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The epic describes a great war of some years ago, and the events that led to it. The war on Kurukshetra sees ten million warriors slain, brings the dwapara yuga to an end, and ushers in a new and sinister age: this present kali yuga, modern times. Senayor ubhayor madhye, between two teeming armies, Krishna expounds the eternal dharma to his warrior of light, Arjuna. At one level, all the restless action of the Mahabharata is a quest for the Gita and its sacred stillness. After the carnage, it is the Gita that survives, immortal lotus floating upon the dark waters of desolation: the final secret!

With its magnificent cast of characters, human, demonic, and divine, and its riveting narrative, the Mahabharata continues to enchant readers and scholars the world over. This new rendering brings the epic to the contemporary reader in sparkling modern prose.

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It brings alive all the excitement, magic, and grandeur of the original - for our times. That was followed immediately by a feeling of realization! Like many who have read the epic, I had the honor of experiencing the profound meaning hidden in the story of love, hate, politics, war and revenge. It is relevant in any generation and for any culture as long as it is not labelled as belonging to a particular religion or faith.

Menon has painstakingly researched, understood and reproduced the essence of the epic in a way that appeals to every reader. On a critical note, there are a few instances, where certain characters or events have been randomly thrown in without warning or with little explanation of their significance. That aspect however, made me research a bit more on their background which was fun. So go ahead and grab yourself a copy of the The Mahabharata: A Modern Rendering by Ramesh Menon or gift it to someone you love or even hate!

They will get the point! Oct 17, A. I already miss it. Even though the story is familiar, and the poem is abridged in this prose version, I could not stop reading. Even though I wanted to stop many times--violence and tragedy aren't my usual reading list fare. But, I don't know why I'm complaining.

The Mahabharata is a story that strikes deep in the heart, and it never ends. This "modern rendering" keeps the storyline clear and exciting. The Mahabharata is a very long read, and to make it manageable, this version had to move the I already miss it. The Mahabharata is a very long read, and to make it manageable, this version had to move the story along quickly.

But that meant that I could only read a little at a time, to absorb the drama's effect. I'm still reading through the Appendix notes for more of the details that this author did not include in the main text. Still, I would recommend this book-- a good way to take in the great story and to realize the context of the beautiful Bhagavad Gita. Apr 04, Aahrtee rated it it was amazing.

Excellently written without the flowery prose typical of most translations of Indian epics. Ramesh Menon exercises good judgment in culling overly long descriptions that don't add to the story e. This version reads chronologically starting from the Excellently written without the flowery prose typical of most translations of Indian epics. I'd recommend Menon's version to anyone looking for a modern, clearly written translation of the Mahabharata. Jul 13, Shankar Natarajan rated it it was amazing. Amazing read. Read it on my new Kindle paperwhite; really enjoyed the lucid narration of the author.

Jun 09, Douglas Penick rated it it was amazing. This is one of the very greatest and most complex and most alive books ever written. Jun 13, Nishanth rated it it was amazing.


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If all books in the world happened to be written by one single person, then this would have to be his magnum opus! Mar 01, Garima Mantri rated it it was amazing. This epic, written in , couplets describes the great war between cousins for the rightful succession of the throne - Panadavas and Kauravas.

The Mahabharata by Ramesh Menon - Read Online

How to describe it? I guess no words in any language can encompass the true magnificence and grandeur of this beautiful book. It has every known element of every known language- gods, humans, demons, celestial nymphs, gurus, saints, eunuch along with love, hate, rage, honor, war, occult weapons, reincarnation, incarnation, exile, scorned lovers, relationships between man-woman, between siblings, between teacher-student , between human-god, between god-demon…………….

And to top it all, it is said to have occurred in India years ago. Yes, it is a true story. And there are have been particular findings to corroborate the same. And how could we forget Gita, the philosophy of life narrated by Lord Krishna.


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  • It forms the heart of Mahabharata. Originally in Sanskrit, Ved Vyasa, who is also one of the foremost characters, narrated the whole story to Lord Ganesha who wrote it down. There are multiple characters along with multiple stories and they all link to each other to form a whole picture which leads to the Mahabharata- the great war of 18 days which according to Hindu Mythology marked the end of an era.

    There are certain incidents which have been written in such detail, that you can actually picture it and imagine it and feel it. Please please please do read these books. I am telling you, your concept about literature, reading, books will change completely. To all those who want to read Mahabharata, these books are amazing. Lightning fact : According to Hindus, Mahabharata is not supposed to be kept in the house, since it promotes negativity and quarrels.

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    Even my mom believed it. As I have said in the review of Part 1 - a timeless classic. But everytime I read a version from another writer I learn a lot more. This tale is like a river, nourished by just so many small streams melting into it and giving it the grandness and diversity.

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    This version is an abridged version of the original but has covered a lot of events in detail. As a modern reader sometimes you wonder if all the details were required but one must remember that this is part of history and hence there will be As I have said in the review of Part 1 - a timeless classic. As a modern reader sometimes you wonder if all the details were required but one must remember that this is part of history and hence there will be details.

    If you want to read versions of this tale in a story form then there are many other authors you can refer to like Devdutt Patnaik, Ashok Bakar etc. I am just too invested in this tale to say anything negative about it ever. This deserves a Hollywood TV series without the usual protests which happen in this country.

    Hope to see this before my term ends Aug 02, Manini J. Anandani rated it it was amazing. If someone today wants to start reading the genre of Mythology or speculative fiction , I would recommend to start with this.