How Mahabharata Teaches You the Basics of Hinduism?

1. Society is a bitch:

Remember the birth of Karna? He was better than all, he was the son of god, no one could beat him in Archery, he was the epitome of kindness and yet he was deprived of everything he deserved just because society did not approve of his birth. He was subjected to humiliation over and again for having born in a family of Suta.

Saurav Roy : cover poster of a comic book based on “Karna”, called The Sixth.

2. Lechery is doom

Kichaka was the army chief of Matsya kingdom under the king Virat. During the Agyatvas, the incognito period of the Vanavas, Draupadi lived in the palace of Matsya as a hand-maiden. Kichaka saw her and went after her maddened by lust. When She refused, he tried to force himself upon her and kissed her. Drupadi avenged him by seducing him to the dance hall where Bheema killed him in a single blow…. so much for a kiss!!

Kichaka ,the army chief of Matsya kingdom

3. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Abhimanyu learned how to enter a Chakravyuh, the battle formation while in his mother’s womb but never learnt how to get out of it. He devoured the formation on 13th day of the war but was brutally killed as he could not get out. Little knowledge is deadly, indeed

CHAKRAVYUH –  Through the eyes of the young Abhimanyu.

4. Love thy children but do not let it be blind.

Dhritarashtra was blind both literally and figuratively in the epic. In spite of repeated words of caution by Bheeshma, Vidura and Vyasa he turned a blind eye on the activities of his children. As a result everyone died and the world witnessed a deadly war.

Dhritarashtra The Bling king.

5. Wit is mightier than the sword

Narayani sena, the deadliest of the armies of the ancient world belonged to lord Krishna. When Duryodhana and Arjuna both visited Krishna asking for help, Duryodhan chose Krishna’s army while Arjuna chose his wit. And as the battle unfold, the strategy of Krishna helped Pandavas emerge victorious leaving Duryodhana as the most hated villain for centuries.

Duryodhan and Arjuna both visited Krishna

6. I’d do anything for love

Yudhishtir was a father figure to rest of the Pandava. In no circumstances they would disobey him. And yet, when Panchali, the love of Pandava was gambled away in a game of dice by their respected brother, Bheema said”I will cut off the hands that can gamble away panchali”. Such was the love of Bheema for Panchali who ironically loved Arjuna instead, above everyone else.

Panchali, the love of Pandava

7. Cheating might get you around but in the long run it will come back and haunt you.

Parashuram vowed that he would never take a Kshatriya, the warrior clan, as his disciple. But Karna wanted to learn warcraft and in his quest he lied his way as a Kshatriya to Parashurama’s Ashrama. He learned all weapons and returned as the most dreaded warrior of Aryavarta. But due to a curse from Parashurama for lying to him, Karna forgot everything at the last hour and died at the hands of his arch rival Arjuna.

8. Everything is fair in love and war

Mahabharata war was a war to uphold Dharma, the code of honor and yet it was broken by the protagonists again and again. Duryudhana was given a boon by Gandhari to have a body as hard as steel. He was again played by Lord krishna and couldn’t get his thighs and groin to be under the boon. And when the climactic battle between Bhima and Duryodhana took place, Bheema broke the code of the fight by hitting Duryudhana under his waist, killing him in a fatal blow.

9. Some people cry and some people die in the wicked ways of love-

Amba, the princess of Kashi was abducted by Bhishma to be married to his stepbrother. But when he found out that she loved the King of Salwa, he released her. She went back to Salwa only to be refused by her lover. Dejected she came back and asked Bheeshma to marry her. Bheeshma would never break his oath, so enraged she went from kings to kings to find someone who would challenge the invincible Bheeshma. Of course, no one dared and she killed herself promising that she will return to avenge Bheeshma. In the next birth she killed mighty Bheeshma as Shikhandini, the eunuch from Panchala. True, love is vengeance.

10. It does not matter how skillful you are, to be on top you need charm.

Bheema was the most powerful among Pandava. He killed both villains in the epic- Duryudhana and Jarasandha. He saved the girl (Draupadi) in all encounters but he was blunt. So a dude called Arjuna, who does nothing but kills his opponent (Karna) when he did not have an weapon, got to be the hero. Charm is the thing.

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