My Column: July-August 16

My columnAs we all know Mahabharat is a story of revenge …an inner feud between a royal family. A story of powerful emotions and commitments . Its enigma lies in the fact that it is riddled with the stories within stories of past live’s and its boon and curses also. It makes it an interesting read because all nine emotions of love, anger , pity and loss etc . are very well depicted here on an epic canvas. Loyality in friendship is given the highest priority; be it between Krishna and Arjun or Karan and Duryodhan. Commitment and value or importance of Karma is the main theme of Geeta also ; which tells us that one gets a just reward in life of good or bad deeds in form of appropriate boons and curses. Karma of past life will definitely haunt us and even death cannot wipe the slate. One has to come back to pay these debts.
To understand Mahabharat fully we have to understand 18 Puranas, which were also written by the same sage Vedvyas . It tells us why the certain characters life took certain course. For example: Draupadi got five pandavas as her husband because in her previous life she got a boon from shiva.
According to Narad puran Draupadi is the composite avtar of goddess Shhyamla ( wife of Dharma) Bharati ( wife of Vayu) Shachi ( wife of Indra) Usha (wife of Ashwins) and Parwati ( wife of Shiva) , hence she married their earthly counterparts in the form of five Pandavas. The just Yudhisthir for his wisdom of Dharma, Powerful Bhim for his strength that exceeded that of a thousand elephants Combined, the valliant Arjun for his courage and knowledge of battlefield. The exceedingly handsome Nakul and Sahdev for their love. She asked for these qualities as a boon from Lord Shiva in her previous life and as it was not possible to get all these qualities in one man she got five husbands as Krishna explained to her that her marriage to five pandavas is not a chance or accident but the result of a boon from lord Shiva. There are hundreds and hundreds of stories within stories like this telling us reasons of each characters fate.
But to my mortal heart few characters life touches deeply. Like a Greek hero they are honest , upright and committed, yet their end is only tragic. One cannot forget Bhishma, Karan , and Ekalavya for all the injustice done to them . Draupadi is a lady born out of fire, so her hot nature is understandable and sometimes the reader looses the sympathy with her also when she mocks Duryodhan in her mayamahal . Forget about Kaurav and their evil Shakuni Mama, Kunti , Krishna and Bhishma they all acquire unjust means at many places to achieve their goals.Message and explanation is everywhere the same that individual must be sacrificed for the sake of all , while in the west individual and his needs are given the utmost attention. This is the basic difference between eastern and western philosophy and approach. Mahabharat is the dark story of revenge and frustration , where nobody wins. We can safely say that Mahabharat is a book which depicts the coming of ‘ Kalyug’ or dark era for mankind with all its lust and crimes in the pursuit of blind ambition.
Geeta ( part of Mahabharat) is still regarded as one of the best book on human life management and many universities are teaching Geeta as stress management in their M.B.A . course. For hindus all over the world Geeta and Ramayan still the holiest book of Hindu religion and revered in each and every household even today.
To go deeper in all the meanings and messages is not possible . It is our humble endeavour to give a flavour of the book in our own small way. Hope you will like it and have a good read.

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Shail Agrawal.