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Mahabharat - Episode 08 - Madri

2021-12-08

Recap

We left the court of Hastinapur under the able leadership of Pandu when we last met. He married Kunti, and his blind brother Dhritrashtra was married to Gandhari. We also got to see the birth of Karna, the gifted son from Surya Dev to Kunti, who she had to abandon in the river.

Madri

Aap Chandravanshi hai aryaputra, katore me padi chandrama ki chhaya ko chandrama samaj lena aapko shobha nahi deta.

Synopsis

After winning over half the nation, Pandu encounters the king of Madra who instead of going to battle, befriends Pandu and gifts his sister Madri's hand in marriage to him. He also gives his army and kingdom to Pandu.

Madri is gladly accepted by the other women of the court, and welcomed as a sister by Pandu's wife Kunti. The people of the court want the king to rest for a while, since he has been at war since a long time. He accepts, after winning another war without lifting his sword. Before leaving he gives the royal crown to Dhritrashtra.

Pandu goes in special gardens made for him to rest with his queens where he meets sage Kindama. Shakuni tries to exploit Dhritrashtra's love for the royal throne. Pandu seems drawn to the life of an ascetic.

Discussion

Somehow the titles of these episodes are always misleading and miss the point. The official title of this episode is The gift of Madri, and sage Kindama's curse. The part about Madri is just a small story in major events that seem to be happening. The desperation in Dhritrashtra's blind eyes can be easily seen when he dons the royal crown for the first time. His hesitance to take off the crown even in private quarters with Gandhari shows how much yearns for the one thing that he gave up. He will blame his incompetence on anyone he can, except his own birth. It was in his fate, and he is not ready to accept it.

Pandu, despite being the one with poor health seems to be a good king. He is loved by the people, has two loving wives, and is a capable warrior. He has extended the boundaries of Hastinapur to lengths never seen before. He is the ideal king. And yet, he seems to have tendancies like king Ashoka in him. He seems to be drawn to the spiritual side, and we see it when he talks with sage Kindama. This does not bode well for the future of Hastinapur. A capable king wanting to be an ascetic, and an uncapable one wanting to be king? That's a recipe for disaster.

Kunti, Pandu and Madri

Some references might be minor spoilers for first time viewers. Kunti says that she doesn't want to play dice anymore. Dice make her anxious for her future, almost telling her that it will bring ruin in its wake.

There are three debts that a satpurush, an ideal man has to pay. The debt to god, the debt to teacher, and the debt to ancestors. The debt to god is paid by charity, it can be any form of charity. Not just material posessions but mental as well. Surrendering yourself in service of humanity is also charity. The debt to the teacher is paid by passing on the knowledge that you gain. Gyaan baatne se badhta hai. And the debt to ancestors is paid by having children. These three debts have to be paid by a satpurush in his lifetime. Pandu already seems to have paid back the first two debts, now lets see what he does in the future.

When Shakuni is trying to get Dhritrashtra to try for the royal throne, the turmoil in Dhritrashtra's head is evident. He tries to tell Shakuni to stop trying to make the two brothers fight, and yet the crown feels heavenly on his blind head. The future of Hastinapur looks bleak for now. As I have said before, Mahabharat is a story of tragedy. It is not going to end well for any of the characters. Our purpose is to learn lessons from the mistakes of these people and learn to live better lives. Until next time!

Shakuni sows the seeds of greed

Notable dialogue:

Aap Dhritrashtra se chhote avashya hai, parantu ye Raj Singhasan, Bhishma aur Dhritrashtra dono se hi bada hai.

Gotiya bairi lagne lagi hai, aur paase shatru.

Naa jaane kyun chausar ke paaso me mujhe bure bhavishy ke lakshan dikhai de rahe hai.

Bhagya rekha ya to baan ki nok se khichi jaati hai, ya to buddhi ki nok se.

Karma rekha ko bhagya rekha se adhik gehra hona chahiye rajan.

Naari to prithvi hai.

Yadi avashthao se yuddh karne ki shakti na ho bhrata Shakuni, to un se sandhi kar lene me hi bhalai hai.

To be continued

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