Overview for Mahabharata (Set of 3 Volumes): Amar Chitra Katha
The Mahabharata is considered to be the longest epic poem in the world. The creation of this ageless epic is traditionally attributed to the seer Vyasa. His disciple Vaishampayana narrated it in public for the first time. King Janamejaya and numerous learned sages were present at the recital. They had gathered for a 12-year-long sacred ritual called Yajna.
The first volume is titled The Kuru Princes of Hastinapura. Beginning with Shantanu, King Janamejaya’s ancestor and the ruler of Hastinapura, this volume narrates the various events that led to the establishment of the Kuru dynasty. It leads the story to the reign of Dhritarashtra over Hastinapura while his brother Pandu has retired to the forest with his two wives Kunti and Madri and five sons (The Pandavas).
Upon the death of Pandu and Madri, Kunti and the Pandavas return to Hastinapura. The return of the Pandavas, and being armed with numerous skills, make the Kauravas (the 100 sons of Dhritarashtra) jealous of them. The eldest Kaurava brother, Duryodhana, plots to send the Pandavas into exile. Forewarned about his intentions, the Pandavas manage to foil his plan and escape from the trap set for them.
Then they spend a year in disguise, and during this time, Arjuna wins the hand of Draupadi in marriage. Without knowing what Arjuna has won in the archery match, Kunti unwittingly asks the Pandavas to share the prize. Thus, Draupadi ends up being married to all of the Pandava brothers. After their wedding, the Pandavas are invited back to Hastinapura to resume peaceful relations.
The second volume, The Pandavas In Exile, covers events like the Rajasooya Yajna performed by the eldest Pandava Yudhisthira, and Bheema’s slaying of the notorious Jarasandha. Eventually, the Pandavas and Kauravas play a game of dice in which the Pandavas are defeated. They are forced into 13 years of exile, of which, they must spend the last year in disguise. When they return from the stipulated exile period to reclaim their share of the kingdom, their claim is denied by Duryodhana, laying the foundation for the subsequent Kurukshetra war.
The third volume, titled On The Battlefield Of Kurukshetra, begins with the efforts of Krishna to establish a peaceful settlement between the hostile brothers. However, his attempts prove futile, and thus begins the 18-day-long Kurukshetra war.
Anant Pai (Author)
Anant Pai was the creator of the two most popular comic book series, Tinkle and Amar Chitra Katha. His works deal with the retelling of mythological tales, folk stories, and biographies of historical figures. He has been considered one of pioneer creators of Indian comics.
He has been associated with works like Fact Fantasy, Funtime, and Funland, all of which are education comic strips. Rekha, Ramu and Shamu, Little Raji, and Kapish are some of the comics he had created.
Born in Karkala, he was brought up by his grandfather after the death of both his parents. He then moved to Mumbai and attended the Orient School in Mahim. He had acquired dual chemical technology degrees from the University of Bombay in Chemical Technology. He was also an expert in personality development. He had conducted several personality development classes for teens and children. He had also founded Partha Institute of Personality Development, 1978. He has published several books dealing with this, such as How to Develop A Super Memory, How To Achieve Success, and How Develop Self-confidence. He was awarded by the Lifetime Achievement Award at the very first Indian Comic Convention in 2011. He married Lalita, and the couple lived in Mumbai. On 24th February, 2011, Pai died of a heart attack.