History and philosophy blend in this classic Indian tale of war between rival dynasties, of moral dilemmas and intervening gods. Each warrior must contend with his moral duty, his dharma, and contemplate the effect of his heroic yet violent actions on his karma. Not content to leave these mortals to their own devices, gods both good and evil descend to earth to deliver wisdom, wield influence, and even join the fray.
Composed between 200 BCE and 200 CE, the Mahabharata is the longest Sanskrit epic ever written. William Buck’s goal in this retelling was to “preserve the spirit and flavor of the original.” His approachable version offers the full span of a cosmic confrontation caused not by the external forces typically blamed in Western sagas of conquest, but by violations of moral law.
Through Shared Inquiry discussion we will explore this exotic, action-packed story, one that will remain relevant as long as we struggle to do what is right according to our dharma.
An optional viewing of Peter Brook’s beautiful multi-part retelling in film will also be offered in the afternoons.
“The true battlefield is where no warriors or arrows are needed. It is inside each one of us where each man must fight alone.”