Vishnu and Bhudevi – The Preserver and the Earth Goddess

Now “Sustainability” is not just an MBA buzz word. It is a serious concept. A damn serious one. So serious that ignoring it and not trying to work in its direction can land you into battlefields (and mind you, here I am not being metaphorical).

Much before the Kurukshetra War (and probably after the menace caused by Parshuram), the Earth Goddess (aka Bhudevi) went to the Preserver of the Universe, Vishnu, in the form of a cow and begged for help. The following conversation took place (probably in Sanskrit).


Bhudevi: I am replete with warriors, and these warriors think no end to themselves. In the quest of creating culture, cities, dams and armies they have mindlessly destructed all that I had for them. They have cut the forests, polluted the water and land. But their lust knows no limits. Moreover, a few rich and powerful are doing this in abundance while depriving the weaker of their rightful share. They have so recklessly squeezed milk out of my udders that they are sore.

(Vishnu was furious at this discovery. He tried to comfort the Earth Goddess and made a declaration.)

Vishnu: These homo sapiens of the warrior community are indeed a bunch of maniacs. They have forgotten their place, and they have forgotten yours. They do not see you, the provider of all resources, as their mother but they regard you as their property. Their greed has made them stoop down to this level that they have lost all sense of Dharma. They will certainly learn a lesson and that too the hard way. That’s a promise!

(Then looking towards the tragic face of the cow)

Do not worry! I will descend on Earth as a cowherd to protect you. I promise you that the greedy and unrighteous Kshatriyas will pay for your milk with their blood.

Krishna and Cow


Thus Vishnu declared his arrival as Krishna, the cowherd, determined to teach unrighteous Kshatriyas a lesson and re-establish Dharma. Thus, one can say the war was, in a way, inevitable. The uncompromising Kuru princes were but the catalysts.

I. Vyas and the Devas

The world had suffered a long terrible drought. It had taken its toll on millions and had rendered the Earth almost lifeless. The Indian mainland was dry, with scorching heat making it worse for life to exist. Even the 1894 drought of Champaner was nothing compared to this one.

Among the few who survived were the rishis, who, through their yogic powers had mastered the art of living for hundreds of years without food, water and even air. One such rishi was Krishna Dwaipayana. Krishna, because he was dark in complexion and Dwaipayana, because he was born on an island. He was one of the few rishis who had read and absorbed the Vedas completely.

When the drought ended and the world resurrected, he saw that the Vedas were almost alien to the modern civilization. So like a responsible citizen of Mankind, he undertook the task of re-writing and compiling the Vedas. It is only that hard work of his that inspires the writer of this blog. Anyway, this earned him the title of Ved Vyas (compiler of the Vedas).

After this exercise got over, Vyas breathed a sigh of relief. “I have finally compiled the centuries older ancient Vedic wisdom,” he thought. Then another thought passed his mind making him restless, “How would I make sure that this will be of some significance to posterity?” An idea flashed in his mind. He sought the help of the Devas, the gods who live in the sky.

The Deva summit descended on Earth and listened to Vyas’ concern.

Ved Vyas

Vyas: I want to narrate a story and I want someone to write it for me. This is a real story and it has all that the Vedas have to say. The future generations would gain Vedic wisdom from it. Years of continuous writing of the Vedas has exhausted me so I can’t write it myself. Can you help me find a writer?

Deva (anonymous): How about Ganesha? He too is yearning for some adventure these days. And since he is the son of Shiva and Shakti, his divinity is unquestionable. Why not seek divine intervention for a task so monumental and respectful?

Vyas: Supercool! Please help me and arrange a meeting with him.