The authorship of the core story is attributed to Krishna Dwaipayana or Vyasa, who often make several self referential appearances in the story. Mythological sources say that, he dictated the story to lord Ganesha, the elephant faced Hindu god of good will, who put it into writing. At that time it was simply called jaya. […]
A troubadour named Ugrasravas, the son of Lomaharsha, wanders into the counsel of sages in the Naimsa forest, who have gathered there to conduct a 12 year sacrifice. Upon persuaded by Saunaka the leader of the druidical conclave, Ugrasravas recites the story of Mahabharata in its modern form with all the 100,000 verses.
Ugrasravas himself had heard the story from, sage Vaisampayana, when he dictated it to King Janamajeya, when it was only 22000 verses, during the ritual of snake sacrifice conducted by the King. Vaisampayana himself was a disciple of Krishna Dwaipayana, the author of the 8000 verse core of mahabharata. Janamajeya was the direct descendant of […]
Hastinapura (the city of elephants), was ruled by king Dhritarashtra whose title was that of a caretaker-king since the real ruler was Pandu, his brother. Dhritarashtra was blind. Kauravas were Dhritarashtra‘s children. Pandavas were Pandu‘s children.
Dhritarashtra‘s wife Gandhari, a short woman, the mother of the Kauravas, was said to have lived always blind folding herself, since she, as a dutiful wife, didn’t want to have anything that her blind husband wasn’t capable of.
Bhishma the defacto grandfather figure of the Kauravas and Pandavas was another imposing figure in the palace. Please note that, Bhishma was not the biological grandfather. Bhishma, though, a rightful heir to the kingdom, is said to have remained always a celibate, just because he wowed to do so to please his father once.
Another prominent character in the palace was Vidura, a step brother of Dhritarashtra and Pandu. As a man well versed in the scriptures, he always gave moral and strategic guidance to Dhritarashtra in various matters. Since his mother was a low caste woman, he could never rule the kingdom, instead of the blind king.
Another important character, is sage Vyasa or Krishna-Dwaipayana, the author of the story. While Bhishma was the defacto grandfather, Vyasa, the author, was the biological grandfather of the Pandavas and Kauravas. Being a sage, he lives in the forest and makes occasional self-referential appearances in the story.