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Showing posts from November, 2012

44 Yudhishthir at War

The Epic of Mahabharata, among many other things - but mainly - is a story of a war. Agreed that the actual war covers only about one-third of the total verses. Agreed that the years preceding the war - with all the back stories of most key people, and the years rolling out painfully in the aftermath of the war - take up a lot of space (some would even go as far as to say 'disproportionate') in the Epic. Yet, the central theme around which the entire work is woven is the 18-day bloody war - a war which saw the death of around 2 million soldiers, about 1.5 million animals (see "An Akshauhini of a Fighting Force"), and most of the known and famous heroes of the time in the land covering the current Indian states, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bactria and other countries.

But what of the main protagonists of the story? What battles did they fight and win? One hears stories of victory and valor of Bhima and Arjuna - the second and the third Pandava princes - all th…