Amongst world's epics and scriptures, there is nothing more voluminious than the Mahabharata ! At over 100,000 verses, it is six times longer than Iliad, four times the size of the Old Testament, twelve times the size of the New Testament and sixteen times longer than the Quran. Mahabharata has a very complex plot with myriad subplots that all swirl into one mega vortex of activities, culminating in the great war at Kurushetra. The epic continues even after the war and deals with a huge number of topics including politics, ethics, morality, philosophy, soceity, religion, rituals etc.
At the heart of the epic, is the
family feud between royal cousins
called Kauravs and Pandavs. Born in
ancient Lunar dynasties of Yayati, they are the descendants of Bharata, Kuru and
Shantanu. They are the sons of Kuru kings Dhritrastra and Pandu. As both Dhritrastra and Pandu sat on the throne
of Hastinapur, both sets of princes claimed sole rights to the
The epic has more twists and turns than most novels, more foundlings and hidden secrets than Bollywood, more chases, blood and graphic description of gore than Hollywood, tons of melodrama and long monologues to rival Greek orators of old. The epic is full of beautiful verses, poetic nuances, emotive speeches, sublime prayers, romance, tragedy, comedy, philosophy, grand rituals and profound insight into human behaviour. There are detailed description of places, people and their habits. Shri Maad Bhagvad Gita is one of many religious / philosophical gems in this vast epic. Retold countless times in countless ways, authors across the ages have recounted the tale with their own words, remoulding the tale to suit their own vision of the Mahabharata.
Plot of the Mahabharata
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© Bhagwat Shah
© Bhagwat Shah