The Message of Mahabharata (The Nation's Magnum Opus)

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Item Code: IHF029
Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan
Author: Justice P. Kodandaramayya
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 8172763255
Pages: 586
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 9.5” X 6.2”
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Book Description
Back of the Book

Justice P. Kodandaramayya was born in the year 1926. He was enrolled as an Advocate of High Court of madras in the year 1952. He was elevated to the Bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court in the year 1982 and held that office till 1988. He was the founder Chairman of a Publishing Trust known as Arsha Vijnana Trust. He is the author of the Light of Ramayana which is received well by scholars and general public and is considered to be a magnificent masterpiece.

The theme of the present work is that the Vedic religion of this ancient country enunciates non-dualistic philosophy. The apparent pluralistic ethos of this country is based on that non-dualistic doctrine.

The book is divided into three parts each part containing 18 topics. The first part deals with knowledge including the creation and the history of the created beings in the universe. The second part deals with wisdom the Dharma and its facets for an ideal manhood and society. The third part deals with spiritual values and the mode of realizing the same by every human being.

The author says the epic is a magnum opus of the nation. It is the universe in script. In the introduction he highlighted the importance of both the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata expounding the concept of Dharma. Hence he states that in the multi-religious state like ours, every citizen should read these epics and imbibe the duty oriented concept of dharma to make the nation glorious and prosperous. Thus stated he dedicated this work to the nation.




Live in harmony and concord. Be organized and co-operative
Speak with one Voice and make your resolution with one mind.
As our ancient saints and seers leaders and preceptors have performed
their duties righteously
similarly you will not falter to execute your duties.

The composition of this epic Mahabharata by Maharishi Veda Vyasa embodies the culture of Vedic religion now called Hindu religion which enunciates non-dualistic philosophy.

The apparent pluralistic ethos of this ancient country is really a non-dualistic for a true Hindu.

Hence each citizen must assimilate the spirit of others and yet preserve his individually and thus grow together according to his own law of growth.

with that fond hope and desire I dedicated this work to the citizens of this country the Bharat


Opinion of Saints and Scholars

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are the two encyclopedias of the ancient Aryan life and wisdom portraying an ideal civilization which humanity has yet to aspire after.

The Mahabharata especially is the most invaluable work to Indian history and it is not too much to say that this book has not as yet been even properly read by the Westerners.

Swami Vivekananda

The Mahabharata is the creation and expression not of a single individual mind but of the mind of a nation it is the poem of itself written by a whole people. The whole poem has been built like a vast national temple unrolling slowly its immense and complex idea from chamber to chamber crowded with significant groups and sculpture and inscription.

Sri Aurobindo

The Mahabharata is not a mere epic it is a romance telling the tale of heroic men and women and of some who were divine it is a whole literature in itself containing a code of life a philosophy of social and ethical relations and speculative thought on human problems that is hard to rival.


The Mahabharata belongs to the world and not only to India. To the people of India indeed this epic has been an unfailing and perennial source of spiritual strength.

C. Rajagopalachary

It is only in a very restricted sense that we may speak of the Mahabharata as an Epic and a poem. Indeed in a certain sense the Mahabharata is not one poetic production at all but rather a whole literature.

Dr. Winter Nitz

The foreign reader is at since struck by two features in the first place its unity in complexity and in the second its constant efforts to impress on its hearers the idea of a single centralized India with a heroic tradition of her own as formative and uniting impulse.

Sister Nivedita (Margaret Noble)

In the Mahabharata a very definite attempt has been made to emphasize the fundamental unity of India or bharatvarsha as it was called from Bharat the legendry founder of the race.

Dr. S. Radhakrishna

If I were to confine for life to a single book I would certainly choose the Mahabharata

Arthur William Ryder

In the Mahabharata breath the united soul of India and the individual souls of her people.

Herman Oldenberge

It is really the Mahabharata that is one of the outstanding books of the world. It is colossal work and encyclopedia of tradition and legend and political and social institutions of ancient India

Jawaharlal Nehru

An enclopaedia of moral teaching

Arthor MacDonell

The Mahabharata is a comprehensive work dealing with the whole problem of man in relation to nature and God.

N.V. Thadani



Nature provided us with two eyes. If we do not have two eyes we lack peripheral vision and stereoscopic vision (Vision of depth and firmness). We have two national epics one Srimad Ramayana and another Sri Mahabharata.

