Lord Krishna shows that Prakriti binds the entire universe and manifests as the three Gunas — Satva, Rajas and Tamas — that abide in every individual in varying degrees. Jealousy born out of Rajas is one of the root causes of all sorrow in life. Once it enters the consciousness, its spell-binding effect makes one blind to the moral code and the consequent ill effects.

Subramania Bharati’s Panchali Sabatham, which dramatises the gambling episode in the Mahabharata, shows how this is epitomised in Duryodhana, pointed out Dr. Sudha Seshaiyan in a lecture. Duryodhana nurtures this trait and builds up enmity against the Pandavas that affects not merely their families but the entire nation.

As the heir apparent of the kingdom of Hastinapura, Duryodhana should have felt on top of the world; instead, he is engulfed by jealousy against the Pandavas who had established their kingdom in Indraprasta. He is resentful because he was not honoured during the Rajasuya Yaga, though he is the rightful elder while Krishna was given the honour of pre-eminence. Sakuni’s advice of defeating the Pandavas in a game of dice and gaining their kingdom was the only way to avenge his hurt ego. He forces Dhritarashtra to invite the Pandavas for the game against all good advice and reasoning. Ultimately, the blind king sends Vidhura as a messenger with the invitation while making it clear that this decision had been taken under duress.

Even though Dharmaputra foresees disaster and a chequered destiny ahead, he accedes to the invitation amid protests from his brothers. His Satva Guna makes him abide by the will of Dhritarashtra. When his own father had invited him for the game of dice could he refuse to obey him? Did not Rama set an example by obeying the wishes of Dasaratha? He visualises human beings as powerless as the wheel that is spun around to rotate. The wheel cannot revolve on its own while its speed and motion depend on the person who holds it. Who can resist the powerful sway of destiny? The Mahabharata encompasses the basic and practical aspects of life pertaining to the individual’s responsibility to work, duty and dharma — the tenets of dharma chakra.

Keywords: Mahabharatahinduism

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