Mahābhārata (Sanskrit: महाभारत, Mahābhāratam) is one of the sacred book of Hindus and a major Sanskrit epics of ancient India besides Ramayana , Bhagavad Geeta and Bhagavatham. Mahabharata comprises devotional and philosophical material, such as a discussion of the four “goals of life” or purusharthas (12.161) besides its epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pandava princes. Among the principal works and stories that are a part of the Mahabharata are (1) Bhagavad Gita, (2) the story of Damayanti, (3) an abbreviated version of the Ramayana, (4) Rishyasringa, (5) Sri Krishna Rayabharam and many more..
The epic is ascribed to the sage Veda Vyasa, who is also a major character in the epic. The first section of the Mahabharata states that it was god Ganesha who, at the request of Vyasa, wrote down the text to Vyasa’s dictation. Ganesha is said to have agreed to write it only if Vyasa never paused in his recitation. Vyasa agrees on condition that Ganesha takes the time to understand what was said before writing it down.
The epic employs the story within a story structure, otherwise known as frametales, popular in many Indian religious and non-religious works. It is recited to the King Janamejaya who is the great-grandson of Pandava prince Arjuna, by sage Vaisampayana, a disciple of Vyasa. The recitation of Vaisampayana to Janamejaya is then recited again by a professional storyteller named Ugrasrava Sauti, many years later, to an assemblage of sages performing the 12-year sacrifice for King Saunaka Kulapati in the Naimisha Forest.
Jaya, the core of the Mahabharata is structured in the form of a dialogue between Kuru King Dhritarashtra and Sanjaya, his advisor and chariot driver. Sanjaya narrates each incident of the Kurukshetra War, fought in 18 days, as and when it happened. Dhritarashtra sometimes asks questions and doubts, and sometimes laments, sensing the imminent destruction that would be caused by the war, to his sons, friends and kinsmen. He also feels guilty about his own role in the lead-up to this war.
In the beginning, Sanjaya gives a description of the continents of the Earth, and of the other planets. He focuses on the Indian Subcontinent and gives an elaborate list of hundreds of kingdoms, tribes, provinces, cities, towns, villages, rivers, mountains, forests, etc. of the (ancient) Indian Subcontinent (Bhārata Varsha). He also explains about the military formations adopted by each side on each day, the death of each hero and the details of each war-racings. Some 18 chapters of Vyasa’s Jaya constitutes the Bhagavad Gita, the sacred text of the Hindus. Thus, this work of Vyasa, called Jaya deals with diverse subjects like geography, history, warfare, religion and morality. According to the Mahabharata itself, Vaisampayana’s Bharata expanded on the story, with Vyasa’s Jaya embedded within it. Ugrasrava eventually composed the final Mahabharata, with Vyasa’s Jaya and Vaisampayana’s Bharata embedded in the epic
Total 18 Parvas
Ved Vyasa created 19 parvas. The Mahabharata consists 18 parvas, and the 19 th parva is Harivamsa parva which is not included because the 19th parva told about Krishna’s life. Therefore, the Mahabharata consists 18 parvas.
VEDA VYAASA MAHAABHARATA has 100 Parvaas ( 1,00,700 verses).
While it was translaed into Andhra Mahabharata The GREATEST TELUGU POET NANNAIAH , Divided these 100 Parvams into 18 Parvams and CLEARLY GAVE WHICH PARTS OF SANKRIT PARVAMS SHALL BE COVERED IN EACH PARVA .HE VERY CLEARLY GAVE ALL THE DEATAILS. But Nannaiah could translate 2 Parvams and a part of aranya parvams. After 200 years, Tikkana took up from 4th parvanm without touching unfinished Aranya parvam and and completed balance all Parvams that is 4 th to 18 th Parvams, Then after that Eraa praggada finished the Aranya Parva shesham (balance part).
This Andhra mahabharatam of Kavitrayam ( Three poets) is Most Nearer to Moola sanskrit Veda Vyaasa Bharata, though some additions in narrations are made they enhanced the Mahabharata value .
1.Adi Parva (book of beginning)
2.Sabha Parva (The Book of the Assembly Hall)
3.Vana Parva also Aranyaka-parva, Aranya-parva (The Book of the Forest)
4.Virata Parva (The Book of Virata)
5.Udyoga Parva (The Book of the Effort)
6.Bhishma Parva (The Book of Bhishma)
7.Drona Parva (The Book of Drona)
8.Karna Parva (The Book of Karna)
9.Shalya Parva (The Book of Shalya)
10.Sauptika Parva (The Book of the Sleeping Warriors)
11.Stri Parva (The Book of the Women)
12.Shanti Parva (The Book of Peace)
13.Anushasana Parva (The Book of the Instructions)
14.Ashvamedhika Parva (The Book of the Horse Sacrifice)
15.Ashramavasika Parva (The Book of the Hermitage)
16.Mausala Parva (The Book of the Clubs)
17.Mahaprasthanika Parva (The Book of the Great Journey)
18.Svargarohana Parva (The Book of the Ascent to Heaven)
Khila.Harivamsa Parva (The Book of the Genealogy of Hari)