Message of Ramayana and Mahabharata
Ramayana is verily Veda transmuted into kavya by sage Valmiki Sri Mahabharata is known as the fifth Veda containing the essence of Vedas and also the commentary thereon. Thus these two are not mere epics giving ancient historic stories but they have definite message fro humanity. Ramayana mentions specifically the three subjects of Kama Artha and Vedas whereas Mahabharata specifically mentioned all the four topics of Dharma Artha Kama and Moksa. Sage Valmiki composed Ramayana as a kavya taking the historic story of Sri Rama whereas Sage Veda Vyasa taking the historic story of the decedents of King Kuru composed Mahabharata as a science consisting of physical science moral science and spiritual science. The message of both the epics is the same namely man’s duty to perform dharma in life. Sage Valmiki gives the message mostly in the story proper itself so that when we read the story and notice the conduct of the hero Sri Rama we are impelled to follow his conduct as an ideal person. Thus Valmiki embodied both the theory and practice of dharma whereas sage Veda Vyasa while exhorting humanity to follow the path of dharma extensively imparted knowledge of several subjects to enable them to make their life successful in this life and thereafter further the utterance of Valmiki is akin to that of a mother intoning faith and humility to practice dharma whereas Vyasa’s utterance is like that a father impairing discipline and dedication to follow dharma. Hence every citizen should read these epics and imbibe our culture. However we are apprehensive to accept the same as the se books are known as religious books and the very concept of dharma is a religious concept! It is mixed with political overtones. We shall examine them in the interest of the nation. This lengthy introduction may be broadly divided into two parts. The political turmoil in the country and the relevance of these epics in the present condition.

Jural relation of Individual society state and religion
It is well known that man is a social being. He cannot live alone. He must live in a society. Society requires a ruler. Throughout the globe initially monarchy was in vogue. However when a king misbehaved sages killed such tyrant. They killed king vena when he misbehaved further when king pururava misbehaved he was cursed to death by sage Sanakumara King Charles I was executed. The great Greek philosopher Socrates conceived the idea of democracy and his ideas by way of dialogue are embodied in the great work the republic by Plato. We see Socrates conceived the idea of an ideal state where citizens and the king should practice virtues. However in a democracy Socrates was condemned to death. It was in a democracy that Abrahman Lincolnm was killed. We established sovereign democratic republic after independence and we killed the father of nation killed Indira Gandhi killed Rajiv Gandhi and also have the honor of humanity following virtues was not heeded. Thereafter we see the birth of two great religions Christianity and Islam which equally emphasized the practice of virtues. Notwithstanding these religions began to interfere had to be administration of the state and hence their interference had to be excluded and the concept of secularism was expounded by thinkers and it is ruled by all thinkers that in the administration of state religion should nor have any function.

Impact of Communism on religion
The pendulum has swung to the other end people began to think religion must be totally excluded. The great philosopher resells said “All religions are untrue and harmful including communism and also said humanity should co-operative and live happily.” If as conceived by that great philosopher humanity can really co-operate and live together by exercising discipline no religion is necessary Religion politics or new concepts of atheism are all founded to make man happy on earth. The devil incarnate is self-interest. Selfishness is human nature and selflessness is divinity. Communism made history by creating class-consciousness among workers of the world and produced a superpower in the then U. S. S. R but both have collapsed as the protagonists of that system have not followed Dharma. No one worked sincerely in the collective farms of U. S. S. R. as per the principle laid down by Marx that a laborer has not right to his own produce but the whole of their co-operative production. The ruler in Romania in a communist regime wanted gold coating in his living room. Now in U. S. S. R. they declared communism is a corpse. Do not believe it and also added tell Indians. We cannot agree with this. So long as man is greedy communism is necessary. A veteran of misapplication. We only request him to see the same principle applies to the religion and also democracy. An eminent Jurist and an accredited Marxist said A person who does not believe in spirit is a halfwit. Again a new wave has come in U. S. S. R. They are constructing churches and inviting pope. Thus we see great change within a period of less then a century, just seventy or eighty years.

