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Mahabharata: Relevance and Application in Contemporary Thought

Mahabharata: Relevance and Application in Contemporary Thought

by   Bharat Thakker (Author)  
by   Bharat Thakker (Author)   (show less)
4.8 Ratings & 5 Reviews
Sold By:   Garuda Prakashan

Short Descriptions

Thought provoking book that explores the Mahabharata and draws guidance on issues relevant to our lives:

 Kula, Sanskar and Parampara – one generation to the next.

 Choosing a life partner for yourself or your child?

 Mother-in-laws do not do what was done to you!

 Promises and vows—when in conflict with our obligations and duty?

 OK to pursue emotional needs and material desires?

 Sacrifice, charity, penance—their relevance?

 Heaven and Hell: Are they real?

 Self-learn the Hindu way of life.

 Validate your beliefs with rationale.

 Use Conviction, not Fear.

 Act based on Conviction to achieve Peace of Mind.

The book captures the principles of intellectual property, contracts, pre-nuptial agreements, divorce, succession laws, etc.

More Information

ISBN 13 9798885750554
Book Language English
Binding Paperback
Publishing Year 2023
Total Pages 400
Publishers Garuda Prakashan  
Category Civilisational   Commentary   Culture   Holi Offer  
Weight 350.00 g
Dimension 13.90 x 21.60 x 2.40

Customer Rating

4.8 Star

4.8 Ratings & 5 Reviews
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Fresh n up

Bharat taste of pudding lies in reading.Concised in practical solutions to beat the worldly heat is an honest approach chapter wise fresh n up suffering multitude.Truth is one has to quit this body.Rest is management until departure.You find book worth it for seekers to live.Reading the book enlivens you to rereading ending up as Hansa seprating water from milk. Eye opener for self life styled deseased one to all to fork fortune living. 'A journey back to Krishna " "Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etanm te Tarantino te".Cross over the ensconced with Bharat's book in hand "Krishna matir astu".Wish readers best of luck.
Review by - Mahesh Sharma, April 16, 2023


Bharat beautifully pragmatically you have left scholars stunned with intelect delving in for chapter wise solution.You have created short chapter ending for meaningful living and purposeful life to short out each day problem. I am of the opinion that taste of the pudding is in reading.Only then a hapless educated multitude will apply your solutions grounded with techniques for self and contextually. Bharat your master piece work leaves one for rereading and mill out conclusions for self. Satisfying endeavor. Great success.
Review by - Mahesh Pandit Sharma, April 16, 2023

