Transmission of the Mahabharata Tradition: Vyasa and Vyasids (Studies in Indian and Asian Civilizations)

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About the Book:

The Mahabharata is the mighty Ganga taking its rise in the lofty Himalaya of a great poet's genius: its crystal clear waters in the course of their flow are joined by the rivers and streams of other legends, episodes and philosophical thinking, until incorporating and assimilating all these tributaries the original serene stream transforms itself into a mighty torrent flowing through the plains of time fertilizing the fields of literatures in Sanskrit, prakrit and modern Indian Languages: and, helping to carryon the trade of thought with exchange of ideas in the whole of India and outside, and keeping at the same time its sanctifying character it passes on to the Ocean of Eternity. The task that the author has set for himself is to analyze and examine, to the extent hat is possible, and the waters the tributaries have brought to the holy river.

About the Author:

C. R. Deshpande (b 1926) is at present Professor and Head, Department of Sanskrit And Ardhamagadhi at the S.S.V.P. Sanstha's Arts & M.F.M.A. Commerce College, Dhulia (Maharashtra).

He received his Ph.D. in 1957 for his thesis on "GAMPU" literature. He has worked in the Epilogue Section of the Mahabharata Department in the Bhandarkar Oriental Research institute, Pune, and also in the Sanskrit, Pali and Ardhamagadhi Department in Fergusson College, Pune. Dr. Deshpande was a Visiting fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced study Simla, from November 1971 to March 1974

CONTENTS
Preface xii
I INTRODUCTORY 1-14
(i) Importance of the Mahabharata 1
(ii) Its Extent 3
(iii) Its Heterogeneous Character 5
(iv) Problem of its Authorship 7
(v) Its Date 9
(iv) The Critical Edition 10
(xii) Scope, Methodology and Limitations of the Present Study 14
II THE NUCLEUS 15-49
(i) The Plot 21
(ii) Characterization 41
III THE KRSNA LEGEND 50-59
(i) Krsna as a Human Being 52
(ii) Krsna as a Divine Incarnation 55
IV OTHER LEGENDS AND EPISODES 60-76
(i) Mythological Stories 62
(ii) Heroic Legends 63
(iii) Brahmanic Legends and Myths 67
(iv) Bird and Beast Fables 70
(v) Moral Narratives 72
(vi) Folk Tales 75
V SOCIAL LIFE 77-103
(i) Varna, Duties, Privileges and Disabilities. 77
(ii) Ashrama 89
(iii) Position of Women 89
(iv) Son and Daughter 94
(v) Marriage 96
(vi) Faiths, Beliefs and Superstitions 97
(vii) Economic Thought 102
VI EHICS AND MORALITY 104-115
(i) General Ethical Ideas 104
(ii) The Agent 105
(iii) Dharma 106
(iv) Human Relations 107
(v) Sin and Expiation 107
(vi) Sex Relations 108
(vii) Ahimsa 111
(viii) Guest Worship 113
(ix) Apaddharma 114
VII POLITICAL THOUGHT 116-122
(i) General Political Ideas 116
(ii) The King 117
(iii) Administration 119
(iv) Ministers 120
(v) Punishment 121
VIII RELIGIOUS THOUGHT 123-135
(i) The Vedic Deities and Sacrifices 123
(ii) The Hindu Trinity 124
(iii) Other Minor Deities 134
(iv) Samskaras, rites and rituals 135
(v) Heaven and Hell
IX PHILOSOPHICAL THOUGHT 136-142
(i) General Philosophical Ideas 136
(ii) Csmology and Cosmogony 136
(iii) Doctrine of Soul 137
(iv) Knowledge 138
(v) The Highest Reality 138
(vi) The Karman Theory 139
(vii) Happiness and Misery 141
X AMPLIFICATIONS 143-179
(i) Epigrams 143
(ii) Poetic embellishments 145
(iii) The Erotic 147
(iv) Humorous Touches 147
(v) Exaggerations 149
(vi) The Miraculous Element 149
(vii) Elucidations 151
(viii) Etymology 151
(ix) Paaphrase, Substitution and Expansion 152
(x) Quotations 155
(xi) Details 156
IX CONCLUDING REMARKS 157-191
ABBREVIATIONS 192-193

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