The Mahabharata: Complete and Unabridged (Set of 10 Volumes with Box)

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Item Code: NAJ762
Author: Bibek Debroy
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9780143424789
Pages: 6285
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch
Weight 6 kg
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Book Description
Back of The Book

The Mahabharata is one of the greatest stories ever told. Though the basic plot is widely known, there is much more to the epic than the dispute between the Kouravas and Pandavas that led to the battle in Kurukshetra. It has innumerable sub-plots that accommodate fascinating and digressions, and it has rarely been translated in full, given its formidable length of 80,000 shlokas or couplets. This magnificent 10-volume unabridged translation of the epic is based on the Critical Edition compiled at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institite.


About the Author

Bibek Debroy is an economist and is Research Professor (Centre of Policy Reserch) and Contributing Editor (Indian express group). He has worked in universities research institutes industry and for the government. He has published books papers and popular articles in economics. But he has also published in Indology and translated (into English) the Vedas, the Puranas, the Upanishads and the gita (Penguin India 2005) his book Sarama and her children. The dog in Indian myth (penguin India 2008) splices his interest in Hinduism with his love for dogs. He is currently translating the remaining volumes of the unabridged Mahabharata.



The Hindu tradition has an amazingly large corpus of religious texts, spanning Vedas, Vedanta (brahmanas, aranyakas, Upanishads,), Vedangas, smritis, Puranas, dharmashastras and itihasa. For most of these texts, especially if one excludes classical Sanskrit literature, we don't quite know when they were composed and by whom, not that one is looking for single authors. Some of the minor Puranas (Upa Purana) are of later vintage. For instance, the Bhavishya Purana (which is often listed as a major Purana or Maha Purana) mentions Queen Victoria.

In the listing of the corpus above figures itihasa, translated into English as history. History doesn't entirely capture the nuance of itihasa, which is better translated as 'this is indeed what happened'. Itihasa isn't myth or fiction. It is a chronicle of what happened; it is fact. Or so runs the belief. And itihasa consists of India's two major epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The former is believed to have been composed as poetry and the latter as prose. This isn't quite correct. The Ramayana has segments in prose and the Mahabharata has segments in poetry. Itihasa doesn't quite belong to the category of religious texts in a way that the Vedas and Vedanta are religious. However, the dividing line between what is religious and what is not is fuzzy. After all, itihasa is also about attaining the objectives of dharmaartha, kama and moksha and the Mahabharata includes Hinduism's most important spiritual text-the Bhagavad Gita.

The epics are not part of the shruti tradition. That tradition is like revelation, without any composer. The epics are part of the smriti tradition. At the time they were composed, there was no question of texts being written down. They were recited, heard, memorized and passed down through the generations. But the smriti tradition had composers. The Ramayana was composed by Valmiki, regarded as the first poet or kavi. The word kavi has a secondary meaning as poet or rhymer. The primary meaning of kavi is someone who is wise. And in that sense, the composer of the Mahabharata was no less wise. This was Vedavyasa or Vyasadeva. He was so named because he classified (vyasa) the Vedas. Vedavyasa or Vyasadeva isn't a proper name. It is a title. Once in a while, in accordance with the needs of the era, the Vedas need to be classified. Each such person obtains the title and there have been twenty-eight Vyasadevas so far.

At one level, the question about who composed the Mahabharata is pointless. According to popular belief and according to what the Mahabharata itself states, it was composed by Krishna Dvaipayana Vedavyasa (Vyasadeva). But the text was not composed and cast in stone at a single point in time. Multiple authors kept adding layers and embellishing it. Sections just kept getting added and it is no one's suggestion that Krishna Dvaipayana Vedavyasa composed the text of the Mahabharata as it stands today.

Consequently, the Mahabharata is far more unstructured than the Ramayana. The major sections of the Ramayana are known as kandas and one meaning of the word kanda is the stem or trunk of a tree, suggesting solidity. The major sections of the Mahabharata are known as paruas and while one meaning of the word parva is limb or member or joint, in its nuance there is greater fluidity in the word parva than in kanda.

