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The Mahabharata and the Yugas : India's Great Epic Poem and the Hindu System of World Ages - Luis Gonzalez-Reimann

The Mahabharata and the Yugas

India's Great Epic Poem and the Hindu System of World Ages

Paperback Published: 7th October 2002
ISBN: 9780820455303
Number Of Pages: 298

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This book questions the conventional wisdom that a fully matured theory of the yugas - Hinduism's ages of the world - is integral to the Mahabharata, and it illustrates how traditional commentators and modern scholars have read the later Puranic yuga theory into the Mahabharata, in particular when it comes to placing the action at the beginning of the current terrible Kali Yuga. Luis Gonzalez-Reiman discusses the meaning of key terms in the epic by examining the text and early Buddhist sources. This book also traces the sectarian appropriation of the yuga system in later literature and documents how modern religious movements have used the system to proclaim the arrival of a new, prosperous Krta Yuga, a phenomenon that coincides with New Age expectations.

This original and well-researched study sheds considerable new light on the history and development of the theory of cyclical time, one of the most critical concepts in our understanding of the religious and cosmological thought of Hindu India. Luis Gonzalez-Reimann's work is a 'must read' for anyone interested in the Indian epic literature and in the way in which the concept of recurrent yugas or world ages evolves in these seminal texts. (Robert P. Goldman, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California at Berkeley) The view that yugas and pralayas replace each other in endless cycles strongly influenced the final formulations of all basic religious doctrines in India. This excellent book will prove to be indispensable for anybody interested in the foundations of Indian culture. (Yaroslav V. Vassilkov, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, St. Petersburg)

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
List of Abbreviationsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
Cyclical Time in Hinduismp. 3
The Yugasp. 6
The Mahabharatap. 8
Outline of the Storyp. 12
Time and Destiny in the Mahabharatap. 20
The Power of Time and Fatep. 20
Krsna, Fate and Free Willp. 28
Two Kinds of Timep. 32
The Rope of Timep. 37
Yuganta: The End of the Yugap. 51
The Mahabharata and the Yuga Theoryp. 51
The Term kali and the Dice Throwsp. 53
Kali in Early Buddhist Literature: The Pali Canonp. 62
The Term Yugantap. 64
The Dvapara-Kali Transition: Placing the Action in the Yuga Schemep. 86
The Textual Evidencep. 86
Book One: The Summaryp. 86
Book Twelve: The Supreme Narayanap. 87
Books Six and Thirteen: Narayana/Krsna and the Section on Cosmologyp. 89
Book Three: Kali or Krta?p. 92
Book Nine: The Death of Duryodhanap. 99
Weighing the Evidencep. 102
Kali as Pusyap. 106
The King and the Yugasp. 118
The Duties of the Kingp. 118
To Act or not to Actp. 120
From Dice Throws to Yugasp. 122
The Importance of Punishmentp. 126
Creating a New 'Krta Yuga'p. 129
The Yuga System becomes Part of the Mahabharatap. 138
A 'kali' Epic Poemp. 138
The Narrative, and the Epic's Response to Social Changep. 143
Codifying Timep. 144
Time as a Cyclical Processp. 147
The Transition from Vedism to Hinduism and the Growth of the Epicp. 149
Vaisnavism and the Epicsp. 152
The Yugas in the Puranas and the Dharma Sastrasp. 164
Which Dharma?p. 164
'This' Kali Yugap. 168
Yuga Dharmap. 172
The Modern Importance of the Yugasp. 180
Conclusionsp. 202
The Usage of Key Termsp. 203
The Historical Contextp. 206
After the Mahabharatap. 207
Description of the Yugas in the Section on Cosmologyp. 211
Mahabharata 6.11.1-14p. 211
Sanskrit Textp. 212
Conversation between Bhima and Hanuman Concerning the Yugasp. 215
Mahabharata 3.148.5-37p. 215
Sanskrit Textp. 218
The Terms Pusya, Dvapara, Kharva and Krta in the Sadvimsa Brahmanap. 223
The King and Punitive Justicep. 227
Mahabharata 12.70p. 227
Sanskrit Textp. 230
Bhisma's Krta-like Regencyp. 233
Mahabharata 1.102.1-14p. 233
Sanskrit Textp. 234
Bhaktivedanta Swami and the 'Golden Age' within the Kali Yugap. 237
Bibliographyp. 243
Primary Sourcesp. 243
Sanskrit Textsp. 243
Pali and Gandhari Textsp. 245
Texts with Translationp. 246
Translationsp. 248
Secondary Sources and Reference Worksp. 251
Index of Passagesp. 273
General Index and Glossaryp. 283
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780820455303
ISBN-10: 082045530X
Series: Asian Thought and Culture
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 298
Published: 7th October 2002
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 16.0  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.45