The Mahābhārata is one of the two epics of Hinduism. It has been acclaimed as a veritable encyclopaedia of dharma or righteousness.

Almost at the very end of this great epic, Vyāsa, its celebrated author, declares in great anguish that though dharma is the basis of all wealth and pleasures of life, though he is crying hoarse with both his hands uplifted, none seems to be interested in following it in life! He exhorts people not to abandon dharma even at the cost of one’s life, let alone out of lust or fear or greed.

The three verses containing his final message (vide Svargārohaṇa-parva, 5.62-64) are called ‘Bhārata-sāvitrī’.