The legendary Yadava rulers, Bhoja Yadavas referenced in the Mahabharata reigned over the Vidarbha realm located in central and western India. Numerous legendary Mahabharata Princesses were daughters of the land of Vidarbha. The wife of Nala, Princess Damayanti was a Vidarbha princess. Vasudeva Krishna's eldest wife, the beautiful Rukmini was also born and brought up in Vidarbha. Lopamudra, the great Sage Agastya's wife, was also a well-known princess of Vidarbha.
The capital city of the then Vidarbha was Kundinapuri, which is still a part of present-day Maharashtra and is currently known as Kundapur located in the eastern part of Maharashtra. Vidarbha remained a neutral ground during the great Kurukshetra War between the Pandavas and Kauravas, as both sides did not entertain the ruler of Vidarbha, Rukmi’s help.
The Legacy of Mahabharata
The extraordinary story of the 'Mahabharata' signifies an extraordinary fight. War is the central focus of the legendary epic. The cruel Kurukshetra war between the Pandavas and Kauravas over the throne of Hastinapur left behind death and destruction, even involving foreign troops from Persia, China and Greece. The destruction and loss of human lives left behind in the wake of the win of the Pandavas can't be overlooked. The epic forces perusers to envision that human expense by depicting the fight in a painful, ridiculous detail. The Pandavas kill different individuals from their own family en route, including the elders of their family who they once respected. Their triumph is succeeded by a heinous night strike in which, on the last evening of the conflict, the remaining defeated Kauravas creep into the Pandava camp and kill almost everybody, which included the young sons of the Pandava princes who were mistaken for their fathers by the Kauravas.
Yudhishthira, the oldest of the five Pandavas, horrified by the blood that had been spilled gave up his dreams of being the king, and is known to say-
“Since we slaughtered our own, what good can possibly come from ruling?
Damn the ways of kings! Damn might make right!
Damn the turmoil that brought us to this disaster!”
Yudhishthira was persuaded to follow his dharma to rule. It ends with the death of the five Pandava siblings and their better half Draupadi. On their journey to heaven, they end up visiting hell for a while. This comes as a shock to devotees who learned through religion that good men who carry out numerous beneficial things in the course of their life on earth will ultimately go to Heaven and that the not-great or underhanded individuals will endure torment in Hell. But, in the Mahabharata, even the good men with the Lord on their side committed sins that they had to repent. From Draupadi’s insult by the Kauravas and the inability of the Pandava princes to protect their wife, Yudhishtira lying to his Guru Drona about the death of his son, the way an unarmed Karna was killed to Draupadi’s mindless insult of Duryodhana and his son Dhitarahstra which might have been the beginning of the Kurukshetra War; the Pandavas had to pay for their sins.
Q1. What does the Pandava Yudhishtira say about “Dharma”?
The Pandava Prince, Yudhishtira had several dharmas he had to fulfill:
As a Kshatriya, he could never say no to a challenge.
As a King, he had to do anything under the sun to succeed in battle and emerge victorious.
As a Brahman, he had to practise the ideals of Ahimsa, Truth and Charity.
As a Son, he had to take the best care of Kunti, Gandhari, Dhritarashtra and Vidhura.
Q2. Why is the Mahabharata still relevant in modern Indian society?
The ideals of Dharma written down in the Mahabharata still hold a lot of significance in the Indian way of life.
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