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Saturday, January 10, 2009

DWARAKA AND THE MAHABHARATA

Dwarka and the Mahabharata

Author: Amlan Roychowdhury


DWARKA AND THE MAHABHARATA



Every Indian, either living in India or living outside India, knows about the two epics that dominates the Indian psyche and the psyche of the terra firma. These epics are the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The Mahabharata has exercised a continuous and pervasive influence on the Indian mind for millennia. The Mahabharata, originally written by Sage Ved Vyas in Sanskrit, has been translated and adapted into numerous languages and has been set to a variety of interpretations. Dating back to "remote antiquity", it is still a living force in the life of the Indian masses. With more than 74,000 verses, long prose passages, and about 1.8 million words in total, the Mahabharata is one of the longest epic poems in the world. The Mahabharata has a total length of more than 90,000 verses.


Everything about the Mahabharata is huge, from its sprawling length, to the enormous breadth of its vision. The longest of all epics is like an encyclopedia, a world all on its own. At its core is the powerful and moving story of the Pandava and Kaurava cousins who ultimately fight the greatest war of all, Kurukshetra. But that is not all, the Mahabharata is full of mythic stories, vast time spans of history, detailed geography and a massive body of spiritual teachings.


The author of the massive epic is Rishi Vyas, who, according to the text itself, spent three years creating it, rising every morning, and working on it every day. His abode was Vyas Gufa, a cave high in the Himalayas, which is still visited today by travelers on their way to Mansarovar.


In Mahabharata's Musal Parva, the Dwarka is mentioned as being gradually swallowed by the ocean. Krishna had forewarned the residents of Dwaraka to vacate the city before the sea submerged it. The Sabha Parva gives a detailed account of Krishna's flight from Mathura with his followers to Dwaraka to escape continuous attacks of Jarasandh's on Mathura and save the lives of its subjects. For this reason, Krishna is also known as RANCHHOR (one who runs away from the battle-field). Dr. SR Rao and his team in 1984-88 (Marine Archaeology Unit) undertook an extensive search of this city along the coast of Gujarat where the Dwarikadeesh temple stands now, and finally they succeeded in unearthing the ruins of this submerged city off the Gujarat coast.


The first archaeological excavations at Dwaraka were done by the Deccan College, Pune and the Department of Archaeology, Government of Gujarat, in 1963 under the direction of H.D. Sankalia. It revealed artifacts many centuries old.


Marine Archaeology Unit (MAU) jointly by the National Institute of Oceanography and the Archaeological Survey of India. Under the guidance of Dr. Rao, a great marine archaeologist, a team consisting of expert underwater explorers, trained diver-photographers and archaeologists was formed. The technique of geophysical survey was combined with the use of echo-sounders, mud-penetrators, sub-bottom profilers and underwater metal detectors. This team carried out 12 marine archaeological expeditions between 1983 to 1992 and articles and antiquities recovered were sent to Physical Research Laboratory for dating. By using thermo-luminescence, carbon dating and other modern scientific techniques, the artifacts were found to belong to the period between 15th to 18th century B.C. In his great work, The Lost City of Dwaraka, Dr. Rao has given scientific details of these discoveries and artifacts.



Between 1983 to 1990, the well-fortified township of Dwaraka was discovered, extending more than half mile from the shore. The township was built in six sectors along the banks of a river. The foundation of boulders on which the city's walls were erected proves that the land was reclaimed from the sea. The general layout of the city of Dwaraka described in ancient texts agrees with that of the submerged city discovered by the MAU.


The ASI conducted a second round of excavations in 1979 under S.R. Rao's direction. He found a distinct pottery known as lustrous red ware, which could be more than 3,000 years old. Based on the results of these excavations, the search for the sunken city in the Arabian Sea began in 1981. Scientists and archaeologists have continually worked on the site for 20 years.


The UAW began excavations at Dwaraka again from January 2007. Dr. Tripathi said: "To study the antiquity of the site in a holistic manner, excavations are being conducted simultaneously both on land [close to the Dwarakadhish temple] and undersea so that finds from both the places can be co-related and analyzed scientifically."


The objective of the excavation is to know the antiquity of the site, based on material evidence. In the offshore excavation, the ASI's trained underwater archaeologists and the divers of the Navy searched the sunken structural remains. The finds were studied and documented.


On land, the excavation is being done in the forecourt of the Dwarakadhish temple. Students from Gwalior, Lucknow, Pune, Vadodara, Varanasi and Bikaner are helping ASI archaeologists. In the forecourt, old structures including a circular one have been found. A small cache of 30 copper coins was discovered.


