Prof. S.R. Bhatt - Mahābhārata: An Epic on Social and Political Well-Being

Known for his encyclopedic knowledge, Prof. S. R. Bhatt inaugurated our webinar series on the Mahābhārata. He began with an emphasis on reflection regarding times of crisis. Attributing works of literature to be the most significant form of human manifestations, he introduced us to the epistemic richness of "Classics", gradually moving towards the Mahābhārata.

In an attempt to summarise its all-inclusive nature, Prof Bhatt quoted an age-old saying about the epic - "Whatever is present in the Mahābhārata is also present elsewhere, but what is not present in the Mahābhārata is not at all present elsewhere”. Using the concept of "Dharma" as his anchor, he navigated through the Parvas, to illustrate the principle. Classifications were summarised and social cohesion idealized. He asked us to nullify the dichotomies that pervade our readings of the Mahābhārata, recognising the interconnectivity of the cosmos. He concluded the lecture by asserting that if there are deviations or distortions from the virtues it must be rectified through proper education.

The key takeaway from the lecture would be his word of advice to the listeners. Prof. Bhatt asked students, scholars, lecturers to read, reread, and critically assess the Mahabharata - to not only decode its layers of meaning but to discover an alternate narrative. A narrative that would help solve modern conundrums. And with every revisit, every generation would find answers for their own times.

To listen to the entire lecture, please visit our YouTube Channel!

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