Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Episode 93 - The Ashwamedha Sacrifice

Episode 93 - The white horse returns home, only to be tied to a post, killed, & cut up into little pieces.  The priests do their best to follow the old rules, but there's no way Draupadi is going to pretend to copulate with a dead horse!

Jump ahead 15 years and Dhrtarastra finally decides to take leave of worldly cares, and he, Gandhari, & Kunti leave for a forest ashram.  One year after that, the Pandavas and many citizens pay a visit to the old folks, where Vyasa allows them all to re-unite with their fallen relatives and friends.

While some of the early books went on endlessly, the last few books of the epic are quite short, and we are going through about one book an episode at this point-- the story is nearly over!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Episode 92 - The Anugita and the Wayward Stallion

Episode 92 - This is another eventful episode.  Krishna & Arjun take a break and go on a leisure trip to Indraprastha, where it appears Arjun is king.  Both heroes have forgotten the Gita, so Krishna recalls another dialog along the same lines, which is called the Anugita.

Krishna goes home, while the Pandavas go prospecting for gold in the hills.  While they are away, Parkshit is born, or rather still-born.  Krishna arrives in time to make good his promise and revives the kid.

When the Pandavas return with their treasure, the white horse is set loose and the Ashwamedha is begun.  Arjun follows the beast across the length and breadth of India, defeating all comers and sending them as his guests to the sacrifice. Arjun meets one of his sons, the Prince of Manipur, and gets killed & revived along the way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Episode 91 - The Death of Bhisma

Episode 91 - We get treated to a last handful of the Final Teachings, and then Bhisma dies.  The poor guy set quite an objective for himself.  It must have been mid autumn when he was shot through with arrows, yet he clung to life until the Winter Solstice before finally giving up the ghost. He says he lived on the bed of arrows for a total of 58 days.

Following his death, Yuddistira has another one of his fits of sorrow & regret, but he's snapped out of it by hearing a story about how the ancient king Marutta left a pile of gold in the mountains as part of his Ashwamedha sacrifice.  Yuddistira needs this gold, since his treasury was depleted by the war, and now everyone is telling him he needs to perform a super-expensive sacrifice!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Episode 90 - The Final Teachings, part 2

Episode 90 - A few more stories from Bhisma's final teachings.  We learn that Vyasa had a son, named Suka, who really did not seem to be pleased to be born.  And Bhisma himself tells us what he really thinks of Buddhist philosophy!