As I stated in my Introduction, I have tried my best to remain faithful to the original text of the Mahābhārata, working mainly from Śrī Manmatha Dutt’s translation (the Calcutta edition of the northern manuscript). I am most grateful to that scholar for producing his excellent text. Of course, after five thousand years and at least as many retellings, one would expect there to be variations in the details of the story. The reader may thus have heard other details. Still, I think it is fair to say that the central story is common to almost all versions.
One of my main aims was to make the work accessible without losing the spiritual message, a message given its fullest expression in the
In parts, I found the
In order to keep the story flowing I have abridged some sections and omitted others. For example, there are lengthy narrations unrelated to the story of the Pāṇḍavas, such as the famous tale of Savitri. I omitted such sections. Perhaps in a later work I will present these stories separately. There is also one complete and lengthy parva devoted to Bhīṣma’s instructions (Shanti parva) delivered on the bed of arrows. I have also omitted that. His instructions formed two full books in my translation, worthy itself of a separate study.
This is not an academic work. I have tried to present the original as transparently as possible but, inevitably, in presenting the story I comment on the characters and action. I pray that by the grace of the great saints in our disciplic succession, which descends from Vyāsadeva, my perspective has been consistent with his intended meaning.
I hope in my attempt to share
Thank you for reading the book. I hope you found it enjoyable.