5.12.2006

Definition of goodness in the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata: In the Mahabharata Kunti is considered the epitome of all goodness, an honorable and respectable queen mother to her children the Pancha Pandavas. Yet we fail to see the fact that she is responsible for the birth of her first son Karna, and the pressures of having come from a royal background does not allow her to acknowledge him as her son. How good a mother was she?

She didn’t bring him up, she denied him his experience of having a mother, and to top it all she asked him to use his “Divyastra” just once, hoping that it would miss Arjuna and therefore not take his life. Is discrimination towards children right to the point of taking a life? How do we expect to see Kunti as a good mother through Karna’s eye and yet he held no grudge against her.

Karna is known to be a very noble person in the Mahabharata, and everyone except Dhuryodhana, the so-called most evil person in the story, wronged him. Karna was a great human being and the one and only known threat to Arjuna when it came to archery or when it came to winning the hand of Draupadi. The insult bestowed upon him by Draupadi was one he would never forget. Was it right on her part to publicly insult Karna in a court with full audience during her Swayamwara, on the grounds of his birth? How do we expect to see Draupadi as a noble woman through Karna’s eye?

Now lets take Dhuryodhana, the proclaimed villain in the Mahabharata. He had to fight for the throne since it was not even his fault that his father was a blind king and that questioned his eligibility to the throne. Would you in his position not take objection if such power were denied to you, should you have been the possible heir to the throne of Hasthinapura? Of course you would hate your cousins no matter how noble they were.

In all this chaos, the Pandavas have been the worst sadists when it came to Karna, for they kept referring to his caste, as a charioteer’s son, and that he is not of noble blood. Are Yudhishtira and Arjuna the epitomes of Dharma, when their noble birth only fills them with contempt and fear towards Karna because he is just as good despite being born in a lower caste? (Of course they didn’t know he was their brother but putting down someone on the grounds of birth is just a clear indicator of what pride they had!) And at this moment Dhuryodhana was a good man to make Karna his friend, to acknowledge his presence and respect him as a man of valor. Then why do we consider Dhuryodhana an evil being? There was goodness in him and at no cost was it going to display itself towards the Pandavas. Through all these insults that Karna had to live through, Kunti maintains absolute silence.


Therefore how do we judge goodness? Do we say Karna was wrong because he joined the Kauravas because at that moment between Yudhistira (the epitome of goodness and Dharma) and Dhuryodhana (the most evil), it was Dhuryodhana who stretched out a friendly hand? Now is that not goodness, irrespective of Karna's background?

Or do we say Krishna was good when all the political manipulation took place thanks to his ardent bias towards the Pandavas. He didn’t do things as a mark of goodness; he did politically correct things, which need not be defined as good. And what did Karna do to deserve the fate he finally got! Maybe it is seriously time to start thinking. Karna was the best son of them all!

Disowned by his own mother
Insulted by his own brothers
Respected by so called villains
Wronged by the Lord Himself
A good-natured man sees such fate
When the Lord himself chose not to protect him
Who will believe in Goodness?
When goodness itself is being ignored.
By the very Incarnation of Lord
Who tried to spread goodness in this world.
Karna was indeed the most noble of them all
Such was the ocean of goodness within him
That he gifted it away to the world before he died.
A symbol of perfection
That beats the very Lord Krishna Himself.

42 comments:

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha,

As I had indicated elsewhere also, the ‘Hindu’ mythological stories - like the fables of ‘Panchtantra’ discuss ‘Political Administration’ - discuss Astronomy :-)

There is another story about Brahma’s evolution from the navel of Lord Vishnu, which we have earlier seen as describing Sun’s birth from ‘nothing’ or dark space. Thereafter the story speaks of evolution of two ‘demons’ (planets Mercury and Venus) from His ‘ears’ (‘Karna’ in Sanskrit) that grew bigger and bigger and resulted in Brahma feeling insecure and panicky lest he got consumed by the demons. He prayed to Lord Vishnu who apparently was asleep, which infact was ‘Yognidra’ or His state of super consciousness. It was only at the appropriate time that He stopped the two demons with His arms :-)

In view of the above one could visualise the significance of ‘Karna’ (planet Mercury) being born from Kunti’s (the formless’ ear), and joining the other demon Duryodhan (Venus :-) , i.e., the’Rakshashas’ or the security guards that act as barriers in the path of the ‘seekers’ - in the present case Arjuna (model of Sun) from reaching Draupadi (model of Moon) or carrying supreme knowledge or the goal set up for humans, which is possible only with the assistance coming from Bhim (model of planet Mars teh 'mooladhar') and Krishna (model of the centre of our galaxy, that drives the chariot of the Sun or ‘Arjuna’ in human form in the Dwaperyuga)…

Good aned bad are relative terms. What one needs is readin the stories between the lines :-)

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha,

The Pandavas perhaps refer to, 1. Earth’s model, the big brother, Yudhister - literally meaning the one who remains unmoved during a war - a simple person (like Bholanath Shiva of “Satyam Shivam Sunderam” fame, who always uttered the ‘truth’), considered “Dharmaraj’ or ‘a truthful follower of religion’ - despite his ‘bad’ habit of gambling. 2. Arjuna, Lord Rama like ‘expert archer’ from whose bow arrows flew in straight line like sunrays. 3. Bhima, Ganesha/ Hanuman like mace holder, and a model of planet Mars. 4 & 5. Nakul and Sahadev, models of the satellites of Mars, (presently named Phobos and Demos), who remained as Bhima’s assistants during Pandava’s exile…

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha,

I would like to add that the stories generally indicate our galaxy to contain most evolved Heavenly Bodies, which reflect the essence of various aspects of the perfect formless Creator, a ‘Divine Person’, related with apparent time from its beginning - starting with the most evolved members of the Solar system, which contains the most evolved planet Earth (that led to the saying Vishnu is Shiva, and Shiva is Vishnu)… One would then naturally ask why do so many other varieties of galaxies - some single and some in small and big clusters - are also seen to fill up the infinite void of the universe?
Taking hint from the human (believable model of the universe) sphere of activities - that reflect numerous trials and errors and record thereof for posterity during step by step advancement of technology in just one field of activity over centuries - the other galaxies perhaps represent the various trials that ultimately led to perfection achieved in the form of our galaxy...

The general concept therefore is that not a single thing/ person is useless or not serving any useful purpose. Therefore, the ancients appear to have pondered about the purpose of human life with its limited life span...and, with the realization that the solar system/ Earth is unending, came to the conclusion/ belief that whatever happens is in the interest of achieving perfection in 'Nature' and maintenance thereof, it being beyound human conception as he remains lost between the opposites in all aspects of life, viz., good/ bad, sweet/ sour, and so on, because of limited stay/ knowledge...

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha and others, continuing, it is needless to say that man finds himself heading the ‘animal life’ or innumerable forms of ‘life’ on earth, apparently a planet made up of ‘little grains of sand and small drops of water’ - held together by gravitational force - floating in space along with innumerable other such variety of ‘Heavenly Bodies’ that apparently fill the infinite void of the universe, majority being that of stars as the primary sources of energy within a galaxy/ universe, transfer between galaxies taking place through pure heat...

