Mahabharata Episode 15: The Killing of Jarasandha and The Rajasuya Sacrifice

Bhima Slays Jarasandha

Bhima Slays Jarasandha

Jarasandha, the mighty King of Magadha, was feared by everybody, including the almighty Lord Krishna. Jarasandha planned to offer one hundred Kings as human sacrifice to his Lord. He had captured eighty-six of them and was in the process of capturing fourteen more to complete his mission. Krishna takes Bheema and Arjuna with him to Magadha to kill Jarasandha and release the captive kings.

After killing Jarasandha, the Pandava brothers begin their conquest of the land of Bharata to win the allegiance of the Kings.  Soon all the Pandavas eliminate all obstacles for the Rajasuya sacrifice and begin to prepare for the great ceremony.

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Mahabharata Episode 14: The Burning of the Khandava Forest.

The Blazing Khandava Forest

The Blazing Khandava Forest

Agni requests Arjuna and Krishna to help him burn down the Khandava forest for the flesh and fat of the animals in the forest would cure him of his loss of appetite. Arjuna and Krishna helps him, and a great fire rages through the forest killing all creatures who lived there. Krishna and Arjuna spared Maya Asura’s life, and to express his gratitude Maya builds a magnificent assembly hall for the Pandavas. Narada visits Indraprastha and advises Yudhistira to perform the Rajasuya Fire ceremony. But Krishna warns Yudishtira that he must kill the vicious king Jarasandha if he would like to succeed in his bid to become the emperor.

The image is a sculpture from Banteay Srei temple, in Cambodia. Arjuna and Krishna are seen on chariots on either side; Indra is atop his elephant Airavata in the sky; Numerous arrows in mid-air counter the downpour of rain; Different birds and animals are seen scattering; Takshaka’s wife and Aswasena are seen rising in the sky. Image and description taken from the jayarama.wordpress.com blog.
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Mahabharata Episode 13: Arjuna Abducts Subhadra

Arjuna Abducts Subhadra

Arjuna Abducts Subhadra

This is the thirteenth episode of the stories of Mahabharata. We have progressed quite a bit, but we have a long way to go. In this episode we hear couple of fascinating stories. In the first story, Arjuna rescues the five Apsaras from their curse. And in the second story, Ajuna falls in love with Krishna’s sister Subhadra, and at Krishna’s suggestion, he forcefully abducts Subhadra and finally marries her. Listen to the episode and let us know how you like it. Visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/MahabharataPodcast) and join the discussion.

Mahabharata Episode 12: The Kingdom of the Pandavas and Arjuna’s Exile

Arjuna and Ulupi

Arjuna and Ulupi

Dhritarashtra offered Pandavas the land of Khandava, a barren and uninhabited piece of land, to set up their Kingdom. To everybody’s surprise, Yudhishtira accepts the offer. In Khandava, the Pandavas setup their capital in Indraprastha, a grand city build by Lord Indra himself.  Rishi Narada tells the Pandavas the story of Sunda and Upasunda and advises them to setup a rule among themselves regarding the companionship of Draupadi with her husbands. But Arjuna had to break the rule to avoid a crisis. And as his punishment Arjuna goes into exile for twelve long years where he encounters several other romantic adventures. Listen to this intriguing episode by clicking on the audio player below. The episode can also be heard on iTunes. And join our Facebook page to stay updated.

Mahabharata Episode 11: Dhritarashtra’s Dilemma

Dhritarashtra and Yudhistira

Dhritarashtra and Yudhistira

When the blind king Dritarashtra learned that the Pandavas have survived the fire in Varanavata and have gained a strong ally, King Drupada of Panchala by marrying his daughter Draupadi, he was in deep trouble. He had already declared Duryodhana to be the crown prince of Hastinapura. Now if the Pandavas come back to Hastinapura and demand the throne, what would he do? Listen to this exciting episode by clicking on the player below.

In Conversation with Binayak Bandopadhyay

Binayak Bandopadhyay at the EBC Radio Studio

Binayak Bandopadhyay at the EBC Radio Studio

Recently, Binayak Bandopadhyay took few days off from his busy schedule as a fellow at the prestigious Iowa University International Writers Program (IWP) and visited us in New Jersey. I jumped on this opportunity and invited him to our EBC Drama Club to talk about his works – poetry and prose. Binayak, who is regarded as one of the most promising writers in Bengali language, is never tired of speaking about his favorite topic – literature. In this session, Binayak reads from his works (translated to English) and talks about his experience at the IWP in Iowa which has been attended earlier by stalwarts like Sunil Ganguly, Sankha Ghosh, Joy Goswami, Kabita Singha and others. Subrata Bhaumik, a local literary enthusiast also joined us at the studio and made the discussion even livelier. Listen to this episode and don’t hesitate to give us your comment.

Mahabharata Episode 10: Draupadi’s Marriage

Draupadi's Marriage

Draupadi's Marriage

After passing Drupad’s test, Arjuna wins Draupadi as his bride. But when the Pandavas arrive at their home, their mother Kunti asks them to do something that changes their lives for ever. Listen to this amazing episode below.

Mahabharata Episode 9: Draupadi’s Swayamvara

Arjuna attempts to hit the target while Krishna, Draupadi and Drupada watch.

Arjuna attempts to hit the target while Krishna, Draupadi and Drupada watch.

Listen to another episode of the stories of Mahabharata. In this episode, we go to the city of Kampilya in Panchala, where the Pandavas attend the Swayavara of Draupadi, King Drupada’s daughter. There, Arjuna passes the most difficult test set for an archer and wins Draupadi as his bride. Listen to the podcast below. And don’t forget to join our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MahabharataPodcast.

 

Mahabharata Episode 8: The Flaming House of Varanabata

House of Varanabata

The Flaming House of Varanabata

The stories of Mahabharata continues with this eighth episode – The Flaming house of Varanabata. With the advice from Shakuni, Duryodhana comes up with a devious plan to kill the Pandavas. Dhritarashtra sends the Pandavas to Varanabata to attend a festival. But the Pandavas escape the trap set for them and flee into the forest. There Bheema encounters the demons Hidimb and Hidimbaa. Listen to this exciting episode in the podcast below.

(Story told by Sudipta Bhawmik, Audio Engineering and Sound Design by Avi Ziv)

Mahabharata Episode 7: Drona’s Revenge

Drona takes his revenge on Drupada

Drona takes his revenge on Drupada

The stories of Mahabharata are not only about kings and gods and demons. It is also a tale of ethics, morality and politics.  The needs and conflicts that drive each character are the same that drives us today. The great weapons teacher Drona Acharya was a Brahmin. A Brahmin was supposed to have the noblest of qualities and free of petty politics and trivialities of life. Their main purpose in life was to acquire wisdom and spread knowledge to their pupils.  But Drona, had his own axe to grind.  He became the royal weapons teacher of the Kuru princes with a single objective in mind. He wanted to take his revenge on Drupada, the King of Panchala, for the insult he had to tolerate in Drupada’s court. We also learn how the Kaurava brothers start planning for their next step to eliminate their arch rivals, the Pandavas.