Sexual Harassment in the Mahābhārata

Sexual harassment is an unfortunate reality in many societies, and this fact is also reflected in literature too. In the story of Śakuntalā, originally in the Mahābhārata, Śakuntalā becomes pregnant by Duryodhana who then initially refuses to acknowledge that he is the father. In the Rāmāyaṇa, too, Sītā chooses to accompany her husband Rāma into exile and her vulnerability leads to her being kidnapped by Rāvaṇa who attempts to seduce her.

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Mahabharata in the time of COVID-19

Draupadi Ka Danda — HimalayanPeak — Garhwal,India — Wikimedia Commons (AmarChandra) We frequently turn to literature to find analogies for situations that we find ourselves in, both as individuals and as communities. Literature can perhaps provide guidance or a mental model that helps us to deal with situations that may be hard to process rationally or emotionally. In the context of […]

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Ethics in the Mahābhārata

The disrobing of Draupadi, attributed to Nainsukh, c.1765 — Wikimedia Commons Dharma and the difficulty of moral deliberation Why do bad things happen to good people? What is the best way to respond to sufferings or difficulties in life? How can we maintain faith in a moral standard in the face of the challenges and complexities of […]

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The Battle of Ten Kings

Ahi-Kshetra – the ancient capital of Northern Panchala — Wikimedia Commons The account in the Ṛg Veda and the legacy for modern India The seventh maṇḍala of the Ṛg Veda was largely composed by the Rṣi Vasiṣṭha Maitrāvaruṇi, well-known from later literature too, especially for the mutual antagonism between him and Viśvamitra. It commemorates some events leading […]

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The Divine Twins in the Veda

Arjuna and His Charioteer Krishna Confront Karna — Philadelphia Museum of Art … and in other Indo-European Sources There are significant difficulties in reconstructing many aspects of Proto-Indo-European culture, yet it is possible even to find some continuity of culture even to the present day, including glimpses of its religious practice and its pantheon of deities. Apart from […]

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