Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Reading A: Mahabharata

Shantanu and Ganga
Shantanu falls in love with a woman at the river and she agrees to marry him as long as he never questions her actions. When they have children, she drowns each of them in the river, and he stops her once she is about to drown the eighth one. She explains to them that she is the river Ganga and gave birth to the eight gods, Vasus, who are being punished as humans for stealing Vasishtha's cow. When Ganga drowns the babies, she returns to heaven and takes the last son with her, he returns to Shantanu as an adult by the name of Bhishma.

Shantanu and Satyavati
Shantanu falls in love with a fisherman's daughter, Satyavati. He opposes their marraige because Shantanu already has Bhishma for a son. Bhishma vows to never have children to help his father. Shantanu and Satyavati have two kids, one becomes king but then dies, and Bhishma takes the throne instead of the other son because he is too young. Meanwhile, a neighboring king holds a ceremony for his daughters to select a husband and Bhishma seizes all three for Vichitravirya, the young king. One of the daughters, Amba, has already promised herself to another king so her father banishes her. She vows revenge on Bhishma. Vichitraviyra marries the two other daughters.

Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura
Vichitraviyra dies withouth having any sons, so Satyavati has the widows sleep with her son Vyasa, to bear children. He looks strange because of his strange religious rituals, so the widows are afraid of him when they sleep with him. One closes their eyes, so their son, Dhritarashtra, is blind. One turns pale with fear, so their son, Pandu, is born pale. But one of the widows has her maid sleep with Vyasa in her place and he likes her, so the son, Vidura, is born normal.

The Pandavas and the Kauravas
Dhritarashtra has a wife who covers her eyes to share his blindness. Pandu has two wives, Kunti and Madri, but cannot have children. Pandu is hunting and shoots a deer having sex but the deer is actually a celestial being in disguise who curses Pandu and says that he will also die making love. Pandu's wife has him have gods bear children for him, and he has 5 sons, called the Pandavas. Pandu can't resist his passion for Madri and dies making love to her. She jumps on his funeral pyre and leaves Kunti to take care of the sons.

The escape from the fire
The Pandavas set their house on fire that Purochana builds for them. It's a trap and everyone thinks they died but they escaped.

Life in hiding
A rakshasa is killed by Bhima, the sister of the rakshasa falls in love with him and they have a son. Vyasa urges the Pandavas to disguise themselves as beggars. They beg everyday until Kunti divides up the alms. Bhima also defeats another rakshasa.

Draupadi's swayamvara
King Drupada is having a swayamvara for his daughter and the Pandavas show up. Krishna, an avatar of the god Vishnu, is there with his brother Balarama and they recognize the Pandavas in disguise. During the contest, Arjuna is able to hit the target with his bow and wins Draupadi as his bride. The 5 brothers have to share Draupadi as their wife. But she had 5 husbands in a previous lifetime, and prayed to get them back. She got them back when she married the Pandava brothers. 

Pandava (Wikipedia)

Mahabharata by Narayan 

No comments:

Post a Comment