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Is Bheeshm a rascal? It is my experience that the Defenders of Faith are generally wrong, promoting single track views based more on faith than on reality. Mahaabhaarat (MBH) is not about morality. It is about reality. The complexities of human personality are presented without prejudice.

(1) Regarding Gangaa's killing of her own seven sons, shorn of myth, it is part of a pattern of female behavior under stress after delivering a child. It is now accepted in medical practice. It may be called as Gangaa syndrome.

(2) Bheeshm was a megalomaniac. As most of us do he had imagined himself an ideal role model. He should display the best filial affection. In other words he should fulfill every whim of his father. His tragedy started from his promise to Satyavatee's father to please his own father or to fulfill the wish of his own father - to marry him to Satyavatee, at any cost. It not only led to the vow of disclaiming the throne but to a very great extent - the vow of celibacy. From then on his life was tragic. He was feeling bound by his word to Satyavatee’s father that he would put her progeny on the throne and protect them also.

Bound by this promise, when Satyavatee asked him to produce children from her widow daughters-in-law, Bheeshm clearly refused referencing to his promise to his promise to her father. Besides he himself was not in Satyavatee's progeny.

When the matter arose between Kaurav and Paandav, he knew that Paandav did not meet this requirement either. They were not the children of Satyavatee  - means of Ved Vyaas, or Dhritraashtra or even Paandu. They were not even the children of any human being, they were the children of gods by Paandu’s wives. Thus they were not genetically Paandav, that is why they were also not eligible to sit on Hastinaapur throne. So tragically his pledge to the fisherman bound him to stand by Dhritraashtra and his children. He had to accept whatever they did up to the end of his life.
This is exactly the teaching of Mahaabhaarat. The reality in life demands creative solutions considering prons and cons of maximum situations, not that one should bind himself to any one course of action irrespective of the outcome.

Drone poses another difficult type. He was bound to Dhritraashtra for the "salt" he had eaten of that kingdom. So Eklavya had to be punished to compete with Kaurav family. Thus to always insist that a Guru is great, is not applicable.
The lesson of Drone’s behavior is that our relation to God is direct and personal. It does not need an intermediary.

MBH reading needs maturity of a high order. Scriptures cannot be quoted by ‘parrots’. Hinduism is against being a parrot. It may be tough to face life alone without props.
But there is no other way. How many people are there for their such understanding?

Two Quotes from MBH About Shruti and Braahman
(1) It is said in the Aadi Parv, probably by Vaishampaayan) Jee, that the Mahaabhaarat is full of Shruti.
(2) It is said by Bhrigu, probably in the Shaanti Parv, that initially all people were Braahman.
(1) This is said by Sauti - about MBH.

Many times it is mentioned in Aadi Parv as "....iti.Shrutih" - that implies that MBH is much based on Shruti - for example -
0010110121/.braahmaNah.saumya;eva.iha.jaayata.iti.paraa.zrutih./  ----or
0010140163/.sa.putro.roSa.sampannah.zazaapa.enaam.iti.zrutih.//   ----or
0010490051/.bhujagaanaam.azeSaaNaam.maataa.kadruur.iti.zrutih./ ----or
Shruti is also implied in what Vyaas Jee tells Brahmaa Jee about his Kaavya

(2) Bhrigu Jee tells Bharadwaaj - "There is really no distinction between the different orders. The whole world at first consisted of Braahman. Created (equal) by Brahmaa Jee, men had, in consequence of their acts, become distributed into different orders." (CE-12.181.10)

There is further mention of very liberal Varn System in Van Parv and Anushaashan Parv.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 12/15/12