India Post has released second mega issue of this year on Mahabharata on 27th November 2017.The issue consists of a sheetlet of 18 stamps(430 Rs.),fdc,and 2 miniature sheets (100 Rs and 50 Rs each).The Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India , the other being the Ramayana .
The Mahābhārata is an epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pandva princes. It also contains philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four “goals of life” or purusartha (12.161). Among the principal works and stories in the Mahābhārata are the Bhagvad gita , the story of Damyanti, an abbreviated version of the Rāmāyaṇa, and the story of Rsyasringa , often considered as works in their own right.
Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahābhārata is attributed to Vyasa . There have been many attempts to unravel its historical growth and compositional layers. The oldest preserved parts of the text are thought to be not much older than around 400 BCE, though the origins of the epic probably fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE.
The text probably reached its final form by the early Gupta period (c. 4th century CE). The title may be translated as “the great tale of the Bhārata dynasty”. According to the Mahābhārata itself, the tale is extended from a shorter version of 24,000 verses called simply Bhārata.
The Mahābhārata is the longest epic poem known and has been described as “the longest poem ever written”.Its longest version consists of over 100,000 sloka or over 200,000 individual verse lines (each shloka is a couplet), and long prose passages.
At about 1.8 million words in total, the Mahābhārata is roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Rāmāyaṇa