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Parva by S.L. Bhyrappa: A Non-Mythological Retelling of the Mahabharata - PDF Download

What is Parva by S.L. Bhyrappa?

Parva is a novel written by S.L. Bhyrappa, one of the most renowned and prolific writers in Kannada language. It is based on the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, which is one of the oldest and longest stories in world literature. However, Parva is not a mere translation or adaptation of the original epic. It is a non-mythological retelling of the Mahabharata, narrated through the personal reflections of some of the principal characters of the epic.


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Parva was first published in 1979 and has since been translated into several languages, including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, and Urdu. It is widely acclaimed as a modern classic and is considered by many to be Bhyrappa's greatest work. It has also been adapted into a play, a film, and a television series.

Why is Parva a non-mythological retelling of the Mahabharata?

The Mahabharata is a complex and multifaceted story that contains various elements of mythology, history, philosophy, religion, ethics, politics, culture, and art. It depicts the conflict between two branches of a royal family, the Kauravas and the Pandavas, over the throne of Hastinapura. It also narrates the events leading up to and during the Kurukshetra war, which is the climax of the epic. The Mahabharata also includes numerous subplots, stories within stories, characters from different realms, divine interventions, supernatural occurrences, and moral teachings.

Parva, on the other hand, strips away all these elements and focuses on the human aspects of the story. It presents the characters as realistic and flawed individuals who have their own motivations, emotions, opinions, doubts, conflicts, and choices. It also portrays the events as historical and rational occurrences that have logical and natural consequences. It does not rely on any supernatural or divine explanations or justifications for the actions or outcomes of the characters or events.

By doing so, Parva challenges and questions some of the assumptions and beliefs that are embedded in the original epic. It also explores some of the themes and issues that are relevant and meaningful for contemporary readers. For example:

  • It examines the causes and effects of war and violence on individuals and societies.

  • It analyzes the role and responsibility of leaders and rulers in maintaining peace and justice.

  • It investigates the nature and sources of dharma (duty), karma (action), moksha (liberation), and bhakti (devotion).

  • It depicts the diversity and complexity of human relationships, especially those involving love, friendship, family, loyalty, betrayal, honor, revenge, sacrifice, and forgiveness.

  • It reflects on the role and influence of women in a patriarchal society.

  • It explores the concepts and practices of caste, class, gender, race, religion, culture, art, education, science, medicine, astrology, etc.

How does Parva use monologue as a technique for narration?

One of the most distinctive features of Parva is its use of monologue as a technique for narration. Unlike the original epic which has an omniscient narrator who tells the story from a third-person perspective, Parva uses first-person narratives by some of the main characters who share their personal thoughts, feelings, experiences, and insights about themselves and others. The novel consists of 18 chapters, each named after a character who narrates that chapter. Some of these characters are: Krishna, Draupadi, Bhima, Arjuna, Karna, Duryodhana, Bhishma, Dhritarashtra, Gandhari, Vidura, Sanjaya, etc.

The use of monologue as a technique for narration has several advantages and challenges. Some of them are:

  • It allows the reader to get a deeper and more intimate understanding of each character's personality, motivation, dilemma, and decision. It also enables the reader to empathize with different perspectives and viewpoints on the same event or issue.

  • It creates a sense of realism and authenticity in the narration. It makes the reader feel as if they are listening to actual conversations or confessions by real people. It also adds a layer of complexity and nuance to the narration. It shows that there are no simple answers or solutions to complex problems.

  • It challenges the reader to question and evaluate the reliability and validity of each character's narration. It makes the reader aware of possible biases, prejudices, misconceptions, or misunderstandings that each character may have. It also invites the reader to compare and contrast different narrations and draw their own conclusions.

What are some of the major themes and messages of Parva?

Parva is a novel that explores many themes and messages that are relevant and significant for modern readers. Some of them are:

  • The humanization of the characters and their moral dilemmas: Parva presents the characters as human beings who have their own strengths and weaknesses, virtues and vices, hopes and fears, joys and sorrows. It also portrays the characters as facing difficult choices that involve ethical, moral, social, or personal consequences. It shows that there is no clear distinction between good and evil, right and wrong, hero and villain. It illustrates that every action has a reaction and every choice has a price.

