Arjuna is a central character of the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata, who plays a key role in the Bhagavad Gita alongside Krishna. It is believed. Arjuna was the son of Pandu in the Kuru Kingdom. In a previous birth he was a saint named Nara, the lifelong companion of another saint, Narayana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who took rebirth as Lord Krishna, he was the third of the Pandava brothers and was married to Draupadi, Chitrāngadā and Subhadra at different times. His children included Srutakarma, Iravan and Abhimanyu. Arjuna was equal to 12 maharatha class warriors; the name Arjuna means "white", "clear" or "silver" in Sanskrit and is cognate to Latin argentum, meaning "silver." Epithets for Arjuna include: Vijaya: always invincible or undefeated. Dhanañjaya: one who brings prosperity and wealth in the region wherever he goes to. Savyasāchin: ambidextrous, only Arjuna is expert in using both hands in archery. Shvethavāhana: one with milky white horses mounted to his pure white chariot. Only Arjuna had this.
Parantapa: one who concentrates the most. Gāndīvadhanvan: one who possessed the mighty bow named Gandiva, created by Lord Brahma. Gudākesha: one who had control oversleeps. Bībhatsu: one who always fights wars in a fair manner. Kapidhvaja: having the flag of Kapi in his chariot. Lord Hanuman stayed on Arjuna's flag during Kurukshetra war. Kirītin: one who wears the celestial diadem, presented by Lord Indra. Gāndīvadhara: Gandiva-holder. Jishnu: triumphant. Pārtha: son of Pritha known as Kunti. Kaunteya: son of Kunti. Phalguna: born under the star Uttara Phalguni. Madhyapāndava: the middle of the Pandavas, younger than Yudhisthira and Bhima and elder of Nakula and Sahadeva. Arjuna's birth is a most celebrated one and he was born seven months after the birth of Krishna. After the death of Pandu, the Pandavas and their mother lived in Hastinapura, where they were brought up together with their cousins, the Kaurava brothers. Along with his brothers, Arjuna was trained in religion, science and military arts by Bhishma, their granduncle.
One day, when the princes were playing a game, they lost their ball in a well. When the rest of the children gave up the ball as being lost, Arjuna stayed behind trying to get it. A stranger came by and extracted the ball for him by making a chain of "sarkanda"; when an astonished Arjuna related the story to Bhishma, Bhishma realised that the stranger was none other than Drona. Bhishma asked Drona to become the Kuru princes' teacher. Seeking refuge from Panchala, Drona agreed. Many asuras were killed by him. Under Drona's tutelage, the Kauravas and the Pandavas, along with the princes of Hastinapura's allies and vassals, learned weaponry. Arjuna became Drona's most accomplished pupil. In a famous incident, Drona deemed that out of all his students his own son Ashwatthama, none but Arjuna had the steadfast focus to shoot the eye of a bird on a tree. One day, on being questioned by Ashwatthama, his intention was clear that he loved Arjuna but didn't ill-treat anyone. He ordered Ashwatthama to gather all of his students including Ashwatthama to assemble at near by lake that evening.
They did. Drona was taking bath. Nobody except Arjuna were dare to enter into lake. Arjuna jumped into lake & began attacking the mighty crocodile with bare hands. Crocodile disappeared. Drona told everyone that the crocodile was just illusion and created by himself to test all the princes & Ashwatthama. Drona scolded the rest that they were not ready to save their teacher except Arjuna, thus Drona proudly declared that Arjuna was his pet student. Pandavas secretly went from Varnavrat after saving themselves from evil plan of Shakuni. Still in hiding, the Pandavas disguise themselves as brahmins and attend the Swayamvara of Panchala princess Draupadi. Out of all of the great kings and other Kaurava princes, only Arjuna is able to do the established challenge; the test is to lift and fire Pinakin to pierce the eye of a golden fish whilst only looking at its reflection. All kings including Karna and Shalya were defeated in the task. At last Arjuna came forward and lifted bow with just one hand and hit the target hence he won Draupadi.
