Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Yes, Mahabharat is a very beautiful story, and very symbolic also. Don’t think that it happened once in the past, it is happening every day, especially in this country. There are many Shakunis (the devious uncle in the story of the Mahabharat) who are playing tricks on this side and that side. It is amazing how this one epic, for the last 5220 years has influenced the lives of billions of people, not just in India, but also Malaysia, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and all the way to Australia.
Do you know that the name Australia is Sanskrit! Australia has no meaning in any other language but in Sanskrit. Astralaya means where they kept the weapons. It seems they had very powerful weapon, very similar to nuclear bombs and things like that. That is why the central part of Australia is all deserts. Nothing grows there. This is the place that is called Astralaya. It was mentioned in Mahabharata.
When British came to India, they said this culture is too strong. You cannot rule this country unless you destroy it. So Lord Macaulay, when he went to London, he wrote to Queen Elizabeth, saying, 'I have travelled the length and breadth of India, and I have not see one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage'. Since then, they British started to bring certain laws and rules to oppress the people, and completely take away those values.
Today you will find hundreds of these palm leaf manuscripts in Germany, Tubingen University, in Hamburg University. They all have taken from here. In England there are lot of these manuscripts, which had been taken away from India.