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A new selection from the national epic of India
Originally composed in Sanskrit sometime between 400 BC and 400 AD, The Mahabharata
-with one hundred thousand stanzas of verse-is one of the longest poems in existence. At the heart of the saga is a conflict between two branches of a royal family whose feud culminates in a titanic eighteen-day battle. Exploring such timeless subjects as dharma
(purpose), and kama
(pleasure) in a mythic world of warfare, magic, and beauty, this is a magnificent and legendary Hindu text of immense importance to the culture of the Indian subcontinent.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
J. D. Smith spent nine years as a lecturer in Sanskrit at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies before moving to Cambridge University, where he is an emeritus reader of Sanskrit.