Giveaway: Books for the Mahabharata Reader

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Guys, I have something exciting for all of you.

Many readers of this blog will know that I write – both blog posts and books – on various topics, but the one subject I keep returning to is mythology. I have a deep personal love for it. I could talk about it for hours, I could write books about it (which in fact I have), and I regularly have dreams about myself riding a chariot in shining armour.

I do it quite well – both the dreaming and the chariot riding – as long as I’m wearing my glasses.

So anyway, this morning, waking up to rude reality after yet another such dream had been shattered, I asked myself: why not do a Mahabharata-themed giveaway on the blog? I’ve never done one, and since many of the people who frequent these pages are fellow mythology-lovers, it could turn out to be quite some fun.

Well, we’ll see.

What is the  prize?

I have a list of seven books – some fiction, some nonfiction – based on the Mahabharata, and I am giving away one copy each to seven lucky winners. If you win a book that you’d already read, just call out and I will give you a book of your choice.

I’m listing the seven books here, in the form of thumbnails. I’m linking them all to their respective Goodreads pages so that you can look them up. Each one of them tackles the source material differently, and will bring a unique angle to your knowledge of the Great Epic. Needless to say, all seven are must reads.

Govinda Karnas-wife Mahabharata-Rajaji palace of illusions winds-of-hastinapur yajnaseni yuganta
For those of you who noticed that I threw ‘Winds of Hastinapur’ in there, of course I did. I’m not so modest as to not add my book into my own giveaway pile.

How do you enter?

All you need to enter the giveaway is an email address and a first name. You have both, don’t you?

1. Click on the button below and enter your email address and first name. Doing so will sign you up for my mailing list, which will make it easier for me to contact you for future giveaways and contests like this. It will also enter you for this giveaway.

2. If you would like to enter TWICE, or if you’re already on the mailing list and you’d like to participate, leave a comment at the bottom of the post and tell me what your favourite Mahabharat book is and why.

Since this is a ‘throw your number into a hat’ kind of giveaway, being a mailing list member AND leaving a comment will double your chances of winning. Obvious, but it had to be spelled out.

When does the giveaway end?

Last date for entries is Friday, the 13th of March, 2015. Winners will be announced on Sunday the 15th.

So hurry, guys! Let the entries roll in. Good luck!

Comments

  1. Anu Krishna says:

    Palace of illusions was an instant hit with me only because it gave me the much needed perspective from the point of view of a woman; aka Draupadi! Her travails as a Princess whose fate was sealed much before she was born, the constant reminder to her that her birth was only to cause the Great War, her unusual relationship with Krishna, her unfulfilled desires though she had five husbands, the make-believe calmness between Kunti and her hardships and humiliations, her journey as a mother and the soft desire in her heart for Karna and finally her final journey into another realm….I could visualise every single detail as the author rewrote the myth to suit the current mindset with simplicity and curiosity! A must read for all!

    Like

  2. Wings of Harmony says:

    As a teenager, entering into the nuances of adulthood, we were introduced to “Mahabharata” as a part of the Hindi course module. I have not read many fictional or inspired works on Mahabharata, other than Winds of Hastinapur, but the original abridged version was the one that gave me food for thought. I distinctly remember how the war of Kurukshethra came to being – it was not just a war, it was an epoch marking the destiny of Gods and Kings alike. I was intrigued by the clever mind of Krishna and the twisted genius behind wining it all. What affected me was the truth that no matter who or what you are – power should not be meddled with if you cannot control it. Winds of Hastinapur opened my mind towards a different side to Bhishm Pitamah, answering a lot of queries I had gathered as a teen. This work should be read if you are curious like me – to understand what happened long before the fates decided to create the greatest epic of all times.

    Like

  3. Falguni srikanth says:

    I grew up reading Ramayana and Mahabharat narrated by my grandfather ” Nanabhai Bhatt” .He was a leading educationalist of that era .i loved those books and those characters.
    Recently read Mahabharat by Ramesh Menon and liked it very much.
    Winds of Hastinapur is a great story and I admire the maturity of the author.
    Love reading mythology that’s why I am leaving this comment.😄😄

    Like

  4. Atika Srivastava says:

    Hindu mythology has always fascinated me. The valour, the honesty, the strength that these mythical books marinate in themselves is something that I strive for in my life.

    I’ve heard stories of Mahabharat from my mother. I’ve no favorite book on Mahabharata (since I’ve not read any. Nonetheless, I want to) but the epic has left a great impact on me. I always wondered why women are always depicted as helpless and weak. As my cognitions developed, I got my answers. And it was Mahabharata that gave me answers. Women, who we consider as weak creatures, vary greatly. From a mother who relinquishes her first son- something very dear to her to a wife who agrees to share her own body among five brothers. From a young lady who bindfolds her eyes to a woman who brings up someone else’s son like her own.

