Indian Mythology

The curse of Ashwaththama – Mahabharat

Seven people apart from five Pandavs survived the Mahabharat war (Kurukshetra). These are Krishna, Kripacharya, Yuyutsu, Kritivarma, Vrishakethu, Satyaki, and Ashwatthama.Ashwatthama , the son of Drona, guru of Pandavas and Kauravas was the great warrior who also commanded the Kauravas army post Drona demise. He is supposed to not die and  this was not as a result of any boon, but rather surprisingly, result of a curse, which was given to him by Sri Krishna, because of his misdeeds during the last days of Mahabharat war. After Drona was killed by Pandavas because of a half-lie, spoken by Yudhisthir, who was the eldest of the Pandavas, Ashwatthama, vowed to kill all Pandavas.
Mahabharat - Indian mythology pic where Ashwaththama is sitting close to Duryodhana

One night he saw an owl attacking crows, and in the morning, the situation was reversed, when crows attacked the owl. Inspired by this incident, he attacked the Pandavas during  night and beheaded all Pandavas, but they were Upapandavas, or five sons of Draupadi.
Ashwatthama also used Brahmastra to destroy all pandavas and Arjuna and Krishna intervened. He did not know how to retrieve this, directed this towards the womb of Uttara (wife of Abhimanyu) who was carrying Abhimanyu’s son (Parikshit). This was an attempt to end the lineage of the Pandavas. Krishna used his sudarshan chakra to stop the Brahmastra and save Uttara’s unborn child who later was known as Pariskshit.

Due to above misdeeds, Krishna cursed him to suffer and carry the burden of all people’s sins on his shoulders and will roam alone like a ghost without getting any love and courtesy till the end of Kaliyuga. A gem or mani which was on his forehead was also taken from him. This is believed that Ashwatthama will be freed by Kalki-Avatar, the tenth incarnation of Sri Krishna.

In Hindu mythology or Indian mythology and especially in the epic Mahabharat, we can find many instances of misdeeds, and also see that the power is bestowed to the people who can misuse it. For example, the Brahmastra was in wrong hands. How relevant this is today as we see that nuclear weapons do not necessarily kept by good people only. Similarly we find similar instances in World mythology as well.

Only history will tell who is wrong and who is right as in the case of Ashwatthama, who thought he was avenging the wrong doing of Pandavas, but if we look at the bigger picture, we find that this is not the case. But Lord Krishna knew this, didn’t he?

Indian Mythology Karna

Karna – the unfortunate who deserved

Karna – The most virtuous warrior from Mahabharata

In Indian mythology, I don’t come across anyone who is as gifted as Karna, and at the same time, most unfortunate as well. He had everything, yet he ended up having nothing. The reasons, one may argue would his deeds, or the company he kept,but at the same time, we must think that he had to accept what he was given to him, god or if we want this to put more correctly, Ved Vyasa, did not give him too many choices.


To start with, being the eldest son of Kunti, he should have been the king, but her curiosity proved to be the undoing of this person. The price which he had to pay for his mother’s curiosity is overwhelming. He was the best warrior amongst the all Pandavas, he had the Kavach and Kundal to prtotect him, but even the gods conspired against him.

Sometimes we wonder, why Surya just chose to warn him and not to protect him, as Indra have done for Arjun. Even he had left him to fight against the gods. Here lies the utlimate curse, a mere mortal cannot think to win against the gods, and if he tried too, then there were curses to ensure that he failed. There was one from his teacher, which proved to be undoing of this great man. On the other hand, Drona, made sure that Arjun remained the best archer in the world and went out of way to ask for Eklavya’s thumb.

Even in the battlefield, his charioteer Shalya, use to praise his opponent Arjun, where do you heard such kind of odds against a man.

The only person who probably have recognized Karna’s prowess correctly was Shri Krishna, and he did salute him in the battlefield, much to the amusement of Arjun. Nevertheless, Karna comes across with a character which is hard to find. I would say that he did not die for his weaknesses, but paid for other’s fallacies. Who says that this earth is a great place to live?

Arjuna Indian Mythology Mahabharat

Curses on Arjuna (Mahabharata – Indian mythology)

Curses on Arjuna

Mahabharata is full of incidents of curses, yet when curses are mentioned with reference to Mahabharata in Indian mythology, we would normally associate Karna, but Arjuna also had some curses. But this can be argued that though these have been curses, Arjuna was able to use them to his and Pandava’s advantage.

