fredag 10 september 2021

Evola: några reflektioner

In Swedish. -- Julius Evola har intresserat mig de senaste åren. Härmed ett försök till sammanfattning.



Vi vet alla att Julius Evola föddes i Rom 1898 och dog i samma stad 1974. Hans tidiga, offentliga genombrott var som abstrakt konstnär, först som futurist, sedan som dadaist.

Idémässigt var Evola redan som ung emot den katolska kyrkans makt. Och han föraktade den borgerliga livsstilen. Dessa två drag – antikatolicism, antiborgerlighet – bevarade han livet igenom. Nietzsche, Spengler och andra andens stormän (Buddha, Weininger, d’Annunzio) gjorde tidigt Evola till en elitistisk vurmare.

Den filosofiska, moraliska, personfokuserade idé som bär Evolas egen prägel kom att bli magisk idealism. Han ville finna tillvarons urgrund och han fann det i människans inre, i den obetingade översjälen, paramātman. Han formulerade det som ”den Abolsuta Människan”, en allsmäktig gudamänniska. Evola gav det hela filosofisk prägel men han betonade i Saggi sull’Idealismo Magico hur man även måste nå bortom sedvanlig akademisk filosofi. Taoism och indisk esoterism behövdes även för att nå sanningen; en alkemisk reaktion måste till, ett genombrott in i en ny verklighet: ”Philosophy is the train of thought that finally sees into its own inadequacy and realizes the need for an absolute action that originates from within” (Evola efter Hansen s. 29). Rent rofyllt tänkande leder ingen vart.

Det hela kan sägas ha drag av Actionism; här ser vi idén om att, likt en underrättelseagent, utföra operationer för att nå kunskap (COTAK = Conduction Operations To Attain Knowledge). Vi ser här även det faustiska vurmandet för en individ som skapar verklighet med sin vilja och vision. Det är en andligt förankrad övermänniska. Evola ogillar förvisso formellt Nietzsches övermänniskotanke; tysken var ju så oandlig. Men med Evolas andlig-idealistiska klangbotten så får vi i denna magiska idealism ändå, i allt väsentligt, en bärkraftig gudamänniska, en andlig övermänniska, en tantrisk divya som höjt sig över det blott mänskliga. Tantra behandlade Evola för övrigt i The Yoga of Power (första versionen som L’Uomo come potenza, Man as Potency; andra versionen sedermera översatt som The Yoga of Power, 1998).

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Under mellankrigstiden hörde Evola talas om René Guénon (1886-1951). Denne var en franskfödd sufisk mystiker som bodde i Kairo; kunskap om kristendom och vedānta ledde Guénon till ”den ursprungliga traditionen”, prisca theologia, en urgammal, för alla religioner gemensam urgrund. Polemiskt sammanfattade Guénon sitt credo i The Crisis of the Modern World (franskt original 1927), hur vår moderna värld är en värld av förfall och nihilism; medicinen heter traditionell visdom, meditation och intuition. Dessa åsikter tog Evola till sig. Men man måste understryka att Guénon även hade ofruktbara avvikelser i sitt credo, såsom sin tro på katolicism och frimureri som traditionsbärare (Evola bekämpade å sin sida både frimureri och katolicism). Mindre kontroversiellt kan Guénon allmänt-andligt beskrivas som en prästerlig typ medan Evola var mer ridderlig. Dvs: italienaren betonade hinduismens rajarṣi, cakravartin, dharmarāja, dvs krigaren som bärare av religiös essens, medan Guénon var en något mer stillsam och from vurmare som betonade prästen som religiös symbolfigur.

Evola vidareutvecklade sin traditionsvurm i Revolt Against the Modern World (1934). Här, sa Edmund Dodsworth, fick den tidigare formulerade, något abstrakta ”Absoluta Människan” historisk förankring i kulturer såsom vedatidens Indien, principatets Rom och högmedeltidens kejsardöme med Fredrik II av Hohenstaufen i spetsen. När Revolt gavs ut regerade annars fascismen i Italien; detta kan föranleda några kommentarer om den politiske Evola. (Vi kommer av och till att återvända till det politiska i denna artikel; politik, filosofi och andlighet uppgår hos Evola i en enda holistisk gestalt.)

Evola var i början, låt säga under 20-talet, entusiastisk anhängare av regimen, han uppskattade fascismens anti-kommunism och krigiska sida. Sedan blev han mer kritisk men i soldatisk-lojal anda fortsatte han att stödja Mussolini, även efter det att denne avsatts och bildat Salò-republiken (om Evolas förhållande till fascismen se även Hansen s. 50 et passim). Evola propagerade själv i Revolt för ett hierarkiskt samhälle, ett med metafysisk förankring i eviga värden såsom ridderlighet, ära, askes och med nedprioritering av kristendom. Men fascismen kunde för sin del inte bryta med kristendomen, då hade den förlorat allt stöd, både hos det italienska folket och samhällseliten. Den stödde sig också på den på 1800-talet grundade italienska monarkin, något som Evola dock gillade. Utan kungadöme i botten hade fascismen blivit för plebejisk och banal, ansåg han.

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I Revolt Against the Modern World vurmades det för idén om ett ariskt, nordligt urhem i Midgård, det polära Hyperborea, das Reich; detta är världens ideella centrum, mandalans mitt, meditationens mål och den axel som jorden och allt annat roterar kring (Revolt s. 17, 188). Samma vurm finner man i en annan Evolabok, The Mystery of the Grail; i den sägs bland annat att Malorys Morte d’Arthur nämner en mystisk roterande ö. Och detta kan ju passa in på det forna Midgård beläget där på nordpolen, roterande i splendid isolation på världens topp. Vad gäller Arthursagans Gral sägs denna av Evola vara en hednisk myt som först på senare tid (medeltiden) kapats av kristendomen. Det heliga, traditionella tusenårsriket ska byggas på hyperboreal-polar grund med symboler som Gral, dharmarāja, en riddare i skinande rustning; präster och klosterboende munkar har föga plats här.

Midgård eller ”det polära Hyperborea” (eller Thule, Aryiyana Vaejo, den vita ön, Apollos land) blir för Evola den mytisk-politiska symbolen för ansvarig, himmelsinriktad, solar, vertikal, patriarkal, ridderlig makt, en makt i direktkontakt med den metafysiska öververkligheten, det Ena, ”Gud” (som Evola iofs. undviker att nämna, antikatolsk som han är). Detta skapar en tradition som förs vidare till epoker såsom antikens Indien, Rom och högmedeltidens tysk-romerska rike. Denna polära tradition bör då ställas mot en ”sydlig, jordisk, matriarkalisk och lunar” tradition, yttrad i kristendom, islam och judendom. Så kan det vara, islam har ju sin halvmånesymbol. Och i mellanöstern skyr man förvisso solstekta dagen och finner svalka i den månlysta natten. Men vad Evola missar är att kristendomen även har den solare Kristus, sägande ”jag är världens ljus”. Detta är i så fall tämligen ariskt...!

