The Mahabharata is an Indian epic, in its original Sanskrit probably the largest ever composed. It is the story of a dynastic struggle that provides a social, moral, and cosmological background to the climatic battle. The present English rendition is a retelling based on a translation of the Sanskrit original published by Pratap Chandra Roy, Published in the beginning of this century. William buck has condensed the story. The old translation from which he worked covers 5800 pages of print, while his own book is less than a tenth of that length. But by and large, Buck's rendition reflects the sequence of events in the Sanskrit epic, and he uses the traditional techniques for instance, of stories within stories, flashbacks, moral lessons laid in the mouths of principal characters. There are other English versions of the Mahabharata, some shorter, some longer. But apart from William Buck's rendition, none have been able to capture the blend of religion andmartial spirit that pervades the original epic. It succeeds eminently in illustrating how seemingly grand and magnificent human endeavors turn out to be astoundingly insignificant in the perspective of eternity.
Publisher's Preface, Introduction, Part I: In the Beginning, A Mine of Jewels and Gems, The Ring and the Well, Fire and Flame, Indraprastha, The Falling Sand, Part II: In the Middle, 6:00 Nala and Damayanti, 7:00 The Thousand-Petaled Lotus, An Iron Net, Virata, The Invasion, Do Not Tell, Sanjaya Returns, Trees of Gold, The Enchanted Lake, The Night, Part III: In the End, The Blade of Grass, The Lonely Encounter, Parikshita, The Timeless Path, The City of Gates, Notes, Reference List of Characters