The Mahabharata is one of the major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being Ramayana. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes and their successors. It also contains philosophical and devotional material regarding the goals of life. There are many different versions that have been crafted of this famous mythological literature. Here are a few of these.
The Palace of Illusions is an award-winning novel written in 2008 by the poet Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. This novel is a rendition of the Hindu epic Mahabharata as told from Draupadi's point of view. The plot depicts, "Smart, resilient, and courageous Panchaali, born of fire, marries all five of the famously heroic Pandava brothers, harbors a secret love, endures a long exile in the wilderness, instigates a catastrophic war, and slowly learns the truth about Krishna, her mysterious friend".
Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata is written by Devendra Patnaik. In this book, the whole Mahabharata is presented systematically in 18 sections. It includes tales not just from the classical Sanskrit but also from regional and folk variants from across India and even South East Asia. There are women’s stories (Satyavati, Gandhari, Kunti, Draupadi) as well as queer narratives (Aravan, Budh, Ila, Shikhandi).
Karna’s Alter Ego is written by Surendra Nath. The book is all about the mythological character Karna from Mahabharata. The book has a relatable and nicely-paced plot. The author has taken care to avoid long monologues. The character sketch of Vasu, as the alter ego of Karna, has been done beautifully and successfully. Not only does this book provide an insight into his life but it also gives a sneak peek into the great Mahabharata.
The Mahabharata: An Inquiry in the Human Condition is written by Chaturvedi Badrinath. Chaturvedi Badrinath shows that Mahabharata is the most systematic inquiry into the human condition. Badrinath shows that the concerns of the Mahabharata are the concerns of everyday life of dharma, artha, kama, and moksha.
Mrityunjaya, The Death Conqueror: The Story Of Karna is written by Shivaji Sawant. This book is about the searches for the meaning of being is man's eternal quest and the subject of his greatest creations. Shivaji Sawant's Mrityunjaya is an outstanding instance of such a literary masterpiece in which a contemporary Marathi novelist investigates the character of the Mahabharata protagonist Karna.