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21st August, 2022

Continuing with the Lord Krishna theme, I recently came across an interesting article  by Devdutt Patnaik, which  highlights the importance of creating the balance & spending quality time with the family.

“One of the most disturbing stories that we find in the Puranas is the story of Krishna’s son Samba, whose mother was the bear-princess, Jambavati.

His pranks & wayward behaviour in fact led to the end of the Yadu dynasty.

He dupes his father’s junior wives by disguising himself as Krishna and is cursed by Krishna that he will suffer from a skin disease that will enable his wives to distinguish father and son.

Samba is cured after he builds temples to the sun. All sun temples in India, from Konark in Odisha to Modhera in Gujarat to Markand in Kashmir, are attributed to this son of Krishna.

Samba also attempted to kidnap Duryodhana’s daughter and this led to war between the Kauravas and the Yadavas. Peace was restored, and the marriage  solemnised, only after Balarama, Krishna’s elder brother, and Samba’s uncle, in a fit of fury threatened to drag Hastinapur into the sea.

Then there is the story of Samba pretending to be a pregnant woman and duping sages who were visiting Dwaraka. The sages were not amused and cursed Samba that he would give birth to an iron mace that would be responsible for the end of the Yadu clan.

Must not Krishna’s son be as noble and divine and wise and loving as Krishna?

But that is not so.

Samba comes with his own personality and his own destiny over which Krishna has no influence.

Or does he?

Can we thus wonder if Samba was a product of his father’s neglect?

For was not Krishna spending most of his time with Arjuna and the Pandavas and in the politics of Kuru-kshetra and neglecting his own family?

There are hardly any stories of Krishna as father. He is friend, philosopher and guide to Arjuna, but the only stories of father and son are of tension, rage and violence.

In our focus on work, we often forget about the other half of our lives, the personal one.

As more and more people are working 24×7, thanks to Internet, and smart devices, the lines between professional and personal, work and life are getting blurred.

In fact, some consider it noble when they sacrifice family for work and in fact feel guilty when they take a holiday to take care of their family.

Family is not seen as achievement. Children are not seen as purpose. They are seen as obligations, duties, by-products of existence, even collateral damage. 

We admire leaders who sacrifice family for a ‘larger’ cause.

With the rise of women  also working. Parenting by many has been outsourced to maids, teachers, computers, videogames and grandparents.

Many great Krishnas in the workplace discover that they have nurtured Samba at home: children who either follow destructive paths as they seek attention, or those who make their way away from parents, as they have grown used to not having them around.

Who wins?

I don’t know, if we will have many  ‘Krishna’s’ in this generation but we may end up having many Sambas in the next.

This Sunday, focus on the family, focus on what is important so as not to create any Samba and stay blessed forever.