The philosophy contained in the Mahabharata has undoubtedly played an important role in galvanizing the leaders and the people during our freedom struggle. Leaders like Tilak, Vinoba, Gandhi took the struggle for right cause and made people to understand the philosophy behind the freedom struggle for Surajya as well as swarajya.
The present book Inspiring Tales from the Mahabharata by an eminent scholar Dr. Ram Lal Verma contains 53 stories judiciously selected from the great epic, the Mahabharata. No doubt it can be enjoyable to students, equally relevant for more mature readers also because of its didactic content. The stories which contain moral codes and ethics illustrate about six enemies like anger, jealousy excessive pride, lust etc. as to how they could cause the downfall of human beings. By reading these stories one can certainly get some glimpses of the greatness of the great epic the Mahabharata the ocean of stories.
About the Author :
Born in undivided India at N.W.F.P state Dera Ismile Khan, brought up by his mother who was a religious lady. Her teachings had great effect on him, received his elementary education in Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu.
After partition of India he started his career as a sub-editor with Amar Ujala at Agra, also worked with Bharat Varsha and Sanmarg dailies.
After taking his M.A. degree from Delhi University he joined Desha Bandhu College as a lecturer and served there for more than 35 years. In course of about 45 years of political life he served in various capacities. He was appointed as Executive Councilor in 1967 and elected as Member of Metropolitan Council in 1980 and 93. Attached with many social and religious institutions in Delhi, wrote 33 books on different topics related to art, religion, literature, culture, politics and Indian values.
The Mahabharata is our national epic. The scholars have termed it as an encyclopedia. The statement, whatever has been described here has happened in Bharata, denotes the vastness, the universality and the eternity of the epic. The composer of the epic is Vyasa, who was the son of Parasara and Satyavati. Parasara was a sage who inhabited in an island situated in river Kalindi and Satyavati was the daughter of the head of the fishermen.
Though Hastinapura, Indraprastha, and Kuruksetra are the axles of the incidents in the Mahabharata, yet the whole rise and fall of the contemporary society such as pilgrimages, the religion, the philosophy, the tradition, the culture, the political strategies and human values are described in a very simple and lucid way.
The sage, Vyasa has presented the then ideals that prevailed then and the social degradation without any inhibition.
The author of Mahabharata is himself a witness to the contemporary events. He is also forefather of Kauravas. He is agonized by immoral and unethical conduct of the society of the society. He also knows his limitations. To resolve his real dilemma the author tries to show the correct and virtuous path to the whole nation through the charismatic personality of Sri Krisna. It was one of the most important contributions of Ved Vyas to his contemporary Indian Society.
The dejected Maharsi laments:
Raising my hand I am crying from the rooftop, but nobody listens. It is the only path of Dharma that makes man prosperous and content, in spite of it why the people are not following the righteous path of Dharma?
In the battle ground Arjuna sees his revered teachers, elders, near and dear ones assembled to fight bloody war against each other. Overpowered with cowardice he tries to turn his back and leave the theatre of war. At this critical juncture it was Sri Krisna who persuaded Arjuna to perform his duty without any desire of new and any ill will towards anybody. This sermon of Gita proved a boon not only to Arjuna but to the whole humanity would over.
I have attempted to pick-up some pearls from the world renounced ocean of Mahabharata. I express my most sincere gratitude and thank to Dr. Chhavi Sharma for rendering these tales into English.
I am also grateful to Dr. K.K. Mishra, Director, of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, who offered this opportunity to publish this book from Sansthan.
I feel really indebted to learned readers and critics who have always shown their magnality to me. I am sure they will once again show the same indulgence.
Ram Lal Verma
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