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The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana. Besides its epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kauravas and the Pandava princes, the Mahabharata contains much philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or purusharthas. Among the principal works and stories that are a part of the Mahabharata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, an abbreviated version of the Ramayana, and the Rishyasringa, often considered as works in their own right.Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahabharata is attributed to Vyasa. There have been many attempts to unravel its historical growth and compositional layers. The oldest preserved parts of the text are not thought to be much older than around 400 BCE, though the origins of the epic probably fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE. According to the Mahabharata itself, the tale is extended from a shorter version of 24,000 verses called simply Bhārata.

The Mahabharata is the longest Sanskrit epic. Its longest version consists of over 100,000 shloka or over 200,000 individual verse lines (each shloka is a couplet), and long prose passages. About 1.8 million words in total, the Mahabharata is roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Ramayana. W. J. Johnson has compared the importance of the Mahabharata to world civilization to that of the Bible, the works of Shakespeare, the works of Homer, Greek drama, or the Qur'an.

The epic is traditionally ascribed to the sage Vyasa, who is also a major character in the epic. The first section of the Mahabharata states that it was god Ganesha who, at the request of Vyasa, wrote down the text to Vyasa's dictation. Ganesha is said to have agreed to write it only if Vyasa never paused in his recitation. Vyasa agrees on condition that Ganesha takes the time to understand what was said before writing it down.

This book contains collection of 18 books:

1) Adi Parva
2) Sabha Parva
3) Vana Parva
4) Virata Parva
5) Udyoga Parva
6) Bhishma Parva
7) Drona Parva
8) Karna Parva
9) Shalya Parva
10) Sauptika Parva
11) Stri Parva
12) Santi Parva
13) Anusasana Parva
14) Aswamedha Parva
15) Asramavasika Parva
16) Mausala Parva
17) Mahaprasthanika Parva
18) Svargarohanika Parva

Religion & Spirituality
December 12
Publish This, LLC
Publish This, LLC

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