Tanuj Solanki

Parshurama, a  warrior monk with shades of grey

At a point during the Pandavas’ tirtha yatra (four Pandavas sans Arjuna, and Draupadi), the storytelling role is briefly taken from sage Lomasha and passed to Akritavarna.

31 Dec 2017

When a  celibate rishi lusts after a rakshasa?

Continuing their pilgrimage, the Pandavas arrive at the river Koushiki, somewhere in the kingdom of Anga.

26 Dec 2017

Lomasha explains why river Ganga fills the oceans

It is inevitable that during their pilgrimage through the entire Indian subcontinent, the Pandavas encounter major and minor rivers.

10 Dec 2017

The many stories of Rishi Agastya 

The Pandavas begin their pilgrimage by traveling eastward. After several stops, they reach rishi Agastya’s hermitage.

03 Dec 2017

The Pandavas and their tirth yatra

After receiving a list of pilgrimage spots across the continent by Narada, the Pandavas are told of a similar list by sage Lomasha.

26 Nov 2017

Yudhistira’s spiritual anxiety and the need for a sacrifice

In their forest exile, the Pandavas are in sorrow. Yudhistira, we know, needed the comforts of literature in the form of the story of Nala and Damayanti, which was told to him by Brihadashva.

19 Nov 2017

Dice and horses become turning points in a war

Like Yudhistira, there was once a king who lost his kingdom and riches through a game of dice.

12 Nov 2017

Yudhistira’s realisation about sorrow and discord

As advised by Vyasa during the Pandava forest exile, Arjuna is sent away in the search of divine weaponry. This is Arjuna’s third odyssey in the epic.

05 Nov 2017

Arjuna’s journey to the Himalayas

From my viewpoint as a modern reader, the Mahabharata is perhaps at its weakest as a literary work whenever it abandons the epic-historical plane — its base story, so to say — for its mythological,

30 Oct 2017

Yudhistira’s inner conflict between  dharma and artha

During the Pandavas’ exile, Draupadi is not the only one who urges Yudhistira to take swift action against Duryodhana and wrest the kingdom back from the Kauravas.

24 Oct 2017

Yudhistira’s inner conflict between  dharma and artha

During the Pandavas’ exile, Draupadi is not the only one who urges Yudhistira to take swift action against Duryodhana and wrest the kingdom back from the Kauravas.

15 Oct 2017

When dharma is the answer

After the departure of Krishna, Dristadyumna, and other well-wishers from the Kamyaka forest, the Pandavas get used to a slow life, with long periods of ample agonizing over their failures.

09 Oct 2017

Events that kept Krishna away

What explains Krishna’s absence in the infamous dice game in the Mahabharata?
This question itself reveals insights about the structure of the Mahabharata.

01 Oct 2017

Duryodhana’s double whammy

After Duryodhana gestures to Draupadi by slapping his left thigh at the dice game, Bhima vows that he will kill him by smashing his thighs with his club.

24 Sep 2017

A timely boon from Surya for Pandavas

As the Pandavas exit Hastinapura after their humiliation, public sentiment turns on their side. Crowds converge around the five brothers and their wife (or wives? At this point, it is not clear if the

17 Sep 2017

When a game of tactics and dice seals Pandava fates

After Draupadi’s humiliation in the Kaurava sabha, Dhritarashtra mitigates some of the tension by granting her husbands their freedom, and also restoring the Pandavas’ kingdom and riches.

10 Sep 2017

Sexual violence against Draupadi is a reality today

After losing all material possessions in the dice game with Shakuni (who is playing on Duryodhana’s behalf), Yudhistira begins to bet his relations. Nakul, Sahadeva, Bhima, Arjun, and then Yudhistira

05 Sep 2017

Sexual violence against Draupadi is a reality today

After losing all material possessions in the dice game with Shakuni (who is playing on Duryodhana’s behalf), Yudhistira begins to bet his relations.

03 Sep 2017

Slaves, family and kingdom ­— all pawns in a game

At the beginning of the infamous dice game in the Mahabharata, Yudhistira expresses two reservations.

27 Aug 2017

Validation of Krishna’s divinity at royal sacrifice

In my last article, I argued that Karna’s submission of tribute to Bhima was a hint that the Pandavas’ conquest campaigns, aimed at securing Yudhistira’s claim of being an emperor, were in fact being

06 Aug 2017

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