Mahabharata: A mirror to the human psyche!

When I was probably in high school, I had dared to analyse Mahabharatha! I call it daring because, I believe that at that age, I was absolutely incompetent to understand the depth of knowledge embedded in this work. Without getting into the discussion whether the story was a fact or fiction, an analysis can still be made of the importance of this work not just for Indian philosophy, but also in various other aspects.
One thing that always has me avid is the psychological interpretations embedded in every Mahabharatha character. The story though overtly appears to be one of Pandavas and Kauravas, the roots run very deep! They are as embedded in the blind devotion of Bheeshma as is in the mercurial nature of Shantanu. Dhritaraashtra represents the infatuation we have for our possessions! Duryodhana was a mistake of Dhritaraashtra! He was a mistake, because he represents the ignorance of Dhritaraashtra, the attachment and selfishness embedded within the heart of the blind King. And indeed he turned a blind-eye towards him, which as I see it represents the attitude we have towards our shortcomings. In order that we continue to enjoy the pleasures that we have (be it wealth, sensual or power), we always choose to ignore the shortcomings that we have. In our eyes, these short comings infact represent the means to enjoy the pleasures and thus become dear to us!
Karna, I feel, was never a friend of Duryodhana. He saw himself as an obligated servant. I wouldn’t also classify him as a good servant, as he never foresaw the danger awaiting his master. Nevertheless, since he was under the obligation of Duryodhana, he tread the path walked by him! Apart from this, the whole story revolves around one basic psychology – Revenge! Dhritarashtra’s ignorance of Pandavas, is just a manifestation of his revenge for not being chosen king in the first place! As he was born blind, Dhritarashtra was not made King, Pandu was chosen! Draupadi insulted Karna in her swayamvara, which led to Karna instigating Duryodhana to strip her! Duryodhana’s this act, resulted in Draupadi and Pandavas’ vow for revenge! Shakuni who played the pivotal role in the destruction of Kauravas, did so for avenging the “injustice” meted to his sister Gandhari! Shikhandi, Arjuna, Shalya, Drona, Drupada, Drushtadymna! All the pivotal characters let the revenge to take control of their actions! The death of Upapandavas, the attempt to kill Parikshith, everything is a product of this one human emotion – revenge!
What is the essense of this?
Isn’t it indeed a wonder how effectively so much information has been embedded in a single work! Indeed it is the greatest work ever composed in the history of mankind. We must try to study this in depth and imbibe its vast resources and make our lives more meaningful! The Question being…Will we?

2 comments

    • mounibaba on August 15, 2005 at 7:57 PM

    Beautiful analysis!
    I’m sure that you’ve just shown us a tip of the iceberg. Please do post more on this.

    Will be back for more discussion

    • jayashree on September 1, 2005 at 7:45 AM

    mahaabhaaratadalli illadiruvudu jagattinalliyE illavamte.ellavU dharmakAraNa. sulabhavAgi arthavAgolla.

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