Is the Mahabharata contaminated due to interpolation?

by Chaitanya Charan dasJuly 29, 2014

Answer Podcast

Trahscribed by:  Geetanjali Nath

Question: Is the Mahabharata contaminated due to interpolation?

Answer:  Yes, Madhavacharya says that. Now what do we mean exactly by contamination ? the scripture is present as sound and it is present as texts, sound means scripture is in the form of sound vibration as the great sages has spoken, and that sound vibration always have potency. for example the Bhagavad Gita verses, if we recite them, the recitation has potency and then whatever is been recited is later on put down as texts. Now the textual version often we think of scripture only as text, Scripture is not just text, scripture is sound originally and that sound is expressed as texts, so scripture as sound is never contaminated, scripture as texts can become contaminated in various ways, like somebody takes Bhagavad Gita and then we put it in water, it gets spoiled, isn’t it ? so is the spiritual potency of scripture lost  no, but I may not be able to use that Bhagavad Gita to read it then. so that way at a material level things can become contanimated, so similarly, such a long book is being manuscript and being preserved and is reread then, sometimes some mistakes can happen, in the reproduction of the book, or, there are some people who may insert some verse in it, remove some verses from it, because they want to promote certain characters, those who want to say show Dropadi as arrogant, they may put in something like ” Droptadi saying andhey kaa betaa andhaaaa…., like this something can get added, but the over all message , the moral lessons and the spiritual potency, it remains. and to access that potency , we need to learn scriptures from those who come in parampara. So parampara means, those who had been learning scriptures from previous teachers who have been learning from previous teachers, and ultimately coming from God, there are successions like that even today. So when we learn in the tradition , then we understand, that OK this is the correct understanding, this is wrong understanding, this is the possible interpolation. So one extreme is to say that because scripture has become contaminated, it is useless. No , that is the extreme, because, that is untenable position because there is essential message of the scripture is the same is still available. and the other extremeness is that every single thing that is available in the scriptural texts that we have today is absolutely perfect. That is just not true, because there are different version of scriptures available. So we understand that there is the scripture as a text and there is scripture which is sound and there is scripture which is essential message. So the text, it can become contaminated, as sound , it always has potency, we recite it, and we get purified by that, and as its essential message,  we need to understand it in the association of practitioners and then we will understand  and will benefit from it.

Thank you

Hare Krishna.

About The Author
Chaitanya Charan das

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