Dharma is certainly a central theme of the Mahabharata; it repeatedly explores the ways in which dharma can be understood and highlights the tensions that arise from differing interpretations of dharma. What is dharma? Is it the obligatory duties of one’s social class? Is it the pure virtue exemplified by Yudhisthira? Is it the rules laid down in the dharma-sastra passages of the Mahabharata? Is it the ritual acts of the Vedic tradition? Or is it the path to liberation from rebirth revealed in the teachings found in the later books of the Mahabharata? In this session, we will consider each of these understandings of dharma as they are presented in the Mahabharata, and try to highlight the reconciliations and contradictions revealed within its eighteen parvans.