From internet I could know that the recent mythological TV serial Mahabharat is very popular, because from its inception till today it remains within Top Ten TV serials as per TVT. I also came to know that it is very popular amongst the youth of present era. But I wonder how many young men have sincerely watched the serial since its inception till today.
I also wonder how many middle aged and old people have sincerely watched the serial from its inception till today. Most probably the TVT cannot take the statistics of such people. I also cannot say how many people sincerely watched all the episodes. Most probably the number of such people must not be very large (I am one of them).
I like to watch mythological TV serials. But after Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan (old), Shri Krishna and BR Chopra’s Mahabharat I could not watch any other mythological TV serials even-if I wanted to see, because none of them are worth seeing. However I sincerely watched all the episodes of recent Star Plus Mahabharat, being attracted by the fact that Rs 100 crores (plus 20 crores for its promotion) have been spent for the serial. It is acclaimed to be the most expensive serial on the Indian TV.
I also came to know that originally 120 episodes were granted for the serial. Subsequently some more episodes have been sanctioned looking at the popularity of the serial. Of course I do not know whether this required expenditure of some more crores. After sincerely watching all the episodes I am convinced that it is worth watching, because it is gorgeous in every respect.
However it was painful for me to watch some scenes, not because these are tragedy scenes which brought tears to my eyes (most of the tragedy scenes bring laughter instead of tear to the viewer), but because there are many deviations from the original Sanskrit script of Maharshi Vedavyasa.
Out of the many deviations I am citing below only a few:
1- None of the heroes had tuneer (quiver) at their back for keeping arrows. I am unable to know from which research they have brought this concept. Arjuna received Gandeev Dhanu and Akshaya Tuneer from Agni Dev before burning Khandav Van (Mahabharat , Adi Parva, Chapter 24, Shloka 19, 20, 21, 22).
2- Abhimanyu was combinedly attacked by six maharathees (including Karna as one amongst them, because single handed no one could defeat or kill him), but was finally killed by son of Duhshasan (not by Karna as shown in Star Plus Mahabharat). (Mahabharat, Drona Parva, Chapter 49, Shloka 12, 13,14).
3- Kunti had not disclosed that she was the unmarried mother of Karna before death of Karna, because Karna had requested Lord Krishna to take care that Kunti must not disclose the mystery of his birth to any body before his (Karna’s) death. (Mahabharat, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 41, Shloka 20, 21).
4- Karna was beheaded by Anjalika astra of Arjuna (Mahabharat, Karna Parva, Chapter 91, Shloka 51), not by piercing of an arrow in his neck (as shown in Starplus Mahabharat).
5- Death of Karna in the battle field was instantaneous (Mahabharat, Karna Parva, Chapter 91, Shloka 52) after being beheaded; not a prolonged death as shown in Star Plus Mahabharat after making a long melodrama with his double mothers and Pandavas.
6- Comparison of Kunti with Devaki is ridiculous. Devaki was neither an unmarried mother nor she disposed of her newborn son all alone in the river in a pot.
7- Karna was not cremated by Arjuna and other Pandavas as per original Sanskrit Mahabharat.
8-Karna was the most ideal friend in this world. He sacrificed his life in the battle field for his friend Duryodhan. He never betrayed his friend Duryodhan as told by Duryodhan in Star Plus Mahabharat. Duryodhan loved Karna as his best friend till his (Duryodhan’s) death.
9- Karna was a great Dana Veer. He gave life of four sons as a dana to mother Kunti (Mahabharat, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 46, Shloka 20, 21, 26).He sacrificed his life for the sake of his friendship with Duryodhan. He gave jeevan dan to his four younger brothers and ultimately gave his own jeevan as a dana to 5 brothers (5 Pandavas). (Mahabharat, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 41, Shloka 21, 22, 23)
10- Only few people (Sun God Surya, mother Kunti, Shri Krishna, Bhishma, Maharshi Veda Vyasa, Vidur and Indra) knew the mystery of the birth of Karna due to their divya dristi. But they did not divulge this secret to others, because they did not want to cause damage to the prestige of Maharani Kunti.
11- Kunti herself divulged the secret of Karna’s birth after the battle came to an end (after death of Duryodhan). (Mahabharat, Stree Parva, Chapter 27 Shloka 11, 21).
12- Karna had never excused Kunti (Mahabharat, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 46, Shloka 6), neither during his life time nor just before his prolonged melodramatic death in the battle field as shown in Star Plus Mahabharat.
13- Maharshi Veda Vyasa has vividly described the social and mental torture of the son of an unmarried mother through Karna, who never excused such brutal act of his unmarried mother as throwing her son into the river (Mahabharat, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 46, Shloka 5). He wanted to convey the message to the unmarried mothers of the society: “Never do such a brutal act. Your son (or daughter) will never excuse you even if you are excused by everybody else in the world.”
Kunti had been subsequently acclaimed to be one of the best pious ladies in Hindu mythological scriptures, but Karna never excused her. He preferred to be called as Radheya (son of Radha) than Kaunteya (son of Kunti) till his death. By showing Karna excusing Kunti before his death do the makers of Star Plus Mahabharat want to encourage unmarried mothers and their act of throwing their babies into the water or under the bushes as it happens in the modern society (of course those unmarried mothers who are ignorant of modern easy methods of abortion during early pregnancy)?
14- The scene of Draupadi going to the battle field after sunset and having a blood bath (with the blood of Duhsasana) in the battle field in front of Duryodhan, Karna, Pandavas etc is ridiculous. Such a scene (as shown in Star Plus Mahabharat) has not been described in the original Sanskrit Mahabharat. (Mahabharat, Karna Parva, Chapter 83, Shloka 49, 50)
In Star Plus Mahabharat there are many deviations and distortions from the original Sanskrit Mahabharat. I have enumerated only a few in the above paragraphs. If Maharshi Veda Vyas be alive at present he would have been extremely delighted to observe his Mahabharat being viewed by millions people in India and abroad. He would have been very much pleased with the makers of Star Plus Mahabharat. Or else who knows, he (Maharshi Veda Vyas) would have been very much displeased to observe the deviations and distortions from his original script and would have sued a law suit in a suitable court and would have stayed (stopped) the telecast of Star Plus Mahabharat after only a few episodes?
Of course makers of Star Plus Mahabharat would not have worried much. They could have easily settled the issue by offering a few more crores of rupees to Maharshi Veda Vyasa to remain silent about the deviations and distortions! Unfortunately for India and fortunately for the makers of Star Plus Mahabharat most of the Indians have not read the original Sanskrit Mahabharat.
So they (makers of Star Plus Mahabharat) need not bother at all to make as many deviations and distortions as possible to make their project commercially successful. But is it justified? Is it not showing disgrace and dishonor to the great sage of ancient India who is acclaimed to be not only the greatest story writer in the world but also the greatest philosopher in India (in the world?). Nevertheless, despite the demerits the Star Plus Mahabharat is extremely praiseworthy.
My only earnest request to them is that in future when they will make any mega mythological TV serial they should not make deviations and distortions from the original Sanskrit Script. Of course they may make some omissions(if they think such omissions are absolutely and highly justified for the present era). This is my general request to all the makers of mythological TV serials. Otherwise if they are so much eager to teach modern morals they should better concentrate on making new social serials in which they can make the characters dance (act) according to the brilliant modern ideas of the Producer and the Director.
But can our Modern Producers and Directors with their brilliant ideas ever produce another ever green mega story as Maharshi Veda Vyasa’s Mahabharat which has stood the test of time since past thousands of years and will stand for thousands of years in future?
By: Dr. Narayan Udgata