Curse of Vasus

Chitrangada, in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, is one of Arjuna’s wives. Arjuna  travelled through India during his term of exile of twelve years. His visited Manipur in the eastern Himalayas, an almost mystic kingdom renowned for its natural beauty. There, he met Chitrangada, the daughter of the king of Manipur, and was moved to seek her hand in marriage.

Her father demurred on the plea that, according to the matrilineal customs of his people, the children born of Chitrangada were heir to Manipur; he could not allow his heirs to be taken away from Manipur by their father. Arjuna agreed to the stipulation that he would take away neither his wife Chitrangada nor any children borne by her from Manipur and wedded the princess on this premise. A son, whom they named Babruvahana, was soon born to the couple.

Babruvahana would succeed his grandfather as king of Manipur. Long after the battle of Kurukshetra, Yudhishthira decided to conduct the Aswamedha Yaga. The yaga horse enters the dominion of Manipur, where Arjuna challenges their King Babruvahana for a fight. Babruvahana kills his father in the ensuing battle.  However Arjuna’s snake-wife Uloopi resuscitates him to life by using the magical mritasanjivani gem owned bythe Nagas.

Uloopi reviving Arjuna after Babhruvahana defeated and killed him


Arjuna’s death in the battle is also attributed to the curse of the Ashta-Vasus. The Vasus, enraged by Arjuna’s deceptive tactic of using Shikandi as a shield to kill Bhishma (an incarnation of one of the eight Vasus), cursed Arjuna that he would be slain by his own son. This curse comes to pass during the battle between Arjuna and Babruvahana.

Curse of Urvashi

 Arjuna was received with all love and affection by his father Indra. Arjuna spent some very pleasant time going around and seeing the world of Indra. Capital of Indra was called Amaravati. In the court of Indra all the Gandharva’s sang divine songs and all the beautiful apsaras gave dancing recitals. All the apsaras, Rambha Urvashi, Menaka, Tilottama were there Arjuna watched all there performance and was very much fascinated. He kept looking at Urvashi. She also noticed Arjuna’s interest in her and the fire of love was kindled in her. Urvashi fell in love with Arjuna. Urvashi could not sleep in the night. She was constantly thinking about

Arjuna. She became too overpowered by her desire for Arjuna. She stole in to Arjuna’s chamber. Arjuna welcomed her with love, courtesy and honour. Urvashi expressed her desire for Arjuna. A surprised Arjuna told her that he had heard about the great romance between her and his ancestor Pururva. That was the reason he was kept watching her in Indra’s court as a child looks at her mother whom he had never seen. He only regarded her as the beloved of his ancestor. She was like a mother to him. Any other relationship was impossible even to contemplate.

Arjuna and Urvashi

Urvashi was very much mistaken,she thought Arjuna was interested in her as an admirer. Urvashi became furious with rage. She took it as a great insult to be turned down by a mere mortal. She said it was not proper to refuse a woman, her desire. Arjuna, by doing so has insulted her. Therefore, she declared, Arjuna, shall never be able to enjoy a woman’s company. He will become a eunuch. Arjuna was dumb with the injustice done to him by Urvashi. In the morning he told these things to a Gandharva, Chitrasena who he had befriended. Indra, being informed about Arjuna’s curse, came to him to console him. Indra said that he would request Urvashi to reduce her curse for a period of one year. The Urvashi curse will be of great help to Arjuna during the period of one year when they were to live in disguise. Arjuna stayed in Amravati for sometime. Indra gave him all the divine astras. Then he came back to earth but before that he learnt the art of dancing and singing from his friend Chitrasena and he became quite an expert in these fine arts.

Thus we see, such is the beauty of mythology stories from Mahabharata, where every incident serves a purpose and fits impeccably in the bigger scheme of things. Everytime I hear these stories, I wonder about the master story teller. A priceless contribution to world mythology.

Indian Mythology Mahabharat Series of Seven Unknown Facts

Seven little known facts from the Mahabharata (2)

Yudhishthira’s Chariot in Mahabharata war

Yudhishthira has never lied in life save for one incident. Due to this, his chariot always floated a few inches above the ground. At the Mahabharat War, he told a half lie that “aswathama hatha kunjara” which led to Drona’s demise.

