Mahabharata:The Greatest Spiritual Epic of All Time

Overview

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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Overview

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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Midwest Book Review
Dharma successfully captures the mood and majesty of a rich and ancient epic and, in the process, does full 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. Highly recommended.
Mahesh Nair
Rarely, if ever, has an ancient epic received such modern blockbuster treatment? 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 editions.
India Today
James F. DeRoche
Dharma’s Mahabharata is very readable, its tone elevated without being ponderous. Though condensed, it still runs to more than 900 pages and would interest all serious students of Hinduism. Recommended for academic libraries and public libraries with collections on religion.
Library Journal
Rachel Styer
When I dove into the Mahabharata, I expected something along the lines of a dry Arabian Knights, but what I got was something else! Once I began to read, I just could not tear my mind away from the book. Even as I write this, my mind lingers on the glorious spiritual Indian mythology captured on its pages. If you are looking for a cross between Arthurian legends and cultural epic spiked with romance, and overarching spiritual guidance, Mahabharata is for you. Aside from the wonderful magical tales, the novel is an ancient authority on karma, reincarnation, and yoga.
Magical Blend Magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781887089173
  • Publisher: Torchlight Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/28/1999
  • Pages: 941
  • Sales rank: 616,732
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 7
Introduction 9
1 Five Godly Boys 11
2 Seeds of Conflict 18
3 A Trial of Arms 27
4 The Blind King 33
5 On the Run 42
6 The Fire-born Princess 54
7 A Kingdom Divided 65
8 The Celestial Hall 78
9 Virtue Established 88
10 The Great Sacrifice 95
11 Everything is Lost 102
12 Evil Takes a Hold 115
13 The Kurus Seal Their Fate 125
14 Heroes in Exile 133
15 Moral Instructions in the Forest 140
16 Arjuna Meets the Gods 148
17 Heaven on Earth 155
18 Demonic Influences 163
19 The Gods Take a Hand 171
20 A Lesson Not Learned 182
21 Preparing for War 193
22 Krishna's Peace Mission 201
23 Eternal Wisdom on the Battlefield 211
24 The Slaughter Begins 220
25 The Old Warrior 228
26 Two Generals Fall 237
27 A Fitting End 248
28 Powerful Emotions 259
29 Deliverance 268
Glossary 279
Author's Note 281
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2004

    Worthy of Vyasa

    Translating the Mahabharata is a daunting task. I remember the challenges it posed for none other than J.A.B. van Buitenen (whose translation was not completed). Reading translations, especially academic translations, is also a daunting task. Krishna Dharma is accomplished what I would have thought to have been almost impossible unless one was Vyasa. He has produced a very readable abridgement of the great epic's story in novel form without sacrificing ethical and spiritual substance. I would have given it 5 stars except for two caveats. First, I would have liked to have seen the Gita unabridged within Krishna Dharma's re-telling. Second, much of the symbolism of the Mahabharata is not in the story told but in its background staging. This background staging, which draws from the symbolism of the Vedic sacrifice (e.g., Brahmanas -- especially when a sacrifice goes wrong and needs correction Visnu is the pervader restorer of the sacrifice -- there is structural correspondences between Visnu's restoration of yajna and what happens between yugas -- and who Krsna is) and Pancaratric cosmology. I would hope a larger edition with the entire Gita included might be something Krishna Dharma considers. As far as the symbolism, the task may be beyond anyone's reach. Other than these caveats Krishna Dharma did an exceptionally outstanding job; the best re-telling available, and perhaps, we should remember even the earthly Mahabharata is supposed to be an abridgement of the celestial one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2004

    A Biblical Saga of Epic Boredom

    For anyone who wants a consise guide to Hindu Spitituality, I would not suggest reading this book. I suppose you would call it India's Illiad. The violence and the gore are relentless and usually one if not thousands are brutally slaughtered in every chapter. The reason this book is so boreing is that every battle or fight is described in exactly the same way. The author uses the same anologies and metephors over and over till you just skip over them because you know what it will say. The characters are also annoying because they are always wining or weeping. I guess you have to understand the culture for it to make sense. There is some brillant and enlightening philosophy, but it is lost in the malee. The Ramayana, also by Krishna Dharma is much more enjoyable. If you're interested in Hindu Spiritually, try The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism or The Bhagavad-Gita. This Mahabharata is tedious and long - it took me 7 months to read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2002

