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By Julian F. Woods

Considers the questions of loose will within the nice India epic, the Mahabharata.

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3). Biardeau views this death of Jayadratha as an important turning point of the war. It announces the end of caste disorder, symbolized here by Vrw ddhaksw atra (a warrior affecting the life of a Brahmin) and by Dronw a (a Brahmin affecting the life of a warrior). Dronw a himself is the next major figure to be killed. Dronw a’s appetite for battle is first undermined by the hosts of Heaven who inform him in the midst of the fighting that his time has come and that he should lay aside his weapons for them to escort him to Brahmaloka.

We know that S´iva plays dice with his wife. In short, we must never ignore the ambiguity of the dice game which places mankind under the ægis of a divine power that is pitiless and apparently blind. ) who, strictly speaking, plays no role in the epic but may characterize that of her husband, and, finally, that Vidura is married to a daughter of mixed blood of king Devaka. 24 In spite of dire warnings by Vidura, who pictures the dice scheme as “the gate of Kali” and the “face of doom,” Dhw rtara¯sw tw ra is foolishly drawn into this net of intrigue by Duryodhana’s threat of suicide and by his own love for his son.

However, this dharma progressively declined by a quarter in each of the treta¯-, dva¯para-, and kaliyugas. 31). 32 billion human years. However, remembering that there are 36,000 kalpas in a “life” of Brahma¯, the interval between a primary creation and the onset of the succeeding dissolution (not dealt with here by Vya¯sa) extends the life of the Universe as a whole to 155,520 billion human years, a period well in excess of that currently entertained by modern science. These details are not provided for their “cosmic” effects, but to highlight the overriding influence of “Time” itself on the moral and social situation.

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