"Within the past few months, the engineers began some dredging operations there and they pulled up human fossil bones, fossil wood, stone tools, pieces of pottery and many other things that indicated that it indeed was a human habitation site that they had. And they were able to do more intensive sonar work there and were able to identify more structures. They appeared to have been laid out on the bank of a river that had been flowing from the Indian subcontinent out into that area. ( That river was the legendary saraswati river ) According to the news releases, they have done a radiocarbon testing on a piece of wood from the underwater site that is now yielding an age of 9,500 years which would place it near the end of the last Ice Age. There were actually two radiocarbon dates: one about 7500 years old and another about 9500 years old. The 9500 year old one seems to be the strongest one. That's the one they are going with. This was announced by Minister Joshi ( Murli Manohar Joshi was the Indian Minister for Ocean Technology then ). Mahabharata was then a reality and it was not a cock and bull story concocted by Ved Vyas.


Ved Vyas also described the city of Dwarka in great details. The poets described Dwarka as a city so golden that it cast its radiance on the ocean for miles around it. Dwar means door, and Dwarka is a city of many doors or a gateway. It was an island, connected to the mainland by many bridges, and legend says that Krishna asked Vishwakarman, the architect of the gods to build him a city more beautiful than any before it.


Krishna chose a remote location, far beyond the reach of Jarasandh. He picked distant Dwarka on the western coast of India, far from Mathura, and spent a year putting his plans into action. He built on the sunken remains of a previous kingdom, Kushasthali, which itself was built on older ruins, all underwater. Krishna reclaimed a hundred miles of land from the sea and called in Vishwakarman, the architect of the gods to give him a city that was the envy of the world.



The Mahabharat and the Bhagwat Puran and other texts, describe the wonders of Dwarka. The most expensive and luxurious materials were used. In those days of unbelievable riches, it was quite common to use precious stones, gold and silver as construction material. Royalty and rich nobles invariably used gold, those who could not afford it used silver or metal.



Dwarka was a city of rose and gold. The palaces and many of the mansions were built of gold, over which pink lotus domes towered, topped by soaring golden spires. The floors were made of emeralds. Precious stones studded the walls and crystal arches curved overhead, inlaid with gold. The houses were beautifully decorated and sculptures adorned the walls. Even the cowsheds were made of silver, brass and iron.


Seen in this beautiful picture is lord Krishna coming to the island city of dwarka


Dwarka was a very well planned city, following the highly developed science of town planning. The architect, Vishwakarman, first mapping out the highways, lanes, gates and parks. He sectioned off plots and divided the city into six zones, residential and commercial. He planned out the port and created the bridges and gateways and the fortifications. Everything was laid out in detail before the construction began.


Like many kingdoms of the time Dwarka had a passport system. Its citizens were issued with a clay seal which had to be presented when they entered or left the massive gates. The seal of Dwarka was a mythical three headed dog and seals matching the description have been found in the undersea ruins today.


In the Newspaper The Hindu dated 23 Feb 2007 an article was published which I reproduce here vervatim.” CHENNAI: Ancient structural remains of some significance have been discovered at Dwaraka, under water and on land, by the Underwater Archaeology Wing (UAW) of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Alok Tripathi, Superintending Archaeologist, UAW, said the ancient underwater structures found in the Arabian Sea were yet to be identified. "We have to find out what they are. They are fragments. I would not like to call them a wall or a temple. They are part of some structure," said Dr. Tripathi, himself a trained diver.


Thirty copper coins were also found in the excavation area. The structures found on land belonged to the medieval period. "We have also found 30 copper coins. We are cleaning them. After we finish cleaning them, we can give their date," he said.


Dwaraka is a coastal town in Jamnagar district of Gujarat. Traditionally, modern Dwaraka is identified with Dvaraka or Dvaravati, mentioned in the Mahabharata as Krishna's city. Dwaraka was a port, and some scholars have identified it with the island of Barka mentioned in the Periplus of Erythrean Sea. Ancient Dwaraka sank in sea and hence is an important archaeological site.” My idea is not to go in the discussion of how the city went under the sea but the fact is that this city is now approximately under water of the Arabian sea some 135 feet below water. This city has been mentioned in the Mahabharata and that this city has been found, dated, and mapped. The probable date of this city is between 9500 to 7500 years before present which will put it as 7500 to 5500 years BC.


