Monday, May 18, 2009

Humility in Victory and Dignity in Defeat

The Sri Lankan conflict and the Indian elections reminded me so much about the Mahabharatha, the epic story of the conflict between the Pandavas and the Kauravas.

Rules were broken in the great war by both parties, which people across sides condemned. A few of them:

1. Abhimanyu, only 16, broke into the Chakravyuha. Totally disarmed he was killed. Rule of war: one cannot fight an unarmed person.

2. Bheeshma killed by Arjuna using Shikandi as a shield. Bheeshma had vowed to fight only against a man.

3. Karna was killed when he was unarmed. Rule of the war was that one could not fight an unarmed person.

4. Duryodhan was killed by Bheema when by using his weapon below the former's hips. You cannot attack a person below the hips.

5. Not to fight an army that has accepted defeat.

6. Not to belittle one's foes after the battle.

7. Valiant defeat is equal to victory in itself. The kauravas though were wrong, fought till the end knowing that they were loosing the battle with dignity. They perished but the point was that they fought valiantly.

8. Disrobing of Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. Respect a woman.

9. The Pandavas, though they won the battle, found that victory was not sweet. They bore the pain of having killed Bhishma, their beloved uncle, their teachers, Dronacharya and Kripacharya, their brothers, Karna and the Kauravas, and lost their own children as well as people whom they loved and revered in the battlefield.

What was taught through the Mahabharatha is relevant to mankind across time.

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