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Mahabharata - 1- Shalya Parva

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Sanskrit text of Ved Vyass

Mahbhrat
(9. Shalya Parva)
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MAHABHARATA : AN INTRODUCTION

Mahabharat, which literally means the great story of Bharat dynasty is part of the
Hindu Itihs, i.e. that which happened. It is an extraordinary story of sibling rivalry,
diplomatic maneuvering and shifting of human values culminating in a direct confrontation
on the battlefield of Kurukshetra between five sons of King Pandu (Pandavas) and hundred
sons of King Dhritarastra (Kauravas). It's a tale of tragic war which pitted brothers against
brothers, sons against fathers and students against teachers. Exceptional characters, in-
depth and complex set of interwoven relationships and dramatization on a grand scale
makes this epic a memorable one. It's also a saga which marks the end of an era (dvapar
Yuga) wherein characters lived up to morals, values and principles to the beginning of an
era (Kali Yuga), wherein selfishness, deceit and immorality rules the reins.
Besides compelling drama and riveting plot, Mahabharata is unique in many ways.
Larger than life characters including that of Lord Krishna, considered as an incarnation of
Lord Vishnu; Bhisma - great grandfather of principle warriors, who pledged to serve the
kingdom of Hastinapur and ended up being a silent witness of its fall; Arjuna - unparalleled
archer of that time, who laid down his arms at the beginning of the war; Karna - son of
Kunti who ended up on the enemy camp due to misfortune; Yudhisthir - an icon of truth
who was compelled to lie to win over the battle; Duryodhan - son of blind king whose
unending ambitions became the root cause of trouble; Dronacharya - accomplished teacher
of that time, who was forced to fight against his favorite student Arjuna...all make this epic
spectacular and fascinating.
Every single incident of Mahabharata is full of twists and turns - whether be it the
game of dice between brothers or be it the 13 years exile of Pandavas in the forest with a
condition of anonymity for the last year, or be it a mysterious fire in the house of wax and
Pandava's miraculous escape thereof or be it the laying down of arms by dishearten Arjuna
in the battlefield, which resulted in delivery of the message of Bhagavad-Gita (song of the
supreme) by Lord Krishna or be it the deftness of Krishna in navigating Pandavas to victory
and beyond. In a way, Ramayana and Mahabharata form the very basis of cultural
consciousness that symbolize Hinduism. It's not a surprise that Mahabharata has attracted
tremendous interest among literates and common man alike of India or East Asia but
pundits and philosophers all over the world.
A timeless creation of Sage Ved Vyasa (who himself is one of the character of this
epic) and one of the longest poem of all times, Mahabharata is divided into eighteen books
or chapters (called Parvas) namely 01. Adi Parva; 02. Sabha Parva; 03. Aranyak Parva or
Van Parva; 04. Virat Parva; 05. Udyog Parva; 06. Bhishma Parva; 07. Drona Parva; 08.
Karna Parva; 09. Shalya Parva; 10. Sauptika Parva; 11. Stri Parva; 12. Shanti Parva; 13.
Anushashana Parva; 14. Ashwamegha Parva; 15. Ashramvasik Parva; 16. Musala Parva; 17.
Mahaprasthanika Parva and 18. Swargarohan Parva.
It is interesting to note that Bhagavad-Gita, most sacred text of Hindus having great
philosophical impact, is part of Mahabharata (Bhishma Parva). Similarly, Vishnu
Sahasranama, the most famous hymn of Lord Vishnu containing thousand names of the
Supreme is part of Anusashana Parva. Other principal stories that are part of Mahabharata
includes the life and works of Lord Krishna (Krishnavatar) woven throughout various
chapters of Mahabharata, the love story of Nala and Damayanti as well as an abbreviated
Ramayana in Aranyak Parva.
Here, you will find the Sanskrit text of Shalya Parva, 9th chapter of Mahabharata. To
read principal stories of Mahabharata in Gujarati, please visit www.swargarohan.org, where
you will also find exclusive reference on Characters of Mahabharata [Glossary section].

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