This talk focuses on the Telugu Mahabharata by the eleventh-century poet Nannaya, who is revered as the very first poet of Telugu literature. While the Sanskrit Mahabharata is a dangerous text associated with the conflicts of kingship, the Telugu Mahabharata is an auspicious retelling. We discuss how Nannaya’s innovative use of vernacular meter, style, and form, helped to transform the Mahabharata from a cosmopolitan text to a regional one, giving deep local roots to an unstable epic, rendering it auspicious.