A Chapter by Chapter summary of the great Indian epic, as an aid to finding passages within the original 18 Volumes. Written by Duncan Watson.
Translations by Kisari Mohan Ganguli and Pratap Chandra Roy. The Pratap Chandra Roy version published by Munshiram Monoharlal, New Delhi, India (Post Box 5715, 54 Rani Jhansi Road, New Delhi-55): Third edition, September 1972. Mahabharata was written down by the great sage Krishna Dvaipayana (Vyasa) about 5000 years ago. It records events that occurred at the transition from the Bronze (Dwapara Yuga) to Iron Age (Kali Yuga). It tells of a battle between two great Indian ruling families, brought about through a game of dice, which resulted in great destruction. There are 18 Volumes or Parva's (there are 18 Chapters in the Bhagavad Gita, the battle last 18 days): Book Volume Part
I II III IV V VI VII
I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII XIII
Adi Parva Sabha Parva Vana Parva Virata Parva Udyoga Parva Bhishma Parva
VIII IX X XI XII
I II III I II
XIV XV XVI XVII XVIII
Introduction of characters, including birth and lineage. Dicing and exile of the Pandava's. Adventures of Pandava's in the forest. (Includes the Ramayana.) Pandava's 13th year of exile. Declaration of war. Battle begins. First ten days, until Bishma (Generalissimo of Kuru army) falls. The Bhagavad-Geeta occurs at the start of this part. Drona Parva Next five days, until Drona is slain. Karna Parva Two more days, until death of Karna. Salya Parva Salya falls after half a day. End of battle with most of hero's slain, including Duryodhana. Sauptika Parva Aswatthaman destroys remaining Pandava army. Stree Parva Reuniting of Pandava's with king Dhritarashtra after battle. Shanti Parva The dying Bhisma speaks on all aspects knowledge. Shanti Parva (ctnd) Shant Parva (ctnd) Anusasana Parva (ctnd) Anusasana Parva (ctnd) Aswamedhika Parva Counselling of grief stricken Yudhishthira. Pandava's return home. Asramavasika Parva Dhritarashtra retires into woods and dies after three years. Vyasa's boon recalling troops from battle for one night. Mausala Parva 36 years after battle, death of Krishna and other hero's. Mahaprasthanika Parva Pandava's die successively. Swargarohnika Parva Yudhishthira attains heaven. Completion of story.
[Book=one of 12 physical books; Volume=one of 18 major chapters/volumes; Part=major divisions] The story is related by Sauti at a sacrifice of Saunaka. Sauti repeats the story given in full by Vaisampayana, a student of Vyasa, to Janamejaya, the great-grandson of Arjuna, at a Snake-sacrifice. Much of the battle is related to Dhritarashtra as seen by Sanjaya through divine in-site.
I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X XI XII XIII XIV XV XVI XVII XVIII XIX XX XXI XXII XXIII XXIV XXV XXVI XXVII XXVIII XXIX XXX XXXI XXXII XXXIII XXXIV XXXV XXXVI XXXVII XXXVIII XXXIX XL XLI XLII XLIII XLIV XLV XLVI XLVII XLVIII XLIX L LI LII LIII LIV LV LVI LVII
Summary, Dhritarashtra's lament "no hope of success". Overview of Chapters and contents Janamejaya, son of Parikshit, Brahman trials, story of Utanka and earings. Leads to snake sacrifice. Sauti makes ready to begin. Bhrigu, Rakshasa designs to take his wife Puloma. Birth of Chyavanna. Curse on Agni (for informing the Rakshasa). Resolution of Agni's curse by Bhrahma. Ruru, and maiden Pramadvara. Her death. Pramadvara restored to life. Ruru does not kill a snake who was once a Brahman, now cursed. Snakes' story - comes back to human form. Ruru asks why Janamejaya wants to destroy snakes. Jaratkaru, Astika's Father - told he must beget a child. Is offered a daughter, sister of king of snakes. Astika left by Jaratkaru. Daughters of Prajapati in Golden Age - thousand sons and two sons. Saunaka asks re churning of the milk ocean. Churning of the ocean. Battle with Asuras over Amrita. Kadru and Vinata bet. Description of ocean. Description of ocean. Vinata loses...