Wednesday, April 02, 2014

A Pandav mystery

Whenever it may have been that the epic Mahabharat came into existence (possibly orally before being put down in writing), it is not insane to think that the Gods that are given prominence in the tale reflect reality of the heavenly hierarchy of those times. With this thought in mind, one cannot but be confused and confronted by the hierarchy of Gods as manifested in who the fathers of the six sons (including Karna) of Kunti are.
The Sun, father of Karna comes supreme, the father of the eldest. Next comes the Lord of Death,  Yama, conveniently seated upon the throne of justice (is this why death penalty has such a strong hold on the Indian mind?). Then comes Lord Vayu, the God of atmosphere/wind etc. Indira, in this hierarchy is relegated to the fourth position, as the father of Arjun. While it is curious that Indra comes so down the list, it is truly surprising that Lord of Fire and the Lord of Water (Agni and Varun respectively) were not allowed to place their seeds in Kunti’s womb. Oh, you may say that Agni enters the picture through Draupadi, his daughter. That still leaves Agni down the list and Varun (neither will I allow Indra being a proxy for Varun nor take Bhishma, he the son of Ganga, as manifestation of the Lord of Waters) alone.
But more curious is the fact that the Ashwin brothers, who may not have been Gods at all at any time, enter the picture at all, through Nakul and Sahadev.
Given the above, then, what,  does this order tell us about who were worshipped when Mahabharat came into existence? This is the Pandav mystery that exercises me.
Raghuram Ekambaram

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