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The Mahabharata (pronounced Ma-haa-BHAAR-a-ta) is a sweeping epic of Hindu mythology, analogous in both size (over 100,000 verses) and religious significance to the Christian Bible. It tells the story of a war between the Pandavas, the sons of King Pandu, and the Kauravas, the sons of Pandu's older, blind brother, King Dhritarastra. The main event in the text is the appearance of Krishna, the 8th avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu.

The Mahabharatha walks thru all walks of life and is considered to be an encyclopedia of human relations.

The Mahabharata is written in eighteen parvas (chapters or books) which are:

  1. Adiparvan
  2. Sabhaparvan
  3. Aranyakaparvan
  4. Virataparvan
  5. Udyogaparvan
  6. Bhismaparvan
  7. Dronaparvan
  8. Karnaparvan
  9. Sargarohanaparvan
  10. Sauptikaparvan
  11. Striparvan
  12. Santiparvan
  13. Anusasanaparvan
  14. Asvamedhikaparvan
  15. Asramavasikaparvan
  16. Mausalaparvan
  17. Mahaprasthanikaparvan
  18. Svargarohanaparvan

Set in the sixth book of the Mahabharata is the Bhagavad Gita, a well known masterpiece of Hindu thought, wherein Arjuna is advised by Krishna that he must fulfill his duty by participating in a battle, at the risk of losing many friends and relatives in the fighting.

See also: Ramayana - Golden age - millennialism

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