Karna attacked Arjuna out of jealousy but Arjuna defeated him Karna asked about his real identity, Arjuna smiled and said that he is Brahmin Karna praised him by comparing him with Lord Vishnu. Arjuna threatened to kill Karna; when the brothers returned with Draupadi, Pandavas joked to his mother. Dismissively, without looking because she was preoccupied, Kunti asks him to share it with his brothers. Holding his mother's orders as a divine command, he requested his elder brother to accept Draupadi. Draupadi had to marry all five of the Pandavas, her five sons, one from each of the Pandava brothers, are known as the Upapandavas. Srutakarma is the son of Arjuna. At this point in the Mahabharata, the Pandavas revealed. With both Duryodhan
Jaya and Vijaya are the two gatekeepers of the abode of Vishnu, known as Vaikuntha. According to a story from Bhagavata Purana, the Four Kumaras, Sanandana and Sanatkumara who are the manasputras of Brahma, visited Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu, to see him. Due to the strength of their tapas, the four Kumaras appear to be mere children, though they are of great age. Jaya and Vijaya, the gate keepers of the Vaikuntha interrupt the Kumaras at the gate, thinking them to be children, they tell the Kumaras that Sri Vishnu is resting and that they cannot see him now. The enraged Kumaras replied Jaya and Vijaya that Vishnu is available for his devotees any time, cursed both the keepers Jaya and Vijaya, that they would have to give up their divinity, be born as mortals on Earth, live like normal human beings. Vishnu appeared before them, the gatekeepers requested Vishnu to lift the curse of the Kumaras. Vishnu said. Instead, he gives Vijaya two options; the first option is to take seven births on Earth as a devotee of Vishnu, while the second is to take three births as his enemy.
After serving either of these sentences, they can re-attain their stature at Vaikuntha and be with him permanently. Jaya and Vijaya cannot bear the thought of staying away from Vishnu for seven lives; as a result, they choose to be born three times on Earth though it would have to be as enemies of Vishnu. In the first life, they were born as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha in the Krita Yuga, to Diti and sage Kashyapa who were killed by Vishnu Varaha avatar and Narasimha avatar in the Satya Yuga. In their second life, they were born as Ravana and Kumbhakarna and were killed by Vishnu's Rama avatar in the Treta Yuga. In their third life, they were born as Shishupala and Dantavakra who were killed by Vishnu's Krishna avatar in the Dwapara Yuga, it has been noted by many that the strengths of Jaya and Vijaya declined with each subsequent birth. Vishnu needed one avatar each to kill Hiranyakashipu. Born as Rama he was able to vanquish both Kumbhakarna. In his Krishna avatar the killing of Shishupala and Dantavakra is not the main focus but more to reduce the'Bhoobhara".
In the modern era, known in Sanskrit as the Kali Yuga and Vijaya are free from their curse, they can be seen as gatekeepers in Vishnu temples and temples affiliated with Vaishnavism. Statues of Jaya-Vijaya stand in the temple of Venkateswara in Tirumala, the temple of Jagannath in Puri, the temple of Ranganatha in Srirangam; as Hirakyakasipu and Hiranyaksha in Satya-yuga, as Ravana and Kumbhakarna in the Treta-yuga, as Shishupala and Dantavakra at the end of Dvapara-yuga. Bhagavata Purana Nio
Pariksit was a Kuru king who reigned during the Middle Vedic period. Along with his son and successor Janamejaya, he played a decisive role in the consolidation of the Kuru state, the arrangement of Vedic hymns into collections, the development of the orthodox srauta ritual, transforming the Kuru realm into the dominant political and cultural center of northern Iron Age India, he appears as a figure in legends and traditions. According to the Mahabharata and the Puranas, he succeeded his greatuncle Yudhishthira to the throne of Hastinapur. "Listen to the good praise of the King belonging to all people, who, a god, is above men, of Parikṣit! - ‘Parikṣit has just now made us peaceful dwelling. — ‘What shall I bring you, sour milk, the mantha [a barley/milk drink?' the wife keeps asking in the Realm of King Pariksit. — By itself, the ripe barley bends over the deep track of the path. The dynasty thrives auspiciously in the Realm of King Parikṣit.” Parikshit is eulogised in a hymn of the Atharvaveda as a great Kuru king, whose realm flowed with milk and honey and people lived in his kingdom.
