Resolving Controversies in Mahabharata

There are many episodes in the Mahabharatha which are controversial and give rise to many new-age opinions and speculations which eclipse the true essence of Mahabharatha. The distorted understanding of these episodes create distorted or sometimes perverted thought processes and they create wrong role models. This leads to increase of adharma and the peace and order of society is disturbed. It is important to understand these episodes and the characters involved in those episodes from the point of view of vyasadeva, the original author of Mahabharatha and his faithful followers. In this course, in the 1st session, a detailed introduction to vedic scriptures is presented and in the remaining 11 sessions, the most popular episodes which have led to different controversies are thoroughly discussed from the point of Srila Vedavyasa.

By the end of this course, the student will be able to understand and explain the right understanding of some of the controversial episodes of mahabharatha and he will be able to resolve those controversies. While going through the course, the student will also be able to learn many core concepts of sanatana dharma and life such as the divisions of the scriptures and their relevance, the definition of dharma, the types of dharma, dharma sankata, the caste system, the concept and purpose of avatara, the concept of integral dharma, gambling, purpose and types of marriages, response to sufferings and many more.

The understanding of these concepts will help us to make right decisions in our life for our self growth and the growth of society. Multiple Choice Quiz is there at the end of each session to test the understanding of the student.

EC01/ Lesson 01: Introduction to the scriptures

Some of the topics covered in this session: 

1.    Types of pramanas and the importance of sabda pramana

2.    Difficulties in studying the vedas

3.    The importance of Itihasas and puranas

4.    The roles of Mahabharatha, Ramayana and Srimad Bhagavatam

5.    The difference between itihaasa and history.

EC01/ Quiz 01
25 questions
EC01/ Lesson 02: Is Mahabharata a mythology? – Purpose of Mahabharata
EC01/ Quiz 02
25 questions
EC01/ Lesson 03: Advent of Vyasadeva

Some of the topics covered in this session:

 1.     Divine aspects of Vyasadeva's birth

2.     Contribution of vyasadeva

3.     Honesty and sensitivity of Vyasadeva

4.     The conversation between Narada and vyasa

5.     Udasina vs. neautrality

6.     Vyasadeva' role in Mahabharatha

7.     Vyasa- the greatest school of critique

EC01/ Quiz 03
25 questions
EC01/ Lesson 04: Is the birth of Pandu Dhritarashtra and Vidura illicit or legitimate?

Some of the topics covered in this session:

1.     How could Bhishma suggest procreation through widows by another man?

2.     How could Satyavati agree to such an absurd proposal?

3.     How could Vyasadeva agree for a bizarre act of procreating through widows?

4.     In which shastra compiled by him is such a sanction given?

5.     Why couldn't they simply find a qualified king to rule?

6.     Do vedic scriptures support dynasty politics and power rather than qualification and empowerment of people?

EC01/ Quiz 04
25 questions
EC01/ Lesson 05: Kunti and the crime of banishing Karna

Some of the topics covered in this session:

1.     Objective analysis of the sufferings of Kunti and Karna

2.     The story of Kunti abandoning Karna

3.     The character of kunti

4.     The response of Kunti and karna to their suferrings

5.     Vyasadeva's pacification of Kunti

6.     The story of the births of Pandavas

EC01/ Quiz 05
25 questions
EC01/ Lesson 06: Draupadi marrying 5 husbands

Some of the topics covered in this session:

1.     How could one woman marry 5 husbands?

2.     Types of marriages

3.     Events that led to the svayamvara of draupadi

4.     The past life of draupadi

5.     The personalities who approved the marriage of draupadi with Pandavas

6.     How to respond to the event is more important than the actual event.

7.     Draupadi represents the power to unite

8.     The concept of unity in diversity

EC01/ Quiz 06
25 questions
EC01/ Lesson 07: Ekalavya and the caste system

Some of the topics that will be covered in this session: 

1.     How could drona ask for Ekalavya s thumb as guru daksina even though he did not teach him directly?

2.     How could Arjuna be so ruthless in making himself great at the cost of ruining ekalavya's prospect?

3.     Higher classes always exploit the lower classes?

4.     The understanding of the caste system - varnashrama Dharma

5.     Sanatana dharma is dharma centric and not person centric

6.     Application of the knowledge is more important than the actual knowledge

7.     Qualification for education

8.     Bhakti siddhanta saraswathi thakur's insights on the character of ekalavya

9.     Selfishness used for a selfless cause vs. selflessness engaged in the service of selfish people

EC01/ Quiz 07
24 questions
EC01/ Lesson 08: The Gambling match

Some of the topics that will be covered in this session: 

1.     Nature of gambling

2.     The events that led to gambling match in Mahabharatha

3.     Yudhishtira's reasons for participating in gambling

4.     The sarangathi of draupadhi

5.     The ill effects of gambling

6.     Analysis of the story from 3 perspectives

7.     The 3 natures of a person

8.     Yudhishtira s attitude after the gambling match

9.     The concept of integral dharma and isolated dharma

EC01/ Quiz 08
24 questions
EC01/ Lesson 09: Yudhisthira speaking lie

Some of the topics that will be covered in this session: 

 1.     Why did dharmaraja lie?

2.     Why did he use that lie to kill the foremost of fighters and the teacher of the Pandavas?

3.     Does krishna follow any rules for himself?

4.     Does he have the license to act whimsically?

5.     The character and personality of drona

6.     The analysis of the friendship between drona, drupada and sudama, krishna

7.     Drona - a teacher with an agenda.

8.     A life full of lies or lying once to put an end to a life full of lies

EC01/ Quiz 09
25 questions
EC01/ Lesson 10: The death of Karna – Defending the undefendable

Some of the topics that will be covered in this session: 

1.     Is Karna the unsung hero of Mahabharatha?

2.     Casting Karna as dharmik is like portraying a terrorist as a martyr.

3.     Absolute dharma vs. isolate dharma

4.     Karna- a life of fruitless loyalties

5.     Loyalty to person vs. Loyalty to principle

6.     The death of Karna

7.     The ingrained belief system of Karna

8.     Krishna gives the audit report of Karna's life and Karna's response

9.     Svadharma and loka sangraha

10. Imaginary versions of Karna

11. "Personalities like Karna spell doom to public" 

EC01/ Quiz 10
25 questions
EC01/ Lesson 11: Hell to Pandavas? Heaven to Kauravas?

Some of the topics that will be covered in this session: 

1.     People say, " It doesn't matter whether you are pandavas or kauravas. Both are different sides of the same coin."

2.     Departure of Pandavas - Mahaprasthan

3.     How dharma judges different people?

4.     The 3 tests underwent by yudhishtira

5.     Conclusive lessons from this episode

EC01/ Quiz 11
25 questions
EC01/ Lesson 12: Sri Krishna- Mortal or immortal? Divine or Human?

Some of the topics that will be covered in this session: 

1.     Do the avataras like Krishna and Rama also have to suffer for their reactions and perish one day?

2.     The concept of avatara and the types of avatars

3.     The purpose of avatara

4.     The story of the curse on yadu dynasty by the brahmanas and the lessons

5.     The story of Gandhari's curse and the lessons

6.     The maushala lila

7.     Sukadeva goswami's arguments after the description of maushala lila

8.     Krishna's protection of devotees

9.     Objections in Krishna marrying 16108 princesses and its explanation

10. Krishna's departure from this world

11. Magnanimous nature of an avatara to act within the limitations of this world

EC01/ Quiz 12
26 questions
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This course is being made available to all from the holy day of Radhashtami 2020.

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Enrolled: 6 students
Lectures: 12
Video: 20 Hours
Level: Advanced