History Literature / Mahabharata

17th Mar '17 1:51:43 AM Strafe2409
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The Epic starts with King Shantanu, the ancestor of the Kurus falling in LoveAtFirstSight with (unknown to him) River Goddess Ganga whose condition for marrying him is that he should refrain [[ThePromise from questioning her about anything that she does]]. Ganga however appears to be a JerkAss and [[OffingtheOffspring drowns every single child she bears as soon as they are born]]. Shantanu finally asks her to stop, only to find out that her sons are holy souls that, who, due to a crime of vandalism that they had committed, were forced to be born as mortal humans, and that [[BlueAndOrangeMorality by drowning them, she's letting them go back to the place where souls go after having transcended the cycle of rebirth]]. Ganga leaves and her son, Devavrata, becomes the apparent heir. Shantanu finds his SecondLove, a young fisherwoman named Satyavati whom he cannot marry due to ParentalMarriageVeto. TheWisePrince Devavrata promises to step away from the throne and to remain celibate for the rest of his life so that Satyavati's children can inherit the throne. Satyavati is allowed to marry Shantanu. Devavrata is hence called Bhishma or the 'one with a terrible vow'.

to:

The Epic starts with King Shantanu, the ancestor of the Kurus falling in LoveAtFirstSight with (unknown to him) River Goddess Ganga whose condition for marrying him is that he should refrain [[ThePromise from questioning her about anything that she does]]. Ganga however appears to be a JerkAss {{Jerkass}} and [[OffingtheOffspring drowns every single child she bears as soon as they are born]]. Shantanu finally asks her to stop, only to find out that her sons are holy souls that, who, due to a crime of vandalism that they had committed, were forced to be born as mortal humans, and that [[BlueAndOrangeMorality by drowning them, she's letting them go back to the place where souls go after having transcended the cycle of rebirth]]. Ganga leaves and her son, Devavrata, becomes the apparent heir. Shantanu finds his SecondLove, a young fisherwoman named Satyavati whom he cannot marry due to ParentalMarriageVeto. TheWisePrince Devavrata promises to step away from the throne and to remain celibate for the rest of his life so that Satyavati's children can inherit the throne. Satyavati is allowed to marry Shantanu. Devavrata is hence called Bhishma or the 'one with a terrible vow'.



* AnyoneCanDie:
** No one is spared from a KarmicDeath! Not even [[spoiler:Krishna]].
** In [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s case, it's complicated. In separate parts of the book, such as the ''Literature/BhagavadGita'', [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s death is portrayed as a [[FakingTheDead fakeout]], when he actually went back to his abode of Vaikuntha. Being the MasterOfIllusion he is, he has often fooled everyone including the gods as to who he is throughout the book. However, there is a difference between the death of the mortal body and the [[DeaderThanDead death of the soul]]. The mortal deaths of [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s kinsmen and himself are necessary for the fulfillment of Gandhari's promise, which does eventually occur in the Mahabharata. [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s ascension to heaven and the sinking of Dwarka lead to Arjuna's HeroicBSOD and the renunciation of the Pandavas. It also signifies the EndOfAnEra and the start of a new age.
** Subverted with Aswatamma, who instead suffers a FateWorseThanDeath via WhoWantsToLiveForever.



* BadAssAdorable: Krishna, Krishna, [[RuleOfThree Krishna!]]. In spite of being the most adorable baby and naughty CheerfulChild in the book, he really kicks some demon ass!

to:

* BadAssAdorable: BadassAdorable: Krishna, Krishna, [[RuleOfThree Krishna!]]. In spite of being the most adorable baby and naughty CheerfulChild in the book, he really kicks some demon ass!



* TheBerserker: Arjuna goes berserk after the Kauravas ganged up and killed his teenage son Abhimanyu. Krishna goes temporarily berserk when he learns that Arjuna was fighting Patriach Bhisma half-heartedly. Bhima goes berserk almost continuously in the epic, especially when someone insults Draupadi's honor.