The Vyasadeva we are concerned with had a proper name of Krishna Dvaipayana. He was born on an island (dvipa). That explains the Dvaipayana part of the name. He was dark. That explains the Krishna part of the name. (It wasn't only the incarnation of Vishnu who had the name of Krishna.) Krishna Dvaipayana Vedavyasa was also related to the protagonists of the Mahabharata story. To go back to the origins, the Ramayana is about the solar dynasty, while the Mahabharata is about the lunar dynasty. As is to be expected, the lunar dynasty begins with Soma (the moon) and goes down through Pururava (who married the famous apsara Urvashi), Nahusha and Yayati. Yayati became old, but wasn't ready to give up the pleasures of life. He asked his sons to temporarily loan him their youth. All but one refused. The ones who refused were cursed that they would never be kings, and this includes the Yadavas (descended from Yadu).

The one who agreed was Puru and the lunar dynasty continued through him. Puru's son Duhshanta was made famous by Kalidasa in the Duhshanta-Shakuntala story and their son was Bharata, contributing to the name of Bharatavarsha. Bharata's grandson was Kuru. We often tend to think of the Kouravas as the evil protagonists in the Mahabharata story and the Panda vas as the good protagonists. Since Kuru was a common ancestor, the appellation Kourava applies equally to Yudhishthira and his brothers and Duryodhana and his brothers. Kuru's grandson was Shantanu. Through Satyavati, Shantanu fathered Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. However, the sage Parashara had already fathered Krishna Dvaipayana through Satyavati. And Shantanu had already fathered Bhishma through Ganga. Dhritarasthra and Pandu were fathered on Vichitravirya's wives by Krishna Dvaipayana.

The story of the epic is also about these antecedents and consequents. The core Mahabharata story is known to every Indian and is normally understood as a dispute between the 'Kouravas (descended from Dhritarashtra) and the Pandavas (descended from Pandu). However, this is a distilled version, which really begins with Shantanu. The non-distilled version takes us to the roots of the genealogical tree and at several points along this tree we confront a problem with impotence/sterility/death, resulting in offspring through a surrogate father. Such sons were accepted in that day and age. Nor was this a lunar dynasty problem alone. In the Ramayana, Dasharatha of the solar dynasty also had an infertility problem, corrected through a sacrifice. To return to the genealogical tree, the Pandavas won the Kurukshetra war. However, their five sons through Droupadi were killed. So was Bhirna's son Ghatotkacha, fathered on Hidimba. As was Arjuna's son Abhimanyu, fathered on Subhadra. Abhimanyu's son Parikshit inherited the throne in Hastinapura, but was killed by a serpent. Parikshit's son was janamejaya.

