Very philosophical take on Mahabharat. Worth reading and contemplating as the author feels that Mahabharat that is within us is a continuous process. Each individual has how own Mahabharat to fight within himself. Must Read
Beautiful description of Mahabharat . A must read
I was finally there, Kurukshetra, the ground where the great war of Mahabharata was fought. I wanted to make it my life’s work to study and write about the epic. I also knew that it was not possible till I went to the spot where the greatest war took place. It was said in the texts that eighty percent of the fighting male population of the civilization was wiped out in the eighteen days of the war.
I stood on the ground, the sun overhead; it was hot, the wind hiding the far reaches of the grounds with columns of dust. I looked around and wondered if the war really happened, if the ground beneath him had soaked all that blood, if the great Pandavas and Krishna stood where I stood.
“You will never know the truth about that!” said an aging soft voice.
I turned around to find an Old man in saffron robes appearing out of a column of dust. He had a long white beard and eyes that could settle an indignant storm.
“I know you are here to find out about the Kurukshetra war, but you cannot know about that war till you don’t what the real war is about.” the Old man said enigmatically.
“What do you mean?” I instantly knew that I was in the presence of someone who knew more about the war than any living person.
“The Mahabharata is an Epic, a ballad, perhaps a reality but definitely a philosophy.” The Old man smiled luring me into more questions.
“Can you tell me what the philosophy is then?” I requested.
“Sure. Here goes,” began the Old man. “The Pandavas are nothing but your five senses, sight, smell, taste, touch and sound and do you know what the Kauravas are?” he asked narrowing his eyes. I shook my head. “The Kauravas are the hundred vices that attack your senses everyday but you can fight them and do you know how?” I again shook my head again. “When Krishna rides your chariot!” The Old man smiled brighter and I gasped at that gem of insight.
“Krishna is your soul, your guiding light and if you let your life in his hands you have nothing to worry.” I was stupefied but came around quickly with another question. “Then why are Dronacharya and Bhishma fighting for the Kauravas, if they are vices?”
The Old man nodded, sadder for the question. “It just means that as you grow up your perception of your elders change. The elders who you thought were perfect in your growing up years are not all that perfect. They have faults. And one day you will have to decide if they are for your good or your bad. Then you may also realize that you may have to fight them for the good. It is the hardest part of growing up and that is why the Geeta is important.”
I sat down on the ground, not because I was tired but because I could understand the enormity of it all. “What about Karna?” I whispered.
“Ah!” said the Old man. “You have saved the best for last. Karna is the brother to your senses, he is desire, he is a part of you but stands with the vices. He feels wronged and makes excuses for being the vices as your desire does all the time. Does your desire not give you excuses to embrace vices?”
Then who is draupadi. I continued. She is your ego. Shared by you and your brothers.
Then how could Yudhistra the truthfull lie in battle or gamble Draupadi? It shows the frailty of humans unless you have Krishna as your charioteer.
And ashvathama? He is your thirst for revenge born from your knowledge drona
Who is dhritarashtra? Oh! The person blind to the vices. He is destined to suffer. The old man exclaimed.
What about Gandhari. She is your virtue but when she turns a blind eye to your vices. Krishna has to come and destroy the vices.
Who was Shikhandi. He is your karma from earlier births. When it stands with krishna . Can destroy even the great bheeshma.
I nodded. I looked at the ground, consumed with a million thoughts, trying to put everything together and then when I looked up the Old man was gone. He seemed to have disappeared in the column of dust.
Later, when I checked into the hotel I saw a large painting of Ved Vyasa narrating the Mahabharata to Lord Ganesha and I could swear that the Sage looked exactly like the Old man who met in the dust.