* BigBad: Duryodhana, with Shakuni as BiggerBad.

to:

* BigBad: Duryodhana, with Shakuni as BiggerBad.GreaterScopeVillain.



* {{Bowdlerization}}: The [[UsefulNotes/{{Indonesia}} Javanese]] version removes some of the more {{squick}}tastic elements of the original, such as Draupadi being the wife of all five Pandavas. In it, she is Yudhisthira's (and only Yudhisthira's) wife. Probably something to do with the spread of UsefulNotes/{{Islam}}.

to:

* {{Bowdlerization}}: The [[UsefulNotes/{{Indonesia}} Javanese]] version removes some of the more {{squick}}tastic elements of the original, such as Draupadi being the wife of all five Pandavas. In it, she is Yudhisthira's (and only Yudhisthira's) wife. Probably something to do with the spread of UsefulNotes/{{Islam}}.ancient Javanese opposition to polyandry.



* CainAndAbel:
** Duryodhana tried to kill his cousin Bhima by poisoning him as a child.

to:

* CainAndAbel:
**
CainAndAbel: Duryodhana tried to kill his cousin Bhima by poisoning him as a child.



** Arjuna's mentor Drona is insulted by his childhood friend, King Drupad so he asks Arjuna to teach the JerkAss a lesson. Drupad is humiliated in a badass manner and wants revenge. He gets a son Dhristadyuma to kill Drona and a daughter Draupadi to marry Arjuna.

to:

** Arjuna's mentor Drona is insulted by his childhood friend, King Drupad so he asks Arjuna to teach the JerkAss {{Jerkass}} a lesson. Drupad is humiliated in a badass manner and wants revenge. He gets a son Dhristadyuma to kill Drona and a daughter Draupadi to marry Arjuna.



* GreyAndGrayMorality: Some people who read this epic insist that the whole conflict was basically about nuances of interpretations of Dharma (duty). If you don't get it, don't despair--most of the participants probably didn't get it either, until they died. Also, all described characters have a specified good enough reason to be there; almost everyone on the battlefield was there out of loyalty. And {{Jerk Ass}}es are everywhere.

to:

* GreyAndGrayMorality: Some people who read this epic insist that the whole conflict was basically about nuances of interpretations of Dharma (duty). If you don't get it, don't despair--most of the participants probably didn't get it either, until they died. Also, all described characters have a specified good enough reason to be there; almost everyone on the battlefield was there out of loyalty. And {{Jerk Ass}}es {{Jerkass}}es are everywhere.



* KarmicDeath:
** No one is spared from a Karmic Death! Not even [[spoiler:Krishna]].
** In [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s case, it's complicated. In separate parts of the book, such as the ''Literature/BhagavadGita'', [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s death is portrayed as a [[FakingTheDead fakeout]], when he actually went back to his abode of Vaikuntha. Being the MasterOfIllusion he is, he has often fooled everyone including the gods as to who he is throughout the book. However, there is a difference between the death of the mortal body and the [[DeaderThanDead death of the soul]]. The mortal deaths of [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s kinsmen and himself are necessary for the fulfillment of Gandhari's promise, which does eventually occur in the Mahabharata. [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s ascension to heaven and the sinking of Dwarka lead to Arjuna's HeroicBSOD and the renunciation of the Pandavas. It also signifies the EndOfAnEra and the start of a new age.
** Subverted with Aswatamma, who instead suffers a FateWorseThanDeath via WhoWantsToLiveForever.


Added DiffLines:

* UnstoppableRage: Happened several times.
** Arjuna goes berserk after the Kauravas ganged up and killed his teenage son Abhimanyu.
** Krishna goes temporarily berserk when he learns that Arjuna was fighting Patriach Bhisma half-heartedly.
** Bhima goes berserk almost continuously in the epic, especially when someone insults Draupadi's honor.
8th Mar '17 4:27:43 PM lalaTKG
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* FateWorsethanDeath: Ashvathama.

to:

* FateWorsethanDeath: FateWorseThanDeath: Ashvathama.



