Scriptures and sacred texts stress the value of humility on the part of the Jivatma when trying to seek the Supreme Brahman since the Truth remains beyond the comprehension of human thought, word and imagination. At best what each one may claim to know is only equal to the tip of an iceberg. Hence it is not possible to know the Supreme Brahman in full whose infinite glory is unfathomable. Such being the case, an individual should be aware that one’s innate ego sense manifesting as the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ always remains a formidable hurdle to any kind of spiritual effort that has to be overcome at all costs. The killing of Jarasandha in the Mahabharata is symbolic of this fundamental truth, pointed out Nagai Sri Mukundan in a discourse.
When Yudhishtira is urged to perform the Rajasuya Yaga, he seeks Krishna’s advice in this matter. Krishna points out that unless Jarasandha is eliminated, Yudhishtira’s supremacy cannot be established. Jarasandha is a powerful king of Magadha of whose prowess all kshatriyas were afraid. He had vowed to offer a hundred kings as sacrifice to establish his superiority and had kept many kings in captivity. Jarasandha himself came into being when he was born as two different parts that were brought together. Krishna knows that this formidable ruler of Magadha would remain a threat for the success of Yudhishtira’s Rajasuya yaga. Krishna had already fought with Jarasandha many times unsuccessfully. He had deliberately left him alive so that Bheema could kill him. He also tells Yudhishtira that killing him is not an easy task and can be accomplished only by provoking him to a single combat with Bheema. In a duel lasting 13 days, Bheema finally kills him. Jarasandha is torn asunder and the two portions thrown in opposite directions.
The ego sense clings to the Jivatma and it is not easy to dissociate it even with constant effort. But overcoming it clears the way for enlightenment even as eliminating Jarasandha clears the way for Yudhishtira’s Rajasuya Yaga.
The goal of human existence is freedom from the cycle of birth and this is gained when one seeks this in earnestness and with humility.