In view of the above, man would have first learned in the 'first stage' the most about the apparently perfect planet earth, (to eventually take it for granted, for ‘familiarity breeds contempt’), which the ‘Hindus’ appear to have termed as ‘Satyuga’, the story described through Shiva and His family in human forms... Man would have also realized himself as the most destructive agent in ‘Nature’ (as presently we find ourselves stuck between the horns of the dilemma as every new invention - with a view to improving living conditions on earth - finds use as a double edged sword by humans, because of the ‘naturally’ occurring divisive forces acting upon the society at any given time – expressed in the words of Shiva’s ‘Tandava Nritya’or the symbolic representation through Ma Kali)… These forces oblige man to look outwards, to learn in the second stage or ‘Tretayuga’, more about the Solar system (as dealt in teh story of ‘Ramayana’). And, as time passes, one would have learned, in the third stage or ‘Dwaperyuga’, more about the galaxies (as also reflected in the story of ‘Mahabharat’ with Krishna as the kingpin). In the fourth and the final stage or ‘Kaliyuga’, obviously the door would open to the entire universe, as is being experienced in the ‘present’…

But, there apparently is a catch as these stories indicate downfall in efficiency of human beings, just as all material forms deteriorate with the passage of time, where the time taken to reach a finished product is not accounted for (it would perhaps run into billions of year, having started from zero)… Let us say that perhaps same time would have been required to reach the apparent perfect earth to start with from ‘nothing’ and what any human being sees at any given time is the 'film' of the past events replayed in reverse order, ultimately leading to the end of the concerned Yuga or ‘nought’ as the case may be :-)…

Vijay Krishna said...

In a word - FANTASTIC! An excellent analysis of the various main players in Karna.

When one thinks about the Mahabharata, it comes to light that it is not just the question of good versus evil. Karna's story is probably the most crucial subplot in the entire tale - which throws open unanswerable questions about morality, friendship and the like.

No one puts it better than the great Tamil poet, Kannadasan. thaaikku nee magan illai, thambikku annan illai. Further down, Krishna himself says manniththu arulvaayada!

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha, Vijaya Krishna, and others…

The time apparently taken to view the perfect creation itself is indicated as 4.32 billion years (modified by me to around 4.6 billion human years). It is the time during a day in the life of the Creator - corresponding to 12 hours* in human life - taken to traverse during just one cycle from Satyuga to Tretayuga to Dwaperyuga to Kaliyuga, i.e., one Mahayuga being equal to 4.32 million years.
The number of cycles have been modified by me to 1080, from 1000 believed by the ancients, that is apparently required to cover all 360 degrees of space with each degree divided into three parts - in keeping with the belief, functionally, of a three-in-one God, like the three sides of a coin, the ‘head’ and the ‘tail’ ends separated by a blank side that renders thickness to it (reflected through the extremities, Brahma the sun or ‘the King’ and Vishnu the centre of our galaxy, ‘his charioteer’. And, the ‘blank side’ through detached Bholanath or ‘Simple God’, Mahesh, or the one that has ‘Moon on His forehead’ or our Earth)…

*It is observed that half a day of 24 hours in human life, i.e., 12 hours on earth, work out to 43,200 seconds. Thus, it is interesting to note that the duration of Kaliyuga was indicated in terms of ‘human years’ as 432,000 years (thus showing some apparent relation between the two) and having a maximum potential 25% of that at the beginning of Satyuga, and the duration of Dwaperyuga as double of it and potential 50%, that of Treta yuga as three times and potential 75%, that of Satyuga as four times and potential 100%...

At the same rate it could be anybody’s guess how much time the Creator would have taken to reach ‘perfection’ after all those innumerable trials as I had indicated earlier… However, it might be mentioned that the Creator being formless or zero, it believably took it no time at all :-) Thus the belief of receiving 'enlightenment' at any time if only one could tune one's mind to the Creator's 'frequency' (if it will so, of course)...

JC Joshi said...

Sorry! please read, within the brackets at the end, "(if it wills so, of course)"

anil joshi said...

kavitha,This issue has been discussed extensively in marathi literature.The proponents of Karna's goodness were Irawati Karve Durga Bhagwat & Anand Sadhale while the opponents were Anantrao athawale.I am not an expert on the subject but as I see it Mahabharat is recording of the History & as pandawas were the winners the bias is in their favour

JC Joshi said...

Hi Anilji,

Every Indian today perhaps knows/ believes that the ancient ‘Hindus’ were great ‘Yogis’ or ‘Scientists’ of some sort who apparently went much deeper into integrated knowledge of all subjects… Like the Creator, they were all rounder or ‘Siddha’, and thus having a similar ‘frequency’, with negligibly limited capacity maybe, and definitely not ‘experts’ in just one subject... For, they apparently were convinced that ‘creation’ was handiwork or, rather, the mental work of just one Supreme Being and man as ‘the model of the universe’, a mere ‘instrument’. Even the ‘west’ also considered man as 'an image of God' at some given time not very long ago…

Maybe ‘experts’, viz., 'modern' Historians should try to explain, say, how one finds human characters even today that have behaviours similar to the ones described in the mythological stories... For example, why Mohandas Gandhi gave up material pleasures, perhaps influenced by Lord Rama the believable incarnation of Lord Vishnu in Tretayuga (and Krishna in Gita, the words recorded a couple of thousand years ago, also says that all are copying Him in some hierarchical order)? And, why, with the passage of time, the ‘sacrifice’ of Sonia Gandhi today is equated by some with that of Mohandas’, when under the present changed circumstances some in opposition apparently feel it not at all comparable (conforming to ‘natural division’ of human society on smallest of small issues even)? Didn’t the ‘wise’ ancients consider that only as ‘truth’ that didn’t change with time, and told much in advance that human efficiency declines with passage of time as is reflected in the Mythological stories pertaining to the different Yugas and over just last few decades itself all over the world?

Finally, anyway one is supposed to reach the ‘Truth’ in one’s own way. Gita, however advises one to approach the Creator directly, for He believably resides within each…

All the best.

JC Joshi said...

Hi Vijay Krishna,

Coming to the reference, “No one puts it better than the great Tamil poet, Kannadasan. thaaikku nee magan illai, thambikku annan illai. Further down, Krishna himself says manniththu arulvaayada!” That is, as per translation provided to me by one of my relatives, “mother's son you're not and neither your kin's brother (literally you are not your younger brother's older brother)
...you will forgive and be immortal.”

Although in human life there apparently is ‘blood relationship’ between individuals, yet seen through the eyes of an ‘Astrologer’ it predominantly relates each man to some particular Heavenly Body – one out of the selected eight numbers…each one of which is related to some colour of the spectrum, (when white sunrays get refracted after passing through a certain medium to create it), as its essence and the associated energy with it. And, each one of these colours, from Infra Red to ultra violet, having a different frequency could be said to be one of the ‘reflections’ of the same colour, i.e., white! Or, in other words, the same would apply in respect of the different planets to which each colour is believably related as per the ancients (and yet to be reached by the present day 'scientists') – as ‘reflections’ of the Sun! And so on till one reaches the original source of universal energy…

Thus man, believably being a model of the universe, or made from the essences of the Heavenly Bodies, was perhaps therefore likewise correlated with the one and only Super energy source in the universe or the 'Absolute Truth', believably unborn and 'immortal' Creator, as one of its innumerable ‘images’ :-)…

Of course, at the present rate of advancement in Technology, lot more work remains to be done...

However, to prove the concept of illusion, I have prepared charts based on birth particulars of known individuals located at different places within India and abroad. And, I have satisfied myself that gemstones worked out from the particulars and placed at suitable locations on the photograph of each resulted in providing needed energy to the concerned...and refinements are still being carried out based on interaction with them... My basic idea was to satisfy myself that I myself am a physical 'image' corresponding to some frequency related with the formless Creator at a certain given time and place...

JC Joshi said...

