On a beautiful Saturday evening in the month of Sravan (a month in the Hindu cal, i was blissfully observing
the flowers in front of the house when a friend shared a message about Lord Krishna.
Message described how Krishna failed his family because he was giving importance to politics of Hastinapur while neglecting his personal responsibilities as a father. It gave the example of Samba and went onto describe the work-life balance.
Some friends in the group objected over the manner in which Krishna was depicted in the message.
While I understood the intent behind telling the story of Samba to convey the importance of work-life balance in a typical corporate setting, personally felt that the author distorted the original story of Krishna to fit his theme.
Krishna, the Jagadguru – the teacher par excellence, exactly knew what he was doing.
1. While the author talked about the ‘silly’ behaviour of one son Samba, he did not mention Krishna’s other son Pradyumna or his grandson Aniruddha from Krishna’s family.
Both of these personalities are so well developed that the scriptures consider them as part of the chatur-vyuha avatars of Vishnu.
So even from the simple perspective of parenting, it is important for us to learn from Krishna that different children of the same parent may be differently-abled and have different needs and one needs to develop children as per each of their needs.
2. Please note that Krishna’s character is par excellence beyond the narrow family relationships.
In the context of Samba’s marriage to Duryodhana’s daughter is when one of his most important character comes out in shining colors.
Because of Samba, Duryodhana is more closely associated with Krishna’s family. But when it comes to his work of protecting Dharma, he looked beyond his direct family relationships and sided with the righteous Pandavas related to him through his sister. An important lesson to learn for all leaders today when nepotism is all time high.
3. Analyzing from mythological point of view, Samba is born as an amsa of Shiva to put an end to dwapara yuga, to ignite the distruction of the last remaining power, the Yadu clan after the Mahabharata war. So there is a purpose behind his seemingly ‘silly’ behaviour.
4. From a physiological point of view, he was born to Jambavathi, the daughter of the great vanara bear Jambavantha. One can also look at it from the nature versus nurture debate. Needs a separate discussion on this at a different time because of its complex nature.
However each of us derive a different meaning not only about mythological stories/ithihasa, but every dialogue or situations in our regular lives as well. It depends mostly on the mental make up of the person interpreting at the time.
Hence it has been mentioned that either with study-and-contemplation or guru-and-satsangatva, we can develop discretion and wisdom.
With wisdom, understanding of the scriptures and the life in general becomes more clearer.