Books on Mahabharat

Books on Mahabharat


Mahabharat is one of the great ‘itihaasas‘ or histories of Indian culture.  The other being Ramayana.  Is it real or not,  I am not the expert.  But it is an amazing story.  The Mahabharat is supposed to hold the answer to all our problems.  It deals with a multitude of issues, dilemmas, lessons.  If it could be a soap,  it will last for centuries.  It has stories and then backstories,  then backstories for the backstories.  Which has been aptly reflected in the book Forest of Stories by Ashok Banker.  I can remember my mother quoting so often from the Mahabharat when faced with a dire situation.  Like if we lost a dear one.  Mom will immediately say,  Draupadi survived the death of her 5 young sons, we will too.

Yudhishthir who is the epitome of righteousness had still made many mistakes even though he walked the prescribed path and never deviated from Dharma.   Krishna who is God also commits cheating but he justifies saying it was the only way to win the war.  He tells us to focus on the ultimate goal and not on the means to achieve the goal.  There is no preaching in the book.  Every character is flawed.  And many more.

Almost all Indians are familiar with the Mahabharat thanks to TV Serials of the same name.  Books retelling the Mahabharat have been around for centuries.  Every story has its own elements, spiced with local flavours.   It is the ultimate book of war between cousins for gaining power, to become the King.

Another of my favourites is Randamoozham by M T Vasudevan Nair.  It is in Malayalam and has an English translation.  But the translation is terrible and so not included in this list.

But here,  I am selecting three books which have different takes.   Continue reading

The Mahabharata Code by Karthik K B Rao




“The Mahabharata Code is a personal account of the main protagonist Narayan Rao (NR), who claims to be an astronomer with NASA. NR and a few other crew members agree to take part in the NASA mission to visit this mystery planet from which they had received mysterious signals. Here, they meet a man with a long flowing white beard, and he introduces himself as Vyasa. He reveals that he has a crazy plan in mind and seeks NR and his members’ help in implementing this plan. He intends to recreate the entire Mahabharata on this planet to restore the faith of the primitive simpletons here. 
As the Mahabharata incidents start unfolding, NR realizes that Vyasa intends to recreate them page by page here, if not paragraph by paragraph. Also NR begins to realize that his son, Krishna, who is being groomed by Vyasa as Vishnu’s avatar, is nothing more than a pawn in Vyasa’s scheme of things. Other incidents of Mahabharata also unfold according to the original epic. Pandavas and Kauravas grow up hating each other and finally the restaging plan culminates with both the warring sets of cousins facing each other in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. 
Inexplicably, like the original epic, Arjuna develops cold feet seeing his own cousins, teachers and relatives on the opposite side. He seeks Krishna’s divine intervention. Is the brainwashed “alien” Krishna prepared for this intervention?”

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About the author


Karthik K.B. Rao
Karthik Rao is a 32-year-old software professional based in Bangalore. He lives with his wife Sushma, parents and two little sons Kaustubh Krishna and Raghav Krishna aged 4 and 1, respectively. He says, he gets to meditate close to 3 hours every day on his bike thanks to the notorious Bangalore traffic. His hobbies include following cricket, Indian politics on the social media and Indian mythology. He also plays plastic ball cricket with his sons.

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Book Review : The Palace Of Illusions     #BookReview

Book Review : The Palace Of Illusions #BookReview

Book Details:PalaceJacketCover

Name:  The Palace Of Illusions

Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Genre: Mythology

Publisher: PICARDO India

Publication Year: 2008

Number of pages: 360

Price:  INR 399

My rating: 4.5/5

The Storyline –

Most of us Indians are aware of the Mahabharat epic.  If we have not read the book,  we have still seen many versions of the epic as TV Serials and movies.  The story has been done and redone many times over.  So, what makes us read the same story again and again.  Because,  everytime you read the book,  there is something new that we will understand depending on what stage of life we are in.  But still,  I had no motivation to read the book,  except that it has been written from the perspective of Draupadi.  She is the narrator.   That certainly piqued my interest.  A woman’s perspective.  And looked forward to reading the book.  And did it fulfill my wishes?  Yes!  It did!  And it was much more. Continue reading