Dr. Shrinivasa Varakhedi - Stories of Curses and Boons: The Base for the Big Story ‘The Mahābhārata

Dr. Varakhedi began by explaining the vastness of thought and concept of the Mahābhārata. He explained that the story of Mahābhārata is the story of humanity and therefore explained that it is more than history because it comprises of reflections of human psychology. Dr. Varakhedi, then gave a brief account of the conception of Itihāsa and explained various dimensions that it encompasses.

Dr. Varakhedi then began to explain his exposition of the stories of curses and boons. He explained that a close understanding of Mahābhārata shows that the narrative is knitted on certain turning points. He explained that an analysis of these turning points, the knots, tells us that these are the curses and the boons. Dr. Varakhedi explained on the same with few references from the Mahābhārata.

Dr. Varakhedi then explained that Curses and Boons are in the forms of words (as they are statements that must not only be thought but asserted), second aspect of curses and boons are that they are desires (either to punish or to reward someone), and the third aspect is the power. Power he explained was in the sense of authority. A statement asserted by an authoritative person will have more powerful as compared to a person who does not have any authority. Dr. Varakhedi, therefore through these three aspects explained that curses and boons are statement which arise because of certain desire and has impact only when asserted by a powerful authority.

Dr. Varakhedi then explained few stories of curses and boons to explain how they act as an turning point in the narrative and thus helps to form a single narrative of a big story.

Towards the ends of his lecture, Dr. Varakhedi, explained through few references that Curses and boons stands for the future, it creates future. It is not just blaming/bad-mouthing or blessings/rewards that arise from the curses and boons; rather they are those powerful statements that create the future. These creating and not indicating factor is very much required because they are the balancing factor. While explaining on this notion of balance, Dr. Varakhedi, explained that this balancing factors shows the glimpses of Yoga. This balancing factor is important for the societal order-Dharma. To maintain this Dharma it is important to have some punishments and some rewards. Dr. Varakhedi, concluded his lecture by explicating few more points on the relevance and significance of curses and boons.

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