Arjuna was recollecting the times when Krishna had loved him as a dear friend, the times when He had showered fatherly love upon him, the times when He had advised him on important matters and the times when He had played and jocularly teased him. He then recollected the Bhagavad Geeta that he had heard years before and with this attained mental peace. His grief was destroyed and he attained absolute peace.
There are many who keep on recollecting their past sorrowful events and remain in that state itself. They continue to chase the dead relative. They do not believe in moving on in life. ‘He has gone ahead with his journey. Now I should continue my journey independently.’ Such thinking should be developed. What is the use of recollecting the same sad events? Learn to recollect good incidents and the important lessons that have been learnt from them. One should learn this from Arjuna.
Arjuna recollected all the past good memories and pleasant events. He remembered the incidents where the Lord had objected to his vows, the incidents where the Lord had encouraged and helped him fulfill his vows as well as the incident where He assumed the role of a Guru and accepted him as a disciple. He remembered how the Lord in the role of Guru preached to him the sacred Bhagavad Geeta. He was grateful that the Lord, through the medium of this preaching, ensured that he remains steadfast in the completion of his duties and thus becomes a liberated being.
In this way Arjuna thought of only the good memories. If Arjuna had not recollected all those happy incidents, can you imagine what would have been his mental state due to dejection?
Yudhisthira had enquired about each and every relative individually. Barring four or five, all of them were no longer alive. Now when Yudhisthira heard that none of his friends or relatives was alive, when he heard that Krishna himself was no more, what would be the state of his mind? How would he have felt? Therefore instantly, with an absolutely firm mind that was devoid of any grief, he decided that he has to travel to that place where Krishna lives. His mind was calm.
A very important message is contained in this for us who are living in Kali Yuga. At least a few among these points we should adopt. There are people who grieve for years at stretch about their kith and kin who have departed. They talk and think about them at all times. Instead of this if they think about Krishna it would be so supreme, isn’t it? Believing firmly that these departed souls have merged with God, one should also seek to attain God. Such resolution should be taken with a firm decisive mind, devoid of grief. With this the departed soul and the person both will be at peace.
By constantly thinking about departed souls, you are holding on to them and pulling them continuously down towards this world. Through your mind you are constantly attracting them towards yourself. With this neither you nor they will be mentally peaceful.
All this preaching to Yudhisthira is actually meant for us. If not, how is it possible for Arjuna to ever forget Krishna? Such was his relationship with Krishna. But then, methodically he composed himself, stabilized his mind and became calm, peaceful. There were some more pending tasks for him to complete. He decided to return to that place where Paramatma lives. Observing this in his younger brother even Yudhisthira resolved firmly to ascend heaven.
Kunti who heard Arjuna’s narration about the disappearance of Lord Krishna from earth and of the total destruction of the Yadu clan, fixed her mind in undeviating devotion towards the Lord, who was beyond measurement by any parameter. She thus attained liberation while living (jeevan mukti). She discarded this body and exited from the shackles of births and deaths! How soothing it is to hear such words!
Just as a thorn removes another thorn, the Lord who is without form took on a physical body for the purpose of reducing the burden of Mother Earth. He now gave up his body. The purpose of His incarnation was complete. To Him, the taking up a body, the actions undertaken through the medium of that body and relinquishing it are one and the same.
Just as an actor dons many disguises for the purposes of enacting a drama, the Supreme Lord accepted different incarnations and then gave up those bodies too. In this case he accepted the role as Krishna, reduced the burden of earth and then gave up his body.
From the moment Krishna gave up His body, Kali increased his influence on earth. Kali Yuga commenced that day. Kali instigated those who lacked wisdom towards unrighteous deeds. Miserliness, untruthfulness, cheating, violence and other unrighteous actions became rampant in every country, city, home; in fact in every being. To be frank due to the influence of Kali, they caused a person to harm himself. Yudhisthira, who was very wise, realized this.
So far Yudhisthira had been addressed as a king or as an emperor. Now he is addressed as a wise man. He realized that he had to leave this earth and determined firmly to do so. He did not make new resolutions, ‘Oh, I need to eliminate this untruthfulness in people; I have to eradicate deceptiveness’. He realized that they will go away on their own. He was truly wise. Just as a thorn plucks out another thorn, these incarnations which create these changes also destroy them when their time is complete. For that also the right time has to arise. Yudhisthira realized this and hence is advised as wise.
In Hastinapura, Yudhisthira coroneted his grandson Parikshit, who was equal to him in every respect, as the emperor of the entire land that spanned up to the seas and entrusted the kingdom to him. In a similar manner, at Mathura, he crowned Vajra, the son of Aniruddha, as the King of Surasena kingdom. Thereafter, he performed the yagna called Prājapatyeshti, and invoking the fire into himself, took up sanyasa (renunciation from worldly life).
Sri Krishna! Datta Krishna!