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The Mahabharata is a sweeping epic of Indian mythology, analogous in both size and religious significance to the western Bible. It tells the story of a war between the Pandavas, the sons of King Pandu, and the Kauravas, the sons of Pandu's older, blind brother, King Dhritarastra. The Epic is written in eighteen books.

Set in the sixth book of the Mahabharata is the Bhagavad Gita, another masterpiece of Hindu thought, wherein Arjuna is advised by Krishna that he must fulfill his duty by participating in a battle, at the risk of losing many friends and relatives in the fighting.

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