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Mahabharata inspired works available in English

(Annotations by Dr. Pradip Bhattacharya)

W.G. Archer
The Loves of Krishna
(1957), Allen & Unwin.

Sri Aurobindo
On the Mahabharata
(Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, 1991)
Contains detailed analyses of authorship of the epic and translations from the Sabha, Virata and Udyoga Parvas.

Sri Aurobindo
Introduction to the Gita

in Mother India
This is an English translation of his Bengali "Gitaar Bhumikaa", written soon after release from the Alipore Jail, and is very readable and short. Unfortunately, it has not been published as a book but is available in the following issues of the monthly journal published from Sri Aurobindo Ashram, "Mother India".
December 1998, January 1999, April 1999 to May 2000.
1.The Dharma of the Gita (transl. by Niranjan)...Dec.1998
2.Asceticism and renunciation (transl. by Niranjan)...Jan. 1999
3.The Vision of the world Spirit (transl. by Niranjan)...Apr.1999
4.The Gita: An Introduction ( transl by S. K. Bannerji)...May, 1999
5. The Listener......Jun. 1999 11 ...(Translated by S.K. Bannerji)..Jul.1999 to Dec 1999

Elaine Aron
(NEL, Hodder & Stoughton)

G. D. Bakshi
Mahabharata, a military analysis

Saroj Bharadwaj
The concept of Daiva in the Mahabharata
(1992), Nag Publishers, New Delhi.

A. L. Basham
The Wonder that was India
(1964), Grove Press, New York.

Subramania Bharati
Draupadis Vow - an epyllion
(Tamil). English translation by Dr. Prema Nandakumar, (unpublished).

Manoranjan Bhattacharya
Chakravyuha (in Bengali)
English transcreation of significant passages by Pradip Bhattacharya available here

Pradip Bhattacharya

Sudhisankar Bhattacharya
Imagery in the MBH: influence on later Sanskrit literature
Calcutta, Pustak Bhandar, 1971.

S.L. Bhyrappa
(Kannada; English translation from Sahitya Akademi)

Buddhadeb Bose
Mahabharater Katha
(1974) Englished by Prof. Sujit Mukherjee as The Book of Yudhishthir (Sangam Books, Hyderabad, 1986).
The first serious attempt to establish Yudhishthira as the protagonist of the epic, which A. Hiltebeitel pursues in his Rethinking the Mahabharata: The education of Yudhishthira (University of Chicago Press, 2001)

Buddhadeb Bose
Three Mahabharata Verse Plays (in Bengali)
English translation by Kanak Kanti De.

Mary Brockington and Peter Schreiner (eds.)
Composing a tradition: concepts, techniques and relationships
Y. Vassilkov: Kalavada, the doctrine of cyclical time in the MBH and the concept of heroic didactics.
H. Brinkhaus: cyclical determinism and the development of the trimurti doctrine.
G. von Simson: narrated time and its relation to the supposed year myth in mbh
M. Hara: atman in the gita as interpreted by shankara
F. Brassard: the concept of buddhi in the gita
M. Brockington: the art of backwards composition in Ramayana
M. Brockington: the process of growth of the Ram: why and why not
John Brockington: Formulae in Ram--an index of orality
Renate Sohnen-Thieme: On the composition of the Dyutaparvan in MBH
A. Hiltebeitel: reconsidering bhriguization (excellent). Iwona Milewska: 2 modern film versions of MBH: similarities and differences between an Indian and a European approach
G. Bailey: Intertextuality in Puranas
D. Feller Jatavallabhula: The theft of the soma
P. Koskikallio: The horse sacrifice in the Patalakhanda of the Padmapurana
K. Gonc Moacanin: Natya vs. epic literaure--relationships between classical Indian theatre and MBH, Ram, HV and some Puranas
P. Schreiner: Bhagavatapurana as model for the Satsangijivanam (on Swaminarayan sect beliefs

Krishna Chaitanya
The Mahabharata : A Literary Study
Clarion Books, Delhi (1985).

Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
Krishna Charitra
(English translation by Pradip Bhattacharya , M.P. Birla Foundation, Calcutta, 1991)
The first proper study of Krishna, published in 1894 in Bengali. He concentrates on removing all the supernatural gobbledygook that has obscured the heroic figure from the common reader and establishes the Krishna of the Mahabharata War as the role model for the youth of the country.
Reviews and Comments

J. Dalhman (ed)
Genesis de Mahabharata
Berlin (1899).

R.N. Dandekar (ed)
The Mahabharata Revisited
(Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 1990).
Being proceedings of an international seminar on the epic held in February 1987 with extremely useful studies and a superb valedictory address by Padma Sri P. Lal.

