The Mahabharata

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  • Edition: Abridged
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/28/2009
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics

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'The three worlds are set shaking, great one, to see this wonderful, terrible form of yours'The Mahabharata is the story of two warring factions of cousins - 100 demons in human form against five sons of gods. Woven into this martial epic tale of great and bloody battles are numerous narrative digressions and much religious instruction - including the wisdom of Bhisma [accent note: there should be a dot beneath the s of 'Bhisma'], given from a deathbed of arrows, and the legendary 'Bhagavadgita', spoken by Krsna [accent note: there should be a dot beneath the r, s and n of 'Krsna'] at the very verge of war. An enactment of eternal conflicts, it is also a vital Hindu text on the nature of dharma - the right way for each person to live his or her life, and the only way to secure an improved lot in future births.This selection by John D. Smith includes an introduction on the nature and fundamental themes of the Mahabharata, the events of story and the massive cast of characters appearing in it, and its importance to India and Hinduism. This edition also includes a pronunciation guide, map, glossary and key to names, bibliography and index.Abridged and translated with an introduction by JOHN D. SMITH

Author Biography

J. D. Smith spent nine years as a lecturer in Sanskrit at the University of London-'s School of Oriental and African Studies before moving to Cambridge University, where he is an emeritus reader of Sanskrit.

Table of Contents

The Mahabharata Preface
Pronunciation of Sanskrit

The Mahabharata

1. Beginnings
2. The Hall
3. The Forest
4. Virata
5. Perseverance
6. Bhisma
7. Drona
8. Karna
9. Salya
10. The Night-raid
11. The Women
12. Tranquillity
13. Instruction
14. The Horse Sacrifice
15. The Hermitage
16. The Clubs
17. The Great Journey
18. The Ascent to Heaven

Variant Readings Adopted
Key to Names and Glossary
Further Reading
Map: The India of the Mahabharata
Genealogical Tables

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