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 the Pandavas that led to the battle of Kurukshetra. It has innumerable sub-plots that accommodate fascinating meanderings and digressions, and it has rarely been translated in full, given its formidable leThe 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 the Pandavas that led to the battle of Kurukshetra. It has innumerable sub-plots that accommodate fascinating meanderings 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 Institute. The sixth volume completes Drona Parva and features the deaths of Abhimanyu, Jayadratha, Ghakotkacha and Drona. 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 and Karna assumes the mantle of commander-in-chief after Drona's death. 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 marvellously accessible to contemporary readers....
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The Mahabharata Reviews
Amazing! So much progress in the storyline! So many intersting events
This covers most of (and concludes) Drona parva. The battle, having gone on for half a volume before this, continues throughout the entirety of this as well, and starts to become fairly repetitive. With that said, there are some standout scenes in this volume. Abhimanyu's death and Arjuna's grief in particular; Abhimanyu is a significantly more minor character than Bhishma but is also a lot younger and in his prime, so his death feels pretty tragic, and certainly Arjuna takes it badly.And then there's the effect the war is having on the Pandavas. Krishna, of all people, goads Ghatotkacha into attacking Karna and rejoices when Karna kills him using the weapon he was planning on using on Arjuna. This is quite a ways to fall for the author of the Bhagavad Vita. And then Bhima, and more surprisingly, Yudhishthira, lie to Drona, saying that his son was killed so that he no longer desires to fight. And then he gets brutally beheaded.The first half volume covering the war has plenty of dark imagery, but it's in this volume that the destructive and dehumanizing effect of the war becomes very, very clear.
The Incredible Savagery of War, to Restore & Uphold DharmaThe sixth installment of Bibek Debroy's translation of the unabridged Mahabharata, based on the Critical Edition by the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, features perhaps the fiercest fighting in the 18-day war, as well as a descent into an all-out, no-holds barred bloodfest with no rules left unbroken. Many warriors ganging up against one. Beheading an unarmed warrior who had given up his arms, twice. Fighting at night. The wanton killing of warriors retreating. The killing of warriors who had laid down their arms. Abuses. Much more, and much worse takes place in these three days of the 18-day war that this book covers. Specifically, this book covers days thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen of the war, and contains six sub-Parvas (Upa Parvas): Abhimanyu-Vadha Parva (67), Pratijnya Parva (68), Jayadratha-Vadha Parva (69, and at 210 pages, also the longest in this book), Ghatotakacha-Vadha Parva (70, and 120 pages long), Drona-Vadha Parva (71), and Narayana-Astra Moksha Parva (72).
I've been waiting four years for this newest attempt at a complete translation of the Mahābhārata to catch up so I could keep reading it. This volume covers all the Book of Droṇa, part of which the I read in the Clay Sanskrit Library version, so I started in the middle. It's still more battle scenes. The irregularity of Droṇa and Kṛpa's position as warrior brahmins comes out strongly. The Pāṇḍavas regularly accuse them of not living up to their caste responsibilities. At the same time their own king, Duryodhana, accuses them with some justification of going easy on their pupils, now their enemies. As always the battle scenes are pretty repetitive, but there are some memorable moments. In particular, I'll remember Bhīmasena's reaction to one magic weapon: Kṛṣṇa tips everyone off that it won't affect you if you drop your weapons and stop resisting, but wouldn't you know it, he tries to keep charging with his club anyway.
Bibek Debroy continues to enthrall...