The epic “Mahabharata” in the summary

The “Great Bharat” is an ancient Indian epic consisting of approximately one hundred thousand couplets-schloks, divided into 18 books, and includes many false episodes, one way or another related to the main narrative.

In the city of Hastinapur, the capital of the country of Bharat, the mighty sovereign Pandu reigned. By the curse of a wise man, accidentally struck by his arrow, he could not conceive children, and therefore his first wife, Kunti, who possessed a divine incantation, summoned the Dharma, one after the other, and gave birth to Yudhisthira, the wind god Vayu, and bore him Bhima, or Bhimasen, the king of the gods Indra – and gave birth to Arjuna. Then she handed the spell to the second wife Pandu Madri, who from the heavenly brothers Ashvin gave birth to the twins Nakula and Sahadeva. All five sons were legally recognized as Panda children and were called pandavas.

Soon after the birth of his sons Pandu died, and his blind brother Dhrtarastra

became king in Hastinapur. Dhritarashtra and his wife Gandhari had one daughter and one hundred sons, who by one of their ancestors were called kauravas, and among them the tsar especially distinguished and loved his first-born Duryodhana.

For a long time pandavas and kauravas have been brought up together at the court of Dhritarashtra and have gained great fame through their knowledge in the sciences, arts and especially military affairs. When they reach adulthood, their mentor Dron arranges with a large crowd of people military competitions in which both pandavas and kauravas discover incomparable skill in archery, sword fights, clubs and spears, control of battle elephants and chariots. Arjuna fights most successfully, and only one of the contestants does not concede to him in dexterity and strength – an unknown warrior named Karna, who later turns out to be the son of Kunti from the sun god Surya, born before the marriage to Panda. The Pandavas, not knowing the origins of Karna, shower it with ridicule, which they will never be able to forgive, and Duryodhana, on the contrary, makes him his friend and

gives him the possession of the kingdom of Angu. Shortly thereafter, between the pandavas and the envious kauravas, enmity gradually flares up, especially since the heir of the Bharata kingdom, according to custom, should not be the kurav of Duryodhana pretending to be him, but the eldest of the pandavas, Yudhisthira.

Duryodhane manages to convince his father at the time to send the Pandavas to the city of Varanavata, which is in the north of the kingdom. There is a resin house built for the brothers, which Duryodhana orders to set fire to burn them all alive. However, the wise Yudhisthira unraveled the villainous intention, and the Pandavas, together with their mother Kunti, secretly move out of the trap, and in the house a beggar with five of her sons, who accidentally wandered there, was burned. Discovering their remains and taking them for pandavas, the people of Varanavata with sorrow, and Duryodhana and his brothers for themselves rejoiced in the thought that the sons of Pandu were killed.

Meanwhile, having got out of the resin house, the pandavas go into the forest and live there unrecognized under the guise of Brahmin-hermits, for they are afraid of new intrigues of Duryodhana. At this time, the Pandavas perform many glorious feats; in particular, the brave Bhima kills the Hagibba’s ogre Rakshasa, who attempted the life of the brothers, as well as another monster, the Rakshasu Banu, who demanded daily human sacrifices from residents of the small town of Ekachakra. One day, the Pandavas learn that the king of the panchalas of Drupada has appointed svayamvara – the bridegroom’s choice of the bride – for his beautiful daughter Draupadi. The Pandavas go to the capital of the panchalas Campilla, where a lot of kings and princes gathered to compete for Draupadi’s hand. Drupada invited the suitors to send five arrows from the miraculous divine bow to the target, but none of them could even pull on his string. And only Arjuna with honor passed the test, after which, according to Kunti, Draupadi became the common wife of all five brothers. The Pandavas revealed their names to Drupad; and that their rivals are alive, they immediately recognized the kauravas in Hastinapur. Dhritarashtra, despite the objections of Duryodhana and Karna, invited the pandavas to Hastinapura and gave them possession of the western part of his kingdom, where they built for themselves a new capital – the city of Indraprastha.

For many years Yudhisthira and his brothers have been happy, in contentment and honor, they lived in Indralrastha. They undertook military campaigns to the north, south, west and east of India and conquered many kingdoms and lands. But along with the growth of their power and glory, the envy and hatred of the kauravas grew. Duryodhana sends Yudhisthira a challenge to the dice, from which, according to the rules of honor, he was not entitled to evade. In his opponents Duryodhana chooses his uncle Shakuni, the most skillful player and no less skillful cheater. Yudhisthira very quickly loses Shakuni all his riches, lands, cattle, warriors, servants and even his own brothers. Then he puts on his own – and loses, puts the last thing he has left, the beautiful Draupadi – and loses again. The Kauravas begin to mock the brothers who, by the terms of the game, are their slaves, Draupadi is the most disgracefully humiliated. Here Bhima pronounces a vow of mortal revenge, and when the ominous words of the vow echo the predicable wailing voice of the jackal and other menacing omens are heard, the frightened Dhritharashtra frees Draupadi from slavery and suggests that she choose three gifts. Draupadi asks one for freedom for his husbands, but Dhritharashtra, together with freedom, returns to them both the kingdom and everything else that was lost by them.