Continuing, although I have indicated it many times earlier also, I thought I should indicate here too that as per present day Astronomers, each galaxy is believed to have a Heavenly Body, called ‘Black Hole’*, located at its centre that has an extremely high gravity in order to be able to make innumerable other stars and planets etc. go around it…and that our Solar system is located towards the outer periphery of our disc shaped galaxy (in appearance similar to a centrifuge that - when milk is churned inside it - similarly makes particles of cream to move towards its outer periphery :-)

*As per research on stars, it was found that towards the apparent ‘end of the life’ of a star in ‘red’ stage, it swells up to become a ‘Red Giant’ due to its radial pressure becoming higher and higher till it exceeds its gravitational force. This results in explosion of the star such that the debris gets thrown up all around it in space. However, as soon as the radial pressure is released the gravity becomes effective and a process of compression of the debris is set up. If the original star had a mass equal to or greater than five times that of our sun, the continuing compression results in transformation of the original star to a zero or near zero Heavenly Body that has a super gravity, and is called a ‘Black Hole’ as its presence is known only by inference, i.e., when stars start disappearing into the space such that the light emitted by them is no more seen…One could also notice the coincidence or design of the Creator that the same Body was perhaps also called 'Black', that is 'Krishna' (in Sanskrit) whose model, a 'Sudershanchakradhari', is cited in the story of 'Mahabharat' :-)

revathi said...

That is the beauty of the Mahabharata. It portrayed life in real, in totality. It brought out the various shades in people between white and black; between good and bad.
No one was truly good or clean, even Yudhishtira. Each one had a weakness, well utilised by the enemy at the most opportune moment, 'simple' Ekalavya is now a hero, but the 'noble' (other 98) Kauravas were also-rans.

No Kunti is not seen as a patni, which Draupadi, despite living with 5 husbands is considered to be.Kunti was a noble maiden, but never an ideal mother!

Krishna was also seen as a biased person and that is what Gita is all about. When he proclaims he is the drama, he is the director and also the actor, how can it be an unbiased version? From where each of us stand, we will consider him supportive/biased.

I like the Mahabharata as it is extremely colourful and a true reference book to any and every character in the world.

Anonymous said...

the mahabharata is an open-ended book with multiple interpretations of each and every character...

Karna, Abhimanyu, Ashwathama, Dronacharya, Bheeshma, etc., were part of tragic as well as manipulative lifetimes either due to ignorance or powers that be or circumstances!

Sahadev, the actual hero does not even get much accolades. nor does Vidur!

and to talk about being epitomes, gandhari gained such immortal power in her eyes because she blindfolded herself because her husband too was blind! don't know whether that helped her help him... but helped her give immortality to duryodhana (except for his thighs), which is what krishna and bheem exploited while killing him.

the ghada cannot be hit on the thighs according to rules of mortal combat, but that is exactly where bheem had to strike at duryodhana to kill him...

also, poor abhimanyu was told only how to get into the chakravyuha but not how to get out of it!

so shades of grey they all are!!

only one thing: when krishna gave duryodhana and arjuna the choice whether they wanted his army or himself (but on one condition that he himself would never fight physically nor fire a weapon), duryodhana chose the lord's army , not the lord.

whereas arjuna was clear whom he wanted.

by the way, before they both came to his bed, krishna knew who was coming and for what... so he positioned himself in such a way that he would see arjuna first on waking up... and so the question also would be directed to arjuna first.

there is another subplot that goes where it says that shakuni was actually insulted by dhritrashtra long ago and which is why he went the long roundabout way to kill duryodhana and take revenge!!

imagine! now that is an epic! awesome!

Third Eye Closed said...

The wide logics of an ancient history discussed upon a pane of different minds... Very instigating post. Rekindles ever a readers mind. Brilliant.

Hi all,
The actions, the states and positions laid upon the players, Avatars and Gods alike in all sources of such moral, I find one single concept: To each one they appeal in a fashion that our current states of mind read them. As our states of mind change or evolve over the period, we see revelation in the very texts we for many years were overlooked this particular form of "truth".
So what are these Texts to mean to man? What is truth? We will always revel and delve deeper with these as a part of our lives as we evolve.

Hello Uncle,
As usual the spur of knowledge from your side has been extensive. Appreciably most welcome to our ears :)

~fEelix (When the eye closes, the mind opens. When the ear closes, the heart opens. When the mouth closes, the soul opens.)

JC Joshi said...

Hi anonymous,

There always are limitations and boundary constraints when one writes - even a letter to a relative, say. One writes only about the essential matter that he believes is of interest to the concerned, and in minimum words - on account of limitation of space/ time and so on…

Coming to ‘Mahabharat’, when one reads it, one is perhaps required to be conscious that one is a character that has appeared towards the fag-end of Kaliyuga (when human efficiency ranges between 25 and 0% and therefore just +0%, that also happens to be a ‘scientific’ fact), and that the story pertains to the fag-end of Dwaperyuga, by which time material and human efficiency believably had reduced to +25% of its potential…Thus a new and immature star, Abhimanyu, couldn’t perhaps have had time to be trained as an ‘expert archer’ like his dad, Arjuna. However, because he carried his ‘genes’, he didn’t lack in courage (the story however indicates the unborn infant in its mother’s womb to have gained knowledge only about entry into the ‘chakravyuh’, i.e., the barrier set up by essences of planets Mercury & Venus in the passage leading to the acquisition of ‘truth’, as described by its dad to its mom when she fell asleep :-)

Similarly, because of dominance of ‘material’ over ‘spiritual’ as the cause of reduction of human efficiency, Dronacharya (reflecting characteristic property of smaller and faster moving planet Mercury, energy Ultra violet ray), found dominance over Vidur (reflecting characteristic properties of sober and massive planet Jupiter and energy Infra red rays) in the eyes of the Kauravas (reflecting characteristic properties of planet Venus)… Even in the present, the chair of PM, is presently held by an expert in money matters while the chair of the ‘spiritual’ adviser, the President is considered by some as a ‘rubber stamp’ only :-)

Maybe, we got to see the glimpse of ‘Bheesma’ in our ex PM, AB Vajpeyi of BJP - with ‘spiritual’ advice coming from the VHP :-)

Hi Felix, thanks and welcome! I am just thinking aloud the thoughts handed over to me by the one who resides within myself from time to time :-)

kavitha said...

Hi all,

I have been going through the comments, to see everyone's reaction to the great epic. There is a lot of mature thinking and also a strong acceptance towards the way of life and its intrigue that makes people behave the way they are including the Lord Himself.

Yet, there are simple things forgotten. It takes all sorts to make a world, the good the bad and the ugly all of which is present in everybody.

Yet, goodness seems to have diminished since the age of the Mahabharata. I have but a few questions to ask...

1) Is living in society/family more important than living for the self? Or did we never give it a thought...

2) Is giving up one's happiness essential to keep the average mentality of society/family in equilibrium?

3) Why is emotion so overwhelming that it hides the reality of life within its thick curtain of illusion?

4) Are troubles a curse or a moment of truth brought to your doorstep creating an opportunity for you to look at yourself and wonder whether you are really worth all the strength you wanted to be associated with?

5) Does a slap on your face by fate when you go through pain mean you are being cursed or tested for endurance?

6) If you were to live a life without other people would you be comfortable with yourself, your silence, your loneliness or would you crave for outside attention, and appreciation?

7) What does being good mean? Does it mean feeding the poor, or forgiving a lousy boss for his inadequacy or stopping your feet before they squeeze the ant under them.

8) Is detachment a concept unknown to all in today's age?

9) Is trouble a way of life defined as a drastic shift from regular pattern of living, hence bringing with it lack of acceptance?

10) Would it feel better to face the troubles you have than share mine, for mine are more mammoth than yours?

11) Do you expect to find the truth when you are leading a life of convenience?

12) Do you fear death? do you believe that the only truth of your life is that you are born to die and all that in between is pure illusion you have been sucked into and will never get out of if you dont try hard enough?

13) Would you believe that to be a God you need to get stoned first? You rather not be a god right!

14) When we spend so much time trying to keep family and society happy, where are we in the whole picture? Ever gave it a thought?

15) Are we taking any trouble to find the Self? "You", the real you? The "you" that you are so scared to face, that even society looks like a lesser evil? So you choose to much rather live within the limits of society/family and run away from yourself?

This is the truth of life.. facing yourself is the truth of life. Digesting yourself is the truth of life. Accepting yourself is the truth of life. Giving up your desires and your illusions is the truth of life. Evolving yourself is the truth of life...

