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MAHABHARATA

Sep 08, 2020 | 5 minutes read | 0Likes

What is real ? Is anything real at all ? Is reality a myth or myth a reality ? Nothing is real and yet everything is real. Sounds paradoxical ? Are you really reading this article or is it a naive illusion ? Pay close attention to every detail if possible ; don't let this moment fool you into believing that it is real. Because, it's not real !

If it were real you would be scrolling down your Instagram feed, envying your peers, belittling your self-worth, berating God for being indifferent to your suffering and procrastinating, because that's your reality- your virtual reality ! Isn't it ?

We have accepted virtual reality to be our ' ACTUAL REALITY' ; so can we say that WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO ACCEPT BECOMES OUR REALITY ? We all have ideal versions of reality in our head. Actually, reality and myth are relative concepts. An idea, event, concept or product can be both real and myth at the same time. It only depends on the frame of reference we are looking from.

So, when we talk about the great epic poem , the MAHABHARATA, which is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayaṇa, with more than 74,000 verses, plus long prose passages, or some 1.8 million words in total, it is the longest epic poem in the world (roughly 10 times the size of the Iliad and Odyssey taken together) and continuous recitation would take close to two weeks, It would be better to take an ambivalent stand.

The historicity of the Kurukshetra War is debatable. Many historians roughly estimate the date of the Kurukshetra war to Iron Age India of the 10th century BCE. The setting of the epic has a historical precedent in Iron Age (Vedic) India, where the Kuru kingdom was the center of political power during roughly 1200 to 800 BCE Puranic literature presents genealogical lists associated with the Mahābhārata narrative.

Now, if we just do away with the facts we must appreciate the relevance of this epic poem even in 21st century. The central conflict of Mahabharatha was vengeance. The Pandavas wanted to avenge Draupadi's humiliation "cheer haran". The war was a way of their redemption- a desperate attempt to regain their lost souls. All the lessons by Krishna to Arjun are so relevant today that we consider them as guides - like the pole star to a lost traveller.

The central theme of the Mahabharata are envy, lust, greed , quest for power, betrayal and over ambition. Such evils plague our society even today. In the Mahabharata, the kins are always at daggers drawn and become blood thirsty. Today, the kins brew bad blood against one other too. Betrayal and greed ruin lives even today. So, we can easily draw parallels between two diametrically opposite timelines, can't we ?

Now, we can construct an interesting theory though. Maybe, the Mahabharata happens all around us, everytime ! Maybe, it is happening now, while this sentence is being written. Maybe, it is a microcosm of those multiverses which we know nothing about ! Maybe a small version of the MAHABHARATA happens in every household ! But , of course , we are bluntly oblivious of its presence because we are too busy fighting about the most coveted 'reality vs myth debate' about the Mahabharata.

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