Sunday, January 07, 2007

#001 Arjuna- Selling old clothes

4-13-8, Sanskrit Verse
Virata Parva - Volume 4
Vaasaamsi parijiirn`aani
labdhaanyantaha puree Arjunaha
vikriin`aanascha sarveebhyaha
paamd`aveebhyaha prayachchati.

Arjuna used to sell (vikriin`aa) the old garments (vaasaamsi parijiirn`aani)
to all (sarveebhyaha)and give the money to his brothers (Pandavas).

*Great hero selling old clothes!
*Could have deposited the sales proceeds into the King's Treasury, if the sales was part of his official duties as dance teacher!

Jiiryamti api kaasht`haani daridraan`aam

Poor have the ability to digest even firewood.

CRITICAL REMARKS: This maxim has eternal value.


  1. I think pretty much all ancient writings were a form of propaganda. I guess we need to criticize them and expose them for what they are. But at the same time we need to take the good bits and celebrate them. Mahabharata, for example, is a philosophical treatise - it does give use some insight into how the ancients used to think. Ofcourse, it is full of bullshit. But still, it did define our society.

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  3. I find the Mahabharata very interesting. I especially like it when there are parallels between Hinduism and my own religion, Christianity. The sacrifice of Jantu is very reminiscent of Abraham sacrificing Isaac, although the outcome is quite different.

    One thing I can never quite understand is the position of Krishna. It seems as if some people in the story know all about him, and recognize that he is a god. But if that was known, then why would the evil characters like Duryodhan and Shakuni not take it into account? At times they seem to realize that he is special, but at other times they behave as if he is just a mortal, who can be tricked or intimidated or bought off like anyone else. When they are warned that opposing him is futile, they don't argue, but they go ahead and do it anyway.

    It's not the same as the reaction to Jesus - the whole point was that he was "in disguise" in a way, and very few believed that he was the Son of God. Krishna is much more open about it, demonstrating his power quite often, and yet people still don't react the way they should.

  4. To Mr(ms) Nikogetcat: Sir/Madam: There is every possibility of Ramayana, Mahabharata and the story of Jesus Christ being only fiction. My idea in writing about Ramayana and Mahabharata is only to identify the social environment prevailing during the first writing of the epics, and the subsequent insertions into it from time to time.
    Shirdi Sai Baba lived between 1850 and 1925 A.D. in Shirdi, Maharashtra, India. Not even hundred years. He has already been made God and temples are about a million in India. How fast miracles and stories spread around him, though he himself was an ordinary person. There is a proverb in Telugu language: "Idigo puli. Adigo Toka". Meaning: If somebody boasts that he has seen a tiger, others will say they have seen the tail. Rumors and fabrications spread so fast. The story about the resurrection of Jesus Christ also fall in the same category. Even if we assume that Krishna was a historic figure, he might have been a strong man in the court of a king. The court chroniclers and balladeers enlarged his personality to such a gianthood that the occupies the whole Universe. Mahabharata contains a number of interpolations, particularly those relating to Krishna.

  5. To: Dining philosopher. Sir: Thank u. I agree that it is necessary to see at good bits. I must say that these bits have already been extensively covered by scholars, researchers, religious preachers, poets, and everyody else. The bad bits are remaining because it does not pay to speak about them. If somebody raises these questions in religious conggregations, they are driven out. An objective assessment of a scripture becomes possible only when we view at all the facets surrounding its theme. Not just good things. Not just bad things. Sanskrit Vyasa Mahabharata contains about 115,000. It has been translated into almost all major world languages and Indian languages with substantial changes. The translations barely reflect the original story and one can never deduce what could have actually happened. Even the Sanskrit original has numerous insertions. By the time we reach the end (18th book) we forget what we have read in the first book.

    Living the life as stipulated in scriptures (including Bible and Mahabharata) is not possible. Because of practical difficulties. Because sometimes make us worse than what we currently are. In every case, we have to apply our mind, and then decide what is right and what is wrong.

    Anyway, I shall place before you shortly some discussions on what is good and not reasonable, based on the Mahabharata stories.


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