The Udyoga Parvan is one chapter of the Sanskrit Mahābhāratā, translated by Tuñcattŭ Eḻuttacchan into a famous Malayalam classical literary sacred text.
The palm leaf manuscript comprises of twenty folios with clear legible writing on both sides of the palm leaf and nine or ten lines to one side. The palm leaf dimensions are 13 x 1½ inches.
The date of creation of this manuscript copy is noted as being the 15th day of Karkkitakam of the year 948, following the Kollavarsham calendar, this year corresponds to the year 1773 in the Gregorian calendar. The copyist’s name is given as Nuremakkota.
Why is it so important?
The Udyoga Parvan is a translation of the chapter called the Book of Effort in the Sanskrit Mahābhāratā. It is a turning point in the story of the Mahābhāratā, focusing on the Pandava’s return from their exile and failed attempts to broker peace with the Kauravas, leading to preparations for the final great battle between the cousins.
The author of the work, 16th century Malayalam poet Tuñcattŭ Rāmānujan Eḻuttacchan, is regarded reverentially as the father of modern Malayalam. He contributed to the standardisation of the Malayalam language and his version of the Mahābhāratā gained classical status through its accessible language and deft weaving of both Sanskrit and Malayalam in its translation.