Mahabharata: A tale of true friendship

Mahabharata: A tale of true friendship

The Mahabharat is one of the two major epics in Sanskrit of ancient India. It contains over one lakh couplets and is thrice as long as the Bible. However, only a fraction of the narration deals with the main story with the rest containing additional myths and teachings.

It clearly states: “What is found here may be found elsewhere but what is not found here cannot be found elsewhere.”

A tale of true friendship

Once Duryodhana’s wife Bhanumathi and Karna were playing a game of dice. As the game progressed, it was evident that Karna was winning and Bhanumathi was losing. Just then Duryodhana entered his queen’s chamber. Karna had his back to the door while Bhanumathi was facing it. Seeing her husband coming, she was about to stand up. As she was just rising, Karna, thinking that she was trying to get away, snatched at her drape, studded with pearls.

Tugged at by Karna’s powerful hands, the thread snapped and all the pearls rolled on the floor. Queen Bhanumathi was stunned and did not know what to say or do. She was afraid that, for no fault of hers, she would be misunderstood by her husband because of Karna’s offensive and insensitive behavior. Seeing her shocked state and sensing that something was wrong, Karna turned around and saw his friend Duryodhana. He was also deeply shocked and distressed beyond words.

Here he was, in the royal chamber, playing a game of dice with his friend’s wife, and, as if this was not enough, he dared to catch her clothes, thus embarrassing and endangering her chaste reputation. He stood dumbfounded and transfixed. As both Bhanumathi and Karna look down sheepishly, unable to meet Duryodhana’s eyes, he only asks, “Should I just collect the beads, or string them as well.”

The End

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