ANDHA YUG, HINDI, NOVEL, DHARAMVIR BHARTI. IdentifierAndhaYug-Hindi. Identifier-arkark://t4gn3d81z. OcrABBYY FineReader. Andha Yug was written originally in Hindi by Dharamvir Bharati, a legendary . the deep darkness that accompanies it are the central issue in Andha Yug. Andha Yug - Dharamvir Bharati, PDF, free Hindi books.
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24 मार्च Andha Yug Hindi book comprises of the events from the 18th day of Mahabharta to the day when Lord Krishna took his last breath. Here are the. You are about to download Andha Yug by Dharamvir Bharati hindi book pdf for free – Don't forget to like us on facebook & share with your friends to keep us. ANDHA YUG - HINDI - DHARAMVIR BHARTI. IdentifierAndhaYug-Hindi- DharamvirBharti. Identifier-arkark://t78s9k Ocrlanguage not.
It was pub- lished in Enact, no. For Bubers letters to Gandhi see Pointing the Way, trans. The English translations from the play, here and elsewhere, are mine. The idea is taken from Simone Weils Waiting for God, trans. I use this word lest we forget the play was written soon after the genocidal days of the Partition, when we had abused Gandhi. Literally, satya means truth and agraha means firmness. Gandhi used the term satyagraha in his campaign of nonviolent resistance in India and South Africa, translating it as truth-force.
Defending the Sacred xxi Yet, throughout the play, as indeed in the Mahabharata, whenever we fear that life is now so accursed that we shall never again see the ordinary world, the Kauravas are given another chance to acknowledge their com- plicity in evil and turn towards the ethical. Indeed, just as in the Maha - bharata, the Bhagavad Gita lies at the heart of the story I am not concerned about whether it is an interpolation in Andha Yug.
Krishnas presence, sud- denly and unexpectedly, breaks into the narrative of painthe soft sounds of a flute drift across the battlefield, a peacock feather floats down the ram- parts, as if to remind the Kauravas that the sensuous world they, like all human beings, had once longed for still lies just outside the present circle of suffering and needs the grace of justice and truth. And then, as Gandhari, in her utter mistakenness, curses him for having caused the war, Krishna, like a calm satyagrahi, 8 accepts the curse in the hope of bringing the cycle of vio- lence and revenge to an end.
It is terrible to watch her remorse as she real- izes the enormity of her fault. She suddenly understands that she has lost the last of the honorable choices it was still possible for the Kauravas to make, and that, henceforth, she can expect no mercy for herself or her clan.
That Krishna, given the chronologies of violence that follow the Maha - bharata war, fails to ensure peace is not the fault of the good that he repre- sents, or of the compassionate forms of life he pleads for. In Bharatis play, Krishna is the man of justice and truth we can all become. He is the advo- cate of all created things and their finest embodiment. That is why he is at the center of the play and his abiding presence frames each act of the narrative, during which the surviving Kauravas repeatedly refuse to acknowledge his right- eousness and so slide further into moral and spiritual desolation.
It is this aspect of Krishnas presence, which so clearly informs the thematic, the poetic, and the structural patterns of the original Hindi play, that is either distorted or ignored in the other English translations. Andha Yug is a tragedy that happens because the Kauravas, in their greed, stupidity, and blindness, so disfigure and deny Krishna as to blot out from their social and political vision every possibility of creating cities of virtue and hope.
The previous English translations, on the other hand, make the anguish of Ashwatthama and the sorrow of Gandhari the primary concern of the play.
We are so overwhelmed by the knowledge of their suffering that we sympathize with them as victims of forces beyond their control and under- standing. Krishna, thus, emerges as a capricious and manipulative god who kills us for his sporta sentiment that may appeal to our present nausea with everything ethical or sacred, but is surely contrary to Dharamvir Bharatis intention, and, perhaps, not altogether encouraging for those who still dream of making good civil societies.