The truth of life is not out there... its not beyond you. its YOU.

Thats how i see it.

Regds
Kavitha

P.S. i fear i sound like i am preaching... but somewhere i believe i make some sense.

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha, Felix, and others...

As I had indicated earlier too, trying to find the meaning of 'life' as Kavitha has also posed some, I was inspired by ancient 'Hindu' belief of 'Maya' or illusion, to surrender, as advised, and see ‘my reflections’ in some ‘non living’ and ‘living’ forms as I have indicated elsewhere…and came to the conclusion that life is a chain of events, an unending drama continuing since eternal 'apparent time' to a script decided since time immemorial...The ancients had therefore advised the transient one to question onself who he/ she was?

Similarly, when I saw animal life forms through the eyes of the planets, each animal form appeared to me like eight pots of different fluids (essences, as believed by the ancients)/ water, or lockers as in a bank, placed one over the other, that provide access to the respective ‘account holder’ only (vide the diagram I had earlier indicated) for depositing and withdrawing energy whenever they are in need of it to meet their day-today requirements. Control over the transactions, however, being regulated by the representative of the formless at the ‘mooladhar’ or the essence of planet Mars, functioning like Manager of the concerned Bank under the overall control of the centre of our galaxy as Chief Manager :-)

In ‘Mahabharat’ it was brother Bhima, predominantly a representative of planet Mars (like Ganesha/ Hanuman in previous Yugas) who received advice from the overall controller of the galaxy, Krishna, who pointed out the weak point in Duryodhan’s body, which obviously happened to be the region that houses the ‘Mooladhar’ :-)

The above formed the basis of my working out charts for individuals, in three main stages... And, even that for India after its ‘birth particulars’ became available when it acquired ‘political independence’ on the 15th August 1947 at midnight or zero hour of that date…for functionally both, the microcosm and macrocosm behave similarly…

I would however say that although I notice some order in which events occur, I haven't reached that stage where I could predict the events in advance, as I can do to some extent based on study of the lines on palms of a given individual...

revathi said...

your response is a posy by itself Kavitha, very wide-ranging and equally soul-searching. But what made you pick just these 15 queries? They are really interesting and very contemporary. Congrats on your ability to zero down!!!

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha, i would try to answer your queries in the following general statement.

Maybe one would need to go to the ‘cave age’ to understand human behavior… Living in close knit families and societies gave to the early man, who found itself in small numbers, a sense of security against the various other predators in the animal world and other vagaries of nature… With change in environment, brought in by the so-called advancement in Technology as the property of material world were exposed to the humans and coupled with population explosion the scenario has changed so much so that the whole concept of security from near ones or any other human beings has become a thing of the past as man is measured in terms of his material wealth only... Thus money apparently is at the root of all the evils in the present as it was reflected at the fag-end of Dwaperyuga itself, with cousins fighting each other over possession of land, thus casting its shadow in advance for the likely events expected during Kaliyuga…

From personal observation of families during my childhood/ youth in the fifties, generally a 'normal family' used to have around six children, i.e., eight members, conforming to the ‘Ashtgraha’ or eight Solar system members considered by ancient Astrologers. The Sun could be said to reflect the characteristic property of the father, the distant one and the ‘bread earner’, moon as the affectionate mother attached more to some favourite child of hers than the rest of the siblings. And, I can say that each family reflected a variety of personalities in different members, i.e., different role models were observed…in conformity with the variety as seen in other aspects of ‘Nature’ too (maybe thus indicating man as a model of the universe as believed by the ancients)… Generally speaking, there are only two types of persons on earth, as per Krishna’s statemet in Gita also – sefless and selfish, irrespective of the location, which can be seen at any time or place…

The present day nuclear families perhaps reflect a family like Shiva’s in Satyuga that had just four members, i.e., Shiva & Parvati, and their physically powerful son Kartikeya and spiritually powerful Ganesha, who was preferred as he provided protection to the old parents also…

Guru Nanak also generalized that the whole world is unhappy… It has been a normal experience/ practice of sharing happiness, and particularly unhappiness, with others, which helps in mitigating the sufferings of just one family/ member alone…a sense of togetherness, for ‘man is a social animal’…

In the end I would like to say that perhaps one needs to have faith/ belief that life is only a result of illusion as it is being apparently seen by the one and only perfect being through His imperfect 'images' and hence the sense of confusion in them alone while He perhaps enjoys at their cost. And that doesn't prick His conscience as they ate just images and therefore don't really exist
:-)

Visesh said...

this is like performance reviews in corporate firms.

what you have improved upon will be negated by all the things you did not do, so either way, you are screwed.

karna as you have said, discarded by his mother, family, ended up getting screwed by his boss, the good lord himself.

he was a trusted friend, supported his friends even in war, skilled he was, but why did the good lord choose to kill him like that, because he knew how skilled karna was and what destruction he could bring.

coming back to corporate scenarios, the bosses will screw you in the same way, because they know you are good, its their position they feel is threatened, so if you actually get a poor rating, its time to celebrate.

on a lighter note, oscar wilde i think once said that he stopped believing in god, when he found that they had lied to him about the tooth fairy and santa claus, i couldnt stop laighing when i heard this.

@felix, like i said, i was in NIIT between 1995 and 2000, 5 rich years spent in doing various courses there, who might you be and how do you know me

JC Joshi said...

Hi Vishesh,

Your reaction reminds me that in the book, ‘The Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Yogananda, the author cites the example of emotions generated by fiction or ‘untruth’ in cinema. It, however, could also apply to any ‘moving story’ in any print media or narrated verbally by a person even...

He says, to the effect, that although you are aware that you are watching fictitious characters, you find your own reflection in some one character and although physically you remain still you mentally experience the same emotions as apparently experienced by that particular character in the story :-)

yahoo groups said...

I have read your write up in your blog. It is impressive because you have reasoned out your thoughts very well.
However the harsh realities are sometimes hard to digest. Karna was no doubt an excellent personality. His rise and fall is his fate and is the best example to learn how even the best qualities can be of no use if you are not associated with the right people. This in simplicity explains why he was wronged. In the name of being loyal to his friend who offered him a kingdom when nobody really appreciated what he was, he did many such things in the future (after being associated with Duryodhana) which do not make him a real noble person. He was adamant on being loyal to Duryodhana and that cost him everything. According to me, Karna was a master of his own fate.

Smiles
Vikram

yahoo groups said...

Dear Kavitha,

I definately agree when you say Karna was courageous and kind but how do you call him good? Goodness is not conditional. It should remain with person in the moments of crisis. Karna failed to show such goodness during "Draupadi Vastraharan" or when Kauravaas went to show off their power when Pandavas were in exile and various such occasions.

There is a saying in Marathi "असंगाशी संग...." Karna was good example for same. He never confronted Duryodhana for his behaviour. Mahabharata is perfect example of "Politics" so no one has to be fair with others, given a fact that Krishna was Pandavas cousin it is very much likely that he was biased...similarly, Karna was biased towards Duryodhana.

Its very true that life wasn't fair to Karna..but then was it fair to Kunti? or Duryodhana or Dhritarashtra or Ashwathhama or Gandhari? Frankly, I think in Mahabharata life is not fair to any one, not even "Shakuni".

When it comes to Karna, I think the Mahabharata was ultimately trying to convey...
"असंगाशी संग आणि प्राणाशी गाठ" It means "you repent for choosing wrong side."

Regds
Priya

yahoo groups said...

HI Kavitha,

I agree that Karna was a good person and was kind at heart.. However lets not forget that Karna had himself opted to be with Duryodhan. He was loyal to Duryodhan, however because of this he was on the side of "Adharm" or "Astaya". Also let's not forget that Mahabharat was a battle of Dharma and Adharma. Hence Karna had to face the consequences of choice that he made.

There is an instance, when Krishna, himself goes to Karna and asks him to leave Duryodhan, however Karna refuses..

