The Kurukshetra in us!

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Mahabharata is the longest epic poem in the world. Written in 2,20,000 lines over 18 books, its written material could outweigh all the vedic scriptures together, hence giving it a new interpretation as a Maha-Bhaar-Ata (Sanskrit for 'therefore very heavy'). The Vedas and Upanishads were not graspable at the common man's level, hence epics like Mahabharata gained importance, which convey the same concepts of Dharma and Karma in more allegorical ways. Over the years, scholars have interpreted the Mahabharata in innumerable ways and tried to imbibe (and sometimes contort) its messages into all facets of the Hindu life.

In the hands of a Ram Gopal Varma, it can look like a commercial thriller, Satyajit Ray could make a documentary out of it and Maniratnam will make it an art epic. We don't know with what perspective Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata (though it was a story of his own grandchildren). I came across an esoteric perspective today, one which Vyasa may appreciate too..

What if Kurukshetra, the scene of the pivotal battle, is, rhetorically, our own body. The duration of war, the time of our one lifetime. The 5 Pandavas, the five senses that hold our fort during this war. Krishna, our mind, who controls and guides the senses, though behind the scenes. The 100 Kaurava brothers are the hundreds of evils in the world around us, that are constantly trying to dominate the kingdom of our souls. All the chapters of Mahabharata before and after the war could be the metaphysical aspects of our souls journey before birth and after death respectively (In fact, the point that there are several chapters after the war may prove that their is a long life even after our death). Bhishma-pitamah and Dronacharya, the mightiest of the enemy side, could be Desire and Attachment, the two toughest bonds for the soul to overcome. Bhishma (Desire) was overcome with the help of Shikhandi, who was neither a man nor a woman, a middle path. Drona (Attachment) was subdued by tricking him with the lie of his son Asvatthama's demise, a painful and forceful detachment.

This allegory should infuse in each of us the belief that the war will be won in the end. Our life is a kingdom that we have to fight to rule over. Our life may be a 'Kshetra' that the Kuru and Pandavas will fight to win but ultimately it is the sacred ground on which the sanctity of divine mind will stand, in preparation for that momentous occasion when the holy revelation (the Bhagavad-gita) will unfold and due enlightement will deservedly dawn upon us!

Bibliography :
Williams, Monier. Indian Wisdom. Varanasi: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, 1963.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bravo! I appreciate your way of interpreting Maha baratha, its supreme, definitely Vyasa would it appreciate too…

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

but would Vyasa appreciate anonymous commenting too? :)

Anonymous said...

Definitely he understands its importance and appreciate too as there are characters in his book who go in disguise..

Dr Mandeep said...

creative and a delight to read

Vicky Dada (Vikas) said...

Thank you Dear Mandeep jee,
I had a quick look at your blog and your way of thinking is really interesting. I shall read sit down and read it soon. Meanwhile, thanks for your response on this post. It was a thought that was inspired during one of the philosophical lectures that I attended.

Veena said...

Never thought of the senses and the world as the Pandavas and Kauravas. Interesting co-relation. Plus food for thought when I travel.

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