Section CLXXIX [summary]

| Posted in: Hinduism Itihasa

Book index: Mahabharata (English)
This page contains a summary of the Mahabharata Section CLXXIX including examples of moral lessons in daily life. The Maha-Bharata is one of the largest epics ever written containing roughly 100,000 Sanskrit verses. It deals with the legendary history of ancient India and contains a large number of interwoven tales.

Short summary of the chapter:
Yudhishthira finds his beloved brother Bhimasena coiled by a serpent and discovers that the serpent is actually the royal sage Nahusha in serpent form who has captured Bhimasena for food. Yudhishthira offers to give the serpent another form of food in exchange for releasing Bhimasena, but the serpent refuses and states that he will only release Bhimasena if Yudhishthira can answer his questions. Yudhishthira agrees to answer the serpent's questions in order to save his brother.

The serpent reveals that he was once a king named Nahusha who had acquired dominion over the three worlds through sacrifices, asceticism, and study of the Vedas, but his arrogance led to his downfall. He explains that he is bound by a curse from Agastya and can only be satisfied by having Bhimasena as his meal. Yudhishthira then agrees to answer the serpent's questions in order to free Bhimasena from his grasp.

Yudhishthira and the serpent engage in a philosophical discussion about what defines a Brahmana and what should be known. Yudhishthira asserts that a Brahmana is defined by qualities such as truth, charity, forgiveness, and benevolence, rather than birth alone. The serpent challenges Yudhishthira's beliefs and raises questions about the nature of happiness and misery in the world.

Yudhishthira and the serpent continue their debate on caste and conduct, with Yudhishthira arguing that character is the most important factor in determining one's caste. He emphasizes the importance of good conduct over mere birthright in defining one's place in society. The serpent acknowledges Yudhishthira's wisdom and decides to release Bhimasena after their enlightening discussion.

In the end, the serpent releases Bhimasena and reveals that he has been freed from his curse by Yudhishthira's knowledge and wisdom. The serpent expresses gratitude towards Yudhishthira for answering his questions and agrees to let Bhimasena go. Yudhishthira's intelligence and understanding of philosophical concepts ultimately save his brother from the serpent's clutches.

Full English translation:

This page is merely a summary which is automatically generated. If you are looking for authentic sources such as the Sanskrit text or the Full English translation of Mahabharata Section CLXXIX, have a look at the following articles:

Section CLXXIX, online text

English translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli.

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Mahabharata (English Summary)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | ISBN-10: 8121505933

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FAQ of Section CLXXIX:

Who is considered a Brahmana and what should be known according to Yudhishthira?

In Yudhishthira's view, a Brahmana is characterized by truth, charity, forgiveness, and more. The ultimate truth that should be known is the supreme Brahma, which brings liberation from suffering.

How does Yudhishthira explain the concept of caste in human society?

Yudhishthira argues that determining one's caste is difficult due to the intermingling of the four orders in society. He believes character and conduct should be the primary factors considered, not just birth.

Why does the serpent spare Bhimasena after questioning Yudhishthira?

The serpent spares Bhimasena after questioning Yudhishthira because the Pandava's insightful and wise responses impress the serpent. By acknowledging the importance of character over birth and demonstrating deep understanding, Yudhishthira earns the serpent's mercy.

Mahabharata Section CLXXIX in daily life:

The tale shared from the Mahabharata teaches us the importance of virtues such as truth, charity, forgiveness, and conduct over birthright or social status. Yudhishthira, through his wisdom, illustrates that one's actions and character define their true worth rather than their caste or the circumstances of their birth. This story encourages individuals to cultivate qualities like empathy, kindness, and understanding in their daily lives.

In applying this wisdom to daily life, it becomes crucial to focus on improving one's character and behaviors. By choosing to act with integrity, show kindness to others, and embrace forgiveness, we can create a more inclusive and compassionate society. The story also highlights the value of wisdom and knowledge in solving conflicts and understanding deeper truths.

Moreover, this narrative reminds us that everyone has the potential to rise above their limitations or societal labels by embodying noble qualities. It calls for an appreciation of the diversity in human society and underscores the idea that respect and honor should be accorded based on one's deeds and virtues rather than lineage or status. Thus, by embodying these teachings, we not only enrich our own lives but also contribute positively to the world around us.

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