Volume Two of «Drona» begins in the aftermath of tragedy. As evening falls, Arjuna journeys wearily back to camp and is greeted by the ashen faces of his brothers. Before they speak, he guesses the worst. And the worst is right: his son Abhimanyu is dead. Arjuna is inconsolable. Insensible with rage, he vows to take revenge on the boy’s killers. He swears that if they are not dead before another day passes, he will set himself alight. The world seems to shudder at his words.
After Bhishma is cut down at the end of the previous book of the Maha·bhárata , the book which bears his name, Duryódhana selects Drona as leader of his forces. Drona accepts the honor with Bhishma's blessing, despite his ongoing personal conflicts as mentor to both the Pándava and Káurava heroes in their youth. The fighting rages on, with heavy losses on both sides. Furious and frustrated, Duryódhana accuses Drona of collaborating with the enemy, but he replies that as long as Árjuna is on the field, the Pándavas will remain invincible. When Árjuna is finally diverted from the main action of the battle, Yudhi·shthira entrusts Árjuna's son Abhimányu with the task of making a breach in the Káurava formation. Abhimányu rampages through Drona's army, but at last is cornered by several Káurava warriors and finally killed by Jayad·ratha.Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC FoundationFor more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http://www.claysanskritlibrary.org
In one of the most famous passages in Maha·bhárata , Dur·yódhana, the heroic but flawed king of the Káuravas, meets his end when he is dishonorably defeated in battle by his arch-enemy, Bhima. Framing a fascinating account of the sacred sites along the river Sarásvati, the duel poignantly portrays the downfall of a once great hero in the face of a new order governed by Krishna, in which the warrior code is brushed aside in order to ensure the predestined triumph of the Pándavas.Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC FoundationFor more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http://www.claysanskritlibrary.org
Two tragic plays that break the rules: both show the hero dying on stage, a scenario forbidden in Sanskrit dramaturgy. King Harsha's play, composed in the seventh century, re-examines the Buddhist tale of a magician prince who makes the ultimate sacrifice to save a hostage snake ( naga ). The Shattered Thighs , attributed to Bhasa, the illustrious predecessor to ancient Kali·dasa, transforms a crucial episode of the Maha·bhárata war. As he dies from a foul blow to the legs delivered in his duel with Bhima, Duryódhana's character is inverted, depicted as a noble and gracious exemplar amidst the wreckage of the fearsome battle scene.
Uplifting tales from one of the most influential Arabic books of the Middle Ages One of the most popular and influential Arabic books of the Middle Ages, Deliverance Follows Adversity is an anthology of stories and anecdotes designed to console and encourage the afflicted. Regarded as a pattern-book of Arabic storytelling, this collection shows how God’s providence works through His creatures to rescue them from tribulations ranging from religious persecution and medical emergencies to political skullduggery and romantic woes. A resident of Basra and Baghdad, al-Tanukhi (327–84/939–94) draws from earlier Arabic classics as well as from oral stories relayed by the author’s tenth-century Iraqi contemporaries, who comprised a wide circle of writers, intellectuals, judges, government officials, and family members. This edition and translation includes the first three chapters of the work, which deal with Qur'anic stories and prayers that bring about deliverance, as well as general instances of the workings of providence. The volume incorporates material from manuscripts not used in the standard Arabic edition, and is the first translation into English. The complete translation, spanning four volumes, will be the first integral translation into any European language.A bilingual Arabic-English edition.
The Book of Liberation is perhaps the most enigmatic philosophical text from ancient India. Presented as the teachings of Bhishma as he lies dying on the battlefield, after the epic war between the Pándavas and Káuravas, it was composed by unknown authors in the last centuries BCE, during the early period of world-renunciation, when peripatetic sages meditated under trees and practiced austerities in forest groves, and wandering sophists debated in the towns and cities. There has been no time like it before or since: such freedom of thought and expression is unparalleled in the history of the world. The freedom enjoyed by these ancient thinkers was not an end in itself. Above all this animated work is the record of philosophers seeking liberation (moksha) from a world they believed unsatisfactory. The speculation herein is but a means to an end, for its authors believed they could attain freedom from the world by knowing philosophical truths.