* GreyAndGrayMorality: Some people who read this epic insist that the whole conflict was basically about nuances of interpretations of Dharma (duty). If you don't get it, don't despair--most of the participants probably didn't get it either, until they died. Also, all described characters has a specified good enough reason to be there; almost everyone on the battlefield was there out of loyalty. And {{Jerk Ass}}es are everywhere.

to:

* GreyAndGrayMorality: Some people who read this epic insist that the whole conflict was basically about nuances of interpretations of Dharma (duty). If you don't get it, don't despair--most of the participants probably didn't get it either, until they died. Also, all described characters has have a specified good enough reason to be there; almost everyone on the battlefield was there out of loyalty. And {{Jerk Ass}}es are everywhere.



* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Happens to all the Pandavas during the Kurushetra battle. Leads to Yuddhistira [[spoiler: MyGodWhatHaveIDone speech]]

to:

* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Happens to all the Pandavas during the Kurushetra battle. Leads to Yuddhistira Yuddhistira's [[spoiler: MyGodWhatHaveIDone speech]]speech]].



* TheHighQueen: Draupadi. She is a bit Yandere, a bit DefrostingIceQueen, a bit LadyMacbeth and a bit of everything else. It's hard to classify her. She vows revenge on the Kauravas for [[BreakTheCutie her humiliation]] and gets it but in the process loses her [[spoiler:five children, her father and both her brothers]].

to:

* TheHighQueen: Draupadi. She is a bit Yandere, a bit DefrostingIceQueen, a bit LadyMacbeth and a bit of everything else. It's hard to classify her. She vows revenge on the Kauravas for [[BreakTheCutie her humiliation]] and gets it but in the process loses her [[spoiler:five [[spoiler:her five children, her father and both her brothers]].



* {{Irony}}: Draupadi had wished in her past life for a husband with all these great qualities, and Shiva told her it was very difficult (though not exactly impossible) to find one man with all those qualities. Karna is the one guy with all those qualities at once...and he can't be with Draupadi [[TypeCaste because of his social status]].

to:

* {{Irony}}: Draupadi had wished in her past life for a husband with all these great qualities, who was strong, talented, morally upright, and good-looking, and Shiva told her it was very difficult (though not exactly impossible) to find one man with all those qualities. Karna is the one guy with all those qualities at once...and he can't be with Draupadi [[TypeCaste because of his social status]].



** Which is very inconsistent with other parts of the book like the ''Literature/BhagavadGita'' where Krishna shows that he is not only God, but the very form of time itself who ultimately creates and devours universes! The Bhagavatam's take on that is that he had everyone fooled by faking a death scene when he actually went back to his abode of Vaikuntha. Being the MasterOfIllusion he is, he has often fooled everyone including the gods as to who he is throughout the book.
*** Not inconsistent. First, there is a difference between the mortal body and the soul. YMMV. The Death of Krishna's kinsmen and Krishna's death are necessary for the fullfilment of Gandhari's promise which does eventually occur in the Mahabharata. Krishna's ascension to heaven and the sinking of Dwarka lead to Arjuna's HeroicBSOD and the renunciation of the Pandavas. It also signifies the end of an age and the start of a new age.
** Subverted with Aswatamma who instead suffers a FateWorseThanDeath via WhoWantsToLiveForever.
* LongLostRelative: Karna, Pandavas's other half-brother. He was informed only in a context of the possibility to overtake the whole mess from Pandavas as the first child of Kunti, rendering the whole conflict moot and from this position resolve it as he see fit. Being a HotBlooded warrior as opposed to a MagnificentBastard, he met such news without any enthusiasm and chose to stick with his feudal obligations, friends and his stables-bound foster family.

to:

