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Mahabharata Podcast

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This podcast is for anyone interested in the Epic Literature of India, its spiritual philosophies, the life and background of Krishna, and all the fascinating stories from the great epic The Mahabharata.

This podcast is for anyone interested in the Epic Literature of India, its spiritual philosophies, the life and background of Krishna, and all the fascinating stories from the great epic The Mahabharata.
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Location:

United States

Description:

This podcast is for anyone interested in the Epic Literature of India, its spiritual philosophies, the life and background of Krishna, and all the fascinating stories from the great epic The Mahabharata.

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 33 - The Hawk and the Dove

6/23/2016
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Episode 33 These are the last three stories of the long series of tales in the Book of the Forest. The Pandavas are finishing up their pilgrimage across India and are moving northward for their rendezvous with Arjun. The first story, Yavakrita, is particularly interesting in that the protagonist is not a Twice-born. In this case, he's a rude and uppity Vaishya, but he's the main character nonetheless. I find the little detail about the Shudra gaurd particularly interesting. He works for...

Duration:00:13:22

Episode 100 - Summing up

2/8/2015
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Episode 100 - I've put together my review of the epic, in its totality. I discuss the strange way in which the epic goes into fine detail on some parts of the story, and breezes over others. Some of the most critical moments in the story, like when Dhrtarastra was skipped and then later made king, or during the dice game, or in dealing with the birth & death of Krishna, the story is ambiguous and full of holes. The only explanation that I can come up with is that the author himself may not...

Duration:00:45:00

Episode 99 - Epilogue 2: The Snake Sacrifice

2/8/2015
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Episode 99 - This is the final piece that brings us around, back to the beginning. We covered some of this territory before, back in Episode 2, but at the time, it was hard to explain that Parikshit was Arjun's grandson and that Takshaka had an ancient feud with the dynasty going back to the fire at the Khandava Forest. Also, back then we were anxious to get going with the story itself, and all the digressions with angry brahmins and talking snakes only made things confusing at the...

Duration:00:15:27

Episode 96 - The Death of the Pandavas

2/8/2015
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Episode 96 - Arjun returns home with some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that they have lost their powers and have lost their friends. The good news is that they finally get to retire. Yudhistira doesn't hesitate. He strips off his fine garments and leads his brothers into retirement. Krpa is put in charge of defense, Yuyutsu is made regent, and Parikshit is king. Parikshit's grandmother Subhadra (Krishna's sister) is made Dowager Empress. The Pandavas then take a final tour...

Duration:00:12:42

Episode 95 - Arjuna's Defeat

2/8/2015
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Episode 95 - Krishna is dead. Balaram is dead. The city of Dwarka sinks beneath the waves, and the refugees of that once-great city are making their way to Indraprastha with only Arjun as their protector. But the influence of the Kali Yuga pervades the earth, and Arjun is not the man he once was. When the vulnerable procession is attacked by bandits, his magic quivers run out of arrows and his magical weapons no longer obey his command. Only a fragment is saved, along with Krishna's...

Duration:00:09:32

Episode 94 - The Kali Yuga

2/8/2015
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Episode 94 - The Dark Age is now unquestionably upon us. The elder Kurus, living austere lives in the forest, found themselves consumed by a forest fire of their own creation. Let this be a lesson to all you Hindu campers out there to douse your sacred campfires!! 18 years later, things go from bad to worse when news arrives of the death of Krishna and all his relatives. This story alone is deserving of an extended treatment, but we only get a sketchy account of how things went...

Duration:00:15:13

Episode 93 - The Ashwamedha Sacrifice

2/8/2015
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Episode 93 - The white horse returns home, only to be tied to a post, killed, & cut up into little pieces. The priests do their best to follow the old rules, but there's no way Draupadi is going to pretend to copulate with a dead horse! Jump ahead 15 years and Dhrtarastra finally decides to take leave of worldly cares, and he, Gandhari, & Kunti leave for a forest ashram. One year after that, the Pandavas and many citizens pay a visit to the old folks, where Vyasa allows them all to...

Duration:00:22:47

Episode 92 - The Anugita and the Wayward Stallion

2/8/2015
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Episode 92 - This is another eventful episode. Krishna & Arjun take a break and go on a leisure trip to Indraprastha, where it appears Arjun is king. Both heroes have forgotten the Gita, so Krishna recalls another dialog along the same lines, which is called the Anugita. Krishna goes home, while the Pandavas go prospecting for gold in the hills. While they are away, Parkshit is born, or rather still-born. Krishna arrives in time to make good his promise and revives the kid. When the...

Duration:00:25:15

Episode 91 - The Death of Bhisma

2/8/2015
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Episode 91 - We get treated to a last handful of the Final Teachings, and then Bhisma dies. The poor guy set quite an objective for himself. It must have been mid autumn when he was shot through with arrows, yet he clung to life until the Winter Solstice before finally giving up the ghost. He says he lived on the bed of arrows for a total of 58 days. Following his death, Yuddistira has another one of his fits of sorrow & regret, but he's snapped out of it by hearing a story about how the...

Duration:00:26:55

Episode 90 - The Final Teachings, part 2

2/8/2015
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Episode 90 - A few more stories from Bhisma's final teachings. We learn that Vyasa had a son, named Suka, who really did not seem to be pleased to be born. And Bhisma himself tells us what he really thinks of Buddhist philosophy!