Bhima kills Ashwaththama, the elephant

As a result of this, his feet and chariot, both descended to the ground immediately in the war of Mahabharat. Here one should note, that Yudhisthira could not  tell a lie.  Because, he is a man who has never ever lied in his life.  But on the instructions of Lord Krishna ( Krishna tells Yudhishthira: “Under such circumstances, falsehood is preferable to truth. By telling a lie to save a life, one is not touched by sin” ) he utters a half truth, and no sooner he utters “aswathama hatha kunjara” both  Yudhisthira’s feet and chariot descend to the ground immediately.  But did Yudhisthira utter a false-hood?  Technically no but his convincing Drona was tantamount to telling a lie.  That is why the chariot of Yudhishthra which used to always float in the air and never touch the ground falls to the ground after this lie.

Birth of Drona

The son of Rishi Bharadwaja, it is widely believed that Drona was not conceived in the womb of any woman, but in the Droon, a vessel made of clay.   In fact the modern day Dehradoon, is closely associated with Drona because it is said that the place where Drona was born, came to be known as Dehradoon. And the land which King Dhritarashtra, donated to Drona, is known as Guru(ka) Gaon- the modern  day Gurgaon. As Drona was not conceived in a womb, there is no mother to him.

Brihannala – The eunuch

During their Vanvasa, the pandavas were required to spent one year in disguise. Arjuna spent this period as an eunuch and he was indeed an eunuch during this period. This was due to a curse from and apsara, who became very angry with Arjuna when he was learning Divyastras as he rejected citing her as his mother. After the intervention of Devas, he was allowed to practice this whenever he wanted to practice eunuchness. This helped him in agyatvaas where he spent his time as a eunuch preceding to Mahabharata war.

Arjuna as Brihannala

Danveer Karna

Karna never turned away anyone in his life. He gave his Kavach and Kundal to Indra which ultimately led to his demise despite knowing that the beggar was Lord Indra. He was even tested of this virtue on his death bed when he was asked for alms. His teeth were of gold and he readily given them to the bhagwan who came to him as a beggar. Karna was the most tested character in Mahabharata but he never failed. This is the reason he commands respect.

Five sons of Kunti – Karna’s greatness

This tale tells about Karna’s greatness once again. He promised Kunti before the mahabharata war that she will have five sons. He had the chance to kill all the four pandavas save Arjun. but he let them go because of his promise to Kunti. Eventually he died of when and Arjuna killed him when he was trying to extricate the wheels of his chariot. Thus, the most deserving warrior of Mahabharata met his death.

Bhishma made Krishna break his promise

Shri Krishna vowed that he would not use any weapon and not fight in the battle of Mahabharata. Bheeshma fought with such ferociousness that Krishna got hold of a chariot’s wheel and charged after Bheeshma. Seeing this, Bheeshma put his bow and arrow down and Krishna also realized his mistake.

Karna as ardharathi

Bhishma never liked Karna and used to rebuke him saying that he is an Ardharathi. Karna hence decided not to fight the war under his leadership. Only after when Bhishma was incapacitated, Karna fought the Mahabharata war as Duryodhana’s commander.

Indian Mythology Mahabharat Series of Seven

Pandavas in exile

Untold incidents from Mahabharata Pandavas exile

Pandavas were sent to exile after they were defeated in the game of dice. They have undergone lot of hardship during this time.

Lord Krishna had played a vital role in shaping the fortunes of Pandavas.  Following interesting incidents are taken from Mahabharata which are related to the period when Pandavs were exiled after their elder brother, Yudhishthira lost a game of chausar to Shakuni, Duryodhana’s uncle.

Bhima and Python

One day while the pandavas were in exile, Bhima went in search of food for all of them. looking around in the forest, he saw a cave and entered it. A massive python was sitting near the entrance of the cave. When it saw Bhima, it attacked him and coiled itself round the body. Bhima was helpless and struggled hard to free himself from the python’s grip but his attempt to save himself seemed ineffective. Finally, he got tired and gave up.

Then he asked the python, “Who are you and why have you entangled me without any reason? I have not caused you any harm.” The python replied, “I am your ancestor. In my previous birth I had insulted a sage and was cursed to be a python now I will eat you if you will not answer my questions correctly.”

