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Re: Avataras

Jaganath.Bharadwaj_at_nrecatao.nreca.org
Date: Fri Jan 05 1996 - 15:19:45 PST

Dear Rajiv,
I decided to put this answer to the Prapatti group since there may be
others who may have the same question regarding Satyabhama's
behaviour.

Satyabhama acted in ways very similar to what we come across in
today's society in relationships between mother-in-law and
daughter-in-law etc.  Plenty of jealousy, bitterness, sharp tongued
answers to innocent statements etc.  She was also very critical of
the gopis of Vrindavana who were held in high esteem by the other
queens of Dwaraka.  Her number 1 target was Rukmini whom she would
insult at every given opportunity.

The issue here is that she did not do this in out of anger caused by
material desire and subsequent delusion as described in the Geeta,
but she acted in this way because Krishna wanted her to do so.  Out
of love one should do anything that Krishna wants.  That alone is
perfection.

It is generally mentioned that Yudhishthira's chariot which always
rode 4 inches above the ground during the Mahabharata war because of
Yudhisthira's adherence to Dharma, came to ground level as soon as he
mentioned "ashwathAma gajah: vadah:".  This was at the time that
Drona was virtually invincible just before his death.  Krishna wanted
somebody to tell Drona a lie in order to get him to stop fighting.
Krishna being Narayana could have chosen any number of ways to get
Drona to stop fighting.  But he chose the method to have someone tell
a lie.  Yudhishthira initially volunteered to be the "liar" but
chickened out at the last minute and confessed that it was
Ashwatthaama the elephant that was killed.  At this time Krishna blew
his conch and Drona did not hear the confession.  The general
understanding is that Yudhishthira's chariot came to ground level
because he "lied".  The interpretation that I read in Srila
Prabhupada's "Krishna" book which to me is consistent with the
Charama Shloka of the Geeta is that the chariot came to ground level
because Yudhishthira initially volunteered to do what Krishna wanted
and later on tried to back out.

It may be pointed out that Vasudeva's status as a Satyavaadi was not
affected even though he promised to deliver his 8th son to Kamsa and
later on reneged on the promise.  This is consistent with the view of
all Vaishnava Sampradayas that the jivatma exists solely for the
purposes and pleasure of the Paramatma.  It is only our promise to
Krishna that needs to be fulfilled and any promises we may make out
of ignorance that is in violation of our status as a dasa or sesha to
the Paramatma should be reneged if we realize the mistake before its
fulfilment.

Jaganath.