Hunger Pangs

In the great Mahabharata War the Pandavas killed all the 100 Kauravas. Their mother Gandhari was wailing over the dead bodies of her sons. She took the dead body of Duryodhana into her lap and cried bitterly.

Lord Krishna said to her, “Oh Mother! Do not grieve, life will never return to these bodies. The Atma never dies. It just changes its body, just as we change our clothes. Come mother, it is late now, you must be very hungry and it is dark too; let us go.”

Gandhari rebuked him saying, “Oh Krishna, all this misfortune has befallen on us because of you. Do not call me. I cannot think of eating at all. I shall stay here and die with my sons. I shall remain hungry till I die. Go away.” Finding her adamant, Krishna came away. Two days later, Gandhari felt very hungry. She looked around; the entire battlefield was strewn with dead bodies. There was nothing to eat. She saw a piece of dog’s flesh hanging from the branch of a tree. Making sure that no one was watching her, she tried to reach the dog’s flesh to satisfy the pangs of hunger. But she was unable to reach up to it. One by one she piled up the dead bodies of her own sons and climbed up on top of them. She was able to reach the piece of flesh and just as she was about to eat it, Krishna appeared. “Stop Mother, do not demean yourself by eating dog’s flesh. Here, I have brought food for you. No one can conquer hunger. Human life and hunger go hand in hand.”

Gandhari was ashamed of herself. She prayed, “Oh Krishna! You are the Lord of all. Please make me free of the attachment to my sons.”

Such are the pangs of hunger. Greater are the pangs of attachment. Still greater are the ties of karma. Last but not the least, greatest is the attachment to this body. Giving up attachment to one and all and submitting to the Will of the Lord is the only way to earn His grace.