Duration:00:23:40

Episode 89 - The Final Teachings, part 1

2/8/2015
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Episode 89 - For some reason, the first three full-fledged stories from the Anusasana Parva all center around a Banian tree. They also share the theme of low-caste hunters and their cruelty. Remarkably, in the 2nd story the three characters are all saved, but all three die violently. In the 3rd story, the Brahmin Gautama is an unreformed scoundrel, but he is brought back to life!

Duration:00:23:58

Episode 88 - The Book of Peace

2/8/2015
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Episode 88 - This episode begins the voluminous Last Teachings of Bhisma. As Bhisma lies on his bed of arrows, the Pandavas, Krishna & Satyaki gather around to listen. Yuddistira poses the questions, which mostly revolve around Dharma and kingship, and Bhisma answers. These teachings are exceptionally difficult to convey in the form of a podcast, mostly because they are so boring. There are very few stories, and most of the stories revolve around conversations in which one character...

Duration:00:23:11

Episode 87 - Rama's Famous Genocide

2/8/2015
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Episode 87 - Yuddistira is finally convinced that he should remain king, and he gets down to business. He marches straight to the palace and has himself anointed and consecrated. He appoints his council and gets his kingdom in order. As soon as he has a chance to catch his breath, Krishna suggests that they hurry over to uncle Bhisma, who isn't long for this world. Along the way, Krishna tells the story of Battleaxe Rama, who wiped out the race of Kshatriyas 21 times in succession. The...

Duration:00:18:43

Episode 86 - To be (king), or not to be...

2/8/2015
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Episode 86 - It seems like Yuddistira always had a secret desire to give up the world and live like a sadhu. But now he has a pretty good justification-- after all, he even killed his elder brother. Crimes like this demand extreme penance, and Yuddistira would like nothing better than to embrace that lifestyle. No one else agrees with the new king however, and his brothers, Krishna, and the Rishis all take turns trying to convince him that the best use of his life would be to take up the...

Duration:00:15:59

Episode 85 - Remembering Karna

2/8/2015
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Episode 85 - We begin the Book of Peace, the Shanti Parva. After boasting to his uncle about his special clairvoyant powers, Yuddistira is blindsided by the news that he & Karna shared the same mother. Now the Dharma Raja has learned that he killed his own brother-- aside from killing one's parents, perhaps one of the worst things a person could do. The brothers spend a month outside in the city walls as a sort of penance, and are joined by the great sages of the ancient world. Narada...

Duration:00:10:02

Episode 84 - The Book of the Women

2/8/2015
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Episode 84 - Vidur & Vyasa tell a few parables to help Dhrtarastra pull himself together. When the king is finally pacified, he leads all the bereaved women of Hastinapur in a great procession to deal with their fallen men. They march along the banks of the Ganga to Kurukshetra, where they encounter Ashwatthaman, Krpa & Krtavarman, who are still on the run after killing the Pandava's sons & allies. Ashwatthaman heads of to Vyasa's ashram, Krpa goes home to Hastinapur, and Krtavarman also...

Duration:00:20:41

Episode 83 - Daksha's Sacrifice

2/8/2015
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Episode 83 - The brothers learn of the massacre of their sons & allies, and summon Draupadi to break the news. As usual, all she wants is revenge. Thus the Pandavas go off on one final mission to avenge the death of their sons. They track down Ashwatthaman and find him hanging out with Vyasa and Narada. As soon as they set eyes on each other, the boy Brahmin sets off his Brahmashira weapon, which is 100s of times more powerful than the Brahmastra, and sounds a lot like a hydrogen bomb-- "All...

Duration:00:19:55

Episode 82 - Blowback

2/8/2015
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Episode 82 - Well, it seems there is no end to the tit for tat revenge cycle that Duryodhana forced into motion so long ago. Now that he has been defeated, his survivors seek revenge for his fall. Ashwatthaman is unable to let it go, and since he is vastly outnumbered, he prays to Shiva for the power to kill his enemies. Shiva allows him to exterminate the remains of the Pandava army while they sleep. So now there will be another vendetta. How much further can this go? Find out next time!

Duration:00:25:45

Episode 81 - Downfall

2/8/2015
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Episode 81 - So this is it; the moment everyone has been waiting for. Ever since Episode 7 when Duryodhana was born, he has finally received his well-deserved defeat. But even as he falls, the finger pointing, hand-wringing and grief at the price that has been paid for this victory has already begun. Balaram shows up just in time to referee the final death match between Bhima & Duryodhana, only to get really annoyed when Bhima is forced to bend the rules a bit in order to win.

Duration:00:24:13

Episode 80 - Kurukshetra, Day 18: Shalya & the dissolution of the Kauravas

2/8/2015
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Episode 80 - This episode covers the final day of the great war. If you were expecting things to go out with a bang, you'll be disappointed. Once the Kaurava general Shalya is killed, things just sort of disintegrate. Duryodhana's remaining brothers are all killed. Shakuni is killed. Karna's sons are exterminated. The Pandavas make one final sweep over the field, killing literally everyone who was left standing. They spend the rest of the day sifting through the corpses in search of...

Duration:00:21:55