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4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,459 Ratings  ·  245 Reviews
Originally published in the year 1951, the huge popularity of the book has resulted in the book being re-printed several times. Centuries ago, it was proclaimed of the Mahabharata: "What is not in it, is nowhere." But even now, we can use the same words about it. He who knows it not, knows not the heights and depths of the soul; he misses the trials and tragedy and the bea ...more
Paperback, 444 pages
Published 2012 by Bhavan (first published July 1st 2004)
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The Immortals of Meluha by Amish TripathiThe Secret of the Nagas by Amish TripathiThe Oath of the Vayuputras by Amish TripathiThe Great War of Hind by Vaibhav AnandMahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari
Indian Mythology
5th out of 158 books — 383 voters
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Best Indian Books
50th out of 698 books — 2,111 voters

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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 24, 2012 Sharon rated it it was ok
The Mahabharata is in my opinion the greatest story ever told, without even a near second. But this is definitely not the best version out there. Unfortunately, there really isn't a perfect version; but the flaws with this particular work are the following:

Rajaji is a politician, not a writer, and was not capable of moulding the essential story into a readable whole. The first mistake he makes is that he follows the original Ganguli version by summarising the whole story before he even begins! A
I still vividly remember the very first time I read Buck's translation of the Mahabharata. It was my first semester back to school after taking time off to have my son. We lived in a large room that was a sort of add-on to the side of my parent's church and doubled as the nursery on Sundays. My husband was working nights while going to school full time. I was trying to juggle a 21 hour semester at school while simultaneously only having my toddler in daycare for half days. Needless to say, I had ...more
Feb 09, 2009 Weni rated it really liked it
Kisah Mahabharata diawali dg pertemuan antara Raja Sentanu dan Dewi Gangga yg cantik jelita. Sentanu ingin menikahi Dewi Gangga, namun Dewi Gangga mengajukan syarat, a.l. tdk akan menghalangi apapun yg Dewi Gangga lakukan. Sentanu menyanggupi. Dari pernikahan mereka, Dewi Gangga melahirkan banyak anak, namun setiap anak yg lahir ditenggelamkannya di sungai Gangga. Sentanu tak kuasa berbuat apa2 krn sumpahnya. Namun ketika Dewi Gangga akan menenggelamkan anaknya yg ke-8, Sentanu tak bisa lagi men ...more
Apr 12, 2010 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, non-fiction
Good book as far as myths and legends go, but I wanted to kick the idiot king who kept saying, "Well, if my son is misbehaving and his actions will cause a huge war, then it must be God's will and I can't do anything about it." Then he'd spend two pages after his son's idiot actions messed things up crying about how he should have done something.
Nicholas Whyte
Mar 19, 2011 Nicholas Whyte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mahābhārata is much more accessible than, say, The Koran or Ta Hsüeh and Chung Yung, though also much much longer - the Penguin edition is 800 pages, and that is with two thirds of the text brutally summarized. Of course, it helps that there is a plot as well as profound philosophical, theological and moral discourse; perhaps the fairer comparison is with Homer (where I think the Mahābhārata still wins).

I did sometimes find it difficult to keep the names straight on my head; John D. Smith's
Justin Evans
If you ever start to feel like there's something special or unique about the Western literary tradition, here's a nice reminder that "our" background is kind of like the poor, illiterate, brutish cousin of a sophisticated, knowledgeable, emotionally wealthy woman. I'd read retellings of the M, but they conveyed nothing of the sheer joy of the whole; this, John D. Smith's translation/abridgement/retelling, manages to make clear just how amazing the whole thing must be, without actually giving you ...more
Jijo Varghese
May 21, 2011 Jijo Varghese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read it as a child, and it made me to believe that in all epics there will be a hidden hero, and in this too..there is Karna. Most interpretations on Mahabharata characters are for Karna.I couldn't help myself in falling love with him, as a human,I would say he is the prominent character in this, his humanitarian concepts, his relationships as a friend, as a son and as a devotee of his father( the ultimate energy source sun).
After reading this, first thing I done was to search interpretations
Welwyn Katz
Sep 02, 2010 Welwyn Katz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an easy to read translation (if any are truly easy) of the great epic tale from India about the terrible feud and resulting battle between the Pandavas and Kurus (really two branches of one family). In some ways it is not always absorbing because there are so many details a modern author might skip without realizing their future importance in another book such as the Ramayana, which Buck also translated and which I own, though I have not read it yet. However, in sum, Buck has made of the ...more
Harish Challapalli
This is considered as one of the TRIO-Epics of Indian culture.

Besides its epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kauravas and the Pandavas, the Mahabharata contains much philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or purusharthas.

This is considered as the grandhas which guides people to live a sociable life.

