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The Mahabharata, Volume 2: Book 2: The Book of Assembly; Book 3: The Book of the Forest

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4.54  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
The Mahabharata, an ancient and vast Sanskrit poem, is a remarkable collection of epics, legends, romances, theology, and ethical and metaphysical doctrine. The core of this great work is the epic struggle between five heroic brothers, the Pandavas, and their one hundred contentious cousins for rule of the land. This is the second volume of van Buitenen's acclaimed transla ...more
Paperback, 871 pages
Published September 15th 1981 by University Of Chicago Press
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Federico Ruysch
Nov 17, 2016 Federico Ruysch rated it it was ok
The Mahabharata itself is a grand epic, fully comparable in literary merit to anything in the Western canon. Van Buiten's translation, however, is atrociously bad. It feels like a first year undergrad just opened the dictionary and started translating word by word, picking the first meaning listed in the dictionary entry, without understanding what it was attempting to translate. This is vastly different from a good, literal translation, such as the one in the Clay Sanskrit Library series. The t ...more
Ramya
Nov 15, 2013 Ramya rated it really liked it
Major scholarly effort to translate without interpreting the longest epic poem (written in verse) in the world I.e. ten times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey put together-- The Mahabharatha. However, despite the hard-core attention to referencing and keeping within the scope o the texts -- the reading is tough and dry. You can find intellectual satisfaction only if yo have some prior knowledge and context with which to digest the stories. And, never where the inter-woven complex story within ...more
Silvio Curtis
Jan 09, 2009 Silvio Curtis rated it it was amazing
This volume gets the plot really under way. The Pāṇḍavas conquer the world, but Duryodhana gets them to go into a twelve-year exile in the forest as penalty for losing a game of dice. They go, in obedience to their vow, and wait out twelve years in the forest (which provides the opportunity for another slew of digressions and side stories) but all the time are thinking of getting their kingdom back when the time is up.
Matthew LaFave
Apr 26, 2013 Matthew LaFave rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. In the great Hindu tradition of handing down stories for over 6,000 years, I believe they did a great job with this one. 5 deserved stars. Would like to add that I am eventually going to be beginning volume 1, (The Book of the Beginning), and I so happened to run into the Ramayana of Goswami Tulsidas, the one book considered to be the most important book in the World according to Mahatma Ghandi.
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Recommends it for: To folks with a few hundred bucks to spend on "A" book.
Volume 2: The Plot thickens...
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Johannes Adrianus Bernardus van Buitenen (1928 - 21 September, 1979) was an Indologist at the University of Chicago where he was the George V. Bobrinskoy Professor of Sanskrit in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations. His interests ranged widely over literature, philosophy and philology but toward the end of his career he focused primarily on the Mahābhārata.

van Buitenen studie
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