Of dominating fathers and submissive sons in Indian stories…

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?

How Bhishma made the Kurus a matrilineal clan!

Bhishma, a key character in the Mahabharata, is known for the supreme sacrifice of his sex life for the sake of his father.

But this selfless act of his changed the patriarchal nature of the Kuru clan forever.

After Bhishma, we find succession in the Kuru throne becomes matrilineal, with the Kuru throne being handed down through the mother’s bloodline.

Copyright to this image is owned by Kulture Katha

For more on the Bhishma story, check this video!

Did Yudhishtra have a rightful claim to the Hastinapur throne?

In the Mahabharata, the entire premise of the horrific Kurukshetra war was that the Pandavas had a legitimate claim to a part (if not the whole) of Hastinapur, which they were being denied.

But did the Pandavas led by Yudhishtra have a truly credible claim to the throne?

Surprisingly, one look at the history of the Kuru clan tells us that primo geniture, which is the right to succession that comes from being the first-born, was never the norm among the Kurus.

Listen in to hear the stories of Yayati and King Bharata that tell you how, in the Kuru clan, issues of succession were decided by factors other than primo geniture!

Wit & Wordplay in Indian Stories

Language, as they say, marks the pinnacle of human evolution. And humour & wordplay form the crown of that pinnacle. Being home to such evolved Indian languages such as Sanskrit and Tamil, India, not surprisingly, is the wonderful land of stories centered around wit and wordplay.

This video takes you through some of these stories, highlighting a unique wordplay episode from the life of the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa and a story of uncanny humour involving the Tamil scholar Avvaiyar and her favourite deity, Murugan. There is also a cute little story about how even the gods could not put a word to the relationship between Ayyappan and Goddess Lakshmi!

For all this and more, watch the video!!