Dikotomin patriarkat-matriarkat hade för sin del bland annat belysts av Bachofen i Das Mutterrecht (1861) och denna skrift åberopade Evola i Revolt som stöd för sin idealbild av polär-solar religiositet, för himmelsförankrat imperium med betoning på manliga gudar såsom Zeus, Dyaus Pitr, Viṣṇu och hans avatarer. Dyrkan av dessa på vindomsusade, himmelssträvande berg ställs mot orgiastiska riter i skogen à la grekiska bacchanter. Kremering och upplösning i eld och luft ställs mot jordbegravning. – Det polära går igen i symbolen för stång, påle mm. i de hedniska träden Yggdrasil och Irminsul, båda i sin tur symboler för människans ryggrad där andliga krafter huserar (kundalīni).

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Idealmänniskan enligt Evola är alltså den fromme riddaren, kṣatriyan, den både mediterande och aktionsvillige tantristen, vad man kan kalla ”a both mindful and belligerent yogi”. Det är den Absoluta Människan, den självständige tigerryttaren (Ride the Tiger, 1961), rätt lik Jüngers anark och Nietzsches övermänniska. Samt bergsbestigaren; Evola var passionerad alpinist med boken Meditations on the Peaks (1974, engelsk översättning 1998) som yttring för denna vurm. Bergsbestigaren strävar uppåt, mot himlen; tankarna blir klarare över 4000 meter, hävdar han bland annat. Nietzsche fann för sin del övermänniskan i Schweiz’ alper. Och buddhisten Milarepa mediterade på bergstoppar i Himalaya. Sådant finner Evola stöd i när alpinismen blir en andlig livsyttring.

Evola kunde tolerera fascismen, den reellt existerande fascistregim han levde under i Italien. Men han var aldrig med i fascistpartiet och förblev en kritiker och outsider. Större hopp såg han i Tredje riket med dess rasreligion, dess betoning av ”heligt blod”. Evola var iofs. ingen rasfundametalist och han ansåg att det viktiga var att nyktert ”återvända till traditionen”, medan nazismen kan ses som en mindre reflekterande, mer drabbande, ”folklig” (völkisch), på pånyttfödelse inriktad raslära. Nåväl, från 1933 och framåt föreläste Evola ofta i Nazityskland. Dels undervisade han radikalkonservativa cirklar, dels SS. SS imponerade på honom eftersom det var en orden med religiöst-andliga inslag, utan att vara sedvanligt kristet. Men därutöver var Evolas åsikter om ras anatema för SS; Evola ansåg att ras är ett tredelat begrepp, med biologisk ras, själslig ras och andlig ras som beståndsdelar, där det sista var viktigast. Detta var föga i linje med vad SS och Himmler ansåg. Så Evola förbjöds att tala för SS efter ett tag. Men efter 1943, när völkisch-fraktionen i SS förlorat mark mot Waffen SS’ paneuropeiska linje, kom Evola in från kylan igen (Coogan 1999 s. 315)

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I mars 1938 reste Evola till Rumänien. I huvudstaden Bukarest träffade han på en och samma dag Mircea Eliade och Corneliu Codreanu. Den förre var en andligt begåvad religionsvetare; den senare var en kristet förankrad fascist. Codreanu ska ha gjort stort intryck på Evola. (Enligt Hansen s. 80: ”Codreanu ... was definitely one of the very few indesputable ’heroes’ and models for Evola. Everything he wrote about him amounted to a panegyric...”.) Baserat på Hansen tycks det ha varit så att Evola år 1943, vacklande i stödet för den avsatte men av Skorzeny räddade och återinsatte Mussolini, stärktes av den ”legionärsanda” han fått i Rumänien, en anda som sa: lojalitet framför allt.)

Sedan blev det Salò, Wien, bombanfall, och tillbaka i Rom 1948. 1951 blev Evola fängslad eftersom några lärjungar till honom bildat Fasci d’Azion Rivoluzionari (FAR). Evola säger själv att han blev frikänd i den följande rättegången; enligt Hansen (s. 91) blev det ”six months of detention”. Sedan, efter 1950, bildades en Evola-inspirerad orden kallad Ordine Nuevo, en utbrytargrupp ur Movimiento Sociale Italiano.

Kriget var över och traditionellt förankrad högerpolitik var tämligen död. Men i programskriften Men Among the Ruins (1953) gav Evola likväl ett politiskt recept. Staten skulle bevaras, den var bärare av ansvarig, legitim makt, av imperium; den skulle styra med bland annat planekonomi och elitistisk-hierarkisk differentiering; ingen egalitarism, ingen nivellering! Nationen och folket är maktbasen (ej arbetarklass eller medelklass eller ”individen-konsumenten”, så där som nihilist-liberalist-marxismen ansåg och anser).

Sedan, 1961, kom Ride the Tiger där den opolitiska människan blir idealet. Allt är så degenererat att restauration (à la Ruins) ej längre är möjlig. Andens aristokrat, den differentierade människan, den Absoluta Människan, ska uthärda allt, rida tigerns rygg tills djuret (= modernismens krafter) är utmattat och man kan kliva av och ta över föreställningen.

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Jag gör nu följande försök till sammanfattning av Evolas filosofiska idé.

I sitt Ruins-förord säger Hansen: Evola “is not really fighting against Bolshevism, Americanism, and consumer culture, but rather against contemporary man.” (s. 102).

Detta är Evola i ett nötskal: individen är i fokus, inte någon tyst majoritet, inga massmänniskor, inget kollektiv som det ryska "mir"; i stället, i den stora västerländska traditionen, är det den ensamma mannen i sin nattliga cell som måste fundera över världen och göra ett konceptuellt ställningstagande efter att ha gjort en grundlig analys.

Det är individen som av egen, fri vilja måste skaka av sig modernism-materialismen och ge sig i kast med traditionell-metafysisk andlighet.

