Saturday, October 11, 2014

Interesting Things that Make Me Watch Mahabharat

Shri Krishna / Basudewa / Govinda / Kanha
A Hindu mythology from Bagavhad Gita. This story has become a phenomenal. This story has been around in Java island and Indonesia even before the Majapahit era, it was brought by a hermit from India named Ajisaka who traveled to Indonesia. I didn't have any expectation for this serial at first, I just happened to watch it because my Dad is a fan of Mahabharat ever since he was a child, but since the story and characters are familiar, so I started to give it a try. I got hooked by the high-quality language they are using in the dialogue. The metaphor which filled with moral lessons sometimes make us wondered and surprised by the perspective they offered to us. The story itself is brilliant. I have finished all the 267 episodes and all I can say is..... this series are truly brilliant masterpiece. Now, I'll tell you interesting things that make me watch Mahabharat. You may consider to watch it later :3

The Great Woman and what it means of becoming a wife 
from the perspective of ancient story...

Gandhari is the princess of Gandhara kingdom. She is the wife of Dhritharashtra, prince of Hastinapura who has been blind since birth. To show devotion to her husband, she oath to blindfold her eyes forever so she can feel the darkness like her husband and therefore their souls would be intertwined. Dhritharashtra hated her for doing such selfish thing, but Gandhari never gives up on trying to please her husband and take care of her hundred children. She's always trying to make them follow the dharma. Although her act of blindfolding herself is her devotion to her husband, it result her to never really being able to keep track on her own sons which being possessed by hatred caused by Shankuni, her brother who's longing for revenge to Hastinapura for causing his sister living a miserable life filled with darkness. Gandhari is the most miserable Queen, she has evil sons but she loves them dearly and try her best to protect them from doing evil things, and she fights all her life to be accepted by her husband.

Kunti is one of the ladies who has been blessed to keep herself virgin. Because of the curse that's given to her husband Pandu to not do any sexual interaction with his wives or else he would die, Kunti stays virgin until her death. Kunti followed Pandu to the forest for exile, she served her husband with full devotion. Kunti has special boon from Sage Durvasa where she can summon any Gods and gets a son with the same character and power as them. The child would be considered as the sons of her husband Pandu. Because of this ability, Kunti has five powerful sons, each of them was born from five Gods respectively. They are Yudhistira, Bhima, and Arjuna. Kunti shared the boon with Pandu's second wife, Madri, who bore Nakula and Sahadeva. They are known as Pandava. After the death of Pandu and Madri, Kunti take care of her five sons alone and teach them dharma. Before her marriage with Pandu, Kunti mistakenly summon Lord Surya which result her to give birth to Karna. But, because she didn't want to ruin her father's reputation, she was forced to throw her baby into the Gangga river. She asked Lord Surya to protect Karna and that's why Karna is blessed with divine shield and earrings which will protect his body.

The Princess of Panchala who was born from the sacrifice fire, the beautiful Drupadi. Her father, Drupada, consumed by anger on Drupadi's birth, asking the Gods to give him the most beautiful daughter in the world, but she would face the dirtiest act in her life, and yet she would remain pure and clean. She has to live a miserable life and yet she will remain strong. She will face a lot of injustices in her life, and yet she would remain kind. The king wasn't sure that God would be able to give him that kind of daughter, but then Drupadi was born. Her fate from her father's wish on her birth start to occur. She had to marry all five Pandava because of Kunti's mistaken order and sacrifice her happiness. She only wanted to marry Arjuna, but for the sake of the brothers, she agreed to marry the five. In Hindu mythology, it is also the epitome of woman's power where one woman can take care of five strong men and devote herself to them. Drupadi has a boon that makes her remain virgin to please each of her husband and to keep herself pure by entering the sacrifice fire each year. Drupadi is the kind of wife who will speak her mind to her husband when something is wrong and she is not afraid of people's judgment. As a wife of five husbands, Drupadi has to serve all five of them and be the consort of them. She has to love them equally. Her duty is 5 times more difficult than normal wife.

