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A Study On Female Archetypal Characters In Mahabharata



A Dissertation Submitted By N. Lalitha

Under the guidance of Prof.N.V.C.Swamy

Abstract: Indian mythology abounds in female personalities who have become household words.They range from the Upanishadic literature right down to Puranas. This report focuses on some of these outstanding women from the great epic Mahabharata.

The following personalities were chosen for the study:

  1. Gandhara

  2. Sukanya

  3. Draupada

  4. Savitra

  5. Madra

  6. Kunta

These women represent certain outstanding characteristics which have fascinated Indians for several millennia. Oflate they have also attracted the attention of Western scholars.

This report is an attempt to analyze their lives briefly so that one can not only appreciate their courage but also learn lessons from them.

socanta jamayo yatra vinasyatyasu tatkulam|
na socanta tu yatraita vardhate taddhi sarvada||

"Where the women lives in grief, the whole family perishes soon; but that family where they are not unhappy prospers ever".

- MANUSMRTI 3.57


Summary & Conclusion: The characters in this epic move with vitality of real life. They are immortal figures as they had faced similar distress what we face in this present modern time with enormous courage and determination. The courage and the observance of their principles in them has to be appreciated. But if we portray them to be divine characters, it is hard to welcome the positive faculties in them. To accept them as they are, and know how human they are, will make them closer. Thus, we could imbibe the qualities as they are sensible and realistic. It is always wise to learn from others' mistakes than learning from one's own.

This report has made an attempt to bring out this aspect of approaching the epic characters. Important female characters of Mahabharata are chosen and studied carefully. This report discusses the mind and spirit of the characters who care for the good, who saw more of the mystery of life than we can do. As mythology is necessary to keep up the culture of a nation, the holy figures mentioned in it have to be understood properly. It should not be a mere belief system, through which the tradition has to grow, but through clarified understanding.

 
 
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Abstract
Summary & Conclusion

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