The Strident March of Destiny (A Criritical Appreciation of The Relevant Events in Ramayana and Mahabharata)

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Introduction

 

The book on hand pinpoints the hand of destiny in the march of events in our great national epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata and is thus a very useful guide for the study of those immortal classics. Mahabharata, the great war of unique military strategy, was fought more than five thousand years ago on our native soil but confined to the North, the venue being Kurukshetra, now in Haryana State. The war lasted just eighteen days and was fought by day only, except on the last day when it dragged on far into the night. Taking, however, this planet of ours, the Earth as a whole, we find that-it has been ravaged in the current century alone by two global wars, known as World War T and World War n. the first lasting from August l914 to Novemberl918 and the-second lasting over a much longer period, from September 1939 to August 1945, by day as well as night. The Second World War lingered on much longer than the first, throwing as many as sixtyone nations in the fray and thus affecting nearly eighty percent of the World population. Naturally, the scale of devastation was also very much more than that unleashed by the first World War, Fifty million lives were lost and a good number disabled; several cities and villages were razed to the ground, obliterating their erstwhile existence on the globe, along with their natural resources The savage atrocities and crimes. committed by the Nazi Germany and its axis-partners, Italy and Japan and the counter-offensives, launched by the defending nations, the unleashing of the atom bombs by U.S.A on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the last resort, to bring Japan down on its knees, should indeed be nightmarish recollections for those who had witnessed these wars and for the rest who had closely followed the war dispatches, in this regard The tragedy must be lingerihg in their memory even after four decades.

 

2. If Ravana and Duryodhana were the uncon promismg war-mongers of Ramayana and Mahabharata, we had in Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany, the most powerful dictator of the time. He was seized with, mad lust for dominating the entire world and adopted the peculiar military strategy of launching barbarious surprise attacks (Blitz Krig) on the unwary neighbours taking mean advantage of the prevailing economic slump and political imbalances elsewhere. Thanks to the Lord Almighty who rescued this - good Earth from the brink of a terrible disaster by involving the United States of America also in the last stages of the war. Hitler, who looked like having a good measure of success, a clean sweep as it were, for quite some time, as well as his axis-partners, Mussolini and Tojo eventually met their doom like the classical heroes of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the diabolic ones. Not only that, this planet has most agreeably vindicated its immense capacity for revitalisation and resurgence, as evidenced by the phenomenal recovery of Soviet Russia and Japan from what seemed, at one time, ‘a -terrible ‘set-back, much beyond early recovery. Although our Bharata varsha was, providentially, not turned into a battle field, as such during either of the World Wars referred to above, yet, more havoc was wrought by the partition of the Country in the year 19’47 than the possible ravages of a regular war; the sundered parts are still not free, from tension, bordering, now and then, on war-psychosis. Iran and Iraq, the two neighbouring oil-rich, Islamic Countries in West Asia, just look like ending the war, started between them more than eight years ago.

 

3. It is a thousand pities, the contemporary world has not taken lessons from past history, It is still in mortal dread of a nuclear holocaust, the total annihilation of the human race at the hands of just a couple of nations, the stock-pilers of the dreadful nuclear weapons of wholesale destruction, in a matter of minutes who again are in mutual dread of each other. May God, the benign controller of the destiny of His creatures in all the worlds, grant timely wisdom to the peoples of this world to stand up as one man and jolt the Superpowers into reason, thereby averting the human catastrophe beyond words-yes, beyond words, as there will be no one left to tell the terrible tale of extermination of the teeming millions of mankind from the Earth’s surface! One can, however, take comfort from the holy thought that He is the Sovereign Master of all the worlds and, therefore, this Earth, which forms part of His sprawling possessions, rather creations, will be taken care of by Him. It is only to be hoped and prayed for that some of His creatures will not, after all, be so fool-hardy as to trample upon human dignity, as a whole. by treating the rest of us as but a vast multitude of flies, mosquitos and such other tiny insects, the fit subjects for mass annihilation in a blazing fire of terrific intensity. The trigger-happy ones will do well to realise and remember, well on time, that they too will be sucked into the vortex of destruction and are not going to be spared in such an eventuality. God forbid!

 

Contents

 

Introduction

i-iii

Preamble

1-2

The paramountcy of the Lord’s will-neither King Dasaratha nor Kaikeyi accomplished the respective end in view but Lord Rama had things His own way, along His predetermined course

2-8

The blinding doom, the deafening fate-Ravana rushed to his doom, totally impervious to wholesome advice from various quarters

9-10

The origin of the Pandava princes and their hundred Cousins-a drastic tale of destiny

11-15

The worst irony of Kunti Devi’s life-her first-born, Karna getting pitted against her other sons

15-17

Setting fire to the mansion, built of lac and other corn bustib le materia Js- The Panda vas make good their escape but Duryodhana’s agent, Purochana perishes in the fire-evil unto him that evil thinks

17-19

The rise and fall of the Panda vas, the victims of the vicious game of dice, the fall of virtue and exaltation of vice

20-31

The heart-rending hardships of Nala and Damayanti, once again the victims of the vicious game of dice, the hand-maid of estiny

32-39