I was stumped, as I was concluding the final stories of Great War of Mahabhart, and my 6-year-old daughter asked a seemingly simple question. She questioned why Lord Krishna allowed Ashwathama to live till the end of time? While he was most sinful of all.

The story from this epic goes like this. Ashwathama was the only survivor amongst those who allied with Duryodhan. Pandavs had won the battle. Still, with revenge in mind, Ashwathama killed all sons of Pandavas who were deep asleep. He tried to kill the embryo growing in the womb of Uttara. Lord Krishna himself stepped in to protect Uttaras foetus. Lord then cursed Ashwathama to live till the end of time, thus making the evil doer eternal.

Entire epic of Mahabharat is metaphorical, and Ashwathama metaphorically represents evil. Mahabharat concludes with an end of tyrants and thus represents beginning of a new era where expectedly truth shall prevail. A pertinent question is why did Krishna not kill Ashwathama and thus end the eternal struggle of good and evil to prevail upon each another. Is evil so important that the Lord himself had to ensure its existence till eternity? Or was He wrong in his judgement and He made an erroneous choice?

Just imagine a perfect world where everyone strives for his and others wellbeing. No one is backstabbing, none steals, kills or hurts anyone. What a blessed life it would be. Life would be a perfect song everyone dancing to its tunes happily. No opposing forces struggling against each another. No misery no suffering.

The world is full of duality and dichotomy, in this essay I will use the two words interchangeably though the words are not fungible. Plants grow with branches branching out in pairs, periods of darkness and light follow each another, seasons interchange and we have all sensory organs in pairs, representative of duality within us and around us. Pair of eyes, ears semi forked tongue (having a line in middle), limbs in pairs and so on represent Duality.

Duality is representative of the existence of good and evil within us. Krishna and Ashwathama residing in this duality. Its for Krishna within to bless Ashwathama with eternity or to kill him now. If Krishna inside kills Ashwathama within, soul merges in God and if Krishna blesses Ashwathama soul has to be reborn. Thus once we kill vices within our soul achieves salvation. But the question remains why did the God create evil (read Ashwathama) at all?

Maybe He did so to make our life more meaningful. Imagine life without internal conflicts, monotonous and boring life it would have been. Imagine no one disagreeing with you, none resisting you, thus pronouncing the end of dichotomy. No duality would mean everyone is you and you are everyone (aham brahmasmi), thus salvation is granted to everyone who takes birth.

Is it that to achieve salvation one should take the test named life? Is it that one has to decidedly team with Krishna and not Ashwathama in an internal conflict? Even if the answer is yes, why at all God created system of suffering, agony and five sins. He could have chosen something else.

A Pertinent question still remains, did the God err?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Tanuj
    Sep 17, 2015 @ 20:12:03

    Why did God create evil…well God never created but He laid down certain rules and principles every living being had to comply-the nature laws. Since we humans because of our extra cognitive power and to gain materialistic pleasures had not comply or rather zealously broken the Creators laws..!! Humans who broken those laws were reckoned ‘Evils’ and follower as ‘Virtuous’.. !!

    Liked by 1 person

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