    If you like soap opera, this is a book for you

    Mahabharata is a story with a lot of morals & definitely not a soap opera. Iam very much dissapointed in this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2001

    A majestic saga from long, long ago

    This beautiful and timeless spiritual classic abounds with profound moral insights and a profuse number of more or less veiled teachings with bearing on cosmology and metaphysics. In fact, it seems to me that the Mahabharata (though some consider it actual history and others see it merely as fast-paced and breathtaking fiction) is perhaps first and foremost an allegorical account of how evil comes into the world and how in each Manvantara humanity proceeds, inexorably, from yuga to yuga towards the inevitable apocatastasis. The blind emperor Dhritarastra, a vicar himself for his deceased and far more deserving brother, lets in the nefarious forces of discord and dissolution by favoring his own ill-disposed sons in matters of governmental succession while ¿closing his eyes¿ to the injustice and humiliation suffered by the righteous and true heirs to the throne, his nephews. Thus, the transition from the heroic times of valor, dignity and truthfulness to the somber age of cowardice, insolence and spiritual dormancy seems to be brought on by the apparently minor weaknesses of omission and attachment, a teaching reminiscent of a fable reproduced in Plato¿s ¿Republic¿ (Book III), where kings, whose sons happen to have been born with ¿souls of silver¿ instead of ¿souls of gold¿, manage to produce a similar result by not admitting the disastrous consequences of instating these as rulers in their place. The claim on the dust jacket (¿in the realms of ethics, economic development, worldly pleasure and ultimate liberation, whatever is found in this epic may be found elsewhere, but what is not found here will be impossible to find anywhere else¿) may at first sound rather presumptuous, but little by little one nevertheless gets the impression that a great many customs, rituals, teachings, objects and implements usually associated with other Indo-European cultures and historical periods may have had their origin in the opulent and many-splendored civilization of ancient India, perhaps even long before the bloom of the Mesopotamian and Near-Eastern traditions with which readers are likely to be more familiar. Krishna, the incarnation of the Supreme Person and one of the main characters of the Mahabharata, plays His part in the plot by assuming the outward form of a warrior-king, and not that of a sage, as some might have expected (the Mahabharata is very much a story for and about kshatriyas, while brahmins - though clearly stated as pertaining to a higher caste - play a rather accessory role in it mostly by sprinkling holy water on the warriors who bestow charity on them and singing mantras for all occasions). Krishna¿s actions are at times surprising, if not outright incomprehensible, baffling both the good and the evil, neither of whom can come to grips with His inscrutable will or quite grasp how God can possibly live among us in the form of a human being. I shall not attempt to eulogize the Bhagavad-Gita here (Book II, chapter 4), a task to which much more erudite commentators have already given sufficient attention, though it should be mentioned, in passing, that many scholars seem to compare the place this chapter takes up in Hindu spirituality to that of the ¿Sermon on the Mount¿ in the Christian tradition. However, reading the Gita and neglecting the rest of the Mahabharata (as the limited translations of the past have obliged many of us to do) is like picking out Matthew 5-7 while shoving the rest of the Bible into a dusty, old library. Therefore do not skip any of the chapters in this wonderful epic, not even the rather longish war scenes in Book II or the peace negotiations prior to them, for you will certainly be rewarded as you find precious gems hidden just about everywhere you look (such as Krishna`s charging Bhisma with a chariot wheel in the middle of the war). My scarce knowledge of Indian literature would make it pretentious to venture on an assessment of the quality of Dharma¿s translation, but I found th

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2000

    The Epic Tale of the Bharata family

    The Mahabharata is the epic Hindu tale of the Bharata family. The best known part of it is without a doubt the Bhagavad-gita, supposedly told by Krishna himself (a mode of God.)<P> In the Bhagavad-gita, the protagonist, Prince Arjuna, is preparing to go to battle against an enemy force including many of his kin and teachers. He is heartsick at the prospect of killing them, and is about to throw down his great bow, when Krishna, his charioteer, explains to him that he is a warrior, and is expected to act as one. He tells Arjuna not to worry about killing them, for they are dead already.<P> From this, we may draw the valuable lesson that, in this life, our primary responsibility is to be ourselves and do our duty as it is laid out for us to do.<P> This great epic tale is of tremendous value, if you seek to understand, not only the Hindu, but life itself.<P>

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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