    It’s not their weakness, but their strength maybe. It’s the pool of great strength in them that makes them smile through tears. 🙂

    Like

  5. My favorite book is Winds of Hastinapur. Though I have read Yuganta where the author brings out the positives and flaws of each character. Winds of Hastinapur brings in a whole new perspective through the eyes of women whom we have ignored so far.

    The book attempts to answer most of the questions logically and details the accounts such as Devarata’s growing up or Kali’s younger days as ferry woman.

    Oh and just to let you know that I have read the book and would love to receive Palace of Illusions or Yajnaseni if won 🙂

    Like

  6. Although each one of the above books has their own charm and form nice additions to the already awesome collection of assorted literature written about this great epic, my favorite would have to be KARNA’S WIFE by Kavita Kane. The primary reason for the same being the fact that I had the absolute pleasure of reading Sita’s Sister by the same author and the perspective she presented to the Ramayana simply blew me away. The sheer depth and maturity with which she dealt with the topic of ‘feminism’ (an oft abused word in today’s usage) during the times of the Ramayana and how the women played an extremely important part in the epic was extremely interesting and offbeat to say the least. I therefore put in my hat for KARNA’S WIFE in the giveaway.

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  7. I am in your mailing list. My favorite book is Karna’s wife. I had sometime back posted my review and thoughts on the book at https://mamathajahnavi.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/book-review-karnas-wife-the-outcasts-queen/

    Like

  8. Sasikanth Gudla says:

    I want to read the original and the Telugu translation by Kavi Trayam(Nannayya,Tikkana and Errana)

    Like

  9. Perhaps of the 18 books which form the epic Mahabharata, my favorite has got to be the shortest one… where the God Indra offers Yudhisthira a chance to jump into his chariot to enter heaven, but without the stray dog that they had adopted along the way on their great journey. Yudhisthira refuses because he claims he cannot betray and abandon his friend, the dog… and he stood by his word!
    Other than the fact that I am a nature lover and respect all animal life, I admire his loyalty and fedility to a humble fellow creature and loyal travel companion, even though the dog wasn’t human.

    In the Mahaprasthanika parva, Chapter 3: here’s my favorite quote-

    I never give up a person that is terrified,nor one that is devoted to me,nor one that seeks my protection,nor one who is afflicted or destitute,nor one that is weak in protecting oneself,I shall never give up such a one till my own life is at an end.

    —Yudhisthira, Mahaprasthanika Parva,Mahabharata Book xvii.3[7]

    An admirable trait to emulate.

    Like

  10. I own and have read both Palace of Illusions and C Rajagopalachari’s version. Apart from these two I havent read much Mahabharata-themed books, and hope to read your book soon! I really liked Palace of Illusions for bringing out Draupadi’s version, though I felt at times it drifted into chick-lit the way she harped on about Karna.

    Like

  11. I like the Krishnavatara series by K M Munshi….Well, because it characterizes the politics and folktales of the Mahabharata so well. True, it doesn’t cover the politics in so much detail but yea, it is interesting and well written 😀

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  12. My first encounter with the Mahabharata happened when my father borrowed my cousin’s book for me. I was a 4th grader and at that time, all the characters and the impediments in the story displeased me. Just a year back however, my Dad found a book called “Myth=Mithya” by Devdutt Pattanaik. The book is about Hindu mythology: for instance there is one “God”, but we have above 330 million “gods” in Hindu mythology. We both loved the book immensely. Dad opted for another Devdutt Pattanaik mythology book. This time it was none other than “Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata”. Initially I thought it would yet again be uninteresting. Though on the contrary, this time the had an interesting approach and he would speak about wisdom. I never looked at the Mahabharata as a source of wisdom before! This retelling of the Mahabharata my favourite (so far) because not only it has many tales from different versions and not in the slightest way “mainstream”, but it made me realize why the Mahabharata is called an “epic”. If anyone has not yet read the Mahabharata or (as in my case) found it tiresome, this book is bound to change your visions!

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  13. At the young and naive age of six, my grandmother got me married. Yes, a child marriage, and since then The Mahabharata has been my better half. It all started with tales of Ramayana and The Mahabharata which my Grandmother used to share with me and most of my basic understanding of Indian Mythology, came from reading Amar Chitra Katha as a kid, and eventually it exposed me to whole world of stories based on history and mythology and evoke my innate love for them. Since then, it has been an incredible journey. I have read Govinda and the other two books from the Aryavrat chronicles. Will make sure I read the other six enlisted books.
    Also fingers crossed for bookaway 😀

    Like

    • Hi Anuj! Thanks for leaving a comment. I just realized that you have not joined the mailing list. That is mandatory to take part in the giveaway. Being on the list will make it easier for us to stay in touch, and of course, like on any list, whenever you feel that I’m getting too cute, you can unsubscribe from it. I send out one harmless email every fortnight 🙂

      So if you’d like to be part of this and future giveaways, please join the mailing list. Click on the blue ‘Enter this giveaway!’ button in the post above.

