Friends Event: Yudhishthira and Dharma: Understanding the Mahabharata
Shree Birmingham Pragati Mandal,
10 Sampson Road, Sparkbrook, B11 IJL
Talk given by Dr Nick Sutton Ph.D., B.A. (Hons) of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.
In this talk we will consider the different ways in which the Mahabharata explores the subtleties of dharma and exposes the tensions that can appear between the dharma of virtue, the dharma of duty, and the dharma of moksha. Here the character of Yudhishthira is central to Mahabharata's teaching as he is shown to be a man of inherent virtue whose duty forces him to take courses of action that conflict with his highest ideals. And in the Bhagavad Gita we find a detailed consideration of the ways in which dharmic duty is to be accepted even by a person who is pursuing the highest spiritual goal of freedom from rebirth. The Mahabharata is surely one of the greatest works of religious literature ever produced and in this short session we will try to highlight some of the main ideas it seeks to explore and convey.