Sadashiv A. Dange
(All published by Aryan Books International, New Delhi)

G. N. Das
Lessons from the Mahabharata
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi.

Madhusraba Dasgupta
Samsad Companion to the Mahabharata
Sahitya Samsad, Calcutta, (1999)
Runs to 592 large sized pages split into 8 chapters and covers major references and cross-references, not arranged in dictionary form like Sorensen's concordance on the epic.
1. One line description of the subject of each chapter of the epic
2. Identities, i.e. the different classes of beings referred to
3. The ancient world�its rivers, lakes, mountains, kingdoms, cities, villages, pilgrimage centres, a section of modern locations of some places
4. Races, tribes, castes.
5. Formation of troops, weapons, accessories (a valuable section as this is not found in Sorensen's Index to MBH)
6. Some specific terms and names
7. Characters
8. Other names of individuals.
The Appendices provide valuable genealogical tables: the Brahma lineage of sages; the lineage of Vasus, of Kashyapa; the Puru lineage in two distinct versions.

Wm. Theodore De Bary (ed.)
Approaches to the Oriental Classics: Asian Literature and Thought in General Education
(1959), Columbia University Press, New York.

R. De Smet and J. Neuner (eds.)
Religious Hinduism
(1964), St. Paul Publications, Allahabad.

Bibek Debroy, Dipavali Debroy
Some Aspects of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata

C.R. Deshpande
M Transmission of the Mahabharata Tradition
(Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, 1978)

Shashi Deshpande
The Stone Woman and other stories
(Writers Workshop, Calcutta)
Fascinating stories featuring Amba, Draupadi, Duryodhana, Kunti, Nahusha's queen, Sita and Lakshmi, some in the autobiographical mode.

S. Devi
The Essence of Mahabharata
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi.

Georges Dumezil
The Destiny of a King
(Translated by Alf Hiltebeitel) , The University of Chicago Press (1973).

Kirsti Evans
Epic Narratives in the Hoysala Temples : The Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavata Purana in Halebid, Belur and Amrtapura

Gian Guiseppe Filippi, Bruno Marcolongo
Kampilya: Quest for a Mahabharata City
D.K. Printworld, New Delhi (1999).
Contents: Preface. 1. Geoarchaeological observations in Doab plain through advanced remote sensing methodology/Bruno Marcolongo. 2. Kampilya: one site on more sites?/Annamaria Dallaporta and Lucio Marcato. 3. Mahabharata reminiscences in some villages near Kampil/L. Arnoldo and G. Fuggetta.

"Kampil (Farrukhabad District, U.P.) is a typical Indian village in the fertile terrain of the Ganga Yamuna Doab. Known for its long, glorious past, the village has, since A. Cunningham's visit here in 1878, compelled increasing attention of the archaeologists seeking to explore its possible identity with Kampilya,the city, described in the Mahabharata story, as the fabulous capital of Drupad's south Pancala Kingdom."
"The question of Kampil-Kampilya identity was examined afresh by a multidisciplinary research team, on the basis of IRS Satellite multispectral images of the mid-Ganga plain, a predictive geo-archaeological model, and field surveys. Which, in turn, led researchers to the discovery of a complex of ruins: the remains of a fortified structure, locally called Drupad Kila?about five kilometers upstream of the Kampil village."
"Set out here are the preliminary findings of this multidisciplinary research, including (a) a study of the late Holocene Palaeohydographic evolution of Doab region around Drupad Kila site and the influence of geomorphology/environmental resources on the human historical settlements; (b) an archaeological report, based on the surface survey of the discovered site; and (c) a socio-ethnological study of the villages around the Kila complex. Carried out during 1996-98, these studies: each contributed by the area specialist (s) of the research team, addressed specifically the question whether the Drupad-Kila complex answers to the description of Mahabharata city of Kampilya."
"Visualizing the manifold importance of Kampilya?beyond just the archaeological event, the editors have created a holistic "Kampilya Project" to retrieve the cultural and environmental potentialities of the Drupad-Kila complex and its peripheral areas" (jacket)

Richard Armando Frasca
Theatre of the Mahabharata : Terukkuttu Performances in South India
University of Hawai Press, Honolulu, Hawai (1990).

A.K. Ganesan
Valmiki's Ramayana and Vyasa's Mahabharata: joint and comparative study
(Higginbothams, Madras, 1981).
He examines characters, themes of both epics side by side and their implications for society.

U. N. Ghoshal
A History of Indian Political Ideas
(1959), Oxford University Press.

P. K. Gode et al.
Critical Studies in the Mahabharata
Vol. 1 of Sukthankar Memorial Edition (1944), Karnatak Publishing House.

