It would be presumptuous to write a synopsis for such an epic, let alone in verse. Therefore, pardon these broad-brush strokes which are filled with many white spots.

Vyasa recited, without meditation; Ganapati scribed, grasping tradition

The Universe froze, for the coming; Mahabharata, the beginning

This transpired, when memories; were history’s repositories

From devas, gandharvas, rakshasas; the epic flowed to humans via yakshas

Vyasa conceived and Ganapati brought it forth; Janamejaya evoked, Suta the story told

For all Humanity to embrace; pendulum swings for the human race

Vichitravirya beget two sons; Dhristarashtra, the first born, blind

Hastinapura, jewel in the crown; went to Pandu, his younger son

The seeds of discord thus sowed; the cosmic stage for blood ploughed

Of players, playing fleeting parts; to enlighten and light a path

Pandu’s offense led to years of penance; to the forest with his two wives he went

Kunti and Madri, bore him sons five; the seeds of Pandu, the Pandavas

Pandu’s soul to Swarga Loka departs; his sons to the holy Rishis, to play their parts

To school the princes in Vedanta, Vedas; the code of the kshatriyas and the arts

The Brothers Pandavas led by Yudhishthira; age sixteen, return home to Hastinapura

They quarrel with the hundred Kauravas; sons of the blind steward, Dhristarashtra

Bhishma, the celibate, the perfect knight; intervened, their heritage to divide

The Kauravas remained in Hastinapura; the Pandavas retired to rule Indraprastha

Affection feigned without, enmity festered within; stoked by many, especially by Uncle Sakuni

A trap laid, an invitation to wager all in a lottery; Yudhishthira the honest played old Sakuni who lacked probity

In keeping their date with destiny; the Pandavas lost their everything

Justice stood still, as covenant ran wild; the Pandavas and wife again exiled

After twelve harvests and the thirteenth out of sight; the Pandavas returned to reclaim their birth right

Denied by Duryodhana, the Kauravas’ first born; lands turned wet with blood and tears, kith and kin asunder torn

As foretold, the Kauravas worsted, the Pandavas bested; the mighty and the meek, their songs into history, vested

This, the sketch on living lives, O People, it will swell; with sublime teachings drawn from an ever brimming well


Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2020

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Next Friday: Santanu and Ganga


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