Friday, January 22, 2010

Mahabharat: Episode 19 to 24

Episode 19: Vyas takes Satyavati, Ambika and Ambalika to Tapovan (forest). Before leaving, Satyavati tells Dhritarashtra to look after the Pandava children. The Kaurava and the Pandava children grow up together. They are educated under Kripacharya. Shakuni instigates Duryodhan against the Pandavas and rivalry develops between the Kauravas and Pandavas.

Episode 20: Adirath is released from the duties as blind-King Dhritarashtra's assistant. Sanjay takes over from Adirath as Dhritarashtra's assistant. Rivalry between Duryodhan and Bheem develops. Duryodhan plots to poison Bheem. After poisoning Bheem he throws him out in River Ganga. Bheem survives the attempt to kill him and he is returned safely to Kunti and his brothers.

Episode 21: Kunti forbids Bheem from saying anything about Duryodhan's attempt to kill him. Vidur suspects something is behind Bheem's silence. He goes to see Bheeshma to discuss his concerns. Bheeshma is worried about the development, but is helpless as he had vowed to protect the throne of Hastinapur and he cannot take sides. Duryodhan and Shakuni continue to plot against Bheem. Dhritarashtra is concerned about the development in Hastinapur but Gandhari is a sobering influence on him. Meanwhile, in Mathura at the Sandespani Gurukul Shri Krishna and Sudama become bosom friends. Also, in the episode Dronacharya (Drona) is introduced as one of the teachers of Kuru princes.

Episode 22: Dronacharya trains the Kaurva princes in the art of archery and other military skills. Arjun gets poised by his teachers, Duryodhan is often advised to control his arrogance. Shakuni rebukes his sister Gandhari for not seeing through all the plots of the Pandavas.

Episode 23: Drona trains the Kuru princes in the art of 'Gada Yudh' (Mace fighting). Bheem and Duryodhan specialize in it and exhibit their skills. Drona is specially delighted by Arjun's prowess and he loves him even more than his own son, Ashwathama. Drona informs Bheeshma that the education of Kuru princes is complete. They agree to hold a tournament to test the war-skills of the princes.

Episode 24: A special stadium is built to exhibit the feats of the Kuru princes in front of spectators. Members of the royal household are invited. Dressed in pure white, lending dignity and grace to his personality, Drona enters the stadium. His son Ashwathama accompanies him. The Kuru princes enter one by one in the arena, led by Yudhushtra - the eldest prince. The princes perform amazing feats with their bows, arrows, swords and javelins. There follows fight with maces between Duryodhan and Bheem. Drona asks Ashwathama to bring the duel to a close, when it gets too spirited. He then asks Arjun to perform his feats. A deafening cheer welcomes Arjun to the stage, and the blind King Dhritrashtra

Mahabharat: Episode 13 to 18

Episode 13: Childhood of Shri Krishna, the Supreme Being, and Narayan. While Yashoda happily reared Shri Krishna in Nandgaon his real mother Devki, and his father Vasudev spent days inside the prison in Mathura. Krishna regaled the entire Nandgaon with his divine sports.

Episode 14: Krishna's divine sports make him the darling of his friends. To everyone's amazement he killed Kalia the Serpent King who lived in the river Yamuna, while retrieving the ball of his friend Sridham from the bottom of the river.

Episode 15: Krishna grows up to an 11-year-old boy. Now he has given up stealing butter; instead he steals the hearts of the young "Gopinis". Radha is one such "Gopini" who has lost her heart to him. Two songs illustrate this beautiful relationship. Also, Krishna encourages the habitants of Nandgaon to stop sending butter, as a levy, to Kans, the ruler of Mathura. Kans feels slighted that someone has defied him.

