Dharma and Desire: Lacan and the Left Half of the Mahabharata

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Even prapnoti brahmanah sthanam yat param prakrterdhrubam. Visnu alone is. Yudhisthira begins the conversation by putting forward the question. We propose hereby to read the other gitas and see how these It is a repetition of the question posed by the same Yudhisthira imageries recur in different contexts and grow into a meaning.


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G-I,3,4 The body itself seems to be the source of all misery to Yudhisthira. The body, the 17 principles plus the 5 senses etectera seem to be the trammels that baulk Yudhisthira.

Yudhisthira wanted earlier to get rid of them. In the frame of reference of the Mahabharata, they are synonymous with Prakriti. Prakriti is an elusive term as used in ancient Skt. The three gunas that have been referred to in the Vritra Gita are also associated with Prakriti. According to the Samkhya system of philosophy Prakriti is mindless as opposed to purusa. The purusa is all consciousness. It is eternal, free, omniscient and pure There are myriads of purusas who get manifest or distorted through this body or the mindless prakriti.

But Vritra gita speaks of one purusa Visnu, instead of many purusas. Indeed if there were many purusas who are free there is of course one purusa, who is all the purusas. Or else the hypothesis as to the freedom of the purusa would have been nullified. And wanders aimlessly. When Vritra asks questions, the body is surely the mind. And indeed The phrase nirapeksah parivrajet speaks of a wide wanderer according to the Samkhya, mind being one of 25 tattvas is very who has no stay, no home, no hope, no aim in the world.

He is much the body. This is in absolute contrast to what the West posits being impelled He does not blame anyone with eyes, by words, or with mind. He by the philosophy of Descartes.


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They look upon mind as completely neither blames anything or anyone in front of the same, or in absence different from body. According to Descartes while body has extension, of the same. Hence mind and body are two distinct substances. He must not be jealous of anyone.

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He must move about in this God a third substance, sees to that they co-ordinate. Here also as per wide world as a friend to everything. Samkhya, Prakriti and Purusa are different. And Yudhisthira wants to He prayeth best who loveth best. The very name Vritra however stands for the All things both great and small. In the Vritra gita the Body itself becomes one with One must not make enemy of anyone, once getting life the primordial consciousness.

Does it not necessarily mean that all He must not wander in the villages. He must live on alms. He speaks body is at bottom that Visnu who is neither mind nor body. And every lovingly to even one who speaks unpolitely to him.

He must not go body, as soon as it is aware of the One lurking in everything becomes abegging as long as smoke rises from the hearth. He must have that one with the One. So when, Yudhisthira asked in the V. He must not look rid of the trammels of flesh, Bhisma seems to allegorically posit that all forward to any kind of gains or honour. He lives in a desolate place flesh is at bottom the one Visnu.

And the realisation of the same could like a cave or else he lives in a forest. He will neither embrace holy deeds, nor Be that at it may, Yudhisthira seems not to have fully realised what perform unholy deeds.


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  6. He is used to perceive the transitoriness of life Bhisma had said in the Vritra gita. He is not carried off by emotions or physical needs. Hence, again. Hence he once again alludes to another conversation which he entitles as the The middle road or madhyamapantha does not mean avoiding Harita gita.

    It means looking upon opposites with equanimity. Here Harita Gita is one with Buddhism. Haritena pura gitam tam nivodha yudhisthira 3 He is always in control of himself. He is alone. He has no home. According to Harita Svagrhadabhinihsrtya labhelabhe samo munih He is always plunged in awareness. He has no rapport with those samupodhesu kamesu nirapeksah parivrajet 3 who are in worldly life or else who are in vanaprastha grhasthanam One who has taken the vow of silence na samsrjyate kahrcit in vanaprastha. Harita Gita 41 Indeed those who have the awareness can attain liberation. Or This is not all.

    As it has been already pointed out, the ideal man in else it will be sheer hard work and nothing will come out of it.

    The gitas we are dwelling on at the moment all belong Harita Gita is of course in harmony with the V. In the V. In a sense, in course of Bhisma observed that one had better follow the life-style of the sages the vast interplay of characters welded into a complex web of actions, But Vritra gita did not give any instance of the life-style, of a visionary. It give us a model of the gita where the speakers are in ecstasy and their speech is song. We life-style of a jivan-mukta or a liberated fellow.

    Yudhisthira hungered want to read all these gitas one after another and see what message for liberation. But he never asked what a liberated man would be like. Arjuna asks Krishna in the BH. Sthitaprayjnasya ka bhasa samadhisthasya kesava II Krishna also repeatedly dwells on the model of an ideal man. Actually man does not act from any abstract idea in his mind. He must have a model engraved in his psyche If the ideal man of the Harita could be impressed on the minds of men, the life and world about us would be different. Thus the speaker of the Harita Gita is a psychologist par excellence.

    Of course, the Harita gita poses a few problems. For example, some men of our time might ask whether the ideal man of the Harita gita is ideal enough? Is he not an escapist? Besides, as per the frame of reference in the the then India, chatur- varna and the chatur-ashrama are archetypal.

    Lord Krishna—the highest voice avows this. And everyone should keep to his station and duties And of course the four stages of life as depicted by Kalidasa saisave abhyastavidyanam yauvane visayaisinam vardhakye munivrttinam yogenanca tanutyajam. Raguvansa is inallenably woven with the structure of caturvarnya But Harita Gita is all for escape from the world. The same Bhisma is the speaker of the Bodhya Gita. Although How could that be? Actually when a paradox is introduced paradox informs, all the earlier Gitas, it is an astounding work of art intellectual discussions take off, transcending the mundane emotions.

    On characterised by allusion and esoteric brevity.

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    When we say alpavidya bhayankari or a Bodhya said to King Jajati. In our King Jajati in quest of peace asked the sage Bodhya how to attain frame of reference learning is good. If a lot of learning implies lot of peace. Jajati further asked—how is it that you are in perfect peace, good, then a little learning is a little good. So such sayings as alpavidya listless of anything in the world.

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    But when we peruse the story of the four Bodhya replied reluctuantly foolish brahmins we know that there is deeper wisdom in such sayings. I take advice from others. Practically paradox has a long history in western aesthetics First But I seldom give it to anyone myself.

    Let me tell you with the aid of signs. De Quincey feels that paradoxes are sine qua and a virgin are my teachers. Because he readily existence. And in the 20th century itself the Close-Reading School learns from others. But he is reluctant to teach others. And yet he states that all great poetry is paradoxical. Is it not the style of a deeper truths that prose fails to comprehend and express. Our Bodhya Gita opens with the paradox—Atrapyundaharanti How is it that the saint par excellence could learn anything from a gitam imamitihasam puratanam gitam videha-rajena janakena pingala?

    How is it that he could learn from a snake or a black-bee? The Sphinx poses The speech of the king of Videha is a song according to Bhisma. Because he speaks in ecstasy.