Illusions : Test, Defense, Or Both?

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Illusions: Test, Defense, or Both?
“Krishna was pushing at the door. Then he gave up and went to a smaller doorway next to it. ‘I’ll get in, or else!’ He stepped up, pushed, and fell right through. Krishna lay on the beautiful floor. ‘Well, come in. There is no door here, just empty air’” (Buck, 88). In this quote, the illusions of the palace are meant to further beautify the palace, and is a defense against enemies who would try to barge in. It is also a way to test a man’s pride, the answer being his reaction when he falls for the illusions. Another example of illusion is in the story of the Golden Mongoose, where, the family is sent to heaven when they see past the illusion, and give Yama the last of their food. In Nala and Damayanti’s story, Nala uses illusions to hide himself, from the world, from Nala, and from himself. Throughout the Mahabharata, there is a strong emphasis on the illusions that cloud our eyes from reality, and how one must look past them to find resolution. They are often a test made to test one’s values and beliefs. However, illusions are also a form of self-defense—used to hide from others, from people important to you, or from even yourself. This is seen just as often in the book, in the story of the Golden Mongoose and Nala and Damayanti; and is also reflected elsewhere in the story when Yudhishthira is tested before being able to go to heaven, and when the Pandavas disguise themselves in the thirteenth year.
Illusions in the Mahabharata are
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