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eBook The Mahabharata (Penguin Classics) epub

by Anonymous,John D. Smith

eBook The Mahabharata (Penguin Classics) epub
  • ISBN: 0140446818
  • Author: Anonymous,John D. Smith
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Subcategory: Poetry
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Abridged edition (July 28, 2009)
  • Pages: 912 pages
  • ePUB size: 1791 kb
  • FB2 size 1137 kb
  • Formats rtf azw mobi lrf


In the book’s foreword, John D. Smith of Cambridge University not only describes the challenges of providing a helpful translation of "The Mahabharata" (unabridged, it would be twice the length of the Bible), but also situates the Western reader in the social, historical, and religious context that produced the poem.

Series: Penguin Clothbound Classics. For the latest books, recommendations, offers and more. John D. Smith (Translator). The Mahabharata is the story of two warring factions of cousins - 100 demons in human form against five sons of gods.

The Mahābhārata is a noted abridged translation of the Mahabharata by John D. Smith, first published in 2009 by Penguin Classics. Doniger, Wendy (8 October 2009). How to Escape the Curse. Vol. 31. No. 19. pages 17–18. Retrieved 4 October 2017. Parihar, Parth (29 March 2016). No, Hinduism Is Not Behind India’s ‘Rape Crisis’. Book info at Penguin Group.

With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines.

By Anonymous Introduction by John D. Smith Translated by John D. Smith Abridged by John D. Smith. By Anonymous Introduction by John D. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. See all books by Anonymous.

Imprint: Penguin Classics. This selection by John D. Smith includes an introduction on the nature and fundamental themes of the Mahabharata, the events of story and the massive cast of characters appearing in it, and its importance to India and Hinduism. The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India. It is of immense importance to the culture of the Indian subcontinent, and is a major text of Hinduism.

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Place of Publication. item 4 NEW The Mahabharata By John D. Smith Paperback Free Shipping -NEW The Mahabharata By John D. Smith Paperback Free Shipping. Free postage -Mahabharata by Smith, (TRN) New 9780140446814 Fast Free Shipping.

Items related to The Mahabharata (Penguin Clothbound Classics). Smith was born in Nottingham in 1946. He attended Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read Sanskrit and Hindi. Smith The Mahabharata (Penguin Clothbound Classics). ISBN 13: 9780670084159. The Mahabharata (Penguin Clothbound Classics).

The Mahabharata is the story of two warring factions of cousins - 100 demons in human form against five sons of gods

The Mahabharata is the story of two warring factions of cousins - 100 demons in human form against five sons of gods. Woven into this epic martial tale of great and bloody battles are numerous narrative digressions and much religious instruction - including the wisdom of Bhisma, give from a deathbed of arrows, and the legendary Bhagavadgita, spoken by Krsna on the very verge of war.

Author: Penguin Classics. Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd.

The Mahabharata - Penguin Clothbound Classics (Hardback). Smith (author,translator). 2. 0 Added to basket.

 

A new selection from the national epic of India Originally composed in Sanskrit sometime between 400 BC and 400 AD, The Mahabharata-with one hundred thousand stanzas of verse-is one of the longest poems in existence. At the heart of the saga is a conflict between two branches of a royal family whose feud culminates in a titanic eighteen-day battle. Exploring such timeless subjects as dharma (duty), artha (purpose), and kama (pleasure) in a mythic world of warfare, magic, and beauty, this is a magnificent and legendary Hindu text of immense importance to the culture of the Indian subcontinent.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Comments: (7)
Ricep
“Maha” means “high” or “great” in Sanskrit; a “maharajah” is a great king, a high king. And the Bharatas are an ancient royal house, the descendants of the legendary emperor Bharata (“the cherished one”). Therefore, for readers from outside India, the title "Mahabharata" need not be mysterious; as "The Iliad" is “The Epic of Ilium” or “The Epic of Troy,” so "The Mahabharata" is “The Epic of the Great House of the Bharatas.” And it is good to know that from the beginning, as a non-Indian reader may need a good bit of contextual introduction in order to properly appreciate this seminal epic of classical India.

In the book’s foreword, John D. Smith of Cambridge University not only describes the challenges of providing a helpful translation of "The Mahabharata" (unabridged, it would be twice the length of the Bible), but also situates the Western reader in the social, historical, and religious context that produced the poem.