Meanwhile, back at their hut, rest of the Pandavas began to worry since Bhima had not returned and it was getting dark. Since Bhima was very strong and powerful, they had never imagined that any harm could come to him.

Anxious, they went out to search for him. On the way, they saw many dead animals and their anxiety grew. Finally they reached the mouth of the cave, they saw Bhima struggling to free himself from the python’s grip.

Yudhisthira, who was known to be very wise and answered all questions correctly and freed Bhima from his clutches. Even python was freed from his curse and he thanked Pandavas and ascended to heaven. Above is an interesting incident and not much is mentioned about this. This incident is similar to the Yaksha incident where Yamaraj took a examination of all Pandavas.

Pandavas saved Duryodhana

Duryodhana came to the forest where Pandavas were spending their years in exile. He put up his tent near the Pandava’s hut and made fun of them. One day Duryodhana and his companions went to lake for bathing. At that time, Chitrasen , the king of the gandharvas also came to the lake.

There was a fight between Chitrasen and Duryodhana. Chitrasen used his sammohanastra to make Duryodhan motionless and captured him. On hearing this, Yudhisthira sent Arjuna to rescue Duryodhan. Arjuna defeated Chitrasen’s soldiers and rescued Duryodhana. Duryodhana felt very humiliated because his most hated enemies , the Pandavas ,  saved his life. However, he owed his life to Pandavas and promised them to do whatever Pandavas asked. In the war of Mahabaharata, Arjuna used this opportunity and asked for five arrows of Bhishma which were intended to kill Pandavas.

Wise Yudhisthira and Yaksha

Once a strange incident occurred with pandavas. One day, a Brahmin came to them and said, ‘’I hang the sticks by which I produce fire for my yajnas on a tree. This morning a stag came and rubbed its horns against the tree. My sticks fell and got stuck in the stag’s horns and the stag ran away with them. I want you to get my sticks back.’’

The Pandavas agreed and went in search of stag. They found it but before they could shoot, it ran away. By now pandavas were very tired and thirsty. hey decided to rest in the shade of the tree. Nakula climbed up the tree to see if there was water around. He saw a pool of water. Yudhisthira asked him to bring water for all of them. Nakula went to the pool, but as he tried to take some water he heard a voice, ‘’This pool belongs to me. Before taking water you will have to answer my questions.’’ Nakula was very thirsty and ignored the warning and as soon as he touched the water he fainted.

After some time, Yudhisthir sent Sahdev to look for him Sahdev came to the pool and found Nakul unconscious. He decided to sprinkle some water on his face to awaken him. But as he tried to take water, he heard the same warning. He too ignored the warning and became unconscious. Then Arjuna came in search of his brothers. He reached the pool and was very angry to see the state of his brother. He too ignored the warning so fainted.

When Arjuna did not return Yudhisthira sent Bhima, who met with the same fate. Yudhisthira was getting worried, so went himself to look for his brothers. When he reached the pool he was very sad to see his brothers lying unconscious. He also tried to take some water from the pool and heard the same voice.

Yudhisthira said, ’’You seem to be a divine being . Please ask me the questions. I will try to answer them.’’ The strange voice asked many questions about religion and Yudhisthira answered them carefully and correctly. In the end voice said I am very pleased with your wisdom. I will bring any one of your brother back to his senses you can choose one of your brother.

Yudhisthira said we are sons of two mother Kundi and Madri. I am Kunti’s son so please bring one of Madri’s son back to his senses. Hearing this reply the voice said you have again pleased me with your impartial judgement. Suddenly, Yama the God of death appeared and brought all the four Pandavas back to their senses.

The magic bowl

During exile, one day. Sun god gave a bowl of plenty (Akshaypatra) and said, ‘’Give this to Draupadi. Once a day, she can take out as much food as she wants until she herself has eaten. Till then, this bowl will not run empty.

One day, sage Durvasa and his disciples were passing through the forest . they came to the hut and asked Dsraupadi fro some food. Draupadi had already eaten and she knew that the bowl would not yield any more food.

Draupadi did not want to turn away the holy sages without food and prayed to Krishna, who came and said “Give me some food.”

Draupadi said, “This is no time for jokes, please help me feed the guests.” Krishna said, “That is why I asked for food.” One grain of rice was left in the bowl, which she gave to Krishna. Krishna was satisfied and surprisingly., the guests too were satisfied. They left without asking for food. Shri Krishna, among the hindu gods of mythology, have helped pandavas in every enterprise. Here , he treated Draupadi as his sister, how could he let her suffer?

