-ನಾನು ಕೆಂಡಸಂಪಿಗೆ.ಕಾಂ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದ ಲಲಿತ ಪ್ರಬಂಧಬಳ್ಳಾರಿ ಗಣಿದಣಿಗಳ ಕುರಿತು ನ್ಯೂಯಾರ್ಕ್ ಟೈಮ್ಸ್ ನ ಜಿಮ್ ಯಾರ್ಡ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದದ್ದು ಲೋಕ ವಿಖ್ಯಾತವಾಗಿದೆ.ಆದರೆ ಅವರ ಜೊತೆಜೊತೆಗೇ ಇದ್ದ ನಮ್ಮ ಹೃಷಿಕೇಶ್ ದೇಸಾಯರು ಪಟ್ಟ ಪಡಿಪಾಟಲು ಇಲ್ಲಿದೆ.ಅಂದು ರಾತ್ರಿಪಾಳಿ ಮುಗಿಸಿ ಮಲಗಿದ್ದೆ. ಯಾರೋ ನನ್ನನ್ನು ಹಕ್ಕೊಂಡು ಹೊಡೆದಿದ್ದಾರೋ...
Pandava Princes by Sudhir Joglekar
January 31, 2020
Pandava Princes by Sudhir Joglekar
Good evening, everyone
First of all thank you for the invitation. Thanks for making me the president of the evening. I feel happy and humbled. It reminds me that I have to pay attention to fellow speakers. It also makes me aware of my growing age. Some how I was trying not to notice it, but you did!
Let us start with the name of the author. It turns out that Sudhir is not Sudhir but Ranganath Chintamani Joglekar
I will tell you my full name.Itis Rishikesh Bhalachandragouda Bahadur Desai. There is an interesting anecdote regarding my name.
There is a tailor’s shop in front of Mooru Savir mutt in Hubli. My friend Kiran runs it. He has a fancy name for it, and calls it `Mark Tailor’.
Once I went to see him, as I wanted to meet my friend and senior journalist Subhash Hugar.
They had both both gone out and Kiran’s younger brother Praveen was sitting in the shop. I said I wanted to see Kiran. He looked at me and said and so, you are Rishikesh Bahadur Desai. Before going out, my brother told me Rishikesh Bahadur Desai will come and I thought three people will come. I have put up three chairs and ordered for three cups of tea!, he said with a laughter. We laughed and the two of us had three cups of tea.
So, today is an important event. We have gathered here to discuss serious issues like the mighty Mahabharata, Mythology, and mysticism. They are all serious issues and I will let the author and the readers speak about them.
Let us share a joke.
Can you tell what do these following lines from the Mahabharata mean?
“Keshavam Patitam Drushtva,
Pandava Harsha Nirbharaha
“Lord Keshava fell down and the Pandavas were happy. It was the Kouravas who were crying He Keshava He Keshava’’.
For a moment, I will let you guess the meaning of these lines.
“But this means that there was a dead body in a lake.
The water birds were happy
The birds on land were sad and were wailing there is a body in the water’’
This jokebetrays my love for Sanskrit and its flexibility and adaptability to different meanings.
There are many facets to the epic Mahabharata. But today, I will look at only some of them.
1. Mahabharata in popular culture and how it appeals to us
2. The varied Mahabharatas that coexist
3. Its relevance and the modern questions it raises.
Yadrachchika Roopam –
To each, to each one’s taste.
Loko Bhinna Ruchihi
The other day, My son who is in primary school, was drawing a picture and my mother, who was curious, leaned over to see what it was. It is lord Hanuman. What a nice depiction! she said. But he was not happy. Ajji, it is not Hanuman, it is Iron Man, he said. I think this is a short take on our lives. While the grand mother grew listening to stories of the Mahabharata, the grandchildren are growing up believing that super heroes exist.
I gave you an example of Hanuman as Hanuman and Jambavanta are the only two characters that appear in both the epics- Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Bheema meets Hanuman twice- 1. While kidnapping Uttara, the bride of Abhimanyu and 2. While looking for Sougandhika flower, for his wife Droupdadi. On both occasions, he makes the same mistake and is taught a lesson in humility. He represents most of us who need to be reminded of our mistakes often.
