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Connection Between Dharma And Destiny: Mahabharata

1718 words - 7 pages

When it comes to literature the world has a lot to offer. From novels to poems history has given us plenty to read and learn from. Some literary works are more than just for reading purposes such as the great epic of Mahabharata. In Hinduism Mahabharata is one of two major factors that led to the creation of the religion, the other being Ramayana. Around 3000 BC Mahabharata was told in the form of stories or gossip between gods, kings, and common people. “It presents sweeping visions of the cosmos and humanity and intriguing and frightening glimpses of divinity in an ancient narrative that is accessible, interesting, and compelling for anyone willing to learn the basic themes of India's culture” (Fitzgerald 5). This shows why Mahabharata is more than just apiece of literature, it teaches us the connection between destiny and dharma and how one can get lost in the mist of finding out which is the right path.
The 90,000-verse epic consists of a hero and a villain both being from the same bloodline. The hero is Yudhishthira, the leader of the Pandavas and son of Dharma. Pandavas consist of him and 4 of his younger brothers: Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva. All of the Pandavas were born through a boon that was given to Pandu’s first wife Kunti. Pandu was cursed after he accidently killed a sage and his wife that he would die is he had intercourse, so he couldn’t have children. Kunti had a boon to have kids from different gods, which she gave the boon of two kids to Pandu’s second wife Madri. Kunti gave birth to Yudhishthira (son of Dharma god of righteousness), Bhima (son of wind god Vayu), and Arjuna (son of sky god Indra); while Madri gave birth to the twins Nakula, and Sahadeva (sons of Ashwini gods). The villain of Mahabharata is Duryodhana, the leader of the Kauravas. He is the oldest of 100 siblings; however, he is still younger than Yudhishthira. The Kauravas and Pandavas are first cousins, making Yudhishthira the rightful heir to the throne of Hastinapur. This is where all the problems start to come in because Duryodhana thinks he should be the heir to the throne since his blind father Dhritarashtra is the current king due to the passing of Pandu. There is tension between the Kauravas and Pandavas ever since their childhood that keeps building up more and more until the war of Kurukshetra takes place between the two clans.
Throughout the epic of Mahabharata the association of dharma and destiny comes into play over and over again with different sceneries and situations. Dharma is doing what’s right under a certain situation. “Dharma is based on wisdom, insight and human values” (Kini 1). Destiny is seen as fate or unchangeable, if it’s meant to be then it will happen no matter what. This often creates an unbalance between destiny and dharma. One might be so caught up in his destiny that they might forget their responsibilities due to dharma. For example when Dhritarashtra plans to give the Pandavas half of the kingdom in order to...

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