The Mahabharata is the world's longest epic poem, and has been dubbed "the longest poem ever written." Its largest form has over 100,000 slokas, or over 200,000 individual poem lines (each shloka is a couplet), as well as extensive prose portions. It recounts the great battle between the Pandavs and the Kauravs for the throne of Indraprastha, which ultimately leads to the death of both sets of characters.
As well as being extremely long, the text is also considered sacred by many Hindus. It contains stories from the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita, as well as other topics including yoga, philosophy, and medicine. The work was probably written by an assembly of poets over a long period of time, so some have called it "Hindi's answer to Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid."
It has been praised by many writers and thinkers over the centuries, most notably Michael Madhusudan Dasa in his book Mahabharatam: An Epic Poem That Redefines Love, Loyalty, and Death. He calls it "a perfect blend of poetry, history, and mythology" that is necessary reading for anyone interested in India.
The original events described in the epic most likely occurred during the 9th and 8th century BCE. By the early Gupta period, the text had most likely attained its final form (c. 4th century CE). It is estimated to be about 18,000 lines long.
The story takes place in India. Prince Duryodhanu is crowned king after his father's death. He then plans to kill all his cousins so that he can have sole power. When they are young, their parents marry them off to ensure peace between their families. But when Duryodhanu is about to declare war, his father forbids him, saying that it is wrong to fight among relatives. So instead, the king makes Duryodhanu agree to let each of his children choose one friend to join him on his throne. When Duryodhanu grows up, he ignores his father and goes ahead with his plan. When his brothers and sisters refuse to give in to his will, he kidnaps them all and brings them home to force them to bow down to him. Only Bhima, the strongest of them all, manages to escape. Furious, Duryodhanu vows to destroy his family forever.
Bhima decides not to go back home but instead joins a holy man in a forest where they live for many years learning how to fight.
It is divided into three volumes with a total of 1200 pages. The Mahabharata is said to be the world's longest epic poetry. This timeless epic is said to have been written by the seer Vyasa. It is based on a previous work called the Pandava Parva which means "the portion related to the Pandavas". This other work was not written by Vyasa but instead it is said to have been compiled by his assistant Madhavika Sinhahari after many years of listening to stories from various elders about the deeds of the Pandavas.
The first volume has 100 chapters and it is called "Bharatakanda" (meaning "India before Kurukshetra"). The second volume has 100 chapters and it is called "Kurukshetrakanda" (meaning "India at Kurukshetra"). And the third volume has 300 chapters and it is called "Jagannathakanda" (meaning "India with Jain Scriptures").
Each chapter of the Mahabharata is told in the form of a song or story that goes for several thousand words allowing for much discussion and analysis of moral philosophy as well as religion. The chapters are often lyrical works of their own right that deal with some aspect of life including war, love, politics, religion, etc.
The Ramayana is a fairly long narrative with about 24,000 verses. The Mahabharata is more than twice as long as the Bible, but it is even lengthier. The Mahabharata is the longest epic poem ever written, with 100,000 verses totaling 1.8 million words, four times the length of the Ramayana. It has 18 chapters and is divided into 18 maha (great) books.
It contains many stories within stories, and some sections are hundreds of pages long. It also includes political debates between kings and warriors, and discussions on religion and philosophy. There are battles between good and evil armies, and scenes from daily life in India around 1500 BC.
Both poems deal with the same themes and characters, but they are written in such a way that each one increases tension and doesn't let up until the end when Rama wins out over Ravana. The Ramayana is considered by many to be the greatest Indian poem, while the Mahabharata is seen as the greatest work of Indian literature.
The epics of India, the Mahabharata and Ramayana, are arguably the longest compositions in any language. The Ramayana was composed in the first century AD by the sage Valmiki, while the Mahabharata was written between 540 and 300 BC by the sage Vyasa. This makes them important early works of literature and history.
These two epics have similarities with other works from around the world. They both consist of many chapters, or'sargas', that tell a long story. Also like other epics they both deal with heroes who fight terrible battles for justice and win through courage and strength. Finally, it is believed that some of the poets who wrote these epics were also the authors of the Iliad and the Odyssey which are part of the Trojan War genre.
The Ramayana tells the story of Rama, a prince who becomes king when his father is killed by a demon named Ravana. Rama has to fight against Ravana for the love of his wife Sita. The Mahabharata tells the story of Krishna, an avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu who becomes involved in a battle between good and evil. It ends with the death of both Krishna and Arjuna, his friend and brother. After their deaths, Krishna returns as a spiritual leader who can influence people's hearts through music.