Jambavanta challenges Krishna to a duel when the latter tries to steal the Shamantaka Mani stone from his daughter Jambuvati. He repents after realising he has been fighting his lord Rama all along.
I feel that the Mahabharata is the proverbial elephant and we readers are the five blind men. We keep touching its various parts and appreciating it independent of each other.
The story of Mahabharata is the Yavat jeeva or Sada Prastutaha or the eternally relevant. It is magical to say the least and surpasses any other piece of world writing in creativity, style, imagination, truth telling and relevance.
But this does not fascinate me. What is unbelievable is that there are countless versions of the Mahabharata, and each one is true. This fascinates me.
from Eka Shloki to One lakh shloka with two million words
ಆದೌ ಪಾಂಡವ ಧೃತರಾಷ್ಟ್ರ ಜನನಂ
ದ್ಯೂತಂ ಚೀರ ಹರಣಂ ವನೇ ವಿಹಾರಂ
ಲೀಲಾ ಗೋಗ್ರಹಣಂ ರಣೇ ಅವಿತರಣಂ
ಸಂಧೀ ಕ್ರಿಯಾ ಆಜೃಂಭಣಂ
ಭೀಷ್ಮ ದ್ರೋಣ ಸುಯೋಧನಾದಿಮಥನಂ ಏತನ್ಮಹಾಭಾರತಮ್
ʻʻAdhau Pandava-Dhartarashtra-jananam Laakshaa-grihe Daahanam
Dyootam Sreeharanam Vané Viharanam Matsyaalayé Vartanam
Leelagograhanam Rane Viharanam Sandhi-kriya-jrumphanam
Paschat Bheeshma-drona, duryodhanaadi Nidhanam Etat Mahabharatam”
From this, to two million words. But the story does not change, the spirit does not change and remains eternally relevant.
I can say this as I am among those few people who have read at least some portions of the epic in Sanskrit. I never studied Sanskrit in school and I have always regretted it. But I suffer from this life time hunger for Sanskrit. And it tends to keep getting severe as years progress. It is like a nuclear reactor that gets hungry after getting fed.
literature in the Apocryphal tradition. It has happened to the bible, the quran and the geeta
Several times, the versions other than the so called original version can sometimes be more interesting. For example, Sudha which is an interpretation of an interpretation of multiple interpretations, has had its influence on the way the printed Geeta copies were made in modern times
the multiple shades of meanings, the translations and various ideological traditions made people view the holy book in their own way.
In S L Byrappa’s Parva, or the modern retelling of the Bharata, Krishna rescues 16,000 women from the Harem of Narakasura and
There is a version of the Tamil Ramayana in which the Ravana is the hero.
In Kuvempu’s Ramayana
In Assam,there is a Ramayana popular among the tribals. In that, Rama is a much married man. He is not an Eka Patni Vrutasta. That is because poly gamy is
the political mahabharata and the cultural mahabharata
we need to look at the psychological, economic and social mahabharata
as we know, Mahabharata was originally known as the Jaya
why? Because it was about the war mostly
the war can be internal or external
Classic yet modern –
Several of us talk about relevance of the epics. Some writers, leaders and even seers make oft repeated remarks like the Epics are ever -relevant.
1. Female infanticide and the scarcity of brides. According to me, Mahabharata is the story of women from Ambe to Uttara.
2. Polyandry and complicated martial relations. We all know that Draupadi had married five times. But Kunti was no different. This is very similar to Saint Jesus’s virgin birth.
3. Living together and long distance marriages.The book is full of Gandharva Vivahas
4. That merit overrides blood. The rise of Karna in the eyes of Duryodhana
5. Fight for justice. This pervades through the epic and remains the undefeated moral of the story.
But have we used theseconcepts and terms into our daily life.For example, the term Galaxy or the milky way.
This comes from the mother’s milk thrown around on the sky,as per Greek legend.
Greek Goddess Hera was breast feeding a child Hera. When she refused it was an alien child, she pushed him away and the spurting milk spread all around. That is the galaxy.
We should have a scientific study of how much Mahabharata penetrates into our daily life.