Mahabharata was not a fictional epic but a reality is also evident from the works of many scholars who have done extensive work in this area, and by getting all the facts together what comes out of the whole is the fact that the near about exact dates of the major happenings in the epic has also been identified. This at least proves that the Vedic civilization is a much older phenomenon than perceived by many western scholars till date.


There is a striking inscription which has been found in the Jain Temple at Aihole prepared by one Chalukya King Pulakeshi. It says, according to scholars, that the temple was constructed in 30+3000+700+5 = 3735 years, after the Bharat War and 50+6+500 = 556 years of Shaka era in Kali era. Today Shaka era is 1910. Hence 1910- 556 = 1354 years ago the temple was constructed. Thus the year of inscribing this note is 634 AD. At this time 3735 years had passed from the Bharat War. So the date of the War comes to 3101 BC. This is also the date of Kali Yuga Commencement. Naturally, it is evident that relying on the beginning of Kaliyuga Era and holding that the War took place just before the commencement of Kaliyuga,




The verse inscribed is :



Trinshatsu Trisahasreshu Bhaaratdahavaditaha Saptabda Shatayukteshu


Gateshwabdeshu Panchasu Panchashatasu Kalaukale Shatasu Panchashatsu


cha Samatsu Samatitasu Shakaanamapi Bhoobhujaam



The verses has been interpreted by considering the clauses of the verse. It says "3030 years from the Bharat War" in the first line, ( Trinshatsu Trisahasreshu Bhaaratdahavaaditaha) where the first clause of the sentence ends. in the second line, the second clause starts and runs up to the middle of the third line thus ( Saptabda.....Kalaukale) This means 700+5+50 = 755 years passed in the Kali Era. It is clear from the former portion of the verse that 3030 years passed from the Bharat War and 755 years passed from Kali Era. Kali Era started from 3101 BC. 755 years have passed so 3101-755 = 2346 BC is the year when 3030 years had passed from the Bharat War. So 2346+3030 = 5376 BC appears to be the date of Bharat War.


The Greek Ambassador Magasthenis has recorded that 138 generations have passed between Krishna and Chandragupta Maurya. Many scholars have taken this evidence, but taking only 20 years per generation they fixed the date of Krishna as 2760 years before Chandragupta. But this is wrong because the record is not of ordinary people to take 20 years per generation. In the matter of general public, one says that when a son is born a new generation starts. But in the case of kings, the name is included in the list of Royal Dynasty only after his coronation to the throne. Hence, one cannot allot 20 years to one king. We have to find out the average per king by calculating on various INDIAn Dynasties. I have considered 60 kings from various dynasties and calculated the average of each king as 35 years. Here is a list of some of important kings with the no. of years ruling.



Chandragupta Mourya 330-298 B.C. 32 years.


Bindusar 298-273 B.C. 25 years.


Ashok 273-232 B.C. 41 years.


Pushyamitra Shunga 190-149 B.C. 41 years.


Chandragupta Gupta 308-330 A.D. 22 years.


Samudragupta 330-375 A.D. 45 years.


Vikramaditya 375-414 A.D. 39 years.


Kumargupta 414-455 A.D. 41 years.


Harsha 606-647 A.D. 41 years.


---------


327 years.



The average is 327/9 = 36.3 years.



Multiplying 138 generations by 35 years we get 4830 years before Chandragupta Mourya. Adding Chandrgupta's date 320 B.C. to 4830 we get 5150 B.C. as the date of Lord Krishna.


Megasthenis, according to Arian, has written that between Sandrocotus to Dianisaum 153 generations and 6042 years passed. From this data, we get the average of 39.5 years per king. From this we can calculate 5451 years for 138 generations. So Krishna must have been around 5771 B.C.


Pliny gives 154 generations and 6451 years between Bacchus and Alexander. This Bacchus may be the famous Bakasura who was killed by Bhimasena. This period comes to about 6771 years B.C.


Thus Mahabharata period ranges from 5000 B.C. to 6000 B.C. and Dwarka fits into this scenario perfectly.


Mahabharata mentions the ancient tradition as 'Shravanadini Nakshatrani', i.e., Shravan Nakshatra was given the first place in the Nakshatra- cycle (Adi-71/34 and Ashvamedh 44/2) Vishwamitra started


counting the Nakshatras from Shravan when he created 'Prati Srushti'. He was angry with the old customs. So he started some new customs. Before Vishvamitra's time Nakshatras were counted from the one which was occupied by the sun on the Vernal Equinox. Vishvamitra changed this fashion and used diagonally opposite point i.e. Autumnal Equinox to list the Nakshtras. He gave first place to Shravan which was at the Autumnal Equinox then. The period of Shravan Nakshatra on autumnal equinox is from 6920 to 7880 years B.C. This was Vishvamitra's period at the end of Treta yuga. Mahabharat War took place at the end of Dwapar yuga. Subtracting the span of Dwapar Yuga of 2400 years we get 7880 - 2400 = 5480 B.C. as the date of Mahabharat War.



