Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Concept of Mahabharata

The Concept of Mahabharata (300 words)

Kalidas Sawkar

The boy's father asked the teacher "In the end everybody dies in Mahabharata. Coming to my obsession with eternal truth, who was right and who was wrong? What does all this mean when hundreds of thousands die, families devastated and nobody benefits"
The teacher says “Just as with truth there could be different perceptions of epics such as Mahabharata.

“However, first, you have to realize this epic is based on a historical war between princely cousins in north India over three to four thousand years ago. Even the idea of a nation was quite flexible then. Those days vocal recitation was popular rather than systematic documentation, which paved way for changes, insertions, dramatizations and addition of miracles to the original story. But above all, Mahabharata has one strong point and that is these changes also incorporate the changing societal structure, climactic phenomena and demographic patterns in north India over at least two thousand years if not more. The changes in social customs such as marriages, paternity concepts, class divides and human frailties such as greed, revenge and opportunism are beautifully portrayed; along with this you find friendship, promises, integrity and valour being honed and inspired into people. Another great gift of Mahabharata is it outlines the introduction of and changes in spiritual concepts in India some of which are prevalent even today.

Truly, nobody benefitted at the end of that war. Even great Arjuna, was looted post war by petty thieves; but, this is the natural end to every big war even today and that is the reason Krisn does his best to avoid it. However, once the war starts it imposes its own rules and regulations; and, at the end, wrongs are defended as aberrations or transgressions, as was done by Lord Krisn himself. That is Karma-Yog for you.”

From: Kaliyug ki kahania

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