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Selections from the Mahabharata : Re-affirming Gita's Call for the Good of All

Satya P. Agarwal, Motilal Banarsidass, 2002, xviii, 298 p, ISBN : 8120818741, $22.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Selections from the Mahabharata : Re-affirming Gita's Call for the Good of All/Satya P. Agarwal

Contents: Preface. I. Background and plan of this study: 1. A brief outline of the Mahabharata text and plan of this study. II. Mahabharata – selections (other than Bhagavad-Gita): 2. Sakuntala, Nahusa and Yayati—three of the famous ancestors of the Pandavas. 3. Glorification of sacrifices made by Sivi and Dadhici. 4. Vyadha-Gita—how a butcher taught a Brahmin. 5. Story of Asvapati and Savitri. 6. Dialogue between Yaksa and Yudhisthira. 7. Vidura-Niti—Vidura’s advice to Dhrtarastra. 8. Teachings of Rsi Sanat-Sujata. 9. Lord Krsna’s plea to Kauravas for averting war. 10. Vidura’s portrayal of life’s dilemma that has appealed to scholars in many countries. 11. Various Gitas included in Santi-Parva. 12. Dialogue between Tuladhara and Jajali. 13. Narayaniya Dharma. 14. Two dialogues of Janaka—one with the saintly woman Sulabha, and another with his wife. 15. Two more stories from Santi-Parva condemning animal sacrifice. 16. How a monster was won over by Ahimsa. 17. Anusasana-Parva’s plea for extending Ahimsa to include vegetarian food. 18. Anu-Gita and Kama-Gita—follow-up of Bhagavad-Gita. 19. Yudhisthira’s refusal to enter heaven without the dog who had walked behind him. III. Gita’s call for the good of all and Mahabharata’s support to it: 20. Ten points of Gita’s call for the good of all. 21. How Mahabharata supports Gita’s call for the good of all. Notes. Index.

"This book presents the social message of the Mahabharata in the form of a ten-point call for the good of all. Since this message is primarily given, in the terminology of lokasamgraha, in Bhagavad-Gita (which is the centre-piece of the Mahabharata), the technique of presentation adopted here is Gita-supportive, i.e. indirect as well as selective. A selective approach is inevitable because the Mahabharata as a whole is like an ocean which is capable of yielding several variants of the same message. Our selections from the Mahabharata (i.e. the epic excluding Bhagavad-Gita), presented in Sanskrit but accompanied with simple meaning in English, take the form of eighteen chapters (containing a total of 700 verses), and thus can be viewed as a ‘second Gita’ (because Bhagavad-Gita itself has 700 verses spread our eighteen chapters). Although the lokasamgraha message is valid for all times, it deserves a more pointed attention now, because a Mahabharata – like situation has suddenly been created in the world due to the terrorist attacks that took place in USA on 11 September 2001, and in India on 13 December 2001. The ten-point call for good of all, as articulated in this book, is inspired by (and hopefully will itself inspire) a firm conviction that all the karmayogins of the world will work together to bring about a terror-free society, which is a basic component of lokasamgraha." (jacket)

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