The Philosophical Soap Opera

The Mahabharata, to me, is the biggest and most entertaining epics of all times. It’s a soap opera of sorts with a deeper meaning which helps to ease the impression we have of life. For the uninitiated, the Mahabharta is a war fought between cousins. The proverbial right versus wrong saga where right always wins.

Delving into the details. It’s an epic which also consists of the Bhagvad Gita, the Hindu equivalent of the Bible or Quran. The Mahabharata is a narration of the war fought between the cousins. Five righteous cousins known as the Pandavas. Hundred on the ‘wrong’ side, the Kauravas. This battle was fought on the field of Kurukshetra.

Now, it’s not as simple as right versus wrong. There’s a whole lot more than what simply meets the eyes. For one, the elders, teachers and people who are supposed to be respected were on the side of the ‘wrong’. The half brother of the five princes also was on the side of the ‘wrong’. The ‘right’ spent most part of their lives in exile and when they finally won, there was misery everywhere.

The question arose in the mind of Arjun, the warrior chosen to see the Divine. Why am I fighting this and that too against my own blood for nothing but a piece of land?! That’s when his charioteer, Lord Krishna (Divine in human form, avatar) explains to him the dualities of life and the life lessons which emancipated Arjun from his dilemma. This teaching forms the Bhagvad Gita.

Yes, I am a believer. I believe and understand the deeper meaning of it all but I stumbled upon a completely different interpretation of the whole story. Something that is incredibly relatable. Something that is easy to use in our own life.

According to this interpretation, the Pandavas are the five sense- smell, sight, touch, taste and sound. The Kauravas on the other hand, are the vices bombarding these senses at all times. These senses can be fought if you pay heed to the message of the Divine charioteer, in us lesser mortals, our own soul, your guiding light.

Well, if that were the case, how is it that the elders and those who are traditionally meant to be respected, on the side of the vices? It gets a little uncomfortable here, especially so if you’ve been brought up in a conservative religious environment.  But stay with me. It says, your elders and people you look up to in your younger days are not perfect. They have their own faults and you have to make your own decisions of what is wrong and right. At times, even fight them for the good.

If that wasn’t enough, what about the half brother who is also on the side of wrong? Here this explanation states that he is desire. He is a part of you but also stands for the vices. He feels that he has been wronged and makes any excuse to be on the side of the vices. Just as your desire gives you an excuse to indulge in vices.

While this is an easily understandable explanation, there is always a lot more than meets the eye. Wink wink!!!

Love. Pray. Freedom. Light. Happiness.

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