Monday, April 19, 2021


               (GIAMPAOLO  THOMASETTI)


Mahabharata has become quite popular in Italy.   It has already been translated into Italian . Some  artists from Italy are drawing sketches and creating paintings based on the epic.   Giampaolo Thomasetti the well known Italian artist who  studied Mahabharata for more than  17  years ,
has  made some exceptional paintings based on the epic.He is a co-founder and a member of the International Academy of Vedic Art. These paintings were done around 2016. These paintings have earned him worldwide appreciation.

And  Mahabharata  is one of the biggest epics ever known to mankind and  a vast treasure of knowledge and wisdom. Beneath the omnipresent premise of war, lies an infinite pool of teachings and lessons. Very few narratives have been able to capture the true essence of love, loathing, envy, lust, exile , helplessness, greed and power the way Mahabharata has. The beauty of Mahabharata does not lie in the war but in the war tactics, the precious words and the rich teachings.

I need to add more that I happen to know about Mahabharata ; 

The first Arabic text on  Mahabharata dates back  to the 11th century AD. In 1845 M.Reinaud, Membre de l'Institut, Paris, published a book containing French translations of Mahabharata. Emperor Akbar got as many as 15 Sanskrit texts translated into Persian. These texts included Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Persian Mahabharata got translated by Akbar is known as Razmnama that has been beautifully illuminated with paintings of  many iconic scenes from  the epic done in Mughal miniature style .

When  Indonesia's ANTV dubbed  Mahabharata procured from Star Plus   ,it took  the entire country by storm creating a record viewership.


'Mahabharata: Der Grosse Krieg'  is a popular German edition of Mahabharata first published in 1923.


Boris Leonidovich Smirnov 's Russian version of Mahabharata is quite  popular and widely read book in Russia. 


Hiroshi Koike,  the  noted Japanese director,  choreographer, writer and President of the Performing Arts Institute in Tokyo,   adapted Mahabharata for his international  ,   adapted Mahabharata for his international 
project spanning over four years. It commenced shooting from Cambodia in 2013 with sequences shot  India, Japan and Malaysia and some more countries .  And he said:-
 "Through this great epic,I want to unite Asia ."

For B.R.Chopra 's  mega tele- serial Mahabharata ,the most impressive and powerful dialogues  were written by Dr.Rahi Masoom Raza , the noted Urdu poet and writer. Chopra’s 94-episode Mahabharata was aired on Sunday mornings. As audiences swelled, Sunday mornings became ritualistic. A newspaper wrote:-

" it is nirvana viewed by appointment."


The 1989 Peter Brook's film Mahabharata swept the entire Europe. It had  a multi-racial cast of 21 actors from 16 different countries which included Mallika Sarabhai from India in the role of Draupadi. it was a vast, immersive enterprise that took the playwright several years to make and write with Jean-Claude Carrière. It was the first time the whole epic was adapted for the theatre, and then as a feature film.It was a truly global project, which took the Indian epic to audiences worldwide.
While reviewing the film, The New York Times wrote:-

 “Revered in India but little known in the West, The Mahabharata is to South Asians what the Bible along with the Iliad and the Odyssey are to us.”

And there is a general consensus among scholars from India and  Europe   that the Kingdom of Bahlikas mentioned in Mahabharata   consisted of parts of present day Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

( Avtar Mota)

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