R.P. Goldman
Gods, priests and warriors: the Bhrgus of the Mahabharata
(Columbia Univ. Press, 1977)
Taking off from V.S. Sukthankar's seminal study of the Bhargavisation of the epic text, the translator and editor of the critical text of the Ramayana provides fascinating insights about the Bharagava priests in the epic.

L. Gonzalez-Reimann
The Mahabharata and the Yugas
Peter Lang, New York (2002).

Maggi Lidchi Grassi
The Battle of Kurukshetra,
The Legs of the Tortoise,
The Great Golden Sacrifice
(Writers Workshop, Calcutta and Roli Books, New Delhi)
Review by Pradip Bhattacharya

N. L. Gupta
Education and values in the Mahabharata

S.P. Gupta, K.S. Ramachandran (eds.)
Mahabharata: Myth and Reality, Differing views
Agam Prakashan, Delhi (1976).

Lafcadio Hearn
Stray leaves from strange literature; stories reconstructed from the Anvari-Sohehili, Baitbal Pachbisbi, Mahabharata, Pantchatantra, Gulistan, Talmud, Kalewala, etc.

G. Held
Mahabharata: An Ethnological Study
Amsterdam (1935).

Peter Hill
Fate, Predestination and Human Action in the Mahabharata: A Study in the History of Ideas
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, (2001).

A. Hiltebeitel

Ernst Horrwitz
A Short History of Indian Literature
(1907), T. Fisher Unwin, London.

E. Washburn Hopkins
The Great Epic of India : Character and Origin of the Mahabharata
(1901), Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi (1993).

Wilhelm von Humboldt
On the Episode of the Mahabharata Known by the Name Bhagavad Gita
G.W.F. Hegel, Herbert Herring, (Eds), Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi (1995).

Ram Chandra Jain
Jaya: The original nucleus of Mahabharata
Agama Kala Prakashan, Delhi (1979).

Rekha Jhanji
M Human Condition in the Mahabharata
Indian Institute of Advanced Study Book, 79 Pages, January 1995.
The topics are: "being human" that deals with what the epic states about human birth, the gunas, the tension between destiny and human effort; "interpersonal relationships" dealing with what constitutes the 4 varnas, the 4 purusharthas, the parent-child, husband-wife, friendship relations. What is curious is her description of Kunti, Draupadi, Gandhari as helpless women--quite a male viewpoint from a woman! Nor she deal with the unique relationship between Krishna and Draupadi, of sakha and sakhi, or notice the intensity of Krishna's love for Arjuna that is voiced when he brings Parikshit back to life. The relationship between Bhishma and Dhritarashtra is not examined although here the patriarch's status is overshadowed by the relationship between ruler and ruled. The last lecture is on "the purpose of life", the 4 ashramas, the inexorable erosion of dharma from Satya to Kali, the belief in atman and paramatman, with the demons challenging the dharmic edifice where one's karma is one's destiny, and the devas upholding it through the pandavas and krishna. The introduction and the epilogue are thought provoking.

S. Jayal
The Status of women in the Epics
New Delhi (1966).

Swami Jyotirmayananda
Way to Liberation : Moksha Dharma of Mahabharata

Swami Jyotirmayananda
Mysticism of the Mahabharata

Iravathy Karve
Yugantha: The end of an epoch
Sangam Press, Poona and Orient Longman, New Delhi (1974).

R.C. Katz
Arjuna in the Mahabharata
(Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1989)
A comprehensive survey of the role of Arjuna in the epic at three levels: hero, human weakness, devotee.

Norbert Klaes
Conscience and Consciousness: Ethical Problems of the Mahabharata
Dharmaram College, Bangalore, India (1975).

P. Kodandaramayya
The message of Mahabharata
(Bharataiya Vidya Bhavan)

P. Lal
The Man of Dharma and the Rasa of Silence
(long poem, Writers Workshop, Calcutta)

P. Lal (ed)
Vyasa's Mahabharata: Creative Insights 2 vols
(Writers Workshop, Calcutta, 1992, 1985)
Nearly 1200 pages of engrossing poetry, fiction, critiques, criticism and book reviews on the epic.
Reviews and Comments on some articles

James W. Laine
Vision of God: Narratives of Thephany in the Mahabharata
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi.

Paule Lerer
Astrological Key to Mahabharata
translated by David White,Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi.

Pamela Lothspeich
Epic Nation
Oxford University Press (2009).

Swami Madhavananda and R. C. Majumdar
Great Women of India
(1953) Calcutta.

R. C. Majumdar
History and Culture of Indian People. Vol. II
(1951), Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

Subash Mazumdar
Mahabharata is Believable: It Could Have Been Thus
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai

Kuttikrishna Marar
A Journey Through Mahabharata
(translated from Malayalam by P.V. Menon, Published by Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Trichur, Kerala, India (1989).

