Thursday, 9 August 2012

Much awaited Shanti Parva. Mahabharata 177

Yudhisthira, Dhritarsashtra and other pandavas and kauravas, after offering  jala-tharpana to the departed, continue to stay on the banks of Ganga for a month. A month is required to be free of impurity caused by the death of relatives.

 Dharmaraja is still dejected and distressed, 'Ajruna! It would have been better if we had continued to live in the yadava kingdom. Even living there as beggars was better than killing all our relatives and facing resultant misfortunes because of our deeds. What did we achieve by killing our own? What special merit did we get from our acts? This khsatriya karma is worthless! The people who live in the forests have better set of values; they are quiet, have self-control, truthful, clean, non-violent and are co-operative.'

'We are paying for our greed, desire, fraud and false pride. We have descended to a sorry state and have the painful task of ruling this kingdom. We fought like dogs fighting for meat! But this winning dog is unable to enjoy its meat. We have now the ill repute of being the destroyers of this world. Dhritharashtra feels  that we have decimated his clan. Killing our enemies has no doubt taken away our anger, but we have collected  ill-luck because of this guilt.'

'It is said in shastras that if one renounces everything and stops doing evil, such a being will be eligible to reach a happy state where there is no cycle of birth and death. Therefore, I want to give up this kingdom and its wealth, the comfort and the pleasures and go to a place where I will have peace and quiet and lead a life of total unselfishness. You can take over this  kingdom without enemies and lead  a safe life.'

Predictably each of the brothers have reactions and opinions to this statement of renunciation by Dharmaraja. It is interesting to see what each one has to say.

We also see the levels of degradation of the powerful khsatriyas have reached, when Yudhishthira compares them to the tribal people and is all praises for the tribal people!

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