Updated: 12 Dec 2015, 11:42 PM IST Sandipan Deb. To grow the economy and improve the lot of their subjects, the Pandavas desperately needed to expand the amount of arable land under their control. This was seen as valour, and not a lack of masculinity in any way. Men were made gods and their actions were not be questioned. Smrithi Adinarayanan is the Co-Founder of Anaadi Foundation, a social organization offering programs based on Indian principles. Indraprastha was a small town and a clutch of villages and little ploughable land. Her role was not just limited to stereotypical household activities, but combined complex activities of the kingdom. Several of Anaadi Foundation’s programs are based on the Ithihasa especially the Mahabharata. During his exile for twelve years, Arjuna, still practicing Brahmacharya, visits Manipur. Comments are welcome at feedback@livemint.com. Vyasa’s Mahabharata begins with the story of the rule of the kings of the “Lunar Dynasty” at Hastinapur. Though Karve based her work on the critical edition of the Mahabharata complied by the Bhandarkar Institute, she also used original research and pure logic to figure out which parts of the epic were later interpolations and could not have been there in the original text. In the Mahabharata, he is the elder son of Shantanu and Satyavati, ascending the throne of Hastinapura after his father's death. 9. In fact, of the 18 chapters of the Bhagvad Gita, Karve believes that only the first six are from the original version, and the others additions made in later centuries after Krishna had been raised to godhood. It is said of her that “entering a cluster of retreats practised austerities, that were beyond human powers (of endurance). English translation: Lopamudra Banerjee. Draupadi asked for the freedom of Yudhisthira. A courageous hero, a virtuous heroine—all the stuff of the Sanskrit kavya (literary, especially poetry) tradition.". The late Irawati Karve (1905-70) was a sociologist, anthropologist, teacher and writer—and as an early feminist, apparently the first woman in Pune to ride a scooter. He vanquished all of the kings of Bharatvarsha. Couldn’t Rama have given up his kingdom instead? This article is not a rebuttal to the memo but throws light on the multi dimensional capabilities of women through some classic examples. This is something the Mahabharata will never agree. The relationship between Krishna and Arjuna, Karve says, citing numerous episodes, was that of intimate friendship and never of messiah and disciple. Though enraged, she had the strength to ask the right questions: “ask that gambler present in the assembly, whom he hath lost first, himself, or me. Chitrangada died early in his life and Vichitravirya too succumbed to a disease. Chitrangada was a mighty king and well versed in battle techniques. He was very brave, powerful, and afraid of nobody. Then it all suddenly changes to a guru with superhuman abilities preaching to a devotee. Perhaps the two most brilliant essays in the book are one that compares the lives of Draupadi and Sita, and the final one, which explains why Karve considers the Mahabharata the end of an epoch—yuganta. Seeing Chitrangada once more, Arjuna proceeded, O monarch, towards the spot called Gokarna.'" Arjuna was besotted by her beauty and was determined to marry her. Karve’s explanation is again logical and scientific. To summarise, the memo by the employee had brought out the differences in capabilities and preferences of men and women, which did not go well amongst other employees in the organization. Arjuna left her and returned to Hastinapura, promising her that he would take her back to his kingdom. The princess of Manipur, Chitrangada met Arjuna on the banks of Kaveri river. When offered a third boon, Draupadi refused to demand anything as she considered it greed to ask for more than what was needed. Draupadi had lost her brother, all her children and almost everyone else in her family. Arjuna married Chitrangada during his travels to Manipur. When offered a second boon, she demanded the freedom of the other Pandavas. This attitude of intellectual inquiry was later lost. Sita’s forest life, on the other hand, was the result of her husband’s idealism and sense of duty... Just as Draupadi had earlier had the right to share in the greatness and splendour of her husbands, now she had the responsibility of sharing their suffering and disgrace... Fortunately, however, Draupadi was not free to brood on the past. In Sanskrit Chitrangada (चित्रांगदा) means decorated with variegated bracelets or Chitrangad (चित्रांगद) means secretary of a man of rank. But the more we read about her, the more pragmatic she appears. She set afloat seven of her children in spite of bearing them in her womb. The sole heiress of Manipur and the only wife who perhaps found her place of worth in the story, Chitrangada is arguably an unsung hero in Mahabharata. Two books containing essays on various aspects and variations of the Mahabharata text have been published in 2009. Indian history is replete with stories of great women, right from the Rishikas to modern CEOs. This shows her superior physical, emotional and cognitive capabilities. And that lady, possessed of wealth of asceticism, foregoing all food in consequence of the fast she kept, passed a whole year after this, standing in the waters of the Yamuna. Once he went into the forest for hunting, a Gandharva crossed his way. The Mahabharata, according to Karve, marks the end of an epoch, because Indic society began changing gradually soon afterwards—socially, economically and spiritually. Both of them fell in love in the place and Arjuna asked her hand from her father Chitravahana. Bhaktimarga (the way of devotion) blunted all search. of Philosophy, Bethune College Abstract: ‘Chitrangada’, in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, is the story of a warrior princess of the secluded kingdom of Manipur. She also develops a highly interesting theory, which may shock puritans, that Yudhishthira was the son of Vidura and not the god Dharma or Yama. Even today, no thinking Hindu would be able to give a clear-cut definition of his religion. I had often heard of the book from my Maharashtrian friends, but now I decided to buy and read it. Endued with great wrath, she passed the next whole year standing on her front toes and having eaten only one fallen leaf (of a tree). They exhibit well-balanced emotions and adopt a very humane approach to dealing with situations. ", Karve calls the whole story of the Ramayana “fantastic, romantic and other-worldly. Urvashi. When Shantanu passed away, Chitrangada became the king. In the original telling, Shakuntala was hardly the innocent victim and Dushyanta never had amnesia. Chitrangada, in the Mahabharat, is simply a princess of Manipur. Knowing their talents and personal lives, Setting the rules and managing the hundred thousands horses and elephants that used to accompany Yudhisthira when he set out on any expedition, Knowing the personal stories of the maids, servants, horsemen, shepherds and all the people involved with the royal affairs, Being the only one who knew the exact income and expenditure of the royal treasury. The Agni excuse was invented to provide a socio-spiritually acceptable explanation of the genocide. Yes, she had, but had she ever given even a hint of that in her actions? 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