In my translation, I have tried to restore the sacred and the ethical back to the text. I want to ensure that my English translation does not become xxii Bhalla vulnerable to existentialist anxieties, but retains the plays essential tension between the nightmare of self-enchantment, which the story of the Kauravas represents, and the ever-present possibility of finding an opening out of tamas into a redemptive ethicality.
My English translation, I hope, shall clearly mark out the fact that the stories of Gandhari and Ashwatthama are nearly always, and in every act, not only countered by different levels of eth- ical awareness, but are also framed by two different kinds of choric voices. I should like to call the first frame, with which the play actually opens and which is sung as we watch dispirited soldiers drag themselves off the battle- field, the chorus of sacred rememorialization.
This choric beginning is made out of fragments taken from Book iv, Chapter xxiv, of the Vishnu Purana and is meant to be sung in Sanskrit. It asserts that the sacred, which had once manifested itself in the ordinary and the profane world, can always reveal itself in historical time againthat even a battlefield can be the site of hierophany.
It should, I think, be possible to convey the sonority of the Puranic song to the English reader by having the English translation follow each separate phrase or shloka in Sanskrit.
I should like to call the second chorus that frames the main narrative the chorus of ethical lament. This chorus does two things. It provides a link between the different episodes of the story, and at the same time, it voices its moral dismay over the fact that the characters, in their perversity of self- hood, refuse to pay heed to the song of the sacred just heard, and slide fur- ther and further towards the blank silence of nonbeing and nothingness, towards Andha Yug.
These frames of sacrality and ethicality, however, ensure that, despite human folly, life shall always be granted a ground of mercy below which it will never fall. We are, I think, supposed to remember this even as we watch the story of Gandharis curse and Ashwatthamas damnation come to an end with the final choric song: That day the world descended into the age of darkness, which has no end, and repeats itself over and over again.
The age of darkness has seeped into our very souls. And yet it is also true that like a small seed buried somewhere in the mind of man there is courage and a longing for freedom and the imagination to create something new.
Defending the Sacred xxiii That seed is buried without exception in each of us and it grows from day to day in our lives as duty as honor as freedom as virtuous conduct. It is this small seed that makes us fear half-truths and great wars and always saves the future of mankind from blind doubt slavery and defeat. It was pub- lished in Enact, no. Random House, , For Bubers letters to Gandhi see Pointing the Way, trans. Maurice Friedman London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, , Penguin, , The English translations from the play, here and elsewhere, are mine.
The idea is taken from Simone Weils Waiting for God, trans. Emma Craufurd New York: Harper and Row, Arc, , I use this word lest we forget the play was written soon after the genocidal days of the Partition, when we had abused Gandhi.
Literally, satya means truth and agraha means firmness. Gandhi used the term satyagraha in his campaign of nonviolent resistance in India and South Africa, translating it as truth-force.
Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov, Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn New York: Schoken, , Andha Yug: I was in a dilemma when the idea of writing the play rose within me. It made me a little afraid.
I knew that if I set out to write it, I would never be able to turn back! But, then, there is something called addictionin accepting the chal- lenge of a roaring sea, fighting the high waves with ones bare hands, plung- ing down to immeasurable depths, and, then, after facing all the dangers, resurfacing with a few grains of faith, illumination, truth, and dignityand this addiction is mingled with such deep agony and so much joy that one can never give it up.
Andha Yug was written to satisfy that addiction. After reaching a certain stage, one is no longer afraid. Frustration, dejec- tion, bloodshed, vengeance, disease, deformity, blindnessinstead of hesi- tating, one faces them because hidden beneath are rare grains of truth!
One would not perish if one confronted them! Let the world perish, not I! But no, why should the world perish either? Since I have shared its suf- ferings, how can the truth I have discovered be mine alone? A time comes when the superficial distinction between the self and others is erased. They are no longer separate. This is the whole truth. I have personally discovered it, but its dignity lies in its being widely shared once again.
