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Mahabharata - The Epic
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Mahabharata - The Epic

The Mahabharata is a popular epic in India and highly revered in Hinduism. In the story there are popular characters such as Karna, Duryadhan, Arjun and Krishna. It is respected as a sacred book in Hinduism.

Pandu and Dhritarastra were the two princes of the state of Hastinapur. Pandu became the king as Dhritarastra was born blind. The five sons of Pandu were together called Pandavas, and the hundred sons of Dhritarastra were called the Kauravas.

Kunti was the wife of Pandu and the mother of the Pandavas, whilst Gandhari was the devoted wife of Dhritarashtra. She put a bandage to her own eyes in sympathy with her husband who was blind. Dushashana and Duryadhan were the most famous among the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra.

The Pandavas were successful in every field. In jealousy, the Kauravas made several attempts to kill the Pandavas. After failing in their vicious schemes, they went to their uncle Shakuni for help. Shakuni had an evil plot in mind.

Yudhisthira, the eldest Pandav, was invited to play a game of dice against the Kauravas. Yudhisthir accepted the terms of the game. After losing the game, Yudhisthir had to surrender everything to the Kauravas, including their common wife, Draupadi. The Kauravas undressed Draupadi in the open court. The rivals continued playing the game and the Pandav's continued losing. As agreed, they went into exile. When they returned after exile, Duryadhan didn't allow them to enter Hastinapur and the mighty war of Kurukshetra began.

Lord Krishna helped the virtuous Pandavas. He tried to persuade them to avoid going to war. He pleaded with Duryadhan to grant five small plots of land to the Pandavas, but Duryodhan refused and the war became inevitable.

The Kauravas had many great warriors including Dronacharya, the teacher of both the Kauravas and the Pandavas, Bhishma Pitamha, who was the son of Shantanu and Ganga (and had the boon that he could select his time of death), Karna, the son of the sun (who could never be defeated if he had his magical amulet with him) and Ashwatthama, the son of Dronacharya, who was helped by Lord Shiva himself. Against these mighty foes the Pandavas had only Shri Krishna who served as their charioteer.

The battle, fought in Kurukshetra, continued unabated for eighteen days. Then, at last, the Kauravas were defeated. Bhima, the second Pandava, killed Duryodhan and Dushashan. Arjuna killed his brother, Karna. Arjuna also lost his son Abhimanyu in the war. The fierce battle restored peace in Hastinapur with Yudhisthir as the king.

The battle at Kurukshetra is a symbolic war - a war against un-holiness in which only the virtuous and pious emerged victorious.

Ashwatthama was the son of who?
Ashwatthama was known to be blessed by Lord Shiva and was considered to be undefeated. He was one of the few who was not defeated in the war of Kurukshetra. He fought for the Kauravas
What was the true name of Bhishma?
Bhishma (also known as Pitamha) is one of the prime characters of Mahabharata
What was the actual reason for the War of Kurukshetra?
Shakuni's treachery
Infatuation of Duryadhan and Karna for Draupadi
Yudhisthir's greed
Draupadi's vanity
It is seen in both the Ramyana and the Mahabharata that infatuation for another person's spouse leads to destruction. In the Ramayana, it was Surpanakha's and Ravana's infatuation for Rama and Sita respectively that led to the war. Similarly, in the Mahabharata, it was Duryodhan's and Karna's infatuation for Draupadi - not just infatuation but also anger after being rejected by Draupadi at her swayambar (the occasion when she chose her husband from amongst her many suitors)
Who was the wife of Dhritarashtra?
Gandhari was the loyal wife who blindfolded herself for life just because her husband was blind. I hope that you did not select Satarupa. Satarupa is the name of my fiancée!
Whom did Gandhari curse after the war described in the Mahabharata?
If Krishna wanted, he could have stopped the war. But he did not do so, which resulted in the complete annihilation of the Kauravas. In a fit of rage, Gandhari cursed Krishna that his dynasty would fall as had the dynasty of the Kauravas
Who was the father of Bhishma?
Shantanu was a Kuru king of Hastinapura. He was a descendant of the Bharata race, of the lunar dynasty and the ancestor of the Pandavas and the Kauravas. He was the youngest son of King Pratipa of Hastinapura and had been born in the latter's old age
Who was the writer of the Mahabharata?
Ved Vyas
Shri Krishna
Ved Vyas is credited with the authority of the Mahabharata
Karna was the blessed son of which celestial body?
The Moon
The Sun
While still unmarried, Kunti was blessed that she could bear the son of any deity. In order to try the authenticity of the boon, she called upon the Sun god. But when she gave birth to Karna, she was so scared that she set the baby Karna afloat on a boat and deserted him. Soon after, he was found by Radha, who became his foster mother
Who was the mother of Karna?
Kunti was the mother of Karna, while Radha was his foster mother
Who won the war of Kurukshetra?
The Pandavas
The Indians
The Kauravas
The British
The Pandavas defeated the Kauravas in the epic war. Shri Krishna was the charioteer of Arjuna, who was one of the Pandavas


Author:  Siddarth Bhattacharjee

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