By Rumi Malik
Krishna’s chariot was ready. Ready to go back and take charge of his kingdom at Dwarka after the conclusion of the ‘great war’ – the 18-day-long Mahabharata. Nobody wanted him to go, such was their love for Krishna. But reality had to be accepted. Yudhisthir had been crowned the king. The purpose of staying with the Pandavas had been accomplished. So Krishna came out of his palace to mount his chariot … Arjuna followed him. Krishna turned towards Arjuna, smiled reassuringly to a visibly distraught Arjuna, embraced him tightly and whispered words of solace in his ear. Arjuna shared with Krishna what is known as ‘sakha-bhakti’ – treating god as a friend out of the five kinds of devotion.
Arjuna had sakhya bhav. He worshipped Krishna but was also a dear friend to him. So Krishna hugged him, comforted him like a friend. Then Krishna turned his face towards the sea of humanity that had gathered there to see him off. So many faces, so many known to him – he moved ahead and shook hands with some, those hands which were in namaskar mudra he clasped his hand over theirs with a smile, others he waved at, still some others he smiled at. That mesmerising smile! And he climbed up onto his chariot.
This is how Krishna’s journey back to Dwarka is described in the Bhagavata Purana. There is always a takeaway from even the smallest of Krishna’s actions. One, of course, is the ability to remain ‘sama’, in balance. And this episode highlights that while one is to be pleasant and even-minded to all, one cannot embrace just about anybody. Maintaining poise, wishing well for all, but at the same time, not too close to everybody.
This is supported by the views of ancient sages as well. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras in the Samadhi Pada talks about the feelings that emerge to the fore when one meditates on the heart chakra. The fourth chakra is the heart chakra, also called anahat chakra. Anahat means one that is not hurt, though paradoxically, we keep nursing old hurts and repeating that our poor heart is hurt!
Chakra meditation involves meditating on the heart as well which then produces four feelings – those of karuna, compassion; mudita, joy; maitre, friendship; and upeksha, imperturbability. On closer scrutiny, we see that these traits are crucial for any successful relationship.
The sage has also enumerated four kinds of people that inhabit this world. They also fall into four categories – sukhi, happy; dukhi, unhappy; punyatma, righteous people; and paapatma, anti-social, negative people. We are guided to have an attitude of happiness towards the people who are happy, joyous, progressive and positive, on an even mental keel with us, nurse a feeling of karuna, compassion towards the unhappy, sick, negative or jealous people. One must add that we are talking about cultivating these mental attitudes; for this one need not go external to express these emotions. Towards the good Samaritans one is asked to be friendly while the ones who intend harm should be best avoided.
The best part is that these maxims are extremely doable, have practical good sense and contribute to our mental peace and happiness. This is the primer for dealing with people and if done with a clear conscience, can bring stability and calm in our lives and hearts.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.