Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Queens of Mahabharata
Queens of Mahabharata
Description
Introduction

Most of us have only a Nodding Acquaintance With the Mahabharata, gleaned from the stories we have heard when in our grandmothers' care to the television serial that brought the country to a halt with its riveting power. But if we actually embark upon the adventure of reading the largest book in the world which has the claim that anything that is not in Mahabharata cannot be found anywhere else, we come across a fascinating array of characters, situations and motivations that mirror our innermost desires and thoughts that propel us into action. The text is an inalienable part of the Indian psyche, whose characters are so alive that they form an integral part of any politics, from domestic to electoral. It took about a thousand years to grow, as is generally believed, from Jaya to Bharata to Mahabharata. It not only exists in two major versions, the Northern and the Southern, but every region of India has contributed its own customs, myths, legends, folk tales and heroes to it. Every subsequent generation has interpreted and reinterpreted the epic in its own way, in order to find justifications and solutions to the situations, conflicts and challenges that life may have thrown at it.

The Mahabharata portrays the 'all grey' of human nature and the difficulty of making ethical distinctions. This accounts for the excitement and perennial appeal attached to it. Unlike in the Ramayana, there are no ideal fathers, sons, mothers and wives to be found in the Mahabharata. All unabashedly pursue their self interest, the goal being power, wealth and satisfaction of desires. Their tragedy is as ours, stemming from narrow self interest which is finally self defeating. That is why Vyasa throws his hands up at the end of the Great War and cries out in anguish that wealth can be attained and desire fulfilled through dharma or righteousness but no one ever listens and so one ever will. How short human memory is, is evident when Arjuna's great grandson Janamejaya prepares a naga sacrifice to avenge the death of his father Parikshit who died of a snakebite by Takshak, the king of the nagas. It has taken only two generations to forget the horrors of war and begin the cycle of vengeance and destruction once again.

But Vyasa's desperate cry from the forest cannot go in vain. When a person as wise as Vyasa talks of victory, it cannot be merely physical victory nor is it only the destruction of ignorance or the victory of dharma over adharma because that in any case ultimately happens. What the great narrative, perhaps, wishes to convey is that such darkness will recur in time and that will cause an ambivalence and temporary corrosion in values. A person can only recount it whether someone listens to it or not. It is an act of stepping back to witness the flow of the river of Time.

At the first obvious instance, the Mahabharata seems to be a story of men fighting a fratricidal war for the throne of Hastinapur, with its surrounding patriarchy that places no value on women, save for as wives and mothers of sons. But the more one reads the text the more one acknowledges the courage of women like Kunti, Satyavati, Gandhari and Draupadi together with others who played minor roles. With the odds stacked against them, they use their minds and bodies to fight their own wars with a decisive and never-say-die attitude. They carve out pivotal places for themselves and play roles of such significance that the men have no potion but to follow their lead. Where they cannot get their way directly, they subvert and manipulate but their fight is as much for the throne of Hastinapur as that of their men. Yet, they are not petty. They are painted in heroic proportions and one cannot help but be sympathetic, awe-struck and stunned by their wisdom, cunning, craft and intellect, their immense enthusiasm to not only get the most that life has to offer but also to get it on their own terms.

So, is the justification of expediency and dissembling to gain power and wealth the message of the Mahabharata? Or does the Mahabharata bring all to grief, both the victorious and the defeated, as the victories are hollow, often worse than the defeats. Is it an unrelenting picture of horrifying destruction and a lament over the futility of war?

Neither of these is able to capture the centrality of this mahakavya or verse epic. It is actually a message of life that transcends death, a song of peace salvaged from the carnage of war, a sign of hope culled out from the spiritual desolation marking the end of the dvapara yuga. It opens the path to transcending one's concerns and seeing that one's happiness can only be a part of everyone's happiness. It brings the message of the truly unconquerable state of mind that can accept with equanimity, happiness and unhappiness, likes and dislikes, whatever may come one's way. It asks one to never accept defeat in one's heart and to remain calm and hopeful even in moments of trial and great suffering. That is possibly why, the narrative begins with the lament of the king, Dhritarashtra, overpowered by his attachments and incapacities, and ends not only with a great sadness but also with the immense calm and peace that comes with a ripening and maturing obtained through sorrow and endurance.

