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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly wonderful
This is probably the best abridged telling of the great original story. This book is truly marvellous. The novel style of the book makes it a very good read. I have read many english versions of the Mahabharat, but none come close to this masterpiece. Krishna Dharma tells the Mahabharat story as a simple chronological order of events filled with detailed descriptions and...
Published on 18 Aug 2006 by Vijay Harsiyani

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars good but content lost in translation
this is a good introduction but having read the original untranslated version I would say that alot of the depth and meaning is lost.
Published 19 months ago by Ameet


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly wonderful, 18 Aug 2006
This is probably the best abridged telling of the great original story. This book is truly marvellous. The novel style of the book makes it a very good read. I have read many english versions of the Mahabharat, but none come close to this masterpiece. Krishna Dharma tells the Mahabharat story as a simple chronological order of events filled with detailed descriptions and explainations on why certain events take place. I have yet to read any other book that does this with with such a simple and fantastic storytelling style that Dharma has. He should be proud of his work as I have no doubt this book would have introduced many new readers to the wonder of the Mahabharat.

The book "Who is who in the mahabharat" by Subash Mazumder, pub. Bhartiya vidya bhavan, accompanies this book well.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A manual of life, 24 Aug 2002
By A Customer
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I was 9 or 10 years old when I watched the TV serialisation of The Mahabharata on the BBC. I remember being captivated by the mystique of the story, the amazingly diverse and interesting characters and the action and drama that occured throughout the epic. Saturday's were a day to look forward in my house.
Now I'm in my early 20's and I still think back to the wise teachings that are present throughout the story of Mahabharata.
This particular book is an extensive and accurate portrayal of the Mahabharata legend and is clear and concise in it's presentation of the events and themes of the story.
The author has done an extremely commendable job of keeping to the facts, thus not offending the Hindu community, but also adding his own style of rich narrative which gives the book a feel of a blockbuster novel. The size of the novel is no obstacle because the story moves along at such a pace, I found myself finishing the book in two days.
Overall, this is one of the best books I have read in many years. It brings memories flooding back of that classic TV serial which I enjoyed so much in my childhood.
Well done Mr Krishma Dharma.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the author, 23 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Mahabharata, a part of the ancient Vedas of India, is a story quite unlike anything else. There are few books which have survived as long as this five thousand year old epic. Its enduring popularity is itself testimony to the profound wisdom contained in its pages. In fact it includes the Bhagavad-gita - a masterpiece of spiritual knowledge revered by millions worldwide - and is the narration of the factual events which surrounded the speaking of that illuminating text.
Mahabharata thus deals with the activities of Krishna, the supreme person and author of the Bhagavad-gita. This gives it a unique quality. Because of Krishna's presence, and the presence of many of his pure followers, one feels uplifted by reading the book. It soothes its readers on a deep spiritual level, bringing them closer to an understanding of the divine, and awakening a transcendental joy that surpasses all other happiness. Although from the external point of view it is a tale of conflict and intrigue among kings, demons, gods and sages, there is a deeper spiritual meaning which pervades the whole work. One can thus go on reading it again and again without it becoming stale or boring. On the contrary, one discovers different layers of meaning with each reading. Mahabharata is a book to be treasured and passed on from generation to generation.
As the writer I have simply tried to make the work easily accessible. Until now there has not been as complete a summary as mine, written in the style of a modern novel. I have remained faithful to the original, often presenting the dialogue exactly as it appeared in the Sanskrit manuscripts, but I have endeavoured to bring the text to life by the techniques of dramatisation and characterisation. I studied several translations, and cross referenced other Vedic texts for verification of detail where possible. I myself am a priest trained in the Vaishnava tradition, followers of Vishnu or Krishna, and Mahabharata is a Vaishnava text. My book is perhaps the first time that Mahabharata has been presented in English from the perspective of its original author, the sage Vyasadeva. It is suitable for a wide range of readers, from those coming new to the work, to those wishing to study it for academic purposes.
