[Advaita-l] Re: Mahabharat & Dharma [Was some questions on dharma]

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 1 03:16:36 CST 2006

namaskAramu siddhArtha gAru

Please refer to this section of the udyOga parva for sAtyaki's speech
condemning shrI balarAma (that sAtyaki should speak against shrI balarAma, I
find very strange; but in any case):
It clearly talks of usurping of the throne by duryOdhana.

* Yes, Satyaki does talk about Duryodhana trying to usurp his brother's kingdom; there are a couple of other instances as well, but on the whole the main thrust is not that. Incidentally by referring to opinions in sabhA parvan, I goofed up; the matter properly belongs to the udyoga parvan.

As for someone being dead on account of living in the forests, could you
maybe point out a reference (since I haven't seen this rationale being given
by duryOdhana or the others on his side). And in any case, the pAnDavas were
in touch with the people for all the 12 years in the forest (for example,
duryOdhana's insult at the hands of the gandharvas etc.)

* The only reference that I could find was in Gautama Dharmasutras Chapter XVIII, sutras No. 15, 17, 18 and 19 which are related to the wife and brother of a man "out of touch" for six or twelve years. Further, this argument itself does not seem to have been used by Duryodhana or the other three.

Not only that, the condition of dice clearly mentions that 'the kingdom would be returned back' if the defeated party is not discovered during the incognition period.

In fact, in the elaborate build-up to the great war, the actual point of dharma is barely discussed. One discussion pertains to whether 13 years elapsed before Arjuna fought the Kurus repulsing their go-grahaNam. There Duryodhana mentions that 13 years have not elapsed, but Bhishma says that in thirteen years there would be five adhika masams and 12 nights and that Pandavas would have reckoned those before outing themselves. Methinks, if the calendar of reference is the lunar one, that should be it. Established custom is that except for counting the months of a pregnant lady, the adhika masams should not be counted.

Anyways, apart from a brief discussion of the reckoning of thirteen years, the actual point of dharma is never mentioned. And Duryodhana never needs to argue that because all sage advice of sages and elders ends with something like, seek peace otherwise you would be destroyed; and our man responds saying that death is preferable to being cowed down anyhow. To sum up, the entire udyoga parvan is more of real-politik than dharma mImAmsA.

Thanks for making me skim through a part of the Mahabharata.


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