** Which is very inconsistent with other In [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s case, it's complicated. In separate parts of the book like book, such as the ''Literature/BhagavadGita'' where Krishna shows that he is not only God, but the very form of time itself who ultimately creates and devours universes! The Bhagavatam's take on that is that he had everyone fooled by faking a ''Literature/BhagavadGita'', [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s death scene is portrayed as a [[FakingTheDead fakeout]], when he actually went back to his abode of Vaikuntha. Being the MasterOfIllusion he is, he has often fooled everyone including the gods as to who he is throughout the book.
*** Not inconsistent. First,
book. However, there is a difference between the death of the mortal body and the soul. YMMV. [[DeaderThanDead death of the soul]]. The Death mortal deaths of Krishna's [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s kinsmen and Krishna's death himself are necessary for the fullfilment fulfillment of Gandhari's promise promise, which does eventually occur in the Mahabharata. Krishna's [[spoiler:Krishna]]'s ascension to heaven and the sinking of Dwarka lead to Arjuna's HeroicBSOD and the renunciation of the Pandavas. It also signifies the end of an age EndOfAnEra and the start of a new age.
** Subverted with Aswatamma Aswatamma, who instead suffers a FateWorseThanDeath via WhoWantsToLiveForever.
* LongLostRelative: Karna, the Pandavas's other half-brother. He was informed only in a context of the possibility to overtake the whole mess from the Pandavas as the first child of Kunti, rendering the whole conflict moot and from this position resolve it as he see fit. Being a HotBlooded warrior as opposed to a MagnificentBastard, he met such news without any enthusiasm and chose to stick with his feudal obligations, friends and his stables-bound foster family.
16th Feb '17 12:01:56 PM faunas
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Added DiffLines:

* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale: Ulupi drags Arjuna underwater and propositions him, threatening to commit suicide after his initial refusal. Even though she's a total stranger, Arjuna considers this romantic and sexy. Compare this to the scene where Durodhyana threatens to rape Draupadi, a show of cruelty so enraging that several other Kshatriya (including Krishna, who is literally virtue incarnate) declare war on him.
13th Dec '16 4:26:01 PM karstovich2
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The Epic starts with King Shantanu, the ancestor of the Kurus falling in LoveAtFirstSight with (unknown to him) River Goddess Ganga whose condition for marrying him is that he should refrain [[ThePromise from questioning her about anything that she does]]. Ganga however appears to be a JerkAss and [[OffingtheOffspring drowns every single child she begets as soon as they were born]]. Shantanu finally asks her to stop, only to find out that her sons are holy souls that, who, due to a crime of vandalism that they had committed, were forced to be born as mortal humans, and that [[BlueAndOrangeMorality by drowning them, she's letting them go back to the place where souls go after having transcended the cycle of rebirth]]. Ganga leaves and her son, Devavrata, becomes the apparent heir. Shantanu finds his SecondLove, a young fisherwoman named Satyavati whom he cannot marry due to ParentalMarriageVeto. TheWisePrince Devavrata promises to step away from the throne and to remain celibate for the rest of his life so that Satyavati's children can inherit the throne. Satyavati is allowed to marry Shantanu. Devavrata is hence called Bhishma or the 'one with a terrible vow'.

to:

The Epic starts with King Shantanu, the ancestor of the Kurus falling in LoveAtFirstSight with (unknown to him) River Goddess Ganga whose condition for marrying him is that he should refrain [[ThePromise from questioning her about anything that she does]]. Ganga however appears to be a JerkAss and [[OffingtheOffspring drowns every single child she begets bears as soon as they were are born]]. Shantanu finally asks her to stop, only to find out that her sons are holy souls that, who, due to a crime of vandalism that they had committed, were forced to be born as mortal humans, and that [[BlueAndOrangeMorality by drowning them, she's letting them go back to the place where souls go after having transcended the cycle of rebirth]]. Ganga leaves and her son, Devavrata, becomes the apparent heir. Shantanu finds his SecondLove, a young fisherwoman named Satyavati whom he cannot marry due to ParentalMarriageVeto. TheWisePrince Devavrata promises to step away from the throne and to remain celibate for the rest of his life so that Satyavati's children can inherit the throne. Satyavati is allowed to marry Shantanu. Devavrata is hence called Bhishma or the 'one with a terrible vow'.
13th Dec '16 9:07:41 AM NightOracle
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* BadassDriver: [[{{God}} Krishna]], who decides to be Arjuna's charioteer.