Recently Dr. S.B. Rao, Emeritus Scientist of the National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa, 403004, has discovered under the sea, Dwaraka and dated it as between 5000 to 6000 BC. This news has been published by all the leading newspapers on 22nd October 1988.


Many works of the Vedic and Puranic tradition contain a sufficient number of clues in the form of astronomical observations which can be used to determine the approximate date of Mahabharata and thus establish the historical authenticity of the events described in this great epic. Notable among these works are the Parashar Sanghita, the Bhagvat Puran, Shakalya Sanghita, and the Mahabharat itself. Aryabhatta, one of the greatest mathematicians and astronomers of India in the fifth century AD, examined the astronomical evidence described in the Mahabharata in his great work known as the "Aryabhattiya". According to the positions of the planets recorded in the Mahabharata, its approximate date was calculated by Aryabhatta to be 3100 BC implying that the great war described in the Mahabharata was fought approximately 5000 years ago, as most Hindus have always believed.



A number of British scholars of the 19th century, especially Friedrich Max Muller, tried to interpret this astronomical evidence to prove that the observations recorded in Hindu scriptures are imaginary. As an amateur astronomer, I propose to examine the astronomical evidence presented in the Bhagvat Puran and Max Muller's criticism of this evidence in light of the advances made in astronomy in the past fifty years. Max Muller, in the preface to his translation of the Rig Veda, examines the astronomical observations described in the Bhagvat Puran and concludes that these observations are "imaginary", apparently because they did not agree with the prevalent views of the European, primarily British, Indologists of the nineteenth century about the time of the Mahabharata.


Carl Segan, a renowned astronomer at Cornell University, who hosted the public television series "Cosmos" in 1985, pointed out that Hindus were the only ones who came anywhere close to correctly estimating the real age of the universe. Unlike many cultural traditions which treat science and religion as antithetical to each other, the Hindu tradition encourages the study of physics and metaphysics both for a comparative understanding of the true nature of the cosmic mystery surrounding and pervading the universe.


Everything about the Mahabharat is huge, from its sprawling length, to the enormous breadth of its vision. The longest of all epics is like an encyclopaedia, a world all on its own. At its core is the powerful and moving story of the Pandava and Kaurava cousins who ultimately fight the greatest war of all, Kurukshetra. But that is not all, the Mahabharata is full of mythic stories, vast time spans of history, detailed geography and a massive body of spiritual teachings.


In the end I would like to invite my readers to a 9.35 minutes video on www.disclose.tv which will precisely show case the antiquity of this great civilization. The link is given below. Copy and paste on the address bar of your browser and press enter.


http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/1134/Dvaraka_Giant_Underwater_City_found_in_India/



Bibliography:


http://www.tginvents.com/tushar/MahabharatDating2.htm


http://www.hindunet.org/hindu_history/ancient/mahabharat/mahab_sarasvat.html


http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=1a6vMAGTUhI


.Hinduunity.org


http://www.hinduism.co.za/oldest.htm


Michael Cremo, Researcher of Ancient Archaeology


and Author, Forbidden Archaeology


http://www.epicindia.com/magazine/Culture/the-lost-city-of-dwarka


http://www.hindu.com/2007/02/23/stories/2007022301242200.htm


http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/1134/Dvaraka_Giant_Underwater_City_found_in_India/



About the Author:

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/spirituality-articles/dwarka-and-the-mahabharata-675460.html

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mahabharata - Epic of all times

Mahabharata is the Epic of all times. As per Hindu Maithology, it was the story of the Dwapara Yuga. It was written by Vedvyas. It has been called the national epic of India. The Mahabharata is the story of a great war that ended one age and began another. The story has been passed down to us in a classical canon of Sanskrit verses some 100,000 stanzas long; that’s about 12 times the length of the Western Bible. The best scholarly evidence indicates that the earliest layers of the epic were composed between 2500 and 3000 years ago. The text had reached pretty much its present form by about 300-400 C.E.

