01 February, 2015

A false belief that the Mahabharata should not be kept in the home

Edited on 18/09/2016

People accept religious beliefs without any rational thinking or trying to understand the science behind them

Many families follow a totally false belief and do not keep the epic Mahabharata in their homes

When I visited the 5111 year old Vyas gufa (cave) in mana village off Badrinath; the place where Ved Vyas is said to have dictated the Mahabharata, the priest over there had the same false belief that keeping Mahabharata would bring conflict and disharmony in the home.

To understand the teachings of the Mahabharata one has to start from the Vedas then the Ramayana and finally the Mahabharata, also the age or era in which they were followed is most important.

There are four yugas namely satya, treata, dvapara, kali and they represent the collective consciousness of humankind. Every yuga represents the mentality of the four caste divisions

In the satya yuga the collective mentality is that of a Brahmin a religious person that is God centred, in the treata yuga it is of a Kshatriya meaning a ruler where honour and integrity prevail, the dvapara has a collective mentality of a trader or a businessman where profits and monetary gains are considered the upmost and finally the kali yuga or the dark ages where the collective mentality is that of a shudra the lowest.

{However in the above the most important point to note is that a person acquires this mentality by his karma (deeds) and not by birth. There is a hymn from the Rig Veda which indicates that one's caste is not necessarily determined by that of one's family:
Rig Veda 9.112.3 —“I am a bard, my father is a physician, my mother's job is to grind the corn.”}

First the Vedas

Vedas were composed in the ages where humans communicated with the higher dimensions.

The beginning of the Vedas are related to the performance of yagya’s {fire ceremonies / mantras}
They were transmitted from generation to generation by oral tradition alone, never written down for the simple reason they were magical words, formulae used to communicate with higher realms and were beyond language

Then comes the knowledge part of the Vedas which is in the form of Vedanta mainly the Upanishads they were written down. The Vedanta explains everything from the creation of the universe, the soul, all sciences, the way to lead a life in accordance with universal laws to the final liberation and merging of the soul with the supreme consciousness.

Only a God centred civilization is able to comprehend and follow the Vedas. So as the times (and hence the yugas) changed the divine teachings were transmitted in the form of stories; hence the Ramayana and Mahabharata became the scriptures to guide humans to follow virtue and to annihilate vice

The Ramayana

The Ramayana is an epic from the Treata yuga, at that time it was the virtuous Ram against Ravan a ratio of 1:1.

An army of monkeys helped Sri Ram in his fight against evil; the symbolism of monkey represents the restless mind and when the mind was controlled the monkeys could help in establishing a righteous order in society.

The Mahabharata

Towards the end of Dvapara yuga just before the commencement of the Kali yuga the Mahabharata was composed; here it was the five virtuous Pandava bothers against the hundred kauravas, a ratio of 5:100, signifying that such times have come when against five persons who follow virtue there are a hundred unrighteous people.

Mahabharata is a spiritual allegory, and hence has a deep hidden meaning

In an age when it is not possible to establish connections with higher realms like in the Vedic age and hence today we are deprived of Knowledge; the first step we can take is to lead a life in accordance with the universal laws which the Mahabharata provides all the teachings in a story form.

Lessons to be learnt from Mahabharata:

At an old age King shantanu fell in love with satyavati--- was that the right age for an old man to fall in love with a young girl? Satyavati's condition to marry him was that her son would be the next King instead of the deserving Bhishma.  Since the King was old their children very born weak hence unworthy to become rulers

King Dhritarashtra the bling King represents the undiscerning mind, his wife Gandhari even though she could see decided to cover her eyes forever---meaning that instead of being a guide to her husband she turned a blind eye to all his misdeeds, Also like satyavati they both wanted their unworthy sons to rule instead of thinking about the overall welfare of their kingdom  

The five pandava brothers represent the first five chakras of the body and draupadi represents the kundalini Shakti which has to unite with the five chakras in order for mortals to reach divinity

Dronacharya was a Brahmin by birth who was supposed to lead a simple life and to guide others to God realization, but instead was skilled in the art of warfare and taught the same to the royalty because of his ambition for wealth and power and when the time came to fight he came by the side of the unrighteous kauravas. Are not most of the Gurus like him today always on the side of the rich and powerful.

The cause why evil flourished was because Bhishma did not change, he stuck to his promise to serve the rulers of Hastinapura, even when the rulers were unrighteous; He could not change his thinking. It is clearly written in the Gita saar that change is a universal law and one must welcome change.    

Pandavas lost all in Gambling because the Kauravas cheated; is this not applicable today; people always tend to loose when they gamble and speculate in the financial markets only those who cheat and manipulate the markets make monetary gains

The kauravas kept on doing wrong but the pandavas and bhishma always stuck to their integrity; this was wrong on their part, if they would have stood against the wrongdoings of the kauravas from the very beginning it would not have led to the biggest war which took the lives of so many people. It was ok for Ram to always follow the code of conduct for which he is called maryada purushottam, but Ram was from the treata yuga; a different era.

The last chapter when yudhisthira alone remains and walks his final journey after other pandavas have passed away; a dog follows him. Later the Gods appear to take him to heaven but ask him to abandon the dog which he refuses; hence giving the lesson to us that one must be truthful in relationships and not abandon any relationship. It turned that the dog was Dharma {righteous spiritual path} himself, signifying that if one does not abandon Dharma; dharma follows you till the end.  
Finally the battle of Mahabharta where initially Arjuna throws his weapons down and declares that he will not kill his own signifies ones attachment and inability to kill his own wises

I have written a few examples as per my understanding of the Mahabharata but every page has a profound meaning providing a framework for our moral life. It is indeed the essence of the Vedas and Upanishads written in a story form, lessons for us what to do and what not to do.

If people believe that Mahabharata should not be kept in the house then why do they keep the Bhagavad Gita which is a part of the epic Mahabharata and finally just by keeping the Ramayana in the house do we become like the righteous Ram; the answer is a simple no, we need to practice leading a good righteous life to be like Ram; thus by not keeping the Mahabharata and hence not learning the lessons from the Great story people are surely at a great loss.

you man also like to read: (please click on the link)



  1. Gita Press Gorakhpur has published Mahabharata (with Hindi Translation) in 6 volumes. In its last volume (6th vol) p. 6595, shloka 89 reads as "Bharatam Bhavane Yasya tasya hastagato Jayah" and its translation is: In whichever home this Mahabharat Grantha (book) is there, victory is in his (home owner's) hands.

    So, it may not be true that the book cannot be kept at home.