Mahabharat

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14 Dec 2022
21

Mahabharata is a great epic in the Hindu religion. It is considered as a sacred book by Hindus. ‘Bhagavad Gita’ is a part of Mahabharata. The main story of Mahabharata is about the two groups of cousin brothers known as the Kauravas and the Pandavas.

Mahabharata teaches us many lessons through different stories and characters in it. Kauravas are a hundred sons of the blind king Dhritarashtra.

Pandavas are five sons of King Pandu. Pandavas are honest, dutiful and skilful.

The Kauravas are jealous of them since their childhood. One day, Kauravas use a trick to deceive the Pandavas and invite them to play a game.

Yudhishthira, the eldest brother of Pandavas loses all his wealth in the game. After this, he challenges again and loses himself, his four brothers and their wife- Draupadi.

The Kauravas insulted Draupadi the Pandava’s Queen in front of everyone. Draupadi prays to Lord Krishna and he saves her. Lord Krishna makes the Saree of Draupadi endless and everyone gets shocked with this miracle. Kaurava gets tired and stops the wrong act.
After this event, Pandavas spend thirteen years in exile and life disguise for last one year. At the end of their exile, they try to negotiate a return to Indraprastha. Pandavas become extremely angry and announce a war against the Kauravas. They say that this war will end the wrongdoings in the world and create a new world which is good.

Mahabharata teaches us the lesson of truth, peace and rightfulness. From the character of Bhishma we learn about patriotism and from Draupadi we learn to fight for our rights. From the character of Kauravas and Shakuni we learn that jealousy and revenge ruins everything. Mahabharata shows us that goodness always wins
Sadhguru: Essentially, the story is trying to make sure that every kind of human being, from the lowest to the highest possibility, has a role to play. If you involve yourself in the story, you can see yourself playing out so many roles. Are you a Duryodhana, are you a Bhima, are you a Yudhisthara? Every one of the emotions that led these people to grand disasters exists within you, and they are leading you to minor disasters because you are a minor human being compared to them. If you were a very big human being, you would have gotten into big trouble. The Mahabharat is not for entertainment. You can grow out of many things in the process of living through what other people lived through. If you have to live it, it would be too expensive life-wise. Without going through the pain, without going through the drama of those things in your life, you can come out transformed.
Mahabharat
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Mahabharata, (Sanskrit: “Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty”) one of the two Sanskrit epic poems of ancient India (the other being the Ramayana). The Mahabharata is an important source of information on the development of Hinduism between 400 BCE and 200 CE and is regarded by Hindus as both a text about dharma (Hindu moral law) and a history (itihasa, literally “that’s what happened”). Appearing in its present form about 400 CE, the Mahabharata consists of a mass of mythological and didactic material arranged around a central heroic narrative that tells of the struggle for sovereignty between two groups of cousins, the Kauravas (sons of Dhritarashtra, the descendant of Kuru) and the Pandavas (sons of Pandu). The poem is made up of almost 100,000 couplets—about seven times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined—divided into 18 parvans, or sections, plus a supplement titled Harivamsha (“Genealogy of the God Hari”; i.e., of Vishnu). Although it is unlikely that any single person wrote the poem, its authorship is traditionally ascribed to the sage Vyasa, who appears in the work as the grandfather of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The date and even the historical occurrence of the war that is the central event of the Mahabharata are much debated The Mahabharata is a tale for our times. The plot of the ancient Indian epic centres around corrupt politics, ill-behaved men and warfare. In this dark tale, things get worse and worse, until an era of unprecedented depravity, the Kali Yuga, dawns. According to the Mahabharata, we’re still living in the horrific Kali era, which will unleash new horrors on us until the world ends.

The Mahabharata was first written down in Sanskrit, ancient India’s premier literary language, and ascribed to a poet named Vyasa about 2,000 years ago, give or take a few hundred years. The epic sought to catalogue and thereby criticise a new type of vicious politics enabled by the transition from a clan-based to a state-based society in northern India.

The work concerns two sets of cousins – the Pandavas and the Kauravas – who each claim the throne of Hastinapura as their own. In the first third of the epic, the splintered family dynasty tries to resolve their succession conflict in various ways, including gambling, trickery, murder and negotiation. But they fail. So, war breaks out, and the middle part of the Mahabharata tells of a near-total world conflict in which all the rules of battle are broken as each new atrocity exceeds the last. Among a battlefield of corpses, the Pandavas are the last ones left standing. In the final third of the epic, the Pandavas rule in a post-apocalyptic world until, years later, they too die.

From the moment that the Mahabharata was first written two millennia ago, people began to rework the epic to add new ideas that spoke to new circumstances. No two manuscripts are identical (there are thousands of handwritten Sanskrit copies), and the tale was recited as much or more often than it was read. Some of the most beloved parts of the Mahabharata today – such as that the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha wrote the epic with his broken tusk as he heard Vyasa’s narration – were added centuries after the story was first compiled.

The Mahabharata is long. It is roughly seven times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey combined, and 15 times the length of the Christian Bible. The plot covers multiple generations, and the text sometimes follows side stories for the length of a modern novel. But for all its narrative breadth and manifold asides, the Mahabharata can be accurately characterised as a set of narratives about vice.

Inequality and human suffering are facts of life in the Mahabharata. The work offers valuable perspectives and vantage points for reflecting on how various injustices play out in today’s world too.

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