The division was into 18 parvas

Personally, I feel i have no words to describe these Trio-epics!!
Neha Oberoi
Sep 12, 2011 Neha Oberoi rated it it was amazing
The Mahabharata is one of those epics that needs to be constantly re-read. Its been an all time favourite with me since I was a little brat and now that I understand more of the spirituality of the book. From rage, blood lust, fraticide, passion, betrayal this epic has it all.

What I enjoy most about the epic is that even through all the angst, hatred and betrayal each character is shrouded in humanity. Maybe a smaller measure than some but each character has been depicted to the depths with and
Jan 27, 2015 Anirudh rated it liked it
This is the second book I have read on the Mahabharatha - the first one being an Amar Chitra Katha comic on the epic. I vividly remember finishing of the whole comic book in the sixth grade a day before my English exams. It was one riveting read - do get hold of the comic version if you can!

This book by C.Rajagopalachari can be considered as a super-abridged version of Vyasa'a Mahabharatha. The first half of the book consists of events leading up to the eventual battle of Mahabharatha, and, the
Jan 27, 2012 Maria rated it really liked it
Shelves: adulthood, in-2012
The Mahabharata is an Ancient Sanskrit epic, believed to have been begun in the 8th or 9th century BC, and 'completed' in the 4th century BC.

The whole thing is about ten times the size of the Iliad or the Odyssey, but I read an abridged version— the parts that contain the actual story of the epic, and less of the moralizing sections that explained to ancient Hindus how they should behave.

The epic follows the five Pandu/Pandav brothers (most concerned with Yadhisthir, the eldest, and Arjun, the m
Apr 02, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh sweet goodness - I finished it. All 909 pages of it. I feel a strangely satisfying sense of accomplishment.

After reading that this epic adventure was as important to Indian civilization as the Iliad & Odyssey were to western audiences, I felt I owed it to myself to read it. The library only had Krishna Dharma's prose adaptation, and I have to say that I wasn't disappointed.

This particular book has retained the feel of an ancient epic while being very readable. The same repetitious phrasin
Nishant Sharma
Oct 14, 2013 Nishant Sharma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

Right from my childhood, I had been listening to my grandmother telling us tales of Shri Krishna, or sometimes of Pandavas and Kauravas. And I had always been thrilled when I heard of 100 sons of Gandhari and crooked Duryodhana. But not much beyond that. Reading this book was like going back to childhood and listening to my grandmother again orating us the stories that she has always had in abundance. This book apart from being a great epic, is immensely morally enriching too. Many Hindus believ
May 21, 2010 GeekChick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
Anyone wondering why I moved so many books to my "on hold" shelf, this is why!

I'm reading this in preparation to read Shashi Tharoor's "The Great Indian Novel," which is supposedly based on this in some way. Tharoor's book is about the Indian fight for independence from I'm thinking he uses the metaphor of the warring cousins as the stage-setter.

The Maha is a B-I-G book for sure. But as always, Penguin delivers. They are my go-to publishers for translations. This edition is abridg
Raakhee Venugopal
Oct 27, 2011 Raakhee Venugopal rated it it was amazing
I first read this book when I was aged 8.And have read it close to 23 times from cover to cover since then.I have been absolutely in love with much so that I even know the pages and words used by heart!The best part of this book, which is one of the best books about India, is that you get way more than what you bargained for.The number of sub stories within this book is just mind-blowing!It touches almost every cultural aspect of India and also touches on certain major scientific proce ...more
Adithya Vs
Jan 06, 2015 Adithya Vs rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, culture
I've read the Mahabharatha story written by other authors before. And I am extremely familiar with all the other stories associated with it. But I did not like this version at all. The war is explained in an inadequate and silly fashion. He belittles the soul of Mahabharatha.
Oct 01, 2007 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: college students
Shelves: classics
A beautiful, beautiful story that resonates across not only cultures but thousands of years. Even though this is the only translation I've read, I understand that C. Rajagopalachari version is the best.
Ridhika Khanna
Jul 14, 2016 Ridhika Khanna rated it did not like it
Shelves: crappy-reads
Before starting this review, I want to say that I absolutely love this epic story of Mahabharata. I have followed the TV Shows and short stories quite passionately.

It's an epic saga and having a fair amount of knowledge about the tidings of this story, I wanted to read it too. I asked a couple of my friends and researched online to find the best book in English and I stumbled upon this one.
Mr. Rajagopalachari has written this book just for the sake of it. It is as if he has done a great favor
Nov 30, 2009 Conessha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
had to read this book for my class for religion in India.. Its really and interesting read.... if you are interested in India's culture, and religions.
Dec 28, 2012 Ss rated it really liked it
Rajagopalachari's Mahabharata is probably the best english retelling of Mahabharata available.
Sahil Sood
Apr 19, 2014 Sahil Sood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The God mother of family politics!
Anubhuti Sharma
Jul 30, 2015 Anubhuti Sharma rated it it was amazing
For beginners and enthusiasts of the Mahabharata, this book would undoubtedly prove to be a well justified and a rational choice. This book is truly a masterpiece by the grand old scholar C. Rajagopalachari and a testimony to his genius is the continued circulation of this book for more than half a century since its was first published.

