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Jarasandha: Obsession with getting even can be lethal?

Updated: Feb 27, 2022


Blog # 25

  • Do you feel wronged due to some unfortunate accidental trauma to you and your children?

  • What will it take for you to forgive and forget the traumatic event?

  • Is it possible that those who hurt your children perhaps did not mean to do so?

  • Does your ego get in the way of forgiving those who did so much harm?

  • Does your obsession with revenge become bigger than your love for those you love?

  • Are the negative sentiments of revenge hurting you more than the trauma itself?

  • Could you be strong enough to just move on and start living for the future before it is too late?

The Mahabharata Context

King Jarasandha was a gallant, mighty leader of the great state of Magadha in Northern India. He was a strong, powerful warrior, who was not only a mighty wrestler, but also extremely lethal with a mace. He was born as a small child in two halves due to a celestial fruit being cut in two to give equal fertility to his two queen mothers. His father discarded the two newly born lifeless halves in great sorrow. A demon, Jara who was passing by, compassionately put the two pieces together giving instant life and massive physical power to the newborn baby. Little Jarasandha became immortal and used his immense strength to wage war and build a large powerful empire. His empire became stronger when he gave his daughters in marriage to the powerful King Kamsa of Mathura, Lord Krishna's evil uncle.

The death of King Kamsa at the hands of Lord Krishna made King Jarasandha his instant sworn enemy due to his daughters becoming widows at a young age. He knew that Lord Krishna did not intend to hurt his daugthers and they were unfortunately married to an evil man. Yet, he attacked Lord Krishna in Mathura relentlessly with his mighty army seeking revenge and closure on his great sorrow. His obsession was so great that despite multiple defeats, he refused to realize that his inability to win was due to the divinity of Lord Krishna and his powerful brother Prince Balarama. When Prince Yudhisthira wanted to become Emperor, Lord Krishna knew that without King Jarasandha's death, it would not happen. With his advice, Prince Bheema wrestled King Jarasandha for days but to no avail. King Jarasandha simply could not be defeated and even when his body was torn into two halves and thrown to the side, they would fuse back. Lord Krishna finally had Prince Bheema rip him and throw the two halves in different directions; this time the two halves did not return base to fuse together. Thus ended King Jarasandha's obsession with revenge and his grieving daughters lost their father as well.

Our Null Hypothesis about the King Jarasandha persona

King Jarasandha has many great positive attributes- Brave, strong, courageous, determined, good at wrestling, using a mace, etc. King Jarasandha also had abundant love for his daughters and wanted them to have a long and happy married life. On the negative side, he was egostic, stubborn and also had an obsessive compulsive revenge fixation on Lord Krishna for causing his daughters to become widows. His immense love for his daughters and his obsession with revenge, were the two opposing halves of his persona, one good and one evil. When separated from each other and put in opposition, the revenge half became a negative force and consumed him.

Lessons Learned

  • Many of us would agree that we would never forgive those who deliberately harm our children, right?

  • What if our children were not harmed intentionally but rather inadvertently? The pain and the suffering of our children is still real, so why are we not entitled to still be angry and resentful?

  • Why should we as parents not be consumed by revenge? Even if it is eating our soul from within? Is this not righteous revenge as some insist?

  • Can we agree that is is better to be resolute, objective and focus our energies on helping our children process their grief and trauma instead?

  • Is it possible to admit that as our children recover and prosper, we will too?

The death of King Jarasandha teaches us a hard lesson. Forgive those who may have harmed us but are sincerely contrite. Surrender our grief and need for justice to the Lord. Therein lies our happiness and a better future for us and our kids, not in seeking revenge. To those who wrong us and our children, let us do the harder thing to do which requires much greater strength than revenge- We say, "We forgive you". What % King Jarasandha do you have in you?

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