Krishna Dvaipayana Vedavyasa's powers of composition were remarkable. Having classified the Vedas, he composed the Mahabharata in 100,000 shlokas or couplets. Today's Mahabharata text doesn't have that many shlokas, even if the Hari Vamsha (regarded as the epilogue to the Mahabharata) is included. One reaches around 90,000 shlokas. That too, is a gigantic number. (The Mahabharata is almost four times the size of the Ramayana and is longer than any other epic anywhere in the world.) For a count of 90,000 Sanskrit shlokas, we are talking about something in the neighbourhood of two million words. The text of the Mahabharata tells us that Krishna Dvaipayana finished this composition in three years. This doesn't necessarily mean that he composed 90,000 shlokas. The text also tells us that there are three versions to the Mahabharata. The original version was called lara and had 8,800 shlokas. This was expanded to 24,000 shlokas and called Bharata. Finally, it was expanded to 90,000 (or 100,000) shlokas and called Mahabharata. Krishna Dvaipayana didn't rest even after that. He composed the eighteen Maha Puranas, adding another 400,000 shlokas. Having composed the Mahabharata, he taught it to his disciple Vaishampayana. When Parikshit was killed by a serpent, janamejaya organized a snake- sacrifice to destroy the serpents. With all the sages assembled there, Vaishampayana turned up and the assembled sages wanted to know the story of the Mahabharata, as composed by Krishna Dvaipayana. Janamejaya also wanted to know why Parikshit had been killed by the serpent. That's the background against which the epic is recited. However, there is another round of recounting too. Much later, the sages assembled for a sacrifice in Naimisharanya and asked Lomaharshana (alternatively, Romaharshana) to recite what he had heard at]anamejaya's snake-sacrifice. Lomaharshana was a suta, the sutas being charioteers and bards or raconteurs. As the son of a suta, Lomaharshana is also referred to as Souti. But Souti or Lomaharshana aren't quite his proper names. His proper name is Ugrashrava. Souti refers to his birth. He owes the name Lomaharshana to the fact that the body-hair (lama or ramal stood up (harshana) on hearing his tales. Within the text therefore, two people are telling the tale. Sometimes it is Vaishampayana and sometimes it is Lomaharshana. Incidentally, the stories of the Puranas are recounted by Lomaharshana, without Vaishampayana intruding. Having composed the Puranas, Krishna Dvaipayana taught them to his disciple Lomaharshana. For what it is worth, there are scholars who have used statistical tests to try and identify the multiple authors of the Mahabharata.

As we are certain there were multiple authors rather than a single one, the question of when the Mahabharata was composed is somewhat pointless. It wasn't composed on a single date. It was composed over a span of more than 1000 years, perhaps between 800 BCE and 400 ACE. It is impossible to be more accurate than that. There is a difference between dating the composition and dating the incidents, such as the date of the Kurukshetra war. Dating the incidents is both subjective and controversial and irrelevant for the purposes of this translation. A timeline of 1000 years isn't short. But even then, the size of the corpus is nothing short of amazing.


Volume I

About The Volume I

ISBN: 9780143100133
Volume 1 consists of most of Adi Parva, in which much happens before the Kouravas and the Pandavas actually arrive on the scene. This volume covers the origins of the Kuru clan; the stories ofPoushya, Poulama and Astika; the births of Kouravas and the Pandavas; the house of lac; the salaying of Hidimba and Baka; Droupadi’s marriage; and ends with the Pandavas obtaining their share of the kingdom.

Every conceivable human emotion figures in the Mahabharata, the reason why the epic continues to hold say over our imagination. In this lucid, nuanced and confident translation, Bibek Debroymakes the Mahabharata marvellously accessible to contemporary readers.




Family tree X
Map of Bharatavarsba XIII
Acknowledgements XV
Introduction XVII
Section One 1
Anukramanika Parva (The table of contents, setting out the background for the recital of the story and summarizing the main incidents)  
Section Two 21
Parvasamgraha Parva (The various books, giving two listings of the Mahabharata with a very brief summary of the highlights of the story)  
Section Three 41
Poushya Parva (The story of Pousbya; setting up the snake-sacrifice)  
Section Four 55
Pouloma Parva (About the Bhargava lineage, descended from the great sage Bhrigu, through Chyavana, Pramati, Ruruand Shunaka)  
Section Five 67
Astika Parva (The snake-sacrifice, which provides the setting where the Mahabharata story was told)  
Section Six 143
Adi-Vamshavatarana Parva (The descent of partial incarnations. It relates the story of Uparichara Vasu and Vyasadeva’s birth from Parashara and Satyavati.)  
Section Seven 165
Sambhava Parva (The origins of the core story)  
Section Eight 337
Jatugriha-Daha Parva (Burning down of the house of lac)  
Section Nine 365
Hidimba-Vadha Parva (Killing of the rakshasa Hidimba)  
Section Ten 379
Baka-Vadha Parva (Killing of the demon Baka)  
Section Eleven 395
Chaitraratha Parva (Stories of Chitraratha, a gandharva)  
Section Twelve 437
Droupadi-Svayamvara Parva (Droupadi’s svayamvara, choosing her own groom)  
Section Thirteen 459
Vaivahika Parva (Droupadi’s marriage)  
Section Fourteen 475
Viduragamana Parva (Vidura’s arrival)  
Section Fifteen 489
Rajya-Labha Parva (Acquisition of the kingdom)  
About the Translator 495


