Here is the introduction and the Part I for those who missed it. The previous post talked about the Kauravas and their symbolism. Lets talk about the pandavas now. Before we go there here is a primer on energy centers or chakras in our body that hold the secret to human existence according to the tantric philosophy.
Chakras are the energy centers in the body which are storehouses of spiritual energy. They vitalize the physical body replenishing all the parts of the body. They are 7 major chakras along the spinal cord. Each of these chakras are associated with particular emotions and spiritual progress. You might be wondering why are we talking on the chakras when we are supposed to talk about the Pandavas. Right? They are related. The pandavas represent the first 5 chakras in our body. You will understand when we deal with each of the pandavas. Here we go!
Pandu – the younger brother of Dhritarashtra represents wisdom. Which was represented by his white color. This wisdom matures with experience and hence gives the ruling power to the blind mind, until the children of wisdom are ready. His wife Kunti represents the power of dispassion while his second wife Maadri represents the attachment to dispassion. Pandu has got 5 sons, 3 sons with Kunti and 2 sons with Maadri. The sons of Pandu represents the 5 elements which in turn represents the 5 energy chakras in our spinal column.
Yudhistira – Yudhi means in the battle, sthira means tranquil or undisturbed. Yudhi-stra is the symbol of peace and the sky or ether element of Pancha Bhootas. Sky is the bridge of transcendence to the conscious state and represented as throat chakra(Vishuddhi chakra). Ether remains unchanged, and undisturbed by the violent plays of nature’s forces.
Bheema – is Prana, the Power of Vitality, the Air Element in the Dorsal Center, or Anahata Chakra. He is the son of the Vayu deva, the God of Wind. The aspiring Sadhaka, practices his Pranayama that is controlled by this center, thereby calming the breath and controlling the mind and all of its sense objects. The breath has got such a strength that it can destroy all tendencies of the mind. That is why Bheema kills the 100 sons of Dhritarashtara. The breath also brings the awareness of “oneness”. The ignorance of duality dissolves in the purity of “Love” and is represented as heart chakra(Anahata Chakra). Know more secrets of your breath in this article.
Arjuna – Arjuna the third represents fire element. Rajju means rope or bondage and na means no. This represents that we are really not bonded, but free. Arjuna represents the liberating thoughts in us and brings peace. Arjuna is the enquiring mind. The enquiring mind burns like fire and destroys the darkness of ignorance. This burning fire is what needs to be given direction and that is why out of the five brothers Arjuna was taught Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna represents the mastering the “Heat or Power” of senses symbolized as the navel chakra(Manipura Chakra). This center is for the purification of mind and body, making intense meditation possible.
Nakula, is Adherence, the Power to Obey Rules of Dharma, the Water Element in the Sacral Center, or Swadhishthana Chakra. Adherence to Dharmic principles, allows the Sadhaka to control mental tendencies.
Sahadeva, is Restraint, the Earth Element in the Coccyx Center, or Muladhara Chakra. He is the Power of Resistance by which restless outer sense organs can be controlled.
The structure of the spinal cord also shows a differentiation supporting the divisions of the three sons of Kunti, with the two sons of Madri. The spinal column extends to the level of the lumbar vertebrae, as one solid structure. From the lower lumbar to the coccyx, the spinal nerves with their ganglia, extend downwards like the tail of a horse, and has been named cauda equina (horses tail). It has the same origin, (as in having the same father) but are at the same time different. They are the location of the 2 sons of Madri. Also significant to the spiritual aspirant (Sadhaka), is the function of the first three chakras, versus the last two. The first three are important in the inner spiritual activities of the spiritual aspirant; the lower two, are important for the purification of his external activities.
Draupadi – You could have guessed the representation of Draupadi. She was the wife of all the five pandavas which means she stays with each of them for some time and moves on to the other. She represents the feminine kundalini energy which travels through the spinal column to all the chakras on her path. Kundalini , which is metamorphically represented as Draupadi , the five hooded (meaning the five elements ,energies ) Snake. She is the one who connects the individual soul to the universal soul.(the connecting cord between MAN and Paramathman)The fire that propels it is called KUNDALINI Shakthi. That is the reason she was born out of fire. Draupadi is thus wedded to the five elements which makes the MAN. Here is another titbit – It is said that Bheema(air) was the one who loved Draupadi the most. That is why breath is used to awake the rise the Kundalini inside you!
We can see that the Mahabharata is not just another grandeur story that happened long time ago. It is something that is happening right now. Inside us. Every moment we live, there is a mahabharata happening. In my next post, I will go over some of the incidents that happened in the mahabharata with their symbolism.