Self-restraint and valour

Published - March 10, 2019 10:21 pm IST

When Krishna explains His Vibhuti Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita, He makes it clear that while all things are supported by God, things of beauty and splendour reveal Him more than others. Speaking about the endless nature of His divine manifestations, Krishna says anything endowed with glory, grace and vigour is a fragment of His splendour. He then lists many aspects of creation and His divine presence as the best in each category. In a similar vein, Yudhishtira praises Arjuna as an archer and warrior par excellence, associating his glories to all that is foremost in creation, pointed out Sri V. Karunakarachariar in a discourse. The comparison includes the sun as the chief of all heat-giving bodies, the Brahmana among human beings, the Vajrayudha among weapons, Garuda among birds, tiger among beasts and the cobra among serpents. Yudhishtira also alludes to the Kandava vana dahana episode that endorses Arjuna’s excellences as the most talented archer and his graciousness. The story is that Agni approaches Krishna and Arjuna for help to consume the forest since whenever he tries to burn it, the flames are extinguished by rains. This is because it is the abode of Takshaka whose close friend Indra protects it from Agni. Arjuna and Krishna promise Agni help. With powerful weapons and a chariot gifted by Varuna, Arjuna and Krishna allow Agni to burn the forest. Arjuna builds an impenetrable cover of arrows to keep off the rains that Indra sends. Not a drop of water falls into the forest. A voice from the heavens announces that Krishna and Arjuna are none but the twin incarnation, Narayana-Nara. In many instances, Vyasa eulogises Arjuna for his tremendous self-restraint and calls him a Jitendriya, one who has conquered the senses, to show that he is most eligible to receive the Gitopadesa from Krishna.

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