When Drona went to his childhood friend, Drupada, to remind him of his promise of eternal friendship made long ago, Drupada rebuked him and spurned him. Burning with anger and humiliation, Drona was filled with a desire for revenge. That was the only tragic flaw in a brave and supremely talented archer who taught the use of arms to the Kaurava and the Pandava prince.
The Churning of The Ocean
The three worlds of the universe were reeling from shock: the asuras had taken control! Even the plants were withering away. Only the great Lord Vishnu could make things right again. He got both devas and asuras to churn up life-giving nectar from the ocean of milk, and then ensured that the asuras were kept away from this gift of immortality.
This dark beauty was no ordinary woman. Born from the pure flames of a sacred fire, Draupadi was devoted wife to the five famously talented and virtuous Pandava brothers. The evil Kauravas wanted her for themselves, and eyed the Pandava kingdom as well. Raging at their impertinence, and ranting at her husbands’ helplessness, Draupadi inspired a deadly war which wiped out the Kaurava scourage for ever.
The Golden Mongoose
How important is a guest who visits one’s home? What could be more important than achieving knowledge through meditation? These tales taken from the Mahabharata tell of age old values that emphasise the divine status of a guest and the importance of dharma or duty above all else. And teaching these lessons are simple creatures like a mongoose, a crane and a pigeon.
Karna is one of the most poignant characters of the Mahabharata generous to a fault but with shades of grey. Although born to princess Kunti and the sun god Surya, he grew up as the son of a humble charioteer. His talent and ambition, however, would not allow him to languish in anonymity. The Kaurava prince, Duryodhana, recognized his ability at archery and made him king of Anga. For this, Karna remained loyal to him till the end. He met an untimely end at the hands of his brother Arjuna in the Mahabharata War.
He may have looked like a demon, but Ghatotkacha was a guardian angel-always ready to help, always cheerful. The pandava brother, Bheema, was lucky to have him as a son, for he saved his life more than once. And if it were not for this brave young rakshasa, the Kauravas may well have been the victors of the famous battle of Mahabharata.
Blind and preposterously ugly, Andhaka’s life was yet filled with love. Then Lord Brahma gave him eyes and beauty, and he became a proud tyrant who refused to see the truth. But Andhaka was the son of Shiva, after all, and even Indra, Vishnu and Brahma wished him no harm. Eventually, it was Shiva’s firm hand that led him back to happiness.
Krishna And Rukmini
The beautiful Princess Rukmini, they said, was the goddess of wealth herself. No wonder kings and emperors wanted her as their wife. Her brother Rukma wanted her to marry Shishupala for political expediency. But Rukmini had set her heart on the valiant Krishna, the prince who was Lord Vishnu himself. Now, Krishna had to whisk her away from under the noses of his enemies. Would his prowess be equal to his love? And would Rukmini win the happiness for which she had prayed?
Even the gods were charmed by this most honourable of kings. Fate had snatched away his palace, his wealth, his wife and his son. Worse sorrows were to pour down on him and yet Harischandra would not abandon the righteous path. He revealed the true mettle of a great king , protecting his honour- and that of his family-with single-minded determination.
Tales of Balarama
Balarama was not only krishna’s brother, he was his right-hand man. Together they made quite a team. Balarama’s amazing strength and courage made dangerous demons like Dhenukasura and Pralamba look like weaklings. He even tamed the Yamuna river which had meandered away from Virdnavan and brought it back to the people who needed it.