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"Young (English) officers or civil servants arriving for the first time in their new home among the palm fronds and rice fields, or in the heat and dust of a desert cantonment, would commonly be told by some well-meaning old India hand that if they wished to grasp the essence of the place and its people they should read one book: the Mahabharata, the world’s oldest epic by far, and, with 90000 verses exceeding the Bible and all of Shakespeare’s plays bundled together, by far the world’s longest and greatest epic poem."


-Myths of Mankind, The Mahabharata

Below, is a slide-show/movie presentation of the MAHABHARATA- the Play. It was dramatized on an outdoor stage on August 26, 2011 by High School Students in Triuvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India.


I was asked to be involved, because of my decades long study and knowledge of the Mahabharata. In the weeks leading up to the play, I considered and coached the students in the subtler, interconnecting aspects, issues, dilemmas and paradoxes of this vast and fundamental story. In India, it is referred to as the fifth Veda. We explored the different characters together and focused on the particular dilemmas, struggles and interrelationships of they faced.

The Play was performed on a stage in front of many appreciative parents and people, most of whom knew the story.It was thrilling to see this ancient Purana brought to life, outside, filling a warm South Indian, Tamil Nadu evening, on a small stage, with local artists creating the wonderful costumes and live music.

I put the slideshow for the sake of the students,

so that each of them would have a personal record of what they had done.

The pictures are full of color and beauty. the story is ancient and full of meaning. 
It helped me to appreciate again, the saying: 'If it isn't in the Mahabharata, it isn't.'

I hope you enjoy it . . .


Music: Hey Krishna Gopala Hari by Jagjjit Singh


Photography: Govinda Raj, Tiruvannamalai


To see more pictures from rehearsal to show, go HERE.


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