Why was Arjuna so dear to Krishna?
Hare krishna prabhu ji.dandavat pranam.Please explain why Krishna was so merciful to Arjuna that He became Arjuna’s charioteer and his best friend .As per my very very little knowledge,I do not find anything that made Arjuna to be Krishna’s friend.and at the end of mahabharata we see that pandavas strive to reach to heaven instead of vaikuntha!Are they not qualified for vaikuntha?Prabhu ji please explain
Question: Please explain why Krishna was so merciful to Arjuna that He became Arjuna’s charioteer and his best friend? As per my very little knowledge I do not find anything that made Arjuna to be Krishna’s friend, and at the end of Mahabharata we see that Pandavas strive to reach to heaven instead of Vaikuntha. Are they not qualified for Vaikuntha?
Answer: Arjuna’s qualification was his devotion to Krishna. And that devotion is manifest in many ways.
First and foremost, in the most well-known incident, it is by his choosing Krishna instead of His whole army. That represents, actually, the essential choice that is there for all of us. When we are to chant Krishna’s names, one of the biggest things, problems for us is we feel we don’t have time. That means we feel there are other more important things to do. Why? Because we feel that those things will be more productive for us, more practical for us, more important for us.
So Arjuna, just by that one act, in a very dramatic and poignant way, demonstrated his devotion to Krishna. He was in front of a war, about to face a war, and what is more important than an army? But he gave up the full Akshauhini army and Narayani Sena and just chose Krishna. So through this act Arjuna demonstrates that he considers the Lord to be more important than the Lord’s resources, which include everything in this world, not just the Narayani Sena.
Apart from this there are many other places also where Arjuna’s devotion to Krishna is manifest. There’s an incident described in the Mahabharat, that Krishna and Arjuna, when they were in the war, they would have different tents to sleep in, but sometimes Krishna would go alone at night to the tent of Arjuna. And Draupadi would be there by his side and she would be massaging him and helping him to relax from all the wounds and the tension that was there in the war field in that day. And when Krishna would come, Arjuna would … Draupadi by the side, and Krishna, when some people inquired to Him why He considered Arjuna so special, He asked them to touch the chest of Arjuna, close to him with the ear, and through the chest of Arjuna a sound came: Krishna, Krishna, Krishna. So Arjuna was even breathing thoughts of Krishna and his heart beat was thumping Krishna.
Similarly, we see in the Srimad Bhagavatam that even when everything is lost for Arjuna (generally if we are very powerful and lose something we blame God for that), when Arjuna lost his archery power, then he, rather than blaming Krishna, took shelter of Krishna. And he said that by remembering Krishna and the Bhagavad-gita, he is feeling great solace because He is remembering Krishna and the feeling the proximity of Krishna.
This also demonstrates that when we lose something of this world, if we love that thing more than Krishna, then we blame Krishna for taking that away from us. But if we love Krishna alone or Krishna more than that thing, then we may still feel pain when the thing is taken away from us, but we get solace in turning towards Krishna.
So when Arjuna lost that which is the most prized asset of a warrior, the ability for fighting, what was his response? He just remembered Krishna and continued serving Krishna.
As far as the going to heaven of the Pandavas is concerned, the Mahabharata describes one level of …ality that may have happened in some other kalpa. There’s another question over here which describes why are there differences between Mahabharata and Ramayana? Essentially all the scriptures do not talk about the same kalpa and they do not always talk with the same focus also. The Mahabharata doesn’t depict the Pandavas primarily as devotees, it depicts them primarily as kshatryas and as followers of dharma. And as a part of following the dharma they are also depicted as devotees. But the Bhagavatam brings out the glory of the Pandavas and they’re purity and in the fullness. So if we want to understand Arjuna’s great devotion to Krishna we should look at the Srimad Bhagavatam, not exactly the Mahabharata, and then learn to see the Mahabharata from the perspective of the Bhagavatam. Then we will be able to understand what exactly is the greatness of the devotion of Arjuna, because of which he became so dear to Krishna.