Dharma threatened by Leaders of Society


Dhritrastra asks – what is happening to mine and pandu’s children ?
Arjun asks – how can I fight my own family ?

Everyone is worried about “my” things ?
Who is worried about Why we are doing this ?
No one is questioning the total breakdown in society or morals or ethics that has led to this morass !  

Krushna answers this in a way by saying – yada yada hi dharmasya, glanirbhavati bharata…..   the war is being fought due to dereliction of dharma by all these great personalities that are gathered here !! 


Pitamaha Bhishma abandoned his people when he took the reckless oath to give up his kingdom for children yet unborn and never marry to ensure their progeny would never fight for the throne.  How ironic that the progeny of the fisher woman fought the most terrible war India had seen up to that point.

As a mother and a guide, Gandhari failed her sons.  Though more than capable of providing direction and vision to her sons, she chose, like grandsire Bhishma, to abdicate her duty for a “higher calling”.  However, in choosing to do that, she abandoned her dharma. 

Duryodhan is even more arrogant than his father.  He boasted to Guru Drona that all these people, all 11 akshonis, had gathered here to die for him.  When the king sees his soldiers and generals as cannon fodder and does not consider how he can save their lives, he is their enemy.  When the rulers do not care for the lives of the ruled, what hope is there for that kingdom ?

Kul guru Kripacharya was derelict in his duties as a well wisher of the dynasty when he kept his advise to himself and did not advise the king or his family correctly.  Under his watch the Kuru court degenerated into a squabbling mess of kin and courtiers.  Under his watch, the final massacre of Pandav forces happened in the dead of the night.

Vidya guru Drona was wrong to support adharma and fight on the side of adharma time and again.  His need to get rich and avenge himself against Drupada had been fulfilled by the Pandavas, yet Drona supported Kauravas all his life.  To appease his son, Drona assisted those he knew to be wrong, time and again.

Karna knew he was supporting wrong actions.  Countless times he surmised that the actions proposed by Duryodhan’s advisors were ungallant, unseeing, underhanded and unbecoming of their warrior code.  Yet time and again he went along with the course action Duryodhan chose and as advised by Shakuni and Dushashan. 

Shakuni’s pure and naked desire to avenge perceived insult destroyed more than the lives of people he wanted to hurt.  He did not care how many lives his malicious advise ruined.  His hate poisoned everything he touched.  He destroyed his family, the family of his sister and countless others through his malice.  How can a society survive on hate ? 

Sadly, even Yudhisthir abdicated his duty and abandoned dharma.  His addiction to gambling was so strong, he could not stop himself from doing what even a drunken chandal would not do – to gamble away his own entire family, even his wife !  Only redeeming aspect of Yudhithir was that he was willing to take punishment for what he did wrong.  His remorse was his punishment.   

When the good and the great refuse to do that which is right, surely the entire society suffers.  When people put in charge of looking after the good of society consider only the narrow spectrum of choices that benefit them and do not consider what is good for the society at large, they commit a terrible wrong against society.   

In Mahabharata, the greater wrong is done by the great and the good.  For that reason, Krushna comes to wipe out the entire corps of kings, generals, leaders and mighty men who had abdicated their dharma.  It is God’s duty to establish dharma.  If those who are given the responsibility to establish dharma refuse to do it, God takes away their powers and bestows them on others.  When Dharma is threatened by those who are empowered to support and protect dharma, God comes to rescue dharma.  To God, dharma is more important than people because dharma is there for the greater good of all.   God’s lila continues, even if the characters in that lila change.


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