Volume II

About the Volume II

ISBN: 9780143100140
Volume 2 consists of the last part of the Adi Parva the complete Sabha Parva and the early part of the Vana Parva. The story covers Arjuna’s stay in the forest his marriage to subhadra: the burning of the Khandava forest the Pandavas building the assembly hall and conquering the world Yudhishthira’s crowning as emperor Duryodhana’s envy at the Pandavas prosperity the two games with the dice Droupadi disrobing Arjuna’s encounter with Shiva and ends with the Nala and Damayanti Story.

Every conceivable human emotion figures in the Mahabharata the reason why the epic continues to hold sway over our imagination. In this lucid nuanced and confident translation Bibet Debroy makes the Mahabharata marvelously accessible to contemporary readers.




Family Tree x
Map of Bharatavarsha xiv
Acknowledgements xv
Introduction xvii
Section Sixteen  
Arjuna Vanavasa Parva (Arjuna’s Sojourn in the forest begins with the reasons for his banishment) 1
Section Seventeen  
Subhadra Harana Parva (Subhadra’s Abduction) 25
Section Eighteen  
Harana Harika Parva (The giving of gifts that followed Subhadra’s abduction) 31
Section Nineteen  
Khandava-Daha Parva (The Burning of the Khandava forest by Arjuna and Krishna) 39
Sabha Parva  
Section Twenty  
Sabha Parva (The building of the assembly hall) 69
Section Twenty one  
Mantra Parva (Consultation prior to the royal sacrifice) 103
Section Twenty Two  
Jarasandha Vadha Parva (The killing of Jarasandha) 121
Section Twenty Three  
Digvijaya Parva (The Conquest of the world by the Pandavas) 137
Section Twenty four  
Rajasuya Parva (The Royal Sacrifice) 153
Section Twenty Five  
Arghabhiharana Parva (The offering of a gift and the consequent dispute) 161
Section Twenty six  
Shishupala vadha Parva (The Killing of Shishupala) 169
Section Twenty Seven  
Dyuta Parva (The gambling with dice) 185
Section Twenty Eight  
Anudyuta Parva (The Aftermath of the gambling match) 249
Aranyaka Parva  
Section Twenty Nine  
Aranyaka Parva (Padavas’ sojourn in the forest) 271
Section Thirty  
Kirmira Vadha Parva (The Killing of Kirmira) 299
Section Thirty One  
Kairata Parva (The Story of Shiva assuming the role of a mountain dweller to fight with Arjuna) 305
Section Two  
Indralokabhgamana Parva (Arjuna’s visit to Indra’s world and the Nala Damayanti story) 395
About the Translator 482


Volume III

About the Volume III

ISBN: 9780143100157
Volume 3 completes the Vana Parva. The account of the Pandavas sojourn in the forest. It details the obtained from. Dharma obtained from and descriptions of, places of pilgrimage. It recounts the stories of Ashtavakara, Yavakrita Jatasura and Markandeya. The narrative covers Arjuna's slaying of the Nivatakavacha demons; the kouravas' defeat at the hands of the gandharvas and their subsequent release by the Pandavas: Droupadii’s abducting by jayandratha and rescue by the Pandavas: and India’s visit to Karna to rob him of his earrings and armour.

Every conceivable human emotion figures in the Mahabharata, the reason why the epic continues to hold sway over our imagination. In this lucid, nuanced and confident translation, Bibek debroy makes the Mahabharata marvelously accessible to contemporary Readers.




