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The Tamil rendition of Mahabharata signified through words of wisdom and explored through a renewed viewpoint

Local varieties of the Mahabharata, are significantly more free in their depiction of the awe-inspiring characters of the legendary epic. Characters like Duryodhana and Karna, addressed in regrettable terms as 'evil' powers, find a more nuanced and less one-sided space in the local Tamil renditions.

This is particularly valid for the female heroes in the legendary epic like Draupadi, Gandhari, and Karna's wife, Ponnaruvi. Ponnaruvi's name is never mentioned in the original version which discusses Vrushali (the daughter of Duryodhana's charioteer) as Karna's partner. Rather than the low societal position of Vrushali, in the Tamil version of Karna's life, Ponnaruvi is supposed to be of illustrious character, a Kalinga princess. The accessibility of books in the Madras Presidency over the nineteenth century carried the Mahabharata to ordinary people, all kinds of people.

Inexpensively valued famous old stories called 'gujili' writing (which alludes to Gujarati vendors) entered the market, acquiring another readership, particularly among women fans. Portions of Tamil Mahabharata, with augmentations and introductions, or even past both, with absolutely new heroes, changed the comprehension of characters from the Mahabharata, bringing into the center the so-called evil characters and the aggressors in war, unconventional women who were either from the shadows of the epic or outside it through and through.

In the Tamil variants of the Mahabharata, one finds a re-creation of the legendary women who at times do not get any limelight in the other versions, such as Draupadi, and the characters who do not shine in the epic, such as Alli Arasani, even though she most likely manifests in the Sanskrit version as Chitrangada. The myths surroundings female warrior monarchs like Alli, Pavzhakkodi, snake princess Ulupi and the Lord Shiva worshiper, Minnoliyal, and their union with Arjuna, a main hero of the Mahabharata, break the central story of the extraordinary epic, bringing the all-important focal figures who are entirely missing in the mainstream version of the Mahabharata (Vyasa's Mahabharata). Songs like Ponnaruvi Masakkai, Karna Moksham, and Karnamaharajan Chandai make us take notice of the story of Karna's wife, Ponnaruvi whose hatred of her supposed 'low-status' husband and her undesirable pregnancy, brings into sharp center issues of both position and class. 

Karna, before his demise on the seventeenth day of the Kurukshetra war, uncovers the mystery of his introduction to the world, transforming her shock into lament. These segmented stories can thusly be said to comprise huge provincial variations of a legendary epic like Mahabharata, regardless of whether they genuinely comprise counter-accounts or become at par with the male-centric standard.

Significance of the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata is an essential wellspring of knowledge on the improvement of Hinduism between 400 BCE and 200 CE and is viewed by Hindus as both a text about dharma (Hindu moral regulation) and a set of experiences (itihasa, in a real sense "that occurred"). The local variations of the great epic are a great source to understand how perspectives prefer in a country as large as India, and also significantly contribute to a feminist reading of the various portions of the great epic. The Mahabharata instructs us that assuming we regard dharma, it will regard us, assuming we follow dharma, it will follow us and on the off chance that we are loyal to our dharma, dharma will forever be by our side.


Q1. Who composed the Tamil version of Mahabharata?

Medieval poet of the Tamil land, Perundevanar translated Mahabharata into Tamil. He was popularly called Baratham Paadiya Perundevanar. Bharatha Venda was presented by this Tamil writer. It is a 12,000-section Tamil work over the epic of the incredible Mahabharata.

Q2. Where is Kurukshetra from the Mahabharata located now?

Kurukshetra is a part of the state of Haryana in India. It is popularly known as the “Land of Bhagavad Gita” and “Realm of Duty (Dharmakshetra)”.

Q3. Which Mahabharatham book is best in Tamil?


Mahabharata is one of the major epics in Hinduism that narrates the great battle of Kurukshetra between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. It contains great spiritual lessons and philosophical topics about the Absolute Truth and the goal of human life. Many versions of Mahabharata are available in today’s world in different languages so that everyone across the globe can take advantage of this great literature. If you want to read Mahabharatham in Tamil, you can buy “ஸ்ரீ மஹாபாரதம்: The Mahabharata in Tamil (Set of 10 Volumes)” published by Sri Bhagawan Nama Publications.