B.K. Matilal (ed)
Moral Dilemmas in Mahabharata
(Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1989)
A highly philosophical examination of moral issues faced by characters in the epic and how, if at all, these are resolved.

Jyotsna Maurya
Amulets and Pendants in Ancient Mahabharata
Motilal Banarssidas, Delhi, (2001).

Kevin McGrath
The Sanskrit Hero
Brill, 2004.

This is a study of the hero Karna as he appears in epic Mahabharata. In this view, Karna is the paradigmatic hero of the poem. The study also uses the text to generate a model of what constitutes heroism in the epic. Epic is defined at ksatriya poetry of a preliterate culture. The nature of the Sanskrit hero, as he appears in literature, is the focus of the study: Karna supplying the particular from which a general model is derived.

J.K. Meyer
Sexual Life in Ancient India
(1930), London. (Translated from the German)

B. N. Misra
A Mahabharata dictionary

K.C. Mishra
Tribes in the Mahabharata : A Socio Cultural Study

Promatha Nath Mullick
The Mahabharata as a History and a Drama
(1939), Thacker Spink and Co,. Calcutta. Reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi.

Promatha Nath Mullick
The Mahabharata As It Was, Is and Ever Shall Be: A Critical Study
(1934), Reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi.

K.M. Munshi
Krishnavatara 7 volumes,
unfinished, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai.

S.P. Narang (ed)
Modern Evaluation of the Mahabharata
(Prof. R.K. Sharma felicitation volume), Nag Publishers, Delhi, 1995.
43 scholarly essays, many valuable, by Indian and foreign scholars.

K. E. Narayanacarya
The role of Sri Krishna in the Mahabharata

Sister Nivedita
Footfalls of Indian History

Sister Nivedita
The Web of Indian Life

Arjunsinh K. Parmar (ed)
Critical Perspectives on the Mahabharata
Sarup, New Delhi, 2002, 132 p., ISBN 81-7625-273-5.
Contents: 1. Political thoughts in the epics/Kana Chattopadhyay. 2. From Vedic "Sahadharmacanini" to "Pativrata" of the Mahabharata: a feminist perspective of the changing scenerio of women in ancient India/Tapati Mukherjee. 3. The role of elderly characters in Mahabharata: a modern perspective/Nutan Kulshrestha and Chavi Kulshrestha. 4. Duryodhana: a tragic Hero in Urubhanga/B.S. Nimavat. 5. Kurukshetra: Darshak's artistic adaptation of the Theme of the Mahabharata/Dushyant B. Nimavat. 6. Vidur Niti in the Mahabharata/Ami Upadhyay. 7. The greatness of Vidura Neeti in the Mahabharata/R. Sampath. 8. "Theory of Karma revisited"/B.N. Mulimani and Vijaykumar M. 9. The concept of Karma-Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita/Subray M. Bhat. 10. Moral teachings of the Bhagvad Gita/P.M. Dinesh. 11. The mysticism of divine love in the Bhagavad Gita and the divine comedy/Hitesh Parmar. 12. The philosophy of disinterested action in the Bhagavad Gita/Smita D. Mehta. 13. Taoist Wu-Wei, Derrida's Freeplay and Krishna' Nishkam Karma-Yoga in the Mahabharat/Nidhi Tiwari. 14. The Mahabharata and science/Mihir J. Joshi. 15. Social institutions as means of social control during the age of the Mahabharata: a study/Rushikesh N. Upadhyay.
"Critical Perspectives on the Mahabharata edited by Arjunsinh K. Parmar is a unique collection of scholarly essays on the Mahabharata. The book contains scholarly research papers written by Tapati Mukherjee, Mihir J. Joshi and Hitesh Parmar among others. Some of the papers included in this book focus on the various aspects of the Bhagvad Gita. The Mahabharata is getting popularity these days all over the world. The concept of Dharma and Adharma as depicted in this particular epic is unique. The Bhagvad Gita contains a practical solution to every intricate problem partaining to life. The present volume represents a wide spectrum of critical responses to the Indian epic^�the Mahabharata. The book will, be an asset to those who wish to study Indian epics in particular." (jacket)

Buddha Prakash
Political and Social Movements in Ancient Punjab
(1964), New Delhi.

A.D. Pusalkar
Studies in Epics and Puranas of India
(1955), Bombay.

S. Radhakrishnan (ed.)
History of Philosophy Eastern and Western, Vol. 1
(1952), Allen & Unwin, London.

Pratibha Ray
Yajnaseni (Oriya). English translation (from Rupa) by Pradip Bhattacharya); Draupadi, Bengali translation by Smt. Suprobhat Bhattacharya); also in Hindi, Malayalam.

Edward P. Rice
The Mahabharata: Analysis and Index
(1934), Oxford University Press.

