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From the Jacket :

The Mahabharata is a curious mixture of history and mythology, though the former aspect is the subject of grave doubts in the minds of the professional historians. This is called the fifth Veda and it is universally acknowledged to be of pre-eminent importance. It extols its greatness itself in the following words: yad ihasti tad anyatra yan nehasti na tat kvacit (whatever is here is also elsewhere; whatever is not here is extant nowhere). It contains not only the celebrated Gita but also a large number of other texts, which are themselves independent treatises. It is a valuable product of the ancient Indian literature of the post-Vedic age and seems to go back to the prehistoric stage of the human society.

This is first time that English translation with Sanskrit text is being published. The translation is based on M.N. Dutta, which is very lucid and accurate according to the Sanskrit text. It was translated according to that time available text of Kolkata edition. However, this text is not available now and we have arranged it through the text of Chitrashala Press, Pune, which is an authentic and complete text of the Mahabharata. And according to this, sometimes, we do not find the translation of many slokas, that translation has been completed by the editors.


Vedic literature has been written in Vedic Sanskrit. The main feature of this Sanskrit was the accent, which slowly and steadily faded out in contemporary period and completely vanished after the age of the Upanishadas. This language void of accent is known as classic Sanskrit. There is a lot of difference between classic and Vedic Sanskrit.

The Mahabharata has been written in classic Sanskrit. It is regarded as the store-house of political wisdom, the repository of philosophical doctrine, the container of religious dogma and, at the same time, a specimen of literary art, exercising a tremendous influence on different forms of subsequent literary compositions in Sanskrit.

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are two gems in Indian literature. Both these epics are the basis of Indian culture and the Sumeru mountain of gold of Sanskrit literature. The Mahabharata holds the pride of place and it is the most popular epic after the Ramayana.

The Mahabharata is known to the best history since the ancient period, as it gives a complete picture of the contemporary society, literature and culture of the India. The Mahabharata contains the main history of Kauravas and Pandava and other various kings.

Moreover, the Mahabharata has literary importance also. It is an epic. It is clearly said in the Mahabharata that this epic is like an ocean which carries out all types of compositions pertaining to all kinds of knowledge. Indeed it is a beautiful poetic work on the one hand and a code of conduct on the other.

The story of Mahabhartah

The short Story of the Mahabharata has been arranged in the following words:

1. Adi Parva - The story begins with the account of the genealogy of the Bharatas. This contains the history of Chandra Vansha and elaborately describes the origin of the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The ancestor of the royal house of Kuru is 'Shantanu' who married Ganga and their son is Bhishma.

Shantanu takes as his second wife Satyavati who gives him two sons - Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. Both die without children. As a result of begetting with the help of Vyasa, the illegitimate son of Satyavati, the widows get sons - Dhritarashtra and Pandu. Dhritarashtra, married to Gandhari, gets one hundred sons and Pandu has two wives: Kunti who had already one son, Kama, and who gave three more sons - Yudhishthira, Bhima and Arjuna and the other wife Madri who gives birth to two sons - Nakula and Sahadeva.

2. Sabha Parva - This describes the gambling. Duryodhana is full of envy and hatred. On an invitation from him, the game of gambling begins. Shakuni, the expert cheat, taunts Yudhishthira who loses each and everything. At last, he stakes his wife, Draupadi who faces the coarse and brutal treatment in the presence of not only her husbands, but Bhishma also.

3. Vana Parva - This describes the exile of the Pandavas. The defeated Pandavas leave for the forest. Krishna visits them and incites them to fight. Draupadi and Bhima support him.

4. Virat Parva - This gives the description of unknown living of the Pandavas during their last year of exile. They spend this time in Virat Nagar without being recognized. When the brother-in-law of king Virat tries to molest Draupadi, Bhima kills him. At the end of thirteenth year, the Pandavas reveal their identity.

5. Udyoga Parva - Shri Krishna makes a serious effort for reconciliation between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Duryodhana refuses this offer. Krishna tries to persuade Kama to take the side of the Pandavas, but Kama refuses. Armies from both sides march towards Kurukshetra.

6. Bhishma Parva - It describes the long preparation of the war of the Mahabharata. The world famous preaching of the Gita is related to this canvas. Krishna teaches Arjuna that he must not hesitate to fight, although his enemies are his own relatives. Bhishma refrains from/ fighting when face to face with by Shikhandi; Arjuna pierces Bhishma with arrows.

7. Drona Parva - It tells mainly the story of murdering Abhimanyu and Dronacharya. Here the fifteenth day of battle ends.

8. Karna Parva - Bhima kills Dussashan, thus avenging the honour of Draupadi. A terrible duel takes place between Kama and Arjuna. The wheel of Kama's chariot sinks into mud and Arjuna kills him.

9. Shalya Parva - This deals with the war and execution of Shalya who is killed by Yudhishthira. Sahadeva kills the old and mischievous Shakuni. Duryodhana is alone. He takes refuge in a lake where, through magical power, he hides himself under water.

