Definitions for mahâbhârataməˈhɑˈbɑr ə tə
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Mahabharata, Mahabharatam, Mahabharatum(noun)
(Hinduism) a sacred epic Sanskrit poem of India dealing in many episodes with the struggle between two rival families
A Sanskrit epic concerning some text of Bhagavad Gita plus elaborations on theology and morality.
Origin: From महाभारत.
The Mahabharata or Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana. Besides its epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pandava princes, the Mahabharata contains much philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or purusharthas. Among the principal works and stories that are a part of the Mahabharata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, an abbreviated version of the Ramayana, and the Rishyasringa, often considered as works in their own right. Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahabharata is attributed to Vyasa. There have been many attempts to unravel its historical growth and compositional layers. The oldest preserved parts of the text are not thought to be much older than around 400 BCE, though the origins of the epic probably fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE. The text probably reached its final form by the early Gupta period. The title may be translated as "the great tale of the Bhārata dynasty". According to the Mahabharata itself, the tale is extended from a shorter version of 24,000 verses called simply Bhārata.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
one of the two great epic poems of ancient India, a work of slow growth, extending through ages, and of an essentially encyclopædic character; one of the main sources of our knowledge of the ancient Indian religions and their mythologies; it is said to consist of upwards of 100,000 verses.
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