He is mentioned as the raja vishvajanina. Few other details about his reign are recorded in Vedic literature. According to the Mahabharata, Parikshit married princess Madravati of the Madra Kingdom, reigned for 24 years, died at the age of 60, but this is a much text and cannot be confirmed as historical fact. Michael Witzel dates the Pārikṣita Dynasty of the Kuru Kingdom to the 12th-11th centuries BC. H. C. Raychaudhuri dates Parikshit in ninth century BC, he was succeeded by his son Janamejaya. Only one Parikshit is mentioned in Vedic literature. Historian H. C. Raychaudhuri believes that the second Parikshit's description better corresponds to the Vedic king, whereas the information available about the first is scanty and inconsistent, but Raychaudhuri questions whether there were two distinct kings, he suggests that the doubling was "invented by genealogists to account for anachronisms" in the parts of the Mahabharata, as "a bardic duplication of the same original individual regarding whose exact place in the Kuru genealogy no unanimous tradition had survived," and therefore there "is an intrusion into the genealogical texts" of the late, post-Vedic tradition, which has two of Parikshit's son Janamejaya.
There is no unanimity regarding the father of Parikshit among Puranas. He is depicted as the son of Avikshit, Kuru or Abhimanyu, but is more popular as Abhimanyu's posthumous son. According to the Shatapatha Brahmana, Parikshita had four sons, Bhimasena, Ugrasena and Śrutasena. All of them performed the Asvamedha Yajna, his bodily existence ended due to the curse of a Brahmana, who used the Nāga king, the ruler of Taxila as the instrument of death. Parikshit was succeeded by his son Janamejaya. According to the Mahabharata, he died at the age of sixty. A thesis based upon Ugrasravas’ narration suggests an alternate interpretation regarding Parikshit’s lineage. In this interpretation, Parikshit fathered a firstborn son with an unnamed putrika wife. Albeit the child was Parikshit’s firstborn, he was the son of a putrika and therefore could not succeed his father on the throne as he was to be the heir of his maternal grandfather; this son’s name was Sringin. As this would leave Parikshit without an heir, he had another son, with a second wife, Madravati.
Sringin and Samika are seen again in the hunting story. Their relationship served an additional motive for Sringin to murder Parikshit; the Bhagavata Purana states that the son of Drona, Ashwatthama had prepared a Brahmastra to kill King Parikshit while he was in his mother's womb, as a revenge against the Pandavas for killing his relatives in the Kurukshetra war. Uttarā was terrified by the powerful rays of the weapon and worried about her child, she prayed to her uncle-in-law Krishna for help. Krishna pacified her and protected the child in the womb from the deadly weapon and thus saved his life. Parikshit was thus born to Uttara and was throned as the heir to the Pandavas at Hastinapura. There seem to be two Parikhits and two Janamejayas, former being referred to in Vedas and the latter in the Puranic literature; the following is about the Puranic king. On hearing this, Parikshit's son Janamejaya II vowed to kill Takshaka within a week, he starts the Sarpamedha Yajna, which forced each and every snake of the entire universe to fall in the havan kund.
However one snake got stuck around Surya's chariot and because of the force of Yajna the chariot was getting pulled inside the hawankund. This could have ended up taking the Surya's chariot in the sacrificial altar and ending the regime of Sun from the universe; this resulted in plea from all the gods to stop the sacrifice. When Takshaka arrived this Yajna was stopped from doing so by Astika Muni, as a result of which Takshaka lived; that day was Shukla Paksha Panchami in the month of Shravan and is since celebrated as the festival of Nag Panchami. Kuru Kingdom Hindu mythology Janaka Bimbisara Garg, Gaṅgā Rām, Encyclopaedia of the Hindu Worl
In the epic Mahabharata, Droṇa or Droṇāchārya or Guru Droṇa or Rajaguru Devadroṇa was the 3rd incarnation of Brahma and was royal preceptor to the Kauravas and Pandavas. He was a friend of the guru of Asuras, including Mahabali, he was a descendant of sage Angirasa. He was a master of advanced military arts, including Astras. Since Droṇa was not born from a womb, but from a vessel made of leaf, he was named'Droṇa' which means'vessel made of leaf'; the name has Proto-Indo-European origins, is related to English tray. The story of Droṇa's birth is narrated in the Mahabharata. Bharadwaja rishi went with his companions to the Ganga River to perform his ablutions. There he was beheld by the beauty of a beautiful apsara called Ghritachi who had come there to bathe; the sage was overcome by desire, which caused him to produce semen involuntarily out of the visual excitation. Bharadwaja rishi captured this semen in a vessel called a Droṇa, Droṇācharya himself sprang from the semen thus preserved. Droṇācharya spent his youth in poverty, but studied Dharma and military arts such as archery, in which he gained expertise, together with the prince of Panchala, Drupada in the gurukul of Rishi Bharadwaja.