* BadassDriver: [[{{God}} Krishna]], who decides to be Arjuna's charioteer/
13th Dec '16 9:05:46 AM NightOracle
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** BadassGrandpa: Bhishma is one of the best examples in Hindu mythology. He was absolutely invincible on the battlefield and the Pandavas had to ask '''him''' for advice on how to defeat him. ( He promised them that they could always meet him for advice after sunset, and he ''kept'' his promises. ) Even after being impaled on a ''bed of arrows'' he had the grace to choose the time of his death, and he lay there for days to wait for time which was considered holy(the start of the period when the length of nights start reducing and length of days start increasing i.e around middle of January) before he finally decided to leave the world.

to:

** * BadassGrandpa: Bhishma is one of the best examples in Hindu mythology. He was absolutely invincible on the battlefield and the Pandavas had to ask '''him''' for advice on how to defeat him. ( He promised them that they could always meet him for advice after sunset, and he ''kept'' his promises. ) Even after being impaled on a ''bed of arrows'' he had the grace to choose the time of his death, and he lay there for days to wait for time which was considered holy(the start of the period when the length of nights start reducing and length of days start increasing i.e around middle of January) before he finally decided to leave the world.



** Of course, who can forget Arjuna and Karna?
*** The rivalry of Arjuna and Karna has parallels with the rivalry of Surya (the Sun god) and Indra (the god who wields thunder and the supreme god) in Hindu mythology. Indra triumphs just like Arjuna does. But at the same time, the masses revere and love Surya (who is also the god of physicians and a god of learning) and Karna (the most generous man in Hindu mythology and often considered to be the main hero, despite it focusing on the Pandavas) than Indra, who is more often feared, and Arjuna, who to be honest, is a Jerkass for most of the story. Basically, AlternateCharacterInterpretation folks.
6th Nov '16 4:51:37 PM dlchen145
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* BadAss: Almost all the Pandavas. Jarasandh. Krishna was Badass as well. Karna is perhaps one of the greatest examples of this within not just the epic, but also all of Myth/HinduMythology, managing to steamroll a vast majority of the heroes until his downfall (which would've also been a steamroll if not for a multitude of curses, divine intervention and a myriad of other things).



** Arjuna's mentor Drona is insulted by his childhood friend, King Drupad so he asks Arjuna to teach the JerkAss a lesson. Drupad is humiliated in a BadAss manner and wants revenge. He gets a son Dhristadyuma to kill Drona and a daughter Draupadi to marry Arjuna.

to:

** Arjuna's mentor Drona is insulted by his childhood friend, King Drupad so he asks Arjuna to teach the JerkAss a lesson. Drupad is humiliated in a BadAss badass manner and wants revenge. He gets a son Dhristadyuma to kill Drona and a daughter Draupadi to marry Arjuna.



* WholesomeCrossdresser: Arjuna dresses as a female in his thirteenth year in disguise. This is not treated as something unnatural mostly because Arjuna is BadAss.

to:

* WholesomeCrossdresser: Arjuna dresses as a female in his thirteenth year in disguise. This is not treated as something unnatural mostly because Arjuna is BadAss.badass.
15th Sep '16 12:13:27 PM NightOracle
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*** The rivalry of Arjuna and Karna has parallels with the rivalry of Surya (the Sun god) and Indra (the god who wields thunder and the supreme god) in Hindu mythology. Indra triumphs just like Arjuna does.

to:

*** The rivalry of Arjuna and Karna has parallels with the rivalry of Surya (the Sun god) and Indra (the god who wields thunder and the supreme god) in Hindu mythology. Indra triumphs just like Arjuna does. But at the same time, the masses revere and love Surya (who is also the god of physicians and a god of learning) and Karna (the most generous man in Hindu mythology and often considered to be the main hero, despite it focusing on the Pandavas) than Indra, who is more often feared, and Arjuna, who to be honest, is a Jerkass for most of the story. Basically, AlternateCharacterInterpretation folks.
15th Sep '16 11:58:52 AM NightOracle
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** There's a story that Karna was playing a game once with Duryodhana's wife, and she was losing badly. When she saw her husband coming, she stood up to greet him. Thinking she was running away to avoid admitting defeat, he playfully grabbed her and they ended up wrestling into a very... awkward position, with her necklace of pearls snapping and flying everywhere. Instead of thinking the worst or flying into a temper as others would have, he simply asked, "Do you want to me to just pick up the pearls, or should I string them together as well?" He trustem both of them to know nothing happenned
** Another example (twofold actually) was after Karna's death. Duryodhana had not shed a single tear upon the deaths of his brothers and sons but broke down completely when he learned Karna had been killed. And he said that had he known that Karna was not just his best friend, [[ spoiler: but his older brother]], he would have happily given the throne to him and served him faithfully, something that he would never have done for Yuddhistra.

to:

** There's a story that Karna was playing a game once with Duryodhana's wife, and she was losing badly. When she saw her husband coming, she stood up to greet him. Thinking she was running away to avoid admitting defeat, he playfully grabbed her and they ended up wrestling into a very... awkward position, with her necklace of pearls snapping and flying everywhere. Instead of thinking the worst or flying into a temper as others would have, he simply asked, "Do you want to me to just pick up the pearls, or should I string them together as well?" He trustem trusted both of them to know nothing happenned
** Another example (twofold actually) was after Karna's death. Duryodhana had not shed a single tear upon the deaths of his brothers and sons but broke down completely when he learned Karna had been killed. And he said that had he known that Karna was not just his best friend, [[ spoiler: [[spoiler: but his older brother]], he would have happily given the throne to him and served him faithfully, something that he would never have done for Yuddhistra.
15th Sep '16 11:57:25 AM NightOracle
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** There's a story that Karna was playing a game once with Duryodhana's wife, and she was losing badly. When she saw her husband coming, she stood up to greet him. Thinking she was running away to avoid admitting defeat, he playfully grabbed her and they ended up wrestling into a very... awkward position, with her necklace of pearls snapping and flying everywhere. Instead of thinking the worst or flying into a temper as others would have, he simply asked, "Do you want to me to just pick up the pearls, or should I string them together as well?"
** Another example (twofold actually) was after Karna's death. Duryodhana had not shed a single tear upon the deaths of his brothers and sons but broke down completely when he learned Karna had been killed. And he said that had he known that Karna was not just his best friend, but his older brother, he would have happily given the throne to him and served him faithfully, something that he would never have done for Yuddhistra.

to:

** There's a story that Karna was playing a game once with Duryodhana's wife, and she was losing badly. When she saw her husband coming, she stood up to greet him. Thinking she was running away to avoid admitting defeat, he playfully grabbed her and they ended up wrestling into a very... awkward position, with her necklace of pearls snapping and flying everywhere. Instead of thinking the worst or flying into a temper as others would have, he simply asked, "Do you want to me to just pick up the pearls, or should I string them together as well?"
well?" He trustem both of them to know nothing happenned
** Another example (twofold actually) was after Karna's death. Duryodhana had not shed a single tear upon the deaths of his brothers and sons but broke down completely when he learned Karna had been killed. And he said that had he known that Karna was not just his best friend, [[ spoiler: but his older brother, brother]], he would have happily given the throne to him and served him faithfully, something that he would never have done for Yuddhistra.
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