Monday, February 7, 2011

Episode 43 - Savitri and Rama

Episode 43 - Despite the offensive raid on their camp by Jayadratha, old Markandeya is still hanging out with the Pandavas.  Yuddistira, feeling sorry for himself and for Draupadi, goes to him for consolation.  Markandeya replies with the entire story of the Ramayana.

I've spared you the re-telling of that epic, since it would have us out on a sidetrack for possibly months, and, really, the Ramayana deserves a podcast of its own, right?

So, jumping over that chapter, we find ourselves back where we were; Yuddistira moping around feeling sorry for himself and for Draupadi.  Again, he goes to Markandeya for consolation.  This time Markandeya replies with the story of Savitri.

This time, the story apparently works, because at the end of the chapter Vaisampayana tells us that the Pandavas  spent the rest of their exile in Kanyaka "without sorrow or fear".  That's a pretty effective story!

As it turns out, this is the last of the Markandeya stories.  We are nearly at the end of the Book of the Forest, and next episode we'll get back to the main plot with one of Karna's adventures.


  1. Thank you for this great podcast. The translations I've read in the past are opaque, but you get down to the plot of the story. I've listened to all of these in the past day and really enjoy them. Keep up the fabulous work!

  2. Thank you! By the way, the Ramayana has its own podcast! You can find it at

  3. Yes, I have listened to some of that podcast before. He took a different approach, which was to read directly from a translation.
    I've also tried to read the Tulsidas version translated into English, and it is very difficult going. The language of that time must have required much longer attention spans that we have today, because I find it difficult to follow.
    How do you think that approach compares to my method, which is to re-tell the story in modern language?

  4. I much prefer your approach of retelling the narrative in modern English!