Mahabharata provides the heritage of Indian values and culture. The knowledge described in the Mahabharata tells us how we should treat our family members And, not just this, it also tells us that arrogance, jealousy, or estrangement in family relationships can lead us to a state of destruction. Though the Mahabharata is a battle of supremacy between the Suryavanshi Raj Kumar Kauravas and the Pandavas. But, if we consider the wisdom contained therein, it comes out as a shining guide for countless people all around. It is a master manual of healthy living and it contains answers to so many questions, in even the modern, contemporary times. Let us see some aspects of this most pious scripture.
Table of Contents
Who Wrote The Mahabharata
Mahabharata is considered to be the creation of the sage Ved Vyasa. It is said that Ved Vyasa got knowledge of Mahabharat from Brahma. While transferring Mahabharata to Ved Vyas, Brahma had a condition. The condition was that Ved Vyasa should write it at one go. The problem was that there was no one in this world who could keep pace with the speaking speed of Veda Vyas. Even after the untiring efforts of Ved Vyas, when he could not find anyone worthy of this work, he turned to Lord Shiva. He understood the agony of Ved Vyas and then told his son Ganesha to do this task, as Ganesha was fit for this task.
It is said that it took three years for Ved Vyasa to pronounce the entire Mahabharata verbally, and Lord Ganesha, knowing the meaning of each verse, molded it into writing. You can just figure out how long it took to write Mahabharata, there are so many verses in Mahabharata. Well, Mahabharata has a total of 1,10,000 (one lakh and ten thousand) verses. Bhagavad Gita is just one chapter of Mahabharata but perhaps the best one. Let us know a little more about the Bhagavad Gita.
Bhagavad Gita In Mahabharata
It is said that whatever is there in the world, you will broadly find it somewhere or else in Mahabharata, But there are certain things in Mahabharata that are not there in the rest of the world. There is a wide coverage of subjects like justice, education, medicine, astrology, warfare, yoga shastra, economics, Vaastu, craftsmanship, kama sastra, astronomy, and theology in Mahabharata.
Similarly, Bhagavad Gita is in the sixth chapter of Mahabharata. The sixth chapter of the Mahabharata is also known as Bhismaparva. In this chapter, when Arjuna sees in the battlefield his loved ones and family members standing in front of him, he comes aside and tells Lord Krishna that he can not fight this war. Then, the Vishnu avatar Lord Krishna preaches Arjuna to remain steadfast towards his deeds & duty.
The Major Stories Of Mahabharata
The war of Mahabharata was fought in the Dwapar era. Due to its inspiring stories, Mahabharata is still in the hearts of Indians. The stories of Mahabharata teach children to follow religion and karma. Not just this, there are various such incidents in Mahabharat, which give some education. So let us try to understand Mahabharata and its teachings from some of the most prominent stories of Mahabharata.
The Birth of Lord Krishna
The birth of Lord Krishna began amidst a struggle. When Devaki was married to Vasudev, Kansa was told through an Akashwani (Cosmic announcement) that the eighth child born from Devaki’s womb would be the cause of your death. On hearing this, the ground slipped under Kansa’s feet and he put Devaki and Vasudev in jail. The demoniac Kansa, considering Devaki’s son as Kaal, killed all of Devaki’s six children, one by one. On the Ashtami of Krishna Paksha of Bhadrapada, Lord Krishna was born in Rohini Nakshatra. As a matter of miracle, as soon as he was born, the handcuffs of Devaki and Vasudev got opened and the prison doors also opened automatically. Then, there was an announcement from the sky that they should leave this son in Gokul at Nandababa’s place. Lord Krishna grew up as Nandababa’s son and later preached karma to the whole world.
The Hostilities Between The Pandavas & Kauravas
The Kauravas were 100 brothers and the Pandava 5, Duryodhana was the eldest of the Kaurava sons and Yudhishthira was the eldest among the Pandavas. There were issues between the righteous Pandavas and the evil Kauravas over inheritance issues.
According to Mahabharata, Duryodhana once tried to poison Bhima even in the Guru’s Ashram. Not only this, Duryodhana also tried to kill the Pandavas in the Laksh Griha. In the game of dice, Duryodhana conspired with Shakuni Mama and deceived the Pandavas, and seized the kingdom. When the Pandavas returned after completing 12 years of vanvas and one year of unknown habitat (agyatvaas), they refused to give them the kingdom and also rejected Lord Krishna’s peace proposal. One thing becomes clear from the above events that Duryodhana did not like the Pandavas and wanted to trouble them somehow.