Mahabharata has also been called the Hindu bible. It is important at the outset to recognize that epic and bible are both Eurocentric terms. The former implies the kind of single-minded focus on the hero and his deeds that characterizes the stories that we Europeans learned as epics in our schooling. And the latter term implies a certain iconic status for the book in its society; our bible is not something we know so much as it is something we swear on. None of that is particularly true for the Mahabharata, although it is not completely false either. It just misses the point.

Epic and bible together imply an absolute division between the sacred and the profane - one pure fable and the other Holy Truth - that simply doesn’t exist in the Hindu vision. Our Eurocentric minds, trained in a Jahwist tradition of good and evil, true and false, demand that the story go into one slot or the other, and if it is too big, then we will reduce it to fit. The Hindu mind, I think, rather than force the story into any single category, conceives a story big enough to encompass all categories.

The Mahabharata itself says it quite positively.

What is found herein may also be found in other sources,
What is not found herein does not matter.
The Mahabharata contains virtually all the lore and legend of the Classical Hindu Tradition - which is also, in typical Hindu defiance of simple-minded historicity - very much a living tradition. Here are the great creation stories - Manu’s flood, the churning of the milk ocean, the descent of the Ganges. Here are the favorite myths and fairy tales. Here are the jokes. Here are the codes of law - moral, ethical, natural. One of the best things about the Mahabharata is its wonderful richness of episode and detail.

But Mahabharata is not a random collection of tales, like the Medieval gestes (to further prove the habit of thinking Eurocentrically). Every digressive bit of the Mahabharata is there to shed light on a central story. The core event of that story is the great battle that was fought on the field of Kurukshetra between the five sons of King Pandu and their allies on the one side and the hundred sons of King Dhritarashtra, with their allies, on the other side. The battle was the culmination of a long history of struggle and diplomatic maneuvering, and it involved virtually every tribal king and every powerful city-state in Central and Northern India at the time.

It was a tragic war, that pitted brothers against brothers, sons against fathers and uncles, brave noble men against brave noble men. And it was devastating. Nearly all of the best men died in the long battle. The Pandavas, the sons of King Pandu, survived, but there was no victory, for the war had destroyed the world that they knew, and the emptiness of what they had won colored the rest of their lives.

Now to say that the Mahabharata is the story of a great battle is to say that Hamlet is the story of an unsuccessful usurpation, or that Moby Dick is the story of a whale hunt. Hindu cosmology is sweeping, and the story of the Mahabharata war has cosmological significance, in that it marks the end of one yuga and the beginning of another. There are four yugas in every great cycle of existence, each one diminished from the one before. The yuga that ended with the Mahabharata war was the dvapara yuga - the age of heros, during which noble values still prevailed and men remained faithful to the principles and tasks of their castes. The age that follows the battle is the Kali yuga, the last age of the world; in it, all values are reduced, law becomes fragmented and powerless, and evil gains sway. We live in the Kali yuga.

The breadth of its vision is one of the things that makes the Mahabharata the best story I know. But there are other reasons. Mahabharata has a riveting plot and a compelling dramatic structure. Its characters are complex and real, with depth of personality that is unmatched in any other epical or biblical story I have heard. Finally, I have found the Mahabharata to be full of wisdom.

Bhagavat Gita is the cream on the cake of Mahabharata, the holy teachings given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna before beginning of the Great War Kurukshetra.

Since the story has cosmic significance, its ultimate beginnings are lost in the mists of time and the minds of unknowable immensities; a wealth of family histories, myths, and fables lead up to the events. It is the manudharma of the modern livings; Mahabharata - the greatest epic of all times.

Karna - The powerful and generous King

Karna - the remarkable personality in Mahabharata. He is very powerful, warrior and very generous character. He is the positive powerful personality in the side of the negative team.

All the princes returned to Hastinapur after completing their studies at Drona's ashrama. They grew into healthy and powerful adults. All were trained in various branches of knowledge including statesmanship, diplomacy, economics, sociology, and so on. Moreover, everyone excelled in one particular skill of war-game. Yudhisthira was expert in swordsman-ship and throwing javelin, while Bhima and Duryodhana excelled in fighting with mace - heavy metal club. Excellence of Arjuna in archery is already mentioned.

The great Karna, away from Hastinapur, also grew up as a very powerful and generous adult. Our interest at present is to know about Karna's boyhood and education etc. For his studies, Karna went to the ashrama of Parashurama, the Guru of Brahmins. Parashurama had decided to take only Brahmin boys as his disciples. Therefore, Karna went there in disguise of a Brahmin boy and learnt old scriptures, Vedas, Upanishads, and became exceedingly expert in the art of bow and arrow, archery. It was said that nobody, not even Arjuna, could equal Karna in archery. The Guru was pleased with Karna's sincerity, hard-work, devotion and similar noble qualities.

