The Mahabharata is considered as one of the greatest epics in the history of human civilization. Besides spiritual value, the epic contains huge information related to the ancient days and the life of people before the great flood.
The epic contains the details of the 24 kings who ruled the earth in the ancient world. The epic was narrated by the great seer Vyasa. The Bhagavadgita that comprises of 700 verses is also a part of the Mahabharata. The valuable teachings of Bhagavad Gita give an inner strength to the people even today to overcome difficult situations.
The Mahabharata is much more than just being a narration of a war story. It is the original work of art on war and peace. Even in the awful situations, it urges everyone to stick determinedly to the path of dharma whose practice would help in accomplishing "prominence, prosperity, immortality, long life, eternal bliss and everlasting peace "
Beginning of the Mahabharata
It is believed that the story was actually conceived by the sage Vyasa as a poem. Since it was not possible for him to present such a huge and voluminous work into writing by himself, he approached to Brahma, the creator, seeking his help.
Following Brahma's suggestion, he went to Ganesha, the god with an elephant head, and requested him to write the great poem for him.
Ganesha agreed to do so but he had one condition that the narration should continue without any interruption and the moment there is any interruption he would stop writing. In response to this condition, Vyasa played a trick and also put a condition that he should not write without comprehending any of his words. In this way, Vyasa managed to pause Ganesha while narrating the poem.
The Story of Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is the story of the successors of King Bharat after whom our country takes its name- Bharat. The story is all about the struggle between two branches of the same family, the Pandavas, and Kauravas.
The Pandavas were the five sons of Pandu and the Kauravas were a hundred sons of Dhritarashtra. Pandu and Dhritarashtra were siblings.
Dhritarashtra was the elder brother but he was blind by birth. Therefore, Pandu was coroneted on the throne of the kingdom of Hastinapura. But Pandu died earlier due to a curse and his elder brother succeeded the throne. Dhritarashtra brought up the five sons of Pandu.
Pandu's five sons were Yudhisthira, Arjuna, Bheema, Nakula, and Sahadeva. They were very obedient and respectful. Due to their politeness and dutiful nature they were very lovable in the kingdom.
Duryodhana, the eldest son the Dhritarashtra, was jealous of Pandavas and played many tricks to harm them. However, Pandavas escaped his wicked plans every time.
Duryodhana even sent Pandavas to live in the forest and tried to kill them. But each of the Pandu sons had a special virtue which helped them to counter Duryashana's devious plans and survive.
Following Bhisma's advice, Dhritarashtra's uncle, half of Hastinapur was handed over to Pandavas, though unwillingly. Yudhisthira, the eldest of the five Pandavas, was coronated as the king.
Duryodhana was unable to tolerate that. He made a wicked plan to dethrone Yudhisthira. He challenged the Pandavas to play dice with them . Unfortunately, Yudhishthira lost the game and he had to left his kingdom and as per the condition of the game he went to the forest along with his brothers, wife Draupadi and mother Kunti to live in exile for 12 years.
After completing the exile, Yudhishthira claimed for his kingdom, but Duryodhana refused to return his kingdom and this lead to the great war of Mahabharata.
The battle of Mahabharata was fought in Kurukshetra and it lasted for 18 days. The Pandavas won the battle and ruled over Hastinapur for many years.
The teachings of Mahabharata
Truth and righteousness are the basic lessons of Mahabharata. With its numerous and thorough narrations, it tries to the awake moral values of the mankind and drives people to do good works, practice dharma, develop dispassion and leave off indulging evil deeds by removing the deceptive nature of this universe.