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Mahabharata: The Greatest Spiritual Epic of All Time Hardcover – Illustrated, Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Review

"Dharma successfully captures the mood and majesty of a rich and ancient epic, and in the process, does full and complete justice to the critical elements of the complex story. A well wrought saga that will be appreciated by western readers and admirably serve to introduce a new generation to the rich spiritual, cultural and historic legacy of India." Midwest book review. "The narrative moves effortlessly...Often as racily as a thriller, without compromising the elevated style and diction. The visual imagery is every bit as impressive as anything achieved in the cinematic versions." Mahesh Nair. India Today "With its intense love scenes jewelled palaces, vast battles, heroes, magical weapons and warring families, this novelized version resembles a 20th century saga." James Meek, the Guardian --James Meek, the Guardian

This is pretty much the best English version of the epic. The sole reason for this is that it's pretty much the most complete version that's readily available. It's definitely enjoyable to read... The battles are described in a manner that will keep your attention. There are lots of moral dilemmas that keep you thinking. This is great especially if you're unfamiliar with the Mahabharata. However, Dharma himself admits that this is no scholarly translation. I recommend that you also read other abridgements as well to get a full scope of the story. While the action in this version is well articulated, some of the inbetween discussions and descriptions seem to be a bit drawn-out. I say this in comparison with other versions. For instance, absolutely way too much forshadowing is given. The entire plot of the story is blatantly given away repeatedly. "This will happen." And it does. In actuality other versions also have this, as I'm sure it's part of the story. However, it seems as though it wasn't repeated as much in the other versions. For instance, reading another version you might hear Bhima make his threat that he will "drink Dushashana's blood." This might be repeated once or twice throughout the remainder of the story. But in this version, it seems like every page says something like "Arjuna will surely slay Karna, Bhima will surely kill Dhritarashtra's sons, Krishna ordains it, it will happen, yes it will happen." There's absolutely no surprise when it happens at all. In fact it makes reading the otherwise thrilling action sequences annoying because you know the inevitable outcome. Yes, Bhima will strike Duryodhana's thigh. Yes, where Krishna is there is victory...And so on. This is a lot of what makes it drawn-out. --By Duryodhana on January 15, 2001

It was very refreshing to find such a readable and exciting rendition of this classic. For the most part, translations of India's spiritual writings are quite heavy going, usually stilted and hard to follow. Not so this one. Written in highly accessible modern prose, it is a fluid narrative that grips the reader like a modern day bestselling novel. This is no mean feat. Having read the original text I know it is a complex tale with many interwoven strands that span vast periods of time. Every character has his or her own fascinating story that ties in with overall theme of the epic, and Dharma has managed to incorporate them all into a tight narrative that never loses the reader. He plainly knows the story inside out, and has cleverly structured his book so that it all fits together into a coherent whole. When I read the original I found myself constantly turning backwards and forwards in order to follow the story, and I was grateful to have it clearly spelled out by Dharma in his book. This treatment of the epic is perhaps unique. Other writers have tried something similar, I know, but in my view none have been quite as successful. And from what I have seen, none of them have shown so lucidly the spiritual import of the Mahabharata. I would say that this is Dharma's greatest contribution to the epic. He brings out the spiritual meaning intended by the original author Vyasa. Being himself a spiritual disciple in the line that comes from Vyasa, he is well positioned to understand its sublime and uplifting message. I found the passages of spiritual instruction, such as the text of the Bhagavad Gita (which forms one chapter of the Mahabharata) particularly enjoyable and very moving. --By A Customer on March 11, 2002

From the Publisher

One of the oldest and most cherished of all Indian classics, filled with deep spiritual wisdom, it is the story of five heroic brothers who were destined to rule a vast kingdom.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Torchlight Publishing,U.S.; illustrated edition edition (13 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887089179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887089173
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 5.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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