Mahabharata audio project - How? महाभारत-ध्वनि-प्राप्तिः

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The task at hand is enormous, since Mahābhārata, together with accessory texts comes up to roughly 150,000 shloka-s. At the hands of expert reciters, assuming a rate of about 60 shloka-s an hour (including time required for rehearsal before recording), this would require a 2,450.25 hours of recording effort. Beyond that, we expect roughly the same effort for closely examining and editing the recordings. Past experience with other audio products suggest that a couple of iterations of recording, checking, rerecording might be required to remove errors.

We propose to identify and engage expert reciters (both paid ones and volunteers) with access to android phones and free mp3 recording apps (thereby bypassing studio recording costs). We will allot them chapters to record and send to us. We will then track their progress, examine the recording quality, edit as necessary and publish the final product freely (under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License) on the internet.

A past attempt by us at using volunteers to record the text had thrown up several unsurprising problems:

  • Inconsistent, unpredictable and slow progress
  • Varying quality due to varying levels of proficiency.

This we hope to surpass by adding paid expert reciters.


The project was initially coordinated and conducted under the auspices of Vyoma Labs. We are grateful to have been promised a donation by Aditi Bannerjee via Indic Academy. With this plan to meet our expenses for this project (especially paying expert reciters).

Record audio for us?

Are you interested in helping us? Please contact us via whatsapp or email (we have an email list). You can volunteer or you can choose to be paid daxiṇā - eitherway, please be aware that you commit to regularly produce good recordings.

The expected rate of output

कियता कालेन पठनीयम् इति नैके ऽपृच्छन्। भवतां पठनक्षमताम् अनुसृत्य पठनार्थम् अध्यायान् सूचयिष्यामः - वयन्तु यावच्छीघ्रं ध्वनिमुद्रणानि सङ्गृहीतुं वाञ्छामः। उदाहरणाय- यदि दिने २०० श्लोकान् पठितुम् अस्ति क्षमता, तन्मात्रान् अध्यायान् पठनार्थं समर्पयामः। अवरपक्षे तु दिने १०० श्लोकान् पठितुं प्रयतध्वम्।


दोषनिवारणाय चोदिताः‌ खलु जनाः कदाचिन् निराशतां यन्ति, द्रुतं च न शोधयन्ति। किञ्च निर्दुष्टा एव ध्वनिसञ्चिका इष्टाः शीघ्रतरकार्यगतिर् अह्रसमानोत्साहश्च। अस्य साधनार्थं काचिद् व्यवस्था कल्पनीयेत्यस्माकं धीः।

  • Set up recording apps, go over instructions mentioned in the Reciting and Recording: tips page page.
  • Identify assigned portions from this sheet - . अनुवादः - पाठ्यांशान् इति जालपुटाद् अवगच्छतु। “001-076” नाम प्रथमपर्वणः (नाम - आदिपर्वणः) ७६-तमो ऽध्यायः।
    • If you have not submitted an expected recording for a long time, it is possible that the recording task has been assigned to someone else. Hence, please “refresh” the sheet and confirm that the adhyAyais indeed assigned to you. अनुवादः - आ बहोः‌ कालाद् अलब्धायां सञ्चिकायाम्, पाठकान्तरेण पाठितस् स्याद् अध्यायः। अतस्ताद्दृशेषु सन्दर्भेषु पठननिर्देशपृष्ठं पुनः‌ “refresh” कृत्वोररीकृत्य पठने ऽनुवर्तताम्।
  • Make mp3 recordings you’re satisfied with. Especially, please follow the technique described in the Reciting and Recording: tips page page and create separate mp3 files for each 10-shloka segment. अनुवादः - तृप्तिकरा mp3-सञ्चिकास् सृजतु। विशिष्य Reciting and Recording: tips page इत्यत्रोक्तया रीत्या प्रतिदशकम् एकां mp3 सञ्चिकां सृजन्तु।
  • Rename the mp3 based on the parva and adhyAya recorded in this way: 001-045.mp3 (or 001-045p01.mp3 001-045p02.mp3 .. if multi-part recording.)
  • Upload the mp3 to this google drive location - (but keep a copy for some time) - under a subfolder named after you.
  • Solicit and provide feedback on whatsapp forum (Especially in the beginning)
  • Notify coordinator (via whatsapp or add a comment in the appropriate cell of the कार्यावली-sheet; include edit requests).

Additional details for paid reciters

A formal agreement will be signed with Vyoma Labs.

The daxiṇā will be dispatched periodically (monthly at the latest, subject to bank transaction minimums). We will keep track of shloka-s (submitted, checked and accepted) so as to accurately calculate the amount due.

For coordinators


  • Listen to recordings via archive item/ podcast/ google drive
  • Just add a comment in the appropriate cell of the कार्यावली-sheet
  • Also, respond on whatsapp