“Ordinarily, if a king leaves the battlefield without fighting he is called a coward, but when Krishna enacts this pastime, leaving the battlefield without fighting, He is worshiped by the devotee. A demon always tries to measure the opulence of Krishna, whereas the devotee never tries to measure His strength and opulence, but always surrenders unto Him and worships Him. By following the footsteps of pure devotees we can know that Krishna, the Ranchorji, did not leave the battlefield because He was afraid, but because He had some other purpose.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 51)
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“Why did Krishna run away from Jarasandha? This is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam. I understand that the incident is part of the narrative of Krishna-lila, but someone might be disturbed upon hearing it. They would rather the Supreme Personality of Godhead stand tall, like Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
“In reading Vedic literature, I learned the many rules for kshatriya warriors. You are not supposed to attack someone from behind, for instance. If your opponent loses the facility of his chariot, you are supposed to descend from yours and take the battle to the ground level.
“Leaving the battlefield while an enemy is attacking you is never a praiseworthy tactic. Yet, with Krishna the incident is still celebrated. He earned a new name from it. Someone might be confused. It sounds like devotees just rationalize whatever behavior they see from Krishna, whether good or bad.”
To begin, a person has to rationalize. Who is actually able to understand beyond the limits of time and space? How can I comprehend what ananta means in terms of the body-spirit combination? How can a person really be anadi, or without beginning?
अव्यक्तं व्यक्तिम् आपन्नं
मन्यन्ते माम् अबुद्धयः
परं भावम् अजानन्तो
avyaktaṁ vyaktim āpannaṁ
manyante mām abuddhayaḥ
paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
“Unintelligent men, who know Me not, think that I have assumed this form and personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is changeless and supreme.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.24)
If we are looking to analyze from the angle of bravery, we would say that Krishna’s cowardice started from the time of birth. He asked Vasudeva for the transfer to Gokula. Though a baby, Krishna still fled from King Kamsa of Mathura, during the dark of night, while everyone else was sleeping.
[Vasudeva crossing the Yamuna]There was one foe that Krishna did kill indirectly. He led the enemy into a cave, which then caused a meeting with a sleeping man. The man was awoken by the enemy, and due to anger he burned the enemy using fire from his eyes.
“The sleeping man had been lying down for a very long tim