Mahabharata: India’s Epic

Mahabharata India's Epic - Weekend School

Mahābhārata is an ancient Sanskrit epic story that has played a huge role in the formation of Hinduism as we know it today. It is truly a vast work that presents an amazing story with many different strands and subplots as well as extensive passages of religious, philosophical, moral, and practical instruction. Interestingly, the Mahabharata is actually an epic poem, but is often referred to as a story because of its length – it’s the longest known epic poem ever written, consisting of over 200,000 individual lines.

Studying the story of Mahabharata is a fantastic way to understand the formation of Hinduism with guidance from our team of expert tutors. In this course, you will learn the story and characters of Mahābhārata. We will also delve into the role of the divine in worldly matters and explore concepts of dharma.

You won’t just learn about the content of the text, you’ll also look at other points, including its importance in the context of Hinduism itself. You’ll be answering crucial questions about the text: What sort of text this is? Who wrote it and when? What is it really about? What is its principal role in the religious, cultural, and social life of India?

This course is produced and presented by Dr Nick Sutton of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, who has spent the past four decades studying, teaching, and writing on Mahābhārata.

Start Date: 17 July 2022

Course Duration: Seven Weeks

Optional Assessment: Essay

Tutor: Dr Raj Balkaran

Course Creator: Dr Nick Sutton

255 pages

7hr 47min

Five Zoom sessions on various topics. Meet tutors and students from other courses and explore other areas of Hindu studies. Recordings available.

Pathway(s): Hindu Traditions, Sacred Texts