Today I’d like to share a short but profound story from the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata, that chronicles the struggle of power and property between two groups of cousins — the Pandavas and the Kauravas, their face-off in the Kurukshetra War and their respective fates. I’m sure this story will help you get on a higher spiritual plane and get closer to God, the Higher Power or the Infinite Intelligence within and around you.
While the aforementioned war of Kurushetra was at its peak, Arjuna and Karna were fighting each other. Each one was showering a flurry of arrows on the other, and even Gods were witnessing this epic battle between these two mighty warriors.
Arjuna would shoot his arrows and the impact of these arrows would be so powerful that Karna’s chariot would go back by 25-30 feet. People who witnessed this were spellbound by the skills of Arjuna.
Karna was a tough one too. Whenever he shot several arrows, Arjuna’s chariot would also shake and go back by 3-4 feet.
Whenever Karna hit Arjuna’s chariot with his arrows and moved it back, Krishna, more than everyone, would get excited and applaud his effort. However, whenever Arjuna successfully attacked Karna, not once did He praise his friend’s skills.
At the end of the day, Arjuna couldn’t resist and asked Krishna: “O Lord, I have shot so many arrows at Karna’s chariot, it was being displaced like a feather in wind, but not once did you appreciate me. Rather, you would appreciate his skill despite his arrows just displacing my chariot a little”.
Krishna smiled and replied “O Arjuna, remember, your chariot is protected by Hanuman at the top on your flag, Me as your charioteer in the front and by Sheshnag at its wheels, yet the whole chariot would still sway and displace whenever the valiant Karna hit us with his arrows”.
“But Karna’s chariot is not protected by any such force, he is on his own, yet he fights fearlessly”.
It is said that after the war of Kurushetra ended, Krishna refused to get off the chariot till Arjuna got down. Once Krishna alighted from the chariot, it quickly caught fire and turned to dust.
Krishna said, “O Arjuna, your chariot was destroyed by Karna a long time ago, it is I who was still protecting it.”
This story beautifully illustrates that no matter how successful, mighty and powerful we become, taking sole credit for our accomplishments is never the right thing to do.
We must never have the arrogance in our lives to say that we have achieved something big on our own. If you have accomplished an extraordinary feat, if you have reached a lofty goal, if you have hit a crucial milestone, sure, you definitely put sincere efforts and did all the hard work that was required, but ultimately it was God’s grace that made it happen. You must never forget that it is the divine will, it is the divine intervention that has always nourished you, protected you, cleared your path and given you the right opportunities at the right time.
Today, commit to dissolving all the pride and arrogance within you. And instead, choose to be humble, choose to be vulnerable, choose to be blessed and choose to be human — for your individual good and for the good of all.
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