Telugu Folk Additions to Maha Bharatha
Dr. 7′. V. SUBBA RAO Bangalore University
After the great war of RiIaha Bharatha, Vyasa composed a heroic ballad in eight thousand and eight hundred verses by name ‘ Jayam’ (the victory).
Later it was developed by his disciples into ‘ Bharatha ‘ (one lakh verses) and afterwards into ‘ Maha Bharatha ‘ consisting of 125,000 ‘ Slokas ‘. Vyasa’s disciples, during their recitations to the common folk, added many ‘ Slokas ‘ and ‘ Upakhyanas ‘ in order to make the view point of their teacher clear to the illiterate audience. Thus this great epic reached the village folk throughout India and became popular. While finding out reasons for happenings, which is the principal characteristic of the folk, they have added some more tales and incidents to Maha Bharatha. These folk additions are very interesting. They reveal the psychology of the folk and to some extent fill up the gaps created by Vyasa. T h e poets in the regional languages followed some of these folk additions in their translations of Vyasa Bharatha. Harikathakas (scholarly musicians who individually tell devotional tales by singing and dancing with the accompaniments of ‘ violin ‘ and ‘ mridangam ‘) and Burrakathakas (minstrels who sing heroic ballads in groups of three playing folk instruments) popularised these folk additions in Andhra Pradesh. I am going to narrate a few popular ‘I’elugu folk additions to Maha Bharatha: I. Intelligence and Irnmortality of Sri Krishna:
Maha Is A Remarkable Young Girl War has always been a consistent part of human history, which is like a bowl of boiling water with unbearable temperature that challenges the innocent civilians going into it. People are like either carrots or eggs, some are softened and become weak, others strengthen and fulfill themselves against the changes. Maha, a 12-year-old character in The Road To Chlifa by ...
T h e folk created a peculiar story which gives the reason for the tremendous intelligence and immortality of Sri Krishna. Pandu Raja, when he was on his death bed, ordered his sons not to burn his body but to eat it away so that they would become immortal, intelligent and be able to know the future. As soon as he died Krishna arrived on the scene
T. V. S U B B A R A O
and stopped the Pandavas from eating the dead body. EIe ridiculed the horrible act of eating one’s own father’s corpse and sent them away. ‘I’lic Pandavas left the place keeping Sahadeva near the corpse. Then Icrishna entered the dead body without the notice of Sahadeva and began eating it slowly. Meanwhile, Sahadeva was tempted and ate the little finger of the corpse. At once he could know the mischief of Sri Krishna and warned him. By that time, Krishna from within could eat all the parts of the body except the toe of the leg. He came out and cursed Sahadeva like this: ” If you reveal my act to anybody, your head will break into thousand pieces! “. T h u s Krishna became immortal and shrewdly intelligent knowing all the past, future and present. As he had no time to eat the toe, an ordinary hunter could kill him by piercing an arrow into his toe. Among all the Pandavas, Sahadeva was intelligent because he ate the little finger of the corpse.
11. The story of Sakuni:
Sakuni was the maternal uncle of Duryodhana. He was mainly responsible for the downfall of Duryodhana. Why did this maternal uncle spoil his own nephew by giving deadly advices? There is no reply in Vyasa Bharatha. The folk created a story as an answer to this question : Duryodhana in his childhood, used to ridicule the Pandavas as ‘ Kundas ‘ (=children born to a woman through others while her husband is alive).
Bhima, after knowing the secret of Kauravas, retorted Duryodhana as ‘ Gojaka ‘ (=child born to a widowed woman through another person).
Duryodhana, who is fanlous for sensibility, questioned Vyasa how he could become a Gojaka. Then Vyasa told him the story of the marriage of Gandhari: Astrologers predicted that young Gandhari would become a widow immediately after her marriage. So, in order to remove that bad fate, she was married to a ram first. After killing that ram, she was given to Dhritarashtra in marriage. Thus the Kauravas became Gojakas. After knowing his birth secret, Duryodhana got wild for the act done by Gandhara Raja, his maternal grandfather, and invaded his Kingdom. He captured his grandfather along with his hundred sons and imprisoned them in an underground dungeon. He gave them a fistful of rice daily. Sakuni, the youngest son of Gandhara Raja, was very clever. So all his brothers asked him to remain alive by eating that meagre food and take revenge on Duryodhana. Gandhara Raja, just before his death, advised his youngest son to prepare dice from his bones.
This chapter shows us how this anguished family is trying to find innumerable solutions to move a step forward and get out of the poverty and the hunger that surrounds them Chapter 3: Unwillingly and reluctantly, Lila found her mother has got high fever. The younger girls ran to the house next door to ask their neighbour Hira-bhai if she could help their mother but instead she sent them the magic ...
T E L U G U FOLK ADDITIONS T O IVIAHA BHARATHA
They would be very powerful and Sakuni could play with them according to his will. Sakuni did as he was ordered by his father. After one year, Duryodhana checked up the dreadful prison. I-Iis grandfather and all his uncles except Sakuni were dead. Ile pardoned his youngest uncle and took him to his ministry. Slowly and cleverly, Sakuni brought out the ruin of Duryodhana and his entire family. Gambling is the chief motif in Maha Bharatha. Sakuni played a key role in this gambling. Ne depended upon his dice. In other words, dice are the main motif for the war of I