Note to the Director I have tried to find answers to the problem raised in this verse play drishya kavya by seeking help from the last half of the Mahabharata. The main plot of the story is well known; only a few events have been inventeda few characters and a few incidents. Classical aesthetic theories sanction such interpolations. The two guards, who comment on the events through- out, are a bit like the ordinary citizens who form the chorus in Greek plays; but they are also important symbolic figures.
According to the Bhagavata Purana, the name of the man who killed Lord Krishna is Jara, but I have imagined him as the incarnation of the old mendicant. The entire plot is divided into five acts with an interlude. There can be an interval after the interlude.
The stage design is not complicated: Scene changes in the course of each act are indicated by the lifting and dropping of the curtain in the middle of the stage. The curtains in the middle and at the back are not to be painted. The stage must be as bare as possible. Lighting should be restrained but imaginative. The choric songs are arranged between the acts in a style borrowed from the traditions of Indian folk theatre. The chorus is either used to give infor- mation about events that are not shown on stage or to underline the poignancy of the action.
Sometimes, it also clarifies the symbolic impor- tance of the events. There should be two choric voicesof a woman and a manand the choric verses should be divided between them, especially when the rhythm or tone changes.
Instrumental music accompanying the chorus should be kept to a minimum.
The dialogue is written in free verse. The interlude has sections that are written in poetic prose, which has also been used elsewhere in the play. In a long play it is important to change the rhythm to avoid monotony. The exception is the dialogue between the two guards, which has the same rhythm from the beginning to the end.
It is not necessary, however, for the speeches of the other characters to follow a specific rhythm and meter. A character should adopt the rhythms that would express his changing emo- tions and feelings.
A lyric may require a consistency of rhythm and tone, which a play may not. Indeed, there are times when there is a rapid change in tone and rhythm in keeping with changing feelings.
This is especially so in the case of Sanjaya, where the changes are sudden. When Andha Yug was first presented, the actors faced a peculiar diffi- culty. They either read their dialogues as if they were written as rhythmic poetry or read them as prose pieces. The solution lies somewhere in the middle. The emphasis should be on conveying the meaning rather than on meter, but the poetic rhythms should also be heard.
It is true that this play represents the beginning of the tradition of verse plays, but the radio pro- duction of Andha Yug by Shree Gopal Das succeeded in obtaining a har- mony among poetic rhythm, dramatic narrative, and meaning; indeed, its use of volume, undertones, overtones, overlapping tones, tenor, et cetera, revealed the boundless possibilities, not only for the performance of this play, but also for the entire range of new poetry.
Basically, this verse play is designed for the stage. The published text has kept that in mind. The radio production not only helped its cast, but also helped me in polishing its language.
The published text has also kept in mind the structures of folk plays so that it can be adapted for open-air per- formances. Imaginative directors can also create symbolic stage designs. Proclamation This play is concerned with the age of darkness which in the Vishnu Purana is described thus: Tataschanudinamalpala haras vavachchhedada-dharama-arth-ayorjagatas-samakshayo bhavishyati. And then in the future day by day there will be a decline in prosperity and dharma and the whole earth shall slowly perish.
Tatascharth evabhijan hetu. The one who has wealth shall rule. Kapatavesha dharanameva mahatva hetu. The one who wears a false mask shall be honored. Evam chati lubdhak raja sahaas-shailanam-antaradroneeh praja samsriyashyanti.
The one who is greedy shall be king. And weary of misrule the people shall hide in dark caves and wait for their days of misery to end.
A dancer performs as if he is trying to hide in a dark cave and then makes his exit. In those dark ages which came into being at the end of the great war all thoughts and deeds of men were corrupt and perverse. Yes, there were still frail threads of honor which held men together but good and evil were so intricately knotted that only Krishna had the courage to unravel them. Krishna alone was dispassionate and detached. Krishna alone could be the savior of their future.
