Sage Parasara, father of Sage Veda Vyasa, told sage Maitreya that there was none to equal his son Vyasa. While parental pride is understandable, Vyasa was unique in being completely deserving of such praise from his father, observed Akkarakkani Srinidhi in a discourse. The Vedas are difficult to understand, and so Vyasa gave us the Mahabaharata, which presents in a simpler form, the significant lessons to be had from the Vedas.

Mahabharata — the word means something which is big and heavy. While the fact that it is big is evident from the number of verses it has, the word heavy indicates that it is pregnant with meaning and rich in morals. The Vedas cannot be understood in isolation. They must be studied along with our Itihasas, Puranas, Smritis etc. Itihasas are records of what happened. Puranas are those works that are old but a study of them can be an experience in itself.

The Mahabharata is a treasure trove, which shows us what the Lord does for those who put their trust in Him. He served as messenger for the Pandavas and as a charioteer for Arjuna. Being a charioteer meant He would have to offer His shoulder for Arjuna to step on, as he alighted from the chariot. The Lord did not think this was demeaning, but gladly offered to be Arjuna’s charioteer. Tirumangai Azhvar, says in a verse, that the Lord stood on the chariot while He drove. Normally, a charioteer would drive seated. So why did Tirumangai Azhvar describe the Lord as the One who stood on the chariot of Arjuna? During the battle, if Krishna had been seated, the many arrows that came towards Arjuna would have hurt Arjuna. But by standing in front of Arjuna, the Lord ensured that the arrows struck His face and thus He protected Arjuna. One can witness the deep scars of all these arrows on the face of Lord Parthasarathy, in the Triplicane temple.

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