Draupadi Cheer Haran
Draupadi Cheer Haran was an incident that exposed Duryodhana’s deranged mentality to the whole world. When Yudhishthira lost Draupadi to Duryodhana at the time of Dutikrida, then Dushasan dragged Draupadi by her hair and brought her to the meeting. When Draupadi was being insulted at the meeting, several great people like Bhishma, Dronacharya, and Vidur remained silent spectators. On Duryodhana’s orders, Dushasan started removing Draupadi’s sari in front of the packed assembly. Then Draupadi closed her eyes and prayed to Lord Krishna. Krishna saved her from the grave situation.
The Exile Of The Pandavas
The Pandavas agreed to return their kingdom after fulfilling the condition of twelve years of exile and one year of undisclosed residence, after losing everything at Dutikrida. The Pandavas went to the forest with their wife Draupadi. During the exile, he killed several evil demons and faced various kinds of troubles. During the one-year undisclosed stay, the Pandavas began living in the kingdom of Virat by donning various garbs. Yudhishthira took the role of a nut of the Virat king. Arjuna began to teach dance to Uttara, the princess of Virat, Bhima started working as a cook in the Royal Palace. Nakula and Sahadeva trained horses in the stables.
According to the Mahabharata, Draupadi started working as an assistant to the queen of Virat. During this time too, Draupadi had to suffer great humiliation. Virat’s king’s official was fascinated by the beauty of Draupadi and wanted to molest her but he could not succeed in it. When Arjuna defeated the enemies in a significant war, then Virat’s ruler realized his genuineness. After this, the king of Virat apologized to Yudhishthira and proposed to marry Uttara to Arjuna. Arjuna turned down the offer and asked Uttara’s hand for his son Abhimanyu.
The Mahabharata War
Many rulers of India took part in the war of Mahabharata, it was a war that created many lessons for India and the world after the killing of thousands or perhaps lakhs of people. The Mahabharata war lasted for a total of 18 days, in which various states and valiant people of India participated. Let us know some details about the Mahabharat Yudh.
The First Day Of Mahabharata War
Pandavas suffered heavy losses on the first day of the Mahabharata war. On this day Bhishma killed many soldiers of Pandavas.
The Second Day Of Mahabharata War
On the second day, the war became all the more intense. While Dronacharya defeated Dhishtadyumna badly, Arjuna kept Bhishma busy in the field. On this day, Bhima exhibited his strength and killed hundreds of Kaurava army soldiers.
The Third Day Of Mahabharata War
On the third day of the Mahabharata, Ghatotkachh, Bhima’s great son, made a ruckus in the Kaurava army. However, Bhishma later equaled the war by inflicting casualties on Pandavas front.
The Fourth Day Of Mahabharata War
On the fourth day of the Mahabharata war, Arjuna attacked the Kaurava army fiercely and Bhima also caused heavy losses on the Kauravas. Bhim and Ghatotkacha eliminated Duryodhana’s Gajasena. Bhishma fought with both Arjuna and Bhima.
The Fifth Day Of Mahabharata War
On the fifth day of the Mahabharata war, Bhishma created panic in the Pandavas army. He was confronted by both Arjuna and Bhima. At the same time, Satyak first fought Drona and during the battle with Bhishma, Satyak had to run away.
The Sixth Day Of Mahabharata War
On the sixth day of the Kurukshetra war, fierce fighting took place between the two sides. Duryodhana, despite being a great warrior, got enraged to see the Kauravas getting weak in front of the Pandava army, while Bhishma kept assuring him again and again.
The Seventh Day Of Mahabharata War
The seventh day of the Mahabharata war was very difficult for the Kaurava army as Arjuna roared like a tiger. Dhrishtadyumna defeated Duryodhana in battle.
The Eighth Day Of Mahabharata War
On the eighth day of the Kurukshetra War, Bhishma dominated the Pandava army. At the same time, Bhima killed the eight sons of Dhritarashtra. By the end of the day, Bhima kills nine more sons
The Ninth Day Of Mahabharata War
On the ninth day of the war, he breaks the pledge not to lift his arms to Shri Krishna. Nevertheless, Bhishma creates an outcry in the Pandavas’ army.
The Tenth Day Of Mahabharata War
On the tenth day of the battle, Arjuna put forward Shikhandi and shot arrows at Bhishma. Bhishma laid on the bed of arrows shooted by Arjuna’s bow.
