Posted: 2013-12-21T23:37:07Z

Traditional Mahabharata retelling have always written as a good vs evil story. The Kauravas are said to be evil incarnate and Duryodhana might be the most hated villain for the past four thousand years in India, after perhaps Ravan.

In my first book, Asura, tale of the vanquished, the story of Ravana and his people, I had explored the side of Ravana and told Ramayana from the perspective of Asuras.

In my new book, Ajaya, epic of Kaurava clan, book I, Roll of the dice, I am seeing the entire Mahabharata from the side of Kauravas. It is not easy to  take the side of losers. Victors write history, and we have been fed with propaganda in the name of religions, scriptures and popular mythology about the evil nature of Duryodhana and his friends. Off late, a few great works of literature had made Karna a bit more acceptable. However, Duryodhana is always damned. How true is this in the original Mahabharata. Vyasa tells the story without taking sides. I believe the great sage had written the epic for warning people about the evil of war. That is why he named the story as JAYA or victory and a more ironic name he could not have chosen. The victory of Pandavas in Mahabharata war was a Pyrrhic victory and resulted only in death and tears on either side.
I am attempting to view Mahabharata in a purer form, without getting swayed by the religiousity of the great epic. I am just trying to shine the light from a different angle, write the story from the other perspective. As the angle of light is different, the black may become grey and the pure white may turn ashen, but that is to be expected.

I am also trying to open up a discussion forum here and I invite everyone to participate in this debate. Yes, I want more people to read my work  but more importantly, I believe it is better for everyone if we know about the two great epics of our country in a deeper manner and draw their own conclusion, without getting swayed with prejudice and preconceived notion of evil and good,

I have a surprise gift for the best entries in this discussion and it does not matter whether you take the side of Kauravas or Pandavas or no side at all.  What matters is how well you present your point.

A brief introduction of my book Video trailer

THE MAHABHARATA ENDURES AS THE GREAT EPIC OF INDIA. But while Jaya is the story of the Pandavas, told from the perspective of the victors of Kurukshetra; Ajaya is the narrative of the unconquerable' Kauravas, who were decimated to the last man.

At the heart of India's most powerful empire, a revolution is brewing. Bhishma, the noble patriarch of Hastinapura, is struggling to maintain the unity of his empire. On the throne sits Dhritarashtra, the blind King, and his foreign-born Queen - Gandhari.  In the shadow of the throne stands Kunti, the Dowager-Queen, burning with ambition to see her firstborn become the ruler, acknowledged by all.
And in the wings:
* Parashurama, the enigmatic Guru of the powerful Southern Confederate, bides his time to take over and impose his will from mountains to ocean. 
* Ekalavya, a young Nishada, yearns to break free of caste restrictions and become a warrior.
* Karna, son of a humble charioteer, travels to the South to study under the foremost Guru of the day and become the greatest archer in the land.
* Balarama, the charismatic leader of the Yadavas, dreams of building the perfect city by the sea and seeing his people prosperous and proud once more.
* Takshaka, guerilla leader of the Nagas, foments a revolution by the downtrodden as he lies in wait in the jungles of India, where survival is the only dharma.
* Jara, the beggar, and his blind dog Dharma, walk the dusty streets of India, witness to people and events far greater than they, as the Pandavas and the Kauravas confront their searing destinies.

Amidst the chaos, Prince Suyodhana, heir of Hastinapura, stands tall, determined to claim his birthright and act according to his conscience. He is the maker of his own destiny - or so he believes. While in the corridors of the Hastinapura palace, a foreign Prince plots to destroy India. And the dice falls...

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Posted: 2013-12-22T23:54:56Z
^^^^ Interesting. I do hope I get to read your book soon. Wish you the very best.
Based on the intriguing- if I may use that word- introduction you have posted, I have a few questions.

As a disclaimer, I would immediately like to add that  I am not a fan of either the current MB serial on Star Plus, nor its previous avatar - nor are my questions based on whatever the serials have (wrongly) shown.  

Is it mentioned explicitly anywhere in Vyasa that Dritharashtra was actually crowned the king ?

 If Dritarashtra actually assumed kingship, it would be strange because his ancestor -Devapi (who was Pratipa's eldest son and  Shantanu's eldest brother) could not ascend the throne because of leprosy / vitiligo. That's how Shantanu, the youngest of three brothers, became the king of Hastinapura. 

So, there was an already established precedent in the Kuru royal family that a person with a physical disability could not ascend the throne. And, unlike what has been shown in the current serial, this fact would have known the moment Dritarashtra was born blind. Not in the nick of time at his so- called rajyabhishek.

So how did Dritarashtra become the king in the first place?

My second question (in fact to all Karna supporters) - how do you justify his telling a lie (that he was a brahmin) to Parashurama ? Guru- shishya relationships were far more sacrosanct and hallowed then. 

It was not as if Sutas could not take military training anywhere. Sanjaya himself took part in the MB war, on the penultimate day. Keechak was another Suta- who went on to become the commander- in chief- of the Matsya forces.

