The epic of Mahabharata was written ages ago and yet it continues to overwhelm us with the amount of wisdom it carries in each word. This epic is revered not only because of its poetic grandeur but also because of the deep philosophical lessons that form its very foundation.
Here are 5 important lessons from the Mahabharata:
1. Revengeful Feelings Invite Doom
Even though the bigger message of the epic revolves around the war of duty, we still cannot ignore the large amount of destruction the war caused. And for what? So that Kauravas could seek revenge from the Pandavas. The war did not spare even children including Draupadi’s five sons.
Yes, one may win the kingdom at the end of the war. But what is left in this kingdom, all devastated, to be owned? This reminds me of Asoka’s state after the destructive war of Kalinga.
2. One Must Perform His Duty
Krishna told Arjun that Dharma can be both crystallized like a rock and fluid like the rivers. Dharma isn’t reflective of institutionalised religion; it is something one is born with and is therefore, one’s natural ethical nature.
So when Arjun was initially hesitant about fighting a war against his very cousins, Krishna reminded him about how one must stand by his Dharma, even if it means going against one’s own family. Krishna taught us how to be dutiful during challenging times.
3. Half Knowledge Can Be Dangerous
When Abhimanyu was in Draupadi’s womb, Arjun was telling her how one must enter and exit the Chakravyuh. But Draupadi fell asleep half way during his narration and so Abhimanyu could only learn how to enter the maze and not how to exit it. And with this half knowledge, he went into the Chakravyuh and we all know how that ended. No knowledge is way better than half-cooked knowledge.
4.Greed Never Pays Off
Yudhishtra was a righteous man, the most mature and admirable among the five brothers. Yet in a fit of greed, he gambled away everything – his wealth, his kingdom, his brothers and finally his wife. Maturity and wisdom are useless unless accompanied by foresight.
5. The Importance Of Friendship
The friendship between Arjun and Krishna is something we all must aspire to. Krishna guides him through each conflict he faces. Also, had it not been for Krishna’s unconditional support towards the Pandavas, we doubt they would have even come close to winning.
The Mahabharata is seen as a text way ahead of its time. It talked about the human and his/her humanity in every aspect possible. It bloomed in terms of both practicality and theory. It showed us both the good and bad in each of its characters. And probably that is the reason behind its relevance to this day and its immensely growing popularity in the current day and place.
Got any lessons you learned while reading the Mahabharata? Do let us know in the comment section below!