The Eleventh Day Of Mahabharata War
On the eleventh day, Karna initiated a new wave of war. But due to Arjuna, he was not able to succeed in his plan.
The Twelfth Day Of Mahabharata War
The plan to imprison Yudhishthira continued, but Arjuna arrived on time to save Yudhishthira from being taken captive.
The Thirteenth Day Of Mahabharata War
On the thirteenth day of the war, Arjuna killed Bhagadatta. On this day, Drona created a Chakravyuh for Yudhishthira. But Abhimanyu entered this array. Arjuna vowed to kill Jayadratha and if he failed to do so, he would take samadhi.
The Fourteenth Day Of Mahabharata War
Jayadratha hid in the rear of the army, but due to the pseudo-sunset made by Krishna, Jayadratha entered the battlefield and Arjuna killed him.
The Fifteenth Day Of Mahabharata War
On this day, the Pandavas tried to catch Drona by tricking Ashwatthama’s death and he was shocked. Drona was killed by the Pandavas.
The Sixteenth Day of Mahabharata War
Karna was made the commander-in-chief of the Kauravas on the sixteenth day of the Mahabharata. On this day, he carried out the terrible destruction of the Pandavas army. Karna defeated Nakula-Sahadeva but did not kill them due to the promise given to Kunti. Bhima kills Dushasan and drinks the blood off his chest.
The Seventeenth Day Of Mahabharata War
On the seventeenth day, Karna defeated Bhima and Yudhishthira but left them alive due to the promise given to Kunti. Guru Parshuram’s curse caused the death of Karna as Arjuna killed Karna.
The Eighteenth Day Of Mahabharata War
On the eighteenth day, Bhima killed the remaining brothers of Duryodhana. Sahadeva slew Shakuni. Duryodhana hid in a pond, but when challenged by the Pandavas, he fought mace with Bhima. Then Bhima violates the war policy by deceitfully attacking Duryodhana’s thigh, which leads to Duryodhana’s death. The Pandavas won the war on the eighteenth day.
The Major Characters Of Mahabharata
Ved Vyas has presented the characters of his epic in such a way that every character has his or her own importance in the story. But still, there are some characters, who are highly crucial to the story of Mahabharata.
Ambalika’s son Pandu had five sons from his two wives Kunti and Madri. Of them, Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjun were from Kunti and Nukal & Sahadeva were from Madri. Due to the untimely death of Pandu in the forest, Dhritarashtra continued to take charge of Hastinapur. The Pandavas grew up with their cousin Kauravas, but Dhritarashtra’s eldest son Duryodhana viewed the Pandavas as their rivals & enemies. Due to this jealousy, thus, Duryodhana meted out injustice on the Pandavas. This jealousy led to the destruction of the Kauravas.
Gandhari and Dhritarashtra had 100 sons by the grace of Ved Vyas. The eldest of the Kauravas was Duryodhana, who received the education of the mace battle from Balarama, Krishna’s elder brother. Duryodhana’s younger brother Dushasan who was the chief advisor and friend of his elder brother Duryodhana. Dushasan was so loyal to Duryodhana that he even supported his brother in such a shameful task as Draupadi Cheeraharan.
Lord Krishna was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. His mother’s name was Devaki and his father’s name was Vasudev. Lord Krishna helped the Pandavas. He played a prominent role in the war of Mahabharata and paved the way for the victory of the Pandavas.
Karna’s name comes at the top of the important characters in Mahabharata. Karna’s life was always full of mysteries and cravings. Despite being the son of Kunti and Surya, he grew up in a family of domestic helpers (servants). Karna had to face the wrath of Lord Parshuram when Karna was taking education under Parshuram and he came to know that Karna was not a Brahmin. This eventually led to the defeat & death of Karna at the hands of Arjuna.
Born from Ambika’s womb with the blessings of Ved Vyas, Dhritarashtra was born with a vision defect by mistake of his mother during pregnancy. Even after being the eldest son of Kurukul, he did not get the throne due to vision impairment. However, Dhritarashtra got the responsibility of governance after his younger brother Pandu’s forest movement. Dhritarashtra is remembered for his blind love for his son Duryodhana.
Mahabharata is full of life and stories. It is a vast wealth of history and contains a huge record of human inter relationships. Indeed, Indian culture is incomplete without the Mahabharata.