all of us know. It is often seen that bad people successfully conspiring against gullible good people are later ruined mercilessly. Radha loved Krishna as no one loved him. The name Radha Krishna is now a household name. Bhishma loved Arjuna as Krishna loved Radha. Arjuna fully and gratefully reciprocated it. Arjuna was Bhishmas pride, the pride of his heart, though he loved all the Pandavas.

In the war it was clear that the Kauravas could not be defeated as long as Bhishma was alive. It fell to the lot of Arjuna to shoot arrows from his Gandiva at his beloved Bhishma. It was Bhishma who taught Arjuna how he (Bhishma) could be disarmed. He said he would not fight a woman and Arjuna, on Krishnas prompting, put the effeminate Sikhandi in front of him. The innumerable arrows from Arjuna pierced Bhishma. It was on that bed of arrows that Bhishma lay for days tormented by pain.

Why should Fate decree that Bhishma be pierced by the arrows of his beloved Arjuna, who loved him as Radha loved Krishna? It is so because the love of Radha and the love of Arjuna were of the same intensity. Pain itself is the reverse form of Love. In ordinary words, Life permits Arjuna to express his intense love for Bhishma by shooting arrows at him.

What kind of philosophy is it? It is practical philosophy seen in life more than once. When we meet it, we are baffled. As long as we do not understand it, Love comes to us as Pain. The moment right understanding dawns on us, Love comes to us as Love. The pain is in our lack of understanding, called Ignorance. Ignorance is Pain, knowledge is Love.

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