Shri Krishna was God of gods and the perfect man. He had the grandeur and magnetism that no other man could match. But Poundrak, King of Karush and a great friend of the King of Kashi, took it into his foolish head that it was he and not Shri Krishna who was the avatar. He started to dress up like Shri Krishna and arm himself with the weapons that the Bhagwan used. Riding in his chariot, which was an exact replica of Shri Krishna’s chariot, down to the detail of the ensign of Garuda flying over it, Poundrak told his subjects to pay obeisance to him because he was the real avatar of Vishnu and Shri Krishna was a fake.
Suman K Sharma
That pandering to his own vanity would perhaps have been harmless, had not Poundrakfoolishly thought of openly challenging Shri Krishna. He was on a visit to the King of Kashi when he learnt that Shri Krishna’s older brotherBalaramwas away to Vrajaon a courtesy visit to Nanda Baba and his childhood friends. Being the kind of person that he was, Balaram had assumed the responsibility of the defenceand security of Dwarka. The upstart Poundrakthought that the absence of Balrama was a heaven sent opportunity for him to establish his superiority over Shri Krishna. He sent an emissary to Dwarka court that Shri Krishna should stop behaving like Bhagwan and accept him, Poundrak, King of Karusha, as the Lord of the Universe. As can be expected, Shri Krishna sent him a befitting reply, advising him sternly to refrain from such foolery.
The swollen headed Poundrak did not take the cue. Instead, he persuaded his host, the King of Kashi to mount a joint attack on Shri Krishna’s domains. The consequences could be foreseen. Poundrakand his forces were annihilated in disrepute.A gory ball fell into the compound of palace of the Kashi ruler. It was with much difficulty that his queens recognized it for what it was – the severed head of their husband who had been misled by his megalomaniac friend, Poundrak.
Divinity is multifaceted and one of its aspects is unmatched splendour – ‘vaibhav’. It is vaibhav that misleads the lesser mortals, with disastrous consequences to them as well as to their supporters. In our times we have seen a lot manyBabas and self-styled Bhagwans, their ‘leela’ and their eventual fall. There is that man who adorned himself not with one but three godly appellations and boasted of having lakhs of followers across major religions in India. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been convicted along with three of his staunch followers for the murder of a journalist. He is the same person, who in the heydays of his gurudom, had challenged the might of the State.
The tale about Poundrak, apart from being a lesson to all sorts of pretenders, may well be cited in support of the historicity of Shri Krishna. It is a person in flesh and blood who is challenged and fought against; not a Deity of the realms of spirituality.