P.V. Ramankutty
Curse as a motif in the Mahabharata
Nag Publishers, Delhi, 1999, pp.235
Cult of word and concept of curse from Vedas to Tantra, Mimamsa, Bhartrihari; curse and metamorphosis and metempsychosis; curse and low birth; disrespect to elders; curse and oath; blessing and boon; imagination and curse; Karna's predicament; destiny and curse and end of Krishna.

Saroj Bharadwaj
The concept of Daiva in the Mahabharata
Nag Publishers, Delhi, 1992, pp.162.
Deals with derivation and synonyms of Daiva; references to it in the epic; references regarding Daiva as the driving force; Daiva and Purushakara and the concept of free will the trinity of daiva, karma and the doctrine of transmigration; philosophy of the concept of aiva' covering rita and purushartha (karma) in the Vedas, niyati in Upanishads, bhagya and karmaphala in puranas, niyati and daiva in Ramayana, dishtivada and bhavachakra in dhammapada, karma-ashaya in nyaya darshana, adrishta in vaisheshika, cause and effect in samkhya, karma in purva mimamsa and uttara mimamsa, kala tattva in Mahabharata.

The concepts of religion in the Mahabharata
Nag Publishers, Delhi, 1980, pp.179.
, 1980, pp.179. Various theories of creation (materialistic, dualistic, spiritualistic, scholastic, ethical, mythical); various types of morality (ascetic, non-violence and truth, self-restraint, forgiveness, conscience, concentration, renunciation, non-possession, non-attachment, self-sacrifice, contentment, impartiality, goodwill, modesty, endurance, goodness, fortitutde, social morality, duties of 4 orders, 4 stages of life, respect for elders, self-sacrifice, gratitude and friendliness, worship of guests, virtuous conduct); the concept of deity [as malevolent, related to calamities, representing natural phenomenon, rivers, mountains, semi-divine, birds and animals, heroes, abstract, symbolical (Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Indra, Yama, Kubera, Ganesa); religious practices (violent sacrifices, non- violent sacrifices, metaphorical sacrifice, pilgrimages, shraddhas, donations, temples and image worship, fasts); the ways of life (knowledge, renunciation, austerity, devotion, mental discipline, spiritual equilibrium, action, duty, detached mind, fellow-feeling).