Family tree X
Map of Bharatavarsha XIV
Acknowledgments’ XV
Introduction XVII
Section Thirty Three  
Tirtha Yatra Parva (Journey to the sacred place of Pilgrimage) 1
Section Thirty four  
Jatasura Vadha Parva (Slaying of the demon named Jatasura) 201
Section Thirty Five  
Yaksha Yaddha Parva (Bhima fight with Yaks has and Rakshasas and kills rakshasa) 207
Section Thirty Six  
Ajagara Parva (Bhima is Grasped by Nahusa in he form of a doa; a dialogue between yadhishthira and Nahisha) 263
Section Thirty Seven  
Markandeya Samasya Parva (Along Conversation between the Pandavas and markandeya) 281
Section Thirty Eight  
Droupdi satyabhama Sambada Parva (A conversation Between Droupadi and satyabhama) 411
Section Thirty Nine  
Ghosa Yatra Parva (An expedition undertaken by the Kourvas to se the ghoshas in dvaitavana where the Pandavas are residing) 419
Section Forty  
Mriga Svapna Bhaya Parva (Deer appear to Yudhishthir in a dream and tell him about their fears) 459
Section Forty One  
Vrihi Drounika Parva (The story of Mugala, who lived on a measure of rice and generous enough to give it away) 461
Section Forty Two  
Droupdi Harana Parva (Droupadi's abdication by Jayadratha) 471
Section Forty Three  
Kundala Aharana Parva (Indra asks Karma For his natural ramous and earrings that make him invincible; in return, gives Karan an Invincible spear) 563
Section Forty Four  
Araneya Parva (Failing to answer a yaksha's questions Nakula Sahadeva, Arjuna and Bhima are killed are restored to life when yudhishthira answers the questions correctly) 587
About the Translator 605


Volume IV

About the Volume IV

ISBN: 9780143100164
The fourth volume of the Mahabharata includes Virata Parva and almost all of Udyoga Parva. It describes the Pandavas’ thirteenth year of exile which they spend in disguise in King Virata’s court. When, during their stay, the Kouravas and Trigartas invade Matsya to rob Virata of his cattle, the Pandavas defeat them in battle. With the period of banishment over, the Pandavas ask to be returned their share of the kingdom. This is refused and Udyoga Parva recounts the preparations for the inevitable war.

Every conceivable human emotion figures in the Mahabharata, the reason why the epic continues to hold sway over our imagination. In this lucid, nuanced and confident translation, Bibek Debroy makes the Mahabharata marvelously accessible to contemporary readers.




Family tree x
Map of Bharatavarsha xiv
Acknowledgements xv
Introduction xvii
Section Forty-Five  
Vairata Parva (Pandavas's thirteenth year in disguise in King Virata's kingdom) 3
Section Forty-Six  
Kichaka-Vadha Parva (Kichaka lusts after Droupadi and is Killed by Bhima) 29
Section Forty-Seven  
Go-Grahana Parva (The Kouravas and Trigartas invade Matsya to rob Virata of his cattle but are defeated by the Pandavas) 55
Section Forty-Eight  
Vaivahika Parva (Arjuna and Subhadra's son, Abhimanyu, is married to Virata's daughter, Uttara) 133
Section Forty-Nine  
Udyoga Parva (The Kurus and the Pandavas send word to their allies; Duryodhana and Arjuna go to Krishna to seek help) 149
Section Fifty  
Sanjaya-Yana Parva (Dhritarashtra sends Sanjaya as an Emissary to the Pandavas; this mission does not succeed) 199
Section Fifty-One  
Prajagara Parva (Dhritarashtra cannot sleep at night because he is yet to know Yudhishthira's message through Sanjaya) 233
Section Fifty-Two  
Sanatsujata Parva (Sage Sanatsujata instructs Dhritarashtra) 279
Section Fifty-Three  
Yana-Sandhi Parva (Sanjaya conveys Arjuna's message and there is a discussion in the assembly of the Kurus; Karma refuses to fight until Bhishma has fallen) 293
Section Fifty-Four  
Bhagavat-Yana Parva (Krishna goes as a messenger to the Kurus; Krishna fails and war is inevitable) 353
Section Fifty-Five  
Karna-Upanivada Parva (Krishna and Kunti try to wean Karna away from the Kouravas, but fail) 503
Section Fifty-Six  
Abhiniryana Parva (The two sides, Kourava and Pandava, march out to Kurukshetra) 531
Section Fifty-Seven  
Bhishma-Abhishechana Parva (Bhishma is consecrated as the commander-in-chief on the Kourava side) 545
Section Fifty-Eight  
Uluka-Yana Parva (Duryodhana sends Uluka as a messenger to the Pandavas) 555
Section Fifty-Nine  
Ratha-Atiratha-Samkhya Parva (The charioteers and their strengths are enumerated) 565
About the Translator 585


