Mahabharat is considered one of the greatest epic’s in the history of India. It is an example of how Dharma and truth is the ultimate survivor of the world and shows the values of life, devotion, commitment. The teachings of Lord Krishna, the Bhgavat Gita answers every question a man undergoes in his lifetime and the path to salvation or moksha.
In India there may be no person who would not have heard about Mahabharat and would not have given example of Mahabharat characters whom we admire, admonish and follow even today. From Mahabharat we learn the birth of Lord Krishna, his playful childhood, his mother, his brave acts killing many demons and his ultimate effort to prevent Kurukshetra war between the Pandavas and Kauravas.
But not many people know what really happened to Krishna after the war and Pandavas finally won the battle. Most believe that Krishna never died since he was the God and continued to stay. But this is a total misconception and real story is very different. The death of Lord Krishna is said to be one of the most painful events in the Mahabharat. The entire sequence has been described in the Mausala Parva’,
We all know that Kurukshetra war was fought between the Kauravs and the Pandavas to restore Dharma in the land. The Pandavas though less powerful than the Kauravas won the war with the help of Sri Krishna and finally Pandavas became the rulers of Hastinapur with Dharmaraya (Yudhistira) being the King. But Gandhari (mother of Kauravs) who had lost all her sons in the battle cursed Lord Krishna and all the Yadava kingdom to die a painful death just like her sons saying “you may die a painful death, a death that no one would have heard or seen,” for which Krishna had replied “all your wishes will indeed come true mother, because you are a virtuous lady.”
Thirty six years after Dharmaraya’s coronation, the problems in the Hastinapur and Dwaraka starts to emerge. The city which was once the place of Dharma was now filling with people with greed, selfishness and sins. Krishna’s brother Balarama will give up Kingdom and every pleasure and walks towards salvation. Same time the city of Dwaraka witnessed floods and famine in which the entire city of Dwaraka starts to submerge. The place witnesses fight among Yadavas and their own family members which will turn so nasty that it wipes out an entire civilization in Dwaraka. This is exactly what Ghandari had cursed to Lord Krishna.
The Pandavas who would have lost most of their sons during the Kurukshetra war would realise it was time for them to leave the Kingdom and find path towards ultimate truth and salvation. After which Yudishtira crowns his son Parikshit as the king and leaves Hastinapur. All the pandava brothers along with Draupadi decide to climb the Himalaya as the ultimate way towards God. On the way, a dog accompanies them to the top of Himalaya. One by one starts falling to death on their way, including Draupadi all Pandavas except Yudishtira die on their way to heaven. At the end, it will only be Yudishtira along with the dog reach heaven, at the gate the dog reveals itself as none other than Lord Yama himself and takes Yudishtira to heaven. Yudishtira witnesses his brothers, cousins, mother, wife and all his family members in hell for the sins and greed they committed.
Back in Dwaraka, Krishna will lose all his sons and grandsons who fight with each other and die. Lord Krishna realises that his time was nearing with the end of Dwapara Yug and the adharma was in rise as a sign of starting of the Kali yug. With the sins rising, the women and children will not be safe, for which Lord Krishna takes them to the city of Kuru and keeps them in a safe place. Lord Krishna finally decides to leave the city of Dwaraka and join his brother who had left home in search of salvation. He takes the blessing of his father for the last time and leaves the city.
He meets his brother in the forest meditating under a tree, as soon as Krishna arrives, Balarama transforms himself into a multiple headed snake (Anantha Nag) and vanishes into the ocean. Krishna understands Balaram attained Moksha from his human life.
Lord Krishna says to himself that his time has come and walks into deep forest for meditation, he remembers the words told by Gandhari and prepares himself for the curse. Krishna sits behind a tree and starts to meditate. Same time a hunter named Jara sees some movement behind the tree, he notices Krishna’s feet which he mistakes it to be a bear’s foot and aims his arrow to the feet. The Arrow pierces the feet of Krishna and with pain he falls down. Hearing the human cry, the hunter approaches Krishna and realise that he had hit none other than the Lord himself. He kneels down and prays for forgiveness, but Krishna replies with a smiling face “don’t feel bad, everything is fine and it is just what needs to happen.” Lord Krishna then explains the teary eyed hunter that he had only performed his Karma and reveals that the hunter was none other than the King Bali Chakravarti himself who was killed by Vamana (Avatar of Krishna) by the same leg.
Krishna suffers a painful death for many days as cursed by Gandhari, he lives a lonely life in the forest for days during which the Kali awaits for the death of Lord Krishna. Finally on 18th February 3102 BC the soul departs Krishna’s body and travels towards the heavens which marked the end of the Dwapara Yug and the beginning of the Kali Yug or the dark age. The Kali Yug is marked by sins, greediness, cheating, murder and every adharma that can be possibly done by a man which leads to the final destruction of the universe.
Lord Krishna is said to have lived for 126 years and 5 months according to few books. The city of Dwaraka is said to have submerged under the ocean after Lord Krishna’s death and archaeological excavations have showed many proofs with one can understand how big the Dwaraka was.