To understand Mahabharat and its characters we really need to go beyond the stories that we read in normal story books..

regs
Bhavik

kavitha said...

Hi everyone!

Wow! that was an overwhelming response. There is one common undercurrent. The definition of goodness in relation to being correct (politically correct). We cannot single out Karna for his mistakes. Everyone made mistakes and everyone has behaved very "human" in the Mahabharata, and not God like.

Now how do we define the pandavas as "good" and kauravas as "Bad".

Lets take a few instances... Dhuryodhana had no doubt in his mind that he hated the pandavas. He didn't appreciate them purely because it was a war to get the throne. Dhuryodhana went all out to display his hatred, lets say he was being completely honest about it. Well that's a good quality i would say, not pleasant maybe but honesty is a good quality.

Lets take Yudhishtira. He has always been this ""nice guy who wont hurt a fly" kind of person. In front of every one he would possible take the venom that Dhuryodhana had to spill out and try to cool Bhima when anything went wrong. When he was back in his chamber with the others, there would be sheer strategy on how to overcome Dhuryodhana. Well in this case i would say, Yudhistira was being politically correct but not good to the outside world but he hated Dhuryodhana just as much.

Now how good was Yudhistira when he put his own wife on the line as a commodity when he played the game of dice? He definitely didn't respect his wife or brothers for that matter. According to the dharma shastra, a man should protect his wife in wedlock but instead Yudhistira gave Draupadi full reason to believe that she cannot depend on her husband(s) for protection. Hence she turns to Lord Krishna. And well one woman with 5 husbands is not an easily digestible concept as defined by us about "goodness".

So how do we call the pandavas good or righteous? Why didn't anyone raise their voices when Draupadi's was being stripped in the middle of a fully loaded courtroom? Yet the pandavas, the so called husbands of valor( all 5) didn't move a limb to save their wife??? They watched her getting stripped!!!! This is not goodness, this is not righteousness, this is being politically correct and in control(at the wrong time) at the Hastinapura court.

The Mahabharata brings back with it the mystery of human nature, the hypocrisy in man. We tend to mix correctness in a system or order with goodness. Krishna was correct but not necessarily good.

Now there is another side to the story. It is said that Karna often played the game of dice with Dhuryodhana's wife. It was one of those games where she found herself losing and decided to get up and go when Karna pulled her back to the game to finish it. It was at this moment that the pearl chain along her waist gave way and fell to the floor scattering all the pearls. Fatefully Dhuryodhana enters the room at this time and tells her to continue to play the game while he picks up the pearls, he also asks her whether he should string them. This move of Dhuryodhana shows clearly that not only did he trust his wife, he also had complete confidence in his friend, a friend he had made out of merit and not by birth or royalty. Karna at this point makes a decision that he would never leave Dhuryodhana's side no matter what happened. So when Krishna came by saying he should join the side of "goodness" he refused. I would say Krishna should have told him to join the side of "political correctness" for goodness is what Dhuryodhana showed Karna. Why would he ever leave him on the grounds of good friendship.

Big deal if the whole world says the pandavas are good. For Karna, Dhuryodhana was good, and Dhuryodhana actively hated the Pandavas. Well the pandavas also hated him, they didnt say it, thats all. How good were they?? They were politically correct. Thats all. If the pandavas were good or for that matter if Krishna was good, there would have been no war, and bloodshed. Lives would be saved, and things should have ended amicably. But well that was definitely not the case.

My point is there is a difference between goodness and correctness. And being correct is being socially perfect.. not necessarily good.

Regds
Kavitha.

yahoo groups said...

Interesting points but not a winner.
There is a whole lot of things that needs to be considered while reading the Mahabharatha.
Mahabharata is not a story, its not just a bedtime narration. It is the complete essence of life.
We are actually inspired to talk the way our elders have told these stories to us. If our so called elders say, Karna was a great person who was cheated always, it gets imprinted in our mind and we for once never really think what is really right or wrong in what they are trying to propogate to us.
But as we grow up we should figure out what is right and wrong with a neutral approach.
Karna - of what use is nobility when his intentions were not right. In the name of friendship he just fuelled the fire between Pandavas and Kauravas. He just wanted to keep Duryodhana happy no matter what!

There was no reason to stop the war and avoid bloodshed. The intention of the feud was to clear out unnecessary people from inhabiting the earth.

It was Karna who provoked Duryodhana and Dushyasana to pull off Draupadi's clothes. Refer Sabhaparva and read authentic source and feel justfied. Dont read perverted translations or anything other than the real book.

It was Karna who deserted Duryodhana and ran away when his army was getting defeated at the hands of Gandharvas. No doubt, he came back and tried to pacify Duryodhana, but Duryodhana for one time was really pissed off with all this and wanted to end his life...but things happened differently. Refer Vanaparva.

It was Karna who was the first one to advice others that we cannot kill Abhimanyu by rightful means, and he suggested and attacked Abhimanyu from the back. Refer Dronaparva.

It is not about a person. It is about the principles that person is practising. They have to be in the mode of goodness.
I am not advocating Pandavas were good altogether, they have had their sufferings and misery because of the wrongdoings committed by them.
But watch them coming back on track and correcting themselves from time to time.

Mahabharata is all about teaching us what to do and what not to do. The characters in the Mahabharata are exemplary for anything and they have set us examples that "as you sow, so you reap". Anyone for that matter, even Yudhisthira has had his share of cry. Nobody is perfect in there. You need a different mindset to understand what is really going on in there (Mahabharata).

yahoo groups said...

This is exactly what makes Mahabharata a far greater epic than Ramayana. While Ramayana is all 'black and white', Mahabharata has all shades of grey as well... portraying life as it is. The reader needs to take his own lessons rather than a moral dose given by the author. No wonder it is said, "Vyasochhishtam Jagat Sarvam'.

Sachin

yahoo groups said...

Hi

Superbly crafted argument kavitha !!
Even I agree with you when u say
" Karna was the best son of them all! "

Theres a novel in Marathi by the name "RADHEY"...A very good book
that really Defends Karna....

I dont really call Karna's behavior in Dyutsabha as Immoral... Given
the fact
that Draupadi Insulted karna many times hinting at his lower origins
which in fact was not the case !!!
The Kavach Kundala were an evidence of Karna's Origins .. Nor was
the fact that the Radhai and Adhirath found him in a wooden Casket
Floating in the Ganges Hidden from anyone....!
Still Draupadi, arrogantly refused to accept him in case he won the
Swayamwara....

With the insults inflicted on him, its human of Karna trying to
seek 'revenge' !!

~Shishir~

Third Eye Closed said...

Hi all,
Very interesting the turn of events are.

As for the simple questions posed by K are pretty much what debates our very existence. And would explain or rather describe a being as such.

The answers I believe lie in one person and yes it being yourself. Because all aren't given with the same sights on any given object. Similar, but not the same. As for society/family it is about the co-existence, respect, support and harmony besides the minor differences in perspective. Because the beauty of life is in its mosaic pattern not in uniformity.

I'd love to add my comment on every single of the 15 questions posed but time delays it for the moment.

Hello Uncle,
Very instigating perspective. I relished reading every bit of it. I wonder how you look wide and cover and connect everything in sight :)

Hi Vishesh,
Am also known as Simon... I remember you had always experiment with your beard and hairdo :) (If you are the same person I am talking about that is) And we met somewhat (in consideration) lately on the Cenotaph road, on your way to office. You were a batch senior to me at NIIT.
PS: Temple of Boom? Does that refresh any memory?
PPS: Sorry K and all to interrupt with personal endeavour amass all philosophy.

~fEelix

Anonymous said...

