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Here’s Why the “When” of Mahabharata Question remains Irrelevant: The Underlying Narrative of the Epic is able to withstand Time!

Rather than giving a time frame to the story, consider its immortal truth and reality

Mahabharata is the story of an epic battle in Hindu Mythology. Wikimedia
  • ‘The Mahabharata as History’ was a recent workshop by Prof Vishwa Adluri and Dr. Joydeep Bagchi
  • One of the important points discussed was to enjoy Mahabharata’s tale, rather than getting into the specifics of ‘when’
  • The Mahabharat is a great battle told in a story, the experience of which grips us tight

August 2, 2017: ‘The Mahabharata as History’ was a recent workshop by Prof. Vishwa Adluri and Dr. Joydeep Bagchi. The two scholars provided their valuable insights into the greatest war story and how the ‘when’ of Mahabharata question is irrelevant.

The scholars pointed out that the Indology of the 18th and 19th century has had a dominant impact on Indians, just like Japanology had on Japanese or Sinology had on the Chinese.


We often discuss the event of Mahabharata like a historical fact, delving into the ‘when’ of the story. Such questions of irrelevance, as the scholars explained, distract us from answering the real questions that were posed through the story of Mahabharata. We are deeply curious of when the war took place and how, but the deeper underlying narrative of the war has long been forgotten in such the midst of such questions.

What Vyasa’s idea behind Mahabharata was to offer explanations that hold true in a timeless universe. It is an underlying narrative that is able to withstand time. Mahabharata engages us so intensely, as Prof Adluri pointed out, is precisely because we can relate to the emotions, the passions, and sorrows of individuals and their problems.

Unlike the western notion of story-telling in a time frame, Mahabharata is an immortal epic. It is best without a time frame, in a timeless environment. One has to undergo the experience in order to understand the narrative, and this experience can not be measured in time.

ALSO READ: Indian History & Culture: ‘Mahabharata’ in Other Languages, ‘Randamoozham’ in Malayalam

As Prof Adluri highlights, “In the Mahabharata, history itself comes and confesses that I, too am a narrative and then becomes itihasa.” This is the beauty of Mahabharata. It brings out the environment which is ever changing, irrespective of the time.

The Mahabharata reveals the relationship between humans and conflict, and the threat it poses to potential emergence of chaos. Conflict is innate to humans and their systems.

This is the beauty of Mahabharata. It brings out the environment which is ever changing,… Click To Tweet

To understand Mahabharata’s story and the moral derived from it, the need of the hour is to ignore questions that put the immortal literature into a specific time or period. Human psyche can never be reduced to history. This singular line of thought processing must be at all costs avoided.

– prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Dalai Lama says that India and China have great potential

The spiritual leader feels that both the countries are doing compassionate works

Dalai Lama talks about India and China
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai says that India and China can work together. VOA

New Delhi, Nov 19

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have “great potential” and they could work together at a “practical level”.

“I think, a great potential… India and China combined are doing more compassionate work… At a practical level also. Imagine two billion people working together,” he told reporters here after inaugurating Smile Foundation’s initiative, The World of Children.

The spiritual leader, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since 1959, said neither country had the “ability to destroy the other”.

“Whether you like it or not, you have to live side by side,” he said.

Underlining the ancient spiritual connection between the two countries, he said Chinese Buddhist Hsuan Tsang visited Nalanda (now in Bihar) and brought Nalanda Buddhist traditions to China.

“All thinkers of Nalanda are Indian. So Nalanda’s tradition is India’s tradition,” he said.

The Nalanda traditions had turned Tibetans, who were warriors, into more compassionate, peaceful and non-violent nation, he said.

“So sometimes in Delhi, teasing my Indian friend, (I say) if Tibet still remained in the previous way of life, like Mongols, Chinese invasion may not have taken place,” the Dalai Lama said in a lighter vein.

He said nobody in the world wanted violence but it was happening “because our minds are dominated by destructive emotions due to short-sightedness”.

“Nobody wants problems. Yet, many problems are our own creation.”

The Dalai Lama said the existing modern education was oriented to material values. India can take lead in improving the education system by combining modern education with ancient knowledge, he said. (IANS)

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Manushi Chhillar from India Wins the Miss World 2017 Title

India's Manushi Chillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant here, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

Miss World
Manushi Chhillar has been crowned as Miss World 2017. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

China, November 19: India’s Manushi Chhillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

Chhillar competed against 108 contestants from various countries at a glittering event held at Sanya City Arena here.

Miss World 2016 winner Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle gave away the coveted crown to the winner.

Chhillar, who is from Haryana, had earlier this year won the Femina Miss India 2017.

Miss world
Anti Ageing was the official skin care expert for Manushi Chhillar at the Miss World 2017 pageant. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

India, England, France, Kenya and Mexico grabbed the top five spots at the peagant.

Manushi, born to doctor parents, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

Her entire family including brother and sister were present and they looked excited watching Manushi grabbing top five spot.

As many as 108 beauty queens from different parts of the world participated in the prestigious pageant. (IANS)

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)