King Yayati wanted to enjoy the pleasures of life for long and demanded that his sons trade their youth for his old age. Puru, his youngest son, satisfied his father’s lust for life by sacrificing his youth.
King Shantanu fell in love with a fisherwoman at an advanced stage of his life. His son, Devavrata, ensured that his father’s desire was satisfied even though it meant he would have to sacrifice his kingship and sex life forever!
Why do we find dominating fathers and submissive sons in Indian stories?
Everyone knows that the Mahabharata is an epic! The longest poem of the world! A great piece of world literature!
But how many of us actually know about the nature of the epic?
Apart from the core narrative of the rift in the Kuru family, the epic has several layers of content containing long discourses on politics and statecraft, several teachings for the common man to help him lead his everyday life, detailed descriptions on various religious doctrines and last but not the least, the crest jewel of Indian philosophy, the Bhagawad Gita.,,,,
Phew! That was a long list….Oh! Wait! Don’t forget the 67 sub-tales called Upakhyanas and hundreds of small and big fables, parables, folklore, myths and legends!
Because of its vast size and extreme complexity of its contents, the epic has even been described as a monstrous chaos!
So, is the Mahabharata something like this?
No! Say those who have studied the epic in-depth and seen its underlying patterns. They say, the Mahabharata is like the banyan tree….