What is a summary of R.K. Narayan's Mahabharata?
R.K. Narayan's version of the Mahabharata is an abridged translation of the ancient Sanskrit epic. Even in its abbreviated version, this is a long and complex epic. It demonstrates its evolution from oral tradition in the way it stitches together many related works, including long ethical and theological digressions, stories-within-stories, and other tangents. It is a typically heroic epic in the way gods take a prominent and active role, often interbreeding with humans.
The epic concerns the descendants of Shantanu, the king of Hastinapur. He himself was of quasi-divine blood and was married to the goddess of the Ganges river. His second marriage is to Satyavati, who is partially descended from a fish. He has a celibate son by his first marriage and two sons by Satyavati. Satyavati also had a son Visha before she was married. The two sons of Shantanu and Satyavati—Chitrangada and Vichitravirya—die before bearing heirs. Vyasa is volunteered to impregnate their wives. Two heirs...
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