Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tales from the Mahabharata - 2 When Arjuna Wanted to Behead Yudhishthira

The second installment of my series, "Tales from the Mahabharata", appeared in the Swarajya magazine, on October 7 2014.

The article as it appeared:
When Arjuna Wanted to Kill Yudhishthira
A little-known episode of the Mahabharata illustrates a new idea in the field of social psychology: Ego Depletion.

It was the seventeenth day of battle on the field of Kurukshetra. A most bloody war that had taken a huge toll of human lives and emotions. Even though most maharathis of the Kaurava army had fallen—including Bhishma on the tenth day and Drona on the fifteenth, Karna still remained.

Tales from the Mahabharata - 1 Unintended Consequences

The first installment of my series, "Tales from the Mahabharata", appeared in the Swarajya magazine, on September 30, 2014.

The article as it appeared:
Unintended consequences – tales from the Mahabharata
While everyone has their favorite story or episode from the Mahabharata, and most have more than one, I have found the theme of unintended consequences to be the most fascinating one. Actions taken not only have reactions, but unlike the Third Law of Motion, actions also have quite unexpected results at times.

The story of Abhimanyu and how Jayadratha became the stumbling block in the efforts of the four Pandava brothers to rescue him from within the fearsome chakra vyuha is well known. If not, then that is a topic for a future article! Here I will talk about a little known but equally potent illustration of unintended consequences from the Mahabharata.