The Spirit of Mahabharata Coursing Through the Ganga

The Spirit of Mahabharata Coursing Through the Ganga

by Gayatri Iyer


As I was rafting in the icy cold white waters of river Ganga, I was rewinding my year gone by. A very significant change was the way in which I saw myself through the Pandava princes from the Mahabharata after a reverberating Mahabharata Immersion Lab. After all, they are archetypal energies residing in each one of us at any given time. As we proceeded along the river, I observed how the river behaved differently every few meters. I could not help but draw parallels with the Pandava Princes. Here is how:

1] Yudhishtra, the eldest of the Pandavas is the upholder of Dharma, knowledge and systems. The Ganga in her entire journey has chartered her course carefully right until she unites with the sea, complete with boundaries. So much so that she makes sure all the small tributaries eventually adhere to the clear chartered course. Even we cannot mess with the order and structure. After all, without such an order and discipline, there would be nothing but chaos with her waters submerging everything.

2] The playful and adventurous spirit of the river is infectious, not only for the numerous resident fishes and amphibians that constantly jumped out in joy, but even for us who were rafting. The playful excitement in the waters is evident in the roars, as she dodges the boulders and hurries along. The passionate and adventurous spirit mirrors the warrior Bheema who is ever so ready to dedicate himself to the thrills of life and take it head-on.

3] While it offers all the roars and excitement, the Ganges also provides a soft healing touch to whoever needs it. Whether you quietly reflect by the bank listening to the soft ripples, as though she is acknowledging your story or whether you take a dip in the holy water to cleanse yourself. For centuries, her powerful healing touch has transformed lives of people.

4] The Ganga has been a central aspect of many stories, Puraanas and other Vedic texts. She has given rise to the stories that are filled with wonderment and valor. Not only that, she has been a solution to so many of our problems whether it is a drought or even spiritual guidance. All you need to do is listen to her and you will find your way. Isn’t this typical of a Sahdeva? A true problem solver, strategist and story-teller.

5] At many places, Ganga simply stood still, sometimes right after an agitated course. She stood watching herself and everything around in a deep, poignant manner. Pausing to understand what is happening to her and all around. Pausing to simply quieten and ask the relevant questions. Arjuna, who embodies all the characteristics of the other four Pandavas has a unique quality of pausing and asking fundamental questions. In the middle of the Kurukshetra battle he stopped, looked around and asked the what, whys and hows. As they say, still waters run deep.Source: shutterstock

For me, she went one step ahead and reminded me how I see myself or how should I see myself? Whatever propensity I am displaying, can I look at myself with compassion and patience? Sometimes she displays more than one propensity as she transitions, but at each level I saw how she was simply aware without judgement and just went with the flow.


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