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An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
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|The Mahābhārata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasu|
|Mahābhārata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasu, The. This great Indian epic has been compared to a national bank of unlimited resources, upon which all the poets and dramatists of succeeding ages have freely drawn, so that scarcely a Sanskrit play or song lacks references to it. As the compilation of long series of poets, it contains not only the original story of the Kaurava-Pandava feud, but also a vast number of more or less relevant episodes: it is a storehouse of quaint and curious stories. It tells of the mental and moral philosophy of the ancient Rishis, their discoveries in science, their remarkable notions of astronomy, their computations of time, their laws for the conduct of life, private and public, their grasp of political truths worthy of Machiavelli. Stories and histories, poems and ballads, nursery tales and profound discourses on art, science, daily conduct, and religion, are all sung in sonorous verse. Written in the sacred language of India, it is the Bible of the Hindus, being held in such veneration that the reading of a single Parva or Book was thought sufficient to cleanse from sin. It has been translated into English prose by Kisari Mohan Ganguli, and published in fifteen octavo volumes. Sir Edwin Arnold has translated the last two of the eighteen parvas into blank verse; and in his preface he gives a succinct analysis of the epic which has been called the Fifth Veda. To ordinary readers much of the figurative language of the Mahābhārata seems grotesque, and the descriptions are often absurd; but no one can help being amazed at its enormous range of subjects, the beauty of many of the stories it enshrines, and the loftiness of the morality it inculcates. In grandeur it may well be compared to the awe-inspiring heights of the Himalayas.|| 1|