Back of the Book

With the possible exception of Draupadi, the queens in Mahabharata have, for long, been regarded as mere figures of ornamental significance in our popular imagination. Even informed discourses on the perennial epic have glossed over the importance and stature of these women by failing to initiate ways of analyzing the text from their points of view. This book is an effort to redress the crucial shortcoming.

Though the world of the epic is governed by an unambiguous patriarchy, the qeens are able to participate in and radically affect the dramatic unfolding of its central moral theme. This is no mean achievement, the book argues, as it is a clear index of the strength of character and the shrewd political will that guide these women in their efforts to establish themselves as recognizable subjects and agents. Queens of Mahabharata details this process of the women transcending their limited circumstances and redefining their relationships with the larger body politic as well as their own intimate domesticity.

Sociology, poetics, cultural anthropology and feminist theory are made to intersect with as remarkable an ease and aptitude in the author's approach to her subject as they do in her broad sympathy with the critical traditions of the epic is a colourful, yet logical, extension of such an imagination. In the variorum of modern readings of the Mahabharata, this effort is irreplaceable.

Kavita A Sharma is the principal of the prestigious Hindu College in Delhi. She is one of the most distinguished and versatile academicians in the country today, with distinctions in the field of English Literature as well as Law.

Apart from teaching, Kavita A Sharma is also an accomplished author. Her first book, Byron's Plays: A Reassessment, was published in 1981. Subsequently she published Ongoing Journey: Indian Migration to Canada, which has received significant acclaim. She has also been a prolific contributor to leading publications in the country on a broad range of subjects ranging from education and literature of women's issues and religion.

Contents
Preface and Acknowledgementsix
Introductionxi
The Queens of Mahabharata1
Satyavati and Amba13
Gandhari and Kunti28
Draupadi62
The Warrior Queens108
Select Reading123

Queens of Mahabharata

Item Code:
IDJ964
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2006
ISBN:
8129109727
Size:
7.6" X 5.0"
Pages:
126
Price:
$15.00   Shipping Free
Be the first to rate this product
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Queens of Mahabharata
From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 9148 times since 2nd Nov, 2010
Introduction

Most of us have only a Nodding Acquaintance With the Mahabharata, gleaned from the stories we have heard when in our grandmothers' care to the television serial that brought the country to a halt with its riveting power. But if we actually embark upon the adventure of reading the largest book in the world which has the claim that anything that is not in Mahabharata cannot be found anywhere else, we come across a fascinating array of characters, situations and motivations that mirror our innermost desires and thoughts that propel us into action. The text is an inalienable part of the Indian psyche, whose characters are so alive that they form an integral part of any politics, from domestic to electoral. It took about a thousand years to grow, as is generally believed, from Jaya to Bharata to Mahabharata. It not only exists in two major versions, the Northern and the Southern, but every region of India has contributed its own customs, myths, legends, folk tales and heroes to it. Every subsequent generation has interpreted and reinterpreted the epic in its own way, in order to find justifications and solutions to the situations, conflicts and challenges that life may have thrown at it.

The Mahabharata portrays the 'all grey' of human nature and the difficulty of making ethical distinctions. This accounts for the excitement and perennial appeal attached to it. Unlike in the Ramayana, there are no ideal fathers, sons, mothers and wives to be found in the Mahabharata. All unabashedly pursue their self interest, the goal being power, wealth and satisfaction of desires. Their tragedy is as ours, stemming from narrow self interest which is finally self defeating. That is why Vyasa throws his hands up at the end of the Great War and cries out in anguish that wealth can be attained and desire fulfilled through dharma or righteousness but no one ever listens and so one ever will. How short human memory is, is evident when Arjuna's great grandson Janamejaya prepares a naga sacrifice to avenge the death of his father Parikshit who died of a snakebite by Takshak, the king of the nagas. It has taken only two generations to forget the horrors of war and begin the cycle of vengeance and destruction once again.

