Learn the basics of Critical Reasoning with the help of Mahabharata

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Learn the basics of Critical Reasoning with the help of Mahabharata

In critical reasoning, logical bent of mind plays a major role.

Statements which are correlated to each other are presented and finally they reach at the conclusion.

An essential skill to inculcate in critical reasoning is to find the missing link , which we call the assumption.Thus assumptions fill the missing link between the premises and the conclusion.

Let us take a small example of the missing link—

Four of the most striking characters in Mahabharat were Karna, Arjuna, Drona and Bhisma. At the end of the war Arjuna got the triumph.

Here in the above two statements, the assumption is “Arjuna won the battle as he was outstanding amongst all”.

Let’s revisit Mahabharat.

Krishna’s Personality:

Krishna is one of the most powerful incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In Hinduism Krishna is symbol of love, affection and Compassion.Beginning from his childhood till youth, he is well known in different names because of his mischievous plays.

Krishna grows into a role model that made everybody to worship him in devotion and admiration.During his adulthood, he became friend of Arjuna and the other Pandava princes of Kuru kingdom.

Arjuna is known for his honesty and truthfulness. And may be because of this he is dear and favorite Sakha of Krishna.In the due course of time , the Mahabharat war took place between Kuru and Pandava princes.

Krishna becomes Charioter of Arjuna in the war.

There are some occurrences to his (Krishna) role in Mahabharat which have created a confusing image to his own self in the minds of people.

1. Dice Game:

In the game of dice, Pandavas put Draupadi as bet and it was in the knowledge of Krishna.
Here Krishna could have advised Pandavas not to take the heinous step.Pandavas lost it to Kauravas in the game.So as per the bet Draupadi had to go for the sacrifice.

In the above short paragraph there are premise/s and a conclusion, assumption that makes connection between the premise and conclusion.And all these three statements come together to form the argument.

Premises help to reach at the conclusion.


– Dice game was being played between Pandavas and Kauravas.

– Pandavas put Draupadi as bet.

– Krishna had pre-knowledge of the bet as Draupadi.

– Panadavas lost the game

Conclusion:Draupadi went for the sacrifice as per the pre condition.

Assumption:Pandavas lost in the dice game to Kauravas, hence as per the preset bet Draupadi went for the sacrifice.

Or it can be reframed as “Darupadi went for the sacrifice as per the preset bet in the dice game played between Pandavas and Kauravas where Pandavas lost it to Kauravas”

2. Manipulating Karna:

On kurukshetra(where Mahabharat war was fought between Pandavas and Kauravas) Krishna could very well analyse the strength and weakness of Kauravas.He could recognize clearly that Karna is their biggest strength. So he persuaded him to join Panadavas.However Karna was staright forward to say “NO”.

Then Krishna asked Lord Indra to meet Karna in disguise and take his golden armorand earring, fearing that it would make him victorious.Karna well aware of the disguise , offered Lord Indra his requisites in turn received Brahmastra.Krishna sends Kunti as his aid to Karna, in turn Karna gives word to Kunti that he will not do any harm to Pandavas.

In the above paragraphs, there are couple of premises/implicits

-Karna is a great warrior(hidden) and has got all potential to defeat Pandavas

– Krishnana cajoled karna to join Pandavas and implemented multiple course of action to succeed in his intention

Conclusion:Karna promised Kunti that he will not do any harm to the Pandavas

Assumption:Karna promised Kunti not to harm any of the panadavas after all the trials made by Krishna with the intention of making pandavas victorious in the war.

3. The unfortunate war:

Karna remained true to his words and did not do any mischief to any of the Pandavas. However when he met with Arjuna, Krishna again played a nasty trick. He cunningly brought the chariot down to save Arjuna. Karna had aimed at Arjuna’s neck and not on his waist as suggested by his charioteer who annoyed by Karna’s behaviour left the battlefield.

Krishna was aware that Karna won’t use the Brahmastra twice. Krishna knew that killing Karna was difficult.So, watching Karna struggling with his chariot, Krishna ordered Arjuna to kill him.


-Karna did not do any mischief to Pandavas

– Killing Karna was a difficult task

– Krishna played a trick and brought the chariot down to save Arjuna when Karna was attempting towards the of Arjuna as suggested by his charioteer

Conclusion:Arjuna killed Karna on the kurukshetra

Assumption:With the help of Krishna’s shrewd mind’s nasty trick, Arjuna killed Karna on the Kurukshetra.

Lord Krishna was well aware that Karna is generous and righteous person. Karna is a true warrior and better than Arjuna.It is being said that if Karna would have given a chance to live more, dharma would have stayed in heartand mind of people.

So by killing Karna on the battleground, Krishna actually became a murderer of humanity and a villain by eradicating potential dharma from the multitude.

Here in the above two paragraphs,

The premises are:

-Karna is a generous and righteous person

-Karna is a true and better warrior than Arjuna

-Karna’s longevity is directly proportional to the age of dharma

Conclusion:Krishna has become a murderer of humanity

Assumption:Krishna became a villain by killing a righteous person like Karna

No body becomes great warriors like Karna and Arjuna overnight.To reach there they had to learn and practice the skill under guru Dronacharya. Similarly critical reasoning needs a lot of practice, thorough reading and understanding under proper guidance.

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