Question: During the Battle of Kurukshetra, Krishna got down from the chariot to fight even though he had taken a vow not to fight at all. I was wondering what this tells us about Krishna's personality?

Sri Chinmoy: When Arjuna saw Vishma advancing towards him on the battlefield, he said to Krishna, “We lost our father when we were quite young, and Vishma became our father. Such affection, such love he had for us! Is there anything that we would not have done for him? He is so dear to me. I cannot fight him.”

Krishna told Arjuna, “He is already dead in the inner world. You have to fight him!” Still Arjuna could not bring himself to fight with his grandsire; so Krishna came out of the chariot with his discus. When Krishna decided to fight, he said, “My love for my Arjuna is infinitely more important to me than my so-called promise. People will say that I am not a man of my word. I do not care. I want to prove that my love for my Arjuna is infinitely more important than preserving honour in the eyes of the world. I am prepared to go against the ordinary light of morality in order to win the victory for Arjuna.”

When Vishma saw that it was Krishna himself who had come to fight him, he came running to be killed. He said, “My Lord, my Lord, I know who You are! If You kill me, I will be the happiest person. On the one hand, I am so sad that You are breaking Your Promise. But again, I am so glad that I will die by Your Hand. Kill me, kill me! I am dying to die by Your Hand!”

Then Arjuna said, “No, no, I am ready to fight!” He pulled Krishna back into the chariot and fought Vishma with utmost determination. At last, Vishma lay dying, and Arjuna brought water to his grandsire. When Arjuna saw that Vishma was shedding tears, he said to Krishna, “Our grandfather did not do anything wrong. He was so good, so divine. Why does he have to suffer? Why are there tears in his eyes?”

Krishna said to Arjuna, “Why are you asking me? Ask him! He will tell you.” So Arjuna asked his grandfather, “Please tell me why you are crying, Grandfather. In our kingdom, there is nobody as divine as you. It was you yourself who told us how to kill you. Who else on earth would have been so noble? But now that your death is fast approaching, why are you crying? Are you afraid of death?”

Vishma replied, “You fool! I am weeping not because I am afraid of death, but because the Pandavas have suffered so much. Krishna, the Lord of the Universe, was all the time with you and for you. So how is it that you have suffered so much? I do not understand the Lord’s Game. That is why I am shedding tears.”

Krishna answered him, “This is my creation. You will never be able to understand it. My mystery is unfathomable.”

The Mahabharata is sweeter than the sweetest and, at the same time, deeper than the deepest. On the mental level, we cannot justify many of the things that Krishna did. But, again, his divinity is all the justification that is needed.