“Silence is connivance.. Connivance is betrayal.. Betrayal is sin.. Sin is a punishable offence” – Bhagawan Sri Krishna
The above Golden quote, from Sri C Rajagoala Chari’s, ‘Maha Bharatha’, is one of the most influential quotes I have ever read in my life.. There’s a heart breaking yet a life transforming conversation behind this quote.
Let me now, in my own words, tell you the whole story behind this quote, which is one of the most important lessons the great epic, ‘Mahabharata’ had ever taught us.
Please go through..
After he was felled down, in the historic Kurukshetra war by the Pandava Warrior, Arjuna; Kaurava Army Chief, Bheeshma was put to rest, on the request of Bheeshma himself, by Arjuna, on a bed of arrows..
Later, waiting for Uttarayana – the sacred months to leave this Earth – Bheeshma was lying down on that thorny bed going through enormous mental agony and excruciating physical pain.
One day, Bhagawan Sri Krishna Paramatma had come to see him in the battle field.
With tears in his eyes and great pain in his voice, the great warrior Bheeshma – the personification of Dharma – asked Him,
“Krishna, all my life I lived with pride and dignity.. Was always noble in my deeds and soft in my words.. Had never left the path of Dharma or righteousness.. Never, not even in my thoughts, was my behavior with women indecent and above all I was extremely devotional in my Nature towards You.
Then, Krishna, why is this unbearable pain to me, today, in this last stage of my life.. Why am I living like this.. Is this called life.. ??
Lying, half dead on this bed of arrows, day and night, am listening to the war cries, coming from the battle ground, during the day; heart breaking weeping of people, who lost their dear ones in the battle, during the night; and the grunting noises, the Vultures make while preying on the dead bodies, during the midnight..
Krishna, my body is oozing blood and am afraid these Vultures would attack me someday if they don’t find any food around me.. Despite being a great warrior, I won’t be able to even drive them away and save myself.. What is this life for me, Krishnaa.. ??
You are Swayam Bhagawan Who had come to see me today but am not even able to raise my hands and offer You my ‘Namaskar’..
Krishnaa, my eyes have never shed tears in my life but now after looking at You – the Creator of this mankind and the Master of this Universe – standing like an ordinary human being in front of me, they are not able to control themselves.
Krishnaa, what is this punishment to me.. ??
Why is that my royal life had suddenly turned so pathetic..??
What is that sin I have committed in my life to deserve this punishment.. ??
Please tell me Krishana, and please relieve me from this agony at the earliest.. Please Krishna.. Please”
Saying so, Bheeshma broke down into uncontrollable tears…
Taking a deep breath and looking deep into the eyes of Bheeshma, Bhagawan Sri Krishna Paramatma, said,
“My beloved, Bheeshmacharya, all your life until you had come this far you have walked the path of righteousness and had never dwindled away from it, not even for a minute.
You always have led life by example and always lived with pride and dignity.. You were never harsh in your words nor were you ever rude in your behavior.
However, Bheeshmacharya, you remained silent at a time when you were expected to speak and remained mute at a time when you were expected to question.
I agree, Bheeshmacharya, you were never indecent in your behavior with any woman, however, you turned your face away when that hapless woman, Draupadi, was being molested by Dussasana, right in front of your eyes, in the full house of your King’s court.
You know well, Bheeshmacharya, how much Draupadi respected you, but, what did you do to her, that day, when she pleaded to you saying, “Bheeshamcharya, please save my dignity, please come to my rescue”, you just turned away your face from her and ignored her pleas..
You, Bheeshmacharya, despite being a great warrior yourself, who could have easily averted the molestation of Draupadi that day; and despite being a great crusader of Dharma, who could have questioned your king, have just remained a silent spectator to all that unholy happening in front of you.
You remained mute, Bheeshmacharya, because, you believed more in your being loyal to your King than in upholding Dharma and coming to the rescue of a hapless woman.. Unfortunately, what you didn’t realize, that moment, Bheeshmacharya, was,
“Silence is connivance.. Connivance is betrayal.. Betrayal is sin.. Sin is a punishable offence, which means, Bheeshmacharya, to remain silent when there’s a need to speak and question the King is like being in connivance with the King in his crime.
Being in connivance, you need to know, Bheeshmacharya, is termed as betrayal.. Since betrayal is a sin and a punishable crime in the court of God, you are now being punished this way.
Of course, I have great love for you, my beloved Bheeshmacharya, and great respect as well.. However, am God first and then a human.. As God, even I have to act according to the Laws of Nature, otherwise, I don’t deserve to be called a God”.. PERIOD
“Paritraanaaya sadhunam, Vinasaya cha dushkrutaam.. Dharma samsthaapa naarthaya, Sambhavami yugey yugey”
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