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Pilot Lecture: The Story of the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata is more than 80,000 verses long, told in the form of stories that twist and turn endlessly. Dr. Ravi M. Gupta introduces to you this treasure trove of knowledge, which had its origins in an ancient oral tradition of sung poetry going back to the fifth century BCE.
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Overview

Imagine a philosopher. What comes to mind? Perhaps an elderly scholar reading a worn tome next to a roaring fireplace? Or perhaps a sage meditating in a forest dwelling? One of the world’s most widely read books of wisdom—the Bhagavad Gita—shatters all these stereotypes. It has inspired the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, T. S. Elliot, Robert Oppenheimer, and many others. But to understand the Bhagavad Gita, we need to understand the story that leads up to it. Join Ravi M. Gupta to get to know the longest epic in the world: the Mahabharata.

About

Ravi M. Gupta holds the Charles Redd Chair of Religious Studies and serves as Professor and Department Head of the Department of History at Utah State University.  He is the author or editor of four books, including an abridged translation of the Bhagavata Purana (with Kenneth Valpey), published in 2017 by Columbia University Press. Gupta has received four teaching awards, a National Endowment for the Humanities summer fellowship, and two research fellowships at Oxford. He is a Permanent Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and a past president of the Society for Hindu Christian Studies. His current research focuses on the Bhagavata Purana's Sanskrit commentaries. He enjoys teaching World Religions, Hinduism, Sanskrit, and Religious Studies Theory and Method.

By This Expert

The Story of the Mahabharata

01: The Story of the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata is more than 80,000 verses long, told in the form of stories that twist and turn endlessly. Dr. Ravi M. Gupta introduces to you this treasure trove of knowledge, which had its origins in an ancient oral tradition of sung poetry going back to the fifth century BCE.

31 min