Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Yudhishtiras and holy cows

"The devil called god must indeed be marvellous," exclaims a character in Subhash Chandran's Malayalam novel,  'Manushyanu Oru Amukham,' (A Preface to Man).  The novel has already won many eminent and well-deserved awards.

The protagonist argues that the dog which accompanied Yudhishtira to heaven must be a stray creature and the moral is that a man who ignores his fellow creatures in his single-minded pursuit of heaven is no better than a stray dog. Yudhishtira had not cared to throw as much as a loving gaze at his people who were falling dead on the way.

Contemporary Yudhishtiras are beseiging the gates of heaven accompanied by holy cows.

14 comments:

  1. Had never thought of this interpretation!

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    1. Chandran's novel is teaching me a lot of new interpretations. Hope someone translates it into English soon so that some of the Yudhishtiras may learn some new interpretations.

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    1. Who shall we hail: Yudhishtira or the cow?

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  3. Interesting interpretation.
    As a kid, I used to ask whether Krishna talked (in Bhagwad Gita) about Yudhistira (Dharmaraj) when he talked about corrupt Dharma. I still think about it. After all, he was the man who sat playing dice, putting his whole family in peril, and Krishna had to rescue his wife from evil men.

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    1. Dharma is very subtle, said Bhishma. The dharma of the Mahabharat is incredibly subtle. Krishna practised pretty much deception to win the war.

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  4. Mathiekal do read Gurucharan Das 's excellent book The difficulty of being good - it's an interpretation of the Mahabharata and is an excellent read. He mentions the fact that Yudhishtra was the only Pandava granted access to heaven....don't remember much else. This post is intriguing ...is Chandran's book available in English?

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    1. I've read it, Lata, and have a personal copy of it.

      Chandran's novel has not been translated yet.

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  5. very good.....i am impress........

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  6. Since I haven't read the novel it may not be wise to comment. Nevertheless, pulling out one incident and twisting it to belittling someone seems to be in tune with our times.

    If anyone of us would have been in Yudhisthira's place, then we would have acted differently. For example, when the Yaksha kills his four brothers and then later is happy with his answers and grants him a boon to get one of his brothers back, Yudhishthira didn't choose his strong brothers like Bheema or Arjuna. He choose Nakula who is his step-brother on the logic that if two brothers are to be alive then he being the son of Kunti, the other one to be alive should be his step-mother Madri's son. I can't think of anyone acting like Yudhisthira or virtuous like him. Let a hundred Subhash Chandran find faults in him, it doesn't diminish Yudhisthira.

    On another note, May God give the modern cow protectors as well as all the self-proclaimed protectors of God some enlightenment. God (of which ever religion he/she might be) doesn't need us mortals to protect him/her. Else how can God be God.

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    1. Novelists make use of certain parts of epics or scriptures for aesthetic purposes. The reader has the duty to understand it in the context.

      Even Krishna appears as a fraud in some parts of the epic!

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