The Disrobing of Drupadi
One of the reasons that Kurukshetra war happened was because of the disrobe of Drupadi in Hastinapura court after Yudhistira lost the dice game from Shankuni and Duryodhana. She was dragged forcibly into the court hall so the Kaurava could insult her in front of her husbands and all of people in the hall. Durshashana dragged her by her hair and tried to disrobe her 'sari' in front of people, following to Duryodhana's order. The Pandava and other people like Bhisma, Drona, and the others who are supposed to be faithful in dharma are forced to be silenced because of their old beliefs that they have to obey the King's order. Since Duryodhana has won the game and Yudhistira was forcibly had staked Drupadi, everyone else is agree that Duryodhana has the right for Drupadi, but Drupadi did not accept this treachery and keeps trying to save her dignity and honor. She repeatedly questions the legality of the right of Yudhishthira to place her at stake. Everybody remains dumbfounded. At the last effort, she prayed to Lord Krishna to protect her because no one in the hall could. As the Pandavas and the court looks away, Dushasana unwraps layers and layers of her sari. But as her sari keeps getting extended, everyone looks upon in awe, and Dushasana himself is forced to stop due to exhaustion. Krishna protected Drupadi.

The Heroes
Karna is the son of Suryadev and Kunti, the oldest brother of Pandava. After Kunti throw baby Karna in Gangga river, he was found by Adhirata, charioteer of Hastinapura, and his wife Radha. Since then, Karna is known as Radheya (Radha's son), son of sudra. A sudra has no right to learn about art of battle, while Karna has natural talent of great archery. People humiliated his talent to the point that Karna wants to prove to the world that even a son of charioteer could be the greatest warrior in the world. Karna wants to be respected and appreciated by his talent and power and not his caste. During this struggle, Duryodhana, prince of Kaurava offers a friendship to him and help him gets the respect that he deserves. Karna was crown the King of Angga so people would never make fun of his caste anymore, and this results Karna to be forever tied with prince Duryodhana. As a payback for his debt, he promised to always protect the Prince with his own power. At the same time, Karna also raise hostility with Arjuna and the Pandava. He wants to know who is the greatest archer in the world. He or Arjuna. Although he is siding with the Kaurava, Karna always try to stick with his own dharma. He considers Duryodhana as his true friend and wants to protect him from doing evil things, but the Prince always reminds him with his debt and so Karna's forced to do things against his own faith and principle. Karna alone possessed all the five dharma qualities in each Pandavas: wisdom, strength, patience, beauty, and intelligence. He has the most tragic life in my opinion :")

Loving Kunti without knowing that she is his mother
Ever since she saw Karna's divine shield appeared in the battlefield between Karna and Arjuna, Kunti knows that he is her son that she threw in the Gangga river years ago. Kunti desperately wants to tell Karna about his true identity as one of the Pandava and shower him with the love she never give after all the years passed, but she never gain courage to tell his son the truth. While Karna, being ignorant with the true relationship hidden, he always has strong affection towards Kunti as if she is his own mother. Karna loves the Queen and whenever he sees Kunti's sadness, he would feel miserable as well. Despite of his hostility and hatred towards Pandava, he never has the idea to kill them using evil deceit like what Kaurava always does. Karna wants to fight them fairly in the real battlefield to show his competency. After he learned the truth about his birth, Karna promised to Kunti that he will protect the life of the five of her sons and she only has to mourn on one son's death. Only Karna or Arjuna.

The Pandava

The Five sons of Pandu: Yudhistira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva are the epitome of five Dharma: wisdom, strength, courage, beauty, and intelligence.
1. Yudhistira, the son of Lord Dharma / Yama, he is the rightful heir to the throne.  He is the most virtuous, honest, and truthful king of all times.
2. Bhima, the son of Lord Bayu, God of Wind. He has the power of 1000 elephants, the master of mace and so wrathful that it's impossible even for Lord Indra to subdue him in the battlefield. Bhima also called Wrekodara because of his giant appetite.
3. Arjuna, the son of Lord Indra, God of Thunder, he is handsome and the greatest archer. He is one whose mind is spotless and clean of all impurities. He is strong and the dearest friend of Lord Krishna. Although he hates Karna, he also respect him in so many aspects and appreciate his rival's talent. And although he bears all the injustice of the Kaurava with stoicism, he is the one who hesitates to kill them just before the war. He possessed kindness and bravery and Yudhistira refers him as the main hero of Pandava.
4. Nakula, the son of Lord Ashwini, he is the most handsome in the Kuru lineage and pretty much obsessed with his own beauty, lol. He has special connection with animal and he is intelligent and expert in healing and medication. He is the dearest brother of Bhima. He is the one who can calm Bhima's anger.
5. Sahadeva, the son of Lord Ashwini, the youngest brother, twin of Nakula, he possessed almost the same knowledge and power as Nakula such as medication and healing, except that he is much more calmer and quiet than Nakula. He is the most intelligent and he can see the future, but he is cursed that he will die if he tells anyone about the future he sees.