10. Svastika Parva - It has the main story of slaughtering the five sons of the Pandavas.

11. Stri Parva - The ladies of the Kauravas visit the battle field and Gandhari describes her horrible vision. Her daughters-in-law, dishevelled and frantic, cry and lament near the corpses of their husbands.

12. Shanti Parva - The true story of Kama's birth having been revealed, Yudhishthira decides to expiate his fratricide by retiring to the forest. He is dissuaded from doing so and is installed on the throne.

13. Anushasana Parva - It has main events related to Bhishma's expiry. In the presence of a great concourse of people, Bhishma's spirit ascends to the skies.

14. Ashvamedhika Parva - Yudhishthira is advised to perform the Ashvamedha Yajna. Uttara, the wife of Abhimanyu, gives birth to Parikshita.

15. Ashramavasika Parva - This gives the description of Vanaprasthashrama of Dhritarashtra. For fifteen years, Dhritarashtra and Gandhari live with their nephews. Then they retire to the forest.

16. Mausala Parva - In Stri Parva, Gandhari blames Krishna for not having prevented the slaughter of her sons and curses Krishna. As a result thereof, the fight with the help of Musala, takes place between the Yadavas. In a club fight Balarama is killed. Also Krishna is killed by a hunter.

17. Mahaprasthanika Parva - It describes the Pandava's going to heaven. The five brothers accompanied by Draupadi retire to mount Meru. They all die except Yudhishthira.

18. Svargarohana Parva - Yudhishthira refuses to enter heaven if his brothers and his dog are not there with him. Yuclhishthira, on reaching heaven, sees Duryodhana seated on a throne, but does not see his brothers and Draupadi. But actually this was an illusion. He meets his brothers and Draupadi.

Volume 1st

  Adi Parva  
  Anukramanika Parva 1-22
  Parvasangraha Parva 22-46
  Paushya Parva 46-62
  Pauloma Parva 62-74
  Astika Parva 75-163
  Ansavatarana Parva 163-185
  Sambhava Parva 185-418
  Jatugriha Parva 418-438
  Hidimba-vadha Parva 439-451
  Baka-vadha Parva 451-466
  Chaitraratha Parva 466-511
  Svayamvara Parva 511-532
  Vaivahika Parva 532-550
  Viduragamana - Rajyalambha Parva 550-580
  Arjunavanavasa Parva 580-590
  Subhadraharana Parva 590-594
  Haranaharana Parva 594-600
  Khandava-daha Parva 600-632
  Sabha-Kriya Parva 633-642
  Lokapala Sabhakhyana Parva 642-659
  Rajasuyarambha Parva 671-686
  Jarasandha Vadha Parva 686-701
  Digvijaya Parva 701-717
  Rajasuyika Parva 717-726
  Arghyaharana Parva 726-732
  Shishupala Vadha Parva 732-746
  Dyuta Parva 746-813
  Anudyuta Parva 813-832

Volume 2nd

  Aranyaka Parva 1-30
  Kirmira Vadha Parva 30-36
  Arjunabhigamana Parva 36-112
  Kairata Parva 113-127
  Indralokagamana Parva 127-149
  Nalopakhyana Parva 149-225
  Tirtha - Yatra Parva 225-446
  Yaksha Yuddha Parva 446-465
  Nivatakavacha Yuddha Parva 465-494
  Ajagara Parva 494-512
  Markandeya-Samasya Parva 512-670
  Draupadi Satyabhama Samvada Parva 670-677
  Ghosha Yatra Parva 677-721
  Mriga Svapnodbhava Parva 721-722
  Vrihi Drounika Parva 722-731
  Draupadi Harana Parva 731-754
  Jayadratha Vimokshana Parva 754-759
  Ramopakhyana Parva 759-812
  Pativrata Mahatmya Parva 812-837
  Kundalaharana Parva 837-860
  Araneya Parva 860-876

