Mahabharata, The (Myths and Legends of the World)
One of the major of India and the longest poem in the world, the Mahabharata is a sacred Hindu text. It consists of many legends and tales revolving around the conflicts between two branches of a mythical family. The storieshich involve deities,god or goddess and heroesontain elements of cosmology,set of ideas about the origin, history, and structure of the universe philosophy, and religious A section of the epic called the Bhagavad Gita is the most important religious text of Hinduism.
Origin, Setting, and Background. Although tradition holds that an ancient sage, or wise man, called Vyasa wrote the Mahabharata, it was almost certainly composed by a number of different poets and then collected into a single work sometime between 400 B.C. and A.D. 200. The epic reached its present form about 200 years later. It contains nearly 100,000 verses and is divided into 18 sections called parvans.
The Mahabharata is set in the kingdom of Kurukshetra on the northern plains of India along the Ganges River. The opening parvans explain the ancestry of the major characters and provide background for the central conflict of the work. That conflict begins when the rightful heir to the throne of Kurukshetra, a blind prince named Dhritarashtra, is passed over in favor...
(The entire section is 750 words.)
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