Stories From Great Indian Epics: Mahabharata

International Forum For NeoVedantins

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The Story of Pandavas

Mahabharata is longer of the two great epic poems of ancient India; the other is the Ramayana. Although both are basically secular works, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana are ritually recited and are thought to confer religious merit on their hearers.

The central theme of the Mahabharata (around 1200 BC) is the contest between two noble families, the Pandavas and their blood relatives the Kauravas, for possession of a kingdom in northern India. The most important segment of the poem is the Bhagavad-Gita, a dialogue between Krishna, the eighth incarnation of the God Vishnu, and the Pandava hero Arjuna on the meaning of life. It has influenced devout Hindu believers for centuries. It is divided into 18 books containing altogether about 100,000 verses interspersed with short prose passages.
Age after ages, many generations of Indians have heard great stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Some are coloured and distorted by the whims and bias of the story teller, others are enriched and elevated to the pinnacle of glory by highlighting the rich, perennial, and universal appeal therein. These epics form the cementing material which firmly binds the eternal structure of Vedantic Philosophy and Practice.

The Westerner with a superficial knowledge of Indian mythology may conclude that it is only a fictitious folklore, rather than true religious or spiritual truth. If, however, the occidental inquirer consults scholarly sources, he is sure to find statements suggesting that this point-of-view is too narrow.

With this note, let us start our story of Mahabharata...

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Also of interest:
Stories From Great Indian Epic: Ramayana

Science and Vedanta

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