Mahabharata: The Condensed Version of the World's Greatest Epic

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9781514271476: Mahabharata: The Condensed Version of the World's Greatest Epic
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As the divinely beautiful Draupadi rose from the fire, a voice rang out from the heavens foretelling a terrible destiny. “She will cause the destruction of countless warriors.” And so begins one of the most fabulous stories of all time. Mahabharata plunges us into a wondrous and ancient world of romance and adventure. In this exciting new rendition of the renowned classic, Krishna Dharma condenses the epic into a fast-paced novel that fully retains the majestic mood of the original. A powerful and moving tale, it recounts the history of the five heroic Pandava brothers and their celestial wife. Cheated of their kingdom and sent into exile by their envious cousins, they set off on a fascinating journey in which they encounter mystical sages, mighty kings, and a host of gods and demons. Profound spiritual themes underline the enthralling narrative, making it one of the world’s most revered texts. Culminating in an apocalyptic war, Mahabharata is a masterpiece of suspense, intrigue, and illuminating wisdom.

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From the author
Mahabharata, a part of the ancient Vedas of India, is a story quite unlike anything else. There are few books which have survived as long as this five thousand year old epic. Its enduring popularity is itself testimony to the profound wisdom contained in its pages. In fact it includes the Bhagavad-gita - a masterpiece of spiritual knowledge revered by millions worldwide - and is the narration of the factual events which surrounded the speaking of that illuminating text. Mahabharata thus deals with the activities of Krishna, the supreme person and author of the Bhagavad-gita. This gives it a unique quality. Because of Krishna's presence, and the presence of many of his pure followers, one feels uplifted by reading the book. It soothes its readers on a deep spiritual level, bringing them closer to an understanding of the divine, and awakening a transcendental joy that surpasses all other happiness. Although from the external point of view it is a tale of conflict and intrigue among kings, demons, gods and sages, there is a deeper spiritual meaning which pervades the whole work. One can thus go on reading it again and again without it becoming stale or boring. On the contrary, one discovers different layers of meaning with each reading. Mahabharata is a book to be treasured and passed on from generation to generation.

As the writer I have simply tried to make the work easily accessible. Before this I wrote another, longer novelisation, but I felt that at 900 odd pages it might be a little long for some readers. I therefore condensed it into this smaller book, which I hope will be useful for those desiring a shorter overview of the epic. The essential story is still there, but obviously some details have been omitted.

I have remained faithful to the original, often presenting the dialogue exactly as it appeared in the Sanskrit manuscripts, but I have endeavoured to bring the text to life by the techniques of dramatisation and characterisation. I studied several translations, and cross referenced other Vedic texts for verification of detail where possible. I myself am a priest trained in the Vaishnava tradition, followers of Vishnu or Krishna, and Mahabharata is a Vaishnava text. My book is perhaps the first time that Mahabharata has been presented in English from the perspective of its original author, the sage Vyasadeva. It is suitable for a wide range of readers, from those coming new to the work, to those wishing to study it for academic purposes.

I hope you find it enjoyable. I am constantly endeavouring to improve my books, and am always open to any suggestions or feedback from my readers. Those unfamiliar with Sanskrit terms (i.e. most of us) may initially find some of the names a little difficult, but do perservere, you will soon master them and when you do you will be richly rewarded by reading Mahabharata. It is without doubt the greatest spiritual epic of all time, at least in my humble opinion.

Krishna Dharma

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About the Author:

Krishna Dharma has been a teacher and scholar of the ancient Sanskrit writings of India for the past 25 years. He is the author of the world’s best selling English additions of Mahabharata and Ramayana. He currently lives with his family in Radlett, England, where he lectures, broadcasts, and writes.

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9781887089258: Mahabharata: The Condensed Version of the World's Greatest Epic

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ISBN 10: 188708925X ISBN 13: 9781887089258
Publisher: Torchlight Publishing,U.S., 2000
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