Detta kan hos Evola leda till överintellektualisering och steril tankeexercis – men samtidigt är detta ärligt känt, det är faustiskt, det är västerländskt. Som en faustisk man ser du allt som riktat mot dig, först som ett hot, sedan som en utmaning. Slutligen intas hela världen, den moderna världen angriper dig – och du övervinner den, på jiu-jitsu-sätt, genom att vända dess egen kraft mot den; du bestiger tigerns rygg, du rider tigern tills den är utmattad och sedan kan du stiga av och ta över showen.

Detta är den idévärld Evola målar upp för oss; detta är Evolas intellektuella hjältesaga, som jag ser det.



Litteratur
Coogan, Kevin. Dreamer of the Day, F. P. Yockey, 1999
Evola, Julius. Meditations on the Peaks, 1998
.- Path of Cinnabar, 2009
.- Revolt Against the Modern World, 1934
.- Ride the Tiger, 1961
Hansen, H. T. Julius Evola’s Political Endeavors i Evola, Julius, Men Among the Ruins, 2002



Relaterat
Actionism
Ride the Tiger
Metaphysics of War
Safranski om Nietzsche

fredag 3 september 2021

Historisk podd med mig

In Swedish, about a Swedish pod cast I've contributed to. -- En ny podd med mig har sett dagens ljus. Den finns här och handlar om historia.



Svegot är en mediaresurs av ypperligt slag. Namnet Svegot uttyds för sin del "Svea- och Götaland". Man är ett mediehus som fokuserar på Sverige, därtill med nationalistisk vinkel.

Skapare av Svegot är Dan Eriksson och Magnus Söderman, som tidigare sysslat med nationell media såsom tidskriften Framåt, Radio Motgift med mera.

Nu har man Svegot. Som ger ut Nationalisten. Och som har flera poddradiokanaler.

En av dessa poddar är "På gamla och nya stigar" av Jalle Horn. Med bred och kunnig penselföring har man tidigare täckt in ämnen såsom Gustaf Fröding, R. E. Howards Conan, Njals saga, Rolandssången och annat intressant.

Nu senast var ämnet Oswald Spengler och hans historieverk. Alltså främst Västerlandets undergång (1918). Men även Människan och tekniken (1931).

Programmets titel är: Oswald Spengler och hans syn på vår faustiska kultur.

Jalle är redaktör och leder oss in i den spenglerska världen med passande inramning: Carl Orff, Carmina Burana. Sedan så är jag gäst och jag kommer med inpass.

Så vitt jag kan bedöma är detta en utmärkt podd. Det var trevligt att medverka; det finns en "tonträff" i det hela. "Tight but loose", liksom. Lyssna här.



Relaterat
Podd om Spengler
En annan podd med mig: om sf
Sf-podd, del 2
Bokrecension här på bloggen: Människan och tekniken

fredag 6 augusti 2021

Nationalisten: ny tidning

In Swedish. – Härmed information om en ny, svensk tidskrift. Den heter Nationalisten. Och har sin hemsida i denna länk.



Äntligen…!

Äntligen har vi fått en svensk tidskrift med nationell prägel. Ett månadsmagasin på blankt papper med skribenter som får bre ut sig i olika ämnen. En tidning man vill spara och läsa om.

Högerpressen har gått framåt de senaste åren. Ser man till print är kanske Nya Tider flaggskeppet: omdiskuterad, hög polemisk profil (presstödet de sökte, bokmässan etc.). Fokuset i NyT är aktualiteter i form av invandringsproblem, internationell elitklubbspolitik och svensk politik. Plus bokrecensioner och fakta om traditionell svensk historia och kultur.

Det är gott och väl. Men man kan i genren (radikalkonservativ tryckmedia) även önska sig något mer underhållande och essäistiskt. Såsom en månadstidning med teman kring sådant som tro och religion, Sveriges storhet, porträtt av konservativa märkesmän från förr osv.

En sådan tidning har nu magiskt blivit verklighet.

Det är de handlingskraftiga männen bakom Det fria Sverige (DFS-Svegot), Dan Eriksson, Magnus Söderman och Björn Björkqvist, som driver den. Söderman är redaktör och alla tre medverkar i varje nummer. Tidningen har kommit ut sedan 2020 och kvaliteten är bedövande bra.

Här sägs rent ut: vi tror på det traditionella Sverige, vi skriver om den sedvanlige svenskens historia, väsen och mentalitet. Det traditionella Europa hyllas här med radikal vinkel.

Den svenska särarten och dylikt skildras i texter av Motpolsbekanta som Oskorei, Jalle Horn och undertecknad, samt DFS-trion ovan, Robin Holmgren och Henrik Jonasson (upphovsman till seriealbumet Sigmund, 2020) mfl. Och man har skrivit om Gustav Vasa, västerländska framsteg, ungdom av idag, religion, raggare, hedendom, AVK, amerikasvenskar mm, allt med högerradikal och originell vinkel.

Det senaste numret handlar om ”svensk innovation”. Läs om Volvo, Nobel mm, allt med nationell prägel.

Varje nummer av Nationalisten har 40 sidor, är i A4-format och kommer en gång i månaden.

Här finns info om det senaste numret: innehåll, prenumeration etc.



Relaterat
Nationalistens hemsida
Nya Tider
Intervju med mig i NyT

söndag 25 juli 2021

Actionism -- some musings about my philosophy of life



In 2017 I published the book Actionism. Hereby some deliberations on it. [And if you're Swedish, hereby a presentation of it in the royal Swedish language.]





How does a typical Actionist dress? – I’d say that he wears black pants and a grey jacket. 

 

And what does he read? – He reads Actionism, Borderline, Castaneda, Bhagavad-Gita, early Heinlein, Dune. 

 

His signature saying is, “Let’s get going, we can rest on the way, seeking Rest In Action = RIA.” 


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The Actionist is here to stay. We need him. He is the will-driven mindset finally coming into its own again, after a century of propaganda saying that “Will” is an illusion.

 

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Without really being a ”movement Actionist,” you could say that Jack Steelnack is something of an Actionist. His thought is rather Actionist, if you’re asking me…!

 

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All my books are “Actionist” in nature... all of them giving contemporary man a sorely needed live injection of willpower, striving and splendor.

 

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“When a man decides to do something, he must go all the way, (...) but he must take responsibility for what he does. No matter what he does, he must know first why he is doing it, and then he must proceed with his actions without having doubts or remorse about them.” – Carlos Castaneda, quoted in Actionism – How to Become a Responsible Man.

 

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First we had the godless superman, the atheist “Blonde Bestie”. Then came nothing. Then nothing... and now, at long last, we have the superman for the 21stcentury, spiritually led. I declare you the Spiritual Superman: the Actionist.

