Our Sociology professor once gave us an interesting assignment.
‘Explain Ramayan and Mahabharat.’
My answer: Ramayan and Mahabharat did not take place in reality. They were merely stories to teach people some valuable lessons in life. Ramayan preaches idealism. Dashrath is the ideal man who keeps his word even if it means sending his own son into exile. Ram is the ideal son, who obeys his parents, and the ideal husband, who faces many hardships to rescue his wife. Sita is the ideal wife, who braves a trial by fire to prove her piety. Laxman is the ideal brother, who accompanies his brother in exile and puts his own life in danger to save his sister-in-law’s. Hanuman is the ideal devotee. Ravan is the ideal enemy, as brave, talented and intelligent as the protagonist. And so on and so forth.
Mahabharat is all about the five senses. The five brothers, the Pandavs, represent the five senses. The sixth Pandav, Karan, represents the sixth sense, which few have or rarely comes into play. Since Karan comes into the story after the Pandavs reach adulthood, he could also represent wisdom. Draupadi is the control over one’s five senses. The Kauravs represent difficulties in life. Moral of the story: If one has control over his/her senses, one can face a hundred difficulties.
I think they are interesting interpretations of the two epics. What do you think?
(First published on Bhéjaa Fry. Read comments by readers here.)