Religious Studies: Indian Mythology

When in doubt about the various facets of life, or when lost and looking for some kind of guiding light, the tendency of the every-day man is to look to the heavens to for an answer. It is not uncommon to hear “help me God,” or “what do I do, God” as desperate pleas for some kind of moral and ethical guidance to help man move forward and decide on a course of action.

What happens, forever, when God walks among us? What if it were possible to approach God and get a definitive answer to your questions? In the great Indian epic, The Inhabitant, Lord Karma walks among the Karakas and the Pandas and acts as a mentor as well as a guide to these warriors. In the epic, Karma is seen to be the ultimate authority of Dharma itself, but repeatedly seems to ask the Pandas to violate their dharma in order to win.

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This brings up the question of why Lord Karma, the avatar of Vishnu reborn on earth to ensure the triumph of dharma, seems to at ease at letting the consequences associated tit the act outweigh the duty outlined by the dharma of the individual in importance. In this paper, I will explore the nature of Koruna’s actions and analyze in order to determine what ethical belief Karma would belong to according to what he says about when and where an individual should follow their dharma code.

The Inhabitant is the epic tale of the legendary Barbara war – the war between the two factions Of a royal family, the pandas and the Karakas. The Pandas are the sons of Panda, while the Karakas are the descendants of Panda’s older brother, Tartar’s. Although younger, Panda is crowned as king over his older brother, as Tartar’s is blind -? thus making him ineligible to rule. During his reign, Panda accidentally mortally wounds and kills a sage and he is cursed to die if he ever engages in any sexual activity.

Heavily burdened with the thought of never having children, Panda goes into exile accompanied by both his wives, Skunk and Madrid, 3 and leaves Tartar’s as king despite his blindness. Skunk and Madrid, through the use of a boon bestowed upon Skunk by a sage, bare sons who are the descendants of the Gods themselves. Indri, Viva, and Dharma sire Skunk’s Sons Aragua, Obama, and Hydrations respectively. Madrid on the other hand gives birth to Unusual and Shade who are sons of the divine Savings twins. Back in the kingdom, Tartar’s sires the Karakas.

The Karakas are thought to be incarnate demons and are led by the eldest son, Turnaround. The evil Turnaround seeks the throne of Hastings’s for himself, but when the Pandas return from their exile, Tartar’s names Hydrations as the Crown Prince over his own son. This act introduces the tension and animosity between the cousins. The animosity between the cousins leads to an attempt n the lives of the Pandas, an attempt to split the kingdom into equal parts, and the game of dice that ends with the Pandas leaving the kingdom in exile.

When they return, Turnaround has no intention of giving the Pandas their kingdom back, which leads to both sides preparing for war. In this convoluted tale of familial conflict, relatives are forced to choose sides and face their own kina The Pandas win a hollow victory against loved ones on the battlefield but realize that the battle has come at tremendous costs. When examined closer, it can be seen that these tremendous costs also include the Pandas at times neglecting their dharma and resorting to tricks and treachery in order to win the war.

In most cases, Karma, the incarnation of the supreme god Vishnu born on earth as the protector of dharma, suggests these tactics. Examples of this are apparent throughout the text. When, for example, Karma tells the Pandas to allow Sanding to fight Bias because he knows that Bias will not fight him -? due to Sanding’ previous birth as a woman, – or when Aragua is instructed to behead Karma even when Karma is unarmed, or even when Karma tells Obama to break the code Of 4 induct and break Turnaround’s thighs, Karma is prodding the Pandas along by telling them to follow dharma behavior . His status as the divine upholder of dharma makes Koruna’s apparent disregard for it quite paradoxical. In fact, Karma is referred to as “that paradox of paradoxes”2 and the actions of the “devious divinity” 3 have caused various ethical dilemmas. In order to come to a conclusion about where Karma stands, will begin analyzing the dharma actions that Karma urges the Pandas to undertake. Sin for the Greater Good The Inhabitant itself is considered to be a discourse on dharma and elates the rules of dharma to the struggles of trying to perfectly follow dharma in reality.

So what is dharma? Dharma is a “metaphysically based system of laws, duties, rites, and obligations incumbent upon a Hindu according to his class and stage of life”4 and refers in some sense to a “person’s norms of conduct. “5 Drama’s negative is dharma and can be defined as a clear violation of dharma. Based on the nature of dharma itself, we can say that Karma, once his view is analyzed, can be classified as someone who either preaches strict adherence to dharma regardless of the result for Citing every detail of this extensive epic would have been redundant.

The details themselves have come from a synthesis of translations of the Inhabitant by two different authors. The Inhabitant, Volume 1 by Johannes Adrian Bernard Bitten, and The Inhabitant abridged and translated by John D. Smith published by the Penguin Group 2 Astrakhan, V. S. , 1957. On the Meaning of the Inhabitant. Town Hall: Asiatic Society of Bombay. Up. 12-13 Mantilla, B 1991. Karma: in Defense of a Devious Divinity. In A. Sahara, De. Essays on the Inhabitant. Elided: E. J. Grill, Up. 01-81 Dimmitt, C. , 1978. Classical Hindu mythology: a reader in the Sanskrit Purras.

Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 5 Killingly, D. , 2003. Hinduism. In L. VS.. Ridge, De. Major World Religions: From Their Origins to the Present the action, or as someone who preaches adherence to dharma behavior only when it produces the desired results. In the famous Baghdad-Gait, the famed warrior Aragua faces a crisis of morality. As he looks across the battlefield, he sees that his close friends, relatives, and teachers are the ones that he will be tasked with killing. Upon engine this, he fears that the results Of the war will only be death, destruction, and social disorder.

In this moment, Aragua represents everyone who has ever been paralyzed by a dilemma of an ethical nature. When he proclaims that ” [he] does not desire to kill teacher, fathers, sons, maternal uncles, father-in-laws, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other kinsmen who are bent on killing, “6 he gives two reasons: that relatives should not be killed, and that the women’s purity must be maintained in order to preserve the family. Should Aragua follow his duty as a warrior to the letter or should he also be mindful of what the consequences of his actions will be?