Sunday, April 21, 2013

Quotes - Virata Parva

The Virata Parva is the fourth parva in the Mahabharata, and the shortest of the first four, clocking in at under two thousand shlokas, and covers the thirteenth year of exile in incognito the Pandavas have to spend, which they do in the King Virata's kingdom.
Covers of Vols 1 - 6
These quotes are from the unabridged translation of the Mahabharata by Dr Bibek Debroy (my reviews: Vol.1Vol.2Vol. 3Vol. 4Vol.5 (12), Vol. 6 (123)). The Virata Parva begins with the fourth volume of the translation, and ends someway around the half-way mark. Then starts the Udyoga Parva, which also features the story of Amba.
The start of the parva, where the Pandava's consiglieri, Sage Dhoumya, advises them on how to conduct themselves while in exile, could well have been taken from an HR manual for executives at a Fortune 500 company.
On to the quotes.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Quotes - Aranyaka Parva

The Aranyaka Parva is the third parva in the Mahabharata, and in my reckoning one of the riches in terms of content. While the Adi Parva is literally the book of the beginning, and contains stories few may have heard of of the origins of few know of, and even fewer associate as belonging in the Mahabharata (like that of Uddalaka Aruni), and the Sabha Parva is perhaps the most pivotal of all parvas, as it lays the foundations of the destruction to be wrought thirteen and some years hence, the Aranyaka Parva is literally a goldmine of stories - a veritable forest of tales and philosophical discourses. Stories that are told, most of them by Sage Markandeya - and who himself has a story behind his everlasting life, as the Pandavas spend the twelve years of their exile in the forest, waiting, preparing, pondering. The thirteenth year, to be spent incognito while living among people, forms the fourth parva, the Virata Parva.

Covers of Vols 1 - 6
This post then collates quotable quotes from the third parva, the Aranyaka Parva, which at more than 10,000 shlokas, also happens to be the second longest parva in the epic, right behind Shanti Parva. This Parva starts in Vol. 2 of the unabridged translation of the Mahabharata by Dr Bibek Debroy (my reviews: Vol.1Vol.2Vol. 3Vol. 4Vol.5 (12), Vol. 6 (123)), and continues into Vol. 3.

The second chapter in the parva is itself an exposition of Samkhya Yoga, and in the words of Dr Debroy, "This entire section is reminiscent of the Bhagvad Gita."
On to the quotes then.
  • "There are four kinds of reasons behind physical sorrow - disease, the touch of something painful, labour, and distance from loved things."
    [Shounaka recounting King Janaka's shlokas  to Yudhishtra, Aranyaka Parva, Aranyaka Parva, Ch 2] (the first sub-parva in the Aranyaka Parva is also named Aranyaka Parva)