T.S. Rukmani (ed)
The Mahabharata: What is not here is nowhere else
Munshiram Manoharlal, Delhi, 2005, 320 pages,
being proceedings of the international conference at Concordia University, Montreal, 18-20 May 2001.
1. M. M. Deshpande: Interpreting the MBH. Looking at Jaya, Bharata, Mahabharata as 3 stages (Ashvalayana Grihyasutra refers to teachers of Bharata and Mahabharata separately), he looks at the differences in the narrative because of the narrator, the patron and the audience. He concludes that krishna's divinity is randomly introduced without its narrative force being carried through consistently. Most important is his pointer that the text was composed by sudras and/or for sudras who were allotted the anushtubh metre (cf. arvind sharma's paper "of sudras, sutas, slokas". Mary Carroll Smith argues that the parts in trishtubh metre are the older core, this metre being linked with kshatriyas. If Vidura was the father of Yudhishthira, this hidden sudra motif becomes believable. Note that the Arjuna Subhadra marriage is a cross cousin marriage celebrated highly in the southern versions but just mentioned in the northern, difference audiences dictate different narrative structures. Sauti has to make a bloody war palatable to brahmin audience in a forest, so there is a lot of brahminical stuff in the adi parva. a de-kshatryized Anugita is because of this. When in the gita does Arjuna know Krishna is God? In 4.4 why does he doubt how Krishna could teach this to Vivasvat? If Arjuna is unaware till ch.4 of Krishna as God, why should be focus his mind ON ME as urged in 2.61? Why is he not surprised at the supernatural description Krishna gives of himself in 3.22-24? If he knew this, how can he be surprised in chapter 4? After the revelation in ch. 4, the next chapter opens as if there has been no revelation and it is like the start of chapter 3! Even after ch.11, the start of 12 is an anti-climax that seems to continue from 10.10 as if the theophany had not occurred at all. Deshpande urges that we understand why later layers developed, who added them, for what purpose these interpolations. The differing interpretations seeking to provide consistency such as Nilakantha's advaitic, Madhva's dvaita-vaishnava, Tilak's violence justifying and Gandhiji's non-violence promoting need to be studied.
2. Barbara Gombach's thesis was on the ancillary stories in the epic: 45 in adi, 80 in aranyaka, 158 in shanti, 84 in anushasana, none in masuala, mahaprasthanika, svargarohana. In the article on how MBH came to become a Smriti she analyses the Kunti-Pandu dialogue in which they throw stories at each other over interpreting Manu's dictates regarding surrogate parentage. The stories show the dilemma Kunti and Pandu face is not unique but has been resolved in the past, thus the birth of Pandavas is woven into a sacred tradition. This pattern is repeated in Yudhishthira's questions to Bhishma, in Draupadi's marriage, in arguing whether killing is justified in shanti parva. Gombach argues that the Mimamsa rules for debates seem to have been followed to convince an audience of brahmins. The stories also create tension in the narrative by holding up the action dramatically. Composed as a smriti the epic was an effort by some brahminical religious elites to make sense of their relilgious traditions in a world much changed from the pastoral society where those traditions had developed.
3. Knut Jacobsen's article on Kapila in the MBH shows there are 2 different figures with this name, one a vedic ascetic feared for his powers (Sagara's sons burnt up), the other non-violent who protects a cow from sacrifice (Kapila gita in shanti parva). The former is relevant for the pre-battle situation (Aranyaka and Udyoga parvas), the latter for the post-battle. The Gita reference to Kapila is to the warrior ascetic.
4. Peter Scharf presents an account of his web based study Sanskrit reader of Ramopakhayana giving the Devanagari text, Roman transliteration, analysis of sandhi, inflection, glossary, prose paraphrases, syntactic and cultural notes, english translation at
5. Greg Bailey's paper on Dharma shows that Vyasa is aware the foundations of dharma are not beyond question, by analysing the dicing, the draupadi-yudhisthira debate in the forest, the repentance after battle of Yudh vis a vis his brothers' arguments.
6. G. J. Larson has an unusual analysis of a tale about a brahmin Sharvilaka of Magadha told by the psychologist Girindrasekhar Bose to show that theft and killing are part of life and being human, and applies it to the 3 layer meaning of the gita: adhidaivika, adhibhautika and adhyatimka.
7. Nick Sutton's article studies the 3 domains of svadharma, sadharanadharma and ascetic dharma, and how tensions arise among them in the post-buddhist context in which the major story of the epic was composed. Thus, Janaka who is the exemplar of karma yoga in the gita is condemned by Sulabha as pretentious in Shanti parva.
8. Julian Woods studies daiva and purushakara in tension in the epic-fate and human initiative. Even free will is destiny finally, the sense of doership being fate in disguise.
9. Aditya Adarkar analyses Karna in term of Tillich's anxiety of meaninglessness contrasted to Socratic heroism. His courage is not dependant on any external factor but rooted in his own understanding of dharma.
10. Christopher Chapple's study of Karna is as tragic hero, an everyman with whom all can identify. He contrasts Krishna's dialogues with Karna and with Arjuna, both in chariots, as models for ethical decision making. Karna is a romantic while Arjuna is a pragmatist.
11. Gautam Chatterjee analyses the 3 promises Bhishma made on de-ontological and then on teleologcal grounds, declaring Bhishma’s condemnation of himself after the battle was too sweeping. Bhishma stuck to the letter not the spirit of his words. His emotional response to his father tarnished his devotion to dharma.
12. E. Harzer speculates if Bhishma could be a vratya. He is economically dependant on kauravas, is the eldest and sexless—all being vratya traits.
13. T.S. Rukmani studies Yudhisthira in context of the rajadharma and apaddharma sections, comparing rama who is inferior as a model of dharma. these 2 sections perform a cathartic function purging Yudhisthira's mind of misgivings about his conduct.
14. Lisa Crothers uses Bharavi's Kiratarjuniyam to argue that kings see through the eyes of another where advice is given, as Vidura to Dhritarashtra and Duryodhana. Choice of bad advisers dooms the kingdom.
15. P. Greer shows Udyogaparva is a vital link to what is before and after, showing the epic is a unity. She uses the indrajala image of the Gandavyuha sutra to analyse the structure The net is a thing of countless multiplicity encompassing an essential oneness each segment of the Mahabharata's complex structure, each of its vivid poems and stories, while discreet in itself, reflects the others and is connected to them in an intricate pattern by looking attentively at a single part of it, and to what is reflected (of the rest) in that part, we will, in some sense, experience the net of the Mahabharata. Indra's Net is curved like space and time. It is both entire and endless, like the net of the Mahabharata. We regard it in wonder, as have its audiences for long centuries. Its myriad voices speak to us, answer and do not answer, like the stars at night. She takes 3 episodes of the udyoga parva to show this: Vidura's discourse to Dhritarashtra, followed by Sanatsujatiya to Dhritarashtra, Kunti's message of Vidula;s exhortation.
16. E. Hudson, Heaven's riddles or the hell trick: theodicy and narrative strategies takes up theodicy in the epic, the rationale for explaining suffering, analysing the dice game, the Uttanka-Krishna dialogue and Duryodhana's death scene, showing that suffering exists totally in the nature of things. Which is really heaven? If, as Indra says to Y, the virtuous have to first experience hell for a short time and then reach heaven, then the heaven Y sees first with Duryodhana esconced on a throne and the hell he visits where he hears the voices of his brothers, neither is what it appears to be. Further, Dharma tells him he alone can go to heaven in his body, yet after being in hell Dharma urges him to bathe in the river to shed his body and join his family in heaven! The epic thus provides 2 distinct readings and messages which each reader receives according to the care with which he/she has followed the text. The careful reader realizes that he/she has a stake in finding Duryodhana in hell and Pandavas in heaven to make sense of the awful suffering the former caused the latter. But, the text shows heaven and hell are illusions, leaving suffering as a fundamental feature of human existence which cannot be wholly understood or justified or rationalized away. This disclosure is the tragic theodicy of the epic.
17. B. Preciado-Solis has a brief paper on the Mausala parva showing Krishna paralleling Parashurama in destroying kshatriyas as nemesis.
18. B. N. Narahari Achar determines the date of thw war using Planetarium software beginning with Krishna's journey to Hastinapura and ending with Bhishma's death. He agrees with Raghavan in fixing the war in 3067 BC, rejecting Kochar's 955 BC, Siddhartth's 1311 BC and Sengupta's 2449 BC. He concludes that Krishna left on 26 Sept 3067 BC, reaching Hastinapura on 28 Sept. leaving with Karna on 9 Oct. A solar eclipse occurred with the new moon on 14 Oct, with Saturn at Rohini and Jupiter at Revati exactly as given in the epic. The war began on 22 Nov 3067 BC. Bhishma expired on 17 Jan 3066 BC (Magh Shukla Ashtami), the winter solstice occurring on 13 Jan 3066. The relevant sky maps are reproduced in plates.
19. Swasti Bhattacharya in Voices from Hinduism's past: Kunti and Gandhari's victory over infertility, draws parallels between modern in-vitro fertilization, sperm banks, genetic selection and the way in which the Pandavas were born, comparing the Hebraic traditions, for showing the ancient principles that can enrich modern bio-ethical discussions.
20. T.C. Reichs, The Critic of ritual as ritual reviler in the Ashvamedhika Parva shows many episodes in the parva dealing with the problem of violence in war and in sacrifice through ritual reviling, based on the anugita's dialogue between adhvaryu and yati, the half-golden mongoose story, the Uttanka-Krishna dialogue. Ritual reviling enables conservative ritualists to show their critics as ritual revilers, deflecting the political damage of external criticism and including more than one point of view about sacrifices without having to abandon their commitment to vedic forms.
21. Saklani and RS Negi, The living legend of raja Duryodhanin the Garhwal Himalayas shows that it is not a fossil culture continuing from the epic age but a re-enactment of epic lore imported from outside in folklore that has waned post-independence. There is no evidence of any tradition supporting the Kauravas and casting the Pandavas as villains. Local cults of Somesu and Mahasu have been transformed into Duryodhana and Rama. Currently the worship of Duryodhana is being rejected, preferring to term the idol as Someshwara Mahadevan instance of high Sanskritisation.