In order to understand "The Mahabharata", Smith emphasizes, one must understand the concept of dharma, as all of the poem’s characters talk constantly about it. As Smith explains, “A person’s dharma is what it is right for that person to do, but one person’s dharma is different from another’s” (p. xviii).

The importance of this concept makes perfect sense in the context of a rigidly hierarchical society that, from top to bottom, consisted of the following four classes: the priestly brahmins who maintained humankind’s relationship with the gods; the brave and noble kshatriyas who led kingdoms in war and peace; the vaishyas, farmers and merchants whose work provided the economic base for the society; and the humble shudras who did the low-down dirty work at the absolute bottom of the social scale.

As "The Iliad" is at its heart an epic of war, so too is "The Mahabharata." The combatants here are not the Greeks and the Trojans, but rather two groups of warring cousins: the Pandavas, who have a legitimate claim to the throne of the Bharatas, and the Kauravas, who usurp the throne for a time, giving rise to the catastrophic Kurukshetra War.

The eminent Pandavas include Yudishthira, the king, who is said to be ever in harmony with dharma; Bhima, who like Samson or Heracles combines superhuman strength with a hot temper and a tendency not to overthink issues; and Prince Arjuna, the “wealth-winner” who is brave, handsome, and irresistible to women. All five of the Pandava brothers are married to the same woman, the beautiful Draupadi. Helping Arjuna is Krishna, an avatar (a god in human form). Krishna serves as Arjuna’s charioteer during the Kurukshetra War, provides much-needed help at crucial moments, and conveys a sense that the gods are watching over these calamitous events and will make sure that everything turns out as it should.

Chief antagonist among the Kauravas is Duryodhana, the spoiled and willful son of the Kaurava king Dhrtarashtra. Combining Iago’s motiveless malignity with Loki’s love for mischief-making and general chaos, Duryodhana is consumed with jealous rage at the very idea of the Pandavas enjoying their throne in peace and ruling the world with justice. Therefore, Duryodhana concocts a plan to hurl the Pandavas from their throne, and to rule the world in their place.

Disregarding the advice of the wise counselor Vidura, Duryodhana connives with his uncle, the gambler Shakuni, to set up a rigged dicing match through which Yudishthira will gamble away his entire kingdom. The gambling match works as planned, from Duryodhana’s point of view; not only do Yudishthira and the Pandavas lose the kingdom, but they are sentenced to twelve years’ exile in the forest. Yudishthira may be the supreme lord of dharma and all that, but it’s clearly not safe to let him anywhere within 200 miles of Las Vegas.

The Kauravas add insult to injury, publicly dishonouring the beautiful and virtuous Draupadi in front of her five husbands. One of the Kauravas, Duhshasana, “laid hold of Draupadi Krishna with her deep black hair and led her towards the hall, unprotected in the midst of her protectors, dragging her as the wind drags at a battered plantain tree” (p. 143) – even though Draupadi is in the midst of her period and is wearing only a single garment. One need not be deeply versed in the nuances of classical Indian culture to know that this disgrace against Draupadi will give the Pandavas a powerful motive for revenge.

The Pandavas serve out their exile and return; but Duryodhana, disregarding once again the wise advice of Vidura, will not share the kingdom with his cousins, and the stage is set for war. As the Pandavas prepare for war, Arjuna receives extended advice from Krishna, in the form of the Bhagavad Gita, itself one of the core texts of the Hindu faith. The ideas of dharma discussed above receive strong emphasis here, as Krishna declares, “Better one’s own dharma ill-done than the dharma of another well performed” (p. 357).

At last, it is time for the Kurukshetra War, and for battle passages that go on and on and on. The great heroes of the Pandava and Kaurava sides kill thousands and thousands of their lower-ranking opponents; charioteers in particular seem to be in an especially vulnerable position, like those guys in the red security tunics from "Star Trek." When a great hero on either side is killed, it takes dozens of pages for said killing to happen, and only after said hero has displayed his heroism – the killing of Bhishma, one of the noblest of the Kauravas, is characteristic in that regard, and it takes Bhishma a particularly long time to die (more about that later).

