The Mahabharata (Essays and Translations)

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This book contains all Sri Aurobindo's independent prose writings on the Mahabharata, as well as all his translation of passages from the epic, including the first six chapters of the bhagavad Gita. in his main essay, Sri Aurobindo examines Vyasa's poetic style brings out his "peculiar appeal to humanity."

"Vyasa is the most masculine of writers. He has that is to say the masculine qualities restraint, dignity, indifference to ornament, strength without ostentation, energy economised, a strong, pure and simple taste, a high & great spirit, more than any writer I know.

"The style of this powerful writer is perhaps the one example in literature of strength in its purity; a strength undefaced by violence & excess yet not weakened by flagging and negligence."

Publisher's Note

This book contains all Sri Aurobindo's independent prose writings on the Mahabharata, as well as all his translations of passages from the epic. These writings and translations were done at various times between 1893 and 1902, when Sri Aurobindo was living in Baroda. A few paragraphs on the Mahabharata, written in Pondicherry in 1920, have been included in an appendix.

The essays and translations in this book (with the exception of the Gita translation) were first published together in 1991 in a book titled On the Mahabharata. The present work is a revised version of that book, brought out under a new title.

Contents

Essays
Notes on the Mahabharata 3
Notes on the Mahabharata [Detailed] 71
Translations
Sabha Parva or Book of the Assembly-Hall 79
Canto I: The Building of the Hall 79
Canto II: The Debated Sacrifice 87
Canto III: The Slaying of Jerasundh 102
Virata Parva: Fragments from Adhyaya 17 112
Udyoga Parva: Two Renderings of the First Adhaya 113
Udyoga Parva: Passages from Adhyayas 75 and 72 118
The Bhagavad Gita: The First Six Chapters 119
Appendix I: Opening of Chapter VII 146
Appendix II: A Later Translation of the Opening of the Gita 147
Vidula 149
Appendix
Extract from A Defence of Indian Culture 165
Note on the Texts 171

Sample Pages