Volume V

About the Volume V

ISBN: 9780143100171
The Fifth Volume will Complete Udyoga Parva with the story of Amba who was reborn as Shikhandi. It includes Bhishma Parva which covers the first ten days of the war and has Krishna’s advice to Arjuna in the form of the Bhagavad Gita. This Volume. This Volume thus gets into the proper. After Bhishma’s Downfall, Drona is instated as the Commander.

Every conceivable human emotion Figures in the Mahabharata, the reason why the epic continues to hold sway over our imagination. In this lucid, nuanced and confident translation, Bibek Debroy makes the Mahabharata marvelously accessible to contemporary readers.




Family Tree IX
Map of Bharatavarsha XIII
Acknawledgamants XV
Introduction XVII
Section Sixty  
Amba Upakhyana (Ashort account of Amba who was reborn as Shikhandi) 1
Setion Sixty One  
Jambukhada Vinirmana Parva (Gives the measure of Jambukhanda the cenral continon on earth) 61
Section Sixty Two  
Bhumi Parva (A desscription of the earth) 93
Section Sixty Three  
Bhagavad Gita Parva (Includes the Bhagavad Gita the teaching of krishna to Arjuna; the section begins with the dramatic news the Bhisma has been killed) 101
Setion sixty four  
Bhisma Vadha Parva (Describes the first ten days of the battle with Bhisma as the commander in chief; the tenth day is marked by Bhsma's Downfall) 209
Section Sixty five  
Dronabhisheka Parva (Drona is consecrated as the supreme commander; the eleventh of the battle is described) 491
Setion Sixty Six  
Samshaptaka Vadha Parva (Samshaptaka take an oath to die or kill Arjuna; on the twelth day of the battle Arjuna; kills several of the samshaptaka warrios) 539
About the Translator 593


Volume VI

About the Volume VI

ISBN: 9780143100188
The sixth volume complete Drona Parva and feature the deaths of Abhimanyu. Jayadratha, Ghatotkacha and Drome .The Narayana weapon is released at Arjuna. Following which Bhagadatta is Killed. Some of the most ferocious fighting in the Kurukshetra war takes place in Drona Parva, specifically. In this volume. At the close of this volume , the war is virtually over Karna assumes the mantle of commander in chief after Drona’s birth.

Birth conceivable human emotion figure in the Mahabharata, The reason why the epic continues to hold sway over our imagination and confident Transition, Bibek Debroy makes the Mahabharata marvelously accessible to contemporary.




