Lord Krishna’s Greatness and the Story of the Sparrow

Lord Krishna’s Greatness and the Story of the Sparrow

Aarti Natarajan Sharma

The Mahabharata is full of stories dealing with the concepts of faith, karma, and miracles. One such story of Lord Krishna’s miracles is particularly heart-warming. 

Just before the Great War of Kurukshetra, the battlefield was being prepared. Elephants were used to uproot trees to make way for the armies which were to assemble on the battlefield. In one such tree was a sparrow with her four young ones who were too tiny to fly. When the nest was knocked on the ground the mother sparrow got extremely agitated. She didn’t know how to save her young ones. 

Just then she spotted Lord Krishna. He had accompanied Arjuna to survey the battlefield since he was not only Arjuna’s friend but also his charioteer in the war. The sparrow flew to Lord Krishna and begged him to save her babies. The Lord replied that this was not something in his hands as the wheel of time couldn’t be stopped and nor could he interfere with the law of nature. But the sparrow, knowing him to be the Lord, said that the fate of her children was in his hands and she surrendered to his will.  

Lord Krishna smiled and told her to stock food in her nest for 3 weeks. The sparrow flew away and proceeded to do the same. 

A couple of days later, just before the commencement of the war, Lord Krishna asked Arjun for his bow and arrow. Arjuna was surprised because Lord Krishna had sworn not to wield any weapons during the course of the war. He offered to carry out whatever task Lord Krishna had in mind but the latter refused and insisted on taking the bow and arrow. 

Taking aim, Lord Krishna let an arrow loose. It seemed to be headed towards one of the elephants of his own army. Arjuna was shocked. However, instead of hitting the elephant the arrow hit the huge bell tied around its neck, which then fell to the ground. In jest, Arjuna told Lord Krishna that his aim was way off. The Lord just smiled. 

The war started. The next 18 days were filled with mayhem and chaos. At the end of the war, the Pandavas were victorious. Lord Krishna and Arjuna walked through the battlefield identifying the dead. Suddenly Lord Krishna stopped at a certain spot. He then instructed Arjuna to lift up the elephant bell which was lying on the ground. Arjun was surprised but he did as asked. As soon as he lifted the bell, 4 young birds flew out followed by the mother sparrow. The bell which had been cleaved by Lord Krishna 18 days ago had covered the nest and protected the birds through the war. 

Arjun was moved. He fell at Lord Krishna’s feet and apologised for considering him to be a mere mortal when actually he was so much more. The sparrow circled Lord Krishna, giving her thanks. 

The ways of the Lord are mysterious. They are beyond the scope of human comprehension. What is required on our part is to hold onto our faith and believe that everything we go through is part of a larger picture which we are not privy to.