Through simple language and undiluted translation Rajaji builds the epic saga in a manner that is enjoyable and easy to recollect. Its uninterrupted chronological
Jul 15, 2014 Versha rated it it was amazing
Mahabharata is such a great epic that I can never get bored of no matter how many times I read or watch it, there is always something new to learn from this epic so reading this was obviously an awesome experience. I think it’s a must read and re-read for every age and ever generation. I am not even sure if I could write a review on this great epic ever, but here I am just making an attempt to put in my views on this ‘particular book’.
Covering Mahabharat in about 400 pages is really difficult bu
Raghav Bansal
Jul 13, 2012 Raghav Bansal rated it it was amazing
Mahabharata. The greatest story ever told. Discount that this is a rendition by C. Rajagopalachari, you can bank upon his virtuous intellect and assiduous efforts to bring to you the greatest epic in the world veritably unabridged and undefiled.

I am no one to review the Mahabharata and any efforts by me to rate or judge this grandiose epic would do nothing to attenuate the indelible glory of this literary creation.

If there is a book that projects all imaginable and thinkable facets of human exp
Aug 31, 2010 Kathryn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Masochists (yes, I'm kidding)
Recommended to Kathryn by: Harold Bloom
First of all, I want to emphasize that the two stars are a reflection of my personal experience with this book, NOT a reflection of the quality of the original work or the quality of the translation.

As part of my ongoing Great Books reading project (I'm an engineer by profession, and I was in International Baccalaureate back in the day, so I missed a lot of the Great Books; I'm trying to catch up on them now), I am slowly struggling through the Mahabharata. I started it almost two months ago, an
Dec 24, 2012 Anubhav rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
I have mixed feelings about this book, which is reflected in my rating. This is the first proper Mahabharat book which I've read, and it came highly recommended.

Sure it was a great read. But that is because Mahabharat is a great epic. Was the author able to do justice to Ved Vyasa's Mahabharat? I couldn't possibly say without first reading Vyasa's original, or at least its English translation.

This book was too detailed, or not detailed enough depending upon how you look at it. My point is this:
Robert Sheppard

"Man is a slave to power..." says the Mahabharata,"...but power is a slave to no one." The puzzle of power in its acquisition, intrinsic contradictions, disillusionments and disappointments, transience, arbitrariness, loss and questionable legitimacy is one of the principal themes of this monumental
Christopher Bennett
Jul 07, 2012 Christopher Bennett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
Puts the Gita - aka 'The Song of God,', Lord Krishna's timeless commentary to the great Warrior Arjun before the brother-against-brother battle of the Pandavs & kauravas- into epic context. I had read the Gita before but honestly the Mahabharata took the entire experience to a new height, guiding the reader into a grand centuries-long introduction that serves as a great prequel and build up to the story of the war of the great houses of Kaurava and Pandav. In due course the reader is introdu ...more
Kaushik Mitra
Sep 14, 2015 Kaushik Mitra rated it it was amazing
It takes an exceptional writer to condense an epic like Mahabharata into a 300-400 page book , divide the text into small chapters of a few pages each , and yet convey the tone , the context and the key message with such great effect.
A wonderful book for those who want to learn more about this one-of-a-kind epic , an integral part of our glorious culture.

Also a wonderful springboard for those who want to move to a bigger edition of Mahabharata.
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Mahabharata and Bhagavatam by Kamala Subramaniam 1 8 Oct 21, 2013 03:32AM  
  • Ramayana
  • The Recognition of 'Sakuntala: A Play in Seven Acts
  • The Rig Veda
  • بوستان سعدی
  • The Mahabharata: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic
  • Panchatantra
  • Ramayana: India's Immortal Tale of Adventure, Love and Wisdom
  • Diwan Al Hallaj
  • Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
  • Canti
  • Speaking of Siva
  • Grande Sertão: Veredas
  • Four Major Plays of Chikamatsu
  • Jin Ping Mei (the Golden Lotus)
  • Poems of Paul Celan
  • Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God: Retracing the Ramayana Through India
  • The Journey to the West, Volume 1 (Journey to the West)
  • Srimad-Bhagavatam: Bhagavata Purana (18 Vol. Set)
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, informally called Rajaji or C.R., was an Indian lawyer, independence activist, politician, writer and statesman. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India. He also served as leader of the Indian National Congress, Premier of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister for Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief Minister of Madras state. Raj ...more
More about C. Rajagopalachari...

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“And, having killed him (Abhimanyu), your people danced round his dead body like savage hunters exulting over their prey. All good men in the army were grieved and tears rolled from their eyes. Even the birds of prey, that circled overhead making noises seemed to cry 'Not thus! Not thus!” 6 likes
“Those unacquainted with any language but their own are generally very exclusive in matters of taste.” 3 likes
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