All the others were blind self-absorbed depressed and confused lost in the dark caverns of their souls. This is the story of the blind or of enlightenment through the life of the blind. When will this bloodshed end? This is a strange war in which both sides are doomed to fail. Blindness rules this age not reason and blindness shall prevail in the end.
Blind fear and blind love blind power and blind justice shall prevail in the end. Whatever is good and gentle and beautiful shall be defeated in the end and thus the Dvapara Yug shall pass. The curtain rises. This is the last evening of the great war. A profound sadness lies over everything. In the desolate corridors of this palace of the Kauravas two old guards pace up and down up and down. The stage is empty.
One guard enters from the left, and another from the right. They carry spears and shields and pace up and down the stage. Yet we march up and down guarding these desolate corridors. Today they are widows.
We are not warriors. We have shown no courage. We have not fought in this grim war that lasted seventeen days. These our spears these our shields rest unused a burden on our shoulders. We are just guards but there is nothing here to defend. This is the kingdom of an old and blind ruler whose children in their blindness declared a bitter war. They thought honor was a rotten whore who had infected everyone.
For seventeen days we have defended the honor 8 Bharati of a blind and sick kingdom. All our actions are meaningless. Our faith our decisions our courage our lives are meaningless utterly meaningless guard 2 Meaningless utterly meaningless And now weary of defending this meaningless life these desolate corridors we are tired very tired.
They fall silent and continue to pace up and down. The lights suddenly grow dim. The sound of an approaching storm is heard. One guard strains his ears to listen. The other shades his eyes and looks at the sky. Can you see anything? I cant see a thing. Perhaps its a thunderstorm. Frightened, Guard 2 moves up close to Guard 1. Look, there are thousands and thousands of vultures Andha Yug 9 with their wings outspread! The sound of flapping wings becomes louder as the stage grows darker.
The vultures are ravenous! They feed on the dead! The stage suddenly brightens. The sound of beating wings grows fainter. Who knows what will happen to the city tomorrow? Vidura enters from the left. Did Dhritarashtra see that terrifying sight? He is blind. Has he ever been able to see anything thus far?
All the omens are bad. The guards exit. Vidura stands deep in thought. Has the ragged Kaurava army won or lost? That cloud of hungry vultures will soon descend upon the corpses and devour them. In the deathly silence of the court Gandharipale with anxiety sits with her head bowed. Dhritarashtra waits in silence for Sanjaya to bring him news. The curtain rises to reveal an inner room of the palace.
Gandhari is seated on a low stool covered by a mat. Dhritarashtra is seated on a small throne. Vidura walks up to them. It is Vidura, Maharaj. The whole city is worried today.
The few who have survivedten or twenty are waiting anxiously for Sanjaya to arrive. Waits for Dhritarashtra to say something. Maharaj why dont you say something? Even Gandhari is silent? Andha Yug 11 dhritarashtra Why didnt you warn me then? I was born blind. How could I have discerned the real world or recognized its social codes? Just as you accepted the world in spite of your blindness. My senses were limited by my blindness. They defined the boundary of my material world.
I had spun an illusory world of dreams and desires and passions out of the depths of that darkness. My love, my hate, my law, my dharma had evolved out of my peculiar world.
My ethics had no other frame of reference. My sons were the flesh of my flesh they were the final arbiters of truth for me. My love for them was my law my code of honor. Over the past seventeen days you have received news 12 Bharati of the death one by one of the entire Kaurava clan. All I can do is listen. Sanjaya describes the world in words but I still cant visualize anything cant see the events his words create.
I cant picture how blood spurted from Dushasanas shattered chest how cruel Bhima collected it in his cupped hands and raised them to his lips. Maharaj dont repeat that! I cant bear it. Everyone falls silent. I realized that only today. I feel as if a dam has suddenly burst and the violent sea with its poison-tongued waves has crashed through the defenses of my narrow well-bounded world filled every corner of my being with its deafening roar and swept away everything all my personal beliefs my blind faith.
