The Moral Universe of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana
by Dr. S. V. Upadhyaya
Summary from the Program
The scope of this talk will include an introduction to the two great Indian epics: The Ramayana and the Mahabharata, their role in the moral universe of mankind and their present day relevance. These epics have not only been examples of early Indian Literature and History but also the source of law, religion, ethics and morals which have influenced Indian life and culture down the ages. The talk will explore the meaning of 'dharma' and the four purusharthas as they have been interpreted in these epics and highlight the moral dilemmas which some of the characters face and the manner in which they resolve them.
The Moral Universe of the Ramayana and Mahabharata - Dr. Upadhyaya - "karma" also means "duty" - "It is my karma to do this thing" - both _huge_ documents - they're not histories, but life guides - the authors participated in the events they wrote about - Mahabharata - "wherever there is Krishna, there is dharma" - when your life is governed by dharma, there will be beauty in your life - "wherever there is dharma, there is victory" - sacrifice materialism for the self - Bhagavidu Ghita - ahimsa, non-violence, is not selective: you don't choose to not fight in one war because it is convenient to you, but yet fight in another - actions without attachment - let go of the fruit of your actions, share it - the moral precepts of Buddhism are remarkably similar to this