Some years ago in Bangalore, I met a Pandavani singer who Teejan Bai who told me all of us know the Mahabharata by heart. But we have not learnt any lessons from the Mahabharata
then I sat down and listed some lessons we could have learnt
1. About gambling
2. Polygamy/ polyandry/ foeticide/ abandoning children out of wedlock
3. Family disputes enlarged into state issues / diplomatic issues
4. the old adage of women, land and money to be the cause of all disputes
5. Rape and molestation
6. ego problems leading to bigger issues/ causing war
7. consanguineous marriages
8. bad parenting
9. caste and class
10. blood money / settlement out of court
11. putting blood over merit/ the case of Ekalavya
4. This book
1. What I like about this book is the language.
Several times, we make the mistake of using complex language that no one understands. Sometimes even the speaker does not understand.
There is an urgent need to use simple, plain language. It can be English or any other Indian language like Marathi, Kannada or Urdu.
2. Secondly, the effort at introducing it to the western audience. Use of shortened names. First it felt strange. But then it seemed racy and interesting.
3. The title of the book was perplexing at first. Did it reduce the Mahabharata to the Pandavas? But then, this could be another of the many perspectives and it is quite justified.
So does the book achieve what it wants? Does it heed to the seeker?
Does it whet the appetite of the reader?
I think it does.
“Kavyam Yashase, Artha Krute, Vyavahara Vide, Shivetara Kshate, Sadya paranivrutaye, kanta samitat taye upadeshayuje’’
by Poet Mammata
‘ಕಾವ್ಯ ಕೀರ್ತಿಗಾಗಿ, ಧನಾರ್ಜನೆಗಾಗಿ, ವ್ಯವಹಾರ ಜ್ಞಾನಕ್ಕಾಗಿ, ಅಮಂಗಳ ನಿವಾರಣೆಗಾಗಿ, ತತ್ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲೇ ಪರಮಾನಂದ ಹೊಂದುವುದಕ್ಕಾಗಿ, ನಲ್ಲನಿಗೆ ನಲ್ಲಳು ಸೂಚಿಸುವಂತೆ ( ಅಥವಾ ಹೆಂಡತಿಗೆ ಗಂಡ ಹೇಳುವಂತೆ) ಸಮಯೋಚಿತ ಸಲಹೆ ಕೊಡಲಿಕ್ಕಾಗಿ !’ ಪಂಪ ಇದನ್ನೇ ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾನೆ :
Mammata has enumerated six direct benefits from Literature. First of them is earning name and fame. Second is for earning money and material rewards. Third benefit is to understand the world and dealing with its ways (Vyavahara Jnana). Fourth benefit is to escape from evil effects of life, by application of knowledge gained from Literature. Fifth is to obtain immediate pleasure from reading or contemplating on it. Sixth is to receive suitable advice which is similar to the one given by a loving wife.
Dundi Pandit said –
sakala prayoajan mouli bhootam samanantaram eva rasa svadan samadbhootam vigalitvedyantaram anandam
‘ಸಕಲ ಪ್ರಯೋಜನ ಮೌಲೀ ಭೂತಾಂ ಸಮನಂತರಮೇವ ರಸಾಸ್ವಾದನ ಸಮೂದ್ಭೂತಂ ವಿಗಲಿತವೇದ್ಯಾಂತರಂ ಆನಂದಂ’
Which is the best benefit. It is the benefit of Rasa Aswada. What kind of happiness is that? It is that happiness that overpowers you so much that you dont feel the need for any thing else.
ಎಲ್ಲ ಪ್ರಯೋಜನಗಳಿಗೂ ಶಿಖರದಂತೆ ಇರುವುದು ಏನು? ರಸಾಸ್ವಾದದಿಂದ ಆಗುವ ಆನಂದ. ಅದು ಎಂಥ ಆನಂದ ? ಕಾವ್ಯವಿಹಾರದ ಆ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಬೇಕೊಂದರ ಅರಿವನ್ನೇ ಉಳಿಸದಂಥ ಆನಂದ.’
Back home to Bendre. Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre described the pleasure of poetry as Brahmananda Sahodaraor Omkara Brahmanandakkinta Koncha Doora ಓಂಕಾರ ಬ್ರಹ್ಮನಾದಕ್ಕಿ೦ತ ಕೊ೦ಚ ದೂರ.
I am sure this book strives towards it. At least I felt so. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Congratulations to Sudhir Sab and his unrelenting labour that created this master piece.