Andha Yug 13 dhritarashtra No, Vidura. What I have learnt today terrifies me. For the first time in my life I am afraid. As Krishna said: In order to know the truth surrender your heart and mind to me. Released from fear you will find me.
You must have faith. I dont have faith! Perhaps others do. I dont. Surrender your heart and mind to me! Did he who lost his head completely when he was struck by Pitamas arrows say that? Did he who violated the code of honor over and over again say that?
Do not blame anyone. I was blind 14 Bharati gandhari But I was not blind. I had seen the ways of the world and knew that dharma duty and honor were illusions.
When the time of reckoning arrives wisdom and honor are always useless. There is a dark abyss in each of us where a ferocious beast a blind beast who is the master of all we know and do resides and has his home.
Morality, honor, selflessness, and surrender to Krishna are mere disguises masks that cover our blindness. They are like sightless eyes cut out of rags and stitched on the faces of puppets. That is why sick of all this hypocrisy I chose to live with my eyes blindfolded.
Grief over the death of your sons has embittered you! Didnt you tell Duryodhana gandhari I told Duryodhana: O Fool, where there is dharma there is victory. There was no dharma on either side. Each was inspired by blind self-interest. And the one you call Lord changed the code of honor to suit his own ends.
He is a fraud! Andha Yug 15 dhritarashtra Calm down, Gandhari. Forgive her, O Lord! Accept her bitter lack of faith as an offering! If you receive only those who have faith who will bless those who have none? Grief over the death of her sons has made this mother bitter! Even the one you call your Lord calls me mother a word that pierces my soul like a red-hot iron. Over the last seventeen days all my sons have been killed one by one.
With my own hands I removed the bangles on the wrists of their wives and wiped the lines of sindhur with the end of my garment. Voices off-stage shout, Victory to Duryodhana! Victory to Gandhari! May Dhritarashtra the ruler of men be blessed! My son, Duryodhana, has won! Didnt I tell you he would certainly be victorious today? Guard 1 enters.
I used to chart the paths of stars calculate their speed, map their positions read the destiny of men in the unwritten book of fate. I am an astrologer from a distant land. You had said: War is inevitable and the Kauravas shall be victorious. Today, all my knowledge has proved to be false. Suddenly, a man intervened.
He was stronger and swifter than the changing constellations. When Arjuna stood despondent in the battlefield he said to Arjuna: I am omniscient. Do what I tell you. Truth shall prevail. I am the truth. Do not be afraid. He determines the course of all the celestial stars.
Andha Yug 17 mendicant I did not know then that he was the Lord. But that day I suddenly understood as if in a flash of revelation that when a man surrenders his selfhood and challenges history he can change the course of the stars. The lines of fate are not carved in stone. They can be drawn and redrawn at every moment of time by the will of man.
Guard 1 exits. Duryodhana shall be victorious! Many false prophecies broken dreams half-truths lie scattered in every nook and corner of the city of the Kauravas. It is unfortunate that Gandhari fondly nurtures each one of them. Guard 1 returns with a bag of coins. Victory to Duryodhana! The old mendicant exits. I am confident. Victory shall be ours. My hopes may be false or blind 18 Bharati but Duryodhana shall be victorious.
He shall be victorious! Guard 2 enters and lights the lamps. All the soldiers must have gone back to their camps. I want to know who won who lost? Do not despair. Sanjaya shall bring you good news. Gandhari, go and rest now. The city gates, like vigilant eyes are open, and wait for Sanjayas chariot to arrive. Vidura exits to one side, and Dhritarashtra and Gandhari exit to the other. The two guards once again begin to march across the stage.
Andha Yug 19 guard 2 We were never tormented by disbelief because we never had any faith. They continue to pace up and down. The stage slowly grows dark. Under the shadow of defeat and fear and doubt false hope hobbles down the desolate streets like a shriveled old beggar pleading with his hands outstretched for some charity, for some mercy.