Episode 16: Kans tries to subdue Krishna. He commands two demons to destroy Nandgaon. However, Krishna and Balram, annihilate the evil demons. The episode also covers two major portions of divine sports - one, saving of Nandgaon by lifting the Goverdhan Mountain and the other, "Maharass" in which Shri Krishna creates the illusion among the dancing Gopis, each one of whom thinks that he is dancing with her and her alone. Meanwhile, Kans tricks Vasudev's friend Akrur into inviting to Mathura with the intention of killing him

Episode 17: Krishna departs from Nandgaon for Mathura. The residents of Mathura have heard of his divine sports and they pay obeisance to him as an "Avatar" (incarnation of God). Eventually Krishna faces his uncle, Kans. The cruel ruler had planned to slay Krishna but he meets his own death at the hands of Shri Krishna. Before killing him, Krishna reveals to him his 'Viraat Roop' (Deity Incarnate in its full form).

Episode 18: Shri Krishna releases King Ugrasen and his parents Devki and Vasudev who had been imprisoned by Kans. People of Mathura rejoice and celebrate the coronation of King Ugrasen. Krishna goes to Sandeepani Gurukul for his education. In Nandgaon, Yashoda is upset learn that Shri Krishna had stayed back in Mathura and probably would never return. The Pandava children, Yudhishtra, Bheem, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev grow up and receive their education in the Forrest. Pandu dies in the forest and Kunti returns to Hastinapur with her children.

Mahabharat: Episode 7 to 12

Episode 7: Dhritarastra and Pandu are married to Gandhari and Kunti. As Dhritrashtra was blind, Gandhari binds up her eyes with a piece of silk, refusing to see the world. Kunti was the daughter of the King of Yadavas and thus the sister of Vasudeva, father of Lord Krishna.

Episode 8: Pandu establishes the supremacy of the Kuru House. During his campaigns he takes another wife, Madri. After the campaigns, Pandu goes to the forest for relaxation with his two queens Kunti and Madri.

Episode 9: While hunting, Pandu accidentally kills a Sage. To do penance Pandu decides to spend his life in exile and entrusts his Kingdom to Dhritarastra. In time five children - Yudhishtra, Bheem, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadeva, are born to Kunti and Madri. Dhritarastra had a hundred sons from Gandhari, the eldest being Duryodhana.

Episode 10: In Mathura, King Kans dethrones his father and takes over the Kingdom. He arranges his sister Devki's marriage with his influential friend Vasudev. But when a Sage predicts that her eighth son will be responsible for Kans' death, he imprisons Devki and Vasudev.

Episode 11: Kans personally kills Devki's first six children born in the prison. Devki's seventh "pregnancy" is taken over by Vasudev's second wife who gives birth to Balram. And when the eighth child, Krishna is born, miraculously the prison doors open and Vasudev is able to smuggle out the child and leave him in Gokul with his friend Nand.

Episode 12: Unusual celebrations in Gokul make Kans auspicious that Devki's eighth child must be there. Pootna is sent there as a toy seller to kill all the children born in Gokul. When she tries to kill Krishna, she herself is killed. Meanwhile all the people of Gokul, including Krishna's foster parents, shift to Nandgaon.

Mahabharat: Episode 1 to 6

Episode 1: King Bharat sows the seed of democratic thinking by appointing a commoner as his successor. Many generations later, King Shantanu risks the tradition when he marries Ganga and promising never to question her for anything she does.

Episode 2: Bound by his promise, Shantanu does not question Ganga as she sacrifices seven sons. When he protests at the birth of their eighth son, Ganga leaves him. Years later the son is returned, trained and educated as Prince Devarata.

Episode 3: Devarata is crowned as Yuvraj, heir apparent. But, to enable the marriage of his father to a village girl, Devarata renounces his rights to the throne and also vows never to marry. Gods shower blessings and Devrata is renamed as Bhishma.

Episode 4: Bhishma (Devarata) defends his sacrifice and carries out his duties to look after all the affairs of the State. King Shantanu dies in grief and guilt towards Bhishma.

Episode 5: Shantanu's son Vichitraviya ascends the throne. Bhishma arranges the marriage of Ambika and Ambalika, the daughters of a neighboring king, to King Vichitravirya. However, Vichitraviya dies young and without any offspring.

Episode 6: Threatened with extinction, Queen mother Satyavati, calls on Ambalika and Ambika to marry Vyasa. Ambalika gives birth the Dhritarastra who is born blind. Ambika gives birth to Pandu who is born anemic and weak. Bhishma is forced to look after this generation too.