“Slender lady, I came out with you to gather fruit. I got a pain in my head and fell asleep in your lap. Then I saw a terrible darkness and a mighty person. If you know, then tell me – was it my dream? Or was what I saw real?”So speaks Satyavat, newly rescued from the god of death by Savitri, his faithful wife, at the heart of one of the best loved stories in Indian literature. This, and other well known narratives, including a version of Rama's story, bring the Forest Book of the great Sanskrit epic, the Maha·bhárata, to its compelling conclusion. Woven into the main narrative of the Pandavas’ exile, these disparate episodes indicate the range and poetic power of the Maha·bhárata as a whole—a power that has the potential to speak to common human concerns across cultures and centuries.“The Forest” is Book Three of the Maha·bhárata, “The Great Book of India.” This final quarter of the account of the Pándavas’ twelve-year exile in the forest contains four stirring stories that are among the best known in Indian literature. From a hero overcoming great odds, to a virtuous wife who rescues her family, and Indra tricking Karna, and Yudhi·shthira’s victory in the verbal contest with the tree spirit, these stories speak to common human concerns across cultures and centuries.Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC FoundationFor more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http://www.claysanskritlibrary.org
This second half of Bhishma describes the events from the beginning of the fifth day till the end of the tenth of the great battle between the Káuravas and the Pándavas. Despite grandfather Bhishma’s appeal to conclude peace with the Pándavas, Duryódhana continues the bloody battle. The key strategist is general Bhishma, commander of the Káurava forces. Even though he is compelled to fight on the side of the Káuravas, Bhishma’s sympathies are with the Pándavas. After the ninth day of war, when Bhishma has wreaked havoc with their troops, the Pándavas realise that they will be unable to win as long as invincible Bhishma is alive. Bhishma willingly reveals to them how he can be destroyed. Strictly observing the warrior code, he will never fight with Shikhándin, because he was originally born a woman. Bhishma advises the Pándava brothers that Árjuna should strike him from behind Shikhándin’s back, and they follow the grandfather’s advice.
The Book of Shalya recounts in gory detail the final destruction of the Káurava army and the defeat of its leader, Dur·yódhana. In this first volume heroic duels and martial speeches abound as Shalya, the king of the Madras, is made general of the Káurava army, only to be slaughtered in his turn.The Book of Shalya recounts in gory detail the final destruction of the Káurava army and the defeat of its leader, Duryódhana. In this first volume heroic duels and martial speeches abound as Shalya, the king of the Madras, is made general of the Káurava army, only to be slaughtered in his turn.Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC FoundationFor more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http://www.claysanskritlibrary.org
Ever hear the one about the man who wakes up after a chance sexual encounter to discover he's been involuntarily relieved of one of his kidneys? Or the tiny gift-wrapped box from a recently departed lover that reveals a horrible secret? Everyone knows contemporary legends, those barely believable, often lurid, cautionary tales, always told as though they happened to the friend of a friend. Sometimes we pass them on to others unsure of their truthfulness, usually we dismiss them as mere myth. But these far-fetched legends tell us quite a bit about our deepest fears and fantasies. In fact, a large part of what we know about our bodies we have learned informally, from kids on the playground or colleagues at work, from piecing together the information contained in folk beliefs, jokes and legends. Sexual folklore goes beyond classroom lessons of mechanics to answer many questions about what people actually do and how they do it. Mariamne H. Whatley and Elissa R. Henken have collected hundreds of sexually-themed stories and jokes from college students in order to tell us what they reveal about our sexual attitudes and show us how they have changed over time. They confront myths and stereotypes about sexual behavior and use folklore as a tool to educate students about sexual health and gender relations. Whether analyzing popular rumors about celebrity emergency room visits or the latest schoolyard jokes, Did You Hear About The Girl Who . . . ? presents these tales in a way that is intriguing and educational.