sabato 12 febbraio 2011

Mahabharata - Part I

Draupadi and Pandavas
The Mahabharata, the Great history of Bharata, is the longest poem of  humanity. It consists of approximately 106,000 verses, more than eight times Iliad and Odyssey combined.
By tradition the author is the sage Vyasa, he conceived the plot and he dictated it to a scibe of exception, the god Ganesh.
The date of this work is very uncertain even if it is agreed that the core of the story dates back to the fifteenth century B.C. to the third century A.D.
In Indian tradition the Mahabharata, with the Ramayana, is part of the smriti, the sacred texts of the tradition as the Puranas and the Sutras that are different from shruti, much more important texts, the word revealed: Vedas, Samithas and Upanishads.
The structure of Mahabharata – divided into eighteen books or parva – is very complex and contains legends, anectods, poems, myths, crossed stories that revolve around the main event.
The central plot constitutes little more than one fifth of the total work.
In the Mahabharata there is everything: hate, love, sex, violence, poetry, philosophy, religion, deception, loyalty, it is said that whatever is here, is found elsewhere, but what is not here, is nowhere else.
Part of Mahabharata is the Bhagavad Gita, the Song of Blessed, a fundamental text of Hindu philosophy and religion but the Gita has its own independent life and it’s part of revelead truth, shruti.
It’s impossible to summarize the entire Mahabharata, therefore, I’ll try to make a summary of its main story: the battle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas.
Shantanu, the king of Hastinapura, had no heirs, as his two sons had wied without having had children. To work around this problem, the king asked the sage and ascetic Vyasa – in a practise existing at the time – to impregnate Ambika and Ambalika, the two widows of his son Vicitravirya. Vyasa agreed, but his appearance was so ugly because of the life of deprivation and asceticism that led that Ambika closed her eyes during sex while Ambalika became pale. The first one conceived a blind child, Dhritarashtra, the other an albino son, Pandu.
Dhritarashtra married Gandhari and she, to share the condition of her husband, after marriage and throughout life got on her eyes a bandage becoming voluntarily blind as a blind man was her husband. They had one hundred sons, the Kauravas, while the two wives of Pandu, fertilized by five gods, had five sons, the Pandavas: Yudhishthira the son of Dharma the god of justice, Bhima the son of wind god Vayu, Arjuna son of Indra the king of gods, Nakula and Sahadeva children of the Ashwin twins.
Pandu died young and the throne was occupied by the blind king Dhritarashtra.
The one hundred Kauravas and the five Pandavas grew up together and were educated in every science, art and technology appropriated to the kshatriyas, their warrior caste.
Their teachers were the wise Bhishma and the master of arms Drona.
From the beginning the relationship between the cousins is not good even the eldest of the Kauravas, Duryodhana, tries to kill the strongest of the Pandavas, Bhima, but he escaped death.
Became mature men, coexistence get impossible and when the blind king Dhritarashtra appointed heir to the throne the wise Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, Duryodhana plots to heliminate the hated five cousins and their mother Kunti.

Mahabharata Part II
Mahabharata Part III
Mahabharata Part IV

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