Reading Notes: Mahabharata Part A

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The amount of characters presented in this first section of reading is numerous. I have sort of lost the importance of each character, but I know one things for sure, Vyasa is very interesting. I love where they stated at the very beginning that not only is he the composer, but he’s also a character in the story. I hope that these characters are introduced good int he next few sections if they return so I’m able to recall.

In this story as well, there are staple objects that represent tokens in their culture. At the very beginning, I thought it was interesting that Indra was sent to bribe the king with a crystal car that could carry him through the sky. I chuckled a bit at his semen falling from the vehicle as a fish ingests the semen, later resulting in a boy and girl. What a very different way to bring forth new characters into the story. This is how Vyasa arose, and I have so many different ideas for different ways that he could’ve came to life with a twist on the culture. His birth could take place similarly to Uchchaihshravas rising from the churning of the milk ocean, since I’ve been reading so much about it. Maybe Vyasa could arise astride Uchchaihshravas?

King Shantanu and Ganga had such a weird relationship. I was very confused through the child birthing of Ganga’s children, and why it happened the way it did. For that reason, that will be something I could recreate to something more understandable. I could give another reason and action for why she departed and never returned. The next love interest for the king, Satyavati, was the mother of Vyasa. This was a repeat of the first story in a way, but I enjoyed the ties between the families. I was surprised when Shantanu didn’t consent to the promise of the father of Satyavati prior to giving his daughter to the king, leaving the king’s heart heavy.

The story of how Devavrata got his name, Bhishma, could be retold in so many different ways! That’d definitely be a cool remake.

Amba is definitely a character that could be focused on, for she is the only princess that didn’t wed the king. I love and admire her strength here, and she could also have a different story be told for herself. The Pandu family is also very interesting, and many different events could be changed and retold there. I’m excited to read tomorrow’s section for this class, because I’ll probably be able to write out more of the ideas for a potential story later this week!


Image One: Mahabharata accessed on Wikimedia Commons

Sources were taken from several different places: Arnold, Besant, Devee, Dutt, Ganguli, Kincaid, Macfie, Mackenzie, Nivedita, Seeger, and Tagore. All were accessed online for free here.


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