Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Mahabharata: The Hall

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. 

Now the five Pandava brothers were established in their royal city of Indraprastha.  The demon Maya (a great craftsman), offered to build them a glorious hall/palace, as a “thank you” gift to Arjuna for sparing Maya in the burning of the Khandava forest.  The Pandavas agreed.  So Maya went to the holy mountain of Hiranyasrnga, which was rich in gems, to get supplies for building the Pandava’s hall.  With these gems and other precious materials, Maya built the most beautiful hall ever constructed for mortals.  It was bejeweled and contained an awesome pool full of lotus flowers, turtles, and fish.  The Hall was surrounded by trees of various kinds, always in blossom, and birds lived and sang from these trees.  The Pandava’s hall was a bit like King Solomon’s palace in the Bible. 

With the Hall completed, King Yudhisthira and his brothers (the Pandavas) gave a great feast, and there was excellent entertainment: wrestling, plays, prizefights, bards, singers, and storytellers.  It was a great party.  Among the attendees at the feast was the great seer Narada, who said that the Pandava’s hall was the most beautiful among mortals.  The gods, however, had better halls.  Narada went on to describe the great halls of the gods like Indra, Yama, Varuna, and Brahma.  Once, Narada had the pleasure of visiting the hall of Lord Brahma, which he described in this way: “It is indescribable, ever-changing in form; it grants ease; high in the heavens, it shines with its own light as if to illuminate the sun.  There Brahma is attended by seers, gods, planets, the Vedas, the seasons: by everything that exists in the three worlds.”

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