Mahabharat - the great war - 18 days of heroism, deceit, blood and intrigue - now as a mega Twitter thread.

I'll add the events from a few days of the war each day.

Caveats: lots of editorialization, creative liberties and interpretations.

There will also be a lot of asides - especially around war strategy and tactics, the characters and their motivations and non-canon storylines.

Over the years, I've read multiple versions, phenomenal translations and modern retellings. So be prepared for a potpourri.
There are different ways of looking at this war. Was it a family feud? Sure - but whose family? Shantanu's or Satyavati's? Was Vyas essentially telling us his family history? And then Kunti added a twist to this tale. Here's a helpful chart:
Satyavati's two sons from Shantanu both died without children. Vyas - her first son - fathered Dhritarashtra and Pandu (and Vidur).

Pandu never fathered any children. Kunti and Madari gave birth to six demi-gods (Karna and the five Pandavs).

So Satyavati Vs Kunti and Madari.
Or was this a fight between two massive neighbouring kingdoms - the Kurus and the Panchals? While many smaller kingdoms joined the battle, most of the Pandav army (more than half of their 7 divisions) came from the Panchals. King Drupad and his son Shikhandi led two divisions.
And Dhrishtadyumn led a division and was the overall commander-in-chief of the Pandav army. Draupadi the wife and queen of the Pandavs was the princess of Panchal (hence Panchali). Her 5 sons grew up in their maternal grandfather Drupad's palace. The Panchals had a lot at stake.
BR Chopra made us believe that this was a war between brothers, between good and evil. That a woman's honour was the reason. Draupadi is cast as this Helensque victim. While there is truth to all of this, don't forget - Mahabharat is the OG Game of Thrones.
Personal egos and affronts clash with machiavellian political ambitions. The future of many nations was at risk. Who would rule the mega kingdom that would be formed at the end of this war to end all wars? These were not just superhuman warriors. They were kings and strategists.
There were games upon games - a never-ending onion. And just look at the players of this 3-D game of chess.

Bhishm - the grandsire - single-handedly turned the Kurus into the biggest kingdom on the map. Before he was an old man - he was first and foremost a fearsome warrior.
Bhishm is the only one in this period who came close to being an ati-maharathi - a warrior greater than all warriors. He had access to all the great weapons and had the ability to choose his time and place of death.
He was taught by the great Parashuram and once defeated him over an 18-day period in one on one combat. It was his reluctance to fight against the Pandavs that really saved them otherwise he could have single-handedly defeated all of them on the battlefield.
While he wasn't king, he was the custodian of his father's kingdom and had pretty much ruled it for generations. He wasn't going to surrender it meekly to the Panchals (even if they were supporting his beloved Pandavs).
There is Drupad - the king of the Panchals - archenemies of the Kurus. His old frenemy Dron is on the other side. His son and daughter Dhrishtadyumn and Draupadi were born out of sacrificial fire with the purpose of defeating Dron.
Shakuni - the king of Gandhar - maternal uncle of the Kauravs - who as a young boy had taken a vow to destroy the Kuru clan (what the Kurus did to his family is despicable). Split between his loyalty to his nephews and his hatred of who they represented.
And then there is the avatar of Vishnu himself - whose only purpose was to bring balance to the force. Too many warriors, too many factions and too much evil. The ultimate sacrificial fire - a war to cleanse this world. Enter Krishn.
But even if we put Krishn the god aside - we cannot ignore the master strategist, indomitable warrior and king of the biggest independent army. Krishn loved the Pandavs. There were ties of blood and marriage between them (Kunti was his aunt, Arjun was married to his sister).
Lest we forget - we have the Kauravs and the Pandavs.

A hundred and one test tube super babies (100 sons and one daughter) vs 5 legendary demi-gods.

And there were the gods opposing each other. Surya - the sun god Vs Indra - the king of gods. Karna vs Arjun in the heavens.
Imagine the team briefings on each side before the beginning of each day. The debates on the master plan for the next morning while wounds were tended to in the evenings after the end of the day's proceedings. To be a fly on those walls. Hair-raising.
And so our pieces are set. The warriors have all gathered on one giant battlefield. 11 divisions (Kauravs) vs 7 divisions (Pandavs). The rules are simple:
- fight from sunrise to sunset
- single combat only between equals (cavalry fights cavalry, not foot soldiers)
More rules:
- no attacking those who were leaving the field/ retiring
- no interfering in one-on-one battles
- those who surrendered/ disarmed were safe from slaughter

Over the next 18 days - each of these rules was broken. Many times!
Day 1 started with a slight ahmmm delay. Arjun - in typical Arjun fashion - had an existential crisis to end all existential crises. How could he fight his brothers, his teachers, his friends and his grandsire? How did it all come to this? Was peace not an option?
Not many ancient texts have stood the test of time. But the dialog between Krishn and Arjun - immortalized as the Bhagavad Gita - is unparalleled in its timeless relevance as a philosophical treatise. We won't go into details - but suffice it to say - Krishn preached some truths.
And Arjun listened. And then he picked up his bow Gandiv. Conch shells and trumpets sounded. Horses neighed and elephants trumpeted. Men began to move and then charge forward. And the first day's battle commenced as arrows like burning meteors flew all across the battlefield.
The 1st day of the war had a clear theme - old vs young, experienced vs newcomers.