Epic Undertakings- Volume 2
Motilal Banarsidass, 400 pages, rs.600.

horst brinkhaus: manu vaivasvata as shraddhadeva- -the insertion of the
pitrikalpa into the harivamsha.
john brockington: valmiki's portrayal of hanuman
mary brockington: husband or slave? interpreting the hero of the mbh
(yudhishthira and the dice game)
simon brodbeck: husbands of earth--kshatriyas, females and female kshatriyas
in the striparvan
nicolas dejenne: trihsaptakrtvah- -significance of the number 'thrice seven'
in the rama jamadagnya myth of mbh
danielle feller: the stroy of asita devala and jaigishavya in mbh 9.49
james fitzgerald: a preliminary study of the 681 trishtubh passages of mbh
robert goldman: to wake a sleeping giant--valmiki' s accounts of the life
and death of kumbhakarna
sally sutherland goldman: sita's war--gender and narrative in the
yuddhakanda of valmiki's ram.
alf hiltebeitel: authorial paths throught the 2 skt epics via the
mislac jezic: the relationship between the bhagavadgita and the vedic
upanishads-- parallels and relative chronology
paolo magnone: patterns of tejas and kshama in the epics
ram karan sharma: some aspects of the character of bhishma in the mbh
georg von simson: the mbh as a source of inspiration for vishakhadatta' s
drama mudrarakshasa
renate sohnen-thieme: indra in the harivamsha
muneo tokunaga: bhishma's discourse as a shokapanodana

M. V. Rama Sarma
Milton and the Indian epic tradition : a study of Paradise lost, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata

Shivaji Sawant
Mrityunjay - the Death of Karna
(Marathi). English translation by P. Lal & N. Nopany, (Writers Workshop, Calcutta); Hindi (Bharatiya Jnanpith)
Some Reviews and Comments

Shivaji Sawant
(Hindi, Bharatiya Jnanpith, New Delhi)

Amreeta Sen
Kurukshetra - a long poem
(long poem;(Writers Workshop, Calcutta)

Sisir Kumar Sen
Quest for the origin of Bharata Samhita and the Mahabharata Story
(Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, 1995).
Originally published in Bengali in brief 1983.

