Mahabharata is the history of India. Maha means great, and bharata means India. And you see, Mahabharata is the history of two royal families fighting in the Battle of Kuruksetra and politics and diplomacy

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"Mahabharata is the history of India. Maha means great, and bharata means India. And you see, Mahabharata is the history of two royal families fighting in the Battle of Kuruksetra and politics and diplomacy"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Mahābhārata is the history of India. Mahā means great, and bhārata means India. And you see, Mahābhārata is the history of two royal families fighting in the Battle of Kurukṣetra and politics and diplomacy. This is the subject matter of Mahābhārata. Of course, there are many nice instructions. So this Mahābhārata was especially made for the less intelligent class of men.
Lecture on BG 2.40-45 -- Los Angeles, December 13, 1968:

So the reference of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam... Attention diverted. (aside:) Yes. Yes. Keep it open. Let them come. Yes. There is a verse in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in connection with instruction of Nārada Muni to Vyāsadeva. And Vyāsadeva was disciple of Nārada Muni, and Vyāsadeva compiled so many Vedic literatures, Mahābhārata, Purāṇas, Vedānta-sūtra, Upaniṣads, various types of... Not types. Practically the same Vedas, divided into departmental knowledge for understanding of the common people. Just like Mahābhārata. Mahābhārata is the history of India. Mahā means great, and bhārata means India. And you see, Mahābhārata is the history of two royal families fighting in the Battle of Kurukṣetra and politics and diplomacy. This is the subject matter of Mahābhārata. Of course, there are many nice instructions. So this Mahābhārata was especially made for the less intelligent class of men. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayi na śruti-gocara (SB 1.4.25). Strī means woman, and śūdra means ordinary, labor class of men. Strī, śūdra, and dvija-bandhu. Dvija-bandhu means, dvija means higher class, twice-born. Śūdra means once-born and dvija means twice-born. That means first birth by the father and mother, and the second birth by the Vedic knowledge mother, and spiritual master father. This is called second birth, according to Vedic reformatory procedures. So dvija, dvija-bandhu means a person born in the higher family who are by tradition very cultured, but a son born in that family is not cultured. He is just like śūdra, once-born. He has no cultural birth. So they are called dvija-bandhu. (tapping sound—child playing) (aside:) You have to take him. Dvija-bandhu means born in high family, but has no quality, higher qualities. They are called dvija-bandhu.

So for these classes of men, Mahābhārata was composed by Vyāsadeva. In this way he compiled so many literatures, but he was not happy. So Nārada Muni, his spiritual master, advised him to describe the activities of the Lord. That is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In that connection he says that some way or other, if somebody becomes in connection with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness, and acts in that spirit, that is never lost. The action of Kṛṣṇa conscious activities will never be lost. That is the purport of this verse. Just like I am doing very large-scale business in my present body. I am earning... Just like Rockefeller, Ford, in your country. In our country also, Birla. There are many big industrialists earning money like anything, hoarding money. But this money, this acquisition or educational qualification... Suppose in this life you become a great scientist, a great scholar, M.A., Ph.D, D.A.C., LL.D., so many titles, and very good opulence, or very good beautiful body, so many material... These are material acquisitions, to get birth in high family, to become highly educated, highly educated, to become very rich, these are material acquisitions. But Śrīmad-Bhāgavata says that all these acquisitions will be finished as soon as the body is finished. The people, they do not know it. They are thinking that "Whatever I am acquiring in this body, that will go with me, or I shall be happy with these acquisitions." That is called illusion, māyā. Because they have no knowledge that "I am spirit soul. I am changing this position of different bodies." Vāsāṁsi jīrnāṇi yathā vihāya (BG 2.22). Just like we change our dresses. This knowledge is lacking in the present civilization. They want to make permanent settlement here, but forget that "Any moment, I shall be kicked out of this situation. I shall have to accept another situation." That is the lack of education in the modern civilization. They are accepting something temporary as permanent settlement. This is called illusion.