Mahabharata is the world's longest epic poem. In this complete 3-volume hardbound set, the epic is narrated in its full glory over more than 1300 pages.
Volume 1: The Kuru Princes of Hastinapura
Veda Vyasa's epic on the Bharata race was first recited in public by his disciple Vaishampayana at the behest of the ageless seer Vyasa himself. The recital took place in the august presence of King Janamejaya, a great-grandson of Vyasa, and the many learned sages who had assembled for Janamejaya's Sarpa Satra (a twelve-year-long Yajna). This volume describes the lineage of the Kuru princes. When Pandu, the father of the Pandavas, dies in the forest, his wife Kunti returns to Hastinapura with the five boys.
The great Dronacharya trains the Kuru princes in the art of war. The feats of strength preformed by Bheema, and Arjuna's skill at wielding the bow awake jealousy in the minds of Duryodhana and the other Kuru princes.
Duryodhana plots the exile of the Pandavas to the city of Varanavata. Acting on the coded warning given by Vidura, the Pandavas manage to escape from the burning house of shellac.
They live in the guise of mendicants at Ekachakrapura. Later they proceed to Panchala to attend the Swayamvara of Draupadi. Arjuna, the skilful archer, wins Draupadi's hand. In order to obey their mother's words, all the five brothers are married with due ceremony to Draupadi. The Pandavas are recalled to Hastinapura and are given half the Kingdom.
Volume 2: The Pandavas in Exile
Volume 1 described the training of the Pandavas and Kauravas, the Pandavas' escape from the burning house of shellac, their marriage to Draupadi and their subsequent return to Hastinapura.
In this volume are described the slaying of Jarasandha by Bheema, the subjugation of the other kings by the Pandavas and the Rajasooya Yajna performed by Yudhishthira. Later, in the game of dice, the Pandavas lose their kingdom and live in exile.
At the end of the period of exile, when the Pandavas come back to claim their kingdom, Duryodhana refuses to part with even five villages.
Volume 3 - On the Battlefield of Kurukshetra
The first two volumes of the Mahabharata described the growing animosity between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, the costly game of dice which led to the banishment of the Pandavas for thirteen years, the events during the exile and the proposal of peace from Dhritarashtra conveyed by Sanjaya to the Pandavas.
This volume describes the attempts of Krishna to bring about a peaceful settlement between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. They fail and a bitter war is fought for eighteen days. The Pandavas emerge victorious in the end.