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The “Mahabharata” holds a place of special revere in
Indian society. An ancient tale, thousands of years old,
it inspires poets, writers, and artists across the
globe. Its creator is unknown, expect as the mythic
figure of Vyasa, a poet and seer who appears in the
verses he is supposed to have written. Likely the poem
was authored by countless writers who grafted its many
tales and moral stories onto the skeleton of this epic
tale of the five brothers. Foremost among these brothers
is Yudhishthria, the eldest. He was born to be a king. A
pillar of morality, intelligence, restraint, and
confidence, but he possessed a small weakness, his love
of fortune. He is a gambler at heart, or else he longs
to test his luck at the throw of the dice in order to
escape from the walls of sacred duty that surrounds him.
Yudhishthira is the model Hindu hero. He encapsulates
the tenets of this great religion, and is so well-versed
in them that they have become part of his soul, one that
is immortal, destined to eternal joy in India’s heaven.
Still, he has a price to pay. He must lead his brothers
in battle. Fight the great war of the Bharatas, the
“Mahabharata.” Dharma, one’s sacred duty, is truly the
subject of the Mahabharata. Called a monstrosity by some
critics because of its sheer size, the national epic of
India nevertheless has a consistency of vision.
Employing the numerous voices of varied storytellers,
priest, demons, and heroes, the poem describes the Hindu
ideal of scared duty. Similar ideas can be found in
western philosophy. As mentioned in “The Republic”,
Plato’s conception of the ideal state placed each
individual in his or her specific place in society, each
with duties and responsibilities that assure happiness
for everyone. The Greek philosopher also elaborated an
idea of the transmigration of the soul, reincarnation or
samara. The ancient Indians knew of the existence of the

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