Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Mahabharata: Heroes and Villains

The following is from a work-in-progress called The Mahabharata: a Book Report, in which I'm slowly reading through the Hindu epic poem The Mahabharata, and writing a book report on what I read. 

Then Vyasa’s pupil listed some of the main characters of the Mahabharata, and the gods and demons of whom they were partial incarnations:

Drona, the weapons-master who taught the Pandavas and Kauravas, was born from a portion of Brhaspati, seer of the gods.

Bhisma, grandfather of the Pandavas and Kauravas, was born of the goddess Ganga.

Duryodhana, the wicked leader of the Kauravas, was a partial incarnation of the god Kali.

All of the Kauravas were Rakasas, demons incarnate.

Arjuna, hero of the Pandavas, was an incarnation of the god Indra.

Karna, Arjuna’s main foe, was a partial incarnation of the Sun god.

Draupadi, wife of the five Pandava brothers, was a partial incarnation of the goddess Sri.

Then Vyasa’s pupil told a lot of complicated genealogies.  Like in the Bible, genealogies are an important way for people to connect with sacred history and myth.  These genealogies connect people with gods and their great mythic ancestors.

The Hero Arjuna

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