About the Book
The work maintains just the convenient middle course between the simple narrative of the Mahabharata story and the researches into its truth. The analysis marks well a passage from the myth stage of those ancient legends of India to their scientific bearings upon the modern evolutions, often in significant degressions assessing their literary values.
Of the 14 episodes selected here some deal with the human roles of Lord Krishna which declare readily his divinity. some the eugenic principles and the laws of marriage under the mask of myths, some the evolution of Rajtantra (kingship) from the state of nature and the succession problem of the monarchy of Heaven one or two episodes the secrets of the sacrifice (Jajna) and at least one the principles of Dharma and one the concept of Death and disease afflicting earthly life and the scheme of the Creation thereof.
About the Author
The author who did his Ph.D. in English at Calcutta now heads the Department of English. Katwa College. Burdwan University and has also to his credit some articles published in the London based Hinduism three research works. A Trend in English Fiction. Firma KLM (Cal.). Scenes in Nineteenth Century English Fiction. Associated Publishing House (Delhi) and The Latest Revelation in the East. Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar (Cal.) and a Pamphlet of 85 pages. The Second Coming.
I have known Dr. R.N. Sarkar for some time through his contributions to Hinduism of London over the years. His articles on the Indo-European link of languages and literature in this journal have greatly impressed me and some European scholars. From a portion of his article on the Mahabharata published in this magazine I have a very high idea of his style and equipment, sufficient to probe rightly the heart of the many outstanding Indian myths which he deals with in this book. In our journal by his standard of scholarly inquiries into different issues of Indian literature of the mythical age he belongs with men like G. Feuerstein, M. Litt., F.R.A.I. (Durham University), Dr. Ruth Reyna, M.A., Ph.D., Swami Tathagatananda, lan K. Watson and A. Holmes. I hope this book on the Mahabharata would acquaint the West with many half-forgotten gems of the East.
'The plan of the book was long in hibernation, some articles based on different episodes of Indian epics were published in different Organs of Satsang, some published from Deoghar, some from Calcutta, and some from Bangladesh, all in Bengali. None of the articles of course is included in the present work. All those only served as a healthy impulse to a systematic study of some other interesting episodes of the epic which has been accepted as the greatest epic, not only of the East, but also of the whole world. The final encouragement came, of course, from Swami Purnananda, Editor of the Hinduism (London), who asked me to write on his own plan something for his Magazine, particularly detailing the significance of the Oriental contribution to the accidental heritage of language and culture, just upon publication in it of a part of one of the articles now arranged under the title. I have not, however, attempted in the present volume any comparative evaluation of the epics of the East and the West, I have only tried to assess the timeless truths concealed in the mythical apparatus of the epic through explication of a limited number of its episodes in close touch with the original Sanskrit texts, often quoted in Roman script.
I have not really written a separate article on the special character of the epic style and method of presentation which is a part of the truth itself when shorn of its exotic expletives. But I have here and there pointed out the peculiarities of the style and their close bearings upon the hidden substance. I have also kept as much closer to the evolution of the story in every episode as may serve as an extra attraction even to those who are least interested in its literary achievement, although ever taking particular care not to blur the literary excellence of the author's treatment, an author who is still famed as one of the greatest poet'! the world has produced. The treatment in these pages, however, is not of the Daniken type, nor of the Columbia University Press publication type, nor of any other known or unknown system of presentment, readers must see it.
In my labour I have been encouraged by some of my old and present friends, and some of my best teachers, of them I name first Dr. Ramaranjan Mukherji, ex-Vice Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati and Burdwan University, Dr. Kshudiram Das, ex-Ramtanu Lahiri Professor, Calcutta University, and Prafulla Kumar Das, ex-Vice Principal, Manomohini Institute of Technology and ex-Editor, Alochana (Satsang).
Particular mention is due to Swami Purnananda who has kindly written a word of introduction to this book at my request, and to Professor Joykali Bhattacharya who has gone through the Sanskrit texts in this book for revision.
The text I use is from the North Indian edition of the Mahabharata (Gita Press) supplemented by the South Indian edition wherever necessary and for textual interpretation I have constantly referred to Monier Williams and Macdonell who chaired at different times Boden Professorship at Oxford and done away with all diacritical marks in all English transcriptions of original Sanskrit for universal intelligibility.
Krishna's Viswarupa at the Kaurava Court
Krishna's Response to a Last Prayer
The Evolution of Kingship
A Hoax That was Prompted
Narayanastra : What it Works
The Invincible Weapon Called Vaisnabastra
The Sacrifice that Daksha Did
Creator Who Creates Death Too
Krishna Consoles Arjuna and Subhadra
Shachi the Queen of Heaven
The Indra- Trisira Episode
The Mystery around the Birth of the Basus
Krishna's Lesson on Truth and Dharma
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