Drupada and Droṇācharya became close friends. Droṇācharya married Kripi, the sister of Kripa, the royal teacher of the princes of Hastinapura. Like Drona himself and her brother had not been gestated in a womb, but outside the human body. Kripi and Droṇa had Ashwatthama. Drona approached Parasurama. However, by the time he was approached by Drona, Parasurama only had his weapons left to give away, he offered to give Droṇa the weapons as well as the knowledge of. This is how Droṇa obtained the greatest weapons in his possession, his title of'ācārya'. For the sake of his wife and son, Droṇa desired freedom from poverty. Remembering a childhood promise given by Drupada, he decided to approach him to ask for help. However, King Drupada refused to acknowledge their friendship, saying friendship was possible only between persons of equal stature in life; as a child, he said, it was possible for him to be friends with Droṇa, because at that time they were equals. But now Drupada had become a king. However, he said he would satisfy Droṇācharya if he asked for alms befitting a Brahmin, rather than claiming his right as a friend.
Droṇa went away silently. Drona decides to continue Parashurama's legacy by starting his own school, he begins wandering Northern India. While at Hastinapur, he comes across the Kuru princes at play, is able to use his abilities to help the princes solve some of their problems. Amazed, the princes go to their patriarch Bhisma with news of this magician. Bhishma realized that this was Drona, asked him to become the Guru of the Kuru princes, training them in advanced military arts. Drona's school soon accepted all students of its allies. Many princes came to study under him. Of all the Kaurava and Pandava brothers training under Drona, Arjuna emerged as the most dedicated, hard-working and most talented of them all, exceeding Drona's own son Ashwatthama. Arjuna assiduously served his teacher, impressed by his devoted pupil. Arjuna surpassed Drona's expectations in numerous challenges; as a reward, Drona gave Arjuna mantras to invoke the super-powerful divine weapon of Brahma known as Brahmāstra, but told Arjuna not to use this invincible weapon against any ordinary warrior.
When Arjuna, inspired by his brother Bhima's nocturnal eating, mastered archery in absolute darkness, Drona was moved. Drona was impressed by Arjuna's concentration and drive, promised him that he would become the greatest archer on earth. Drona gave Arjuna special knowledge of the divine Astras. Drona was partial to Arjuna and Ashwatthama. Drona dearly loved his son Ashwatthama and as a guru, he loved Arjuna more than anyone. A strong criticism of Dronacharya is due to his pervert behavior towards Ekalavya and his strong bias in favor of Arjuna. Ekalavya was the son of a Nishadha chief. Dronacharya refused to train him along with the kṣatriya princes because Ekalavya was not a kṣatriya prince. Ekalavya began practice by himself, having fashioned a clay image of Dronacharya. By his determination, Ekalavya became a warrior of exceptional prowess. One day, kuru princes' dog's barking disturbed a focused Ekalavya. Without looking, Ekalavya fired arrows that sealed up the dog's mouth without spilling any blood of dog or causing any injury to the dog.
The Kuru princes saw this dog running back to them, wondered who could have done such a feat. They saw Ekalavya; every person saw his skill in shutting the dog's mouth. But Drona had given promise that Arjun will be the greatest archer in the world,so he demanded Ekalavya his right hand thumb as fee of being teacher. Drona held the invincible sword of Lord Brahma. Bhishma once told the story of this sword to Pandava prince Nakula; this sword was the primordial weapon created by the gods for the destruction of evil. The name of the sword was Asi, the personification and the primary energy behind all the weapons created; as per Bhishma, the constellation under which the sword was born is called Krittika, Agni is its deity, Rohini is its Gotra, Rudra is its high preceptor and whoever holds this weapon obtains sure victory. Dronacharya had been
In Hindu mythology, Kamsa, or Kansa, was the tyrant ruler of the Vrishni kingdom with its capital at Mathura. He is the cousin of the mother of the god Krishna -- who slew Kamsa. Kamsa is described as a rakshasa in the Puranas, his royal house was called Bhoja, another of his names was Bhojapati. Kamsa was born to Queen Padmavati. However, out of ambition and upon the advice of his personal confidantes and Narakasura, Kamsa decided to overthrow his father and install himself as the King of Mathura. Therefore, upon the guidance of another advisor, Kamsa decided to marry Asti and Prapti, the daughters of Jarasandha, King of Magadha. After a heavenly voice prophesied that Devaki's eighth son will slay him, he imprisoned Devaki and her husband Vasudeva and killed all their children. Kamsa sent a host of demons to kill the child Krishna. Krishna arrived in Mathura and slew his uncle Kamsa. In reality, Kamsa was not the biological son of Ugrasena. Once a Gandharva with powers to read the minds was wandering.