Family Tree IX
Map of Bharatavarsha XIII
Acknowledgements XV
Introduction XVII
Section Sixty-Seven  
Abhimanya Vadha Parva (Abhimanya, the son Arjuna and subhadra, peretrates the chakra uyuha that Drona constructs and is killed by Jayadratha) 3
Sction Sixty Eight  
Pratijna Parva (Arjuna vows to kill jayadratha) 57
Sction Sixty Nine  
Jayadratha Vadha Parva (Arjuna kills Jayadratha) 87
Saction Seventy  
Ghotatkacha Vadha Parva (Karna kills Ghotatkachawith the spear that be has saved for Arjuna) 297
Section Seventy one  
Drona Vadha Parva (Bhima kills an elephant named Ashvatthama and Bhima and Yudhishthira tell Drona that Ashatthama has been Killed; when Drona casts aside his weapons he is killed by Dhristadyumna) 419
Section Seventy Two  
Narayana Astra Moksha Parva (Angry at Drona;s death Ashvatthama invokes the narayana astra which is countered by Krishna and Arjuna) 471
About the Translator 515


Volume VII

About the Volume VII

ISBN: 9780143100195
The seven volume continues with the account of the war with Karna who is instated as the commander of the Kourava army for Two days After his death Shalya is the Commander for one day Shalya too dies Duryodhana meets his death at the hands of Bhima and the great war cames to an end.

Every conceivable human emotion figure in the Mahabharata, the reason why the epic continues to hold sway over our imagination and confident Transition, Bibek Debroy makes the Mahabharata marvelously accessible to contemporary. Reader.




Family Tree IX
Map of Bharatavarsha XIII
Acknowledgements XV
Introduction XVII
Section Seventy Three  
Karna Vadha Parva (After Drona's death, Karna is a made the overall commander; Duryodhana asks Shalya to be Karna's charioteer; Bhima kills Duhshasana and drinks his blood; Arjuna kills karna) 3
Section Seventy Four  
Shalya Vadha Parva (Shalya is appointed the supreme commander of the Kourava army; Yudhishthira kills Shalya and Shalya's younger brother) 317
Section Seventy Five  
Hrada Pravesha Parva (Bhima kills Duryodhana's remaining brothers; Sahadeva kills Shakuni; Duryodhana enters a lake and hides there) 379
Section Seventy Six  
Tirtha Yatra Parva (It is descovered that Duryodhana is hiding in Lake Duaipayana; Bhima and Duryodhana prepare to fight; Balarama returns from his pilgrimage to witness the encounter) 427
Section Seventy Seven  
Gada Yuddha Parva (Bhima and Duryodhana fight with clubs where, Bhima stirikes Duryodhana unfairly and brings him down; Krishna goes to Hastinapra and pacifies Dhritarashtra and Gandhari) 521
About the Translator 562


Volume VIII

About the Volume VIII

ISBN: 9780143100201
It is the aftermath of the war in Volume 8. Ashvatthama kills all the remaining Pandavas –with the exception of the five Pandava brothers-and Panchalas. The funeral ceremonies for the dead warriors are performed. Bhishma’s teaching in the Shanti Parva, after Yudhishthira is crowned, is about duties to be followed under different circumstances.

Every conceivable human emotion figures in the Mahabharata, the reason why the epic continues to hold sway over our imagination. In this lucid, nuanced and confident translation, Bibek Debroy makes the Mahabharata marvelously accessible to contemporary readers.




Family tree ix
Map of Bharatavarsha xiii
Acknowledgements xv
Introduction xvii
Section Seventy-Eight  
Souptika Parva (Ashvatthama sees an owl kill sleeping crows and decides that the Pandavas and Panchalas should be killed in the night, while they are asleep) 3
Section Seventy-Nine  
Aishika Parva (Ashvatthama and Arjuna invoke their brahmashira weapons, which threaten to destroy the worlds; Arjuna withdraws his and Ashvatthama's is diverted towards the wombs of the Pandava women) 43
Section Eighty  
Vishoka Parva (Vidura attempts to dispel Dhritarashtra's sorrow) 67
Section Eighty-One  
Stri Parva (Pandavas meet Dhritarashtra and Gandhari; Dhritarashtra wants to crush Bhima to death, but is offered an iron image instead by Krishna; Vedavyasa dissuades Gandhari from cursing the Pandavas; Gandhari's glance distorts Yudhishthira's nails) 85
Section Eighty-Two  
Shraddha Parva (The dead warriors are cremated and their funeral rites performed) 125
Section Eighty-Three  
Jala-Pradanika Parva (The observation of water-rites and the offering of water to the dead warriors takes place; Kunti tells the Pandavas that Karna was their elder brother) 129
Section Eighty-Four  
Raja Dharma Parva (Yudhishthira sorrows over Karma and Narada recounts the story of Karna being cursed and his exploits; Yudhishthira wishes to leave for the forest, but is dissuaded and is asked to learn about dharma from Bhishma; Yudhishthira is crowned 135
Section Eighty-Five  
Apad Dharma Parva (Bhishma instructs Yudhishthira about the nature of dharma to be followed during a misfortune or a calamity) 503
Section Eighty-Six  
Moksha Dharma Parva (Bhisma talks about moksha, which means liberation, as opposed to the pursuit of dharma, artha and kama) 625
About the Translator 712


