Even though the Mahabharata symbolism series of posts has generated a lot of interest from the readers, I promise this is the last post in it :). I have surely enjoyed researching and writing this series of posts and I hope you readers have to. I would love to write on all the major events in the epic and how they are related to each one of us but it would take too long and most of them would be abstract. We saw the symbolism of Kauravas and Pandavas. Now that you guys have the picture, I wanted to bring a closure by taking your attention to some of the major events in the Mahabharata. With these
The Game of Dice – represents the Game of Delusion. In childhood, the senses, and the development of the body, are governed by the soul’s powers of discrimination. As youth approaches, the strong sense desires are awakened, by temptations in this life and Samskaras (habit tendencies) of past lives. The game is very charming, and the princely faculties of discrimination are enticed into a deceitful game with the sense desires, and man stakes his entire bodily kingdom. He is overpowered by them, and the pure discriminative intelligence of the soul is ousted from the throne, and sent into exile. The Pandavas are lured into the game by Duryodhana which is how the mind deludes its own energies into playing this whole game which we call life. Yudhisthira and the Pandavas lose the game and are banished from the kingdom and sent into exile for 12 years, with a further 1 year in total anonymity.
12 years of exile – A spiritual aspirant, who is armed with the grace of his Guru, and the knowledge of Kriya Yoga, and with all faculties intact, can with perseverance, evolve spiritually within twelve years, to the point where he can wage a battle with the senses to reclaim this body kingdom. This is a known fact to Spiritual aspirants. It is written in many yogic texts that a aspirant has intensely practice for 12 years before he can completely win over this senses which in turn control the mind. In the 12 years that the Pandavas are banished, they had to go through various events where they grow spiritually.
The One Year in Anonymity – refers to the period when the aspirant, having attained a lofty height of spiritual evolution, i.e., he has attained Yudhistira’s calmness, Bhima’s Pranayama, Arjuna’s nonattachment, Nakula’s adherence, and Sahadeva’s power to resist evil, he is now ready to immerse himself in states of Samadhi. In the state of Samadhi, the Sadhaka is withdrawn from the world, and all that is worldly, immersing him in states of consciousness. In the State of Samadhi, one’s consciousness is not in the material world, but in the supreme consciousness, hence, why the Pandavas were incognito, to the people around them.
Kurukshetra – the Land (field) of the Kurus, is the symbolic representation of the body. Kurukshetra is formed from the Sanskrit roots, kri meaning work, material action, and ksetra means field. So this Field of Action is the body, on which all activities of life, take place.
Bhagavad gita – In our inner conflict when we lose peace, it is the aspect of knowledge in us that is confused needs clarity. This aspect in us that seeks teaching represents Arjuna. As we already discussed Arjuna represents bondage it seeks freedom to attain the kingdom of Peace. It seeks Krishna the manifestation of pure Consciousness. We seek for clarity a teacher, a Guru. What we seek outside is already in us. The external teacher helps us to seek our internal teacher Krishna, the pure consciousness. The dialogue between the Krishna and Arjuna is Bhagavad Gita.
KRISHNA – Lastly, who is Krishna? Krishna the manifestation of pure Consciousness. Consciousness is the “being” of every form and formless in this universe. The reflection of that Consciousness is awareness. Krishna is the cousin and brother -in-law of Arjuna and interestingly Krishna is the father-in-law of Duryodhan’s daughter, that is , Krishna’s son married Duryodhan’s daughter Lakshmana. So Krishna is related to both the positive and negative groups of brothers. This is why Indian God’s are represented with three faces. The two faces on the sides represents the pair of opposites of the same body. Explains that both positive and negatives qualities resides in us. I can go on writing about Krishna.
So here are the symbolisms of the characters and events in Mahabharata. It is not just another long story that happened long time ago. It is happening right now right her within you. If you believe in these allegoric events, then read the Mahabharata again. Only this time see if you can relate to these characters for they lived and died(mortally) to relate to us.