Last weekend, was a long weekend.
India celebrated Holi on Thursday, Good Friday on Friday, Saturday weekender, Easter Sunday followed by a tantalizing India-Australia match.
Alongside enjoying every fever of this season, I choose to read Ajaya, a two part series on the Epic Mahabharata.. which was a battle fought roughly 3000 years ago, in India for Dharma..
Dharma, is a modern popular terminology widely spreading in the west, however, it has been ancient and almost primordially seeded philosophy in ancient India.
The great epic war, according to the popular beliefs was fought in 3102 BCE. However, scholars estimate it to be around 1200 BCE (roughly speaking, 3000 years ago) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurukshetra_War
It was fought between two clans – Kauravas and Pandavas (and that they were cousins, belonging to Kuru clan) and involved an army collectively amounting to 3.94 Million!
Well, that’s a very pressing number, as we are talking 3000 years back in time..
So, in order to know what was the fuss about that went into a war, I grabbed a copy of Jaya – by Devdutt Pattnaik for its simple narration supported by a critical research and author’s reasoning separated from the story put into boxes between the narration. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9864913-jaya
I so seriously recommend this book, to have an eye into what was Mahabharata, why it took place and understanding concepts like Karma and Dharma.
After reading the book, I felt so oddly strange, I ..I almost felt experienced every other feelings such as – Disgust, Hatred, Anger, Sadness, Excitement, Eroticism, and a strange note of happiness, which is too naïve to be called happiness.
Frankly, it took sometime to come out of the culture-shock.. (yes, we Indian, or rather I should say modern Indians of post-independence era are too prone to experiencing a culture shock to what our ancestors did/performed in order to be just/right/dharmic.
Okay, after reading Jaya (meaning victory in English) I was moved to read Ajaya (which means unconquerable in english)
Ajaya is a true Epic synthesized by Anand Neelakantan and is available in two parts – Part 1 is titled as roll of the dice https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18684615-ajaya and part2 titles Epic of Kaurav clan https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27254089-ajaya
Ajaya is first book, written from the perpective of the losing side, the Kauravas.
It is an interpretation of Dharma through Suyodhana’s (also popular as Duryodhana) eyes
It is an anti-thesis of Mahabharta, where every pre-known perception about dharma and righteousness is challenged.
I LOVED this book!
After finishing the read – Jaya, Ajaya part 1 and Ajaya part 2, I totally recommend reading these book, as it will give you an holistic view at what was the real fuss behind Mahabharata, what were the real fruits of the war, who won, if any and who lost, if ever.