Event Scholar Salaka Raghunatha Sarma points out the democratic traditions prevalent in Ramayana and Mahabharata. PRABHAKARA SHARMA
India followed democratic traditions from time immemorial as evident from the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Lord Rama’s decision to send Sita away to forest was in keeping with public opinion and Sita never objected to it or felt distressed by the move, noted Telugu and Sanskrit scholar Salaka Raghunatha Sarma observed during a function to celebrate ‘Thounsand years of Telugu Mahabharata’ organised on the occasion of Kopparapu Kavlua birth anniversary at Kalabharati in Visakhapatnam recently.
Referring to an incident in ‘Dushyantopakhyanam’ which was part of Mahabharata, he noted that King Dushyanta even while suffering due to pangs of separation from his wife Sakuntala, took such decision which enhanced his public image.
“A rich merchant died in a ship wreck and the case was referred to Dushyanta as the merchant had no sons and his property automatically would go to the king in the absence of a legal heir. But Dushyanta said none in his kingdom should suffer more than him. He wanted his ministers to find out if the merchant had any wives and leave the property to them,” the scholar pointed out.
On Telugu Mahabharata which was a joint poetic effort by Nannaya, Tikkana and Yerapragada who translated it into Telugu from the epic authored by Vedavyasa in Sanskrit, Prof. Sarma ‘Padyakavita’ was similar to ‘pranayama’ if one read the poems aloud without break.
Noted ‘Avadhani’ Medasani Mohan who also spoke, said that Yudhishtira wanted to know if Duryodhana’s was popular rule. Indeed it was, since Duryodhana wanted people to know his was better than Yudhishtira’s. He also referred to the piquant situation of the aged king Santanu languishing after falling in love with a fisherwoman Satyavati. It was left to his son Bhishma who was of marriageable age, to find out what his father wanted. And the latter softly let it out, ‘I want to have more sons like you —of great valour’. Citing another instance, he said when Vidura the minister, informed King Dhrutarashtra that all his 100 sons including Duryodhana died in Kurukshetra war, Dhrutarashtra wanted to know if anything happened to the five Pandavas, his brother’s sons. Of Kopparapu Kavulu, he remarked that they continued to inspire all scholars engaged in Avadhanams over years and cited his own example.
Chairman of Visakhapatnam Port Trust and chief guest on this occasion, Ajeya Kallam said Krishna provided the Mahabharata setting to tell the world how it should acquit itself in the future.
Mahabharata represented the nation and its culture, he stated. City Commissioner of Police J. Purnachandra Rao said that while Ramayana represented the family, Mahabharata stood for the village. Even without today’s laws, people lived in peace thousands of years ago, thanks to the democratic practises followed by Indian rulers of yore, he felt.
The function began with a melodious music recital by Alamuru Radhakumari who rendered poems of Kopparapu Kavulu set to music. President of Kopparapu Kavula Peetham Maa Sarma said Mahabharata spoke of peace that is relevant to modern times.