The Mahabharata is among the two great epics from India.
Written by Vyasa, the story is about the feud between two royal families: The Pandavas and the Kauravas.
To date, the stories have been translated into hundreds of languages and have inspired films, television series, animations and cartoons.
But why should the modern world read the epic?
Part of Indian History
Did you know that Maha translates to "great" and Bharata is referring to "India"? To many Indians, the great Indian epic is part of the nation's rich history. While many would argue the veracity of events and debate if the stories were based on true incidents or myth, one thing is clear: The epic was among the first to reveal the socio-politics of ancient India.
Inspiration for Life
Indian elders often quote stories and incidences from the Mahabharata due to it being rich in moral values. Much of the stories have also inspired great Indian figures such as Mahatma Gandhi who is known to have quoted it a few times. The epic is also known for giving birth to the Bhagavad Gita.
It Deals with Reality
A famous phrase in the book goes, "What will happen in the world is in the Mahabharata and what is not there in this book will never happen". The epic is known for telling the story as it is with characters that are both flawed and perfect. While many are celebrating HBO's "Game of Thrones" for possessing these traits, many don't realise that this had been done 5,000 years ago.
The Horrors of War
In the epic, the two royal families head to war due to political differences and also to vie for the throne of Hastinapura. While the Pandavas succeed in beating their cousins, the Kauravas, the epic also reveals the darker side of humans. Many of the young were killed off in the process, with the Pandavas themselves grieving the fact that they had to kill their own cousins. The epic showcases the realities of war, but it also reveals just how sweet peace can get.
If you're someone who loves great stories, then the Mahabharata should be in your must-read list!
Article Source: The Guardian, The Sampradaya Sun, Wikipedia, Long Long Time Ago
Photo source: India Today, Ancient Origins, Business Insider India, India Facts, Open The Magazine