Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Reading Notes: Mahabharata, Part A

I instantly noticed that this story features Ganesha in it! In my earlier blogs, I talked about how I was always interested in learning more about him. Ganesha was appointed as the scribe for Vyesha where he was told to not stop his pen. I’m thinking about giving this story a more modern take on it so maybe instead of pen, I’ll have Ganesha type the story out. One detail of the story that stood out to me was that Uparichara’s semen fell into a river where a female fish consumed it. As a result, when the fish was caught, a boy and girl came forth. I’m not sure what that means but I would definitely change this detail. In a small amount of semen, there are millions of sperm so I would make it so that all those sperm cells turn into his million children. However, since it takes an egg and a sperm to create a human, I might make his children be missing something to show that they’re not complete. I’m not sure what I’ll do. I might make it so that all of his children are all males and that they’re on a hunt for their other half.

The next part of the story kind of confused me. While the daughter, Satyavati, was ferrying across the river, the Rishi Parashara persuaded her to marry him in exchange for her to lose her fishy smell. They get married and have a kid named Vyasa; he arranged the Vedas.

Reading further into the story, I was surprised reading the part where Ganga threw seven of her babies into the Ganges river. After reading it, it makes sense now because she was helping the Vasus. When her husband finally said something, I was hoping that she would be more considerate towards his feelings because the story did not say that Ganga ever explained herself to him.

I’m starting to understand Satyvati’s story now especially reading her part from a different perspective. The man who wanted her thought her smell was sweet and alluring but to others, her scent was fishy. The man wanted her to be the mother of his son so he promised a sweet smell and that she would be a virgin again. When she gave birth to his son, the baby turned into a man which is how I perceived the story. What surprised me was that the son quickly left his mother to holy meditate. I don’t understand what compelled him to do it since he quickly turned into a man.

Mackenzie, Donald A., Public Domain Edition: Mahabharata, Mahabharata

Manuscript illustration of the battle of Kurukshetra
Source: Wikipedia

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