Ugrasena's wife was having sexual thoughts for her husband. Gandharva able to read her mind participated in the act with her. Ugrasena's wife realized that he is not Ugrasena and caught him which led to the gandharva revealing his true form. Gandharva tells about the power of the child, going to take birth, describing this child being between a human and a Gandharva, however an angered Ugrasena's wife in rage curses the child to become the ill named Rakshasa. Gandharva fearing the curse being directed at him, adds to the curse and he curses the child that he will be troubled by his own and flees the place. Infact, Kamsa in his previous birth was a demon called Kalanemi, slain by Lord Vishnu. In childhood, Kamsa was trained by the other Yadavas. Kamsa acquired Jarasandha's attention. Kamsa single-handedly routed Jarasandha's army; the latter was made Kamsa his son-in-law. With Jarasandha's support, Kamsa became more powerful, he vanquished the gods Indra and Kubera in battles and forced Indra to rain on his kingdom.
During his wedding in Mathura, Jarasandha brought over his army to escort the Princesses Asti and Prapti. Using the army of Magadha as his political cover, Kamsa overthrew his father after he refused to voluntarily retire from his position; this was done within the confines of the royal palace and the public was not informed. After Ugrasena failed to show up for public events, Kamsa announced his coronation. Kamsa was told, in a prophecy. Hearing that, he wanted to kill Devaki, but Vasudeva managed to save her life by promising Kamsa that he himself will deliver Devaki's all their children to Kamsa. Kamsa accepted that promise and spared Devaki because she herself was not a threat to him. In the confines of the prison, Devaki conceived and cruel Kamsa murdered the first six children. Just before the birth of seventh child, Lord Vishnu summoned Goddess Yogmaya, an eight-handed woman holding different weapons in her hands and wearing different colored garments. Shri Hari or bhagawan Vishnu asked her to transfer the embryo of Shesha Naaga from Devaki to Vasudeva's another wife Rohini in Gokulam.
This child was named Shri Krishna's elder brother. Whereas, Lord shri Hari-Vishnu Himself, was soon to appear as the eighth son of Devaki, he ordered Yogamaya to take birth from the womb of Yashoda. According to Shri Hari-Vishnu's orders, Yogmaya transferred Shesha from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini. Facilitating God Vishnu's descent or avatar, Yogmaya had put the guards of Kamsa to sleep or a state of trance. At this time, obeying Shri Hari's order, took BalKrishna to Nand- Yashoda's house, bringing back the Baby girl, the incarnation of Yogmaya. Presuming this baby as Devaki's eighth child, Kamsa was about to kill her by crashing her down on the ground, but the girl slipped out of his hands. Taking her cosmic form, the eight-handed Durga warned Kamsa, "The eighth child, who shall kill you, has been born, he is in Gokul!" The seventh child, was saved when he was moved to Rohini's womb. The eighth child born to Devaki and Vasudeva was Krishna. Krishna was saved from Kamsa's wrath and raised by Vasudeva's relative Nanda and Yasoda, a cowherd couple.
After Krishna grew up and returned to the kingdom, Kamsa was killed by Krishna, as was predicted by the divine prophecy, Ugrasena reinstated as King of Mathura. Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend by Anna Dhallapiccola Media related to Kamsa at Wikimedia Commons
Karna known as Vasusena, Anga-Raja and Radheya, is one of the major characters in the Hindu epic Mahābhārata. He is the son of princess Kunti, he was conceived and born to unmarried teenage Kunti, who hides the pregnancy out of shame abandons the new born Karna in a basket on a river. The basket is discovered floating on the Ganges River, he is adopted and raised by foster Suta parents named Radha and Adhiratha Nandana of the charioteer and poet profession working for king Dhritarashtra. Karna grows up to be an accomplished warrior of extraordinary abilities, a gifted speaker and becomes a loyal friend of Duryodhana, he is appointed the king of Anga by Duryodhana. Karna joins the losing Duryodhana side of the Mahabharata war, he is a key antagonist who aims to kill Arjuna but dies in a battle with him during the Kurushetra war. He is a tragic hero in the Mahabharata, in a manner similar to Aristotle's literary category of "flawed good man", he meets his biological mother late in the epic discovers that he is the older half-brother of those he is fighting against.
