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|Title:||Study of ramayana and Mahabharata in contemporary Indian art painting|
|Keywords:||Indian art painting|
|Appears in Departments:||Department of Fine Arts|
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The Mahabharata is one of the most large scale "projects", so to speak, in the corpus of Indian Literature. If we are to evaluate the sheer volume of scholarly work on the same, it would be a staggering task. This is to say, there are a... more
The Mahabharata is one of the most large scale "projects", so to speak, in the corpus of Indian Literature. If we are to evaluate the sheer volume of scholarly work on the same, it would be a staggering task. This is to say, there are a plethora of themes to be discussed in the Mahabharata as a whole; not to evaluate the epic as a work of literature in its purest form, but rather as a work reflective of the socio cultural diaspora of mainstream society, along with its tremendous interactions with insular and other spheres of the same. The philosophies explored in this epic are of particular interest; for, while it is not a didactic text like the Ramayana, the reader is bound to draw certain inferences with what is being stated in the text. The involvement of divinity, and other social constructs in a society which may be prone to adherence, will result in a significant impact on that particular society. The philosophies being referred to, are Dharma and Karma, the fundamental building blocks of conduct, belief and most importantly, action. It is safe to assume that a definitive determinant of certain norms; or vice versa- it is a purely reflective work of what social reality is, or a depiction of social reality. There are a lot of musings on the topic of dharma in the Mahabharata, and how each action is influenced by a discussion on the same. Motives, are often a result of some particular dharma followed by the characters, and conflicting notions of dharma are instrumental in understanding certain aspects of the overall struggle, or struggles in the Mahabharata. Hence, the role of a character which influences the understandings of dharma, as we the readers see it, and as the characters perceive it is undeniably important. This brings us to the focus of this particular paper, which is the philosophy of dharma as depicted in the Mahabharata, the socio cultural implications derived from the actions which culminate in the character's understanding of the philosophy; moreover, to focus, we will also be discussing the character of Krishna, and him as the embodiment of dharma in the Mahabharata. This derives from the crucial role he plays as some form of a guardian of the interests of the Pandavas, and moreover, the one who will "keep the wheel of dharma turning". His remarks about the nature of this war, and how it is not simply a struggle over a piece of land, but rather a reflection of the struggle over conflicting notions of dharma is what is important, and makes him a focus of the study. To provide an outline, the assignment will be divided into sections for comprehensiveness. Section I will give an understanding of the philosophy of dharma. Section II will proceed with the numerous instances of the pronouncement of the philosophy in the text, with reference to Krishna, highlighting the important stories et al establishing him as the arbitrator of Dharma. Section III will focus on the reasons for Krishna being placed in such a position of arbitration. The concepts explored in this paper will finally be tied in the conclusion.