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Mahabharata: An Inquiry in the Human Condition

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Mahabharata: An Inquiry in the Human Condition.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Chaturvedi Badrinath(Author)

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This book is a scholarly treatise on the subject of Indian philosophy and is also written by one of its foremost and most well-known proponents. Chaturvedi Badrinath shows that the Mahabharata is the most systematic inquiry into the human condition. Badrinath shows that the concerns of the Mahabharata are the concerns of everyday life of dharma, artha, kama and moksha. This book dispels several false claims about what is today known as Hinduism to show us how individual liberty and knowledge, freedom, equality, and the celebration of love, friendship and relationships are integral to the philosophy of the Mahabharata, because they are integral to human life. What sets this book apart from others is that Badrinath has used more than 500 Sanskrit shlokas, which he has translated himself to illustrate his arguments. Secondly, his approach to Hindu philosophy is one based in humanism, rather than in divisive politics.

18 chapters about life and living,studied and analysed from several perspectives,approaching problems and questions through the classic questioning and storytelling method of enquiry.This would not work in another writer's hands,but with Chaturvedi Badrinath,you are on safe territory,since it is pretty obvious that he has spent a good part of his lifetime studying the epic. --First City About the Author Chaturvedi Badrinath is a philosopher and was a member of the Indian Administrative Service between 1957 and 1989. Badrinath has been Homi Bhabha Fellow (1971 73) and Visiting Professor at Heidelberg University (1971), where he gave a series of seminars on dharma and its application to our times. His other books include Dharma, India and the World Order: Twenty-one Essays (1993); Introduction to the Kamasutra (1999); Finding Jesus in Dharma: Christianity in India (2000); and Swami Vivekananda: The Living Vedanta (2006).

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Book details

  • PDF | 683 pages
  • Chaturvedi Badrinath(Author)
  • Orient Longman Ltd; 1st edition (July 18, 2007)
  • English
  • 7
  • Religion & Spirituality

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Review Text

  • By G. Arab on May 21, 2017

    Essays, treatises, and literary criticism of Hindu scripture are rare in English but this seems to be changing. Although this collection of essays was written a while ago, it's only now that we've gotten these polished versions.The content is fascinating and if you haven't read the Mahabharata in detail, these essays allow you a look into the parts of the story that don't get the limelight.

  • By Sanjay Agarwal on March 7, 2010

    I picked up this book at a small airport last year, and managed to read some part of it on the flight. I was immediately hooked to the depth of analysis and intelligent manner in which the author had reworked Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. I have since then returned to it again and again, to find new perspectives or to just refresh myself after reading a particularly vicious book.Shri Chaturvedi Badrinath was an officer in Indian Administrative Service, who was transferred to Tamilnadu, in a punishment posting, without any actual work. He refused to give up, and instead started devoting his time to a study of the scriptures. This book is one of the outputs from that study. His punishment, as it turned out, has been a great blessing for the rest of us.Mahabharata is held in great regard across India and is required scriptural reading for Hindus. It is still widely read in Bengal, though in Northern parts of India, people do not even buy this, as it is considered inauspicious. This belief, which possibly has no sound basis, has resulted in an inestimable loss of cultural understanding among Hindus. However, Mahabharata's popularity has been somewhat revived by the TV serial of the same name, which rekindled interest. Personally, I have found it to be a most valuable source of information and understanding about our culture and traditions. And of course, Shrimad Bhagwad Gita is placed squarely in the middle of Mahabharata. So if you want to understand the Lord's words in Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, you need to understand the context of Mahabharata.The original Mahabharata is a huge work, consisting of 100,000 stanzas. It is difficult to read it in any kind of continuity. I started reading the Sanskrit-Hindi translation published by Gita Press ([...]), which runs into six volumes, several years ago. With lots of stops and starts, I am just about halfway through! Therefore, this kind of a book is quite useful in helping you understand some of the more complex issues dealt in Mahabharata.Mahabharata has eighteen parvas (sections). This book is also divided into eighteen chapters, possibly coincidentally. Each of the chapters deals with one particular aspect of human life: dharma, Ahimsa, death, pleasure and pain, Kama, fate, etc. In each chapter, he tries to present the various views contained within Mahabharata, and also his analysis or understanding of the issue. This creates a most interesting weave of tradition and modern thinking. He has also quoted directly from Mahabharata, giving the shlokas in Devanagari, as also their literal translation in English. I also found Shri Badrinath's analysis to be quite sophisticated, relevant and full of wisdom. His attitude to Mahabharata is obviously very positive, which is largely in keeping with Indian tradition of avoiding ninda (criticism).This is a fairly large book, about six hundred pages of text, in addition to an index and concordance. The hardcover edition is bound very well, in signature binding and rounded spine. The line spacing is quite nice, and the font is not a strain on the eyes. The paperback edition is simply the hardcover edition, without the signature binding. It may be mentioned that there are two versions of Mahabharata: the Southern and the Northern. Sh. Badrinath has used both, but has ultimately reworked the references to synchronize with the Gita Press edition, which combines both the versions.Buy this book if you are intrigued by Indian culture and want to understand some of the more complex philosophical and cultural issues. If you are an Indian, then of course, this book will be invaluable for you to develop a modern appreciation of Indian traditions and wisdom. Also perfect for a gift to a colleague or a college-going son or daughter.


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