The Mahābhārata is the greatest epic in the world both in magnitude and profundity. A veritable cultural compendium of Bhārata-varṣa, it is a product of the creative genius of Maharṣi Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa. The epic captures the experiential wisdom of our civilization and all subsequent literary, artistic, and philosophical creations are indebted to it. To read the Mahābhārata is to understand the heart of India. The nucleus of the epic is the Great War between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas that was fought at Kurukṣetra. The guiding light to the Pāṇḍavas and the charioteer of the grand saga is Bhagavān Śrīkṛṣṇa, the embodiment of the finest values of Sanātana-dharma. A sublime hero like none other, Śrīkṛṣṇa represents the greatest human ideal. Prof. A R Krishnasastri’s classic Vacana Bhārata is a high-resolution photograph of the timeless epic that captures its creamiest essence in sculpted Kannada prose. It has been a perennial favourite with Kannadigas since it first came out in 1950. Neither before nor after has such a succinct yet rich-in-details abridgement of the world’s grandest epic been published in any language. The Essential Mahabharata is an authentic English translation by Arjun Bharadwaj and Hari Ravikumar, lifelong students of both Bhārata and the Bhārata. An insightful essay about the book by Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh and an elevating pen portrait of Prof. Krishnasastri by Nāḍoja Dr. S R Ramaswamy adorn this volume. For anyone who wishes to catch a glimpse of India and savour the essence of the Mahābhārata, this book is a must-read!