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On #WorldBookDay, a list of 10 books I have loved, read, reread — all translations, retellings, analyses of the #Mahabharata.

1. On the Mahabharata by Sri Aurobindo
A deep look at the #Mahabharata — its complex politics, its authorship and its spirituality — in a thin volume
2. On the Meaning of the #Mahabharata by VS Sukthankar — the man who delivered to us the Critical Edition, one who deserves the Bharat Ratna

A mini thread on his work

3. The #Mahabharata (10 volumes) by Bibek Debroy — translation of the Critical Edition, the final reference for anyone taking this magnificent journey forward. Easier to read than other translations

4. The #Mahabharata (12 volumes) by Kisari Mohan Ganguli — the first English translation, this is based on the Calcutta Edition, language can be heavy, available free. I read the hard copies for over a year

5. Parva by SL Bhyrappa — the most intense, grounded retelling of the #Mahabharata, a creative, courageous work. A thick book, it took me great effort to read it slowly in case it finished too soon

6. Philology and Criticism: A Guide to #Mahabharata Textual Criticism by @VishwaAdluri and Joydeep Bagchee — an invaluable guide to the Critical Edition, intense scholarship. Not for lay readers, must for scholars. You can download it free

7. The #Mahabharata trilogy by Maggie Lidchi-Grassi — a deeply spiritual work, poetic in its soul, suggestive in its approach, delicate yet intense, written by a disciple of Sri Aurobindo

8. The Lore of the #Mahabharata by Amalesh Bhattacharya — the analysis explores all the levels of the Mahabharata with such depth that you wonder how it could be compressed within a single volume

9. #Mahabharata (14 volumes) by Amar Chitra Katha — show me an India child who hasn’t read or grown up on these ‘comics’, I often go here to meet my childhood

10. Krishnavatara by KM Munshi (7 volumes) — the first retelling that I read. Its main focus is on Sri Krishna, but several incidents of the #Mahabharata converge here. Sad that Munshi, another disciple of Sri Aurobindo, died before finishing this work

I look at my #Mahabharata bookshelf and find that I can easily expand this list. But let’s leave that for another day

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