Hinduism and Mahabharata

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Reflections From The Mahabharata
Jeremy Bartel

The Mahabharata is one long detailed epic, it is one of the oldest books the world has. However The Mahabharata is more than just collection of verses and poems, it illustrates beliefs and religious views of this ancient society. Some of the major themes are,ethics of right and wrong,and wrestling with ones place and how to act accordingly in their caste system,and of course at the end trying to figure what our purpose is in life not just individually but universally. All of these examples suggests and leads one to believe without a doubt that the epic was written with intent of reflecting on the social, and religious beliefs at that time. So how does the Mahabharata reflect on the religious and social values of this ancient society that created it? The Mahabharata has one overarching theme that sums up the whole epic, that being the theme of fulfilling your sacred duty. This is known throughout the hindu culture as dharma, and according to their law everyone is assigned to a role within the caste system. The Mahabharata is all about achieving your sacred duty, or suffering the consequences of failing to accomplish your task. One specific example of this is when Arjuna is struggling with attacking and killing who he considers close friends and family during the war. However Krishna is there remind him that it is his dharma to carry out his role as a warrior. Most of the main characters belong to this warrior caste and all must carry out their duties of honor and bravery in accordance to that caste. This theme of dharma goes way beyond just the book but it is a main focal point in hindu religion and thinking. Which most likely why it was such a huge factor in the book, because to the people who created this book that was highest goal to achieve. During this great speech given to Arjuna by Krishna he discusses what it means to seek renunciation, and relinquishment. Krishna tells Arjuna...
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