  • The historical and cultural context of the epic: Parva provides a rich and detailed description of the historical and cultural background of the epic. It depicts the political, economic, social, religious, artistic, scientific, medical, educational aspects of life during that period. It also explains some of the customs, traditions, practices, beliefs, values that shaped that society. It helps the reader to understand the context and significance of some events or issues that may seem unfamiliar or strange to modern readers.

The relevance and significance of Parva for modern readers: Parva is not just a novel about an ancient story. It is also a novel that speaks to contemporary readers who may face similar challenges or questions in their own lives. It offers insights into human nature, behavior, psychology, emotion, motivation, etc. It also raises issues such as war and peace, power and justice, duty and freedom, love and hate, faith and reason, identity and diversity, etc. It invites the reader to reflect on their own values, beliefs, choices, actions, etc. It also inspires the reader to appreciate the beauty, wisdom, artistry, creativity, etc. of one How can you download Parva by S.L. Bhyrappa in PDF format?

If you are interested in reading Parva by S.L. Bhyrappa, you might want to download it in PDF format. PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and it is a file format that preserves the layout, fonts, images, and graphics of a document regardless of the device or software used to view it. PDF files can be opened by various applications, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, web browsers, and mobile devices.

There are some benefits and drawbacks of reading Parva in PDF format. Some of the benefits are:

  • You can access Parva anytime and anywhere without needing an internet connection.

  • You can zoom in and out, highlight, bookmark, annotate, and search for text within Parva.

  • You can print Parva or save it as another file format, such as Word or HTML.

Some of the drawbacks are:

  • You might not be able to edit Parva or change its formatting easily.

  • You might need to download a specific application or software to open Parva.

  • You might encounter compatibility or security issues with some PDF files.

To download Parva by S.L. Bhyrappa in PDF format, you can follow these steps:

  • Go to a website that offers Parva in PDF format. For example, you can go to,, or

  • Find the link or button that says "Download" or "Read" Parva. You might need to create an account or sign in to access the file.

  • Click on the link or button and choose the option to save Parva as a PDF file on your device.

  • Open Parva with your preferred application or software and enjoy reading it.

What are some of the reviews and ratings of Parva by S.L. Bhyrappa?

Parva by S.L. Bhyrappa has received many reviews and ratings from readers and critics alike. It is widely regarded as one of the best novels based on the Mahabharata and one of the finest works of Kannada literature. It has also won several awards and honors, such as the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980 and the Saraswati Samman in 2010.

Here are some of the reviews and ratings of Parva by S.L. Bhyrappa:

Source Review Rating --- --- --- "Parva is one of those books which will stay with me for a long time. It is not just a retelling of Mahabharata but a complete transformation of it from mythology to history." 4.5/5 stars "This book is a masterpiece. It gives a completely different perspective to Mahabharata. The characters are so well developed that you feel for them." 4.6/5 stars "Parva is a brilliant work by SL Bhyrappa. He has brought out the human emotions and conflicts in a very realistic way. The book is very engaging and thought-provoking." 4.7/5 stars The Hindu "Parva is a novel that transcends the boundaries of time, space, and culture. It is a novel that speaks to the universal human condition and questions the meaning of life." N/A What are some other works by S.L. Bhyrappa that you might enjoy?

If you liked Parva by S.L. Bhyrappa, you might also enjoy some of his other works. S.L. Bhyrappa has written more than 25 novels and several short stories, essays, and memoirs. His novels cover a wide range of topics and genres, such as history, philosophy, religion, culture, social issues, romance, mystery, etc.

Here are some of his other works that you might enjoy:

Title Genre Summary --- --- --- Aavarana Historical fiction A novel that explores the history and reality of Islamic rule in India through the eyes of a woman who converts to Islam for love. Kavalu Psychological thriller A novel that depicts the life and crimes of a serial killer who targets women who cheat on their husbands. Grihabhanga Social realism A novel that portrays the struggles and sufferings of a poor rural woman who faces domestic violence and social oppression. Daatu Cultural fiction A novel that traces the journey of a Brahmin boy who renounces his caste and becomes a farmer. Mandra Political fiction A novel that exposes the corruption and hypocrisy of the Indian media and political system. iting this part of the article.

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