Asian Philosophy 16 (2):99 – 109 (2006)
One major idea within the great epic of the Mahabharata is the concept of fate. Daiva, literally 'of the gods', could be said to direct or even manipulate every character and theme throughout the entire epic. The story of Nala and Damayanti offers us an opportunity for insight into Daiva within the epic as a whole. The short story, when placed in the Mahabharata, results in an interesting encapsulation of a love story, numerous metaphors and a tale of initial loss and eventual redemption. Through the investigation of each character's specific dharma, we will see that actions and consequences seemingly blend together, with an arguable disregard for the passage of time. Throughout the story of Nala and Damayanti, we will notice the overarching theme of fate. Human choice and divine authority are questioned as people and gods are unable to escape from what must be
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