Interesting and exploring

Introduction: Connecting Ancient Epics with Today’s World The allure of epic tales lies in their enduring relevance across changing times and generations. Bharat Thakker’s thought-provoking work, “Mahabharata: Relevance and Application in Contemporary Thought,” delves into the timeless resonance of the epic Mahabharata, shedding light on its significance in the modern world. Thakker’s book bridges the gap between the past and the present and offers a fresh perspective on the epic’s characters, themes, and teachings. Delving into the profound teachings of the Mahabharata, this thought-provoking book offers insightful guidance on various issues pertinent to our lives. From the intricacies of generational traditions (Kula, Sanskar, and Parampara) to the complex decisions surrounding choosing life partners and navigating familial relationships, the book addresses these dilemmas through the lens of timeless wisdom. It explores the nuances of promises and vows, the pursuit of emotional needs and material desires, and the significance of concepts like sacrifice, charity, and penance. While contemplating the notions of heaven and hell, the book encourages readers to self-learn the Hindu way of life and to substantiate their beliefs with rationale rather than succumbing to fear. Furthermore, it advocates for acting with conviction, leading to a profound sense of peace. Notably, the book extends its exploration beyond philosophical insights, capturing the practical application of principles in contemporary contexts such as intellectual property, contracts, pre-nuptial agreements, divorce, and succession laws. A Strong Foundation for a Timeless Epic Thakker, a seasoned businessperson and author, skillfully weaves together the strands of the Mahabharata, intertwining its profound concepts with the complexities of today’s society. His objective is clear: to provide a comprehensive guide to dharma and other pivotal concepts, making them accessible and applicable in our current lives. A Thoughtful Structure for Deeper Understanding Thakker’s book is structured meticulously, ensuring a seamless journey for the reader. He starts by laying the groundwork, elucidating fundamental concepts such as dharma and karma, and offering insights into the Hindu way of life. Introducing key characters serves as a gateway to the heart of the epic, where Thakker masterfully explores its core themes. Narrative Technique: Bridging Past and Present The author’s narrative technique is a highlight of the book. Thakker skillfully transports readers into the historical context of the Mahabharata, gradually drawing parallels to contemporary events. This storytelling approach not only enhances engagement but also showcases the enduring relevance of the epic, both within Indian society and on a global scale. The book delves into diverse themes, including societal dynamics, women’s empowerment, equality, modernity, and the intricate web of human roles. Unveiling Universal Themes Thakker masterfully unveils the universal themes woven into the fabric of the Mahabharata. From the intricate complexities of human nature to the profound questions that shape our existence, the book encourages readers to contemplate life’s larger tapestry. By skillfully interweaving the narrative with today’s realities, the author underscores the ongoing relevance of the epic’s psychological insights in the modern world. Advertisements REPORT THIS AD Challenges and Controversies While “Mahabharata: Relevance and Application in Contemporary Thought” is a commendable exploration, it is not immune to criticism. Noted writer Anand Neelakantan argues that these age-old stories are often retold and reinterpreted in each era. Thakker’s portrayal of characters, such as casting Duryodhana in a heroic light and presenting Krishna as manipulative, sparks a departure from conventional interpretations. Additionally, some parallels drawn between the Mahabharata’s dharma yuddh and Jihad have sparked controversy. Refreshing the Memory, Fueling Curiosity Thakker’s approach to retelling the epic’s narrative is a distinctive feature of the book. By revisiting the story’s sequence, readers have a refreshed understanding of events, allowing for a deeper connection with the narrative. This technique maintains reader engagement and transforms the book into a captivating retelling rather than a mere commentary. Final Thoughts: A Journey into Wisdom “Mahabharata: Relevance and Application in Contemporary Thought” by Bharat Thakker is commendable for those seeking profound insights into life’s intricacies. Thakker’s blend of personal experience and diligent research crafts a narrative that encourages readers to explore the depths of human existence with an open mind. While controversies may arise from specific interpretations, the book undeniably offers a fresh lens through which to view the ancient epic. Whether one is a fervent admirer of Indian philosophy or a curious seeker of wisdom, Thakker’s work serves as an enriching companion on the journey of self-discovery.
Review by - Swapna Peri , August 10, 2023

A thought provoking read from an insightful author!

A thought provoking read from an insightful author! Having watched the TV series as a child, this book brought back some wonderful childhood memories and also piqued my interest in the lessons that the epic may have intended to convey through the robust medium of storytelling. The author does a fantastic job of distilling some of the more complex constructs of the epic into relatable ideas and applications to our current lives. What I love about this book is that the reader does not need to be familiar with the Mahabharata, the author sets the context at the start of every chapter before providing his interpretation. And for those that are familiar with the epic, this is an opportunity to see the epic in a new light and with a renewed perspective.
Review by - P. Patel, August 16, 2023

Mahabharata: Relevance & Application in Contemporary Thought

Every Indian should read this book. The Mahabharata is not just a stunning part of India's history, it also plays a huge role in guiding us on how to make decisions in every-day life. This book does a remarkable job in showcasing the relevance of the Mahabharata in today's world. Must-Read!
Review by - Lakshman , February 28, 2024
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Product Details


