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The Penguin Companion to the Mahabharata

The Penguin Companion to the Mahabharata


Item Code: IDK280

by Bishnupada Chakravarty, Translated from Bengali by Debjani Banerjee

Paperback (Edition: 2007)

Penguin Books
ISBN 0143102087

Size: 7.8" X 5.0"
Pages: 144
Price: $22.00
Discounted: $16.50   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 1st Jun, 2010


Back of The Book :

The Mahabharata is one of India's most revered epics – a transcendental, monumental literary and spiritual narrative with contemporary resonance.

One of the founding epics of Indian culture, the Mahabharata is transfused with ancient Indian wisdom. It is the foremost reference for classical Indian civilization and has great influence on Indian and South-East Asian religion, art, literature and popular culture. As its core, it tells the story of an apocalyptic eighteen-day war for territorial power which pitted brothers against brothers and sons against fathers, ended one age and began another. The epic's spiritual message unfolds through the many digressions and subplots of the story which presents sweeping visions of the universe and captivating glimpses of divinity. The Mahabharata also introduces one of Hinduism's most well-loved gods, Krishna, whose religio-philosophic discourse on the four human goals-kama, artha, dharma and moksha-is contained in the most important Hindu text, the Gita.

This companion chronologically recounts the events of the Mahabharata, also providing the reader with

-An episode-by-episode outline of the Mahabharata
-Interesting, little-known facts about the epic
-An account of a journal on how the Pandavas spent their twelve years in exile
-A compilationof mythological concepts with detailed explanations
-New insights into the spectrum of characters
-Mythical place-names and their present names and locations
-User-friendly information valuable for students, scholars and the general reader alike

About the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata is called the fifth Veda. Of all the epics ever composed, the Mahabharata is the longest and, without doubt the greatest.

Scholars are not unanimous about the date of compositions of the Mahabharata. According to some, Vyasdeva wrote it in 3000 BC. Others think it was composed before that.

The Mahabharata is divided into the following eighteen episodes:

1. Adi Parva (The First Episode).
2. Sabha Parva (The Assembly Episode)
3. Aranyaka Parva; also, Vana Parva or Aranya Parva (The Forest Episode)
4. Virata Parva (In the Land of Virata).
5. Udyoga Parva (Getting Ready).
6. Bhishma Parva (The Bhishma Episode)
7. Drona Parva (The Episode of Drona)
8. Karna Parva (The Episode of Karna)
9. Shalya Parva (The Episode of Shalya)
10. Sauptika Parva (The Episode of the Night Battle)
11. Stri Parva (The Episode of the Wives).
12. Shanti Parva (The Episode of Peace)
13. Anushasana Parva (The Episode of Instructions)
14. Ashwamedhika Parva (The Ashwamedha Episode)
15. Ashramavasika Parva (Living in the Ashram)
16. Mausala Parva (The Episode of the Mallet)
17. Mahaprasthanika Parva (The Final Journey)
18. Svargarohana Parva (Ascent to Heaven)


About the Mahabharata vi
The Story of the Mahabharata 1
The Mahabharata in Brief 44
Some Interesting Facts About the Mahabharata 47
Journal of Yudhishthira 53
Some Interesting Places and Characters 56
Mythical Names of Some Places and their Present Names and Locations 119
Other Interesting Mythological Concepts 123
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Customer Comments

  • Comprehensive

    It is amazing that a book so brief as this one can so comprehensibly and completely summarize a text so massive as the Mahabharata. Yet this short book succeeds in doing just that.

    The Mahabharata is one of the longest extent epics in world literature. The author mistakenly states that it is the longest, which is incorrect. The Epic of Gesar of Ling, a Tibetan epic is, incredibly, twice as long as the Mahabharata.

    The quantity of words is insignificant; it is the quality and content of those words that matter. In the case of this book it lives up to its title and gives the manageable summary of the events, philosophy, and other features of the Mahabharata.

    It begins with a brief summary of the stories in the Mahabharata which takes up almost one-half of the this short book. A separate chapter contains a short resume of the Mahabharata’s places and characters. It contains a few chapters of factoids of mythological facts and brief descriptions of the different parvas, or books, of the Mahabharata.

    The original text of the Mahabharata is daunting. Well over two thousand pages, it is an object of a life’s study. For those who want to be familiar with the overall content of this important work, this short introduction provides a good starting point.
    6th Aug 2014
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