If you like to read about battlefield violence, it is here in abundance – as when the strong-armed and strong-tempered Bhima finally gets his revenge against Duhshasana, the Kaurava prince who disgraced the princess Draupadi after the gambling match:

“Drawing his sharp sword with its excellent blade, and treading upon the throat of the writhing man, he cut open his breast as he lay upon the ground, and drank his warm blood. Then, having quaffed and quaffed again, he looked about him, and in his rage spoke these extravagant words: ‘Better than mother’s milk, or honey with ghee, better than well-prepared mead, better than a draught of the water of heaven, or milk or curd, or the finest buttermilk, today I consider this draught of the blood of my enemy better than all of these!’” (pp. 510-11)

Interesting to wonder what Quentin Tarantino would do with a passage like *that*, if assigned the task of bringing "The Mahabharata" to film. Fortunately, "The Mahabharata" has already been adapted for cinema -- quite powerfully, by Peter Brook in 1989 -- so I guess Tarantino's off the proverbial hook in that regard.

There is an interesting note of moral ambiguity to the way the Pandavas win the Kurukshetra War, as Bhima, preparing for a climactic duel with the wicked Duryodhana, is advised by Krishna that “if Bhima fights according to dharma, he will never triumph; but if he fights unfairly he can kill Duryodhana. It is said that the gods defeated the demons by means of deception” (p. 549). Cheat to win? Really? But it is on that note that the war concludes in a Pandava victory. And the cost is high: the eighteen-day war has a final body count of 1,660,020,000 dead and 24,165 missing. Yes, that’s 1 *billion*, with a “b.”

The end of the war is followed by a long passage of catechism, as the still-dying Bhishma, lying on a bed of arrows, instructs the victorious Yudishthira on the duties of a good king. The lessons go on after Bhishma finally dies and passes on to a hero’s heaven; Krishna encourages Yudishthira, who still grieves over the loss of all those killed in the war, to put aside his grief and take up the duties of a king, and provides tutelage in the teachings of Brahma through a series of parables. “The seers then asked him to resolve their doubts as to which is the highest *dharma*; Brahma answered that it is non-violence” (pp. 707-08). One senses here cultural factors that may have influenced Mahatma Gandhi in developing his own philosophy of fighting injustice through non-violence.

There is a final, triumphant vision of all those killed in the war meeting in harmony and peace with the living loved ones that they have left behind: “Now all those best heirs of Bharata met together, free from their anger and jealousy and sin; observing the fair and exalted rules laid down by Brahmin seers, they were all now as cheerful-hearted as the gods in heaven. Son met with father and mother, wife with husband, brother with brother and friend with friend….[A]nd through the seer’s grace other Kshatriyas, their anger gone for ever, gave up their enmities and made friends” (p. 747). On that hopeful note of reconciliation, "The Mahabharata" moves toward its conclusion.

I read "The Mahabharata" while traveling in India. Throughout our time in India, I was impressed to see how deeply "The Mahabharata" is woven into the national fabric of Indian life. Our hotel in New Delhi was located on Indraprastha Avenue, and our driver took pride in telling us that Delhi *is* Indraprastha, the ancient capital of Pandava glory. A traveler to modern Kurukshetra will be greeted by a great statue of Krishna guiding Arjuna’s chariot. And when *The Mahabharata* was adapted for broadcast as a television miniseries in India, the modern nation of India is said to have virtually shut down from 1988 to 1990, anytime the mini-series was airing. Anyone who wants to begin developing a greater understanding of India, in all its brilliant complexity, should make a point of reading "The Mahabharata."
Chillhunter
If you are interested in Asian mythology or Indian mythology(or more correctly ancient history) this is a must read. I purchased an abridged version and it is still at least a thousand pages long so be prepared to take some time to finish it. They have taken out most of the long repetive portions of the story which I didn't mind. It is still engaging and interesting with all important story points intact.
Felolv
best translation I came across with when it comes to Mahabharata. has done a fair treatment on the original text
Tansino
Abridged version with the correct translation. Hard to read so only appropriate or the serious scholar
Tegore
I wish it were the unAbridged, but a good book for its price.
Swiang
I really like the Penguin Classics. I also have the Bhagavad Gita, and have found their translations very clear, without a lot of extraneous prose. Very direct translations that are easy to understand.
Perdana
it is very slow reading if you want to keep your bearings reading this one. so many people and stories and places. but to anyone who knows what it's about, it's a good one to have.
Excellent way for someone like me to develop some understanding of this Hindu classic!
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