Intent of this Book



Chapter 1

Introduction to the MAHABHARATA

Chapter 2

Hindu Way of Life, Modern Religion and Rituals

Chapter 3

Gods and the Hindu Way of Life

Chapter 4

Dharma and the Hindu Way of Life

Chapter 5

Hinduism and the Caste System

Chapter 6

Mahabharata and the Bhagwad Gita

Chapter 7

The Mahabharata’s Unique Construct and Characters


Mahabharata: The Great Epic

Chapter 1

Early History of the Kuru Dynasty

Chapter 2

King Shantanu’s Marriage and Bhishma’s Birth

Chapter 3

King Shantanu Marries Satyawati

Chapter 4

Succession Vacuum in Hastinapur

Chapter 5

Ved Vyas Invited to Perform Niyoga

Chapter 6

Young Princes Grow up

Chapter 7

Marriage of Dhritarashtra

Chapter 8

Pandu Crowned King Marries Kunti and Madri

Chapter 9

Pandu along with his Wives Goes into Exile

Chapter 10

Dhritarashtra, the Blind King and his 100 Sons

Chapter 11

Kunti Returns with the Five Pandava Sons

Chapter 12

The Young Princes Growing Up

Chapter 13

Dronacharya, the Royal Tutor

Chapter 14

Karna Seeks out Parashuram as his Guru

Chapter 15

Passing Out Parade and Entry of Karna

Chapter 16

Dronacharya Seeks Dhrupad’s Humiliation

Chapter 17

Outcomes from the Passing Out Parade

Chapter 18

Power Struggle and the Assassination Attempt

Chapter 19

Pandavas Escape and Bhima Marries Hidimbi

Chapter 20

The Killing of Bakasura

Chapter 21

The Stage is Set for King Drupad’s Revenge

Chapter 22

Draupadi’s Swayamwar

Chapter 23

Arjun Wins at the Swayamwar

Chapter 24

Pandavas take Draupadi Home to Meet Kunti

Chapter 25

Draupadi Marries the Five Pandavas

Chapter 26

Pandavas Return to Hastinapur

Chapter 27

The Great Partition

Chapter 28

Pandavas Take Charge of Khandavprastha

Chapter 29

Mayasura and the Building of the Capital – Indraprastha

Chapter 30

Life in Indraprastha – the Tragedy Begins

Chapter 31

Arjun’s Year of Celibate Exile

Chapter 32

Arjun Returns to Indraprastha with Wife Subhadra

Chapter 33

Krishna Returns to Exert His Influence over the Pandavas

Chapter 34

The Assassination of Jarasandha

Chapter 35

Rajsuya Yagna and the Seeds of Discord

Chapter 36

Honouring of Krishna and Assassination of Sisupala

Chapter 37

Emperor Yudhisthir and Duryodhana’s Humiliation

Chapter 38

Shakuni and His Plan

Chapter 39

The Game of Dice

Chapter 40

The Exile

Chapter 41

Abduction of Draupadi

Chapter 42

Arjun Rescues Duryodhana

Chapter 43

Pandavas brought Back to Life

Chapter 44

Pandavas and their Final Year of Exile in Disguise

Chapter 45

Kichaka and Bhima and the Fight to Finish

Chapter 46

Kauravas Wage War on Virata

Chapter 47

Kauravas: A Divided Camp

Chapter 48

The Claim for Return of Kingdom

Chapter 49

Krishna Arrives at Hastinapur as a Pandava Emissary

Chapter 50

Krishna Presents the Pandava Claim

Chapter 51

The Preparation for War

Chapter 52

Kunti meets Karna

Chapter 53

The Conduct for War

Chapter 54

Ved Vyas Grants Sanjay Distance Vision

Chapter 55

Final Act before the Start of the Battle

Chapter 56

The Great War

Chapter 57

Pandavas Discover their Relationship with Karna

Chapter 58

Pandavas Return to Hastinapur

Chapter 59

Yudhisthir is Now King

Chapter 60

Dhritarashtra Leaves Hastinapur

Chapter 61

The Curse of Gandhari Takes Effect

Chapter 62

Parikshit is the New King of Hastinapur

Chapter 63

The Pandavas’ Last Journey

Chapter 64

Rewards and Punishment versus Heaven and Hell

Chapter 65

The Concept of Second Chance

Chapter 66

MahabharataStudy of Relationships

Chapter 67

PandavasWere They Five or One

Chapter 68

Spousal Relationship in the Mahabharata

Chapter 69

A Look at the Life Stories of the Departed Souls

Chapter 70

Friendship in the Mahabharata

Chapter 71

Yudhisthir Moment in our Lives

Chapter 72

Relationships and Hurt in the Mahabharata

Chapter 73

Bhima – The Ideal Husband

Chapter 74

Krishna in the Mahabharata

Chapter 75

The Objectives of Our Epics – A Perspective

About the Author



Chapter 1

Introduction to the MAHABHARATA