There are still two fading embers left in the ruined city. A blind and self-deceiving king shuffling in the void of his own circle of darkness and a bewildered heartbroken Gandhari still clinging to hope with blind desperation. And the prophetic Sanjaya immortal and detached 20 Bharati who sees all and knows all who fears not the wars that Gods promote who is free from doubts and confusions who can dare to confront the king with the truth even that Sanjaya is ensnared by the dark night of delusions and stands lost on this path of thorns and stones.
Andha Yug 21 The Making of a Beast chorus Even Sanjaya that rational sculptor of words is bewildered in this forest of doubt and confusion. His responsibility is great his words are few his listeners are blind. But at this moment of danger only he can tell the truth. And yet even Sanjaya ensnared by this night of delusions stands distracted on this path of thorns and stones.
We see a path through a forest. A soldier, who has laid his weapons aside, lies on the ground with his face covered. Sanjaya enters. How far is Hastinapur? Will I ever reach it? What will I tell them? There is no dearth of words but what shall I tell them? Oh, why am I still alive after this shameful defeat? How shall I tell them? Even today there is no dearth of words. I used to carry the news of the war to them describe each event as it happened. And today how shall I use the same words to carry the burden of this defeat?
The soldier suddenly wakes up and calls, Sanjaya. Who called me?
Was it a ghost or the voice of my own fears? Its me, Kritavarma. So, you are still alive, Sanjaya? Did the Pandava soldiers let you go? The earth for miles around is strewn with the corpses of Kaurava soldiers slaughtered by Arjuna.
The Kaurava army is scattered; all its heroes are dead. Only I am alive. When Satyaki raised his sword to strike me down oh, how I wish he had killed me Vyasa told him: Sanjaya cannot die.
He is immortal. Unwittingly Vyasa cursed me: You will survive disasters, floods, revolutions, and wars of annihilation so that you can tell the truth.
But how can I tell the truth to the blind? It was an utterly new experience to feel the cold edge of Satyakis sword and know that death was so close. Andha Yug 23 It was a moment of supreme terror. I felt as if someone had slashed through all the experiences of my soul as swiftly as an arrow slices through a lotus stem. How can I after my humiliating experience tell them the whole truth?
That the bravest of warriors stood next to his shattered chariot barefoot disarmed bloodstained defeated? That when he saw me he lowered his head and cried? How shall I tell them that? Sanjaya exits. Many days ago Vidura had prophesied defeat.
Today we are defeated. A voice calls from offstage, Ashwatthama. Kritavarma listens. Kripacharya enters, continuing to call Ashwatthamas name.
That sounded like the voice of old Kripacharya. Did Ashwatthama escape? Only three of us are alive today. He turned away smashed his bow in despair and disappeared into the forest. They both exit, calling out to Ashwatthama. Their voices grow fainter. Then light falls on Ashwatthama, who sits with his broken bow in his hand. Today I smashed it in despair when I saw him disarmed and helpless with tears in his eyes.
My bow is a crushed snake terrified and helpless like my mind. How shall I now gather courage to avenge my fathers heartless murder? In this forest even in this fearful forest I cannot forget how Guru Dronacharya threw his weapons down on the battlefield when he heard Yudhishthira announce triumphantly: Ashwatthama is dead!
He had so much faith in Yudhishthiras truthfulness. Andha Yug 25 Seeing him unarmed that cowardly sinner Dhristadyumna cut him to pieces with his sword. I can never forget that. My father was invincible. Yudhishthiras half-truth killed him. That day Yudhishthiras half-truth ruthlessly slaughtered all that was good or gentle in me. Honored as Dharmaraj he added: The man or the beast. Since Yudhishthira could not distinguish between man and beast I decided to turn myself into a blind, ruthless beast.
