The Mahabharata

Front Cover
John D. Smith
Penguin, 2009 - Poetry - 833 pages


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.

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User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

If you ever start to feel like there's something special or unique about the Western literary tradition, here's a nice reminder that "our" background is kind of like the poor, illiterate, brutish ... Read full review

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Great book. I loved it but a little bloodthirsty.

Contents

Preface
vii
Pronunciation of Sanskrit
ix
Introduction
xi
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

John D. Smith was born in Nottingham in 1946. He attended Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read Sanskrit and Hindi. In the early 1970s he held a research fellowship at Christ's College, Cambridge; this was followed by nine years as lecturer in Sanskrit at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London. In 1984 he returned to Cambridge, where he is now emeritus Reader of Sanskrit. He has worked on both Sanskrit and modern Rajasthani, and his publications include The Visa'adevarasa- a restoration of the text (Cambridge, 1976) and The epic of Pabuji- a study, transcription and translation (Cambridge, 1991).

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