THE GURUS OF THE ABADHUTA

The great abadhuta (“ascetic”) told the celebrated king Yadu that he had twenty-four gurus (“preceptors”). They were not all humans; among them were natural objects such as the ocean, the sky and the tree, non-human animates such as the bees, the python, and a certain dove, and then the humans – ordinary humans, not great …

THE STORY OF PINGALA

(Note: This, and the following piece, namely, “The Gurus of the Abadhuta” are not from Sarala's Mahabharata, but the sixteenth century Oriya poet Jagannatha Das’s Bhagabata (better known in a slightly different spelling: Bhagavata).The story of Pingala in Jagannatha Das’s Bhagabata, written in Oriya in the sixteenth century, is a little different from the original …

THE STORY OF MADRI

In Saaralaa Mahaabhaarata, Madri was the daughter of Bhagavana, who was the king of Jyotisapura. Her mother was really a celestial being, an apsara, who had taken birth as a human after being cursed by god Indra for some misdemeanor that Sarala does not care to mention. Apsaras are known for their exceptional beauty, and …

SATYAVATI

In Saaralaa Mahaabhaarata Satyavati entered the narrative as unobtrusively as she disappeared from it. She was a princess who was destined to ferry people across the river Ganga. For free – how could a princess collect money from ordinary people as payment for a job done?Later Satyavati told her story to the Kaurava queens Ambika …