Shanti Parva is the twelfth Parva from among the eighteen Pravas of Mahabharata. It also consists of three sub-parvas. This Parva of the great epic of Mahabharata starts with the narration of the crowning of Yudhisthir as the king of Hastinapur after the Pandavas defeated the Kauravas in the great battle at Kurukshetra. This Parva deals mainly with the aftermath of the great battle and it also gives an account of the instructions given by Bhishma to the newly anointed king Yudhisthir. Bhishma spoke on economics, society and politics. In this episode Shanti or peace was attempted to be restored in the kingdom of Hastinapur.
and offered the oblations in the Ganga River
to his elder brother Karna
, who was killed by Arjuna
in the battle. However, Yudhisthir came to know about the actual identity of Karna from Kunti
after Karna was killed and that grieved him a lot. He was very much disturbed by the thought that he was responsible for the death of his elder brother. By that time came Vyasa and Narada and the renowned rishi Devala
, and Devasthana, and Kanwa. Narada
asked Yudhisthir if he was happy after winning the great battle and becoming the monarch of the world. Yudhisthir replied that even if he won the battle, he was not pleased with what he received by the death of his elder brother Karna, Subhadra`s son Abhimanyu and the five sons of Draupadi
and several other kings and princes who fought in his side.
In this episode Narada explained Karna about the curse on Karna and it was previously destined that he would be slain in a great battle when the wheels of his chariot would be sunk in the earth. Narada explained everything to Yudhisthir about the earlier life of Karna and his hard work to achieve the Brahma weapon from Parasurama.
This episode is a huge interruption in the great epic and it is also known as the `wisdom literature`. The aftermath of the great battle at Kurukshetra
is elaborately described in this Parva where it is presented that the man who won power in the Great War was torn between his own sense of guilt and remorse and the obligation to rule which ultimately he is persuaded to embrace. In the Mahabharata, Shanti Parva is regarded as one of the most timely and unforgettable chapters. It provides a glimpse into the trauma of war and also narrates a long and winding recapitulation of Brahmanic lore. It is said that the Shanti Parva was added to the Mahabharata at a later time than the main body of the epic.
This Parva or episode brings together one hundred messages of peace, from four inter-related sources, including the Upanishad
, Bhagavad Gita
and Mahabharata. A major portion of this episode deals with world peace. In later centuries, the book of peace played a vital role in sufficiently contributing to the world peace. This Parva also presents the elaboration and extension of the ideas of Bhagavad Gita. In this episode the message of Bhishma to the newly-anointed king Yudhisthir is narrated. Bhishma spoke about the proper functioning of the government, the duty of a perfect king and his duty towards his subjects. The Shanti Parva is thus filled with peace-messages which were given by Bhishma to Yudhisthir.