Arvind Sharma
Essays on the Mahabharata
(E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1991)
An extremely important collection of scholarly studies on various aspects of the epic.

Rama Karana Sarma
Elements of Poetry in the Mahabharata
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi (1988).

Shalini Shah
The Making of Womanhood : Gender Relations in the Mahabharata
Manohar, Delhi (1995). Kavita A. Sharma
Queens of Mahabharata
(Rupa, 2006)
Has study of Gandhari (not much depth) and "warrior queens" referring to Ulupi, Chitrangada and a detailed account of the story of Alli for which the book should be read.

G. P. Singh
Early Indian Historical Tradition and Archeology: Puranic Kingdoms and Dynasties with Genealogies, Relative Chronology and Date of Mahabharata War
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, (1994).

K. S. Singh
The Mahabharata in the Tribal and Folk Traditions of India
Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, India (1993).

D.C. Sircar (ed)
The Bharata War and Puranic Genealogies
(Calcutta University, 1969). Being proceedings of a seminar held in 1965 in the Department of Ancient Indian History and Culture in the Calcutta University, containing valuable papers on the epic war and archaeology and on puranic dynasties.

Mary Carroll Smith
The Warrior Code of India's Sacred Song
(Harvard Dissertations in Folklore and Oral Tradition)

Satyagraha Hoerip Soeprobo
Bisma : warrior priest of the Mahabharata

S. Sorensen
An Index to the Names in Mahabharata
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi (1978).

M.V. Subramanian
The Mahabharata Story: Vyasa and Variations
(Higginbothams, Madras, 1967).
A wonderfully concise yet thorough study of every episode of the original epic and the variations found in Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Andhra versions and the plays of Bhasa, Venisamhara, Sisupalavadham, Kiratarjuniyam. He ends with the disappearance of Ashvatthama, following Villi's Tamil and Kumara Vyasa's Kannada retellings.

B.M. Sullivan
Seer of the Fifth Veda
(Motilal Banarsidass, 1999, originally from Leiden 1990 as Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa^Wa new interpretation).
An excellent study focusing on the composer of the epic and the roles he plays in it.

Bhagwan Singh Suryavanshi
Geography of the Mahabharata

V.S. Sukthankar
On the Meaning of the Mahabharata
(Asiatic Society of Bombay, 1957).
A seminal work on the epic by the chief editor of its critical text and an outstanding example of higher criticism that goes behind the appearance to probe the underlying reality.

Nicholas Sutton
Religious Doctrines in the Mahabharata
(Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 2000)
Analyses various doctrinal answers to ontological questions, showing the rich diversity of religious thought in the epic existing in tension, allowing exploration.

Rabindranath Tagore
Bidaya Abhishaap (Kacha and Devayani) and Gandharir Abedan (Gandhari's Plea)
English transcreation by Shyamashree Lal.

M.M. Thakur
Thus Spake Bhishma
(Motilal Banarsidass, 1992)
Narrates the life of Bhishma as if spoken by him.
Review by Pradip Bhattacharya

Shashi Tharoor
The Great Indian Novel
Review by Prdip Bhattacharya who also reviews the Peter Brook film on the epic. Read the review here Review by R.P. Goldman who also reviews the Peter Brook film on the epic. Read the review here

Meera Uberoi
Leadership Secrets from the Mahabharata
Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi

Manju M Rani Verma
Ethical elements of Mahabharata

Barend A. van Nooten
Mahabharata Attributed to Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa
(New York: Twayne Publishers, 1971)

M.T. Vasudevan Nair
Second Turn (novel)
(Macmillan, English translation)

Dr. E. Vedvyasa
Ancient Bhagavad Gita
(USCEFI, Hyderabad)

Dhairyabala P. Vora
Evolution of Morals in the Epics (Mahabharata and Ramayana
(1959), Popular Book Depot, Bombay.

J. Talboys Wheeler
The History of India. (Vol. I. The Vedic Period and the Mahabharata
(1867), N. Trubner & Co.

Julian F. Woods
Destiny and Human Initiative in the Mahabharata
State University of New York Press (2001).

M. R. Yardi
Epilogue of Mahabharata
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.