DURYODHANA, ELDEST OF THE KAURAVAS
(The eve of the battle of Kurukshetra. Duryodhana has come to Krishna’s abode. Krishna is fast asleep. Duryodhana enters Krishna’s room and sits by Krishna’s head on a chair. Soon Arjuna comes in and sits at Krishna’s feet. Both of them are waiting for Krishna to wake up. Arjuna is looking at Krishna’s feet most devotedly and soulfully. Duryodhana is looking at Krishna with tremendous confidence and assurance.)
DURYODHANA (to Arjuna): Look at this Krishna! Why is he sleeping so much during the day? Has he not read the Shastras? It is a great sin to sleep during the day. What is he doing?
ARJUNA (to Krishna): For the first time, Krishna, I am seeing your feet. They are so beautiful. They are so divine.
(Arjuna touches Krishna’s feet, appreciating and admiring their beauty.)
DURYODHANA: Yes, that is what you should do and must do. You should touch his feet, kiss his feet. You are meant for his feet and I am meant for his head. I shall touch his head.
(He is about to touch Krishna’s head when Krishna opens his eyes and sees Arjuna.)
KRISHNA: Ah, my Arjuna, what brings you here? You are my joy, you are my pride, you are my love. What can I do for you?
DURYODHANA: Krishna, I came before him. I came before him, so you have to pay attention to me first. You have to fulfil my desire first.
ARJUNA: Krishna, I have come also with a desire.
KRISHNA: If both of you have desires, I shall fulfil your desires.
DURYODHANA: But I came first. You must fulfil my desire first.
KRISHNA: True, you came first, Duryodhana, but I saw Arjuna first. I have to fulfil his desire first. After all, he is younger than you. The younger one gets the first chance, always.
DURYODHANA: All right, Arjuna, you beggar, ask Krishna to fulfil your desire.
KRISHNA: Duryodhana, let us not quarrel here. This is my house. Both of you came here to have your desires fulfilled. I shall fulfil them. But here there should be no quarrel, no fight, no dispute. My place is all peace, love and harmony. Both of you are dear to me, and I assure you both that I shall fulfil your desires.
ARJUNA: O Krishna, you know that the battle is imminent. I want you to take my side.
DURYODHANA: Stop, Arjuna! I want Krishna on my side. I want him!
KRISHNA: If both of you want me, I have to choose one side. But I want to please both of you. Here is my suggestion: I shall be on one side, and my soldiers and warriors all will be on the other side. Now you make a choice. Arjuna has to make the first choice because I saw him first.
ARJUNA: O Krishna, I want you, I want you. I don’t need your army. I want you only.
DURYODHANA: Krishna, are you sure? Will you keep your promise? You will be on one side and your army, your entire army, will be on the other?
KRISHNA: Duryodhana, my promise is my promise. Rest assured, I shall never break my promise. You take my entire army, and I will be on Arjuna’s side.
ARJUNA (shedding tears of joy and gratitude): O Krishna, you are so kind. To have you is to achieve victory. For me to have you is my supreme joy, supreme glory and supreme pride. O Krishna, you are so kind to me. My joy, my life is all gratitude to you.
DURYODHANA: I thank you deeply for your army. Your army is your real strength. Let Arjuna have your body’s strength. I will have the strength of your entire army. But keep your promise. Keep your promise, O Krishna. All of your army must be on my side.
KRISHNA: O Duryodhana, I shall tell you something more. I shall not fight. I shall only give whatever help Arjuna asks of me.
ARJUNA: I want you to be my charioteer, O Krishna. Since you have taken my side, please be my charioteer.
KRISHNA: Of course, I will be your charioteer, Arjuna. But I shall not fight.
ARJUNA: No, you don’t have to fight. Only be my charioteer.
DURYODHANA (overjoyed):Krishna, so you will be Arjuna’s charioteer! You cannot fight and you cannot have your army with you. This is your promise.
KRISHNA: Yes, this is my promise. You take my army with you and I shall be Arjuna’s charioteer.
DURYODHANA: Tomorrow I shall come and take your army. Don’t forget your promise, Krishna.
ARJUNA: I know that the creator is always infinitely greater than the creation. You are the creator of your army. Duryodhana has the creation, but I have the creator. I know, Krishna, that you are All. Your very presence is infinite strength for me. Your very presence is my victory.
Ogo sundara ogo ananda
Ogo mor prananath
Sasime asime peyechhi tomar
Chetanar sakkhat rupantarer alor banshari
Bajabo hriday bane
Hasiya nachiya harabo
Amare rakhal rajar dhane
[O my beautiful One,
O my Lord of Delight,
O Lord of my life-breath,
In the finite and the infinite
I have met Your universal consciousness.
I shall play on the flute of transformation-light
in the forest of my heart.
Smiling and dancing
I shall lose myself in the wealth
of Lord Krishna.]
(Krishna gives him a most soulful smile.)
KRISHNA: O Arjuna, you do not know how dear you are to my heart. Come, let us go.