The mahabharata stands for everything that we should not be and should not do.

while the ramayana is for what we should be and we should do.

people in both epics had to give up (won't use the word "sacrifice") certain values, possessions, etc., for the greater common good.

yes, there is that thing. it does exist. the greater common good.

so well, if people think the pandavas were wrong when they watched draupadi vastraharan, they were not because they had become dasas. and wives of dasas were also considered as belongings or possessions of their masters.

pandavas had to follow the rules; in other words "dharma". it means great suffering and angst... but that is when bhim took an oath that he will kill dushasan and wash draupadi' hair with that blood. that he will kill duryodhana.

so basically, it was about laws, written or unwritten. codes of life.

all that mattered or we see is how you escape those laws through loopholes... and manipulations.

each one in the mahabharata got what he / she deserved in the end. and that is what matters.

because they all paid the price for whatever good and bad they did.

even greatest of warriors and princes, bheeshma, had to lie between death and life for 18 days on a bed of arrows by arjuna, his grandson and watch one set of grandsons kill the other!!

what can be a worse than that? after all that he sacrificed for the kingdom and its people?

even in ramayana, lord ram left sita in the forest because he wanted to make his people happy. that the duty of a king comes above the duty of a husband. these are choices that we have to make still.

for example, if you had to make a choice between saving your beloved and saving the rest of the human population... what would you choose?

you have to make a choice and not making a choice is not a choice that you have.

when it comes to such levels, i guess, morality ends.

for example, if you sleep with another man or woman to get some money to save your wife or husband who is in hospital (like they show in some stupid movies), would you call that person as wrong?

life is all about choices and what we make or what we get.

there is no judgement. there is not going back.

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha, Felix, Anonynous, and all...

‘Karna’ has evoked a good ‘chakravyuha-like’ response from Vikram, Priya, Bhavik, Sachin and Sishir of the yahoo groups, thoughts which I believe have been repeated for long, and which perhaps help move one ‘outwards’ - away from the fundamental thought of ‘Maya’ or “Jagat mithya” of ‘Hindu Philosophy’, i.e., the illusion or apparent ‘Truths of the untruth created with His thought power’ by the believable ‘Nirakar and Nirguna Naadbindu’ or Formless Creator, also called ‘Absolute Truth’…

I would caution that ‘Hindu mythological stories’ need to be read ‘between the lines’ and not taken on their face value. For example, like hidden meaning in ‘Karna was born from Kunti’s ear’, Draupadi (in Dwaperyuga) was born out of ‘sacred fire’. Sita (in Tretayuga) was ‘found underground inside a pitcher’ by King Janak ‘when he was ploughing his field’ (:-). Parvati (in Satyuga), the daughter of the Himalayas, was another form of Shiva’s first consort, ‘Sati’, who committed suicide in ‘sacred fire arranged by her father’, Daksha Prajapati, as he didn’t invite Shiva to that function and from where Shiva lifted her dead body on to his shoulder and in anger performed ‘Tandava Nritya’. His anger was appeased by Suryanarayana by removing the cause of Shiva’s anger by cutting the dead body with his ‘sudershan chakra’ into 51 (?) pieces. The locations along the Himalayas where these pieces fell are understood as ‘Shakti pithas’ or ‘energy centres’… And so on…

‘Shiva has moon on his forehead’ (in fact moon is seen on every terrestrial’s forehead :-)
‘He drinks somrus’. (Today, even school students are drinking alcoholic drinks, and of course, every terrestrial receives Moonlight or drinks ‘somrus’
:-)
‘He drank ‘halahal’ the deadliest poison which was the first stage item when ‘churning of milky ocean’ was started under the supervision of (planet) Jupiter that is 'Brihaspati’. (Maybe no terrestrial can avoid consuming ‘halahal’ in the present with high level of pollution in air water, food items, drugs, antibiotics…). And so on

Do not we the terrestrials thus get entitled to be at least called temporary attachments to earth or to Shiva – if not Him, as per ancients?

Also it is a ‘scientific’ fact that moon evolved from earth and became its satellite because of its higher gravity, and as per the mythological story, Moon evolved as a result of ‘churning of the milky ocean’, perhaps the molten magma in the core of the earth… Mount Merapi in the Central Java in Indonesia, a volcano, perhaps is the latest example to see how the core of earth contains molten magma that is symbolically represented in the image of ‘Ma Kali’, as both have red tongues, and the lava after flowing over the mouth of the crater cools down in contact with earth ('Shiva’s chest') and turns black or ‘kali’…

It is a ‘scientific’ fact that terrestrials always see only one side of the moon [that is its feet - as Lakshamana, who passed most of his time in her company, like earth-moon relationship, also had seen ‘Sita’s feet only’ as he told brother Ram (Sun, colour white) when ‘Ravana of golden Lanka’ (Venus, colour Kartika-like Peacock's Blue but appearing as orange due to 'maya') had kidnapped her :-) It shouldn’t therefore surprise one to read that Duryodhana (Venus) also got Draupadi (Moon, colour yellow) dragged to the ‘Parliament House’ with intent to expose her publicly in Dwaperyuga and ‘thanks to Krishna lengethening her sari’ (designed relative revolution of moon such that it has the same side always facing the earth) was saved the harassment… Isn’t the ‘West’ also trying to ‘expose’ the moon today? It is interesting that once upon a time spiritual India also is preparing shortly to join the 'West' in that quest. (It is interesting to note that our PM, an expert in ‘money matters’ sports a blue turban, perhaps a coincidence :-)

Felix, I told you that I am just picking up words that are handed over to me by the perfect 'unborn Creator's part' or 'soul' - that resides within each one of us 'imperfect' beings - who in fact believably is the 'real doer' using illusory physical forms, a variety of media or 'Panchatatva' only :-)

JC Joshi said...

Hi all,

I would add that there cannot be any dounbt that in order to explain matter related to ‘science subjects’ to the layman, the ancients used symbols. For example, earth’s destructive force in the form of a volcano is depicted through ‘Ma Kali’ – a black fearful black bodied woman with tongue painted red, a human skull garland around the neck, and so on…

Similarly, the void of the universe is represented by the image of four armed Lord Vishnu in human form - who is also referred in 'Mahabharata' - and carries a ‘shankha’ or conch shell in one, a ‘chakra’ or a revolving wheel like like weapon in the second, a ‘gada’ or mace in the third, and a ‘padma’ or lotus flower in the fourth… With the present day knowledge of the universe and the background knowledge of the mythology, it is clear that the conch shell, a source of sound energy, indicates the belief about the ‘creation’ of physical forms through conversion of sound energy into matter by ‘Naadbindu’, the ‘point source of super energy’ or the formless Creator, from ‘nothing’ or empty void. ‘Chakra’ stands for the basic Heavenly Bodies, i.e., the innumerable Galaxies that fill the infinite void of the universe (Krishna the Yogiraj and the incarnatin of Lord Vishnu in Dwaperyuga thus believably is present in thousands of forms at the same time. And, as a source of sound energy, a musical instrument, flute, is associated with him). ‘Gada’ depicts the planetary system and ‘Padma’ the stars as indicated by the common depiction of Brahma seated on a lotus flower growing out of Lord Vishnu’s navel…

The formless Creator Vishnu believably lies on Sheshnag/ Ananta in the West-East direction. Whereas, formless Shiva is represented by a Shivalinga, generally placed on the Western side (as we saw it placed in the Elephanta caves and discussed in detail in the blog related to those)...Arjuna, the model of Sun, thus approaches Krishna in the morning from the feet-end, for the sun rises in the east... And Duryodhana, model of planet Venus, and misnomer Saturn, being the ruler of the West approaches Him from the head-side as Venus rises in teh West :-)

sambar42 said...

Someone made a remark about Ramayana being about what we should be like. I somehow can't quite agree. I would rather know someone like Draupadi than someone like Sita. Draupadi has character and fire :-)
Rama makes his wife walk through fire to prove her purity which was beyond reproach anyway. The very question should not have risen (indeed, no one raised it) and if it had, Rama must have been the first to defend Sita. That just doesn't sit well with me.