One day sage Parashurama was resting with his head in the lap of Karna. Soon he fell asleep. Meanwhile a big insect started to bite the thigh of Karna. He felt agonizing pain and blood started to ooze from the wound. But he endured lest the sound sleep of his revered Guru should be disturbed. But the stream of hot blood reached the Guru due to which he was awakened from his sleep. He was amazed at the degree of tolerance and endurance of Karna who did not even stir or move his body at such a great pain. But a thought crossed Parashurama's mind: how could a Brahmin boy tolerate such great pain! Brahmins are not known to show such grit in enduring physical suffering, rather warrior caste is known for such a feat. Thence, Parashurama asked Karna his real name and identity.

Karna could not tell a lie now. He told his story to his Guru and begged his pardon to have come in the disguise of a Brahmin. Parashurama was angry that he was deceived to accept a low caste fellow as his disciple. Therefore, he cursed Karna saying: "O Karna, even though you are great in bravery, art of archery, and in service to me, still as you have deceived your Guru, I send a curse to you that at a crucial time on the battle-field the wheels of your chariot will get stuck in the earth. The consequences would be grave."

The disappointed Karna returned to his parents. His restless heart wanted some change and, therefore, he requested his parents to permit him to visit Hastinapur.

The Show of Skills

At that time a great festival of competitive sports was held in Hastinapur. Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Duryodhana and others exhibited their skills in various arts like archery, mace-fight, javelin and sword warfare, etc. the Royal bench was graced by such dignitaries as Bhishma, Dhritarashtra, Kunti, Gandhari and Dronacharya. Everyone was praising the great expertise of the princes.

In particular, the skills of Arjuna in archery like bringing rains after hitting the clouds and building a bridge of arrow, etc. surprised and immensely impressed the spectators. Karna was also present in the crowd. He could not resist his desire to compete with Arjuna in the skills of bow and arrow, where he was sure he was superior to Arjuna. Therefore, Karna got up in the crowd and challenged Arjuna to compete with him. The people were jubilant as they were sure to see their favourite Arjuna to win. But Guru Drona was doubtful. He suspected that this little known archer might pose problem for his beloved disciple Arjuna and therefore, Dronacharya decided to stall this show of skill between the two. He objected to Karna's demand to compete wit Arjuna saying:

"O young man, who are you? Please identify yourself and let us know your credentials. Of what state are you a king or a prince? Arjuna will be pleased to compete with you only if you are one from a royal family."

The sut-putra Karna (i.e. of low caste) understood the trick Dronacharya played on him, but could do nothing. Therefore Karna kept silent.

At this, the jealous Duryodhana saw a great opportunity to humiliate Arjuna. He immediately stood up and went to Karna. Covering him with the royal cloth from his own attire, Duryodhana declared, "Listen, dignitaries and people of Hastinapur, I accept Karna as my best friend and make him the king of Anga Province. At present that province is under my rule and I have full authority to nominate anyone as the king of that land. So be it Karna. Henceforth Karna is not a low caste ordinary citizen of Hastinapur, but should be respected as Angraja - King of Anga Province."

Thus Karna was put under the obligation of Duryodhana forever. He accepted the friendship of Duryodhana for which he gave his life, about which late.

Karna - for the friendship he left everything in life. He valued friendship as the utmost in his life - The message given by the Mahabharata - The Greatest Epic of all times.



Ekalavya - Transformed Desire into Skill

Ekalavya is the wonderful character of Mahabharata, a student not qualified to learn from the Guru due to his birth race, converted his desire of learning into immense practice and succeeded in becoming the skillful in archery.

Near the ashrama of Drona, where Arjuna and his brothers used to take lessons in various arts, there lived a small bright boy, shudra by caste (lower caste). His name was Eklavya. He had great desire to learn the art of archery from Dronacharya. But his mother had told him that as a shudra, Acharya Drona would not accept Eklavya as his disciple. It was futile to dream of such a privilege.

But the boy was not be put off, his determination knew no bounds. Near his house, under a tree Eklavya installed a clay idol of Dronacharya that he worshiped as his Guru! Daily, morning and evening, this devotee put flower and natural perfumes in front of this image and took Self-Lessons in the art of bow and arrow. The talented young Eklavya soon acquired high knowledge in archery. He attributed his success to his Guru Dronacharya.

