Mahabharata Vol. 3 (Penguin Translated Texts)

Read Online Mahabharata Vol. 3 (Penguin Translated Texts) by Bibek Debroy - Free Book Online

Book: Mahabharata Vol. 3 (Penguin Translated Texts) by Bibek Debroy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bibek Debroy
Praise for Volumes 1 and 2
    ‘The modernization of language is visible, it’s easier on the mind, through expressions that are somewhat familiar. The detailing of the story is intact, the varying tempo maintained, with no deviations from the original. The short introduction reflects a brilliant mind. For those who passionately love the Mahabharata and want to explore it to its depths, Debroy’s translation offers great promise in the first volume.’
    —
Hindustan Times
    ‘[Debroy] has really carved out a niche for himself in crafting and presenting a translation of the Mahabharata … The book takes us on a great journey with admirable ease.’
    —
The Indian Express
    ‘The first thing that appeals to one is the simplicity with which Debroy has been able to express himself and infuse the right kind of meanings … Considering that Sanskrit is not the simplest of languages to translate a text from, Debroy exhibits his deep understanding and appreciation of the medium.’
    —
The Hindu
    ‘Overwhelmingly impressive … Bibek is a truly eclectic scholar.’
    —
Business Line
    ‘Debroy’s lucid and nuanced retelling of the original makes the masterpiece even more enjoyably accessible.’
    —
Open
    ‘The quality of translation is excellent. The lucid language makes it a pleasure to read the various stories, digressions and parables.’
    —
The Tribune
    ‘Extremely well-organized, and has a substantial and helpful Introduction, plot summaries and notes. The volume is a beautiful example of a well thought-out layout which makes for much easier reading.’
    —
The Book Review
    ‘The dispassionate vision [Debroy] brings to this endeavour will surely earn him merit in the three worlds.’
    —
Mail Today
    ‘This [second] volume, as voluminous as the first one, is expectedly as scholarly … Like the earlier volume, the whole book is an easy read.’
    —
The Hindu
    ‘Debroy’s is not the only English translation available in the market, but where he scores and others fail is that his is the closest rendering of the original text in modern English without unduly complicating the readers’ understanding of the epic.’
    —
Business Standard

For Suparna
    Ardha bhāryā manuṣyasya bhāryā śreṣṭhatamaḥ sakhā
Bhāryā mulam trivargasya bhāryā mitram mariṣyataḥ
    Mahabharata (1/68/40)

Family Tree
    Bharata/Puru Lineage

Map of Bharatavarsha
Bharatavarsha (sixth century BCE)

Introduction
    The Hindu tradition has an amazingly large corpus of religious texts, spanning Vedas, Vedanta (
brahmana
s, 1
aranyaka
s, 2 Upanishads,), Vedangas, 3
smriti
s, Puranas, dharmashastras and
itihasa
. For most of these texts, especially if one excludes classical Sanskrit literature, we don’t quite know when they were composed and by whom, not that one is looking for single authors. Some of the minor Puranas (Upa Purana) are of later vintage. For instance, the Bhavishya Purana (which is often listed as a major Purana or Maha Purana) mentions Queen Victoria.
    In the listing of the corpus above figures itihasa, translated into English as history. History doesn’t entirely capture the nuance of itihasa, which is better translated as ‘this is indeed what happened’. Itihasa isn’t myth or fiction. It is a chronicle of what happened; it is fact. Or so runs the belief. And itihasa consists of India’s two major epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The former is believed to have been composed as poetry and the latter as prose. This isn’t quite correct. The Ramayana has segments in prose and the Mahabharata has segments in poetry. Itihasa doesn’t quite belong to the category of religious texts in a way that the Vedas and Vedanta are religious. However, the dividing line between what is religious and what is not is fuzzy. After all, itihasa is also about attaining the objectives of
dharma
, 4
artha
, 5
kama
6 and
moksha
7 and the Mahabharata includes Hinduism’s most important spiritual text—the Bhagavad

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