By Uma Rajaram (B.Com, MBA, M.Phil)
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna, the Supreme Lord, says, “I appear every millennium to protect the virtuous and to annihilate the evildoers and to establish dharma.”
In complete alignment of the Lord’s promise in the Bhagavad Gita to take care of His devotees at all times (ananyas chintayanto mam…yoga ksemam vahamy aham, Bg 9.22) we see that the Supreme lord was deeply concerned and protective of Arjuna at all times during the war. Later Bhishma’s (on Duryodhana’s insistence) near fatal attack on Arjuna draws the Lord’s ire provoking His anger, thus leading Him to attack Bhishma. In the process, He forgot His own vow to not to lift any weapons during the war and to only serve as a charioteer to Arjuna. It was again His dear devotee Arjuna’s timely intervention which calmed Him down. Thus we see that the Lord, at all times, protected the gentle Arjuna, His dear devotee and friend, His cousin, His brother in law (by marriage to His sister Subhadra) and His disciple (the Bhagavad Gita).
In complete contrast to this, three illustrious warriors, Bhisma, Dronacharya and Karna, who were far more talented and chivalrous in comparison to Arjuna, were killed at the end of the fratricidal war because they had sided with adharma. The military prowess and competency of these three warriors was far greater than that of Arjuna’s, a fact which was acknowledged by both Krishna and Arjuna. All three of them were the illustrious pupils of Lord Parasurama, the sixth avatara of Krishna and having learnt martial arts from such a great guru, were invincible by dint of their vast military skills. These three illustrious pupils of Parasurama namely Pitamah Bhisma, Guru Drona and Angaraj Karna, surprisingly at different days were supreme commanders of the Kaurava forces, which also included the Narayani sena of Lord Krishna. Yet the Kaurava regiment was completely annihilated although it had three such great commander-in-chiefs.
Although the three warriors had unparalleled military might and skill, but still they were ultimately defeated and killed because they had sided with Duryodhana, who wanted to see the naked-beauty of Draupadi, the chaste wife of the Pandavas. It was Karna, who had advised Duryodhana to make Draupadi naked. When Draupadi was being disrobed, Bhisma and Dronacarya remained silent spectators and thus committed a grave sin. Thus they met their end by siding with falsehood trying to lead the Kauravas to victory against the Pandavas. Since Krishna, the Supreme Lord, always takes the side of His devotees, no one can kill or defeat the devotees. Similarly no one can protect the demons because they are not protected by Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In conclusion it can be said that adharmic acts come back to haunt the perpetuator with dire consequences whereas taking shelter of the Lord inevitably leads to His blessings and subsequent victory.