However, as soon as the Paldavas returned to Indraprastha, Duryodhana again challenges Yudhisthira to the ill-fated game. Under the terms of the new game – and Yudhisthira again lost it – he must go with his brothers for twelve years into exile and after another one year of unrecognized living in a particular country.

The Pandavas fulfilled all these conditions: twelve years, overcoming the need and many dangers, they lived in the forest, and the thirteenth year as simple servants were held at the court of the king of Matyar Virata. At the end of this year, the country of the Matsyas was attacked by the Kauravas. The army of Matsyev, led by Arjuna, repelled this raid, learned from the deeds of the kaurava commander Arjuna, but the expiration date for the pike was expired, and the pandavas could no longer hide their names.

The Pandavas offered Dhritharashtra to return their possessions to them, and he at first was inclined to agree with their demand. But the power-hungry and treacherous Duryodhana managed to convince his father, and now the war between pandavas and kauravas became inevitable.

To Kurukshetra, or to the Kuru field, on which the great battle was destined to take place, countless hordes of warriors, thousands of chariots, battle elephants and horses are being drawn together. On the side of the kauravas, according to the duty of the subjects of Dhritarashtra, their cousin the wise Bhishma and the mentor of the princes of Dron, the friend and ally of Duryodhana Karna, the daughter of Dhritarashtra’s daughter Jayadratha, the son of Drona Asvatthaman, the kings of Shali, Shakuni, Kritavarman and other mighty and brave warriors are fighting. The kings of Drupada and Virata, the son of Drupada Dhrishtanyum, the son of Arjuna Abhimanyu, take the side of the Pandavas, but the most important role in the battle is played by the leader of the Yadav family Krishna – the earthly incarnation of the god Vishnu who, by his vow, himself has no right to fight, but becomes the chief adviser of the Pandavas.

Just before the start of the battle, Arjuna, while traveling around the chariot, whose charioteer Krishna was a charioteer, sees opponents of his teachers, relatives and friends in the camp, dropping arms in terror before the fratricidal battle, exclaiming: “I will not fight!” Then Krsna gives him his instruction, called “Bhagavad Gita” and became a sacred text of Hinduism. By resorting to religious, philosophical, ethical and psychological arguments, he persuades Arjuna to fulfill his military duty, proclaiming that it is not the fruits of the matter – they seem bad or good – but only the matter itself, whose ultimate sense is not given to the mortal, should be the only one care of a person. Arjuna recognizes the rightness of the teacher and joins the army of the Pandavas.

The battle on the Kura field lasts eighteen days. In numerous battles and fights, all the leaders of the kauravas perish one by one: Bhishma, and Dron, and Karna, and Shalla, all the sons of Dhritarashtra, and on the last day of the battle at the hands of Bhima, the elder among them is Duryodhana. The victory of the Pandavas seems to be unconditional, only three of the innumerable troops of the Kauravas remain alive: Drona’s son Ashvatthaman, Kripa and Kritavarman. But at night these three warriors manage to get into the sleeping camp of the Pandavas and exterminate all their enemies except for the five Pandava brothers and Krishna. Such a terrible was the price of victory.

On the field, strewn with corpses of warriors, the mother of kauravas Gandhari, other mothers, wives and sisters of the dead appear and bitterly mourn for them. There is a reconciliation of the Pandavas with Dhrtarastra, after which the saddened Yudhisthira decides to spend the rest of her life as a hermit in the forest. However, the brothers manage to persuade him to fulfill his hereditary duty of the sovereign and to be crowned in Hastinapura. After a while, Yudhisthira performs a great royal sacrifice, his army led by Arjuna conquers the whole earth, and he wisely and justly reigns, everywhere affirming peace and harmony.

Time passes. The aged king Dhritarashtra, Gandhari and the mother of the Pandavas Kunti, who chose the fate of hermits for themselves, perish in a forest fire. Krishna dies, who was wounded in the heel – the only vulnerable spot on the body of Krsna – a certain hunter, taking him for a deer. Upon learning of these new woeful events, Yudhisthira finally fulfills an old intention and, appointing his grandson Arjuna Parikshit on his throne, along with his brothers, and Draupadi leaves the kingdom and goes away as an ascetic in the Himalayas. One after the other, Draupadi, Sahadeva, Nakula, Arjuna and Bhima die without a hard path. At the sacred mountain of Meru, the only surviving Yudhisthira is met by the king of the gods Indra and escorted to heaven with honor. However, there Yudhisthira does not see her brothers and, having learned that they are tormented in the underworld, renounces heavenly bliss; he wants to share their fate, asks him to be taken to the underworld. In the netherworld, the last test of the pandavas ends: the darkness of the underworld dissipates – it turns out to be an illusion-maya, and Yudhishthira, as well as his wife, brothers and other noble and brave warriors, henceforth have to remain forever in heaven among the gods and demigods.

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The epic “Mahabharata” in the summary