But even today I am lost in a dark cave the blind cave of defeat. Listen, Duryodhana! Listen, Dronacharya! I, Ashwatthama your Ashwatthama foul as the spittle stale as the phlegm left in the mouth of a dying man I, Ashwatthama am the only one alive today.
Thumps his breast triumphantly. At least I shall be released from this impotent existence. Even if I were to burn in the fires of hell I would not have to endure so much torment. A voice from offstage calls, Ashwatthama. But no I shall live like a blind and ruthless beast and may Dharmarajs prophecy come true! He hears footsteps. Someone is coming this way.
Maybe its a Pandava soldier. He is alone and unarmed. I shall hide take him by surprise and break his neck with these hungry claws as I broke my bow. Ashwatthama hides. I must. I must go on living. Andha Yug 27 Truth, I know, is bitter. Yet I must tell the truth even the bitterest of truths. I must tell the truth. I must tell the truth and nothing but the truth. That is the ultimate meaning of myah!
Ashwatthama attacks Sanjaya from behind and tries to strangle him. Ashwatthama is dead. Kritavarma and Kripacharya enter. Let go, Ashwatthama! Its Sanjaya not a Pandava. Hold him down.
What kind of soldier are you Ashwatthama? Kill an enemy instead. Sanjaya cannot be killed. He took no side in the war.
He was neutral. The word neutral is meaningless. I am no soldier. I am a beast a wild and ferocious beast. Whoever is not with me is against me! Kill me, Ashwatthama release me from the torment of telling the truth to the blind. It is better to be killed than to suffer this anguish. Kill me, Ashwatthama and release me from this torture. Ashwatthama looks helplessly at Kripacharya and rests his head on Kripacharyas shoulder.
I dont think it is a sin to kill. I am now obsessed with killing. I long to break the neck of anyone I meet. Tell me what I should do. Tell me. There is kritavarma There is a lot to be done. Duryodhana is still alive. Let us go and look for him. With his extraordinary powers he has stilled the waters of a lake. And there Andha Yug 29 unknown to the Pandavas he sits strangely still on the floor of that enchanted lake.
Guide us to that lake, Sanjaya. Let us find out what he wants us to do. I feel helpless I have broken my vow. They all exit. The stage is empty for a while. The old mendicant enters. I am old and cannot see clearly but I thought I saw some people here a moment ago. I wonder if I still have the coins Gandhari gave me when I predicted: This is inevitable that is inevitable and this will come to pass and that will come to pass.
But today this hour of defeat has only proved how unpredictable the future is. What man does at each moment becomes his future for ages and ages. That is why Krishna said to Arjuna: Lift up your bow, Arjuna. Fight without fear. The meaning of a mans existence lies in the actions he performs not in his refusal to act.
He sees a broken bow lying on the ground and bends down to pick it up. Who left his bow here? Has some other Arjuna begun to doubt? Ashwatthama enters. Victory to Ashwatthama! Do not mock me, old man. This bow was as useless as your knowledge of astrology.
I just saw Duryodhana whose head was once adorned by a crown of jewels. Today, that head lies covered by a shroud of dirty water. You had prophesied: Duryodhana shall be victorious. Andha Yug 31 mendicant But Duryodhana shall be victorious! I still predict that. I am old and tired but I still prophesy: Duryodhana shall never be defeated. This will be the truth of the age about to be born. The future I had once prophesied turned out to be false.
Now I shall go and tell Duryodhana: The future is never independent of the present moment.
There is still time, Duryodhana there is still time. Each moment can transform history and time. He walks towards the exit slowly. What should I do? I am trapped in present time and condemned to seek vengeance! Yudhishthiras half-truth has murdered my future. And yet I shall live. If my damnation has been already foretold then nothing matters. If the future is indifferent it is my enemy. He follows the old mendicant.
You are a false prophet! You are an old fraud! Stop, stop you old fraud! Gnashing his teeth, he runs after the old mendicant, grabs him by his neck and drags him offstage. Kill, kill, kill. It is my dharma to kill.
