The Mahabharata tells the story of the Pandavas or the five sons of Pandu viz… King Yudhishthira the Just, Bhīma, Arjuna, the twins Nakula and Sahadeva, their counselor and friend the avatar Krishna, as opposed by their contentious cousins the 100 sons of Dhartarastra- the Kauravas. Events are centered around the great battle on the field of Kuruksetre.
During childhood the querulous Kauravas led by the eldest son Duryodhana had many times attempted to kill at least one or all the Pandavas causing them to take shelter in the forest; nonetheless, Yudhishthira eventually achieves Suzerainty and becomes king over all other kings.
Upon seeing the overflowing prosperity Yudhishthira had achieved Duryodhana and his evil minister Sakuni decide to cheat the Pandavas out of their Kingdom by challenging Yudhishthira to a rigged match of dice. Yudhishthira loses and the Pandavas are exiled to the forest for 13 years at the expiration of which they were to be restored half of their kingdom. Duryodhana reneges thus setting up the battle confrontation at Kuruksetre.
After a tumultuous battle where almost all Kings and noble warrior class die, the Pandavas achieve victory and rule the Kingdom peaceably for 36 years. After which the Pandavas go on pilgrimage to the peak of the Himalayas and Yudhishthira ascends to heaven in bodily form.
This is an interpretation of the teachings in the biblical book of Romans from the perspective (i.e. the teachings) of the Mahabharata, and chiefly the perspective of King Yudhishthira:
Note: Brackets shown for comparison to the textual passage used from Romans .
Ye say there is a law by which others are condemned. But, ye do not keep the law of Truth and Justice in your heart, therefore the law is (blasphemed) disrespected amongst men. Those that believe keep the law of Truth. Not those who say they condemn by the law, but are themselves deceitful and unjust. For if you say that ye believeth in God, but ye acteth maliciously and unrighteously people will say that ye believeth not in God. (Romans 2.23-2.29)
Yudhisthira Counseled On Morality:
The Mahabharata says:
When the soldiers that compose Death’s army are on their march, nothing can resist them, except that one thing, viz., the power of Truth, for in Truth alone Immortality dwells.(Ibid.Ganguli, Mahabharata, Book 12)
Immortality is won by Truth. Transcending desire and wrath, and abstaining from injury, I shall adopt Truth (and by doing so) happily achieving what is for my good…
(Ibid. Ganguli, Mahabharata book 12).
Bhima Counsels Yudhisthira Against a Life of Renunciation:
If, O king, anybody were to obtain success from renunciation, then ,O king, mountains and trees would surely obtain it! These latter are always seen to lead lives of renunciation. They do not injure any one. They are, again, always aloof from a life of worldliness and are all Brahmacharins.
( Ibid. Ganguli, Mahabharata Book 12)
Yudhishthira Tells a Lie (in the defeat of the warrior Drona):
“Keeping the true fact within his mind, he (Bhima) said what was untrue.”…(Mhb. Book 7, Ganguli Translation)
“Fearing earnestly to utter an untruth, but desirous of victory, Yudhishthira distinctly said that Aswatthaman was dead adding indistinctly the word elephant”… (ibid. Ganguli ).
Of good men and righteous men which of them is Yudhishthira? A good man would say be kind to everyone, but a righteous man would not tolerate lies or injustice. (Romans 5.7)
The law entered so that offences might not abound, but where sin abounded men had little faith and the law became vain, so entered grace. (Romans 5.20)
Ye served righteousness, the reward of which was (promised) Eternal Life for keeping the World righteous was a duty. That ye no longer are servants of righteousness, ye no longer wage war for the sake of righteousness. In days of old it was for righteousness for which ye fought. Thus (without the Lord) the world became unrighteous.
Therefore, sometimes a good man commits sin, but the Lord forgives it because the World has become sinful (Though it isn’t necessarily the Lord’s nature to forgive sinfulness).
Boasting is a sin, by what law? Works? Or by the nature of man… i.e. the Spirit. Then the nature of man is Spirit. Yet, the Spirit overcomes; it is not unusual for those that are heroic to be confident. (Romans 3.27)
Salya Reproves Karna for Boasting:
Thus railed at by Saradwat’s son, Karna, that foremost of smiters, answered Kripa in the following strain, “Heroes always roar like clouds in the season of rains, and like steeds put in the soil, quickly yield fruits. I do not see any fault in heroes that take great burdens on their shoulders, indulging in boastful speeches on the field of battle. When a person mentally resolves to bear a burden, Destiny itself aids him in the execution. Wishing in my heart to bear a great burden, I always summon sufficient resolution. If, slaying the sons of Pandu with Krishna and Satwatas in battle, I indulge in such roars, what is it to thee, O Brahmana? They that are heroes never roar fruitlessly like autumnal clouds.
(Ibid. Ganguli, Mahabharata book 7).
Sin was in the world before law and the wage of sin is death. Through the law came fear of punishment. (Romans 5.13)
But, I am Spiritual, freed from the law (of fear) by Grace and righteousness. (Romans 8.2)
The Law of righteousness in the Spirit of the Lord hath made me free from sin and death. (Romans 8.2)
If the Spirit be in you then the body is alive because of Spirit, but the Lord’s Spirit is eternal because it is righteousness and Grace. (Romans 8.9)
Thus the Spirit is Life. (Romans 8.10)
Truth in the Spirit:
The end of the law is justice, but the end of Grace and righteousness is Eternal Life; then the Lord’s Spirit is goodness and righteousness for it leadeth to Eternal Life.
A man is saved by Faith, but the man that seeth knoweth, what doth he yet hope for? (Romans 8.20-8.24)
The Mahabharata teaches in many places the value of spiritual insight. It says that the person(traveller) with insight avoids the dangers in the road; the pit, the snake and it keeps one from falling into the sharp grass.
Yea, in all things we have done more than conquer through love of the Lord. (Romans 8.37)
( i.e. We have spread righteousness through love of the Lord).
Should the man say to his maker why hast thou found fault, thou has formed me thus? The Lord in order to show his justice fitted vessels of wrath for destruction, and vessels of justice for Glory. In this way he made his Power and Glory known. (Romans 9.19-9.23)
Yudhisthira Consoled After War:
Think, O mighty-armed one, of the acts of those Kshatriyas that have fallen. Those (malicious)acts were the causes of their destruction and it is in consequence of them that they have perished. Think also of thy own acts(fair and just) consisting of observances of vows with restrained soul. And think also how thou hast been forced by the Supreme Ordainer to do such an act(engaging in war for a righteous purpose).As a weapon(instrument of Justice) made by a smith or carpenter…
(Ibid. Ganguli, Mahabharata book 12.)
Therefore, the Lord may create some people filled with the Spirit of malice and covetousness, i.e. Duryodhana, and others filled with the Spirit of justice and righteousness, i.e. Yudhisthira, in order that good people would defeat evil and His justice would be shown in the world unto His Glory.
Faith cometh by understanding, and understanding by (reading, reciting, hearing) the Word of the Lord. (Romans 10.17)
For The Lord hath promised “Whoever hath faith in me shall never perish”.
Apostle Paul. “ Romans”. Holy Bible: King James Version-reference edition. Thomas Nelson Inc., e-Book for Kindle. Copyright 1989
Ganguli, Mohan Kisari. The Mahabharata.
Kisari Mohan Ganguli Translation(1896). Public Domain.