Thursday, May 13, 2010


Mahabharat is the story of Great Bharat [India] - right upto the`The Great War’ between the Pandavas and the Kauravas [the ruling family]and thereafter.
It is the longest Sanskrit epic ever written - a collection of more than 74,000 verses, divided into 18 books.
The Mahabharata contains the Bhagawad Gita - dwelling on the important goals of human beings in their mortal life. It aims to make people realize the relation between the individual and the society and how they both are inter dependent on each other.
This epic revolves around the struggle for the throne of the kingdom of Hastinapura, between two branches of the same family - the Kauravas - one hundred sons of the blind king Dhritarashtra and Pandavas - five sons of Pandu, who died of a curse. The five brothers named Yudhisthira (eldest son), Arjuna, Bheema, Nakula and Sahdeva were obedient, dutiful and most loved in the kingdom. Each of Pandavas had a special virtue in them that made them stand apart from the rest of the world. The Kauravas were jealous and wanted to get rid of them. 
As time went by, the Pandavas got married and shared a common wife named Draupadi. The Kauravas got even more enraged and challenged the Pandavas to a game of gamble. The Pandavas lost and were banished from the kingdom for an exile of 12 years. There was a condition that if they were recognized by the end of 12 years, they would have to begin from scratch. 
One of the most important and dramatic character in this epic is Lord Krishna. He was the sole advisor, guide and true friend of the Pandavas and helped them in each and every difficulty in their exile. He is said to be the incarnation of God, who came to earth in human form to relieve the world of evil people and restore faith in his devotees. During the great battle of Kurukshetra fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, Lord Krishna took upon himself the duty of driving Arjuna's chariot. He imparted the valuable and practical lessons of the Bhagawad Gita, a text of the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, where Lord Krishna shows Arjuna a glimpse of his majestic divine form. 
The Pandavas won the battle and ruled over Hastinapura for a number of years. It is said that Dhritarashtra and his wife retired into the forest to lead a stress-free life of an ascetic and Krishna left after around thirty six years after the battle took place. When the Pandavas realized that it was time to leave this earth, they all set out on a journey towards the North on foot. It is said that the gates of heaven opened on the northern horizon. One by one they dropped dead, until Yudhisthira finally reached the gates of heaven to be united once again with his brothers and wife.


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