Author: Bibek Debroy
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143100164
The fourth volume of the splendid, full length translation of the fascinating epic
The Mahabharata is one of the greatest stories ever told. Though the basic plot is widely known, there is much more to the epic than the dispute between Kouravas and Pandavas that led to the battle in Kurukshetra.
It has innumerable sub-plots that accommodate fascinating meanderings and digressions, and it has rarely been translated in full, given its formidable length of 80,000 shlokas or couplets.
This magnificent 10- volume unabridged translation of the epic is based on the Critical Edition compiled at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.
The fourth volume of the Mahabharata includes Virata Parva and almost all of Udyoga Parva. It describes the Pandavas’ thirteenth year of exile which they spend in disguise in King Virata’s court. When, during their stay, the Kouravas and Trigartas invade Matsya to rob Virata of his cattle, the Pandavas defeat them in battle. With the period of banishment over, the Pandavas ask to be returned their share of the kingdom.
This is refused and Udyoga Parva recounts the preparations for the inevitable war. Every conceivable human emotion figures in the Mahabharata, the reason why the epic continues to hold sway over our imagination. In this lucid, nuanced and confident translation, Bibek Debroy makes the Mahabharata marvellously accessible to contemporary readers.