Symbolism Of Mahabharata


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Symbolism of Mahabharata

The Mahabharata symbolizes the Creation of the Universe, and the Creation of Man from Spirit or the Supreme Consciousness, into Matter. The discourse in the Gita is the process by which one could reverse this descent. In other words, it details the steps by which man can reascend from his limited consciousness as a mortal being, back to the immortal consciousness of his true Self, merging with the Infinite (Spirit), from whence he came.

–      Man is born with the following, The Mind (Manas), Intellect (Buddhi), Ego, and Our Samskaras.

                     Bhishma is referred to as Ego. Bhishmais derived from the Sanskrit root bhi or bhis, to frighten, and asmiI am. He is the most powerful opponent of the Pandavas. Ego is the reflected consciousness; the reflection of God, the image of God in man, that forgets it’s true divine Self and becomes identified with the powers of perception and action in the instruments of the body and mind.

–        Drona, the Teacher, is Habit or Samskara. As the preceptor, he taught archery to both Pandavas and Kauravas, but during the battle he sided with the Kauravas. Past thoughts and actions create impressions on the consciousness. These impressions or Samskaras, create strong tendencies to repeat themselves

 

                     Dhritarashtra, represents Manas, the Sense Mind, or theBlind Mind, that which is without discriminating power; hence Dhritarashta is born blind, from Ambika and Vyasa. He has two wives.
                     Gandhari, his first wife, represents the Power of  Desires.
                     Vaishya, his second wife, represents the Attachment of Desires.
                     Duryodhana, represents Material Desire. He is the firstborn of the 100 sons of Dhritarashtra, with his wife Gandhari. His name is derived from the Sanskrit word dur meaning difficult and yudhmeaning to fight. Hence he becomes the king and leader of the Kauravas, the king and leader of all worldly enjoyments.
                     The 100 sons represent the 100 offspring of the blind sense-mind. These consist of the 5 sense instruments of perception: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch; and the five sense instruments of action: speech, manual ability, locomotion, procreation and excretion. Each of these ten, have ten tendencies or propensities; hence 100 offspring.
                     Yuyutsu, the 101 son, is born from Dhritarashtra’s  second wife, Vaishya. He represents the Desire to give Psychological battle.
                     Pandu, represents Buddhi, the pure discriminating intelligence, the positive aspect of the mind. He has two wives.
                     Kunti, the first wife, represents the Power of Dispassion (free from emotion or Prejudice)
                     Madri, the second wife, represents the Power of attachment to Dispassion.
                     Pandu had 5 sons, 3 from Kunti and 2 from Madri. The 5 sons represent the 5 Tattvas or elements that make up all matter: ether, air, fire, water and earth. The five elements are not elements as defined by science, instead they are five subtle vibratory forces into which the Creative Force differentiates itself. Within the spinal column of man are five subtle centers of consciousness, called Chakras that create and sustain this body. These chakras also bestow divine powers to an enlightened person who has awakened the spiritual consciousness within. The three sons of Kunti represent the Vishuddha Chakra (cervical), Anahata Chakra (heart), and the Manipura Chakra (lumbar). The two sons of Madri represent the Swadhisthana Chakra (sacral) and Muladhara Chakra (coccyx). The structure of the spinal cord also shows a differentiation supporting the divisions of the three sons of Kunti, with the two sons of Madri. The spinal column extends to the level of the lumbar vertebrae, as one solid structure. From the lower lumbar to the coccyx, the spinal nerves with their ganglia, extend downwards like the tail of a horse, and has been named cauda equina(horses tail). It has the same origin, (as in having the same father) but are at the same time different. They are the location of the 2 sons of Madri. Also significant to the spiritual aspirant (Sadhaka), is the function of the first three chakras, versus the last two. The first three are important in the inner spiritual activities of the Sadhaka; the lower two, are important for the purification of his external activities.
                     Yudhistir, is Divine Calmness or Divine Discrimination and the Ether Element in the Cervical Center or Vishuddha Chakra. Ether remains unchanged, and undisturbed by the violent plays of nature’s forces. Similarly, waves of sensual or emotional desires that can ripple the consciousness, and distort perception, have no effect on Yudhistir. He is the power of comparison between good and evil. He is the common sense that perceives all that is virtuous. He is the son of Dharma.
                     Bhima, is Prana, the Power of Vitality, the Air Element in the Dorsal Center, or Anahata Chakra. Hence why Vyasaji wrote that he is the son of the God Vayu, the God of Wind. The aspiring Sadhaka, practices his Pranayama that is controlled by this center, thereby calming the breath and controlling the mind and all of its sense objects.
                     Arjuna, is Self-Control, the Fire Element in the Lumbar Center or Manipura Chakra. This center is for the purification of mind and body, making intense meditation possible. Arjuna is seen as the chief devotee of Lord Krishna, because he represents self-control, patience and determination, without which, no spiritual progress is possible. This center provides the fire-force of mental and bodily strength to ward off the attack of the sense forces of materialism and sense-bound body consciousness.
                     Nakula, is Adherence, the Power to Obey Rules of Dharma, the Water Element in the Sacral Center, orSwadhishthana Chakra. Adherence to Dharmic principles, allows the Sadhaka to control mental tendencies.
                     Sahadeva, is Restraint, the Earth Element in the Coccyx Center, or Muladhara Chakra. He is the Power of Resistance by which restless outer sense organs can be controlled.
                     Karna, the first son of Kunti, is Attachment(Raga), the inclination that dwells on pleasure. Hence his friendship with Duryodhana (Material Desire), and his battle with his half-brothers, the Pandavas. Interestingly that Vyasaji in placing him in context, has indicated that he is born of the Sun, the light of the consciousness of the spiritual eye, he is brought up by a charioteer, in a place other than where he was born. He is brought up in the Pons Varoli, the seat of Manas, the sense mind, or Dhritarashtra. The word Karna also means “the helm of a ship”; hence Vyasaji is indicating that Karna can be steered inwards through the spiritual eye, to the calm waters of the spiritual consciousness, or outwards into the stormy waters of attachments and sense forces.
                     Drona, the Teacher, is Habit or Samskara. As the preceptor, he taught archery to both Pandavas and Kauravas, but during the battle he sided with the Kauravas. Past thoughts and actions create impressions on the consciousness. These impressions or Samskaras, create strong tendencies to repeat themselves. The word Drona comes from the Sanskrit word dru, meaning in a melted state.This indicates that past actions and thoughts remain in melted form as impressions on the consciousness of man. Good Samskaras help to create good thoughts, actions and habits. When the Samskaras are evil, they create wicked thoughts that result in evil actions and habits. If the dominant tendencies are wicked, then the inner urges joins the overwhelming wicked mental tendencies, against the angelic forces. Hence, with Duryodhana and his sense army in control, Drona or Inner Urges, joins his army, and attacks the Pandavas.




