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Duryodhana in Mahabharata - the Incarnation of Demon Kali

There is a chapter titled Amsa Avatara Parva in the Mahabharata that narrates about the various minor incarnations in the epic. All the important persons in the Mahabharat were an incarnation of devas (demigods) or Asuras (Demons). Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kaurava brothers, was an incarnation of Kali. Please note that this is not the Goddess Kali (Kaali). It is the demon Kali.

Kali has numerous meanings – anger, suffering, grieve, hurt, confound and confuse. The present age as per Hindu Tradition is the Kali Yuga. Duryodhana represents all the qualities of Kali and sadly these qualities are found today in most human beings.

The saddest part is that Duryodhana himself knows that his actions are bad but he has lost control over his emotions and actions

‘I know what is right but I cannot do it; I know what is wrong but cannot desist from doing it.’(Duryodhana in the Mahabharat)

The character of Duryodhana was a warning given by Sage Vyasa - that how people will be in the Kali Yuga. How easily demon Kali will influence the character of people. A warning which we conveniently ignored.

People have the wrong notion in the Kali Yuga that everything depends on wealth and possession. Duryodhana also thought like this. He used all evil means to get what was not his. When he did not get what he wanted, he was overpowered by anger (Kali).

When an object has charmed one to a point of deep attachment, and when fear of its loss has started coming up in waves to disturb the individual, then, such an individual’s attitude towards those that come between him and the object of his attachment is called ‘anger.’ (Bhagavad Gita) This is the root cause of most of the problems in the world today. 

The flaws in Duryodhana’s character symbolically represent all the characteristics that causes the downfall of human begins in this age.

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