Chapter

The <i>Nārāyaṇīya</i> and the Early Reading Communities of the <i>Mahābhārata</i>

Alf Hiltebeitel

in Between the Empires

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305326
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850884 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305326.003.0010

Series: South Asia Research

The Nārāyaṇīya and the Early Reading Communities of the Mahābhārata

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This chapter discusses a unit of the twelfth book of the Mahābhārata, the Nārāyaṇīya, for its bearing on the textual and religious history of post-Vedic and classical India. Although no portion of the Mahābhārata has been considered so axiomatically “Gupta” as the Nārāyaṇīya, the evidence for such dating-furthered most recently in the collaborative volume Nārāyaṇīya Studien and in subsequent essays by two of its authors is far from convincing. Likewise, it has been argued in that volume and by others before it that no unit of the Mahābhārata is so at odds with the rest of the text. It has become the axiomatic interpolation, and would have to be considered the ultimate test for any argument that the archetype recovered by the Poona Critical Edition, in which the Nārāyaṇīya is included, could provide access to the work as it was originally conceived.

Keywords: Mahābhārata; Nārāyaṇīya; Gupta; Nārāyaṇīya Studien; Poona Critical Edition

Chapter.  15922 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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