Faith

War and peace

In the Mahabharata, the eternal conflict between dharma and adharma is typified in the trajectory of the lives of the Pandavas and the Kauravas. While the Pandavas are committed to dharma and acknowledge Krishna as their mentor and guide and always remain devoted to Him, Duryodhana openly opts for adharma and refuses to listen to the good counsels of his parents and elders. In a discourse, Nagai Sri Mukundan drew attention to the fact that the Pandava brothers also are fully aware that Duryodhana’s nature cannot be changed even as a snake will only emit venom even when fed with nectar. His vidhi is such that his intellect will not listen to good advice. Can one hope to get sweet neem leaves by pouring tons of honey on the root of a neem tree? One’s natural qualities cannot be changed.

So when Dhritarashtra is unable to dissuade Duryodhana to abandon the wrong path, he sends Sanjaya to Yudhishtira with a message seeking peace without giving them any share in the kingdom. The Pandavas’ reaction is to go ahead with the war and claim their rights. Still Yudhishtira makes an offer that they would be content with five villages at least, though he is sure that even that will be denied. Krishna offers to go to Hastinapura and try to secure the rights of the Pandavas without war. He then solicits the views of the Pandava brothers individually. What emerges from this discussion is an analysis of the cause and effect of war and the need to take all efforts to secure peace. But, in this situation all are aware that peace parleys will fail owing to Duryodhana’s desire to rule the entire kingdom. Moreover, the time has come to retaliate against the many taunts and humiliations and Draupadi’s tresses that have been left untied have to be answered only with the inevitable war.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 6:16:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/war-and-peace/article28691629.ece

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