Karna is a symbol of someone, rejected by those who should love him but do not given the circumstances, yet becomes a man of exceptional abilities willing to give his love and life as a loyal friend. His character is developed in the epic to discuss major emotional and dharma dilemmas, his story has inspired many secondary works and dramatic plays in the Hindu arts tradition, both in India and in southeast Asia. A regional tradition believes. Karṇa is a word found in the Vedic literature, where it means "the ear", "chaff or husk of a grain" or the "helm or rudder". In another context, it refers to a spondee in Sanskrit prosody. In the Mahabharata and the Puranas, it is the name of a warrior character. Called Vasusena as a child by his foster parents, he became known by the name Karna because of the golden earrings of Surya he used to wear, according to the Sanskrit epics scholar David Slavitt; the word Karna, states the Indologist Kevin McGrath, signifies "eared, or the ear-ringed one". In section 3.290.5 of the Mahabharata, Karna is described as a baby born with the ear-rings and armored breastplate, like his father Surya.
The second meaning of Karna as "rudder and helm" is an apt metaphor given Karna's role in steering the war in Book 8 of the epic, where the good Karna confronts the good Arjuna, one of the climax scenes wherein the Mahabharata authors deploy the allegories of ocean and boat to embed layers of meanings in the poem. For example, his first entry into the Kurukshetra battlefield is presented as the Makara movement; as Duryodhana's army crumbles each day, the sea and vessel metaphor appears in the epic when Karna is mentioned. As a newborn, Karna's life begins in a basket without a rudder on a river, in circumstances that he neither chose nor had a say. In Book 1, again in the context of Karna, Duryodhana remarks, "the origins of heroes and rivers are indeed difficult to understand"; the name Karna is symbolically connected to the central aspect of Karna's character as the one, intensely preoccupied with what others hear and think about him, about his fame, a weakness that others exploit to manipulate him.
This "hearing" and "that, heard", states McGrath makes "Karna" an apt name and subtle reminder of Karna's driving motivation. The story of Karna is told in the Mahābhārata, one of the Sanskrit epics from the Indian subcontinent; the work is written in Classical Sanskrit and is a composite work of revisions and interpolations over many centuries. The oldest parts in the surviving version of the text date to about 400 BCE. Within Mahabharata, which follows the story within a story style of narration, the account of Karna's birth has been narrated four times. Karna appears for the first time in the Mahabharata in the verse 1.1.65 of Adi Parvan where he is mentioned through the metaphor of a tree, as someone, refusing to fight or help in the capture of Krishna. He is presented again in sections 1.2.127–148, chapter 1.57 of the Adi Parvan. It is here that his earrings "that make his face shine", as well as the divine breastplate he was born with, are mentioned for the first time; this sets him apart with gifts no ordinary mortal has.
However in the epic, the generous Karna gives the "earrings and breastplate" away in charity, thereby becomes a mortal and dies in a battle with Arjuna. The story of his young mother getting pregnant due to her curiosity, his divine connection to the Hindu sun god Surya his birth appears for the first time in the epic in section 1.104.7. The epic uses glowing words to describe Karna, but the presentation here is compressed in 21 shlokas unlike the books which expand the details; these sections with more details on Karna's birth and childhood include 3.287, 5.142 and 15.38. According to McGrath, the early presentation of Karna in the Mahabharata is such as if the poets expect the audience to know the story and love the character of Karna; the text does not belabor the details about Karna in the early sections, rather uses metaphors and metonyms to colorfully remind the audience of the fabric of a character they are assumed to be aware of. The complete narrative of his life appears for the first time in chapter 1.125.
The Mahabharata manuscripts exist in numerous versions, wherein the specifics and details of major characters and episodes vary significantly. Except for the sections containing the Bhagavad Gita which i
An avatar, a concept in Hinduism that means "descent", refers to the material appearance or incarnation of a deity on earth. The relative verb to "alight, to make one's appearance" is sometimes used to refer to any guru or revered human being; the word avatar does not appear in the Vedic literature, but appears in verb forms in post-Vedic literature, as a noun in the Puranic literature after the 6th century CE. Despite that, the concept of an avatar is compatible with the content of the Vedic literature like the Upanishads as it is symbolic imagery of the Saguna Brahman concept in the philosophy of Hinduism; the Rigveda describes Indra as endowed with a mysterious power of assuming any form at will. The Bhagavad Gita expounds the doctrine of Avatara but with terms other than avatar. Theologically, the term is most associated with the Hindu god Vishnu, though the idea has been applied to other deities. Varying lists of avatars of Vishnu appear in Hindu scriptures, including the ten Dashavatara of the Garuda Purana and the twenty-two avatars in the Bhagavata Purana, though the latter adds that the incarnations of Vishnu are innumerable.
