Flying Chariots and Army of Monkeys

I am reading this book called “Jaya” by Devdutt Pattanaik. It’s the whole story of Mahabharata in it’s purest form. The man did tremendous research and brings forward different instances from the stories which are told in different forms and with different messages in various parts of the world. Yes, there are variants of Mahabharata abroad and in India. A good book to read if you really want to know what messages lie under the great Indian epic of fight between brothers and deeds of a mischievous god with a flute.

Now, a few days back, there was an intense discussion going on at a friend’s place regarding these epics. Since we are nurtured and feed along with repetitive exposure to Ramayana and Mahabharata, one needs to ask, what do I learn from these stories and what do I see as added spices to a broth. In this discussion, there were few who believed in these epics and then there were few who said these are just stories, circulated and praised to establish a way of civil life among humans. Done so that civilizations flourish and law of the jungle stays in the jungle. Just like Aesop’s Fables. Aesop told stories which everyone knew were not true and yet delivered messages which were true in every sense. Same goes for our epics, only that with time people started to believe for these stories to be true and that gods walked earth in all the forms ranging from humans to fishes. Though we still stereotype god in the form of human as the best god and God with a face of an elephant as the cutest. We tend to ignore the fact that these stories are not meant to define the way of life, they are to denote what was life back then and what was taken as a right deed and what was frowned upon.

Just like any book you read, you are supposed to use your own perception to understand what it is that you want to implement in your life and what you need to ignore for it’s just to put emphasis.

You really think there were chariots pulled by horses which could just rise above the ground and reach the heavens? Let us assume for a second that this is what happened. Don’t you think the horses would have wings like unicorns? Do you see horses with wings in the illustrations you see of these chariots? I am supposed to believe horses in those days could fly without even having wings. Why not man then? Or every mammal on the earth?

Ram assembled an army of Monkeys and vultures to overthrow the island kingdom of Ravan. The way they crossed the sea was by writing name of RAM on rocks and throwing them in water. These stones started to float and all these animals walked along. I don’t see how that’s possible. Maybe there were certain stones on the bank of that ocean which were hollow and hence didn’t sink. But how do you explain the army of Monkeys?

From what I see and understand from this part of the story is that author is trying to convey a message of how one should utilize the resources at disposal instead of cursing luck for not being adequate. Ram did so, made best use of everything there was around him. But no, we don’t want to read between the lines. We want to memorize these lines and pass them generation to generation to live along the writings of a man who existed like before the big bang cause we sure know how homo-sapiens evolved from apes and how we grew by forming wheel and settling around the banks of river and shitting in a hole instead of in a river.

Faith is a good thing. Blinded faith however, is the cause of all the suffering we see in the world today. Terrorism would not have existed if people learned from holy books instead of taking them as instruction manuals. Come on. You are the future of this world. Act smart. Think a little before accepting anything. Even this article. Stop believing what you have heard people say. Stories are to teach lessons which shall come handy to you as you grow. Your growth shouldn’t depend on stories. Take a moment to rethink all you have learned. After all, a full cup can’t hold tea until it’s emptied first.

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