But Vyasa's desperate cry from the forest cannot go in vain. When a person as wise as Vyasa talks of victory, it cannot be merely physical victory nor is it only the destruction of ignorance or the victory of dharma over adharma because that in any case ultimately happens. What the great narrative, perhaps, wishes to convey is that such darkness will recur in time and that will cause an ambivalence and temporary corrosion in values. A person can only recount it whether someone listens to it or not. It is an act of stepping back to witness the flow of the river of Time.

At the first obvious instance, the Mahabharata seems to be a story of men fighting a fratricidal war for the throne of Hastinapur, with its surrounding patriarchy that places no value on women, save for as wives and mothers of sons. But the more one reads the text the more one acknowledges the courage of women like Kunti, Satyavati, Gandhari and Draupadi together with others who played minor roles. With the odds stacked against them, they use their minds and bodies to fight their own wars with a decisive and never-say-die attitude. They carve out pivotal places for themselves and play roles of such significance that the men have no potion but to follow their lead. Where they cannot get their way directly, they subvert and manipulate but their fight is as much for the throne of Hastinapur as that of their men. Yet, they are not petty. They are painted in heroic proportions and one cannot help but be sympathetic, awe-struck and stunned by their wisdom, cunning, craft and intellect, their immense enthusiasm to not only get the most that life has to offer but also to get it on their own terms.

So, is the justification of expediency and dissembling to gain power and wealth the message of the Mahabharata? Or does the Mahabharata bring all to grief, both the victorious and the defeated, as the victories are hollow, often worse than the defeats. Is it an unrelenting picture of horrifying destruction and a lament over the futility of war?

Neither of these is able to capture the centrality of this mahakavya or verse epic. It is actually a message of life that transcends death, a song of peace salvaged from the carnage of war, a sign of hope culled out from the spiritual desolation marking the end of the dvapara yuga. It opens the path to transcending one's concerns and seeing that one's happiness can only be a part of everyone's happiness. It brings the message of the truly unconquerable state of mind that can accept with equanimity, happiness and unhappiness, likes and dislikes, whatever may come one's way. It asks one to never accept defeat in one's heart and to remain calm and hopeful even in moments of trial and great suffering. That is possibly why, the narrative begins with the lament of the king, Dhritarashtra, overpowered by his attachments and incapacities, and ends not only with a great sadness but also with the immense calm and peace that comes with a ripening and maturing obtained through sorrow and endurance.

Back of the Book

With the possible exception of Draupadi, the queens in Mahabharata have, for long, been regarded as mere figures of ornamental significance in our popular imagination. Even informed discourses on the perennial epic have glossed over the importance and stature of these women by failing to initiate ways of analyzing the text from their points of view. This book is an effort to redress the crucial shortcoming.

Though the world of the epic is governed by an unambiguous patriarchy, the qeens are able to participate in and radically affect the dramatic unfolding of its central moral theme. This is no mean achievement, the book argues, as it is a clear index of the strength of character and the shrewd political will that guide these women in their efforts to establish themselves as recognizable subjects and agents. Queens of Mahabharata details this process of the women transcending their limited circumstances and redefining their relationships with the larger body politic as well as their own intimate domesticity.

Sociology, poetics, cultural anthropology and feminist theory are made to intersect with as remarkable an ease and aptitude in the author's approach to her subject as they do in her broad sympathy with the critical traditions of the epic is a colourful, yet logical, extension of such an imagination. In the variorum of modern readings of the Mahabharata, this effort is irreplaceable.

Kavita A Sharma is the principal of the prestigious Hindu College in Delhi. She is one of the most distinguished and versatile academicians in the country today, with distinctions in the field of English Literature as well as Law.

