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Symbolism - Burning Khandavaprastha Forest To Create Indraprastha City In Mahabharata

The burning of Khandavaprastha to create Indraprastha in the Mahabharata has deep symbolism and hidden warning for human beings. Khandavaprastha was a dense forest full of animals, birds, beasts, Nagas and Rakshasas. It was destroyed (burned down) to create Indraprastha, a city for human beings. This probably reflects the actual burning of forests to clear land for agriculture.

Nature was destroyed to create a society only for human beings. Human civilization and laws replaced pristine nature.

All modern cities were built by destroying large number of animals and plants. Human civilization brought death and killing.

When should this death and killing end? Krishna had the answer – at the point when needs have been met, before greed takes over. A society based on Dharma ruled by a Dharmic king recognizes the fine line between need and greed.

It is important to note that all this destruction creates a cycle of revenge. Those that suffered wait for an opportunity to strike back. Pandavas suffered throughout the Mahabharata – their descendants right up to their great grandson Janamejaya had to suffer.

When Krishna asked Yudhisthira the first ruler of Indraprastha to stop at the point when needs have been met, before greed takes over. It was a warning for humanity.

Thoughtless human activity and consumerism based purely on greed has ruined earth.
The cycle of revenge is still going on. Nature keeps striking back at humans.
Nature has been always powerful than human beings.

Soon or later all cities (Indraprastha) will have to turn back to forest (Khandavaprastha).