Monday, September 22, 2014

Viewing Guide. Peter Brook's Mahabharata 5. The Search for Arms

Peter Brook's Mahabharata 5. The Search for Arms

2 hour, 5 minute mark: Kunti and Gandhari

LINK. Kunti urges Gandhari to uncover her eyes. She says Duryodhana is hunting her sons; Gandhari defends Duryodhana, and she will not take off her veil. Kunti threatens to tear off the veil. Gandhari asks Kunti to help keep Duryodhana alive.

2 hour, 7 minute mark: Duryodhana's Visions

LINK. Karna and Duryodhana discuss Arjuna's expedition north. Duryodhana uses supernatural powers to see exactly where Arjuna is.

2 hour, 9 minute mark: Arjuna and the Kirata (Hunter)

LINK. Arjuna has shot a boar. Another hunter challenges him. They argue, and then they fight. The hunter catches each arrow that Arjuna shoots at him. He even catches on arrow in his teeth and spits it out. The hunter then attacks Arjuna and overpowers him. The hunter then appears as Shiva and Arjuna worships him, as do Duryodhana, Karna, and Duhshasana who are watching. Arjuna asks Shiva for the Pashupata weapon. Shiva warns him of the dangers of this awesome weapon, but Arjuna insists, and Shiva gives him the weapon.

LINK. Duhshasana is terrified; Karna says Arjuna will never use it. Arjuna disagrees and disputes with Karna. Arjuna explains how he ascended to the heavens and there gained the knowledge he needs to wield the weapon: "I arrived at Amaravati where Indra, my father, lives. He took me on his knee, yes, Karna, he caressed me with his hand, a hand burnt black with tracks of thunder. And for five years wit hhim, I deepened my understanding of the use of this weapon."

LINK. Duryodhana urges Karna to seek a Pashupata weapon.

2 hour, 16 minute mark: Arjuna and Urvashi

LINK. The beautiful Urvashi comes to Arjuna in the mountains. She offers herself to Arjuna, but he refuses her. She is outraged at his rejection and curses him: "Remember my words: because you have insulted a woman who came to love you, you will live like a woman, you too, amongst women. You will be despised and you will be deprived of your virility."

2 hour, 19 minute mark: Karna and Parashurama

LINK. Karna serves Parashurama, and he offers him a reward. Karna asks for Pashupata. Now Parashurama suspects that Karna is a warrior, a kshatriya. Karna says he is not a kshatriya; he is only a driver's son. Parashurama shows Karna the formula, and he must learn it by heart. Then Parashurama goes to sleep, resting on Karna's lap. While Parashurama is sleeping, a worm bores a hole into Karna's thigh, but he does not cry out. When Parashurama awakes and finds out what has happened, he realizes that "only a kshatriya could display such idiotic courage." He then curses Karna: "The secret will slip from your memory. You will forget it entirely. And that will be the moment of your death."

2 hour, 23 minute mark: The Voice in the Lake

LINK. A voice from the lake warns Nakula and Sahadeva not to drink before they answer his questions, but they do, and they die. Arjuna also hears the voice, and he drinks and dies. Bhima likewise hears the voice, and he drinks and dies. Yudhishthira finds all four of his brothers dead. When he hears the voice, he agrees to answer the questions. The voice poses a series of riddles, and Yudhishthira answers all of them. What is quicker than the wind? Thought. What can cover the earth? Darkness. Who are more numerous, the living or the dead? The living, because the dead are no longer. What is the greatest marvel? Each day, death strikes and we live as though we were immortal. The voice reveals that he is Dharma, Yudhishthira's divine father, and he brings the dead brothers back to life. He grants Yudhishthira a boon. Yudhishthira explains that they must spend a thirteenth year in disguise; he asks what disguise they should choose. Dharma says: "Choose the disguise of your most secret desires." They drink.

LINK. The boy asks Vyasa why he is composing this poem. Vyasa says: "To engrave dharma in the hearts of men." Krishna joins them, and then Ganesha also appears again, and they proceed together to the court of King Virata, where the Pandavas are hiding.

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