The Mahabharata is believed to have been composed by the sage, Vyasa, in Sanskrit. He narrated the poem to his disciples, among them, Vaisampayana and Jaimini. According to tradition, Vaisampayana recited the poem in public for the first time at a great sacrifice conducted by King Janamejaya, the great grandson of Arjuna. At this time the poem may have been nothing more than a stirring ballad narrating the tale of a king who was tormented and humiliated by his kinsmen but who ultimately turned the tables on his oppressors in an apocalyptic battle fought on the plains of Kurukshetra. As time rolled by, other storytellers added to the poem and it grew enormously in size and acquired a spiritual dimension. In its present form the Mahabharata has more than 90,000 stanzas and is considered the longest single poem in world literature, and also one of the most thought-provoking. The other disciple, Jaimini, also wrote his version of the Mahabharata, but only two parvas (volumes) of this work have come down to us.
Rendering of the Mahabharata into comics format was a daunting task that sorely tested the dedication and creativity of the various comics professionals who worked on the project. The script was written by Kamala Chandrakant, former associate editor of Amar Chitra Katha and the superb graphics were provided by P.B. Kavadi, one of the pioneers of comics art in India. Using old world prose to match the mood of the great epic, Kamala Chandrakant takes us through scenes of intrigue, deceit, adventure, heroism and chicanery as she unravels layer after layer of this timeless tale to finally uncover the centrepiece — the great war that finally establishes the supremacy of Dharma. There is thunder and storm and passion and tenderness as the fascinating story of the rivalry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas gradually unfolds and moves inexorably into the realms of war and annihilation. This is a work that should be read by all — young and old, rich and poor, Hindu and non-Hindu, Indian and non-Indian as it explores the human condition in situations that can be universally understood. Reading it in times of ease and comfort gives joy and insight into human nature; reading it in times of adversity gives solace and peace of mind.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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