Offstage, sounds of a man being strangled and Ashwatthama laughing hysterically. The lights dim. Then Sanjaya is lit by a spotlight. Kripacharya and Kritavarma are dragging Ashwatthama away from the old mendicant. What have you done?
Have I done something? Kripacharya forces Ashwatthama to sit down, loosens his cummerbund, and wipes his forehead. You have done nothing.
It was only a terrifying nightmare. As I struggled with him I felt strangely calm. I was no longer a snarling beast. I felt utterly detached. Andha Yug 33 kripacharya To Ashwatthama. Close your eyes for a while. Duryodhana has ordered us to rest today. We shall see what the Pandavas do tomorrow and then decide. Come, turn over and rest for some time. To Kritavarma. He is asleep. We call ourselves soldiers! Did we survive this war so that we could hide in ambush and kill old and unarmed men?
Have you forgotten the heroic deeds of the brave warriors in this war? Drona was old and unarmed but did Dhristadyumna spare his life? Did we take pity on Abhimanyu when he was alone and trapped by seven valiant heroes? I was blind with rage. I wanted to annihilate the future which has been prophesied. Believe me I do not know how the old man was killed. You too, Kritavarma. I shall keep watch through the night.
He begins to pace up and down. This is a night of lost souls this is a night of despairing souls this is a night of shattered souls. This is a night of intoxication for the victorious Pandavas. This is a night of concealment for the defeated Duryodhana. This is a night of pride when heads are held high. This is a night of shame when hands lie paralyzed. People asked each other: When will the vanquished Kaurava army return? They listened to Sanjayas account of the war till the sun rose again.
His painful story turned Gandhari into stone. Her face pale with sorrow seemed lifeless. As the sun rose in the sky the city slowly stirred to life.
A rabble of brahmins women doctors widows dwarfs old men and the wounded crawled back into the city on broken chariots and shattered carts. Now they limp back in defeat and disgrace. The guards are on duty. Dhritarashtra enters with Vidura, leaning on Viduras shoulder. Every cut every stab seemed like a fatal blow against my kingdom.
Meanwhile, a soldier, whose tongue has been cut out and who has lost his hearing, crawls onto the stage. He grabs Viduras feet to draw attention to himself. But Andha Yug probes deeper yet—into the human heart and the human condition—and the play's moral complexities reach across time and place. For contemporary readers, Andha Yug may be a mirror of the twenty-first century, with our urgent and perplexing problems for survival.
We see in the play a world sliding irrevocably toward self-destruction—violent, despairing, ethically confused, and lacking the wisdom to solve the crises that threaten to destroy all living things.
Given the frailty of our imperfect human nature, how are we to lead moral, compassionate lives in the perilous conditions we've created? Andha Yug and the Mahabharata question the nurturing and orderly basis of ethical relationships, which they refer to with the capacious term dharma.
In Andha Yug, Alok Bhalla translates dharma as "honor," "law," "ethics," "truth," "righteousness," et cetera, as is appropriate.
The powerful wisdom of the Mahabharata and Andha Yug rests partly on the recognition that dharma has many elusive meanings, and therefore requires us to look [End Page vii] with considerable effort for its significance and application. The philosopher Chaturvedi Badrinath writes: What is dharma? What are those foundations upon which all human relationships everywhere are based? Who determines what those foundations shall be? Are they given as inherent in human life itself?
Are they subject to the varying conditions and circumstances of a person's life, so that there is one dharma for normal conditions, and another in times of distress, for example? Is there one dharma for the scholar devoted to learning and teaching; another dharma for the householder; a different dharma for the king; and a separate dharma for one who would maintain services?
Is dharma a self-determining reality that gives direction to a person's life, and is to be discovered in a process of self-discovery as to what one is meant to be? Indeed, these works clearly demonstrate the difficulty of unraveling dharma's many enigmas: whether the nature of goodness, tolerance, and justice are knowable—and whether such categories even exist.