Mahabharata – by mallikarjun – last modified 2005-10-11 09:15 PM
The Mahabharata (pronounced approximately as Ma-haa-BHAAR-a-ta) is an ancient religious epic of India. It has existed in many forms, the fundamental one being a text in ancient Sanskrit which may well be the world’s second largest book. The innermost narrative kernel of the Mahabharata tells the story of two sets of paternal first cousins–the five sons of the deceased king Pandu [pronounced PAAN-doo] (the five Pandavas [said as PAAN-da-va-s]) and the one hundred sons of blind King Dhritarashtra [Dhri-ta-RAASH-tra] (the 100 hundred Dhartarashtras [Dhaar-ta-RAASH-tras])–who became bitter rivals, and opposed each other in war for possession of the ancestral Bharata [BHAR-a-ta] kingdom with its capital in the “City of the Elephant,” Hastinapura [HAAS-ti-na-pu-ra], on the Ganga river in north central India. What is dramatically interesting within this simple opposition is the large number of individual agendas the many characters pursue, and the numerous personal conflicts, ethical puzzles, subplots, and plot twists that give the story a strikingly powerful development. The author is Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa and was translated into English prose from the original Sanskrit Text by Kisari Mohan Ganguli