The Mahabharata II: Dicing and Exile
The Pandavas build a city in the wilderness with the help of the Asura Maya and embark on a campaign of conquest, which culminates in the consecration of Yudhiṣṭhira at the rajasuya. At the very moment of triumph, life takes a dramatic turn, impelled by deep forces in our human nature. Jealous of the Pandavas, the Kauravas invite the Dharmaraja Yudhiṣṭhira to a dicing game. After winning through cheating, they humiliate Draupadi and force the princes into exile. The period of exile contains a detailed account of a pilgrimage, which combines sacred history and geography with pedagogy.
This section contains important sections such as the revelation of the Seer Markandeya and the Ramopakhyana or the story of Rama Dasarathi. The final year of exile is the carnival-like period of incognito from which the princes emerge ready for battle. The episode of disguises allows us to rethink history and literature in a new light: the episodes hide the characters but reveal their deeper natures, and complicate narrativity by placing a self-conscious play, with elements of cross-dressing, ribaldry, and mimesis, within the larger epic. The episode of the gograhana in which Arjuna single-handedly defeats the entire Kaurava army foreshadows events to come in the great conflagration.
Areas of Study: Text and Traditions
Required/ Elective: Elective
Prerequisites: Successfully completed Mahabharata – I / Admission into Program of Study
Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri
Quarter:- Spring 2021
Day: Every Saturday
Time: 10:00 am EST -01:00 pm EST
Start Date: 10th April 2021
End Date: 26th June 2021