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 kingdom of Kurus.  Their feud became so bloody, the cousins were wiling to kill each other and all others who get in their way to the throne of Kurus.  Grandsires, in-laws, uncles, cousins, sons, nephews, friends, teachers are all killed for the right to sit on the throne of their ancestors.  At the end, heroes of Mahabharata leave the kingdom they fought so hard to win and ascend the Himalayas on foot to enter heaven in their human, mortal body.  Only Yudhishthir manages to enter heaven in his human form and even then, when he gets there, he is disappointed at seeing his enemies there.  The end is tidied up when Pandavs ascend to a higher level of awarness and their descendants rule the Earth.


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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