      All the best!

      Like

  14. The Winds of Hastinapura
    This is the only book of yours which i dont have in my collection.
    and this book is special to me because of two reasons
    one is that it involves feminism
    two is that it made get in touch with u 🙂

    Like

  15. Deepa Kurup says:

    I have this odd habit of finding out the author details of the book I like to read and buy only if it’s author’s life is inspirational for me.So naturally I want to read The Winds of Hastinapur, as I like the concepts of respect for nature and women and I am equally inspired by the humbleness and humaneness of the author .

    Like

  16. Thanks for conducting a Mahabaratha themed giveaway!

    C.Rajagopalachary’s Mahabaratha would be my choice. I have always wanted to read this book. My grandfather personally recommended this book to me before he passed away. Could never read it till now for some reason!

    Like

  17. Reblogged this on britestarlites3's Blog and commented:
    Author Sharath Komarraju is at it again with yet another generous giveaway! Do check ot out & all the best!

    Like

  18. Atika Srivastava says:

    Hi Sharath,

    Wish you a very Happy holi! 🙂

    Regards, Atika.

    Like

  19. I have only read the original version till now. As a matter of fact, I just started reading The Winds of Hastinapur. I must say its pretty good so far, though I’m just in the beginning. Thanks to this giveaway,I am now acquainted with a few more titles and interested in reading these other books based on Mahabharata.

    Like

  20. Hi Sharath, I have been addicted to Mythology since long time and am penning a Story titled SeethaSvyamvaram that encompasses the prominent aspects of Ramayana starting from why Viswamithra who was a kshatriya turned into brahmarshi to who was Ravana and his motto of abducting seetha! I was for long waiting on to start Mahabharatha as well but somehow lately realized you have set up this contest. Here’s my Blog link to mythological poems i wrote on SIVA , do consider me for this Giveaway…
    Cheers!!
    https://viswasaidutt.wordpress.com/

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  21. Hi Sharath, I am an out and out mythology lover. One of the best mythology writing that I have read is that of Devdutt Patnaik. Be it ‘Jaya’ or ‘Sita’, he plays really well by mixing some well researched facts within the context of the story. That’s quite an art, according to me. Mythology fiction is another genre that I love and among that the Shiva trilogy (although the last book didn’t catch my attention as the first two, in the series).
    I am looking forward to reading your book and hope I get that chance soon.
    Happy writing until then.

    Divs

    Like

  22. Aishwarya iyer says:

    Karna’s wife the book is something that is influenced from mrutyunjay by shivaji sawant…the synopsis given at the back makes me feel this… N I’m really keen to read the book.. Read-o-philes can surely understand my urge to own this book…😊

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  23. My knowledge of Mythology has been the stories I have heard from my Grandmother and Father. for a long time I wanted to read Devdutt patnaik Jaya. Have a book at home but found it to be too dense i.e. too much info packed in a less number of pages. So did not get time to read it fully. Would love to read atleast one interpretation of Mahabarata from the above. hope I get a chance :). BTW, long time since I wrote something in your blog. Am held up heavily by my work. Should start something soon.

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  24. The only versions of Ramayana and Mahabharata that i know of are through children’s storybooks and of course the DD national series.It will be interesting to explore the same from other perspectives

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  25. Sandeep Kumar says:

    Hi,

    I have read a lot of books in various genres, Fiction, Non Fiction, Thriller, Biographies etc.. but for some reason mythology never interested me. One reason for this is that while growing up in a typical city of North India you are exposed to various kinds of Mythological TV Shows which were honestly quite interesting (the old 90’s shows, not the new ones). They presented the story in a very interesting way.
    Couple of years back I tried a book on Mahabharata, which had quite good ratings, but after reading first few chapters I was bored. I was expecting something similar to the TV shows which I used to watch as a kid. May be my expectations was too much, or I have to expect there will be some difference in a TV show and book.
    Nevertheless I want to try a book on mythology again and not compare it to the TV shows. So If I win a book that will be great.