Arjuna search

When Pandavas were in exile,sage Vyas told them, “After your exile, you will have a war with Kauravas. Arjuna should pray Shiva for divine weapons.” Arjuna went to mount Kailash and started worshiping Shiva.

Pleased, Shiva disguised himself as a hunter and came to test Arjuna. Just then a demon, Mooka, attacked Arjuna in form of wild boar. Arjuna shot an arrow and killed it, but he saw another arrow in the body of the boar. He said, ‘’who dare shoot my pray?’’. Shiva in the hunter form said,’’ I shot the arrow. This is my prey’’. A long fight followed between two and Arjuna became tired. He said, “I’ll fight after my prayers”.

Arjuna made a shivling and put a garland around it, but to his dismay, he found the garland around the hunter’s neck. he understood that the hunter was Shiva. Shiva came to his real form and gave him Pashupatastra. After this other gods also blessed Arjuna with many more divine weapons. Varuna , god of wind gave him varunapash; Yama, god of death gave him dandastra; Kuber gave him antardhyanastra; Indra gave him vajrastra. Here we see that various gods of mythology have helped Arjuna, which helped Pandavas. This teaches us that we should follow the advise of those who are respectful.

Lord Shiva giving Pashupata astra to Arjuna – Mahabharata

Arjuna and the Crocodile

Arjuna made a shivling and put a garland around it, but to his dismay, he found the garland around the hunter’s neck. he understood that the hunter was Shiva. Shiva came to his real form and gave him Pashupatastra. After this other gods also blessed Arjuna with many more divine weapons. Varuna , god of wind gave him varunapash; Yama, god of death gave him dandastra; Kuber gave him antardhyanastra; Indra gave him vajrastra. Here we see that various gods of mythology have helped Arjuna, which helped Pandavas. This teaches us that we should follow the advise of those who are respectful.

During exile Arjun went to an ashram where the sages told him,’’There are five pools of water nere by, where we bathed. But now there is one crocodile in each. The crocodile eats whoever goes in the pools.’’ Arjuna has received a boon from Ulupi, the daughter of king of snakes, that no creature of water could defeat him. Arjuna fearlessly went to the pool and pulled the crocodile to the shore.Immediately it turned into a beautiful women and said,’’I am Varga, a fairy in Kuber’s court. One day along with four other fairies tried to disturb a sage who was meditating. He cursed us to become crocodiles. He said when a brave warrior will pulled us out of water, the curse would end. Thus all fairies were freed by Arjuna and they thanked him.

Arjuna and Angaparna

During exile, once pandavas were crossing the river, a warrior came riding in his chariot and shouted,’’ I am Angarparna, a heavenly being. This part of the forest belong to me. You can’t cross the river here.’’ Arjuna said, ‘’Sacred river Ganga is nobody’s property.’’ After this Arjuna and Angarparna had a great fight, and then Arjuna threw a burning torch on Angarparna’s chariot.  Angarparna jumped out of his chariot and fainted. When he came to his senses he begged for forgiveness. He then presented Chakshushi, a divine sight by which pandavas could see any thing at any place at any time.

Indian Mythology Mahabharat

Ekalavya gurudakshina to his teacher

Teacher and disciple – Drona and Ekalavya

Indian culture gives tremendous importance to Guru or the teacher. In Indian culture, Guru or a teacher is greater than father. Here is an Indian story of Ekalavya who epitomises the role of a shishya, or pupil.

Ekalavya and Drona

In Mahabharata, Ekalavya is introduced as a young boy who wanted to study archery in the gurukul of Dronacharya.  This was during the time when the Pandavas and Kauraves were young and being taught by Guru Dronacharya in his ashram.

Guru Drona was the teacher for both Panadavas and Kauravas. Dronacharya only taught princes and therefore refused to become teacher Ekalavya as he was a member of a low caste.
After being rejected by Dronacharya, Ekalavya decided to do self-study with a clay image of Dronacharya which he built himself. He considered Drona as his teacher. Ekalavya respected and worshiped the image of Dronacharya and overtime he became an exceptional archer, matching Dronacharya’s student Arjun.
One day while Ekalavya is practicing, he hears a dog barking. Before the dog can shut up or get out of the way, Ekalavya fires seven arrows in rapid succession to fill the dog’s mouth without injuring it. Dronacharya, Pandav and Kaurav princes come to the “stuffed” dog, and wonder who could have pulled off such a feat of archery. Searching the forest, they find Ekalavya, who introduces himself to them as a pupil of Dronacharya.