One day, as it happened, Acharya Drona and Arjuna were passing near the hut of Eklavya. It was pleasant and peaceful afternoon and people were taking rest. But the tranquility and silence was broken by constant barking of a dog. Eklavya did not like this, and therefore, he shut the mouth of the dog with an arrow! Dronacharya and Arjuna were surprised to see the dog with his mouth sealed with an arrow!

Naturally the curious Arjuna asked his Gurudev as to who could have done this delicate job. Even Dronacharya was amazed and knew the archer must be exceptionally skilled artist. They decided to trace this skillful fellow and reached the spot where Eklavya was practicing wonders with his bow and arrow in front of the clay image of Drona. It took no time for Dronacharya to understand the situation. He realized that Eklavya was superior to Arjuna in some respects. Dronacharya loved Arjuna very much and had declared him to be the best archer on the earth. Hence the Guru thought for awhile and came to a decision to remove Eklavya as a competitor to Arjuna.

Dronacharya went to Eklavya and said, "O young man, who has taught you such wonderful skills in archery! Who is your Guru?"

Seeing the Guru in front of him, the boy Eklavya was more that overjoyed and said, "Why, O Gurudev, this all is your grace! I worship you as my Guru. Look you are there in that image!"

Dronacharya was pleased with the dedication of Eklavya, and said, "I bless you my son. But as is customary, won't you give me my fees - Guru-Dakshina!"

[It is customary in India to give to the Guru whatever he demands as his fees - Guru-Dakshina for the knowledge the Guru has given to the disciple.]

Eklavya was overwhelmed to see Dronacharya had accepted him as his disciple! Out he said, "O Honourable Teacher, whatever you ask, this humble disciple of yours will try his utmost to offer you as Guru-Dakshina! I am blessed."

And now comes a very touching and pathetic incidence in Mahabharata.

Guru Drona said, "O Eklavya, I am pleased with your respect for Guru. I want the thumb of your right hand as my fees- Guru-Dakshina."

The trees and atmosphere around stood still for a minute! Even Arjuna was stunned on listening to the unusual and almost cruel demand of his Guru. To ask for the thumb of an archer was equivalent to almost kill him! How could Dronacharya demand such a heavy prize from one disciple to protect the honour of the other!

But Eklavya had no such remorse. Unruffled and with due humility, cheerfully and without protest, he cut his right thumb and placed at the feet of Dronacharya. Gods in the heaven silently praised the greatness of Eklavya's sacrifice.

Sacrifice is the ultimate present one can offer to any one in the universe is the message given by the Character of Ekalavya in Mahabharata - Greatest Epic of All times.


Arjuna - The middle power of Pandavas.

If I start writing about Arjuna, this blog cannot accustom, as the personality blossoms entire part of the Mahabharata. He is the middle brother of Pandavas and the youngest Son of Kunti. I will try to bring some memories pertaining to Arjuna.

The princesses Pandavas and Kouravas grew into wonderful children. After thread ceremony, they all went for studies to the ashrama of their Guru Acharya Drona (also called Dronacharya) - Teacher of the Royal family. Dronacharya was well versed in ancient scriptures -- Vedas and Upanishads, as well as in practices of Yogas and Meditation. Besides he was adept in various martial and other arts useful in war time, useful in defence and attack. In particular, Acharya Drona was the supreme authority on training his disciples in the art of archery.

Out of all Pandavas and Kauravas, Arjuna had immense liking for the sport of bow and arrow. He practiced this art with great concentration and perseverance. Soon he became numero uno in this art. Acharya Drona was very much pleased with Arjuna and showed preferential love and favour towards him. This caused a natural adolescence jealousy in the heart of Duryodhana and his brother Dushasana. Duryodhana, in particular, did not like Arjuna and other Pandavas and silently ill feelings like hatred towards Pandavas took birth in his heart.

One day they openly criticized their Guru for favour shown towards Arjuna, telling him they also were not less skillful in archery. As a reply to their criticism, Acharya Drona arranged a test to decide the best archer amongst all.

Accordingly, a wooden bird was put on a branch of a distant tree. It was partly hidden by the foliage. A prominent artificial eye was painted on the wooden bird. The teacher called all his disciples and said, "Look my children, a bird is sitting on that far off tree. You have to hit the arrow exactly in its eye. Are you ready?"

Everyone nodded. First the eldest Yudhisthira was invited to try his skill. He stretched his bow-string and was about to release the arrow when Dronacharya asked him a question, "O eldest son of Kunti, may I know what is visible to you at this point of time?"

