Monday, July 18, 2016

Yato Jayas, Tato Dharma

Yato Jayas Tato Dharma

There is a phrase in Sanskrit  यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः' Yato Dharmas Tato Jayaḥ "Whence dharma, thence victory". It is the motto of our Supreme Court. 

The epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata describe the victory of Dharma over Adharma. 

What is Dharma? That which holds. That confers worldly joys and leads to supreme happiness. The path of righteousness, and living life according to the code of conduct described in the scriptures. And these are mainly, the Common Code of Conduct prescribed by the Society. They need not to be judicious and based on the principle of liberty, equality and justice. It is moral law combined with spiritual discipline.

Bhagavat Purana, righteous living or life on a dharmic path has four aspects: austerity (tap), purity (shauch), compassion (daya) and truthfulness (satya); and adharmic or unrighteous life has three vices: pride (ahankar), contact (sang), and intoxication (madya). Manu Smriti prescribes 10 essential rules for the observance of dharma: Patience (dhriti), forgiveness (kshama), piety or self control (dama), honesty (asteya), sanctity (shauch), control of senses (indraiya-nigrah), reason (dhi), knowledge or learning (vidya), truthfulness (satya) and absence of anger (krodha). Manu further writes, "Non-violence, truth, non-coveting, purity of body and mind, control of senses are the essence of dharma". 

Did they follow the Dharma?

Eklavya and Karna were the victims of those days Dharma. The society neither allow the tribal boy nor the Suta Putra to take education of their choice. Suyodhana was the first prince of Hastinapur (Delhi) in ancient history who challenged the social code of inequality and made Karna the King of Anga Desh (present Assam) and Eklavya the King of Nagas (as per tales). Entire epic is a story of action and reaction chain of taking revenge of their insults. 

Kshatriya Dharma, the word used the most in the epic was to keep other communities away from the power. But were the Pandvas Kshatriya? If we consider the Varna from the father side, they were not Kshatriya. They were Mantra Putras, born out of the ancient mantra system (may be the Niyoga) of calling five different Devas to bless Kunti and Madri with the babies, the five Pandavas. Their customary father Pandu was carrying a curse, therefore was unable to mate and get the children. However, he was also not a Kshatriya. He was a son of Ambalika and Ved Vyasa, the Brahmin son of Parashar, born from the sexual act of Parashar with an unmarried girl Matshyagandha (Satyavati), the beautiful daughter of a fisherman. 

If we consider the Varna from the mother side, Kunti was a daughter of Yadava King Shursena ( adoptive daughter of Kuntibhoja) or may be a kshatriyani princess from Afghanistan (as per another tale) married to an anemic Pandu, the King of Hastinapur. She was sister of Vasudev and therefore fufi (aunt) of Lord Krishna in relation. Pandu's mother was Kshatriyani, Ambalika, the daughter of Kashiraj Kashya.

The Chief of the Army, Devvrata Bhisma, first son of King Shantanu abducted three daughters of Kashi King by force from the Swayamvar for his step brothers, Vichitravirya and Chitravirya. He had to leave Amba, later became Shikhandi, the cause of his death in the war of Mahabharata.  When both the sons of Satyavati, Vichitravirya and Chitravirya  committed suicide doubting over her relation with their step brother Bhisma, and died childless, Satyavati invited her first son Ved Vyasa to father the children (Dhutrastra and Pandu) of the two widows of Vichitravirya through niyoga. The maid also went for niyoga and gave birth to Vidur. Niyoga with widows and their children were accepted as Dharma. Bhisma abducted Gandhari from Gandhar for his blind nephew, Dhutrasta. The kin Shakuni (5Y), losing the dynasty, then became the key conspirer to destroy the kingdom of Hastinapur. The story reveals that the family was not getting brides from the respected families of Kshatriyas of those days.

Arjun, the son of Indra won Dropadi in Swayamvar by wield and string the bow, hits the fish eye. But Dropadi had to marry all five Pandavas and to live as a common wife of them sharing bed with each one of them for a year in turn and gave birth to five children (Prativindhya, Sutasoma, Srutkarma, Satanika and Srutsena). They didn't survive in the war of Mahabharata and the son of Abhimanyu, Parikshita became the successor of the crown of Hastinapur. From maternal side, Abhimanyu was a son of Subhadra, the Yadava sister of Lord Shri Krishna. 

Dhutrasta the eldest son of Ambika and Vichitravirya was denied the Throne, on the argument of his blindness. But when Pandu went to forest after the curse, he was made the King with compromised law. The third son Vidur was not made King because he was a son of a maid, though his father was the same Ved Vyasa. Gandhari, the wife of Dhutrasta delivered 101 children through pots (present day test tube babies). They were the legitimate children of Dhutrastra. Pandavas were not the Children of Pandu, but were the children born out of Mantras of five deities. 

Nobody has discussed the killing of innocent forest dwellers in Khandavprashtha. In Varnavat, the Nishad mother and her five children were given sedative food and were killed in fire replacing Kunti and Pandavas. Nobody has discussed the events of killing of unarmed Lakshman, the son of Suyodhana by Abhimanyu. Nobody has discussed the abduction of Lakshmana, the daughter of Suyodhana, by Samba the son of Lord Krishna. 

Pandavas followed the code of the society and Suyodhana followed his inner voice. Whatever Pandavas did including sharing Dropadi as common wife, gambling her on Chausar, marrying Rakshashi Hidimba, marrying Naga princess; killing of Bhisma, Drona, Karna, Suyodhana, etc, by violating war rules, were called Apad Dharma. And whatever Suyodhana did making Karna and Eklavya the Kings by breaking the caste system, winning Dropadi in Gambling after she insulted him by calling a blind son of a blind, her molestation, killing of Abhimnayu, etc, were called Adharma. His question of the legitimacy of Pandavas on the Thorne as illegitimate sons of Pandu was never been answered.

Bhishma, Vidur, Drona, Kripacharya, Karna all joined hands with Sutodhana, but were defeated against the wisdom and strategy of Lord Krishna. Both the sides were lead by Mamus (Shakuni and Krishna) in strategy. Pandavas won the war and their side was identified as the side of Dharma. None in the story can be identified as the "Pure Kshatriyas", still it was a Dharma, opposing the lower caste to participate in power.

धर्मो रक्षति रक्षित:'dharmo rakhshati rakshtia "Dharma Protects those who protect the Dharma" . But the Dharma vary, from place to place and from people to people. 

History is written by the victors. Yato Jayas Tato Dharma.

18 July 2016


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