 

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Afraid of death...? I might have the remedy. It’s called MMM = Memento Mori Mindset. I tell you more of it in Actionism.

 

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The superman needs God as a regulating force, needs Him to stay sane... I declare you the Spiritual Superman.

 

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Golden yoga = Actionism = a course in supermanism

 

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I declare you the Spiritual Superman, 

the Martian Messiah, the Pleiadean

Preacher – A Strong And Responsible 

Idealist, Taking charge – ASARIT.

 

I declare you Absolute Man, 

Total Man, Responsible Man – 

Sonnenmensch, Vîra, Divya – 

the Great Guide, the Chosen One.

 

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Be a 51%-er... work through at least 51% of your karma, then the road to supermanism lies before you.





Related

Actionism -- general info

I Declare You the Spiritual Superman

Jack Steelnack

In Swedish: Boken presenterad på svenska


måndag 12 juli 2021

Svensson: Comfortably Strong (poem)



Welcome. Today we give you a poem -- an Actionist poem. Diverse terms such as "TIOHAN" etc will occur in it. And they are explained in this previous post. So, here we go; we hereby give you the poem entitled, "Comfortably Strong".




Strong and shiny – 

strong and crystalline – 


strong and hyaline...

luster, shine... charisma, 

sheen... aura, aureole...

 

Strong and shiny, self-reliant –

I... have become... comfortably strong...

 

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Singing my solitary Actionist songs

in the temple of Will...

 

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That live, upon this everything depends...

physician, heal thyself...!

 

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I operate successfully in history –

I operate successfully with alchemy –

the alchemy of time and thought,

the alchemy of will and vision...

I am that alchemy –

I am that history – 

I am that mythology –

 

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Taiga Land surrounding Dharma Town –

the pinewood ending, the town beginning –

a dream town in a dream forest, my land

and my town, and all in one and one in all...

 

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I am preacher man,

I have palaces all over the land...

temples for the worshipping of will –

temples for the honey sacrifice –

a bread elevated, dipped in honey-water,

and consumed by the priest – the 

priest declaring you the superman...

 

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I am strong and shiny –

I have drunk from the well of Glastonbury...

 

I go by the trail of Shasta – 

Lake Titicaca –

Ayer’s Rock...

and then by the trail of Lake Titicaca –

Glastonbury – Mount Kailash – and

Ayer’s Rock once again...

 

Overlapping snake waves,

Sine waves enveloping the earth,

the whole planet...

 

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I am prophet, magician, preacher –

I have an âshram in the heartland,

a golden palace in Antropolis...

 

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Fanaticism, hubris and megalomania...

a journey that begins in fanaticism

and continues in fanaticism...

 

Symbol, vision, will...

holy, holy, holy...

 

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With roots in Hell, I’m growing up into Heaven,

With roots in Earth, I’m striving for the Sky...

 

My feet in Hell, my head in Heaven –

and my heart in between...

the marriage between Heaven and Hell.

 

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By my very existence

I wield enormous powers...

Point of Willpower,

TIOHAN 

 

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Build the temple and the gods will come...

 

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Fanaticism, hubris and megalomania...

a journey that begins in fanaticism

and continues in fanaticism...

no rest for the wicked,

only Rest In Action... RIA

 

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JC, prophet of Christianity... 

Paul Atreides, prophet of Dune... 

and me, prophet of Actionism...

 

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Je suis riche... 

Ég er ríkur… 

Ich bin reich…

Jag är rik…

I am rich...

 

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Making myself strong, so strong

making me strong, all day long

making me strong with this song

making me strong, where I belong...! 





Related

Actionism -- the Next Big Thing

Poem: Hubris and Megalomania

 

söndag 6 juni 2021

Reflektioner på nationaldagen 2021



In Swedish, because today it's Sweden's national day. -- Det är nationaldagen idag. 

 

 

 

Den 6 juni varje år brukar jag posta ett inlägg. På tema nationalism – svensk nationalism. Eftersom det är nationaldagen.

Dagens datum råkar vara 6 juni. Och även i år ska jag denna dag, som seden bjuder, säga något passande.

Denna tradition inleddes 2011. Se här. 

Det är med andra ord tioårsjubileum idag. För dessa nationaldagsreflektioner.

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2017 fick det hela en mer personlig anstrykning. Då hade ju min svenska historia kommit ut. En nationalistisk historiebok. Så att nämna denna bok i samband med nationaldagen föll sig naturligt.

Och i år ska jag ägna hela inlägget åt denna bok.

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Boken heter Ett rike utan like -- Sveriges historia. Och den är ständigt aktuell. Ty den är den enda svenska historik som säger att vi svenskar existerar som ett särpräglat folk. Alla andra jämförbara böcker (= svensk historia av nu levande författare) försöker ju överträffa varandra i att förneka de etniska svenskarnas existens. Harrison, Lindqvist, Englund... you name 'em.

Nåväl, jag har inom mig en känsla som heter fosterlandet. Och min bok speglar det. 

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Vad innehåller boken då? Detta inlägg säger allt du behöver veta. Sverige och svenskarnas historia, från år 0 till idag, skildras i boken med kunskap och polemisk udd. 

Här, idag, i denna nationaldagspredikan, denna soliga 6 juni 2021, känns det annars rätt att betona innehållet i det sista kapitlet, kapitel 12. 

Där skildras en resa jag gjorde i Uppland i maj 2010. En rundresa i försommarvärmen i jakt på mina svealändska rötter. Jag startade vid Uppsala högar, drog vidare till Wiks slott och besåg Sigtuna, allt med reflektioner över platsernas historiska relevans. Sedan bar det av till Uppsala. Och sist till Stockholm, där en rundvandring gjordes i historiskt intressanta kyrkor. Slutklämmen är en reflektion över traditionens betydelse, över det kulturkrig vi utkämpar, och sannolikheten för oss att vinna detta krig.

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Som sagt, boken är en exposé i svensk historia. I kapitel 1-8 är det en krönika från begynnelsen till idag, plus diverse utvikningar. Kapitel 9 skildrar försvarets nutida historia och kapitel 10 tar en titt på traditionellt vinklad kultur från 1900-talet. Kapitel 11 är en geografisk översikt. Och kapitel 12 är den uppländska rundresan.

Sidantalet är 580. Bindningen är hårdpärm med skyddsomslag. Bilden på omslaget föreställer en karolin, mot en bakgrund av Odens "vilda jakt", sammanfattande vad det hela handlar om: traditionell svensk historia, asatro och karolinsk vurm. Detta är vad som bjuds. Plus nationell yra över gestalter som Gustav Vasa, Gustav II Adolf och Gustav III. Plus skildrande av bondetåget och 1900-talets stormar med världskrig, kallt krig och "PK-kriget" vi idag utkämpar. Osv.

