Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata (The Great Indian Epics Retold)

Attainment of desirable states brings joy, failure to do so becomes sorrow.

Before leaving Hastina-puri, Krishna went to Kunti, mother of the Pandavas, who had stayed back with her brother-in-law. Krishna asked her if she had any advice for her sons who were rather disheartened, though not surprised, by the Kaurava refusal to return Indra-prastha

bliss comes when love is shared with all.

dharma is not about justice; it is about empathy and wisdom. Dharma is not about defeating others, it is about conquering ourselves. Everybody wins in dharma.

Everybody dies—some suddenly, some slowly, some painfully, some peacefully. No one can escape death. The point is to make the most of life—enjoy it, celebrate it, learn from it, make sense of it, share it with fellow human beings—so that when death finally comes, it will not be such a terrible thing.

For when a man praises himself, it is intellectual suicide.

human memory is short, and history always repeats itself.

In time, Arjuna tires of mere beauty and hearing tales about the valour of princess Chitrangada, he seeks her out. The princess then reveals her true self to Arjuna. Her words are one of the most beautiful declarations of the angst of a woman, ‘I am not beautifully perfect as the flowers with which I worship. I have many flaws and blemishes. I am a traveller in the great world-path, my garments are dirty, and my feet are bleeding with thorns. Where should I achieve flower-beauty, the unsullied loveliness of a moment’s life? The gift that I proudly bring you is the heart of a woman. Here have all pains and joys gathered, the hopes and fears and shames of a daughter of the dust; here love springs up struggling towards immortal life. Herein lies an imperfection which yet is noble and grand.

is not about making the world a peaceful place; it is about us being at peace with the world.

Krishna offers Arjuna two things: what he is and what he has. Arjuna chooses what Krishna is. Duryodhana is happy with what Krishna has. This divide between him and his, me and mine, what one is and what one has, is the difference between seeking the soul and being satisfied with matter.

man the master of his own destiny and the creator of his own desires,

now I know the power of maya: that which deludes you to be unhappy can be overpowered by another delusion that causes greater unhappiness. Oh

One must accept that one’s life is the result of past karmas and that one has the power to choose one’s response to every situation.

Refusal to accept the flow of the world is the root of all misery.

Such is the law of karma. Every action, howsoever innocent, has a reaction, that one has to experience if not in this life, then in the next,’ said

Such is the nature of man-made laws: ignorant of the past and insensitive to the present.

the law clearly stated that a man with a physical defect could not be king.

The notion of the measuring scale is critical in Hindu thought. The value of an object depends on the scale being followed. And since all scales are man-made, all values are artificial. Thus all opinions ultimately are delusions, based on man-made measuring scales.

The point of existence in this dynamic, ever-changing world then was not to aspire or achieve, but to introspect.

there can be no dharma without the spirit of generosity. Without genuine love, laws and rules are worthless.

The sage said, ‘It is the name of Ram that ensured the bridge of stones to Lanka did not crack under the weight of the monkeys. Likewise, it is the name of Krishna that ensures this bridge of arrows withstands Hanuman’s weight. Strength alone is not enough in this world; divine grace is needed. Krishna is Ram and both are Hari or Vishnu. Never forget that. Without Krishna you are nothing. You are Nara and he is Narayana.

These chants relieved vedana, the yearning of the restless human soul, hence became collectively known as the Veda. Those who heard them first came to be known as the Rishis.

The world that is perceived through any measuring scale is called maya.

Through Karna, Vyasa reiterates that our knowledge of the world is imperfect based on perceptions and false information. We are surrounded by Kuntis who hide the truth in fear. We are surrounded by Karnas, villains who are actually brothers.

Through the story of Ram, Vyasa is trying to explain that while we believe our problems are the greatest and our misfortunes the worst, there is always someone out there who has suffered more. And just as they survived and triumphed over their suffering, we must too.

we believe our problems are the greatest and our misfortunes the worst, there is always someone out there who has suffered more.

when a man praises himself, it is intellectual suicide.

Who decides what justice is? How does one end this unending spiral of revenge where everyone believes they are right and their opponents are wrong?

Within infinite myths lies the Eternal Truth Who sees it all? Varuna has but a thousand eyes Indra, a hundred And I, only two

You want the world to behave as you wish. It does not, hence your anger and your grief.