This is the second book of the Devdutt Pattanaik I have read after Sita: An illustrated retelling of Ramayana. I have already read various retelling of Mahabharata; however, this retelling is totally different from others. So let’s check out what this book offers.
The book starts with author’s note where he has written about how Veda came into existence, how it is forgotten, How Vyasa decided to write ‘the tale of a victory’ means ‘Jaya’ (Mahabharata) He has chosen the characters which he knew. And they were the Kauravas, his own grandchildren. Further author has mentioned how this tale reaches to the people and how as per the time the tale gets developed.
The narration starts when Janamejaya, son of Parikshit is furious as his father died due to the snake bite. He decides to end each and every snake by performing a snake-sacrifice yagna, Sarpa Sattra. The yagna was going on and many of the Nagas become the morsel of this yagna.
At that time, one learned man comes and requests him to stop this yagna. Furious, he asks the reason, and then he told him about the past karma of the Kuru clan, his father which led him to die by the snake bite. He also gives him some insight of his ancestors. Janmejaya wanted to know more so he advised him to meet Vaisampayana, who can narrate this whole tale.
After this, the author has moved to tell the origin of the Kuru clan and Mahabharata through the chapters like birth, education, castaway, marriage, friendship, division, coronation, gambling, exile, hiding, gathering, perspective, war. Finally aftermath, reconstruction, renunciation and the end of the snake sacrifice.
The author has narrated this epic in a very organized manner. With the easy language, the author has maintained a smooth flow of story making you finish this book faster.
This book is not simply the retelling but a treasure of lessons. The author has accumulated various stories which are scattered across the country and given a meaningful essence to the readers. The illustrations are eye-catching making this book more amazing. Another thing is unlike another retelling here he has not given any conclusion or portrayed anyone hero & villain. Read this book, you will get to know the true meaning of Karma, dharma, and adharma. If you want to understand the true meaning of this epic then without any doubt do pick this book.
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Until next time, Keep reading 🙂
Author: Sheetal Maurya
Sheetal Maurya is a full-time blogger. She is a die-hard bookworm and has read more books than she can count. She believes in the art of storytelling and reviews books so that the world can choose the best ones and embark on an adventurous virtual reading journey.