Boken har recenserats här och var och lovordats i alla tonarter -- i Nya Dagbladet, i Nya Tider (länkar till recensioner här). Och på Radio Motgift, en podradio som Magnus Söderman hade 2017. Där sa han om boken: "Den här ska finnas som standardverk hos varje Sverigevän."

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Detta var mitt budskap -- idag -- nationaldagen den 6 juni 2021. Ha det så trevligt denna dag.

Tack för ordet.



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lördag 29 maj 2021

The Mahābhārata -- A Summary



The Mahābhārata (= Mbh) is an Indian epic. Hereby a summation of it. My sources are listed below, at the end of the article. – Mbh is somewhat similar to the Homerian epics: a saga of bronze age heroes, descending from gods. They are all tapestries of stories, treasure-troves of moral, philosophy, and all kinds of wisdom, to which poets, playwrights etc., from antiquity until today, have turned for inspiration. Mbh is the essence of ancient India in the same way as the Homerian epics are the essence of the ancient West. 



 

 

Mbh is divided into 18 books, named “parva”. And these 18 parvas give the structure to the article. So hereby a look at the epic by way of its parvas, beginning with the first parva.

 

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Book One. Ādi parva. This is one of the longest book of the epic with about 20 sub-parvas; the others have only about five of these subsections, sometimes just one. Ādi parva tells of the origins of the epic itself, of the royal line of the Kuru kingdom being in focus, and of the development of two feuding groups of cousins, the Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas. 

 

And this is the story...

 

The fight between good and evil, devas and asuras, dharma and non-dharma, is as old as time itself. And a long time ago this struggle took the form of a war in heaven between devas, bright gods, and asuras, gods of darkness. The asuras eventually lost it. So they looked down on earth and thought, “let’s incarnate as men in this beautiful realm”... This they did, taking on human bodies and soon reveling in all sorts of sin, upsetting everyone: man, beast, troll. The earth goddess, Pṛthvī, couldn’t sustain it so she bade the devas by way of Brahmā to intervene. The chief god promised to do something – so, next, he asked Viṣṇu and other gods to incarnate on earth so as to reset the balance and continue the battle against the asuras on that plane, the earth.

 

So then, down to earth we go, to Bhārata and India, in the times of the great Bhārata war, that is, the Mahābhārata... And in the Mahābhārata context the fight between devas and asuras takes the form of a fight between two groups of cousins, the Kauravas (the asura-supported faction) and the Pāṇḍavas (the deva-supported faction). When the epic is over the devas have won and eased the pain of the earth; however, the golden age is also over by then. We are left with a world without any incarnated gods and magic not working as before – literally, an entzauberte Welt. 

 

For the human story, the royal feud at the centre of the story, this was the case. – Śāntanu, king of the Kurus, with the river goddess Gangā has the son Bhīṣma; Bhīṣma is heir to the throne in Bhārata, the land of the Bhārata clans in northern India. Then we have king Śāntanu's new wife Satyavatī; she now wants her future sons to ascend to the throne. So prince Bhīṣma, noble as he is, willingly relinquishes his right to the throne and takes a wov to live in celibate. And Satyavatī marries Śāntanu and gives birth to two sons, Citrāngada and Vicitravīrya. They, however, die without issue. So to maintain the royal line, Satyavatī’s son in a previous marriage, Vyāsa, is called upon; he is to engender sons with the two widows of Vicitravīrya. These sons become Dhṛtarāṣṭra (his name meaning “whose empire, rāṣṭra, is firm, dhṛta”) and Pāṇḍu (= pale). And with a servant girl of widow number two he engenders Vidura; due to his humble origins Vidura becomes a peripheral figure of the epic, nonetheless having some importance as adviser to the royal family.

 

Because of Dhṛtarāṣṭra being blind Pāṇḍu soon becomes the king; he has two wives, Kuntī and Madrī. While on a hunt he lethally injures a hermit in the shape of a deer, a deer also in the act of knowing his deer, and dear, wife... Therefore the hermit curses Pāṇḍu; the next time he is about to make love to a woman he will die. 

 

Thus, another threat to the survival of the royal line has arisen. 

 

The solution comes from Pāṇḍu’s wife Kuntī; from a seer she once received a mantra by which she could summon any deva and make any wish. She has already used the mantra once; then she summoned the sun god and begat the son Karṇa. To avoid blame from her parents she eventually had to get rid of her son by putting him in a basket on a river, like in the story of the Biblical Moses. And like Moses, this basketed fellow survives and grows up without knowing his ancestry. Only at the end of the epic this is revealed.

 

Now, however, Pāṇḍu, to avoid sexual contact himself, asks Kuntī to make use of the mantra to beget sons. First, calling on the god Dharma, she engenders the son Yudhiṣṭhira. Next, with the wind god Vāyu she engenders Bhīma, and with Indra she engenders Arjuna. Using the same mantra Pāṇḍu’s second wife Madrī engenders the twins Nakula and Sahadeva with the Aśvins, the famed twin gods, gods of the dawn. – In the greater perspective this is part of the astral war hinted at above; the devas have now incarnated on earth to take up the battle against the incarnated asuras. And the asuras get reinforcement in the same avataric way through the Pāṇḍava’s cousins, the Kauravas, whose leader becomes a Kali incarnate.

 

These Kauravas are born in this way. The blind Dhṛtarāṣṭra gets himself a wife, Gāndhārī, who after a long gestation gives birth to a strange lump; on the advice of Vyāsa it is bred into a hundred sons. The oldest son is Duryodhana, the Kali incarnate, and the rest are incarnated demons – rākṣasas.

 

Then Pāṇḍu dies, because one day he felt attracted to his wife Madrī. She knew of the curse that he would die if aroused so she did what she could to avoid it – but to no use, once he slept with her and soon died. As a faithful (satī) wife she joined him on the funeral pyre.

 

Pāṇḍu’s suvivors, Kuntī and her sons, move to the Kuru capital of Hastināpura where the five boys are brought up together with their 100 Kaurava cousins. Yudhiṣṭhira is the rightful heir for he is older than Duryodhana and his 99 brothers. Dhṛtarāṣṭra rules during Yudhiṣṭhira’s infancy and, during it, is also influenced by his own son, Duryodhana, saying that he, Duryodhana, should be king. So they try to kill the Pāṇḍavas.

