Mahabharata

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University of California Press, Nov 1, 2000 - Social Science - 417 pages
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Few works in world literature have inspired so vast an audience, in nations with radically different languages and cultures, as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, two Sanskrit verse epics written some 2,000 years ago.

In Ramayana (written by a poet known to us as Valmiki), William Buck has retold the story of Prince Rama--with all its nobility of spirit, courtly intrigue, heroic renunciation, fierce battles, and triumph of good over evil--in a length and manner that will make the great Indian epics accessible to the contemporary reader.

The same is true for the Mahabharata--in its original Sanskrit, probably the longest Indian epic ever composed. It is the story of a dynastic struggle, between the Kurus and Pandavas, for land. In his introduction, Sanskritist B. A. van Nooten notes, "Apart from William Buck’s rendition [no other English version has] been able to capture the blend of religion and martial spirit that pervades the original epic."

Presented accessibly for the general reader without compromising the spirit and lyricism of the originals, William Buck’s Ramayana and Mahabharata capture the essence of the Indian cultural heritage.
  

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audience, in nations with radically different languages and cultures, as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, two Sanskrit verse epics written some 2,000 years ago.
>>>>Incorrect information. The epics
were not written 2000 years back. Mahabaratha time is 5000 years back and Ramayana's time is much much before that.
(written by a poet known to us as Valmiki)
>>>> Also Valmiki is not a poet. He is a Rishi (sage) or a gnani (person with wisdom).
The same is true for the Mahabharata--in its original Sanskrit, probably the longest Indian epic ever composed
>>>> Mahabaratha is the longest poem/story in the world. Not just among indian epics/works.
In these books not just the story is important but the time lines of when it happened is also important because it gives us more insight into the ancient human civilization.
Introduction of this book itself throws some wrong information about the books.
 

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This book consists of MANY inaccurate references and transilations. To even think that such a book would be published is an insult to the Epic, that is the Mahabaratha. To think that a university, panel would approve its publication says more about the university and its lack of expertise in ancient indian texts than the authors.
Forgive my harshness but on page 81-82, it is true that Agni gave the enchanted bow to Arjuna, but the chariot was a completely different matter, the chariot was a boon granted by Indra the God of War/Weather/King of the Gods/Lord of Heaven. Who also happens to be the father of Arjuna. This chariot was only gifted under the condition that Arjuna meet Shiva. Furthermore, the flag of an "angry monkey", is acutally the Lord Hanuman, the monkey god, son of Vayu, the wind god.
Krishna's so called gift, the "iron discus",is actually the the Sudarshana chakra, weapon of Lord Vishnu. There are a few versions to this story it was said to be made by the architect of gods, Vishvakarman.
Viswakarma's daughter Sanjana was married to Surya, the Sun God. Due to the Sun's blazing power she was unable to go near the Sun and she complained to her father about this. Viswakarma took the Sun and put him on his workshop and made him shine less and thus his daughter was able to hug the Sun. The left over Sun-"dust" was collected by Viswakarma and he made 3 things out of it.
The 1st one was the famous aerial vehicle Pushpaka Vimana, the 2nd was the Trishula(Trident) of Lord Shiva, and the 3rd was the Sudarshana Chakra of Lord Vishnu.
In another version, the chakra was given by Lord Shiva Himself to Vishnu when Vishnu prayed to Shiva for all powerful weapon that would destroy all forces of evil.
In the Dhanurveda the Sudarshan Chakra was made from the bones of Maharishi Dadhich.The chakra comprises 10 million spikes in two rows.One row of spikes moving in the opposite direction to give it a serrated edge.
I could go on mentioning faults, but i shall stop here.
 

Contents

In the Beginning
3
The Ring and the Well
27
The Falling Sand
95
An Iron Net
167
The Invasion
215
Sanjaya Returns
249
Trees of Gold
265
The Enchanted Lake
285
In the End
329
The Blade of Grass
333
The Lonely Encounter
353
Parikshita
373
The Timeless Path
389
The City of Gates
401
Notes
413
Reference List of Characters
415

The Night
309

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About the author (2000)

William Buck died in 1970 at the age of 37 after more than 15 years of work on the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the unfinished Harivamsa. Of the two finished books, he wrote, "My method in writing both Mahabharata and Ramayana was to begin with a literal translation from which to extract the story, and then to tell that story in an interesting way that would preserve the spirit and flavor of the original.

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