All Talk and No Action Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another of those books that I finished reading long back but couldn't write about earlier.

The Difficulty of Being Good does an in depth analysis of major characters in the Mahabharata. 

Gurcharan Das, the author, didn't find a strong academic support system for Sanskrit in India and had to go to the US to avail expert advice and guidance in learning the language.

He took 6 years to do a complete study of the original text and dipped into many renditions of/opinions on the original tale, by prominent historians and publications.

The hard work and diligence show.

The book is a must read, in the sense, it analyzes important characters and the ethical dilemmas contained in the text. Dharma as we know it - is rendered a completely new meaning once you read the book. Various arguments and counter arguments provide new dimensions to the major events that occur in the poem.

Gurcharan doesn't restrict only to the Mahabharata. He draws examples from other important world literature like that of the Greek mythology and does a comparative analysis on various cultures and how each has its own means of dealing with moral debates. 

The moral implications of the Holocaust, corporate wars in India and individualism vs.collectivism are some important debates put under the dharmic microscope of the epic tale. 

I am glad the book does not establish any heroes or villains. One is not given such closure. However, what it definitely does is - open one's mind to the dichotomy of this life and the difficulty of treading the ever subtle path of Dharma.


incessantme said...'s a very imp book!Mahabharata redefined the modern way..nice read !

All Talk and No Action said...

@incesantme - Welcome to the blog!