Imagine a prompt which let’s you talk about an Indian based mythology story, written originally in an Indian Language (Sanskrit)! Thanks to Shalini @ shalmojo.in for this interesting one – I didn’t realise I had such hidden opinions about it, until I wrote the following.
The Mahabharata, which is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of Ancient India & has innumerable translations, in many languages (including all Indian languages).
Mahabharata is a classic, and probably everyone in the world has heard about it, and everyone who has ‘studied’ in India has had the fortune to read, discuss and analyze until paralyze (mental paralysis!). I also had the joy of reading some of it in the original language, in Sanskrit, again way back in school – back then, I didn’t realize how I would miss the language itself as a grown up!
Hence, it was only much later that I could actually appreciate the story for itself, and also for the teachings it offered! One can learn so much about human nature, relationships, politics, negotiations, vices & their prices! and fashion!
It is also a sobering retelling of the perils of war and blindness (It is amazing that this epic points out blindness beyond the obvious, and offers reflections to our own blind following, blind faith and thoughts with no fore-sight!).
Did you know? During the times of the Mahabharata, Astrologers used to rely on constellations to predict the future! (this caught my fancy, since you know we help people re-design their lives through Astrology). Fascinating!
I know there are many adaption on television for this epic too (even today, it is a favorite programming choice for channels) – I remember those Sunday mornings, the entire family would gather around the television to watch & sing along with the openings credits!
Now on taking a closer look at these ‘serials’, I have found that the television series have taken creative licenses a bit too far!
Take for example the depiction of Draupadi. Ira Mukhoty (author of Heroines: Powerful Indian Women of Myth and History ) shared that, & I reproduce here in my own words, that in the original texts, Draupadi is a dusky beauty – strong and able & not an advertisement of fair & lovely & every jewellery in a 5 mile radius!!!
But, the television industry has portrayed her in the way which ‘they feel’ is the preferred perception of our protagonist!
I wonder what other creative licenses have been employed in the portrayal of all the other characters and perhaps even the story itself! Makes me want to go back and read one of the earlier, much earlier translations, to read one closer to the original, before popular expectations interfered in the re-telling.
In case you haven’t read it in the last 10 odd years, do consider giving it a re-read!
And for some FUN, try out the many (like seriously many!) quizzes online, to figure out “Which Mahabharat Character are you?”!
My results: One said I was ARJUN – (You are warrior by choice. You are fierce and loyal and always come to help others, when in need. You are always joyful and always focused on your goals.) and another said I was: Samrat Yudhishthira! (You are very wise and always follow the right path. You are loving and forgive people for their mistakes. You are a very good ruler and just. BEWARE: Do not let people use you because of your innocence. Sadbuddhi ke saath saath, thodi buddhi ki bhi aavashyakta hai)! LOL!
(While I am thrilled at my results, It made me realize, the improbability of getting the result as being a Woman (female) character from Mahabharata!).
Have you read the Mahabharata? Did you see the relatable patterns with the modern world? Did it touch your mind or your heard or just your funny bone?
I would love to hear your comments on this epic!
Guest Blogger Bio
Ishieta is a published Author of a book on Numerology called: Numerology – The Power of Numbers.