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Consider the following excerpt from the Shalya Parva of The Mahabharata

Indeed, the son of Pandu, filled with rage, struck off that head which was the root of the evil policy of the Kurus, with that impetuous shaft winged with gold and whetted on stone. Beholding Shakuni lying headless on the ground and all his limbs drenched with gore, thy warriors, rendered powerless with fear, fled away on all sides with weapons in their hands.

The Sanskrit slokhas corresponding to it are

59 sa tacchiro vegavatā śareṇa; suvarṇapuṅkhena śilāśitena prāverayat kupitaḥ pāṇḍuputro; yat tat kurūṇām anayasya mūlam

60 hṛtottamāṅgaṃ śakuniṃ samīkṣya; bhūmau śayānaṃ rudhirārdragātram yodhās tvadīyā bhayanaṣṭa sattvā; diśaḥ prajagmuḥ pragṛhītaśastrāḥ

The bolded portion is interesting to me. The portion is clearly and explicitly stating that the head of Shakuni was the root of the evil policy of the Kurus. It is well known that Shakuni has capability of controlling dies and he has bad behavior from childhood.

From the statement it can be inferred that head has the capability of thinking. Since the implicit meaning of the portion is the thoughts of Shakuni is reason for evil policies of Kurus.

So it can be inferred that head as a part of human body that has capability of thinking is known to people during Mahabharata times (atleast to Vyasa).

In this context my doubt is: Are there any Hindu scriptures earlier(historically) to Mahabharata contains either implicitly or explicitly the fact head has the capability of thinking.

Note: Since I dont know the actual Sanskrit words, I am analyzing with the above translation only.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Pandya Nov 15 '19 at 13:18
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The question is

Are there any Hindu scriptures earlier(historically) to Mahabharata contains either implicitly or explicitly the fact head has the capability of thinking.


I don't know why this passage was inferred this way - the son of Pandu, filled with rage, struck off that head which was the root of the evil policy of the Kurus,.

It should have been translated as the son of Pandu, filled with rage, struck off that head of Sakuni, who was the root of the evil policy of the Kurus, as a head cannot be independent of a human body and does whatever it wants to.

It is the mind that uses the body in doing things, be it good or evil.


Sri Krishna says

तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य युक्त आसीत मत्परः।

वशे हि यस्येन्द्रियाणि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता।।2.61।।

Restraining them (the same-organs) by mind, the master of Yoga would sit making Me his goal; for, the intellect of that person is stabilized whose sense-organs are under control.


Coming to the question part, I would like to say that similar statement appears in Ramayana. This statement was made by wailing demon women, after the death of Indrajit and many other demons.

रावणस्यापनीतेन दुर्विनीतस्य दुर्मतेः || ९४-६-३७ अयं निष्टानको घोरः शोकेन समभिप्लुतः |

"As a result of the bad behaviour of Ravana, the wicked demon with an evil disposition of mind, this terrific havoc with grief occurred."

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