The Cases of Misplaced Duty, Honesty, Integrity, etc. – Part 1 – Bhishma

The sense of duty, honesty, integrity, etc. is of paramount importance when it comes to defining the person. But what should be one’s duty? To follow one’s friends, relatives, well-wishers, no matter what, even if it clearly seen that they are toddling on the path of adharma (wrong-doings)? The Mahabharata throws three such heroes whose […]

The Mahabharat, Book 18: Swargarohan Parva

Post-War Parvas Swargarohan Parva  (स्वर्गारोहण पर्व) is the eighteenth and last Parva of Mahabharat. “Swarga” means “Heaven” and “arohan” means “ascension” or “to ascend“; when these two words are joined together (Swargarohan), it means “ascend to Heaven”. This is a brief parva. The previous parva (Mahaprasthanik Parva – महाप्रस्थानिक पर्व) narrates the story of renunciation […]

The Mahabharat, Book 17: Mahaprasthanik Parva

Post-War Parvas ========================================== “Mahaprasthan” means “the great (last) journey” or the journey of the soul leaving the body. Mahaprasthanik Parva describes the last journey of the Pandavas as they relinquish the royal garbs and take up the great journey to the Himalayas with the ultimate aim to achieve “mukti or Mokasha” or salvation. Background of Mausala […]

The Mahabharat, Book 16: Mausala Parva

Post-War Parvas ================================== “Mausala(मौसल)” is a wooden pestle that is used to grind spices. It is a 4 to 5 feet iron rod. The Mausala Parva describes the painful end of the powerful Yadavs/Vrishnis and Andhaka’s who ruled in Dwaraka. Krishna and Balrama also die at the end of this parva. Thus the curse Gandhari […]

The Mahabharat, Book 15: Ashramavasika Parva

Post-War Parvas ========================================== “Ashramavasika (आश्रमवासिक)” literally means to “making an abode out of a hutment(ashram) in the forest“. In this Parva or book, Hastinapur is shown being ruled by the Pandavas with Yudhishthir as the emperor and Dhritarashtra as their head. After some time the old king Dhritarashtra get tired of the royal life. He now […]

The Mahabharat, Book 14: Ashwamedha Parva

Post-War Parvas ====================================== King Yudhishthir decides to perform the Ashwamedha Yagya  (अश्वमेध) or “The Horse Sacrifice” to absolve the crimes of war. It is about how Yudhishthir attempts to revive the economy of the shattered kingdom after the destructive war of Kurukshetra. He decided to perform a sacrifice called Ashwamedha. He amassed wealth by mining […]

The Mahabharat, Book 13: Anushasan Parva

Post-War Parvas ====================================== Ansushasan means governance via discipline. It is almost a continuation of the Shanti Parva (शांति पर्व). The Parva starts with a scene of the battlefield, where Bhishma is lying on a bed of arrows shot by Arjun piercing his entire body. It also includes an narration of suffering of Bhishma on bed […]

The Mahabharat, Book 11: Stri Parva

Post-War Parvas ============================= “Stri” means a “woman“. It describes the lament of the widows who visit the war field Kurukshetra. Upon seeing their dead ones, the wailing and deep anguish is very aptly described in this book. A small synopsis as written here cannot describe the pain and grief that must have been felt by […]

The Mahabharat, Book 10: Sauptika Parva

Post-War Parvas ========== Sauptika means “the sleeping”. This book describes the killing of the entire Pandava army and Draupadi’s five sons while they are sleeping. The war is over but Duryodhan is not dead yet. Only three warriors remain from the 11 aukshahoni’s army of the Kauravas – Kripacharya, Kritvarma and Aswatthama. They discover Duryodhan […]