The Pandavas believe they have completed the terms of their exile, though Duryodhana claims that they did not live unknown for the full thirteenth year, since Arjuna was recognized in the battle at the end of the preceding book, Virata. While the Pandavas and Kurus make their preparations for war they organize a series of embassies to negotiate peace. This volume constantly highlights the inevitability of conflict and the futility of negotiation. Most characters are concerned that war between family cannot fail to be sinful. Contained herein is the Sanat.sujatiya, a philosophical passage to rival the Bhagavad.gita. Like the Bhagavad.gita, the Sanat.sujatiya tells that karma will not chain one in the cycle of rebirth, if one refrains from desire. Through understanding the truth of non-duality, that the world is mere illusion, one is subsumed into eternal existence with Brahman.
Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation
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