Mahabharata is 'one of the greatest books in the world', says Dr Annie Besant, eminent scholar of Hinduism as well as comparative religion, and international President of the Theosophical Society (1907-1933), in the introduction to this book. It is the story of the Aryan race in India some five thousand years ago and includes an account of the epic war between the Pandavas and Kauravas.
This book is based on notes of lectures delivered by Dr Besant at the Cental Hindu College, Benaras (now Varanasi) in the first decade of this century. She describes the Mahabharata as a great teacher of ethics and philosophy, and it is also history. The original in Samskrit verse, she says, 'is the greatest poem in the world. There is no other poem so splendid as this, so full of what to know, and of what is good for us to study. It is so beautiful in its language and tells so interesting a story, that every (Indian) should know something of it.'