- Publisher: Auromere (June 1, 1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0897449290
- ISBN-13: 978-0897449298
- Package Dimensions: 7 x 4.6 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,521,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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-captures main elements
-significant personal bias
-poorly put together book, mechanically speaking
I would say this is a good book for those who would like to know the story of the Mahabharata without reading an extensive translation. While all of us having read an abridged version one way or another, this version is the shortest I've found that is at an adult reading level. Despite grammar/spelling errors, the author's method of story telling is good enough for anyone interested in the story.
The main downside to this translation is that the author includes his own opinion repeatedly on the lessons and philosophy that are inherent in the story.
Two minor irritations with this particular translation were
-the publisher did a very poor job of organizing the pages- I found a 40-pg section of literature trans-located a 1/4 of the way further into the book.
-this translation retails in India for only 1USD or perhaps as low as several cents. While the cost of freight from that location may be taken into account with the pricetag on amazon and other retailers, my purchasing experience in India leads me to believe this is a significantly overpriced product.
The translation is definitely not a great work of literature in its own right. However, the Mahabharata assuredly is; and Rajagopalachari's translation, though strange, does not dampen its impact as much as one might expect. He does manage to get across to the reader its essentials and, as others have said, its humor and poignancy. Be forewarned that the battle scenes at Kurukshetra do suffer somewhat. Though Rajagopalachari says he will not skip over the battle, long as it is, it seems he can't help himself; the fighting is described, but only factually, and in a very condensed style. That which must have taken hours on the battlefield is often compressed into a few sentences, and the narrative continuously jumps from scene to scene. In short, there is little sense of being present in the midst of the death and destruction. In addition, Rajagopalachari's editorializing is interesting but does make the chapters seem a bit like school lessons at times. This, however, should be no surprise, considering that this Mahabharata was the first publication of Bhavan's Book University.
When all is said and done, this is not a perfect translation, but it is eminently serviceable and has a charm all its own. I might suggest picking up both this and another translation, as the Mahabharata is so rich and detailed (and long!) that what one version lacks another stands a good chance of having.
Most recent customer reviews
Thats what repeatedly comes to mind, these famous words of Gandhi, when you read this epic, so ably translated by...Read more