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Dhritarashtra’s Distress


Dhritarashtra’s distress:

It is only in sorrow that we realise who is dear to us. Dhritarashtra is unhappy and unable to sleep. He sends for Vidura, though it is well past midnight. He wants to talk to his half-brother Vidura, for he has foresight and is just. Vidura arrives and answers Dhritarashtra’s questions. He tells him that one should be impartial and just while making up one’s mind. One should not tilt towards one’s dear ones. Dhritarashtra has erred in supporting his son, knowing well that Duryodhana’s quest is unjust. As a father, it is his duty to advise his son rightly. Vidura’s words of advice have validity even today, said Kidambi Narayanan.

Vidura says the body is like a chariot and gnana is the charioteer. Our senses are like horses. Gnana is what controls the senses. He points out that in Dhritarashtra’s case, he has allowed his affection for his son to rule his life, thus depriving Yudhishtira of his kingdom. In all ways, Yudhishtira is more worthy of the kingdom than Duryodhana.
One who is ruled by his senses and not by sense becomes disturbed in mind. He who desires what belongs to others loses sleep. A man whose opponent is strong loses sleep, Vidura tells Dhritarashtra. In the dispute between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, the latter are facing a strong enemy. The Kauravas are also coveting a kingdom that is not theirs rightfully. And when Dhritarashtra has been supportive of his sons’ wrong desires and actions, he goes without sleep.

Vidura lists the qualities a ruler should possess: he should be righteous, generous and brave, and he should know how to protect his subjects; he should be learned. On all these counts, Yudhishtira is superior to Duryodhana, says Vidura. On the one hand are the Pandavas — Yudhishtira, who never wavers from the path of righteousness; strong Bhima; Arjuna, the master archer; and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva. But with Duryodhana are deceitful people like Sakuni. Would it be proper to entrust the kingdom to them, Vidura asks Dhritarashtra. Thus, the cause for Dhritarashtra’s distress is Dhritarashtra himself.