Marvels and Mysteries of the Mahabharata

By Abhijit Basu

In this cauldron of great illusion, with the sun as fire, day-night as fuel; using months and seasons as stirrer, Time is cooking all beings – that is the message. ~Yudhishthira, in the Mahabharata’s Vana-parva 313.118 The Mahabharatha never ceases to fascinate. By far the longest of the world’s epics, it transcends the limitations of genre. History, encyclopaedia, philosophy, scripture, warrior saga, it encapsulates all these in one exalting epic tragedy – underscoring the truth in the ancient adage that the whole knowable world is Vyasa’s leftover. The Great Epic of India encompasses an awesome interplay of human effort and destiny, set against the backdrop of inexorable Time. Marvels and Mysteries, with its lucid and engaging narrative, seeks to unravel some of its enigmas: the characters of Vyasa, Krshna, Yudhishthira, Arjuna, and Draupadi; aspects of the Mahabharatha’s historicity; its medley of interpretations; the stupendous text-critical project to sift its perceived accretions; its inter-relationship with the Ramayana  and other epics; and its universal relevance brought home through a series of trans-cultural comparisons. This is the one book about the Mahabharatha which everyone will love to read and gift.

Abhijit Basu
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ABHIJIT BASU, one-time research scientist and former adminis­trator of government finances, is presently engaged as part-time independent director in the corporate sector. An avowed ad­mirer of the ideal of the Renaissance man, Basu has also been a life-long follower of the liberal arts, especially Sanskrit, English and Bengali literature, and history, apart from his keen interest in the sciences. Of late, Basu has been busy as an author and polymath editor, covering a broad spectrum of topics and ideas. His first book, ‘a collection of critical, scholarly and absorbing essays,’ titled Prophets, Poets and Philosopher-Kings: Sketches on India’s Spiritual & Literary Heritage (Celestial Books 2012), was well received: Versatile scholar Abhijit Basu’s analytical and interdisciplinary research into the eternal and transnational relevance of the overwhelming ancient India, enriched with lucid prose and current bibliography, is invaluable for aspiring researchers and students of literature and cultural studies. (The Tribune, 20 May 2012.) Basu hails from an old Kolkata-based house of civil servants, professionals and academics. He considers himself blessed in having had gentle exemplars as parents, and now an attached family to shower affections upon. Abhijit Basu can be reached at: a_basu5@yahoo.com