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The great Indian epic Mahabharata by Maharshi Veda Vyasa

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ॐ श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः ॐ श्री शिवानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री चिदानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री दुर्गायै नमः 

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The great Indian epic ‘Mahabharata’ by Maharshi Veda Vyasa : If you cannot find anything here, you cannot find it anywhere else

Swami Sivananda Saraswathi on great Hindu Epic Mahabharata : Read here


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Stories from the Mahabharata,  by ‘Swami Sivananda’ of ‘The Divine Life Society’ : Click here to buy  Also Available on Amazon India


The Greatness of the Epic Mahabharata

The very mention of the name ‘Mahabharata‘ gives a thrill of holy ideas all over the body & mind. Mahabharata is a great Indian epic in form of heroic poem.

The epic contains one hundred thousand verses. It contains the essence of all scriptures. It is an encyclopaedia of ethics, knowledge, politics, religion, philosophy and righteous way of living.

If you cannot find anything here, you cannot find it anywhere else.

Mahabharata War in Kurukshetra Battlefield

 Krishna imparting the knowledge of Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna  in Mahabharata war

Bhagavad Gita by Swami Sivananda : The best commentary ever written

Mahabharata War in Kurukshetra Battlefield

Mahabharat (1988 TV series) : The most successful Mahabharata series ever produced on television
Mahabharat (1988 TV series) : Watch on YouTube
Mahabharat (1988 TV series) : Buy DVD on Amazon India

Mahabharata contains eighteen sections.

These sections are known as Parvas, viz., Adi Parva, Sabha Parva, Vana Parva, Virata Parva, Udyoga Parva, Bhishma Parva, Drona Parva, Karna Parva, Shalya Parva, Sauptika Parva, Stree Parva, Shanti Parva, Anushasana Parva, Asvamedha Parva, Ashramavasika Parva, Mausala Parva, Mahaprasthanika Parva and Swargarohanika Parva.

Each Parva contains many sub-Parvas or subsections.This wonderful book was composed by Sri Veda Vyasa (Krishna Dvaipayana) 

Veda Vyasa was the grandfather of the heroes of the epic. He taught this epic to his son Suka and his disciples Vaisampayana and others. 

The opening and closing lines of this great epic are truly worth remembering always. Mahabharata begins with the verse : 

Vyasa sang of the ineffable greatness and splendour of Lord Vasudeva, who is the source and support for everything, who is eternal, unchanging, self-luminous, who is the Indweller in all beings, and the truthfulness and righteousness of the Pandavas.” 

Mahabharata ends with the verse ( The final Shloka ) : 

“With raised hands, I shout at the top of my voice; but alas, no one hears my words which can give them Supreme Peace, Joy and Eternal Bliss.

One can attain wealth and all objects of desire through righteous way of living. Why do not people practise righteousness?

One should not abandon righteous way of living at any cost, even at the cost of one’s life.

One should not relinquish righteousness out of passion or fear or covetousness or for the sake of preserving one’s life.

Meditate on this daily, O man! when you retire to sleep and when you rise from your bed every morning. You will attain everything. You will attain fame, prosperity, long life, eternal bliss, everlasting peace and immortality.”

The Mahabharata is the history of the Great War of India between the paternal cousins Pandavas and the Kauravas belonging to the leading & the most powerful Royal family of India of an ancient era of Indian history.

The Pandavas were assisted in the war by Sri Krishna, The Supreme Lord and other powerful kings of the time, and their forces. The Kauravas were also assisted by their relations and royal friends and their forces.

The Pandavas attained victory in the war on account of their righteous cause and Divine Grace.


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The great war of Mahabharata was a just war. If we go through the speech given by Bhishma to Yudhishthira in the epic, we will  understand what exactly is a righteous war.

In a righteous war a  brave hero would fight only with an enemy of equal strength and on equal vantage. This was the motto of every brave soldier who engaged himself in warfare in days of yore in India.

Perfect justice and fairness in everything was rigidly observed on both sides. There was no fighting during nights; when the enemy had no arms in his hands, no arrows were aimed at him.

The Mahabharata, the most renowned epic of India, is the only book of its kind in the whole world.

It contains countless stories besides the main episode. These stories teach moral lessons, or illustrate distinguishing characteristics of the great ancients of India.

Mahabharata contains the history of ancient India and all the details of its political, social and religious life.

The stories, songs, nursery tales, anecdotes, parables, the discourses and sayings contained in this epic are truly marvellous and highly instructive.

It contains the brilliant records of mighty heroes, warriors of great prowess, deep thinkers, profound philosophers, sages and ascetics and devoted wives of chastity.

The beauty and charm of the language is extremely striking and attractive.

One is struck with amazement and becomes tongue-tied when he reads the marvellous strength of  Bhima , of the wonderful skill in archery and bowmanship of Arjuna, of the dexterity of Sahadeva in the use Of swords and of the profound knowledge of Nakula in astronomy, and of the extreme righteous conduct and justice of Yudhishthira in all matters.

