The mahabharata is not only an ancient story of good and evil, but also reveals human nature. It tells how the mahabharata war was caused by various factors. But it is important to note that the mahabharata is not just a story we have seen on television but much more than that. This epic tale has a lot of meaning in our lives in modern times because this story shows every human emotion that people experience. Anger, fear, love, remorse, guilt, jealousy, pride, and grief are some of the human emotions depicted in the mahabharata. Moreover, kurukshetra also shows the outcome of these emotions.
Having said that the mahabharata expresses every emotion that we humans face daily, it is important to understand that it also describes how these emotions lead to some of the destruction of the characters in this story. These emotions like jealousy, fear, anger, guilt, etc. Are even now the reasons for destroying personal relationships with others or in professional life Psychologically, this ancient tale means a lot to anyone who wants to do something good not only for their own good but also for the good of society. Moreover, it also shows the possible consequences of actions in one’s life and how the battle between good and evil affects one’s overall psychological well-being.
The psychology of Pandavas
To begin with, the psychology of the pandavas plays an important role as it reveals how different pandavas define different aspects of our lives and how they shape their actions and decisions throughout the story.
The eldest of the pandavas, also known as the king of righteousness or dharamraja’ is famous for his righteous deeds. If we look at the psychology of yudhisthira, we will see that according to him dharma is to surrender to the duty and responsibility of maintaining the cosmic balance of the world. One important thing to note here is that he is described as someone who knows principle, knows right from wrong, and makes morally correct decisions even against his own desires.
The second pandava, known for his great physical strength, displays anger and impulsiveness. Despite being a brave warrior, his psychology is described by his impulsiveness. Sometimes he did things without thinking about good or evil because his anger often got the better of him. This attitude towards the kauravas was evident. Bhima’s psychology is very true in our daily lives, where we often react to emotions and don’t think carefully and how to cope with the consequences of such actions.
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The third pandava who represents us all in many ways is arjuna. Arjuna is known to be an excellent archer, and although he is an excellent warrior, he is often surrounded by doubts and difficulties. Arjuna’s intellectual and psychological development is affected by his constant struggle to balance his duty as a warrior with his moral values. This challenge was very evident during his exchange with krishna during the battle of kurukshetra. The sight of his family and a large army filled him with fear and doubt. He then faces an internal conflict between his own beliefs and social expectations. Lastly, guidance and support in times of struggle and moral challenge were evident in his psychology.
Nakula and sahadeva:
Younger Pandavas, known for their loyalty and sacrifice. Their psychology is based on the close ties they have with their brothers, and they are always ready to make sacrifices for the greater good and are loyal to them. The importance of brotherhood and selflessness is evident in their loyalty and unwavering sacrifice.
The psychology of kauravas
Duryodhana’s personality traits like jealousy, anger, and revenge towards shakuni were the ultimate destruction of the entire kuru empire.
The elder brother of the kauravas, was jealous of their cousin because he was afraid of their reputation, and though his father was a king, he was afraid that his cousins would steal the throne from him. Additionally, shakuni added fuel to his greed which led to dice play. Where he won the game by manipulating the pandavas and humiliating them. Apart from this jealousy, he possesses a strong inclination toward entitlement. As the eldest son of the kuru dynasty, he believed that he deserved the crown of hastinapur, and because of this entitlement, he did wrong things with his cousins. Another trait displayed by him was arrogance. The arrogance of his power and wealth made him do unrightful things and saw pandavas as less than him. Because of this arrogance and ignorance, he underestimated them which eventually became the reason for his destruction.
Duryodhana’s younger brother, dushasana, is known for his cruelty. He plays an important role in the destruction of kauravas, by using physical strength, he overpowers and bullies people. This was seen during the disrobing of draupadi. His actions were motivated by his loyalty to his brother and his conviction that the pandavas should be humiliated.
The mastermind of mahabharata war. He was the major reason behind all the wrongdoing of kauravas. Manipulating others for your good is something we all see in our lives. His desire to take over the hastinapur could be seen as a narcissistic trait. Moreover, his manipulation skills have been useful in making others doubt reality. A very evident example of this using pandavas weaknesses and planting doubt seeds in them. Not only this manipulation is used to make others doubtful but also to achieve goals. These traits are very much appreciable in today’s world, which makes sense of shakuni personality traits.
Draupadi: Symbolizes inner strength and resilience
In this modern day time, incidents of trauma, and victimization are becoming common day by day. It is unfortunate for us that these incidents have become the reason behind our poor mental well-being. Therefore, being an instance from the ancient tale, the disrobing of draupadi and the reactions shown by her are very much relevant to today’s world. But what were these reactions? In this section, we will see how the various emotions displayed by drapudi after the disrobing show her psychology.
Firstly, the reactions and emotions she gave after that humiliation and trauma are a representation of the psychological consequences of such experiences. The most important reaction to her cheerharan(disrobing) was anger. This anger at that time was the rightful act as she faced injustice and humiliation in front of his elders, and husbands. Moreover, this anger was a reaction to this trauma. This reaction makes sense even today to every individual who has faced discrimination, and sexual assault. This anger comes in different ways from different individuals. Feelings of resentment and bitterness can be internalized when outward aggression is expressed.
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Another reaction displayed is the sense of helplessness. Despite being the queen of indraprastha, the wife of a strong king, and even stopping him from disrobing, she was helpless in front of duryodhayan actions. This sense of helplessness is often displayed as a reaction to the trauma, as people start believing that they have no control over the situation. A sense of helplessness is evident in individuals who have a history of natural disasters and war.
Krishna: The master of human psychology
Krishna has an important role in the epic war of mahabharata. He was not just a warrior or leader but also a counselor who with his guidance supported the arjuna during the time of war. Moreover, he understands the psychology of arjuna when he sees the huge army of kauravas, his beloved bhishma pitmah, and his teacher dronacharya.
Krishna’s wise words made arjuna recognize the importance of self and how self-realization and self-acceptance are the keys to healing. Moreover, he helped him not to fall into this illusion of attachment, and fear as they were the reason for all the emotional disbalance in this world. Furthermore, he focuses on the role and importance of performing one’s duty. He talks about how everyone should take responsibility and choose the right path no matter what situation they are facing.
In the world we live in, where people have gone astray and are not following the path of righteousness, where they often face moral dilemmas, these wise words of krishna should guide us as a light to make the right choices.
In today’s world where most relationships are based on convenience and personal gain and there is no room for loyalty ever, krishna and draupadi friendship stands out as a pure, honest, and selfless relationship. He had mutual respect and trust and not being bothered by the pressures of outside life is something that modern generations lack in their relationships and friendships.
Finally, their friendship is a symbol of care and love for each other and not for personal gain. Also, how can discrimination against someone’s religion, race, or gender not be a basis for friendship.