 

An important figure called Droṇa is now introduced. He grew up with Drupada, prince of Pañcāla; Drupada said that when asked he would give Droṇa anything. However, having ascended to his throne Drupada humiliates his former friend, saying that a Kṣatriya king can’t be friends with a poor Brahmin. Droṇa, bent on revenge, for himself finds a career in Hastināpura as a teacher of war to the royal cousins, Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas. Karṇa is also a pupil. Arjuna becomes the top student; he also gets the super weapon brahma-shiras from Droṇa. Karṇa becomes Arjuna’s enemy, not knowing they are half-brothers; Karṇa soon joins up with Duryodhana’s camp.

 

Next in Ādi parva we hear of Droṇa’s revenge. As a teacher he has the right of a gift from his pupils – and for this, he asks them to go to war against king Drupada. The war is successful and Drupada is brought before Droṇa in chains. Droṇa now lets him have half his kingdom back; a Brahmin giving a gift to a Kṣatriya in this way is a subtle insult and Drupada now becomes bent on revenge.

 

Then we have the “house of lac”-episode; the lakṣagrāma. Duryodhana wants to kill the Pāṇḍavas; he incites Dhṛtarāṣṭra to send the Pāṇḍavas and their mother Kuntī to a certain town, Vāraṇāvata; in occluded words Vidura warns them about this but they go anyway. In Vāraṇāvata they are given residence in a house with walls impregnated with lac, making it susceptible to fire; in other words, it becomes very igneous. By way of an agent in situ Duryodhana plans to kill the Pāṇḍavas in this house. However, remembering Vidura’s warning the quintet first dig a tunnel to escape by and then set fire to the house themselves – and then they escape by the tunnel. The builder, a low-caste woman and her five sons mysteriously perish in the flames; seeing their charred remains Duryodhana thinks that the Pāṇḍavas are now eliminated. They aren’t. But they wait for better times by spending some time off, living in the forest as brahmins.

 

In this time of exile we first have the Hidimba-Hidimbā episode. The female of this demon pair fell in love with Bhīma and, in the guise of a beautiful woman, seduced him. A hideous giant, Ghaṭotkaca, became the issue. He would later help the quintet.

 

The quintet and their mother, disguised as Brahmins, next comes to the land of Pañcāla, the land of king Drupada. Bent on revenge he has engendered a supernatural son to get the best of his old enemy Droṇa. For this a great sacrifice was performed, out of its fire creating Dhṛṣṭadyumna, a fierce warrior, and Draupadī, a wonderful woman. The warrior eventually becomes a pupil of Droṇa even though his father is his enemy. And Draupadī becomes the wife of the Pāṇḍavas, by way of a svayaṃvara now held in Pañcāla. The trial for the suitors are won by Arjuna; Draupadī choses him for her husband. By a misunderstanding – the tradition of sharing an alms, a backsheesh – Draupadī becomes the wife of all five Pāṇḍava brothers.

 

At the svayaṃvara the Pāṇḍavas, living incognito, are recognized by Kṛṣṇa, the nephew of Kuntī. He is a prince of the Yādavas and also an incarnation of Viṣṇu; this is a very important element of the astral war aspect of the epic.

 

The marriage to Draupadī makes the Pāṇḍavas the allies of Drupada. Now Dhṛtarāṣṭra invites them back to Hastināpura. Getting half the kingdom they build their own capital, Indraprastha. Draupadī begets five sons, one with each of her husbands, with proper intervals. 

 

During this time Arjuna has an adventure of his own, having to go and live as a hermit for a while – twelve years, because of a certain situation of having been the first of the brothers to see Draupadī together with one of the other brothers). He makes good use of his exile, like fetching more super-weapons to be used in the upcoming war. He is still married to Draupadī; now he also marries Kṛṣṇa’s sister, Subhadrā, sealing his friendship with the mighty god-man. 

 

Next, the fire god Agni asks for the assistance of Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna; he wants to set fire to the Khāṇḍava forest. Arjuna is given a bow with two magical quivers; they are always full. Kṛṣṇa gets a discus. With these weapons they kill all the creatures escaping from the burning forest. However, the asurean master builder Maya Danava is saved from the flames by Arjuna.

 

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Book Two is called Sabhā parva, the book of the congregation hall (sabhā; meeting, court, hall, palace). It tells of the Pāṇḍavas having their own kingdom with Indraprastha as capital; the title is because of the book beginning with Maya Danava who, as a thanks for being saved, builds the Pāṇḍavas a palace in their town. For its part, the case of “monstrosity asked to build a castle” is like the Edda where the giant Fafner was hired to build Valhalla.

 

Yudhiṣṭhira is now crowned king, maybe “great king,” mahārāja; his realm has recently been enlarged by his four brothers on separate war expeditions. 

 

It is a glorious time. But at the same time the Kauravas are jealous, symbolized by Duryodhana’s visit to the new-built palace. First, he is fooled by a shiny floor, thinking it a pool of water; next, he sees a real pool which he thinks is a floor – so when trying to walk over it he falls into the water. Humiliation! 

 

Soon, he instigates Dhṛtarāṣṭra to challenge Yudhiṣṭhira to a dice game; Duryodhana’s uncle Śakuni comes up with the idea. Playing the game against Śakuni Yudhiṣṭhira loses his kingdom; also, Draupadī is humiliated by Duryodhana’s younger brother Duḥśāsana and the other Kauravas. Bhīma swears to take revenge on both Duḥśāsana (by drinking his blood) and Duryodhana (to crush the thigh on which the black prince has invited Draupadī to sit). Now, the Pāṇḍavas must go into a twelve-year exile in the woods, plus another year incognito in a town. Then, they will have their kingdom back.

 

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Book Three, Vana parva, is the longest separate book of the epic. It tells of the twelve years of exile in the woods (vana, n).

 

Apart from inserted, separate stories, stories told to the heroes by visiting saints etc., we also get some real narration in this book. Like Arjuna going to Himālaya; he is in search of weapons but is also occupied with dhyāna yoga. In the shape of a hunter Śiva runs into a brawl with him; the great god wins but as a favor gives Arjuna the Pāśupata-astra weapon, an astral war weapon indeed. – At the same time Arjuna’s enemy Karṇa, for his part, is visited by Indra in the guise of a Brahmin. Indra asks for his earrings and body armor; according to custom a Brahmin’s request for a gift must be obeyed so he gives them away, although he, Karṇa, as the marvelous son of the sun god he is, was born with them...! 

 

Discovering that it is Indra he has before him Karṇa asks for a gift in return. It becomes a lance he plans to use against Arjuna.