Volume IX

About the Volume IX

ISBN: 9780143422914
The Final Volume ends the instructions of the Anushasana Parva. The horse sacrifice is held, and Dhritarashtra, Gandhari, Kunti, Vidura and Sanjaya leave for the forest, Krishna and Balarama die as the Yadavas fight among themselves. The Pandavas leave on the great journey with the famous companion – Dharma disguised as a dog. Refusing to abandon the dog, Yudhishthira goes to heaven in his physical body and sees all the Kurus and the Pandavas are already there.




Family Tree IX
Map of Bharatavarsha XIII
Acknowledgements XV
Introduction XVII
Section Eight-Six 3
Moksha Dharma Parva (Moksha means liberation, as opposed to the pursuit of dharma, artha and kama)  
Section Eighty-Seven 493
Dana Dharma Parva (The dharma to be followed in dana- gifts, donations, giving things away in charity)  
About the Translator 720


Volume X

ISBN: 9780143422921



Family tree IX
Map of Bharatavarsha XIII
Acknowledgements XV
Introduction XVII
Section Eighty Seven 3
Dana Dharma Parva (The dharma to be followed in dana, gifts, donations, giving things away in charity)  
Section Eighty Eight 331
Bhishma-Svargarohana Parva (Bhishma’s death and ascent to heaven)  
Section Eighty Nine 339
Ashvamedhika Parva (There is a recital of the Anu-Gita; Krishna leaves for Dvaraka and there is a discourse with Utanka on the way;Yudhishthira collects riches for the horse sacrifice; Krishna returns to Hastinapura; Parikshit is born dead, but is revived by Krishna; Yudhishthira's horse sacrifice is held and there is the incident of the mongoose )  
Section Ninety 553
Ashrama – Vasa Parva (Dhritarashtra, Gandhari, Sanjaya, Vidura and Kunti leave for the forest; Vidura dies and merges into Yudhishthira )  
Section Ninety One 611
Putra Darshana Parva (Vyasa uses the power of his austerities to show everyone the dead warriors, including the sons of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari; after visiting Dhritarashtra, Gandhari and Kunti, the Pandavas return to Hastinapura)  
Section Ninety Two 629
Naradagamana Parva (Narada arrives and tells the Pandavas that Dhritarashtra, Gandhari and Kunti have been killed in a forest fire and Sanjaya has gone off to the Himalayas)  
Section Ninety Three 637
Mousala Parva (The Yadavas are cursed by sages that they will be destroyed by clubs; grass turns to clubs and the Yadavas kill each other with these; Balarama and Krishna give up their lives on earth; Arjuna's powers vanish)  
Section Ninety Four 659
Maha Prasthanika Parva (It has the story of the departure of the Pandavas for the Himalayas and their deaths, one after another; and of Dharma disguised as a dog and Yudhishthira's ascent to heaven, in his physical body)  
Section Ninety Five 669
Svargarohana Parva (The last parva of the Mahabharata; Yudhishthira is shown hell and then goes to heaven)  
About the Translator 685

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