Bhishm seemed to be in a hurry to end the war. Wherever he went, scores of warriors died. But Abhimanyu held him back - hitting him nine times with his arrows and bringing down his flag.
Bhishm was overjoyed. He had to use his full strength against this young hero. War raged on. No rules were broken.

But there were casualties. King Virat lost both his sons - Uttar and Shvet to king Shaly and Bhishm.

The new kids on the block weren't a match for the veterans.
As the 1st day of war came to an end the mood in the Pandav camp was sombre. Their 7 divisions had been brutalized by Bhishm and were in disarray. The Kuru camp meanwhile was celebrating. Krishn had to console a visibly shaken Yudhishthira.
Tomorrow we will resume this thread from the 2nd day of the great war.

Ganapati - the great original scribe - did not pause while writing the Mahabharat.

This scribe, however, needs a lot of breaks.

More from All

Tip from the Monkey
Pangolins, September 2019 and PLA are the key to this mystery
Stay Tuned!

1. Yang

2. A jacobin capuchin dangling a flagellin pangolin on a javelin while playing a mandolin and strangling a mannequin on a paladin's palanquin, said Saladin
More to come tomorrow!

3. Yigang Tong

4. YT Interview
Some bats & pangolins carry viruses related with SARS-CoV-2, found in SE Asia and in Yunnan, & the pangolins carrying SARS-CoV-2 related viruses were smuggled from SE Asia, so there is a possibility that SARS-CoV-2 were coming from
1. Mini Thread on Conflicts of Interest involving the authors of the Nature Toilet Paper:
Kristian G. Andersen
Andrew Rambaut
Ian Lipkin
Edward C. Holmes
Robert F. Garry

2. Thanks to @newboxer007 for forwarding the link to the research by an Australian in Taiwan (not on

3. K.Andersen didn't mention "competing interests"
Only Garry listed Zalgen Labs, which we will look at later.
In acknowledgements, Michael Farzan, Wellcome Trust, NIH, ERC & ARC are mentioned.
Author affiliations listed as usual.
Note the 328 Citations!

4. Kristian Andersen (1)
Andersen worked with USAMRIID & Fort Detrick scientists on research, with Robert Garry, Jens Kuhn & Sina Bavari among

5. Kristian Andersen (2)
Works at Scripps Research Institute, which WAS in serious financial trouble, haemorrhaging 20 million $ a year.
But just when the first virus cases were emerging, they received great news.
They issued a press release dated November 27, 2019:

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राम-रावण युद्ध समाप्त हो चुका था। जगत को त्रास देने वाला रावण अपने कुटुम्ब सहित नष्ट हो चुका था।श्रीराम का राज्याभिषेक हुआ और अयोध्या नरेश श्री राम के नेतृत्व में चारों दिशाओं में शन्ति थी।
अंगद को विदा करते समय राम रो पड़े थे ।हनुमान को विदा करने की शक्ति तो राम में थी ही नहीं ।

माता सीता भी हनुमान को पुत्रवत मानती थी। अत: हनुमान अयोध्या में ही रह गए ।राम दिनभर दरबार में, शासन व्यवस्था में व्यस्त रहते थे। संध्या को जब शासकीय कार्यों में छूट मिलती तो गुरु और माताओं का कुशल-मंगल पूछ अपने कक्ष में जाते थे। परंतु हनुमान जी हमेशा उनके पीछे-पीछे ही रहते थे ।

उनकी उपस्थिति में ही सारा परिवार बहुत देर तक जी भर बातें करता ।फिर भरत को ध्यान आया कि भैया-भाभी को भी एकांत मिलना चाहिए ।उर्मिला को देख भी उनके मन में हूक उठती थी कि इस पतिव्रता को भी अपने पति का सानिध्य चाहिए ।

एक दिन भरत ने हनुमान जी से कहा,"हे पवनपुत्र! सीता भाभी को राम भैया के साथ एकांत में रहने का भी अधिकार प्राप्त है ।क्या आपको उनके माथे पर सिन्दूर नहीं दिखता?इसलिए संध्या पश्चात आप राम भैया को कृप्या अकेला छोड़ दिया करें "।
ये सुनकर हनुमान आश्चर्यचकित रह गए और सीता माता के पास गए ।

माता से हनुमान ने पूछा,"माता आप अपने माथे पर सिन्दूर क्यों लगाती हैं।" यह सुनकर सीता माता बोलीं,"स्त्री अपने माथे पर सिन्दूर लगाती है तो उसके पति की आयु में वृद्धि होती है और वह स्वस्थ रहते हैं "। फिर हनुमान जी प्रभु राम के पास गए ।