Volume 3rd

  Virata Parva  
  Pandava Pravesha Parva (Chapter 1 to 13) 1-31
  The counsel of Yudhishthira and others 1
  Counsels of the Pandavas 5
  The advice of Dhaumya 7
  The entering into Virata's city 11
  The hymn of Durga 14
  Yudhishthira's entry in Pandava's camp 16
  The entry of Bhima 19
  The entry of Draupadi 20
  The entry of Sahadeva 23
  The entry of Arjuna 25
  The entry of Nakula 26
  The destruction of Jimuta 28
  Kichaka-Vadha Parva (Chapter 12 to 24) 31-67
  Conversation between Draupadi and Kichaka 31
  Draupadi going to bring wine 36
  Contempt of Draupadi 38
  Dialogue between Draupadi and Bhima 42
  Words of Draupadi 46
  The conversation between Bhima and Draupadi 51
  The destruction of Kichaka 55
  The destruction of minor Kichakas 62
  The queen's words to Sairandhri 64
  Goharana Parva (Chapter 25 to 69) 67-166
  The return of the spies 67
  The words of Karna and Dusshasana 68
  The words of Drona 69
  Bhishma's words 70
  The words of Kripa 73
  The going of Susharma and others to Matsya country 74
  The marching of the army 76
  The encounter between Susharma and Virata 78
  The discomfiture of Susharma 80
  The announcement of Virata's victory 84
  The praise of Uttara 86
  The proposal of making Brihannala 87
  The going out of Uttara 89
  The chastisement of Uttara 92
  The praise of Arjuna 95
  The description of Arjuna's weapon 97
  The attempt of getting down weapons 97
  The seeing of weapon by Uttara 98
  The description of weapons 100
  The recognition of Arjuna 101
  The beginnings of Arjuna's fighting 103
  The seeing of omens 106
  The words of Duryodhana 108
  The words of Karna 111
  The words of Kripa 112
  The words of Ashvatthama 114
  The words of Drona 116
  The arrangement of troops by Bhishma 118
  The return of the kine 120
  The discomfiture of Karna 121
  Arjuna's pointing out of Kurus to Uttara 125
  The arrival of the deities at the battle field 130
  The battle between Arjuna and Kripa 131
  The retreat of Drona 134
  The battle between Arjuna and Ashvathaman 139
  The retreat of Karna 140
  The battle between Arjuna and Dusshasana 142
  The carnage caused by Partha 146
  The fight of Arjuna, in the Goharana 147
  The defeat of Bhishma 148
  The retreat of Duryodhana 152
  The return of Uttara to his city 154
  The colloquy between Uttara and Virata 157
  Uttara's account of the battle 165
  Vaivahika Parva (Chapter 70 to 72) 167-174
  The description of Yudhishthira 167
  The proposal of the marriage of Uttara 169
  The marriage of Abhimanyu 172
  Udyoga Parva  
  Senodyoga Parva (Chapter 1 to 19) 1-16
  The speech of Krishna 1
  The speech of Baladeva 3
  The speech of Satyaki 5
  The speech of Drupada 7
  The mission of priest 9
  Instruction of priest 10
  The setting out of Krishna 11
  The speech of Shalya 14
  The defeat of Indra 18
  The assassination of Vritra 23
  The fear of the queen of Indra 27
  The defeat of Indra 28
  The gifts of Upashruti 31
  The prayer of the queen of Indra 33
  Agni's speech to Brihaspati 34
  Varuna and others' news to Indra 37
  Agastya's news to Indra 40
  The departure of Shalya 42
  The mission of the priest 44
  Sandayayana Parva (Chapter 20-32) 46-84
  The arrival of the priest 46
  The arrival of the Priest 47
  The mission from Dhritarashtra 49
  The queries of Yudhishthira 53
  The speech of Sanjaya 56
  The speech of Yudhishthira 59
  The speech of Sanjaya 62
  The speech of Yudhishthira 65
  Words of Krishna's 67
  The words of Yudhishthira 73
  The words of Yudhishthira 79
  The words of Sanjaya 81
  Prajagara Parva (Chapter 33-40) 84-133
  Code of morality of Vidura 84
  The principles of morality explained by Vidura 94
  The moral lessons as explained by Vidura 100
  The Principles of Morality explained by Vidura 107
  The speech of Vidura 123
  Morality as taught by Vidura 130
  Sanat-Sujata Parva (Chapter 41-46) 133-154
  The parley between Vidura and Dhritarashtra 133
  The speech of Sanat-Sajuta 134
  The speech as delivered by Sanat-Sujata 139
  On honest speech, in the Sanat-Sujata 145
  Yanasandhi Parva (Chapter 47-71) 154-216
  Sanjaya sent in message, in the Yanasandhi 154
  The speech of Arjuna, in the Yanasandhi 155
  The speech of Sanjaya, in the Yanasandhi 171
  The repentance of Dhritarashtra 174
  The speech of Dhritarashtra 180
  The speech of Sanjaya 181
  The speech of Duryodhana 181
  The speech of Sanjaya 181
  The speech of Dhritarashra 194
  The speech of Krishna 196
  The speech of Dhritarashtra 198
  The speech of Duryodhana 200
  The speech of Karna 202
  The speech of Vidura 204
  The speech of Dhritarashtra 207
  The speech of Sanjaya 209
  Arrival of Vyas and Gandhari 210
  Sanjay's description of lord 210
  Krishna's greatness to Dhritarashtra 211
  The speech of Sanjaya 212
  Bhagavad Yana Parva (Chapter 72-150) 216-389
  Dialogue between Yudhishthira and Krishna 216
  Speech of Krishna 223
  Speech of Bhima 226
  Speech of Krishna 228
  Speech of Arjuna 233
  Speech of Krishna 234
  Speech of Nakula 236
  Speech of Sahadeva and Satyaki 237
  Speech of Krishna 238
  The embassy of the God 246
  Speech of Dhritarashtra 250
  Speech of Vidura 251
  Speech of Duryodhana and others 252
  Embassy of Krishna 254
  The conversation between Kunti and Krishna 256
  The conversation between Krishna and Duryodhana 264
  The conversation between Krishna and Vidura 267
  Krishna's presence in the Assembly-Hall 271
  The speech of Krishna 275
  The story of Dambhodbhava 279
  The search of Matali 283


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