Apart from teaching, Kavita A Sharma is also an accomplished author. Her first book, Byron's Plays: A Reassessment, was published in 1981. Subsequently she published Ongoing Journey: Indian Migration to Canada, which has received significant acclaim. She has also been a prolific contributor to leading publications in the country on a broad range of subjects ranging from education and literature of women's issues and religion.

Contents
Preface and Acknowledgementsix
Introductionxi
The Queens of Mahabharata1
Satyavati and Amba13
Gandhari and Kunti28
Draupadi62
The Warrior Queens108
Select Reading123
Post a Comment
 
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to Queens of Mahabharata (Hindi | Books)

Great Heroes of The Mahabharat (Kunti and Draupadi)
Paperback (Edition: 2010)
Touchstone Media
Item Code: NAI482
$21.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Draupadi (Comic Book)
by Wilco Picture Library
Paperback (Edition: 2011)
Wilco Publishing House
Item Code: NAG774
$8.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Draupadi
Deal 20% Off
by Anant Pai
Paperback Comic Book (Edition: 2010)
Amar Chitra Katha
Item Code: ACK64
$6.50$5.20
You save: $1.30 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
द्रौपदी: Draupadi: A Novel on The Heroine of Mahabharata
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: NAI566
$21.00$16.80
You save: $4.20 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Draupadi: The Fire Born Princess (Comic)
Item Code: NAF363
$16.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Avatar Way of Leadership: Leadership for the Twenty-First Century from Rama, Krishna and Draupadi
Deal 20% Off
by HARSH VERMA
Paperback (Edition: 2006)
Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDF329
$20.00$16.00
You save: $4.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Draupadi: An Epic Character of Mahabharat
Paperback (Edition: 2003)
Touchstone Media
Item Code: IDK586
$8.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Mahabharatha : A  Child's View
by Samhita Arni
Paperback (Edition: 2013)
Tara Publishing.
Item Code: IDG550
$30.00
SOLD
Karna on Trial (A Scrutinizing Look at Karna's Values, Skills, Character and Purpose)
by Govinda Das
Paperback (Edition: 2016)
Tulsi Books
Item Code: NAN977
$21.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Indigenous Methods and Manuscript Preservation: Samraksika
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: NAF685
$29.00$23.20
You save: $5.80 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Saga of Seven Mothers: Satisaptakam
by K. R. Srinivasa Iyengar
Hardcover (Edition: 1991)
Samata Books
Item Code: IDG448
$30.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Testimonials
Rec'd. It is very very good. Thank you!
Usha, USA
Order a rare set of books generally not available. Received in great shape, a bit late, I am sure Exotic India team worked hard to obtain a copy. Thanks a lot for effort to support Indians World over!
Vivek Sathe
Shiva came today.  More wonderful  in person than the images  indicate.  Fast turn around is a bonus. Happy trail to you.
Henry, USA
Namaskaram. Thank you so much for my beautiful Durga Mata who is now present and emanating loving and vibrant energy in my home sweet home and beyond its walls.   High quality statue with intricate detail by design. Carved with love. I love it.   Durga herself lives in all of us.   Sathyam. Shivam. Sundaram.
Rekha, Chicago
People at Exotic India are Very helpful and Supportive. They have superb collection of everything related to INDIA.
Daksha, USA
I just wanted to let you know that the book arrived safely today, very well packaged. Thanks so much for your help. It is exactly what I needed! I will definitely order again from Exotic India with full confidence. Wishing you peace, health, and happiness in the New Year.
Susan, USA
Thank you guys! I got the book! Your relentless effort to set this order right is much appreciated!!
Utpal, USA
You guys always provide the best customer care. Thank you so much for this.
Devin, USA
On the 4th of January I received the ordered Peacock Bell Lamps in excellent condition. Thank you very much. 
Alexander, Moscow
Gracias por todo, Parvati es preciosa, ya le he recibido.
Joan Carlos, Spain
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2021 © Exotic India