Rationality and Reality
The Mahabharata seems to have the same implications as Hegel’s claims that what is real is rational and what is rational is real. By claiming that what is real never ceases to be the Mahabharata seems to suggest that only what is real can be perceived, ostensibly implying that what is unreal cannot be perceived. Similarly, Hegel argues that what is real is usually rational, and uses the same reverse logic to claim that what is rational is usually real. These two statements serve to build on an already raging philosophical debate over perception and knowledge, specifically arguments between advocates of physicalism (materialism) and those of immaterialism. The latter similar to the Mahabharata and Hegel, claim that knowledge can be reduced to statements over physical objects. Immaterialists on the other hand, claim that knowledge cannot be described as being objective and based on material objects as such knowledge is usually the result of perception. As such, the argument that what is real never ceases to be can be considered null and void. The implication by Mahabharata and Hegel that only the physical can be considered real is therefore inaccurate according to immaterialism, as irrational thoughts and perceptions can also be considered as real.
According to Hegel, as long as it can be rationalized, it can be considered as real, meaning that anything real must be accompanied by rationalizable facts and empirical evidence. Hegel essentially seems to argue that only those events or objects that seem to obey rules within the physical world should be considered as real. Mahabharata similarly advocates for belief in only that which can be perceived by the senses. This however fails to take into account the fact that not only do some individuals perceive differently, as well as rationalize differently, but some are incapable of rationalizing or even perceiving in one way or another. Such individuals if looked at from the perspective offered by the Mahabharata and by Hegel are incapable of being in touch with reality nor gaining knowledge.
Immaterialists on the other hand, argue that knowledge is simply a combination of mental constructs usually unique to each individual, and that it usually depends on how different people construct knowledge. This is especially noticeable in the different manner with which different people interpret events that are fairly real. For instance, within a game of dice, people usually interpret battle scenes differently, despite the same perceptions and the same empirical evidence presented. Proof of the varying nature with which people conceive knowledge, as well as how they construct and interpret that knowledge, is also clearly demonstrated by the different practices, values and religious beliefs that exist, with individualism highly observable amongst various characters in the Mahabharata.
In fact, the Mahabharata seems to apply different standards to religious beliefs as it does to physical objects and to reality, as it shows a great degree of leniency towards the varying beliefs; especially the Sattvata and Pasupata. Even Krishna seems to realize that it is possible for different religious beliefs to exist (consider the events of the dice game; battle scenes, divine conception) for examples