Mahabharata Project

Mahabharata Project

Dvaita Philosophy Resource Centre

Title of the project : Grammatical analysis and XML tagging of Mahābhārata
Period of project : 40 months
Project details

Grammatical analysis and XML tagging of Mahābhārata
including Madhva’s commentary.


Traditional texts that hold the wisdom of centuries of human civilization have remained inaccessible to larger and mainstream academic world for being available primarily in Sanskrit, a language that seems to be limited only to scholars in traditional schools. It is high time that the power of knowledge hidden in these texts is unravelled and brought to mainstream discourses in philosophy and social sciences.


In India, there are more than 10,000 traditional scholars and researchers most of whom work in specific areas. Most of these traditional scholars do not have knowledge of international languages and also technical knowledge, and hence fail to connect with scholars outside India. Many of them are also constrained by traditional beliefs to go beyond national boundaries. This disconnect has been a major problem in the mainstreaming of traditional knowledge system.


Within India, though there are a few hundred traditional Sanskrit schools, many of them continue to work in silos with focus on specific schools of thought. Another major reason for their disconnect with the modern world is due to the lack of technological advancement. It is in this context that unravelling the encrypted knowledge base through best practices becomes not only pertinent but the need of the hour.
The planned project, with the help of Sanskrit Computational Linguistics (SCL), plans to connect Indian and international Sanskrit scholars and prepare ground for knowledge sharing; just as technical knowledge provides solution for the dissemination of Sanskrit works. This project opens up multitude of opportunities for future as well.


The proposed action of annotating Mahābhārata e-text along with grammatical analysis and XML tagging will help take this knowledge to international audiences, particularly scholars who have considerable knowledge of Sanskrit but continue to need additional inputs. Mahābhārata, with its more than 100,000 verses, is the largest epic that deals with several dimensions of human life; physical and philosophical.


Why Mahābhārata?

Mahābhārata, the magnum opus of Vedavyāsa, is a text with over 100,000 verses in 18 Parvas and it is said to be the world’s biggest literature epic that deals with all the aspects of human life. There is a saying in Mahābhārata that “On the topics of codes of conduct, wisdom, desire and the final destiny of life, one could find everything in the texts of Mahābhārata and if not, nowhere else.”
This vast literature is a source of wisdom, which speaks about the human history, geography, the lineage of many dynasties of India, cultures, traditions, ethical frameworks, art and architecture, education system, trading and economic system, politics, the status of women and almost every aspect of human civilization.
It also deals with the scientific aspects of Vedic system, cosmology, astronomy, warfare and political strategies. Ultimately, it discourses on the Supreme Being, the souls, the philosophical life and emancipation. Purāṇic literature claims that each verse of Mahābhārata including the Bhagavadgītā and Viṣṇusahasranāma, which are the condensed summaries of this treatise, opens up several dimensions.



Ācārya Madhva (Anandatirtha), one of the major philosophical thinkers in India has written a major commentary on Mahābhārata titled Mahābhārata-tātparyanirṇaya and also a short commentary titled Mahābhāratatātparya (Yamakabhārata). The Tātparyanirṇaya comprises of 5180 verses in 32 chapters presents the stories of Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata, Harivamśa, Bhāgavatapurāṇa and other major treatises in a chronological order that are apparently sporadic in these texts. This text emphasises on the philosophical understanding of these texts and addresses several questions raised about different interpretations. It also deals with several questions raised about ethical stances of this epic literature and offers solutions to philosophical conflicts that otherwise arise. The commentary is said to be a realistic perspective of Mahābhārata.


The proposed action shall include Madhva’s commentary because Dvaita Philosophy Resource Centre is already into translating and publishing of Dvaita works and has the required expertise. This will also mean the extension of the activities of DPRC. In this context, the synergy between the earlier actions and the present one is explicit leading to sustainability of research activities.




  • To facilitate unambiguous interpretations of Mahābhārata through computational tools
  • To employ the best research practices and foster understanding of Mahābhārata
  • To provide the base for knowledge sharing and support building the existing applications
  • To bridge the gap between traditional and modern academia with the help of technology



  • Educational and research institutions
  • Traditional Indian Scholarship
  • Global academic community