The Ritual of Battle:Krishna in the Mahabharata

The Ritual of Battle:Krishna in the Mahabharata

ISBN: 9788120840348

Author: Alf Hiltebeitel

Subject: Hinduism and Its Sources

Language: English

Binding: Paper Back

Pages: 370

Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass

Availability: In Stock

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INR 595.00

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About Book: This book is a study of India s great epic, the Mahabharata, against the background of Indo-European myth, epic, and ritual. It builds upon the pioneering studies in these areas by Georges Dumezil and Stig Wikander to work toward the goal of understanding how this epic s Indo-European heritage is interpreted and reshaped within the setting of bhakti or devotional Hinduism. The book begins with a comparative typology of traditional classical epics, arguing that epic is a distinctive mythical genre and that the Maha-Bharata, in particular, should be studied as part of an Indo-European epic (and not just mythical) continuum. The reshaping of Indo-European theme is then examined in relation to the Mahabharrata s central mystery : the figure of Krsna, hero and ally of the Pandava brothers in their struggles against their cousins, the Kauravas, and incarnation of Visnu. The study argues that Krsna figures in the epic at the centre of a coherent theological ensemble that builds upon continuities in Indo-European, Vedic, and particularly Brahmanic sacrificial idioms. Ultimately, Krsna guides the forces of dharma or righteousness through a great sacrifice of battle whose eschatological background recalls Indo-European and Vedic themes, while projecting them into the Hindu bhakti cosmology of universal dissolutions, recreations, and divine grace. The study vigorously opposes attempts to explain Krsna by arbitrary theories of the Mahabharata's growth through interpolations.

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