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Since long, I have a thought of translating the great epic Mahaabhaaratham into Thelugu language for the benefit of young readers who cannot read and understand the original Samskritham text or its famous Thelugu translation in poetry. As I happened to talk to some of my friends about this, they expressed the view that an English translation would be better useful to young Indians living abroad as they have little chance of getting acquainted with the original text of the epic.

As far as I know, only one work of comprehensive English translation of Mahaabhaaratham is well known, the one by a Bengali writer K M Ganguly, written more than 120 years ago. Translating the original word-to-word, it is literally comprehensive, but its language is opaque to present day reader. Yet, this work has been useful to me in many contexts when I could not correctly interpret the original. One more famous translation was by C Rajagopalachari. But it is a greatly abridged one, especially regarding philosophical topics. In Thelugu too, many translations are available,including a recent one from the Geetha Press, but I cannot find a thorough translation in simple English especially in detail , with write-up about every thing, place and person mentioned in the epic. That made me decide to go with my idea.

My efforts did not take a form until I was transfered from Nizamabad to Guntur, my native town, in September 2005. Even with the advantage of home-town living, I could not put any effort to start the translation work for more than two years. But, I don't know why, I suddenly had an idea of translating it in such a way that it can be acessible through web too. But my knowledge about such presentation is nil. At the same time, around December 2007, I stumbled upon a document about html basics in our bank portal. That looked sufficient to me for the time being and started my translation. I worked on that for a few days . This was during April 2008. But soon many disturbances occurred and the entire work came to a halt in the very beginning itself. That idle status lasted for two years.

I got married at the end of 2009 and was transfered to Hyderabad in the year 2010 but nothing was done for nearly two more years thereafter. Then in March 2012, I met with a fatal road accident and I lost my beloved eldest niece Vyshnavi Krishna, who was aged just 19 but a promising singer already. She was as dear as a daughter to me. Her heart-rending death left me shocked for many months.

Then, around September 2012, I thought of doing something in memory of my niece. I could not think of anything that I could do except completing the Mahaabhaaratham in her memory. That prompted me to take up the work again and continue.

I have never tried my hand in English earlier. Nor am I a great scholar of the epic either. Yet, I continued the translation work with many intermitent breaks due to system crash or for want of time. Though it is as audacious as puerile to attempt such a work as translation of the gigantic epic of nearly 125000 shlokas into a foreign language as English in a thorough manner, my blind courage pushed me ahead. I am not sure how long it may take for me to complete the task, but I plan to complete the bare translation in two years from now and other finishings in one more year, taking it to the end of year 2015. After completing the presentation of the main epic, I will append Harivamsham to this. I also plan to keep the translated work in the web site which is set up in the name of Vyshnavi by her parents.

I pray that the readers in general and the scholars in particular, may help me improve this presentation with their valuable suggestions. No one is free from errors. What to talk of a little fellow like me! Any correction from any quarter is heartily welcome.

I sincerely thank my wife Meher Lakshmi and other family members who allowed me to spend on this work whatever little time I found in my helplessly busy routine. I cannot express in words how thankful I am to those who commented upon the epic or translated it earlier into Thelugu and English.

My special thanks to my colleague Mr Ratna Prasad who took care of my ignorance in launching this website and initial uploading of the entire data. We hoisted this site to commemorate the second anniversary of Vyshnavi on 02.03.2014. Contents of the site will be updated as a running process, as and when they are ready.

It will be for my pleasure if the young readers of the world can have any benefit from my humble presentation.

May this remain as fond memorial of my unfortunate niece Vyshnavi.

May all be well and happy!

Wishing everyone all the best ,

Markandeya Prasad

Deputy Manager, Andhra Bank.

Hyderabad, March, 2 nd, 2014.