Now, on to Karna.

They say that he was a great warrior and a match for Arjuna. I don't know where the proof of that lies. In the few occasions where they have to fight, Arjuna always defeats him (That time when they try to steal Virata's cows, The attack on Jayadratha). Actually Karna loses to even lesser warriors (Satyaki and Abhimanyu) on occasion. So, his claim of being a match for Arjuna seems to rise from the initial challenge that he makes to Arjuna early in the Mahabharata. Indeed for all his claims, Karna very seldom actually keeps the Pandava army from achieving its goal.

I think that Karna is a complex and interesting person, but hardly a shining light of character.

One of the first duties of being a friend is to tell your buddy when he is going down the wrong track. Karna enthusiastically supports Duryodana in most of his schemes, most of them underhanded.
And there's also that time when the Kauravas provoke the Gandharvas (early in the Pandava exile, when they go to the forest to mock the pandavas), the Gandharvas handily defeat the Kauravas and all except Duryodhana run away, leaving him to be taken captive. Now, the least you can do if you mess up is to stand with your friend to face the music :-)

Finally, regardless of the insults that someone heaped on you, I don't think that it is manly or kshatriya-like to publicly strip a woman in an assembly.

JC Joshi said...

Hi sambhar42, and others,

Hindu Philosophy’s fundamental belief about humans - the most evolved animal life on earth - is, ‘Man is a model of the universe’, via the Solar system, the most evolved Heavenly Bodies…And, today one knows that the microcosm functionally behaves just as the macrocosm (But the present day scientists are yet to reach the correlatin between the two). In Gita Krishna also says to the effect that the entire creation is copying Him, in some hierarchical order…

Had human beings had the choice of action, the variety that one sees in ‘Nature’ wouldn’t have been possible – maybe all would have been counting beads at the banks of 'Sangam' or confluence of rivers Ganga & Yamuna in Prayag, i.e., Allahabad or robbing banks :-)

The Hindu belief in regard to the 'script' of 'Ram leela', 'Krishna leela', and so on, that is the stories related with the drama of different Yugas, or time duration in long terms, is believed as formless creator's dream or 'thought power'

In my opinion, Karna is the model of scary ‘Rahu’ or the ultra violet energy, associated with planet Mercury that is close to the Sun that ‘runs with fire in its mouth’. It attaches itself to blue colour, associated with planet Venus, i.e., its model Duryodhana in the story of ‘Mahabharata’. These two energies act as barriers in the path of the seekers of 'Truth' in so far as the material part of life is concerned. But, they do not have any control against individuals who receive 'spiritual' support from the models of Moon (Draupadi) and Mars (Bhima) as in Dwaperyuga... Please see also the graphic representation in this regard I had indicated earlier...

Krishna says, to the effect, "Surrender in me if you want to reach the formless Vishnu, the 'Absolute Truth'."

Neeraj said...

Namaste Kavita,
You raised a important and relevant question which is going to remain not just in present times but also for future generation. Your opinion seems to be based on a 'laukik' or materialistic outlook. As a passenger of this world we need to evaluate 'all things' based on spiritual reality. Perspective needs to be clear and closest to 'GOD' for judging goodness or truth, and which is what Geetaa Maataa gives us (the context for everything in life). Here's a simple explanation which will be like a litmus test for you to not get confused about 'goodness'. Before judging 'goodness' one should always take look at the end-intention. Because all's good that ends good, in otherwords the winner of a race is always to be judged at the finish line. Therefore our basis for evaluating 'goodness' should on the long-term farsighted as possible/visible, or basically on the longest long-term possible, and only GOD can fit in that category because GOD will be the one that will remain for ever. The world around may die into zero, the only thing that will remain is 'one', the 'shivlinga'. If Duryodhana helped Karna it was to use him for his ulterior motives. Lord KrishN had no ulterior motives, his teachings of Shreeman BHagavad Geetaa is for all to see. Therefore here's the litmus test for 'goodness':

Frist, the One who always does things for one own's menial selfish gains is a Duryodhana and considered a 'bhogi'. 'Bhogis' are a big burden to our society because it is like a virus that can never stop. They can never be pleased or satisfied because the satisfaction can never be fulfilled by 'bhogas'. And as a thirsty living being, people like Duryodhan will continue create havoc to society in search of their 'bhog'. Take the example of Ravana. Inspite of Ravana married to the most beautiful and pious sati ever 'Mandodari devi', he went for svayamvar of Sita mataa, inspite of him having the most elegant palace, he went after the devlok, inspite of him having the most wealth on earth he went after his own elder brother Kuber! The effects of a 'bhogi' mindset like those to be seen in present-day world, are for all to be seen, there is no end to their satisfaction nor pursue. Come greenhouse effect, or come hurricanes, The lust continues even after their marriages, and the prowling continues inspite of their multitude possessions. Therefore, bottomline is, 'bhogis' need to be curtailed since they are a big burden and liabilities to not only to society of peaceful timid people but also to Mother earth, and celestial world. They neither live peacefully themselves nor let others live in peace. All of GOD KrishNas political planning was part of his kshatriya duty to curtail such bhogis on earth.

Secondly, if one only performs actions for others by placing obligation before/over duty is a 'KarNa'. As a well learned person and a aware of civility it was KarNa's duty to stop Duryodhan from disrespecting women, prowling, and desist from his 'bhogi' lifestyle. It is said that it is better to have a wise enemy than to have foolish friend. A friend is not a friend if they cannot provide satsanga (or sat sangati). Friendship should elevate one to higher values and GOD-centric future. 'KarNa' needed to be curtailed because the mindset he possessed that of doing things only for those who materially/egoistically helped him. He did not see that it was GOD who was his true ultimate friend.

Finally, one who does things only for GOD are Arjun/pandavas. First of all Pandavas weren't 'bhogis' like the kauravas, as can be seen by their readily acceptance and adherence of 'vanvaas' and 'agnyaatvaas' since the time PanDu raja had passed away. Secondly, they did NOT put obligation (material obligations) above their duty. Arjun was almost giving up to fight when he was confused between being 'materially' obliged to his Guru and brothers, elders, and family, versus performing his duty of stopping the culprits that do not honor justice or their own promise. The 'bhogi' malice which was at the root of several crimes prevailing, needed to be challenged by a duty-bound kshatriya. Therefore at the end of KrishNas revelation of truth, Geetaa Maataa's dRRishTi prevailed. (Arjuna did prove to be PanDava because he performed his actions 'only' for GOD aka. his svadharma.

In 'sanksept' summary, if one does things only for their own material gains or 'bhoga' is a 'Duryodhana'.

If one does things for other's material gain and other people's 'bhoga' is a 'KarNa' (e.g. the slaveworm policemen who worked for the Britishers during their rule).

And, If one does things mainly for GOD are PanDavas. Whatever they do is for coming closer to GOD. Their 'only' metrics/benchmark in life is to gain love for GOD like the braj gopis or vaanar senaa.

Mahabharat is amar, it is prevalent now and continue later. It is for us to decide what (out of the above three personalities) we want to be, and yes as always keep the 'finishing line' in mind because all's well if our last breath goes well.
AUM Namah Shivaya
Jai Shrii KrshN
- Neeraj

Ed Viswanathan said...

Namasthe Kavitha: Nobody is GOOD and nobody is BAD in Mahabharta.

It is strictly a book to educate masses all about ethics and morality as well as in spirituality. In fact, epic Mahabharta was written by Veda Vyasa, since Sage Narada pleaded him to do that. Narada told Veda Vyasa that ordinary people cannot comprehend all other scriptures he has written. So he has to write Mahabhartam to educate ordinary people.

There are more than 200 individuals in the 220,000 verses of Mahabharta. All of them are good as well as bad.

Look at Bishma, one one side he is greater than Karna, since he gave up his life for his father and kingdom. Still the way he treated Ambha was deplorable. look at Dhramaputra. He upheld Dharma and still he lied to kill Drona.