I hope you find it enjoyable. I am constantly endeavouring to improve the book, and am open to any suggestions or feedback from my readers. Those unfamiliar with Sanskrit terms (i.e. most of us) may initially find some of the names a little difficult, but do perservere, you will soon master them and when you do you will be richly rewarded by reading Mahabharata. It is without doubt the greatest spiritual epic of all time, at least in my humble opinion.
Krishna Dharma
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5.0 out of 5 stars From the author, 23 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Mahabharata, a part of the ancient Vedas of India, is a story quite unlike anything else. There are few books which have survived as long as this five thousand year old epic. Its enduring popularity is itself testimony to the profound wisdom contained in its pages. In fact it includes the Bhagavad-gita - a masterpiece of spiritual knowledge revered by millions worldwide - and is the narration of the factual events which surrounded the speaking of that illuminating text.
Mahabharata thus deals with the activities of Krishna, the supreme person and author of the Bhagavad-gita. This gives it a unique quality. Because of Krishna's presence, and the presence of many of his pure followers, one feels uplifted by reading the book. It soothes its readers on a deep spiritual level, bringing them closer to an understanding of the divine, and awakening a transcendental joy that surpasses all other happiness. Although from the external point of view it is a tale of conflict and intrigue among kings, demons, gods and sages, there is a deeper spiritual meaning which pervades the whole work. One can thus go on reading it again and again without it becoming stale or boring. On the contrary, one discovers different layers of meaning with each reading. Mahabharata is a book to be treasured and passed on from generation to generation.
As the writer I have simply tried to make the work easily accessible. Until now there has not been as complete a summary as mine, written in the style of a modern novel. I have remained faithful to the original, often presenting the dialogue exactly as it appeared in the Sanskrit manuscripts, but I have endeavoured to bring the text to life by the techniques of dramatisation and characterisation. I studied several translations, and cross referenced other Vedic texts for verification of detail where possible. I myself am a priest trained in the Vaishnava tradition, followers of Vishnu or Krishna, and Mahabharata is a Vaishnava text. My book is perhaps the first time that Mahabharata has been presented in English from the perspective of its original author, the sage Vyasadeva. It is suitable for a wide range of readers, from those coming new to the work, to those wishing to study it for academic purposes.
I hope you find it enjoyable. I am constantly endeavouring to improve the book, and am open to any suggestions or feedback from my readers. Those unfamiliar with Sanskrit terms (i.e. most of us) may initially find some of the names a little difficult, but do perservere, you will soon master them and when you do you will be richly rewarded by reading Mahabharata. It is without doubt the greatest spiritual epic of all time, at least in my humble opinion.
Krishna Dharma
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 2 Jan 2010
By 
This is an absoultely brilliant book. As soon as you pick it up you are drawn into the story. In such a vast story it gives just the right amount of detail, so that the reader can understand and follow the the significance and subtlety of the events that occur without being bogged down by detail. I would recommend that everybody reads this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - a very good read, 7 Jun 2008
By 
I.G (London, England) - See all my reviews
Although this is an abridged version it is still a long book at over 900 pages. However I managed to read it in under a week simply because it was so compelling. The imagery and characters are very well conveyed and the moral and spiritual discussions are profound and interesting rather than preachy or cliched.
The story culminates in a great battle and it is a tribute to the skill with which this translation/adaptation has been made how affecting the death of even unpleasant or evil characters, although we already know they are going to happpen. This is a well structured book, with individual episodes and adventure fitting in to the overarching narrative smoothly.
I felt an introduction giving some sort of discussion or analysis of the mahabharata would have been nice but there is a decent glossary giving explanations of the untranslated words used in the text. This was useful for anyone (such as me) unfamiliar with then Indian tradition, but unintrusive so you can skip it if you want to.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Hindu priest Authors an Epic, 15 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Sacred text of Hinduism gets blockbuster treatment
By James Meek
LONDON: Salman Rushdie was threatened with murder for it. William Tyndale was strangled and burned for it. Altering,challenging or even translating sacred texts can be dangerous. But a British Hindu priest expects only praise, high sales and converts from an epic effort of literary digestion launched next week: the 100,000-verse Mahabharata, turned by him into a 1,000-page blockbuster novel.
The novelization of one of Hinduism's holiest texts by the Manchester-based priest, Krishna Dharma - once Ken Anderson, a merchant navy officer - is already on sale in the US, where it has sold more than 5,000 copies.
