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Mahabharata

The Epic of the Mahabharata deals with the feud between cousins, the Pandavas and the Kauravas. It deals with the eternal feud between Good and Evil. All of the characters in the Mahabharata have got symbolic value: and all the situations depicted are true to life. It has been proclaimed centuries ago of the Mahabharata ‘what is not in it is nowhere.”

Let us take the character of Draupadi. She is supposed to be married to five brothers. (The Pandavas - at the same time.)

This on the one hand proves that it was acceptable during those days for a man to take more than one wife. It was also acceptable for a woman to marry more than one man.

On the other hand, however, the above could have a symbolic interpretation. The five husbands represent the five qualities that every woman should possess. Hence.

Yudishtira stood for truth
Bhima for strength
Arjuna for fearlessness
Nakul for Gyan or knowledge
Sahadeva for Bhakti or devotion.

Of course, throughout the Mahabharata, we see these men displaying the qualities attributed to them all the time.

One of the lessons we learn from the Mahabharata is never to be too complacent about our position, be it material or spiritual.

Draupadi was a devout women beloved of her husbands, and a true devotee of Lord Krishna who was their contemporary. After the Pandavas had been cheated by the Kauravas, the later finally consented to give them a small town which, according to the Kauravas, would be of no economic use.

However, the Pandavas, with the help of Lord Krishna prospered and built a palace of veritable joy and pleasure. The description of which would probably put modern mansions to shame.

The Kauravas were invited to the palace where, due to an optical illusion, Duryodhana mistook the reflection of water for a dry carpet and stepped on it thereby getting drenched.

Draupadi, who was watching, could not help laugh­ing and remarking in bad taste “The sons of the blind are bound to be blind.” For the above remark she was made to pay dearly. Duryodhana swore revenge and enmity between the Pandavas and Kauravas grew enormously again. The words uttered by Draupadi in a moment of weakness had rankled Duryodhana to such an extant that he tried to disrobe, her in public, and finally the Mahabharata, the greatest of all the wars of ancient India, was fought.

The Great War is also symbolic of the constant conflict that goes on within ourselves between the benign forces and the evil ones.

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