The deeds of heroism done by BhishmaKarnaDrona, Parasurama,  JayadrathaDhrishtadyumna and many others are superhuman.

These heroes did severe Tapas and obtained rare boons from the Lord. That is the reason why they did marvellous heroic deeds which baffle description.

Yudhishthira did not wield arms. But he was an embodiment of righteousness. He was an incarnation of righteousness (Dharma).

He guided his brothers in the path of truth and righteousness and checked them whenever they went astray. He was an embodiment of justice, patience, steadiness, purity, truthfulness and forbearance.

The kings in ancient times in India had thorough knowledge of the scriptures and of right and wrong. They practised rigid austerities as well. That is the reason why Yudhishthira and Nala were able to bear the toughest hardships.

They rolled in wealth and yet they had the strength and power of endurance to walk barefooted in forests and sleep on a bed of stones. They had such rigorous training and discipline in suffering.

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DraupadiSavitri,  KuntiMadri and Damayanti were highly devoted to their husbands. They were bold and fearless when they were under extreme difficulties, hardships, sufferings.

They were pious. They bore the sufferings through the force of their chastity  and moral strength. They were ideal wives and ideal mothers. That is the reason why they have left an immortal name behind them.

The Mahabharata still exerts a marvellous influence over the millions of Hindus. The lustre and high renown of these brilliant personages of Mahabharata has not suffered a diminution, in spite of the ravages of cruel time.

Their character was untainted and sublime. Hence their deeds also were admirable, laudable and sublime.

Determination has ever been the key to success in the lives of great men of all countries. Heroes would not move an inch from the path of their duty when they are called upon to perform it. They were fiery in their determination. They had iron will.

The noble and heroic grandsire of the royal family Bhishma, who had control over his death, and who was unconquerable in war even by the gods, still inspires us with the spirit of self-sacrifice, undaunted courage and purity.

Yudhishthira is still a model of justice and righteousness. Remembrance of his very name generates thrill in our hearts and goads us to tread the path of truth and virtue.

Karna still lives in our hearts on account of his extreme munificence and liberality. Karna’s name has become proverbial. People even now say, whenever they come across a very generous man, “He is like Karna in gifts.”

Arjuna was the bravest of all the five Pandavas. Arjuna got married to Draupadi by winning her in the selection match of archery.

He had defeated the Kauravas on several occasions. He was a devoted friend of Sri Krishna who had him married to his sister Subhadra, even against the wishes of Krishna’s elder brother Balarama. 

Sri Krishna assisted the Pandavas in the great war of Mahabharata, by acting and serving as Arjuna‘s charioteer, and led the Pandavas to victory.

Even now, we admire Arjuna as a perfect man, and worship Lord Krishna as our Protector and Saviour. Whenever we are in trouble and distress we pray to Him, “O Lord! Save us just as you saved Draupadi and Gajendra in days of yore.”

Geethopadesham :Krishna imparting the knowledge of Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna in Mahabharata war

The Message of the Mahabharata

The sufferings of the Pandavas and Draupadi, Nala and Damayanti, Savitri and Satyavan, clearly explain to us the fact or hard truth that the goal of life or perfection can only be attained through pain and suffering.

Pain is the means through which man is moulded, disciplined and strengthened. Just as impure gold is turned into pure gold by melting it in the crucible, so also the impure and imperfect weak man is rendered pure, perfect and strong, by being melted in the crucible of pain and suffering.

Therefore, one should not be afraid of pain and sufferings. They are blessings in disguise. They are eye-openers. They are silent teachers.

They turn the mind towards God and instil mercy in the heart, strengthen the will and develop patience and power of endurance, which are the pre-requisites for God-Realisation.

The message of the Mahabharata is the message of Truth and Righteousness. The great epic produces a moral awakening in the readers and exhorts them to tread the path of Satya and Dharma.

It urges them strongly to do good deeds, practise Dharma, cultivate dispassion by realising the illusory nature of this universe and its vainglories and sensual pleasures, and attain Eternal Bliss and Immortality.

It induces people to do what Yudhishthira did and abandon what Duryodhana did.

Stick to Dharma tenaciously. You will attain everlasting happiness and Moksha, the summum bonum of life. This is the final purport or central teachings of the Mahabharata.

May the teachings of this illustrious and glorious epic of ancient India guide us in every walk of our life.

May we stick to righteousness(Dharma). May the great characters of the Mahabharata inspire us!

May we imbibe the righteousness of Yudhishthira, the purity of Bhishma, the courage of Arjuna and the liberality of Karna!

Glory to Sri Bhagavan Vyasa, the grandsire of the heroes, the author of the Mahabharata, an Immortal Chiranjeevi and an Avatara of Lord Hari. May His blessings be upon all of us!

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Kind Courtesy : ‘Mahabharata‘ By ‘Swami Sivananda Saraswathi‘ of ‘The Divine Life Society, Rishikesh

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

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