    Like

  26. shrikant says:

    I am already on your mailing list. I also gone through your writer tool kit. I like it and felt systematic and scientific and transparency in writing . I have nor read any of your work. I like to read your “The winds of Hastinapur” through give away if easily possible.
    Thanks for continuous touch.
    Shrikant

    Like

  27. I am a literature student based in Delhi. I have a growing fondness for mythology. My favourite book from the list would be ‘Karna’s Wife’. I really enjoyed reading ‘Sita’, and I look forward to getting my hands on ‘Karna’s Wife’ soon! 🙂

    Like

  28. “Mrityunjaya” by Shivaji Sawant is the best Mahabharata based book which I have read so far. The book is a narration of Mahabharata with Karna as its protagonist. I read the Hindi translation of this much acclaimed work and the language, the flow and the scenes which Sawant has created throughout the book mesmerized me. Besides this, the major reason why I still own a copy of this book is the fact that the entire narration is unbiased. Sawant clearly understands that one’s personal thoughts on Mahabharata should not be imposed on readers. Mahabharata is a story which should be narrated and the work of interpretation should be left for the readers to do.
    The minor details of the short stories and the past events which are relevant to the current events are narrated beautifully.

    Like

  29. ajay kumar says:

    my heart goes out for Uruvi and therefore my vote goes for Karna’s wife, the Outcast Queen by Kavita Kane. Uruvi, the unheard of character in the vastness of the Mahabharata has in fact made a compromise that falls a little short of that of Gandhari. To rebel against society for the love that she deemed to be righteous is actually a pedestal decision keeping in mind the pre-historic times. Alas, though she wins her husband’s heart through her devotion she is unable to keep him away from Duryodhan that leads to his downfall and death.

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  30. The characters in the ‘Mahabharatha’ are praised and worshipped. But i find it very hard to connect to these stories as they always run behind only one thing. “The Power”. I find it hard to connect to these characters. It does not calm me after hearing/watching the stories of them. Anyway, I have only heard and watched the “Mahabharatha”. So, I guess i never got the juice of it. Would like to explore it more.

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  31. I have been studying Ancient Literature in some detail, and am fascinated by all Vedic Literature. The book that attracts me in this list is Yugantar by Irawati Karve, which happens to be a treatise or study of The Mahabharat as history rather than mythology…

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  32. Hi Sharath
    Stories from the epic Mahabharata have always been my inclination. The assimilation of so many different characters ornamented in this epic are gloriously evolving & inspiring each one of us for generations. The Pitamaha Vishwa , weaponist Dronacharya,sakuni ,Vidur & warriors like Arjuna,Duryodhana Karna n d like are really fascinating. I would equally love to read any of the listed books n yes so far i have read puppeteers of palem & murder in amaravati and both have moved me. Amazing works of urs!

    Like

    • Hi Sujanta! Thanks very much. I’m relieved to know that you enjoyed both Palem and Amaravati. I have a feeling that you will enjoy Winds of Hastinapur as well. Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Like

  33. My favourite book on Mahabharata is the one written by C. Rajagopalachari. I have read a few other versions as well, but Rajagopalachari’s Mahabharata is my all-time favourite. The most striking aspect of this book is the portrayal of many heroes (or heroines) as the product of circumstances, which make their exploits even more significant.

    For example, the act of Ganga in offering her new born babies to the river is portrayed as the supreme sacrifice of a mother in the larger interest of humanity. Bhisma’s oath of celibacy as a devoted son so that his father Shantanu could marry Satyavati, Karna’s offering of his golden armour and earrings to Indra knowing well that it could result in his death in battlefield, Eklavya’s severing his right thumb to offer to Guru Dronacharya, Yudhishtira asking Yaksha to restore the life of one of Madri’s sons, Gandhari choosing to cover her eyes because her husband Dhritrarashtra was blind, Ghatotkach’s martyrdom to protect the lives of the Pandavas and Abhimanyu’s valour in the Chakravyuha are some of the many episodes narrated in the most engrossing manner in Rajagopalachari’s version of the book.

    Another interesting aspect of Rajagopalachari’s version is that the villains of Mahabharata have not been depicted with the malice or opprobrium one would expect, but who with their evil ways play a significant role, as destined by providence, to encourage the readers appreciate the virtue of righteousness. Their evil doings provide the context and hope of the emergence of virtue, to vanquish the maleficent, bring justice and peace to the humanity, signifying the victory of good over evil, as immortalised in the following verse from Srimad Bhagwad Gita:
    यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत । अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् ॥
    परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् । धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ॥

    Rajagopalachari is a master story teller, who articulates the story of Mahabharata the way it was narrated by Veda Vyasa and meant to be understood by the generations to follow. The interest of the readers are kept alive with the numerous interconnected stories – the raison d’être of the present outcomes.
    ===
    Sharath: It is still Fri, 13 March, 15 (22:35 GMT) in UK, and since you did not mention IST, I am taking the liberty of posting my entry anyway, though at the last moment, because of my fascination of the stories from Mahabharata.
    – Jayant Sinha, Birmingham

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    • Hi Jayant! Thanks for the comment. I think I should have mentioned IST. I did consider the possibility of people outside the country entering the giveaway. Will do so from next time 🙂 In this case, the winners have already been announced in another post. But your comment was wonderful to read. Thanks for taking the time to leave it.

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