"I suppose I didn't expect it to be so successful. It's unique, in the sense that there aren't any other English versions like it," said Dharma.
The Mahabharata, which contains the core text of Hinduism, the Bhagavad-gita, has been rendered in English before. But previous attempts have been immense verse-for-verse translations by Sanskrit scholars, or slim, super-abridged paperbacks.
"I want it to become the definitive English version," said Dharma. "I'm pretty confident it will. There's nothing around to compete."
Like the Holy Quran and the Bible, the Mahabharata is believed by Hindus to be largely the work of God (or gods, as some Hindus consider).
Five thousand years ago, the half-divine visionary Vyasadeva is said to have dictated the verses to the elephant-headed being Ganesh. The book's divine origins have not stopped the hard sell. Under the title, the bookjacket proclaims "The Greatest Spiritual Epic of All Time".
The cover illustration shows the saintly Queen Draupadi, lost by her husband in a dice game, being stripped of her garments by an evil prince as leering aristos look on and the god Krishna unreels heavenly robes to cover her virtue. With its intense love scenes,jewelled palaces, vast battles, superheroes, magical weapons and warring families, the novelised version resembles a 20th century saga-cum-soap opera, a marriage of Barbara Taylor Bradford and Arthur Hailey. It has, after all, already been turned into a TV soap, broadcast earlier in the decade on the BBC.
"Ambika peered curiously into the mirror as her maidservants finished adorning her in preparation for the nuptial bed," the book begins. "She had lost none of her beauty despite her months of mourning. Her skin was flawless and as white as milk."
Dharma said: "All I wanted to do was present the original as exactly as I could. I'm not embellishing or interpolating. I'm not adding any of my own ideas.
"There is a message in the original, a profound and sublime message, and I've tried to convey that. It shows the conflict between two sides and its outcome, what happens to those who choose to take shelter and surrender to the Lord and what happens to the others."
Although the advance publicity for the book, published by the US firm Torchlight, promotes the Mahabharata's "timeless message of spiritual enlightenment," and its usefulness for "peace and relaxation", the epic is remarkably gory, with killings, amputations, banter about weapons, and bloody mayhem on almost every page.
In the Bhagavad-gita, the god Krishna urges a hero to overcome his qualms about slaughtering his old friends and relatives in an enemy army because it is his moral duty to correct the error of their ways by killing them and because they will be reincarnated anyway.
Dharma admits there is a lot of war in the Mahabharata.
He said the Nazis, fascinated by Hindu mythology, perverted the epic's message to justify their killing.
"It's a story of conflict, no doubt about it. But even the war is fought in a different way: not, as we have now, a wholesale slaughter of the innocents. In those days it was always fought between warrior classes only. Ordinary people were not involved."
Dharma, who was ordained as a Hindu priest in the monotheistic Vaishnava tradition in 1979, runs a Hindu studies centre and a free kitchen for the homeless in Manchester.
The book is to be launched on Sunday to coincide with the annual Krishna festival parade through London, Rathayatra, which proceeds from Marble Arch to Trafalgar Square.-Observer News Service (c) London Observer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 7 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This is probably the best abridged tellingof the great original story. This book is truly marvellous. The novel style of the book makes it a very good read. I have read many english versions of the Mahabharat, but none come close to this masterpiece. The book "Who is who in the mahabharat" by Subash Mazumder, pub. Bhartiya vidya bhavan, accompanies this book well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute BEST Version on the Market!, 10 May 2014
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This review is from: Mahabharata: The Greatest Spiritual Epic of All Time (Kindle Edition)
I have read many versions of the Mahabharata in my time, however this is undoubtedly THE most accurate, gripping and entertaining version I have ever read.

I have actually read this version 5 times! No lie! The extended version, not the condensed one, although I am sure thats great too!

If you are currently trying to decide which copy of this great epic to go for, without a doubt, this is the one to read! You will not regret it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mahabharata as retold by Krishna Dhama, 12 April 2014
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This review is from: Mahabharata: The Greatest Spiritual Epic of All Time (Kindle Edition)
Captivating story lines, easyflow story development and rich in moral issues. Knowledge and wisdom are contrasted with immorality and greed. The story unfolds easily and the event - chains link into one another effortlessly. The English medium, however, lacks in naturalness and robustness. Otherwise, the story of MBA comes to life in Dharma's retelling of the story which contrasts Knowledge and Wisdom with Cruelty and Possessiveness Many thanks to Krishna Dhama.
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