Mazy's Muddle: A few verses each day

Mazy's Muddle: A few verses each day

“Now is the time to read the Mahabharata,” said Uncle Raju who is our guest for two weeks.  “But I know the story,” I said, wanting to run out and play with my friends. “Mazy, it is not a story, it is thousands of stories in one epic,” he said.

“Did the events mentioned in the Mahabharata really happen?” I asked him, having seen some unbelievable scenes in the television version of the epic. “What we know as the great Mahabharata seems to be a mix of fact and fiction, history and mythology. But according to historian, the 18-day war at Kurukshetra, in present-day Haryana, did take place in 800 BC. Four hundred years later, in 400 BC, Vyasa composed the story in the form of 84,244 ‘shlokas’ or stanzas.”

Mind-boggling that a person without a laptop, SpellCheck or search engine could write so much, isn’t it? And we grumble about having to write a few pages of notes! Even more interesting is the fact that different books and scholars and regions give a different answer while giving the number of ‘shlokas’ composed by Veda Vyasa in the Mahabharata.

If Vyasa had written 100 ‘shlokas’ a day, how many months would he have taken to finish the Mahabharata according to my uncle?

Out of the maze: Over 28 months. Or 842 days. 84,244 divided by 100, and the answer divided by 30 gives the number of months.

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