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The Mahabharata
A great Indian epic retold by a great Indian writer
R.K. Narayan The Mahabharata : R.K. Narayan : Vision Books : Book (ISBN: 8170944937)
Pages: 192
Price: Rs. 250
Format: Paperback
ISBN13/10: 9788170944935 / 8170944937
Availability: Yes
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The great Indian epic The Mahabharata is at least 3,500 years old. In its original in the Sanskrit language it runs to one hundred thousand stanzas in verse - by far the longest of the world's epics. Also, together with The Ramayana it embodies the very essence of Indian cultural and religious heritage, laying down values of individual life and society which have shaped the texture of Indian life.

The Mahabharata fairly bursts with an astonishing treasure of riches. At one level it is a great tale with a huge, truly memorable cast of vivid characters — men, noble and ignoble, warriors, saints, kings, and women of beauty. Unbearable sacrifice, shining nobility, great courage and virtue, insatiable greed, satanic hatred and sinister intrigue are all part and parcel of the dynastic struggle between two branches of a family which culminates in a bloody eighteen-day war on the plain of Kurukshetra.

At another level, the tragic battle of Kurukshetra symbolises man's constant struggle to distinguish between right and wrong, of choosing correct action over misdeed — issues tackled in The Bhagavadgita which forms a part of this epic and which is perhaps the single most influential scripture of Indian philosophic thought and spiritual understanding.

R.K. Narayan's splendid retelling offers the modern reader a magnificent initiation into The Mahabharata. With the consummate skill of a great writer, he recreates the rhythm and grandeur of this great epic which has endured through the ages with astonishing vitality.


"His appeal is timeless and very, very great"  Time Out

"A voic e of great distinction . . . Narayan is a trustworthy guide. to the heart and mind of India"  Sunday Times

R.K. Narayan

R. K. Narayan (1906-2001) is widely regarded as one of India's most distinguished English language writers. His books have been published in India, USA and UK and also been widely translated into several Indian and European languages. Narayan belongs among the earliest band of Indian novelists who drew the world’s attention to English writing from India.

Narayan was born in Madras in south India and educated in Mysore which became his home for over half-a-century. Through his many novels and short stories, he created the enchanting fictional world of Malgudi which captivated his readers and also millions of Indian television viewers who saw TV adaptations of several Malgudi stories.

During the course of his literary career, R. K. Narayan won numerous awards. In 1958, he won the Sahitya Akademi Award, India’s highest literary honour, for his novel, The Guide. In 1980, Narayan was awarded the AC Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature of which he was an honorary member. In 1982, he was elected as an honorary member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He was also awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Leeds, Mysore and Delhi. In 1989, Narayan was nominated to the Upper House of Indian Parliament for a six-year term for his outstanding contribution to Indian literature. In 2000, a year before his death, he was awarded India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan.

Apart from The Ramayana, Narayan also retold the other great Indian epic The Mahabharata, as well as select Indian legends in Gods, Demons and Others.

Other Books by R.K. Narayan

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