We are all aware of the tag “Ranchhod” attached to the name of Lord Krishna, actually, it is one of many names or tags are given to him, describing his different natures and versatility of his character. Lord Krishna being the most notorious and unpredictable god stays close to one’s heart in all manners and due to that friendly nature sometimes people gave him nicknames.
The most debatable name given to him as I think is the tag “Ranchhod” it means “one who ran away from the battlefield”. But I will suggest you not to judge from names because he is one of the most unpredictable god among all. So what should we conclude about this tag?
Let’s go back in that era and try to find the perfect suitable solution to our question. We all know the tale of Krishna and Kansa in which Lord Krishna killed his maternal uncle Kansa and acquired the throne of Mathura. Actual story starts now, Kansa’s wife Asti and Prapti were widowed after Kansa died, they were so mad at Krishna for doing this to them, so they went to her father “Jarasandha” (King of Magadha)and asked for help, Jarasandha being furious decided to teach lesson to Krishna and decided to destroy his race once and for all.
Jarasandha repeatedly attacked Mathura and caused massive death and destruction each time, Yadavas were stunned by his attacks and their economy came to shambles also war emptied their treasury. Jarasandha attacked seventeen times and yadavas barely managed to take the stand even with the likes of Krishna and Balarama. Jarasandha was a mighty enemy they were facing and now energy of yadavas was sapped by his continuous attacks.
Later Jarasandha joined forces with major kingdoms around Mathura and formed an alliance, all aimed for the doom of yadavas. Krishna knew that this time they won’t be defeated even if they all fight with there might. Slowly huge force of Jarasandha and co. marched towards Mathura and yadavas were left at the mercy of huge force.
Krishna and Balarama watched this huge army marching towards them from gates, Krishna said “oh god! This guy is so stubborn that he won’t accept defeat” (even Krishna was amazed by Jarasandha’s dedication and his promise to his daughters). Krishna got an idea of shifting the capital from Mathura to Dwarka to save many lives of innocent people, he placed suggestion before king Urgasen (his grandfather). Ugrasena and all other courtiers and even the commanders of the Yadava army were against flight. Balarama too was against the move. He wanted to fight against Jarasandha. Ugrasen explained Krishna about the results that he will be called Ranchhod, to this Krishna argued that he had no worry about any new name being given to him, and further explained that war is not the solution to it and countless people should not suffer to this madness.
Everyone accepted his suggestion to leave Mathura but had one question for him, how are they going to build a city so quickly as the rival army was at their gates? This is when to Krishna’s help came Vishwakarma, the Architect of Gods. On being asked how much time it shall take him to build the city, he replied that the city has already been built, under water. And with the permission of the Kings, he would raise the city above the sea water.
Everyone When all the Yadavas unanimously give their consent, the capital was shifted to Dwaraka. When Jarasandha and his army reached Mathura, they were met with an empty city. An enraged Jarasandha put the city to destruction and called Krishna Ranchhod (Ran= Battlefield, Chhod= Leave). And since then the name stayed. Krishna was unfazed by the new name, as he knew he saved many lives by avoiding that war.
“Sometimes in debates and baseless arguments we find stubborn people who argue with high aggression, trying to prove themselves right. They might be wrong in their opinion but yet they argue. They are self-obsessed and they believe they are right. Hence leaving the debates and arguments with such people doesn’t make us low, it shows we have great common-sense. We act like God himself who left the battle and walked away.”
Krishna had five cousins, the Pandavas, who had just acquired a kingdom -Indraprastha. The eldest Pandava, Yudhishtra wanted to perform the Rajasuya Yagyas. In order to perform the Rajasuya yagna, a king had to be declared emperor and all the surrounding kingdoms had to recognize the emperor as their overlord. In order for this to happen, Yudhishtra would have to defeat Jarasandha and obtain the title of emperor. Yudhishtra, not knowing how to go about this, asked Krishna for help. Krishna said that he, Arjuna (the third Pandava) and Bheema (the second Pandava) would dress up like Brahmans and go to Magadha and challenge Jarasandha to a wrestling match.
Upon reaching Magadha, Krishna, Arjuna, and Bheema challenged Jarasandha to a wrestling match. Jarasandha seeing their physiques realized that these were not Brahmans and asked them who they were. Krishna revealed their identities and told Jarasandha that they had come to challenge him and that Jarasandha must pick an opponent. Jarasandha said that he would not fight Krishna as he was a cowherd and he did not match his dignity and social standing. He then refused to fight Arjuna saying that Arjuna was too young, but he agreed to fight Bheema as Bheema seemed mighty and a worthy opponent.
Bheema and Jarasandha fought for 27 days, both equally matched and neither succumbed to the other’s blows. Bheema realizing that Jarasandha was an equal match looked to Krishna for help. Now Krishna who knew the story of Jarasandha’s birth picked up a twig from the floor, broke it in two halves and threw the two halves far away from each other. Bheema now knew what he must do. He threw Jarasandha to the ground, held his legs and split his body in two. He then threw the two halves of Jarasandha far away from each other so that they might not join. Bheema had defeated Jarasandha and Krishna installed Jarasandha’s son as the king of Magadha. In return, Jarasandha’s son agreed to be a vassal to the Pandavas.
“During the wars between Magadha & Mathura, Krishna was the principal opponent of the wars being fought- partly because he knew Jarasandha was destined to be killed by Bheema many decades later.”
“His ‘never care criticism’ attitude is something which deserves respect, hence Ranchhod is a highly worshipped ‘Roopa’ of Krishna and is to be followed in day to day life. Sometimes we cannot fight some people (yeah, the stubborn ones), hence we should simply avoid their presence and move towards solace. Perhaps this my favorite form of Krishna out of all his other forms.”
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