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Some interpretations of the Mahabharat

Mahabharat : Some interpretations  

Vyasa's Mahabharat is one of our noblest heritages, and it is has been
a elevated influence for thousands of years. Its strengthens the  soul
and drives home, as nothing else does, the vanity if ambition and evil
and the futility of of anger and hatred. The Mahabharat is not  merely
an  "epic";  it is a romance, telling the tale of heroic men and women
and some who were divine. It is a whole literature in itself, contain-
ing  a  code  of life; a philosophy of social and ethical relations, a
speculative thought of human problems that is hard to rival; but above
all - it has for its core the Bhagavad Geeta, which is as the world is
beginning to find out, the noblest of scriptures and the  grandest  of
the  sagas  in which the climax is reached in the wonderous Apocalypse
in the Eleventh Canto! The "epic" has been an unfailing  and  perenial
source of spiritual strength.

The philosophical essense of the Mahabharat is  only  one  interpreta-
tion.   Ludwig called it an analogy of cycle of seasons - Pandu, Dhru-
tarashtra, Krishna etc. being different shades of the Sun. One another
scholar,  Ho,  considers  it  to  be a tussle between the Vaishnav and
Shaivite sects. Maxmuller addressed the Mahabharat to be a  reflection
of  Greek  civilization as it contains customs and practices prevelant
among Greek people. Buhler considers the Mahabharat to be  a  'Dharma-
Shastra'.  Wrangler  Chandratreya interprets the volumnous treatise as
the ocean of ethical principles spread out over a vast expanse...

Yet another scholar, Dr.Prema, views the treatise from a medical  per-
spective, 100 diseases (Kaurav) being treated by 5 medicines (Pandav).
He refers to the allegorical equations of  Teriyar  -  a  'Siddha',  a
mystic-cum-medical man, which are quite fascinating :

a. Kichaka is equated to venereal diseases and  his  younger  brothers
are  represented as the diseases like ulcer, impotency, nervous debil-
ity and for which Bheema acts as an antidote. He is represented as the
mercurial  preparation  for the treatment of the above diseases. Drau-
padi acts as the sulpher and by this  system  of  characterization  of
person  and  formulation  of  medicine,  it  is  explained how to cure

b. Arjuna is catagorized as the copper  containing  medicine  and  his
triumphal march against his enemies is equated in terms of his victory
over inummerable diseases.  His  conquests  reflect  nothing  but  the
forceful and scientific treatment of diseases.

c. Yudhisthira is called as the embodiment of iron  component  of  the
medicine  who  victory  over  Drona  is  equated  as  his victory over

Some believe that it is long poem and contains mythical characters and
events.  How  could  a source of cultural-spiritual-political-ethical-
art- literature-etc. been a reality ? How could 'one book' incorporate
the  faculties  of  ethics-polity-statecraft-economics-therapeutics at
the same time ? Therefore the 'book' must have evovled over  centuries
with all the knowledge added slowly. The 'poetic idealism' is too good
to be a reality !  And how is that such  a  'primitive'  civilization,
when  computers were not developed, even ponder about nuclear missiles
and biological weapons ? It cannot be true...However, " There is  more
suspense in the Truth and only the Truth delivers more thrill than the
imaginative will" !

Mahabharat is not just a story, but the detailed account  of  a  event
occured in the past. It has been written in the epic from time to time
that Mahabharat is a "itihas" which exclusively means "thus  occured".
The  words  "Puraan" and "Itihas" were specifically coined by the Arya
people to catagorize the "ancient" and "recent" events. Both the words
denote history that has occured at different times. A number of dynas-
ties with their long lineage of kings have been presented in the work.
More  than  50  kings  from  King  Barhi to the Pandava King have been
recorded. Additional information about the King, his wife, his scions,
his  relations,  etc.  have been accounted in great detail. If it were
just fiction, only 4-5 kings would have sufficed to  build  the  story
on. Then why such mind-boggling details ?

Mahabharat is of a later date than the Ramayan. Why would  the  author
of the Mahabharat borrow the same ideas and characters as those of the
author of Ramayan ? Archaeological excations has discovered  the  sub-
merged  city  of Dwaraka. This is the same Dwaraka as mentioned in the
Mahabharat. The astronomical recordings in the Mahabharat  "epic"  and
other scriptures (Bhagwat), given the correct positions of the planets
and stars during that time. How could a  work  of  fiction  be  proved
using mathematical tools ?

A historian, however,  percieves  it  as  a  historical  reality  that
occured about 5000 years ago! The Mahabharat represents a reference to
dileanate a continuous record of events, before and after the War, and
to  trace  back the antiquity of human civilization, in Bharat as well
as in the rest of the world....


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