The avatars of Vishnu are important in Vaishnavism theology. In the goddess-based Shaktism tradition of Hinduism, avatars of the Devi in different appearances such as Tripura Sundari and Kali are found. While avatars of other deities such as Ganesha and Shiva are mentioned in medieval Hindu texts, this is minor and occasional; the incarnation doctrine is one of the important differences between Vaishnavism and Shaivism traditions of Hinduism. Incarnation concepts similar to avatar are found in Buddhism and other religions; the scriptures of Sikhism include the names of numerous Hindu gods and goddesses, but it rejected the doctrine of savior incarnation and endorsed the view of Hindu Bhakti movement saints such as Namdev that formless eternal god is within the human heart and man is his own savior. The Sanskrit noun is derived from the Sanskrit roots ava and tṛ; these roots trace back, states Monier-Williams, to -taritum, -tarati, -rītum. Avatar means "descent, alight, to make one's appearance", refers to the embodiment of the essence of a superhuman being or a deity in another form.
The word implies "to overcome, to remove, to bring down, to cross something". In Hindu traditions, the "crossing or coming down" is symbolism, states Daniel Bassuk, of the divine descent from "eternity into the temporal realm, from unconditioned to the conditioned, from infinitude to finitude". An avatar, states Justin Edwards Abbott, is a saguna embodiment of Atman. Neither the Vedas nor the Principal Upanishads mention the word avatar as a noun; the verb roots and form, such as avatarana, do appear in ancient post-Vedic Hindu texts, but as "action of descending", but not as an incarnated person. The related verb avatarana is, states Paul Hacker, used with double meaning, one as action of the divine descending, another as "laying down the burden of man" suffering from the forces of evil. Mahesh is an avatar of Lord Vishnu; the term is most found in the context of the Hindu god Vishnu. The earliest mention of Vishnu manifested in a human form to empower the good and fight against evil, uses other terms such as the word sambhavāmi in verse 4.6 and the word tanu in verse 9.11 of the Bhagavad Gita, as well as other words such as akriti and rupa elsewhere.
It is in medieval era texts, those composed after the sixth century CE, that the noun version of avatar appears, where it means embodiment of a deity. The idea proliferates thereafter, in the Puranic stories for many deities, with ideas such as ansha-avatar or partial embodiments; the term avatar, in colloquial use, is an epithet or a word of reverence for any extraordinary human being, revered for his or her ideas. In some contexts, the term avatara just means a "landing place, site of sacred pilgrimage", or just "achieve one's goals after effort", or retranslation of a text in another language; the term avatar is not unique to Hinduism. It is found in the Trikaya doctrine of Mahayana Buddhism, in descriptions for the Dalai Lama in Tibetan Buddhism, many ancient cultures; the manifest embodiment is sometimes referred to as an incarnation. The translation of avatar as "incarnation" has been questioned by Christian theologians, who state that an incarnation is in flesh and imperfect, while avatar is mythical and perfect.
The theological concept of Christ as an incarnation, as found in Christology, presents the Christian concept of incarnation. According to Oduyoye and Vroom, this is different from the Hindu concept of avatar because avatars in Hinduism are unreal and is similar to Docetism. Sheth disagrees and states that this claim is an incorrect understanding of the Hindu concept of avatar. Avatars are true embodiments of spiritual perfection, one driven by noble goals, in Hindu traditions such as Vaishnavism; the concept of avatar within Hinduism is most associated with Vishnu, the preserver or sustainer aspect of God within the Hindu Trinity or Trimurti of Brahma and Shiva. Vishnu's avatars descend thereby restoring Dharma. Traditional Hindus see themselves not as Vaishnava, Shaiva, or Shakta; each of the deities has its own iconography and mythology, but common to all is the fact that the divine reality has an explicit form, a form that the worshipper can behold. An oft-quoted passage from the Bhagavad Gita describes the typical role of an avatar of Vishnu: The Vishnu avatars appear in Hindu mythology whenever the cosmos is in