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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.