The Mahabharata, Volume 3: Book 4: The Book of the Virata; Book 5: The Book of the Effort

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Johannes Adrianus Bernardus Buitenen, J. A. B. van Buitenen, James L. Fitzgerald
University of Chicago Press, 1973 - Religion - 582 pages
The Mahabharata, an ancient and vast Sanskrit poem, is a remarkable collection of epics, legends, romances, theology, and ethical and metaphysical doctrine. The core of this great work is the epic struggle between five heroic brothers, the Pandavas, and their one hundred contentious cousins for rule of the land. This is the third volume of van Buitenen's acclaimed translation of the definitive Poona edition of the text. Book 4, The Book of Virata, begins as a burlesque, but the mood soon darkens amid molestation, raids, and Arjuna's battle with the principal heroes of the enemy. Book 5, The Book of the Effort, relates the attempts of the Pandavas to negotiate the return of their patrimony. They are refused so much as a "pinprick of land," and both parties finally march to battle.

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Page 6 - ... notorious for his punctual collections and his insufficient charities. Who was it who had his head fondly anointed, not only with handfuls of the sublime red powders, but also with a gallon of diesel oil? It was the village landlord, and the anointer was his cousin and archrival, the police headman of Kishan Garhi. Who was it who was made to dance in the streets, fluting like Lord Krishna, with a garland of old shoes around his neck?
Page 6 - Holi" riding backward on the donkey? It was an older boy of high caste, a famous bully, put there by his organized victims (but seeming to relish the prominence of his disgrace). Who was in that chorus singing so lustily in the potters
Page 6 - cowherds" heaping mud and dust on all the leading citizens? They were the water carrier, two young Brahman priests, and a barber's son, avid experts in the daily routines of purification. Whose household temple was festooned with goat's bones by unknown merrymakers? It was the temple of that Brahman widow who had constantly harassed neighbors and kinsmen with actions at law.

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