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The Mahabharata

R.K. Narayan (Author)
Synopsis The great Indian epic The Mahabharata is at least 3,500 years old. In its original in the Sanskrit language it runs to one hundred thousand stanzas in verse-by far the longest of the world's epics. Also, together with The Ramayana it embodies the very essence of Indian cultural and religious heritage, laying down values of individual life and society which have shaped the texture of Indian life. The Mahabharata fairly bursts with an astonishing treasure of riches. At one level it is a great tale with a huge, truly memorable cast of vivid characters-men, noble and ignoble, warriors, saints, kings, and women of beauty. Unbearable sacrifice, shining nobility, great courage and virtue, insatiable greed, satanic hatred and sinister intrigue are all part and parcel of the dynastic struggle between two branches of a family which culminates in a bloody eighteen-day war on the plain of Kurukshetra. At another level, the tragic battle of Kurukshetra symbolises man's constant struggle to distinguish between right and wrong, of choosing correct action over misdeed-issues tackled in The Bhagavadgita which forms a part of this epic and which is perhaps the single most influential scripture of Indian philosophic thought and spiritual understanding. R.K. Narayan's splendid retelling offers the modern reader a magnificent initiation into The Mahabharata. With the consummate skill of a great writer, he recreates the rhythm and grandeur of this great epic which has endured through the ages with astonishing vitality.
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About the author

R.K. Narayan

R. K. Narayan was born in Madras in south India and educated in Mysore which had also been his home for over half-a-century now. Narayan was one of India’s most distinguished writers at work today. Through his several novels and short stories, he had created the enchanting fictional world of Malgudi which has captivated his readers throughout the world and, more recently, millions of Indian television viewers who saw TV adaptations of several of his Malgudi stories. Narayan’s books are regularly published in USA, UK and India and have also been widely translated into several European and Indian languages. His novel The Guide (1958) won the Sahitya Akademi Award, India’s highest literary honour. In 1980, Narayan was awarded the A.C. Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature and in 1982 he was made an Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1986, he was nominated for a 6-year term to Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Indian Parliament in recognition of his outstanding literary stature. Apart from The Mahabharata, Narayan had also retold the other great Indian epic The Ramayana, as well as a selection of Indian legends in Gods, Demons and Others.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Mahabharata
Author R.K. Narayan
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170944937
length 192p.; Illustrations; 22 cm.