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Report On Annual Function

1508 words - 7 pages

Story of the Mahabharata

Parts of this Feature
• Mahabharata Book 1
• Mahabharata Book 2
• Mahabharata Book 3
• Mahabharata Book 4
• Mahabharata Book 5
• Mahabharata Book 6
• Mahabharata Book 7
• Mahabharata Book 8
• Mahabharata Book 9
• Mahabharata Book 10
• Mahabharata Book 11
• Mahabharata Book 12
• Conclusion
• Epilogue
• Summary
• Glossary

Summarized by Prof. James L. Fitzgerald Parts of this Feature
• Mahabharata Book 1
• Mahabharata Book 2
• Mahabharata Book 3
• Mahabharata Book 4
• Mahabharata Book 5
• Mahabharata Book 6
• Mahabharata Book 7
• Mahabharata Book 8
• Mahabharata Book 9
• Mahabharata Book 10
• Mahabharata ...view middle of the document...

The one hundred Dhartarashtras, on the other hand, had a grotesque, demonic birth, and are said more than once in the text to be human incarnations of the demons who are the perpetual enemies of the Gods. The most dramatic figure of the entire Mahabharata, however, is Krishna Vasudeva [Vaa-su-DAY-va], who was the supreme God Vishnu himself, descended to earth in human form to rescue Law, Good Deeds, Right, and Virtue (all of these words refer to different aspects of "dharma"). Krishna Vasudeva was the cousin of both parties, but he was a friend and advisor to the Pandavas, became the brother-in-law of Arjuna [AR-ju-na] Pandava, and served as Arjuna's mentor and charioteer in the great war. Krishna Vasudeva is portrayed several times as eager to see the purgative war occur, and in many ways the Pandavas were his human instruments for fulfilling that end.

The Dhartarashtra party behaved viciously and brutally toward the Pandavas in many ways, from the time of their early youth onward. Their malice displayed itself most dramatically when they took advantage of the eldest Pandava, Yudhishthira [Yu-DHISH-thir-a] (who had by now become the universal ruler of the land) in a game of dice: The Dhartarashtras 'won' all his brothers, himself, and even the Pandavas' common wife Draupadi [DRAO-pa-dee] (who was an incarnation of the richness and productivity of the Goddess "Earthly-and-Royal Splendor," Shri [Shree]); they humiliated all the Pandavas and physically abused Draupadi; they drove the Pandava party into the wilderness for twelve years, and the twelve years had to be followed by the Pandavas' living somewhere in society, in disguise, without being discovered for one more year.

The Pandavas fulfilled their part of that bargain, but the villainous leader of the Dhartarashtra party, Duryodhana [Dur-YODH-ana], was unwilling to restore the Pandavas to their half of the kingdom when the thirteen years had expired. Both sides then called upon their many allies and two large armies arrayed themselves on 'Kuru's Field' (Kuru was one of the eponymous ancestors of the clan), eleven divisions in the army of Duryodhana against seven divisions for Yudhishthira. Much of the action in the Mahabharata is accompanied by discussion and debate among various interested parties, and the most famous sermon of all time, Krishna Vasudeva's ethical lecture and demonstration of his divinity to his charge Arjuna (the justly famous Bhagavad Gita [BHU-gu-vud GEE-ta]) occurred in the Mahabharata just prior to the commencement of the hostilities of the war. Several of the important ethical and theological themes of the Mahabharata are tied together in this sermon, and this "Song of the Blessed One" has exerted much the same sort of powerful and far-reaching influence in Indian Civilization that the New Testament has in Christendom. The Pandavas won the eighteen day battle, but it was a victory that deeply troubled all except those who were able to understand things on the...

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