 

The separate stories we are treated to in Vana parva are those of Damayantī, Manu and the Fish, a short version of Rāmāyana, Savitrī and Yama, Agastya Drinking up the Ocean and Ganga Refilling It, and Cyavana and Sukanyā. The last one is about the old seer who wondrously married a fairy girl; they eventually got separated but when they reunited, the man had also gotten his youth back. 

 

The book ends with Yudhiṣṭhira being tried by “the yakṣas questions”. His divine father, the god Dharma, puts him to the test to see if he really is the dharma king of this age. And verily, Yudhiṣṭhira’s knowledge of dharma saves him and the whole quintet; he and his four brothers have been in danger of being killed by the yakṣa whose gestalt Dharma took for this trial.

 

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Book Four, Virāta parva, tells of the year spent incognito at the court of king Virāta, king of the Matsyas. First, Arjuna hides their weapons in a mimosa tree, placing a corpse next to it to have the corpse-vampire (= Skt. Vetāla) as a guardian of them; next, in the city, the heroes take on odd jobs, contrary to a Kṣatriya’s mindset, like Arjuna being a dance teacher (named Bṛhannalā) and Yudhiṣṭhira as a Brahmin who is the master of dice. Bhīma is a cook. Draupadī becomes the lady-in-waiting to the queen. 

 

Then, we have the episode of a Virāta general, Kīcaka, falling in love with Draupadī and trying to know her; she says that she is married to five gandharvas, so hands-off...! Eventually, the general is killed by Bhīma. Then the Kauravas comes for an old-school cattle-raid, a favorite Indo-European topic, like “The Cattle Raid of Cooley” in Irish myth. A rather fun episode in this is how the Virāta prince Uttara, when about to fight off the raiders, can’t find a charioteer. Finally Arjuna is hired; going into battle Uttara wants to leave the chariot and escape but Arjuna drags him back... Then, he asks the prince to go to the mimosa tree and fetch the marvelous weapons. Arjuna reveals himself to the prince and then goes off to single-handedly defeat Duryodhana and the raiders. And in the process no one detects his real identity.

 

After the victory Arjuna puts the weapons back in the arboreal hideout and, going back to the capital, admonishes the prince not to reveal his true identity, because still there was three days during wich the quintet had to stay incognito. And the prince keeps his word; to his father the king he says that in the fight he had been assisted by a god in the shape of a young man.

 

Three days later the Pāṇḍavas disclose who they are. The Virāta king becomes an ally in the struggle by marrying his daughter Uttarā to Arjuna’s son, Abhimanyu.

 

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Book Five, Udyoga parva, tells of preparations (udyoga, m) for war, since the feud between the Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas can’t be solved in any other way. However, efforts of reconciliation are also made; this we get our fair share of in the ten sub-parvas of this parva. For example, at Hastināpura Bhīṣma, Droṇa, Vidura, and Sañjaya are against war while Duḥśāsana and Śakuni are for. In the Pāṇḍava camp Draupadī is in for war as a revenge for her humiliation at the Kaurava court.

 

Returning from exile the Pāṇḍavas have a right to get their kingdom back. But Duryodhana refuses to even give them five villages, yea, even the land that could be covered by a needle point... In the upcoming war Duryodhana mobilizes eleven armies and Yudhiṣṭhira seven. For his part, Kṛṣṇa’s four armies go to Duryodhana’s side while he himself becomes the charioteer of Arjuna. Bhīṣma is appointed Kaurava C-in-C; Dhṛṣṭadyumna is Pāṇḍava C-in-C. – In the Kaurava camp Bhīṣma and Droṇa are against the war but, nonetheless, they loyally proceed to fight in it.

 

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Book Six, Bhīṣma parva, tells of the first part of the Kurukṣetra battle, when Bhīṣma commands the Kaurava army. He eventually falls on a bed of arrows. But he doesn’t die since he, as an accomplished sage, can decide his own moment of death.

 

The book begins with the two sides agreeing on rules of war, like how to take care of wounded and not attacking non-combattants. These are traditional Kṣatriya rules but they become violated as the battle rages on.

 

In this book we also have the Bhagavad-Gītā, sung by Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna before the battle.

 

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Book Seven, Droṇa parva, tells of the major part of the battle when Droṇa is Kaurava commander; when the book is over the battle has raged for fifteen of totally eighteen days. – Duryodhana, hearing of Bhīṣma becoming incapacitated, appoints Droṇa as the new C-in-C. In the battle the Pāṇḍavas are helped by the monster Ghaṭotkaca; Karṇa has to kill him with the lance he got from Indra. Thus, he can’t, as planned, use it against Arjuna. – Droṇa meets his end by a ruse; specifically, Dhṛṣṭadyumna kills Droṇa; thus, he has killed his own guru, a grave sin by Hindu standards. Aśvatthāmā is enraged by the murder of his father and vows revenge.

 

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Book Eight, Karṇa parva, tells of the time when Karṇa is commander. This is a short parva with only one sub-parva, 73, telling of events during two days. – Bhīma in this book kills Duḥśāsana, drinking his blood – as he had promised. Arjuna kills Karṇa with an arrow, decapitating him.

 

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Book Nine, Śalya parva, tells of the last day of battle when Śalya is in command. Śalya is eventually killed in combat by Yudhiṣṭhira, symbolizing Pāṇḍava victory in the pitched battle. Duryodhana, the only one remaining of the 100 Kaurava brothers, retreats to the bottom of a lake, using magic for this and to make the surface seem iced over. All his eleven armies are now beaten and dispersed; he only has three warriors left, Aśvatthāmā, his uncle Kṛpa, and Kṛitavarmā. – Discovering his hideout Yudhiṣṭhira strikes up a conversation with Duryodhana and eventually lures him out into the daylight. Yudhiṣṭhira invites him to a duel with any of the five brothers; if he only beats one he shall have the whole kingdom. This is a traditional pars-pro-toto situation, a duel between two warriors as a substitute for major battle. After some discussions of dharma the fight begins.

 

Bhīma eventually fells Duryodhana with a blow on his thigh. He kills him – and then dances on his head – until Yudhiṣṭhira says:

 

“Enough! He was, after all, a Kṣatriya and our cousin.”

 

On Kṛṣṇa’s advice the Pāṇḍavas strike camp outside the major camp. Aśvatthāmā and his two allies find the dying Duryodhana and lament him. Aśvatthāmā is appointed the last Kaurava commander; Duryodhana also allows him to carry out his revenge on the Pāṇḍava army. (This book has the sub-parvas 74-77.)

