Peace is Always Better Than War and Aapat Dharma Explained

In order to establish peace between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, Sri Krishna takes up the role of an emissary and addresses the Kuru elders to maintain peace instead of opting for war. Lord Krishna repeatedly emphasizes the virtues of peace and asks for only five villages for the Pandavas. However, Duryodhana guided by evil desires and extreme jealously responds that he will not part with even a speck of earth as small as a point of a needle. Duryodhana even tries to imprison Sri Krishna, whereupon the Lord shows his Universal Form and everyone is humbled.

All the peace efforts of Sri Krishna fail and peace is rejected; thereby, paving the way for the epic war, in which rivers of blood flowed, with the air being rent with the agonized cries of hundreds of thousands of wounded soldiers amongst millions massacred. Victory comes to the Pandavas because in spite of innumerable trials and tribulations, they always wanted peace, and faithfully followed Dharma and Satya, as per the guidance of Sri Krishna.

Aapat Dharma may be practiced to establish Dharma

Aapat Dharma is righteousness that is practiced in times of contingency. Extraordinary stressful times are known as contingent times. During these times, the ordinary rules may be relaxed for sometime, so that ordinary times are regained. Once normal conditions are established, then the ordinary rules are again followed with rigidity. Aapat Dharma consists of acts that are inherently considered as wrong and immoral. For example, Satyavati calls upon his son and the author of Mahabharata, Veda Vyas, who was born of the union between Rishi Parshara and Satyavati, before the marriage of Satyavati when she was a maiden, to come and pregnant the wombs of Ambika and Ambalika, the widows of Vichitravirya, so that princes may be obtained for the throne of Hastinapura. Now, under normal circumstances prevailing in those times, widows cannot have sexual relations. Again, an intercaste sexual relation was prohibited. Satyavati was a Shudra (fisherman’s daughter) and Rishi Parashara was a Brahmin. They were not married but they conceived a son Veda Vyasa.

Thus, Veda Vyasa had the mixed blood of a Shudra and a Brahmin. He is called to pregnant the widows Ambika and Ambalika, who are Kshatriyas. Dhritrashtra is born from the union of Ambika and Veda Vyasa, Pandu is born from the union of Ambalika and Veda Vyasa, and Vidura is born from the union of Veda Vyasa and a female servant who is dressed up royally as Ambika and presented to Veda Vyasa for the union. Dhritrashtra was born blind as Ambika closed her eyes in fear during the union; Pandu was born pale and weak, as Ambalika was instructed to keep her eyes open, but she was also gripped with fear when she saw the ascetic countenance and yogic heat of Veda Vyasa; Vidura was born a perfect child, as the servant woman served Veda Vyasa dutifully with love and care. All the three sons, have mixed blood of Shudra, Kshatriya, and Brahmin. However, after their births, they were treated and brought up only as Kshatriyas and Dharma was again restored. Hence, if the circumstances are of a critical and extraordinary nature, than extraordinary measures like Aapat Dharma may be utilized to achieve one’s aim for the restoration of normal circumstances and Dharma.

Again, when Pandu, due to a curse, was unable to produce an heir for the throne of Hastinapura, Kunti recounted to Pandu as to how she had served Rishi Durvasa when she was a maiden. Pleased with her service, how Rishi Durvasa had granted her a mantra (magical utterance) by which she could summon any God and conceive a child by the God, on a condition that the mantra may be used only five times. Kunti does not tell Pandu that she had already used the mantra once when she was a maiden and had given birth to Karna (from Surya) whom she had left afloat on the river, as she was ashamed to acknowledge a child before her marriage. Upon the request of Pandu, she used the mantra thrice and gave birth to Yudhishthira (from Dharma), Bhima (from Vayu), and Arjuna (from Indra).

Thereafter she taught the mantra to Madri, the second queen of Pandu, and told her to summon the twin gods, the Ashwins. Thus, Madri gave birth to twin sons Nakula and Sahadeva (from the twin gods, the Ashwins). Therefore, now five sons were born and Kunti could say that the mantra was used five times, and the secret that Karna was her first born child remained a secret. These acts were resorted by Kunti because the circumstances were not normal, and thus to restore normalcy, the use of Aapat Dharma was justified by Kunti so that Dharma ultimately prevailed.

Source by Rajen Jani

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