Krishna Dvaipayana, also known as Ved Vyas, composed the Mahabharata about 5,000 years ago in verses. Often referred to as the fifth Veda, it is recited either as a poem or played on the stage. Vedas are the oldest scriptures that deal with the Sanatan way of life. The story revolves around two groups of cousins of a royal household, involved in a bitter dispute of succession. Scholars date the Mahabharata to about 3,200 BCE.

The Epic is based around a pan-India settlement, focusing on the so-called Indo-Aryans, their culture and society. It details how kings govern their subjects and how they influence culture. It acknowledges the diversity of race, colour and cultures and their inter-action with other communities, often referred to as serpents or nagas, demons or rakshas or as vanars.

Every event in the Epic comes with a comprehensive background. The characterization is detailed, often originating in a past life. The story of an individual may begin from his previous birth and may end upon this death or may continue even beyond. Some episodes involve many characters in a single event, adding to its complexity, together with a narrative of their pain, love, suffering and attachment. It unravels their financial conditions, upbringing and social background and how these influence their behaviour.

The purpose of the Epic is to help us follow the rules of Dharma, a set of moral and social laws by which a person is bound. The author wrote the Mahabharata to bring out the significance of the Vedas, necessitating their dramatization, projecting larger-than-life characters, to convey its wisdom in the form of plays or folklore.

The Epic aimed to educate even those who could not study the Vedas, basing Dharma on examples. This has helped sustain interest in the Mahabharata until the present day. The authors dramatized the core message with the sudden materialization of a god or a celestial being. The divine intervention facilitated the move between acts.

Characters may have a divine or an undivine aura to help convey the teachings of the Vedas and of Dharma. Together they create a single reference book of what is right or wrong in the individual context and situation. Good guys are not always good, nor are the bad guys always bad. This is often perplexing as it introduces us to grey shades.

In the Indic Way of Life, we do not judge an individual; we judge his actions, because he is not always regarded as evil. His actions may be right or wrong, depending on several factors. The authors of the Mahabharata have conveyed this reality through several episodes. They have described the motivations and the circumstances of characters which predispose them to act in certain ways, through which they explain the concept of Dharma.

The Epic initially comprised 8,400 verses, but expanded to 100,000 verses, resulting from later additions. Many individuals memorized the epic down the ages, adding their own interpretations of events and episodes, which helped reinforce or elaborate its central theme to connect with the listener/reader. These nuances also reflect the social customs, culture and folklore specific to a region. These also represent the prevailing views of society when the additions were made during successive phases ever since the Epic was first composed centuries ago. Although several versions exist, the basic story remained unchanged.

There are several versions of the Mahabharata. One version does not include the Bhagwad Gita. Bards carried these versions orally over many centuries, but now they are available in written form. The Pune-based Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute undertook an examination of the different versions and published a unified narrative, known as the critical edition. Their study showed that reciters/enactors added many local nuances to existing versions to help preserve the interest in the Epic. Lately, the Epic has also been appropriated by the entertainment channels. A number of authors have narrated the story in their own style, highlighting certain perspectives to connect with the readers.

The Epic incorporates the Bhagwad Gita comprising some 700 verses, rich in meaning and content with multiple layers. The discourses of thinkers and preachers have mesmerised listeners. Fathom then the power that must be there in the 100,000 verses that make up the entire Mahabharata.