Mahābhārata, Part I: The big ... everything
|Photos by your humble blogkeeper|
My favorite character so far (Dhritarāshtra, a king in one of the two family factions in the war that forms the work's core), starts to complain, and, this being the Mahābhārata, he goes on complaining for 60 verses, each ending with: O Sanjaya I had no hope of success. The song is a kind of reverse "Dayenu," and the rhythm induced by the repetition is beguiling. Complaints are a marvelous way to tell a story, invested each reported fact or incident with urgency.
Indian have always loved big numbers, so no surprise in any of this. (They also loved grammar [they were thousands of years ahead of the West in the study of linguistics], and ancient Indian art and literature have more sex in them than any other ancient literature and art I know.)
What is the biggest number you know of in literature or science? (If it ends in -illion, it has so be a real number. No bajillions allowed.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2014