With the Mahabharata war in its final days, the battlefield reeks of death and rot. Casualties have taken their toll on both sides – the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The losers have nowhere to hide, and the victors are unsure if they have been truly triumphant at the end of all the bloodshed.
Bhishma stands in the middle of all the lust for power, which has rendered his near and dear ones unrecognizable. Pained at both the arrows piercing his frail body and the way his entire clan has been wiped out in a matter of eighteen days, the Kuru grandsire has yet to breathe his last. Even death will not come easy to Devavrata.
Draupadi, who stands both beyond and in the center of the chaos, has done everything she could to protect her husbands. It was, after all, her humiliation during the infamous game of dice that had triggered the gory war, which had seen the brutal murders of Abhimanyu, Ghatotkach, and her five sons.
Last but not the least, it is Arjuna who continues to be torn apart by his affection for his teachers and siblings, and his Kshatriya dharma to uphold righteousness. He is haunted by grief at every major juncture in the war – starting from the beginning of the battle, the assassination of Bhishma, the slaying of Dronacharya, and finally the elimination of Karna. He constantly questions his friend and charioteer Krishna whether the ultimate cost of war is worth all the carnage.
The first in a trilogy, The Dharma Forest is a moving novel about a misplaced sense of dharma, the wounded honor of a woman, and a man immobilized by inaction. A breathtaking tapestry of three contrasting characters of the Mahabharata, The Dharma Forest is a treatise on Indian philosophy.
Genre: Legends & Sagas
Published: December 2020
Number of Pages: 400
Author: Keerthik Sasidharan