Bishwa Nath Singh:
Is it not interesting to note that Lord Krishna had rushed up at Bheeshma in murderous fury twice during the Mahabharata war? Certainly, yes! .Let us have glimpse of them to revive our memories and enrich our knowledge!
( Photo of Lord Krishna who had Chakra in his hand who wanted to kill Bhishma but later on ,he was stopped by Arjuna)
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Bishwa Nath Singh:
The first time it happened towards the end of the third day of the war. The five Pandava brothers, Dhrishtadyumna, Abhimanyu, Satyaki, Ghatotkacha were all in a fierce mood and were slaughtering the Kaurava army mercilessly. The Kaurava arm...y starts fleeing in all directions and Duryodhana comes to Bheeshma and tells him that if he did not want to fight the Pandavas, he should have told so at the beginning itself. He includes Drona and Kripa too in his accusation – if the three of them had told him at the beginning that they wouldn’t harm the Pandava brothers, Satyaki and Dhrishtadyumna, then he would have thought of other alternatives right at the beginning of war.A furious Bheeshma now begins attacking the Pandava army savagely. Describing the war that ensued then, Sanjaya told Dhritarashtra that such a battle had never been heard of or nor seen Bheeshma danced on the floor of his chariot displaying his splendid skills and it looked as though Bheeshma was, in the words of the epic, like an alata chakra, the glowing wheel that appears when an ember is moved in circles. He seemed to be everywhere at once. People saw him in the north and then when they looked at the south, he was there, and then again in the east and the west, all at the same time. It was as though there was not one Bheeshma in the battlefield, but several.Krishna reminds Arjuna of the pledge he had made before the war in the assembly of kings – that he would kill Bheeshma, Drona and all the other warriors of Duryodhana along with their friends and relatives. Krishna told him that the time has come now to fulfill his vow. Arjuna asked Krishna to take his chariot before Drona. A battle begins between Bheeshma and Arjuna, in which Bheeshma is like a fierce tempest, like a whirlwind destroying everything in its path, shooting arrows at both Arjuna and Krishna with savage fury, his arrows piercing both of them with relentless ferocity. They are both bathed in blood, and such was the pain that Krishna had experienced, his entire body began shivering in agony.On one side Krishna was watching this inexorable rage of Bheeshma and on the other he was seeing that Arjuna was not really putting up a fight – he was gentle and soft. The best of the Pandava army was falling dead all around them, picked up individually and slaughtered by Bheeshma. The Mahabharata uses the word ‘yuganta’ for Bheeshma and ‘mrdu’ for Arjuna – the grandsire was like the all-consuming fire at the end of the world and Arjuna, soft. Krishna’s rage now knew no bounds. Time has come for him to act – he decides. He would himself put on the armour and fight the battle for the Pandavas. He would kill Bheeshma by himself. In the meantime, the best of the Pandava warriors were scattering and running away in all directions to save their lives. Bheeshma’s fury was growing every minute and Arjuna was continuing to act soft towards his grandsire. Unable to stand it anymore, Krishna remembers his wheel Sudarshana, which instantly appears in his hand. With the furiously whirling Sudarshana in his hand, roaring aloud again and again, he jumped down from the chariot and rushed towards Bheeshma. The earth shook as Krishna’s steps fell on it.Arjuna now jumps down from the chariot and pursues Krishna. He catches hold of his arms, struggling to stop him. This has no effect on Krishna, who drags Arjuna along and continues to rush at Bheeshma like a storm. Arjuna now catches hold of Krishna’s leg and tries to stop him – eventually Krishna stops. Arjuna now prostrates before Krishna and requests him to control his anger. He promises, by his brothers and sons, that he would keep his vow – he shall now fight. He would do his duty, he would finish off the Kauravas.It is only then that Krishna got pacified.The second time Krishna rushes at Bheeshma on the ninth day of the war. The Mahabharata describes this scene, frequently repeating its words and phrases used to describe the first scene.The grandsire had been spreading death in the battlefield like a murderous fire and men perished in their thousands before the old man’s rage. It looked like if Bheeshma continued in that mood for a while more, there would be no warriors left alive in the Pandava army. Krishna takes Arjuna’s chariot before the grandsire so that the fiercest archer on the Pandava side can counter Bheeshma and put an end to his life. However, while the grandsire attacks Arjuna ferociously, Krishna sees that there is no matching fury in Arjuna’s response and that had sent Krishna into a savage wrath, for he wanted Bheeshma dead, because if that does not happen immediately the war would be lost. His eyes spitting fire, his limbs burning with rage, Krishna jumped down from his chariot and rushed towards Bheeshma, his hands raised in the air. Here is the Mahabharata’s compelling description the scene: “Krishna, the mighty warrior, the destroyer of enemy armies, could not tolerate it when he saw that Arjuna was putting up only a gentle fight against Bheeshma and that Bheeshma himself was showering torrents of arrows relentlessly and standing in the middle of their army was scorching them like the merciless midday sun, ceaselessly killing one after the other the best warriors on the Pandava side, creating the effect of a holocaust among them. Abandoning the silver horses of Arjuna, he, Vasudeva, the great yogi, leapt down from the mighty chariot, and, roaring repeatedly like a lion, he ran towards Bheeshma, his whip in his hand, his hands his only weapons. As he ran, the lord of the universe, Krishna in his splendor, his eyes red with anger, looked as if he was pulverizing the earth with his feet.”This time there was no chakra in Krishna’s hands. All he had was his charioteer’s horsewhip.As on the earlier occasion, Arjuna had jumped down from his chariot and ran after Krishna, desperately trying to hold him back with his arms. This time too he did not succeed, such was Krishna’s wrath. Dragging Arjuna along, Krishna continued to rush forward as on the earlier occasion. Seeing that he is unable to hold him back, Arjuna then caught hold of Krishna’s leg. Krishna still dragged Arjuna along for another ten paces; it is only then that he is somehow able to stop Krishna and remind him of his vow not to fight in the battle. Arjuna promises Krishna that he will no more be lenient, he will kill Bheeshma, and then Krishna controlled himself. His anger was not spent, though, for he is like a volcano still, silent, fuming.Whether we accept the popular version of Krishna rushing at Bheeshma with a chariot wheel in his hand, the first Sanskrit version of his rushing at him with the Sudarshana in his hand or the second incident of him rushing with his whip in his hand, one thing is very clear. The Krishna we see here is a very human Krishna. His anger completely human, his frustration completely human. In his fury he forgets he has taken the vow not to fight. In the second incident in the Sanskrit epic such is his rage that as he rushes towards Bheeshma he forgets to drop the horsewhip he has been holding in his hand; he forgets to empty his hands so that he can throttle Bheeshma if that is what he had in mind, he forgets to pick up a weapon with which to kill the grandsire, if that was his intention. Krishna blindly rushes at Bheeshma, his eyes spitting fire.It is a very human face of Krishna we see here and that face is not one he has put on. It is not a mere show, it is genuine. The epic’s description makes it crystal clear. And if it is not clear enough, it becomes clearer still that night when Yudhishthira gets into his usual melancholy mood in the camp and speaks in his defeatist mood. Reassuring him, Krishna promises that he himself would take up weapons and kill Bheeshma the next day if Arjuna does not want to his grandsire. There is nothing he wouldn’t do for Arjuna, Krishna tells Yudhishthira.