Yudhisthira replied innocently, "Why, O Gurudev, I am seeing you, the tree, people around me, and the bird!"

Similar questions were put to Duryodhana, Bhima, Nakul, Sahadeva and others, and Acharya Drona got the similar answers as those given by Yudhisthira. Acharya told them to step aside as it was obvious that with such poor concentration they were sure to miss the target!

Lastly, it was the turn of Arjuna. He readied himself, his bow and arrow in perfect graceful harmony! When the Guru asked him, "O Arjuna, will you tell me what is being observed by you?"

And Arjuna replied, "Sir, at this point of time only the eye of the bird is visible to me." When asked by the teacher whether he was able to see the bird, the tree, and people around, Arjuna replied in negative maintaining that he saw the eye of the bird only.

Dronacharya was pleased with Arjuna's immense concentration and correct approach towards the art of archery. He then explained to others how due to such peculiar yogic qualities and powers he preferred Arjuna as his best disciple.

Everyone saw the point, including Duryodhana; but the seed of jealousy was sown in his heart. In his attempt to equal Arjuna and other Pandavas, Duryodhana fell victim to anger and similar base emotions the effect of which would sure to show later in the story.

This incident shows the Concentration, Goal, discipline of Arjuna as a humble student. Anybody wants to become a successful student can learn from this story of Arjuna taken from Mahabharata - The greatest Epic of all times.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Droupathi - Great woman personality.

Droupathi

Droupathi is a familiar character in Mahabharat. She is an epi center of the entire drama of the kurushetra. She is the wife of Pandavas - Yudhistir, Bhim, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev. A unique character in the entire epic of Mahabharat.

Droupathi's actual name is "Krishna", colour of Dark. she is daughter of king Drupada. Drupada performed "Tapah" after defeated by Arjun as Gurudakshin to his Guru Dronacharya. He was awarded the blessings of the God as a son - Drushtadrumna who can kill the great Dronacharya and a daughter "Krishna", who will be a wife of Arjun.

At the time of Droupathi's swayamvar, Pandavas were in unidentified personalities staying at Ekachakrapur. King Drupada announced her swayamvar and kept a test to shoot the moving fish without seeing directly by the arrow. He knows that only Arjun can win the test so that he can findout Arjun and other Pandavas for offering his support.

It happened as per the Drupada, Arjun came and shot the fish with his arrow and won the swayamvar. As per Kunti's words Pandavas married her altogether.

She became Queen after the Pandavas got the Indraprasta a separate kingdom from Kuru. Yudhistir became the Samrat and Droupathi is the Queen. All pandavas made agreement among themseves to be as husbands of Droupathi, as one person will be as her husband for one year. When Droupathi is the wife of Yudhistir, she used to treat the other brothers as brother in-laws, like wise for others too. She maintained thier relationships well and made well bondage between the brothers. She was apprised as pure woman by Lord Shiva.

She faced tremendous tortures when Pandavas lost their game in the court of Drutarashtra with Kouravas. Dushashana brother of Dhuryodhana brought her to the court of king Drutarashtra by pulling her hair, and started removing her saree infront of all the courtiers. She prayed Lord Krishna, he saved her.

Then pandavas along with Droupathi went to forest for 12 years. They she acted as a normal woman serving their husbands well. She born in the Palace, lived in the palace but lead a life along with her husbands in the forest. She never complained her husbands. She adjusted with her husbands what ever may be the situation. She is the woman to be followed by any woman in the world so that the house will be in pease. She never demanded the things for her, she agreed what ever her husbands gave.

After Vanavaas of 12 years Pandavas went to Ajnaathavaas (Live without Identification) for one year in the kingdom of Virat. There she acted as a servant for the Queen. Once upon a time she was a great Queen acted as a servant for a queen. She performed her duty very sincerely. There also she faced troubles from The great warrior "Kichaka". Bhim killed him and saved her from Kichaka.

What ever may be the situation she never forgot the misbehaviour of Dushashana at the Drutharashtras' Court. She never tied her hair till the death of Dushashana. She is waiting for the Great War "Kurukshetra", where her enimies Dhuryodhana, Dushashana should be killed. Bhim killed both of them along with all of their 100 brothers. Then she tied her hair.

She performed her duties well in all situations. She is the good daughter in-law for Kunti mother of Pandavas, Better wife for all Pandavas, She is the devotee of Lord Krishna. She is the key personality of Mahabharat.