Recently when our prime minister went to U.S.A he was given reception reciting Vedic hymns. Their senator complimented it. However our communist party commented that it is against our secular concept. What had the Prime Minister to do? Should he have closed his ears and say, we have given up our religious practices. Please stop. I cannot hear it. Swami Vivekananda said the life of this nation is religions. Its language is religion its idea is religion under politics society municipality plague-prevention work famine relief work all these things will be done as they have been along here only through religion otherwise all your frantic yelling and bewailing will end in nothing. We know that Gandhiji said I do not want politics minus religion. The concept of secularism would mean state is irreligious. All religions can be practiced, In fact Marx did not say like the atheist of the 18th century. I do not believe in god show me god but only said the moving power is matter but not spirit and the people should get rid of this religious habit which is opium. Matter means money. Dhana Mulamidam Jagat money is the base for the whole world. The former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi lamented that only twenty percent of the funds allotted to the ameliorating eighty percentages downtrodden reached the roots. The remaining eighty percentages was swallowed by Adharma. Is there not the need to instill Dharma in humanity? Hence it is folly to think the concept of Dharma is religious one unconnected with the daily activities of the human being. A religion based on superstition is bad. But bigotry is worse. When drinking water is being sold and even poor laborers have to purchase it in packets no political leader or a national daily condemned it as in their view it is a religious concept. It is not possible to exclude and ignore religion altogether. If Christ were not born of Christianity was not founded what type of civilization would have been witnessed in Europe? It is the Christina world that conducted two world wars. For that we cannot blame the Christ of Christians but only inhuman lot. We must praise them for it is the Christian word the conceived the world organization UNO and helping the humanity. For that the humanity should thank Christ fore inculcating love among human beings. Again another thing we should remember is that same religions by itself would not give amity. The whole of Europe is Christianity. Why should they fight? Iraq and Iran are Islamic faith. Why should they fight? The Old Testament is same for both Christian and persons of Islamic faith. Where is the amity? Coming nearer why should there be an ethnic problem in Pakistan having carved out the state for the benefit of persons of Islamic faith? The state cannot itself has some limitations Let us see what Socrates said about that. It can only protect the citizen from violation of his rights



  Preface xi
  Opinions of Saints & Scholars xiii
  Introduction xvii
  Note on this Composition lxx
  Abbreviations lxxiv
  Glossary of words lxxv
  Part I
1 Cosmology and Cosmogony 1
2 Cosmography 9
3 Concept of Time 23
4 History of the Universe 30
5 Devas 39
6 Manes 42
7 Apsaras 44
8 Sages 46
9 Kings 61
10 Raksasas 70
11 Mountains Rivers and Trees 73
12 Countries, Kingdoms, Sects and warriors 86
13 Vidya – Learning 89
14 Darsanas 105
15 Epic Story 112
16 Defense Equipment and skills 206
17 Faculties 209
18 Discourses and Exposition 211
  Part II
19 Dharma (General) 215
20 Specific Dharmas 241
21 Four Purusarthas – Dharma Artha, kama and Moksa 249
22 Facets of Adharma 253
23 Punya and Papa – Merit and Sin 257
24 Pilgrimage and Merit 259
25 Omens 260
26 Manusam and Daivam – Exertion and Destiny 261
27 Tejas and Tapas – Energy and Penance 263
28 Niti Morality Raja Niti Statecraft 265
29 Acara Vidhi – Rules of Good conduct 275
30 Gunas – Good Qualities 277
31 The four Varnas and Asramas 283
32 Knowledge Unto Wisdom 289
33 Personalities in the Epic 299
34 Upakhyanas – Short Stories 358
35 Lessons from Epic Story and Upakhyanas 362
36 Mahabharata – The Fifth Veda 390
  Part III
37 Nivrtti Dharma – Dharma of Declination 397
38 Trsna and Asa – Desire and Thirst 406
39 Food and Sleep 408
40 Tapas 410
41 Phalahpravacanam – Fruits of One’s own Action 411
42 Catustayam – Mind Intellect will and Ego 414
43 Soul 417
44 Liberation 420
45 Dharma 22 -30 Mentionedby Sage Veda Vyasa 423
46 Samkhya and Yoga 425
47 Trithavratam 427
48 Different Religions of Bhakti 430
49 Songs of Worship 432
50 Lord Mahadeva and Narayana 434
51 Spiritual Canons 439
52 Spirituality 456
53 Religion 460
54 Message 464
I. Discourses and Expositions as per each book
(See Part-I Chapter- 18)
II. Upakhyanas as per each book
(See Part-II, Chapter- 34)
III. Progeny of Swamyambhuv Manu 536
IV. Genealogies of Sages 538
V. A. Genealogies of Kauravas and Pandavas 544
V. B. Amsa and origin of heroes and other persons
participated in the Mahabharata war
V. C. Hundred children of Dhrtatasthra 549
VI. List of main Character of Mahabharata 550
VII. Axioms from the epic 556

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