Sunday, October 16, 2022

The Contest Between Dharma and Artha

Ganesha writing the Mahabharata

upon Vyasa's dictation

"Man is slave to artha (power and wealth), but artha is slave to no man.” ~ in the Mahabharata, Bhisma and Drona said this to Yudhishthira moments before the Kurukshetra War began. 

Both Bhisma and Drona acknowledged that dharma was on the side of the Pandava brothers, but they were bound to fight on the Kaurava side because they were enslaved by artha. Yuyutsu was the only son of the Kaurava emperor Dhritarashtra who did not succumb to the power of artha. Keen to stand on the side of dharma, he discarded his Kaurava brothers and fought with Pandavas. Of Dhritarashtra’s 101 warrior sons, Yuyutsu was the only one who survived the war.

The Kurukshetra War led to ghastly carnage—millions died; great dynasties were wiped out. Eight warriors survived on the Pandava side: Krishna, the five Pandava brothers, Satyaki, and Yuyutsu. On the Kaurava side, three warriors survived: Kripacharya, Kritavarma, and Ashwatthama. But the Kurukshetra War was justified because it resulted in the establishment of the reign of dharma on earth.


Unknown said...

The Ramayana, specifically The Bhagavad Gita, is the most moving work of literature for me. It leaves me speechless to describe it because the way it is written is already the best language to describe the concepts. The principles give me a lot of hope and purpose.

Ajit R. Jadhav said...

Yes, many parts of it ought to leave anyone speechless, if he has any valid moral compass of sorts. But then, you *also* do take care to write!

As if you had hope and purpose to begin with!

Are you a Brahmin by caste, by any chance? Jusss as'innn...

Best, Anoop, and Unknown!