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Angkor Wat. Battle of the Pandavas and the Kuravas.

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Angkor Wat. Battle of the Pandavas and the Kuravas.
12th c Cambodian Khmer Architectural Sculpture

KHMER (ANGKOREAN) Anonymous (active c. 802 - c. 1450) Primary
c. 1112-1153
12th c
Low Relief
Angkor. Cambodia.
This scene from the epic Battle of Pandavas & Kauravans was carved on west gallery of Angkor Wat, the great Hindu temple and funerary monument in Cambodia. The most important of the didactic portions of the Mahabarata, known as the BHAGAVAD GITA which means "Song of the Lord," tells the story of Arjuna who throws down his bow in the middle of the battle and refuses to fight. His charioteer, who is in fact Krishna, an avatar or manifestation of the god Vishnu, tells Arjuna that he must fight. He must fight not only because it is his caste duty as a warrior to fight, but also because the Atman, the Self within him, is both birthless and deathless: "If the slayer believes that he can slay or the slain believes that he can be slain, Neither knows the truth. The eternal self slays not, nor is ever slain." With that Krishna manifests his cosmic body and Arjuna is overwhelmed with ecstasy, realizes his duty and does it. The Bhagavad Gita had a very important influence on the development of Hindu religion and philosophy. The Bhagavad Gita goes on to give advice on how to find bliss through renunciation: He knows bliss in the Atman And wants nothing else. Cravings torment the heart: He renounces cravings. I call him illumined. Not shaken by adversity, Not hankering after happiness: Free from fear, free from anger, Free from the things of desire. I call him a seer, and illumined. The bonds of his flesh are broken. He is lucky, and does not rejoice: He is unlucky, and does not weep. I call him illumined. ... When he has no lust, no hatred, a man walks safely among the things of lust and hatred. ... He knows peace who has forgotten desire He lives without craving: Free from ego, free from pride.

Caption: KHMER | Angkor Wat. Battle of the Pandavas and the Kuravas. | c. 1112-1153 | Cambodian | Khmer

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