Dronacharya tells Eklavaya, “Now that you have gained all this knowledge from me, wont you give me Guru Dakshina in return?” Ekalavya replied, “Of course, I will give you anything you want, just ask.” Dronacharya cruelly asks for Ekalavya’s right thumb, knowing that without a thumb Ekalavya can longer do archery.

Ekalavya, without hesitation cuts his thumb and hands it to Dronacharya. It’s said that one of the main reasons that Dronacharya asked for Ekalavya’s thumb was that he wanted to protect Arjun’s status as the greatest archer and he saw Ekalavya as a massive threat, as well as punishment to Ekalavya for stealing knowledge which wasn’t given to him.

While this stands in good stead for Ekalavya, who respected his teacher, but at the same time, this act puts a question mark on the teacher Dronacharya.

Indian Mythology Mahabharat

Bhishma Pitamah- who angered Shri Krishna

Bhishma – Mahabharata

Mahabharata is probably the best piece of fiction ever written, if it did not happen in reality. And if story of mahabharat is someone’s imagination, then the writer must have got a divine gift. Here, we have an epic which is very interesting and yet it provides us so many teachings for life. In my opinion, all characters in Mahabharat are present to serve a purpose, whose presence seem to fit in effortlessly in whole scheme of things. In following paragraphs, a very important character, Devvrata Bhishma is explained.Bhishma was son of Shantanu and the river goddess Ganga. Ganga had left Shantanu after giving birth to Bhishma, because Shantanu questioned her actions when she killed her new born sons. When Shantanu fell in love with Satyavati and wanted to marry her, but Satyawati set forth some condition which were unacceptable to him, knowing this, Bhishma given his word of honour to Satyavati to remained bachelor all through his life. This was the most Bhishma(maximum) of sacrifice, which prompted the world to call him as Bhishma.Thus taking this Bhishma Pratigya, Devvrata is known as Bhishma.

Bhishma taking oath for being unmarried – Bhishma Pratigya

His truthfulness was such that whatever he spoke came true. He knew different types of martial arts. He forced Lord Krishna to take up the wheel of Arjun’s chariot as a weapon, when he said that he will not take up any weapon during the battle of Mahabharat. Such was the skill of the great warrior, Bhishma. He was the most respected person in the kingdom of Hastinapur, and he was called Bhishma Pitamaha.

He served his step mother, then her son Vichitravirya, later his sons Pandu and Dhritarashtra as as he promised loyalty to the throne of Hastinapur. He was well aware of the weaknesses and flaws in the character of his grandsons, and could expect the tragedy that was sure to embrace the kingdom of Hastinapur. Bhishma was well aware of jealousy of Kauravas and especially Duryodhana towards Pandavas which he at times openly disapproved.

But even this righteous behavioru of Bhishma was taken some tilt towards Pandavas and dislike for Kauravas. But he kept quiet as a silent suffering head of the clan, lest his reproach could be seen as his disloyalty to Hastinapur. As a silent and helpless witness Bhishma suffered all the inhumanities which was done from throne of Hastinapur. He never entertained any thought to become king of Hastinapur, or to dislodge the weak and morally selfish successor to the throne. Only Vidura, the renowned scholar of his times, understood the plight of Bhishma.

Bhishma and all other Gurus, though helpless, they served and sided with the Hastinapur as they were tied to serve the throne, but als, they found themselves on the wrong side of battleground. This question will be asked time and again, and may never get an answer as whether the loyality to throne is justified or helping the rightful? That makes Mahabharat even more fascinating read, where the most capable of warriors such as Bhishma where pited against each other, are respected and relevant to today’s times.

Bhishma’s downfall

Pic: The most compelling image of Bhishma’s life where Sri Krishna was about to fight with Bhishma pitamah despite his intent of not fight this war, such was the prowess of Bhishma Pitamah.

Bhishma forcing Krishna to take up the wheel of a chariot, despite the oath that he would not pick arms in the war