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On MODIfying, Developing and Changing INDIA

There was a country, a country of spirited and adept men, finding itself in the path of recovery from the heavy blows of imperialistic pas...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Heroes emerge everyday...Superstars rise every week....Legends appear every month...Greats are found every year.Whether all those who emerge,rise,appear,found are really worth being a hero,superstar, legend, great is the kind of question  that should not be asked.These days anyone who taste success is given a title and are made celebrities overnight.Like instant coffee instant celebrities have become so common.Branding has never been so worse as it is today...Seeing this naturally you tend to ask,"Who is a real hero or a superstar and what it takes to be one".It also makes us ask what exactly is the difference between all these terms like celebrity,hero, superstar etc(If being exceptional is the only common criteria then why do we have lot of terms?).With these confusions it is mighty hard for someone to identify real heroes and genuine superstars hidden in the star packed celebrity world.When these questions surfaced I thought for a while and the outcome is this post...

Many think that history is just a chronicle or a record of  past events.But its not, it is a collective knowledge gained through experiences of various individuals, communities, cultures and countries.History is tantamount to a reference manual laced with examples and illustrations which can act as one's guide during the times of adversities and dilemma .It cautions us about the pits and falls along the journey and prevents us from repeating the same mistakes again.On those lines I looked up the history(as usual) and found couple of interesting characters from the Indian Epics that can answer the above questions.

The first of the character that I found interesting and proved relevant to the topic was Karna from Mahabharata.His has been a controversial character always(Even in the times he lived).If there is anyone in Mahabharata who had credentials to be the most  crucial personality next to Krishna then Karna must be qualifying purely on merits.He was a skilled archer,a wonderful human being known for his generosity towards the poor,needy and a person who exemplified loyalty.Even his decision to support Duryodhana is admired by many as that is based on the principles of loyalty,gratitude and the quality of valuing friendship more than anything.Even Krishna who was on Pandavas side acknowledges the fact that Karna was the best on any day,comparing anyone in two instances as follows.
**Once Krishna praises Karna in the Krukshetra battlefield and Arjuna questions that, for which krishna answers as follows.Krishna reminds Arjuna that, by having Krishna as his charioteer, Arjuna's chariot contains the whole weight of the universe and yet Karna is still able to rock it by the force of his arrows. When the battle is ended and multiple levels of divine protection are removed from Arjuna's chariot, it explodes into dust through the blows it has received. Arjuna realizes his mistake and praises Karna as well.**

Such is the mastery of Karna over archery in the times when Arjuna was called the ace archer.But for Lord Krishna's protection and Karna's promise to Kunti before the war, Karna has all odds in his favor to defeat the "Ace Archer" Arjuna.Not only  in warfare and skills but also as a person Karna was the best.Again Lord Krishna himself testifies that in another occasion.
Once during a conversation Krishna was saying that Karna is the best when it comes to helping the poor and his generosity is unmatched.He said that Karna is a soul who do not know something called denial and have not heard or uttered the word "No".Upon hearing this pandavas got infuriated and asked, "When our eldest brother has a name "Dharma" which means a person who is righteous and who is known for charity how can it be that Karna is the best in giving charity?.
Krishna thought for a moment and said that he will prove it to them by a competition.He said that,
"There is a challenge in this.If you are ready to take that up,I can prove What I said".Pandavas agreed. Krishna with his divine power created two mountains made up of gold and diamonds respectively.He placed a condition to pandavas that they must donate all gold and diamond  before the sunset.Pandavas accepted the challenge.
They started digging gold and diamond from the mountain and started giving to poor.Few hours passed half of the people in city have received gold and diamond but yet the mountains never seemed to decrease in size.On the contrary it grew more big.Pandavas did not give up.They distributed gold,silver to the entire city and even to the near by cities but the much the mountain was carved the more it grew in size.
Some more hours passed.The sun traversed to the west and was making arrangements to disappear down the horizon.Pandavas realized that its not possible and gave up.They accepted their defeat to Krishna.
Then Krishna asked someone to bring Karna from his palace.Karna came. Krishna greeted him and told him that he has a challenge for him. Karna said he was ready.Krishna placed his conditions about donating the entire mount gold and diamond before sunset.Karna  readily accepted.
The sun was about to go down.Pandavas were convinced that it is impossible and got ready to see Karna's defeat.Karna went and had a look at the enormous mountains.He called couple of beggars who were standing in the street side.He told them,"Hey,You take the gold mountain and you take the diamond mountain".After that he simply walked away. The challenge was met.Pandavas were shocked and were awestruck by Karna's generosity.
Krishna cleared his throat.Pandavas lowered their heads.Krishna told,"See,I did not mean to belittle you.What Dharma doing is great and he rightly deserves the name given to him.But Karna is a noble soul and giving to others is in his blood.Its not a sin to be not like Karna,you all did what a normal human being will do.But he is a class apart.He did not weigh the status of people who got charity from him and the donation was never on what they deserve.When he gives he gives everything without a measure.He did not think the man who gets mountains of gold and diamond will become richer than him.That is what makes him great.".Pandavas accepted the fact and said Krishna was right.

Such was his greatness.Even though he was tormented with remarks for not knowing his origin and people's remark that he could not be a archer as he is not a Kshatriya he maintained his composure. He forgives Kunti and treats her well even after all these sufferings meted out to him because of Kunti's decision to abandon him when he was a child.And that is the beauty of this character. He has been a complete human being and a true noble soul setting example in friendship, in being a good son,a great benefactor,someone who forgives any sin and a skilled archer notches above but yet he is not recognized as much as he has to be.

The second of the characters that I am taking up for this analysis is Urmila from the Epic Ramayana. Unlike Karna this character needs a big introduction as she is one of the most underrated and unfamiliar characters. Karna's case in a way was better where he was only denied approval but he was fairly recognized by  all.But Urmila has not even that on her side even though she has every right to be easily one of the noblest character in Ramayana.Let me give a fitting introduction and proceed.Urmila,who is considered a great painter, is the younger sister of Sita.She was married to Lakshmana.Urmila being Sita's sister carries that same legacy of being a completely devoted and dedicated woman to her husband.

The world knows and appreciates Sita's virtues,her values,her sacrifices and her sufferings.But less has been spoken about Urmila's which were worth admiring as much as sita's traits.The line of selfless sacrifices start from Rama's exile.When Rama was asked to go into exile sita says she will accompany him.Sita says,"To me Ayodhya is the place where Rama is".She makes her own choice. Lakshmana also decides to accompany Rama and  goes to his wife to inform this.Urmila is painting the picture of crowning ceremony of Rama when Lakshmana arrives.Out of excitement Lakshmana calls her name loudly and Urmila spills the colors over the painting.The painting gets spoiled. Even then she did not loose temper.

Then Lakshmana says his decision.Here he is not asking her opinion but simply informs the news without leaving her a choice.Even then she rejoices and says that he has done the right thing and the service to Rama and Sita is very important.She doesn't get upset that her husband has taken a decision with out her consent which is going to affect her for the next 14 years.More importantly she never shed a drop of tear which women drops in liters in these kind of situations.(A woman without tears?..Something wrong with the design of this woman ..Some manufacturing defect? :P).Not stopping with all this,She extracts a promise from Mr.Lax that he should not think about her during exile which will hamper the service that he is supposed to do to Rama.(I know its too much of stuff..But see there was really such a human being more importantly a woman alive long back.. :P).
Continue reading the rest here @  Part-2 :Who is the hero?

**Content from Wikipedia.org


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