The Pandava completed each other with their respective talent and knowledge. Just like what Kunti said, the five of them have to stick together no matter what and no one would be able to defeat them, not even a hundred of Kauravas. They always obey Yudhistira's order as the oldest son and they are bound to protect each other. They love their mother Kunti so much and respect their wife, Drupadi.

The Villains
Before went to Hastinapura, the Pandava lived in the forest with their parents: Pandu, Kunti, and Madri, but after Pandu and Madri's death, they are brought back to Hastinapura by the Queen Mother, Satyawati. They met their cousins, the Kaurava for the first time at a very young age. Although the brothers had no aim for power nor the throne, Shankuni had been provoking his nephews that the Pandava are their enemy who will steal the throne from them. That's why the Kaurava hated the Pandava so much and keep rivaling with them in any aspect. Thus started the hostility between Kaurava and Pandava.

1. Shankuni
He is indeed the one who is responsible for everything that happened in the Mahabharat's war. He is the one who provoke the Kaurava to hate their cousins, Pandava. He is cruel and smart, not a very good warrior, that's why he uses many deception to fulfill his plan and revenge. He has dice which will only do what he wish for, and he used it to deceive Pandava and Drupadi in the dice game. You hate him and his evilness, but you know the show would not be complete without him. He is indeed evil but funny at the same time, it is more entertaining when he's face off with Basudewa Krishna, lol. They both are intelligent and cunning, yet the other's purpose was to re-establish dharma while the other one is to fulfill his own revenge. The actor who portrayed it is very convincing and makes you hate him but you will also miss his hilariousness.

2. Duryodhana
I will feel pity for him, not having a chance to learn about dharma nor do the right thing. All of his life has been possessed by the evil uncle, Shankuni. All he knows is he has to win the throne for him because his father is the king and he has to defeat the Pandava. He is stubborn and probably the most arrogant person, but he is indeed has a good quality as a human. At least in the Baghavat Gita, he is not as evil as in the starplus mahabharat. He actually respect and trust his bestfriend, Karna, he loves his brothers, and he respect his wife. But aside from that, he conspired with Shankuni to destroy his own cousins and disrobe Drupadi. He wants the throne for himself. Nevertheless, he is a brave warrior.

Basudewa Krishna

At first, Krishna only appeared as story teller and one who taught us the moral lessons behind every episode in Mahabharat. He eventually joined in the serial as real character and be the most important role, one who leads the Pandava to reach their victory and re-establish dharma once again. If Shankuni is the one plot all the evil things to destroy the Pandava, then Krishna is the one who will help the Pandava fight those efforts of Shankuni. In term of intelligence, he and Shankuni are equal match. Since Krishna is an avatar of Lord Wisnu, he has all the magical abilities to destroy evils and change people's hearts. He actually teach you the true meaning about everything that happened in this world in the perspective you have never imagined before. You will fall in love with Krishna. It's impossible not to. He is the most significant role in the story and Saurabh Raj Jain made a great portrayal. I can't imagine anyone else to play the role of Krishna and Lord Wisnu because of him.

The Soundtracks
I must say that Mahabharat has one of the best soundtracks. Every main character has their own theme song. Especially Krishna, he has a number of songs for himself, one of them are made from Baghavat Gita's sastra. The best theme songs goes to Krishna, Karna, Arjuna, Abhimanyu, and Drupadi's theme song.

Krishna's theme songs

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