The epic narrative of Mahabharata is one of those tales which seems to transcend time and space. It has been told so many times, it has almost become immortal and doesn’t cease to overwhelm us even to this day. The epic tale has endured for centuries and is relevant even today. The idea of dharma or righteousness is revered even today and most of us have grown up with the deeply philosophical lessons that Mahabharat perpetuates to teach us the lives important lessons.
Be true to yourself and others – one of the lessons to live by is how a man should uphold the truth and never compromise on his principles. Lord Krishna teaches this lesson in the form of a parable to Arjuna who has doubts about going to war against the evil king, Kaurava. In this parable, Lord Krishna explains how a man is like an island unto himself and no matter what happens around him, he will always remain unaffected. If all the people in your vicinity are corrupt and dishonest, you still have the choice, to be honest.
Friendship, an eternal bond – the friendship we see between Krishna and Arjuna is something we all yearn for. The unconditional support and motivation of Krishna help the Pandavas survive through the war. It is the friendship because of which Krishna came to rescue Draupadi while her five husbands gambled her away to disgrace in the epic dice scenario. Whilst we’re talking about friendship, the bond of Karna and Duryodhan is nothing less than an inspiration.
There is no end to learning – in life the more you know, the better it is. Arjun always learned from everything that came his way. Whilst he learned the best of archery from Drona, he also learned all about the divine weapons from Indra and further gained knowledge about the Pashupatastra from Mahadev. He considered Yudhishtir and Lord Krishna as his mentor and continued to learn whatever they had to offer.
Revenge is sweet, but the aftertaste is bitter – though Mahabharata revolves around the tales of war and righteousness, one cannot blindside the fact it all started with an act of revenge and cause destruction of everything. The Kauravas lost all that they had to imperceptive desire to destroy the Pandavas. The war ruined everything including the children.
Half knowledge is dangerous – Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu learned the war skill from the womb of his mother. However, he could not find a way to get out of the Chakravyuha as he only knew the way in.
Life is full of hurdles, don’t give up – Karna, the ‘Suta-Putra’ faced disgrace and discrimination all his life. Right from birth, he fought for his rights. But no hurdle could stop him from achieving his goals.
Dr. Nirmal Bhattacharya – is a Bengali Purohit based in Bangalore. He is a veteran of Jyotishacharya, Vedashastri, and Purohitya who performs pujas for various occasions in and across Bengaluru.