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Being Jealous of the Divinity

Jealousy can even come into your relationship with the divinity. It is a form of arrogance, wherein you think of yourself more than you think of the Lord, and become jealous of the undue attention you feel is being given to the Lord. There is an example of this in the Mahabharata, the great epic detailing the war between the forces of righteousness and evil, in which Arjuna fought on the side of good, and Lord Krishna was his charioteer. During that great war, Arjuna was seated in the chariot behind Krishna, who was driving the chariot. On the eve of the war, Arjuna had heard all the teachings explained and expounded by Krishna, which make up the Gita, but he was not yet fully ready to practice them. He felt that Krishna was a very great person, a divine teacher, but he was not able to understand the full divinity of the Lord.

The great war was going on and some of the most fearsome weapons were being employed on the battlefield. On one particular day, Arjuna was battling with the grandfather, Bhishma, who was the generalissimo of the other side, and was considered one of the greatest warrior of that age. During that fight, a number of very powerful and terrible missiles shot by Bhishma entered Arjuna's chariot, but caused no harm to Arjuna. Arjuna fought brilliantly all day, skillfully wielding his bow while directing the chariot, using his feet to push against Krishna's shoulders, who would then steer the horses, to turn the chariot to the right or left.

The battle raged unabated with neither side gaining an upper hand until finally towards the end of the day, Bhishma swooned in his chariot and withdrew from the scene. At that point, Arjuna, exhausted but triumphant, blew his conch to proclaim victory in the fight that had been raging that day. Arjuna certainly had faith in the divinity, but at that moment he also felt a little arrogant. In that moment of glory, he felt that he was responsible for the victory and that, after all, Krishna had not fought, but had only driven the chariot.

It was after sunset when they turned the chariot towards home. As soon as the chariot reached the Pandava camp, Krishna halted it some distance from the tent, turned to Arjuna and said, "Arjuna, please get down and go into the tent." Arjuna who was a little puffed up with egoism thought to himself, 'I fought and won the battle today. Krishna was only the charioteer directed by me. Properly speaking, he should get down first and open the door for me. That would be the correct protocol.' And so Arjuna said to Krishna, "I think you should get down first." But Krishna insisted, "No Arjuna, you get down first." As this interchange continued, Arjuna developed some dark thoughts and began to feel some resentment towards Krishna.

Arjuna said to himself, 'Here I have been thinking that Krishna was so great, and it is surely because I had complimented him and expressed my admiration for him that he is now acting like this, considering himself more important. Well, it is my own fault. But yet, the war is continuing, it has to be fought and I need Krishna, so it would be best if I didn't develop any strained feelings between us. Getting into an argument with him now would certainly not be in anyone's best interest.' So, very reluctantly, Arjuna got down from the chariot. After he got down he stood near the chariot. Krishna continued pressing Arjuna, "Don't stand here. Go into the tent." Left with no alternative, Arjuna entered the tent. Krishna jumped down immediately, leaping a long way from the chariot. The moment Krishna came out, the entire chariot exploded into flames and was destroyed to ashes.