 

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Book Ten, Sauptika parva, tells of how Aśvatthāmā prepares for his attack, his annihilation of the sleeping enemy army. He invokes Śiva, becomes possessed by him, and is given a divine sword. Joined by his two comrades he goes to the enemy camp; the pair is to guard it so that no one escapes during the slaughter. And so, with his supernatural powers Aśvatthāmā enters and slays the sleeping (cf the word of the title, sauptika, relating to supta, sleep; sauptika can also mean nocturnal) Pāṇḍava warriors in their camp. Among others Dhṛṣṭadyumna and Draupadī’s five sons are killed. 

 

As mentioned above, the five Pāṇḍava brothers sleep outside the camp and survive the attack; they plus Dhṛṣṭadyumna’s charioteer and Kṛṣṇa are the only warriors remaining after the battle, as are Aśvatthāmā, Kṛpa, and Kṛitavarmā on the Kaurava side. (Btw the anti-hero’s name is to be analysed as Aśva-sthāma, “having the strength of a horse”.)

 

As we just said, the charioteer of Dhṛṣṭadyumna survived Aśvatthāmā’s attack on the camp; he now goes off to tell Yudhiṣṭhira of the bloody events of the night. At the same time Aśvatthāmā and his two allies seek out Duryodhana’s death bed and tell of the attack. Hearing it, Duryodhana draws his last breath and happily ascends to heaven.

 

Next, Arjuna and Aśvatthāmā meet in a duel. They fire magical weapons at each other; urged by Vyāsa and Nārada Arjuna recalls his launched missile but Aśvatthāmā can’t do this with his. It heads for the wife of Arjuna’s son, Uttarā, and is about to kill the child she is pregnant with – but – eventually, Kṛṣṇa undoes the weapon’s effect and saves the child, the future king Parīkṣit, in the process saving the whole royal line. As a punishment for all his deeds Aśvatthāmā is by Kṛṣṇa sentenced to be an eternally errant warrior, not finding peace anywhere.

 

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Book Eleven is Strī parva, the book of women (strī) like Gāndharī, Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s wife, lamenting their sons fallen in the war. Gāndharī sees Kṛṣṇa as the origin of the Kauravas’ demise, him having been able to avert the war if he had only wanted to. She puts a curse on him and his tribe, the Yādavas; after thirty-six years they will kill each other. This comes true in Mausala parva.

 

The dead bodies of the fallen warriors are duly burned. Then all go to river Gangā to bring the proscribed water sacrifice to the dead. During this solemn occasion Kuntī reveals an old secret to her five sons: Karṇa was in fact their older half-brother. Yudhiṣṭhira is upset by this; to all the sins of the Pāṇḍavas is now added the sin of having killed a brother.

 

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Book Twelve, Śānti parva, the peace parva. Yudhiṣṭhira laments the war and doesn’t want to be king; he wants to be a forest recluse. But his family convinces him to shape up and really be installed as king. Urged by Kṛṣṇa he then goes to the battlefield to meet the dying Bhīṣma; Kṛṣṇa takes away Bhīṣma’s pains from the arrow wounds, and so the old man can deliver a lecture on statecraft to Yudhiṣṭhira. – This and the next book are very long, making up about one fourth of the epic, because of containing the above mentioned advice of Bhīṣma to the newly crowned victor of the war, Yudhiṣṭhira. Bhishma tells him how to rule a kingdom religiously, socially, and politically. The parva has three sub-parvas, 86-88.

 

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Book Thirteen, Anu-śāsana parva. More instructions (anu-śās, teach) from Bhīṣma to Yudhiṣṭhira. His lecture done, having lasted for two months, Bhīṣma commands his spirit to leave the body; his soul goes to heaven, visible as a soaring comet in the sky. At the same time, as a sign of divine grace, flowers rain down on the site of the dead body. The book has two sub-parvas, 89-90.

 

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Book Fourteen. Āśvamedhika parva, relating to the Aśvamedha (= horse sacrifice) conducted by Yudhiṣṭhira (91-92). Vyāsa tells him that this will purify him from the sins of the bloody war just fought. (Uttarā gives birth to a child, who is stillborn but then is revived by Kṛṣṇa. This child, Parīkṣit, then becomes the father of Janamejaya, to whom Vaiśampāyana recites the Mahābhārata.) Then the Aśvamedha is performed and all is bright, sin is purified and the kingdom is restored.

 

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Book Fifteen. Āśrama-vāsika parva. After fifteen years of peace and prosperity under Yudhiṣṭhira’s rule his uncle Dhṛtarāṣṭra and his wife Gāndharī goes to an āshram in Himālaya. There, the blind king dies by evoking “the fire from within”; his faithful wife joins him in the flames (93-95).

 

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Book Sixteen. Mausala parva. It tells how Kṛṣṇa’s Yādava tribe kills itself using clubs, mausala (adjective, “related to musala,” m or n, club). Later, Kṛṣṇa is accidentally killed by a woods hunter. Kṛṣṇa gone makes the world bereft of magic, of the immanent etheric power; Arjuna discovers this by the disappearance of strength and joy. Vyāsa tells him that this is in order, their work as warriors and upholders of dharma now being done in this phase of the astral war. And all the magical weapons so important for the battle now returns to their heavenly abodes; they no longer have any use in the earthly realm. In other words, we see the golden age seguing into a silver age. (This a short, one-sub-parva book, as are also books 17 and 18).

 

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Book Seventeen. Mahāprasthānika parva. Parīkṣit, tutored by Kṛpa, is to be the next ruler. With the kingdom in safe hands the Pāṇḍavas go north as hermits; “prasthānika” of the title means “relating to the great journey,” that is, dying.

 

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Book Eighteen. Svargārohaṇa parva. It tells of the Pāṇḍavas dying one by one and ascending to (aroha, from the root ruh, reach) heaven (svarga). – As we just said, the just related phase of the astral war is over; the incarnated gods like Arjuna, Yudhiṣṭhira etc. have performed their mission on earth upholding dharma.

 

The epic also has an epilogue, Harivamśa. It tells of the life of Kṛṣṇa not covered in the epic, containing sub-parvas 99-100.



            

 

Literature

Charpentier, Jarl. Indiska sagor och myter. Stockholm: N&K, 1925

Jonsson, Rolf. Mahābhārata – ett urval. Umeå: H-ström, 2013

Narayan, R. K. The Mahabharata. New York: Heinemann, 1978




Related

Rig Veda 10:129

Astral War

Redeeming Lucifer (2017)