Friday, October 29, 2010

Mahabharat

Its the story of cousin brothers fighting over a kingdom.The Pandavas and Kauravas wage battle for Hastinapura. The struggle for supremacy, hegemony culminates in the epic Kurukshtra War. All the kings and princes participate in this battle. They become allies of pandavas or kauravas. It is said that Krishna was the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu and he preached Bhagwad Gita or the Song Divine on the battlefields to the reluctant, conscience stricken warrier Arjuna. At the end of 18 days battle the Pandavas emerge victorious. Kauravas are vanquished and they perish without a trace. Yudhishtar gets to rule the kingdom of Hastinapur for 36-37years. Heroism, Dharma, Loyalty, Divinity are the themes of this epic story. But why did Vyasa chose to call it Mahabharat? Is it because the descendents of King Bharat managed to get all the kings, princes, cheiftains entangled in this sovereign struggle? My mother had recommended Rajaji's Mahabharat long, long time ago, when we were still in school. But back then, Ramayan and Mahabharat was something you discussed and joked about since you already knew what it was all about. I read the book now. And now I want to somehow read the entire translation of original Mahabharat. The last few chapters of Rajaji's Mahabharat throws light on what happened after the war. I knew the story of Krishna's death, annihilation of Yadav clan (1), Yudhishtar's journey to heaven, but even then I was affected by the tragedy. May be its because Rajaji's observations, thoughts add a greater value to the simple narration of this great tragedy.

(1) If Yadava clan was destroyed completely by the curse of a sage, then all these Yadavs from UP and Bihar, where did they come from? Thats why, I feel like agreeing with Periyar and his followers who claimed that Indians borrowed Mahabharat from Odyssey and lliad

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