We have no way of knowing whether Mahabahrata epic was real or myth. May be the whole Mahabharata epic was written so that Veda Vyasa can give to the world Bhagavad Gita , “ life instruction manual. “

That may be the reason why, even Bhagavad Gita is discussed as the 1st person [Krishna ] talking to the 2nd person [Arjuna ] in the middle of the battle field at the outset of the war. A third person [ Sanjaya ] see all these things through telepathy and tell them to a 4 th person who is blind [ Dhartharashtra ].

All Hindu authors have deliberately disguised the authorship of all scriptures in Hinduism.


Just look at the words ASURA & SURA. The word ASURA in Sanskrit means THOSE WHO DO NOT DRINK THE NARCOTIC BEVERAGE SURA and SURA is the one who drink that narcotic beverage.

ASURAS are the children of one of the 12 Prajapathis, sage Kasyapa. Today ASURA means a person who is interested in materialism and SURA is one who is interested in spiritualism.

Ed Viswanathan said...

Namasthe Kavitha: Nobody is GOOD and nobody is BAD in Mahabharta.

It is strictly a book to educate masses all about ethics and morality as well as in spirituality. In fact, epic Mahabharta was written by Veda Vyasa, since Sage Narada pleaded him to do that. Narada told Veda Vyasa that ordinary people cannot comprehend all other scriptures he has written. So he has to write Mahabhartam to educate ordinary people.

There are more than 200 individuals in the 220,000 verses of Mahabharta. All of them are good as well as bad.

Look at Bishma, one one side he is greater than Karna, since he gave up his life for his father and kingdom. Still the way he treated Ambha was deplorable. look at Dhramaputra. He upheld Dharma and still he lied to kill Drona.

We have no way of knowing whether Mahabahrata epic was real or myth. May be the whole Mahabharata epic was written so that Veda Vyasa can give to the world Bhagavad Gita , “ life instruction manual. “

That may be the reason why, even Bhagavad Gita is discussed as the 1st person [Krishna ] talking to the 2nd person [Arjuna ] in the middle of the battle field at the outset of the war. A third person [ Sanjaya ] see all these things through telepathy and tell them to a 4 th person who is blind [ Dhartharashtra ].

All Hindu authors have deliberately disguised the authorship of all scriptures in Hinduism.


Just look at the words ASURA & SURA. The word ASURA in Sanskrit means THOSE WHO DO NOT DRINK THE NARCOTIC BEVERAGE SURA and SURA is the one who drink that narcotic beverage.

ASURAS are the children of one of the 12 Prajapathis, sage Kasyapa. Today ASURA means a person who is interested in materialism and SURA is one who is interested in spiritualism.

Samba said...

Amazing post. I've been a fan of Duryodhana too for long. The honesty in hatred, the balls to be politically incorrect, the gumption to throw the caste system out and recognize merit and ofcourse the eternal will to brave against destiny make him a true hero, albeit very different from the stereotypical hero. You can see his shades in the Angry Young Man movies of Amitabh. So real, so gray and so powerful as character.

As you point out, the Pandavas hated Duryodhana as much as he hated them. Yudhishthira's true colors of hidden hatred come out when he sees Duryodhana in heaven. Look at Bhima. There is hardly any difference between him and Duryodhana when it comes to ethics. Both are muscular, brawny and violent. Both are war mongers. Neither of them have qualms about using unfair means to succeed, be it war or dice. At least, Duryodhana has the ability to articulate his views and explain why he is the way he is. Bhima can't even manage that.

If you notice, Duryodhana was never bad to anyone but the overt and covert supporters of Pandavas. He hates the elders - Bhishma and Drona for their favoritism and hypocrisy. Drona can hardly be called a Guru, given his greed, casteism, and blatant discrimination. But you need to pay attention to Duryodhana's devotion to Guru Balarama who was neutral and more like what we expect a Guru to be. Ofcourse his treatment of Draupadi was uncivilized. But even that wasn't without provocation - her mockery of himself and her unfair rejection of his blood brother Karna at the Swayamwara. In fact, of all kings assembled at Draupadi's Swayamvara, Duryodhana alone had the conviction of challenge the rejection of Karna.

There is no question that Duryodhana was fair to Karna. In fact he did more to the friendship than Karna. He always looked at Karna as a soul-mate, an equal. But Karna kept looking at Duryodhana as his master. And he made promises to kunti that would eventually hurt Duryodhana's cause. If I were Karna, I would never make promises that would hurt my best friend for the sake of a mother who abondoned me long back. I don't mean that Karna was unfaithful to Duryodhana. But, I only wish if Karna considered Duryodhana a friend rather than a boss. But look at Duryodhana's heart. He respects Karna even more after he comes to know (after Karna's death) of Karna's true origins and the difficult promises he made.

Anonymous said...

there is no point in justying acts of duryodhana except accepting karna as his friendship (if karna was not great archer,it is doubt that whether duryodhan would have accept him)

1) he tried to poison bheema
2) he planned to kill pandavas by making them to stay in wax house
whether those things are brave ?
3) he made his father to give 'kandavaprastha' hard and waste land to pandavas keeping with him, the fertile hastinapur

4)ordered to disrobe draupadi & insulted pandavas after game of dice

threatened his father by saying,he will commit suicide,if pandavas dont play another dice game with him

5) send dhurvasa muni to pandavas hut when they were in vanavas knowing fully that there wont be any food after draupadi had food in noon
6) tried to humilate pandavas in forest and get humilated by gandharvas
7)not even willing to give atleast 5 villages to pandavas
8) insulted krishna when he came as peace ambassador
9)insulted vidura by insulting him as 'dasi's son'. is it justifiable.
is nt the act of insulting a person by birth ?
10) send demon to disrupt arjuna while he was in penace
11) tried to disrupt pandavas when he suspect pandavas in virat

totally he is symbol of evil,never missed the chance to show jealousness,cunnigness and wickedness

Anonymous said...

though yudistra is not potrayed as big warfare, he symbolises dharma

1)asking bheema to keep quiet when comes to know duryodhan poisoned him

2)accepted kandavaprastha a waste land in order to maintain peace

3)he was pushed to play game of dice, as it is duty of kshatriya to accept war and dice challenge,

but for this he spend 13 years in forest,that is big punishment for him

there was once chance to cut the exile within 13 days owing to a special day which meant 13 year count, but yudistra did nt accept this and he finished his entire exile.

the real character of yudistra exposed in 'yaksha prasana', this shows he is the HERO of mahabharata.
one could have been awed by answers of yuidstra.
especially his reply when yaksha asked him to give life for only one pandava and then two...
it shows he is 'epitome of dharma'

one more feather in his cap comes,when he ask bheema and arjun to save dhuryodhana from gandharvas,who came to humilate pandavas

yudistra says,when a common problem occurs,we are not 5,we are one hundred and five.

even after several humilation, he is to ready to make peace and send krishna to hastinapur.

inturn dhuryodhana insulted krishna,vidura and send one ambassador & through him spitted venom on pandavas

knowing fully he was not given justice by his big father, he is inquirying abt dhridrashtra,when he is coming from exile.

he is not a coward, a man abide to dharma,truth and peace lover

Anonymous said...

No doubt,karna is noblest person,yet he deserved the end for being with dhuryodhana.
as kurukshetra fought based on 'dharma vs adharma'

Karna knows the wicked wax house plan of Dhuryodhan to kill pandavas ,yet karna did nt stop him, he tied to his friendship

he did nt stop vastraharana of draupadi,calling her 'vesi' justying that even if she brought as nude to court hall,there is nothing wrong.

he deserved a final kick for this.

even he is responsible for killing abhimanyu,who is without arms and is killed by group of great warriors.


yet, he is lauded for his bravery,gifted and generous and his respect for friendship

he is pathetic character.

this character will always be remembered than pandavas

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