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Mahabharata
(408 words)

The Mahabharata (Skt. Mahābhārata, “Great History of the Bharata Dynasty”) comprises, together with the Purana-like Harivamsa (Harivaṁśa, or genealogy and life of Krishna), over 100,000 Sanskrit stanzas, composed presumably between the fourth century b.c. and the fourth century a.d. The core of the epic is the conflict between the Pāṇḍavas (Pāṇḍu’s sons, including the Dharma-king Yudhiṣṭhira and Krishna’s friend Arjuna) and their hostile cousins, the Kauravas (descendants of Kuru), with whom they were contesting the sovereignty of North India.

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Cite this page
Söhnen-Thieme, Renate, “Mahabharata”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 19 May 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_M28>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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