Dronacharya may have been reluctant to teach Karna, but surely there was some other teacher he could approach? Why not Sandipani? Why Parashurama alone- knowing very well Parashurama's hostility towards kshatriyas.

My third question -How would describe Duryodhan's (oh...okay Suyodhana ) treatment of Draupadi? 

Edited by varaali - 2014-02-10T22:10:21Z
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Posted: 2013-12-23T00:02:05Z
I think you will get better response if you posted this in the Mahabharata forum. Not many people visit here.

At any rate, there are umpteen number of debates raging in the MB forum- similar to the one you have raised here, with people vociferously defending Karna, bending backwards to convince others that Duryodhana was not the villian, but only destiny's victim.

 In fact that  forum  resembles a mini Kurukshetra. LOL
Edited by varaali - 2013-12-23T00:03:33Z
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Posted: 2013-12-23T20:35:42Z
Originally posted by varaali

 In fact that  forum  resembles a mini Kurukshetra. LOL

You've got that right. LOL
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Posted: 2014-02-04T06:31:20Z
It seems to me that today's trend is to support & love villains as well as hate the real noble characters LOL became tired with the mini Kurukshetra of Mahabharat  forum (rather I would say that place is almost like the Hastinapur court ruled by Dhritarashtra & Duryodhan from where poor pandavas have been driven away Cry also no place of respect for Bheeshma & Vidur Unhappy) & finally am returning to my comfort zone MM forum Smile because this forum is full of devotees Smile actually this is Kaliyug & Duryodhan was incarnation of Kali, so Kaliyug people are fond to him & Karna as they are living in Duryodhan's kingdom LOL this is called raaj bhakti LOLClap
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Posted: 2014-02-06T05:05:46Z
You are absolutely right, Semanti. I too hardly visit there anymore. In fact  I still don't know why Karna attracts so much admiration. 
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Posted: 2014-02-06T06:22:54Z
Varaali didi

I second. Even my small brain can never understand for which reason people, especially women supports Karna so much Shocked, even after knowing that he was one of the main culprits behind Draupadi vastraharan!! I always keep him even before Dushshashan for this unforgivable crime, Dushshashan was just like some common people who are used by bigger criminals for committing any kind of disaster, but the big fishes remaining behind were obviously Duryodhan, Karna & Shakuni Angry. But Kaliyug women still love this man (they hate Yudhishthir for staking Draupadi but love Karna who insulted her); they say that Draupadi was responsible for that as she insulted Karna in her swayamvar! So they are indirectly saying that, if any girl does not want to marry a boy then it will be the right of that boy to torture her later in helpless condition ShockedDead  what a point of view Clap & yes, his daanveer tag Big smile he became data Karna just a few years before his death (he started that after Duryodhan's Vaishnav Yajna, that means around 1 year & 8 months before the ending of Pandav exile, so that time is not very long), moreover, he could not express his daanveerta towards Pandavas when the poor fellow begged only  5 small pieces of land Cry sacrificing own right & forgiving all unforgivable sins! Cry

Actually I have no problem if anyone has sympathy or liking for Karna, as Suryaputra was not bad basically, but he became victim under Duryodhan's black power. He might rise like Pandavas as he carried Kunti's blood too, but Duryodhan's black shadow nourished him so deeply that he could not escape from it Unhappy. That's a pity & I can feel it. My problem arises whenever anybody places Karna over Pandavas. (I personally love them very much EmbarrassedSmile, but as researching on Ramayan & Mahabharat is my hobby, here I must keep my personal emotions aside & judge logically & neutrally) logical point of view shows me that Pandavas with Draupadi suffered much much greater agony than Karna throughout the whole life.

I love discussions on any of epics Big smile but it should be healthy & unbiased Smile  I have many interesting topics to discuss but Mahabharat forum is not suitable for that Cry  

Can we make this forum active again? Smile I remember those golden days when I wasted my precious study time & joined discussions on this forum LOL but unfortunately this forum is almost empty now Unhappy  

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Posted: 2014-02-06T07:45:10Z
I agree hundred percent with you, Semanti. You should just go to the MB forum to see the number of women drooling over Karna.
Even I can never understand why elicits so much sympathy. Everyone claims he was a victim of fate blah blah...Yes, it was unfortunate that he was abandoned by Kunti, but luckily he did get wonderful parents in Adhiratha and Radha.

And contrary to what is commonly believed, Dronacharaya did not refuse to teach him archery. The MB clearly states that Karna was a part of Dronachara's gurukulam where he learnt archery and made friends with Duryodhana. It was only when he asked for knowledge of the Brahmashira weapon that Dronacharya refused  - not because of his caste, but because he lacked sufficient self control. 

And the other curses, he brought upon himself. Who asked him to lie to Parashurama- whom he considered his Guru? Was this his respect for his guru?

 And why did he have to shoot at cow- knowing very well cow- hatya was a sin? 

Karna committed some grave mistakes and suffered the consequences. Period. Where does the sympathy factor come from?

So I never understand, why people consider Karna as unfortunate. 

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