Mahabharata and Gita

Mahabharata

The  Mahabharata composed by sage Vyasa tells the story of two sets of paternal first cousins.  It is the story of a blind King Drita-rastra (mind), whose eldest Son Duryo-dana,  is the symbol of Ego. According to the code of Indian law, the kingdom should not be ruled by a physically handicapped King.  Drita-rastra who is born blind had to give up the ruling power of the kingdom to his younger brother Pandu. Pandu is the symbolism of wisdom.  To Pandu  five sons are born (called Pandavas)  and to Drita-rastra 100 sons (called Kav-ravas). Pandu dies soon after his sons were born  and since his son being young, it was decided by the ministers that the blind king Drita-rastra assumes the throne until Pandu's  son was old enough to be the king. 

          Through the above story and the symbolism, we will understand that from our birth, the blind mind cannot rule our life but the wisdom in us. Since the wisdom has to strengthen through experience in life, we temporarily allow the blind mind to rule us. But having tasted power the mind not only want to give up the kingdom ,but tries to crown  its own son, the Ego. This is what we see in Mahabharata.

           The power thirsty blind King Drit-rastra did not want to  now give up kingdom to his brother's Son.  He wanted to crown his own Son Duryodana as the king instead of giving back the kingdom to the most deserving brother's son Yud-istra. These developments lead the two sets of paternal cousins to  became bitter rivals, and opposed each other in war for possession of the ancestral kingdom. In Mahabharatadays India was called as  Bhaarat with its capital Hastinapur. Hastinapur  is still current  India's Capital with the new name Delhi.

               Knowing the developing rivalry, the great grandfather ,Bhisma divides the kingdom into two and allows one portion of it to be ruled by Pandavas. Duryodhana  however behaved viciously and brutally toward the Pandavas in many ways. With the intention of getting back the partitioned kingdom, he invited  the eldest Pandava, Yud-istra  in a game of dice:   Treacherously they win not only the kingdom but also wins all the five brothers and their common wife Draupadi. After they won the game of dice, the Kavravas (100 sons of Drita-rastra)  humiliated all the Pandavas and physically abused Draupadi and  drove the Pandava party into the wilderness for twelve years, and the twelth year had to be followed by the Pandavas' living somewhere in society, in disguise, without being discovered for one more year. If they are spotted then they have to repeat the exile of 12years and one year of disguise again.

         The Pandavas fulfilled their part of that bargain, but the villainous leader of the Drita-rashtra party, Duryodhana , 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 the battle field.

           The most dramatic figure of the entire Mahabharata, however, is Krishna,  who with great personality protects Law, performs Good Deeds and Right conduct. Krishna is not only  cousin  to the Pandavas (sons of Pandu) but also the brother-in-law of Arjuna , the third Pandava, and served as Arjuna's mentor and charioteer in the great war.

           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  ethical lecture and demonstration of his divinity to his charge Arjuna (the justly famous Bhagavad Gita  occurred in the Mahabharata just prior to the commencement of the hostilities of the war. The war was fought 18 days and finally the Pandavas won killing Duryodhana.