The Mahabharata (Sanskrit) (Set Of 19 Volumes 22 Books): For the first time critically Edited

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The Mahabharata (Sanskrit) (Set Of 19 Volumes 22 Books): For the first time critically Edited
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As the only surviving pavan editor in the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute's project. of the Critical Edition of the Mahabharata, I feel naturally entranced at this opportunity to introduce the reprint of the Aadiparvan. The Adiparvan, edited by V. S. Sukthankar, was published in 1933, and it soon evoked quite a heartening response from various quarters. It set up a new model, as it were, in textual criticism, not only for the subsequent par vans but also for several other major Sanskrit texts. Verily, the critical edition of the Adiparvan proved to be a distinct landmark in the scientific development of modern Sanskrit studies. The critical edition of the eighteen par vans of the Mahabharata (extending over 13,000 demi quarto pages) was completed in 1966, and the historic event was formally announced by Rashtrapati Dr S. Radhakrishnan at a special function held at the Institute on September 22, 1966.

It would seem that the Editorial Board and the Board of Referees for the Critical Edition of the Mahabharata had visualized it as a multifaceted project. Besides the critical edition of the 18 par vans, it was to have comprised also a critical edition of the Harivamsa, which is traditionally regarded as a Khilaparvan of the Mahabharata, (later published in two volumes containing 1,711 pages, .1969-1971), the Pratika-Index (6 volumes containing 4,805 pages, 1967-1972), the Critically Constituted Text of the Great Epic and the Harivamsa (5 'volumes containing 3,150 pages, 1971-1976), and the Epilogue of the Critical Edition of the Mahabharata. This last item, namely, the Epilogue, has had rather a chequered career. Even at an early stage, it was thought that, as a prelude to the Epilogue, the Institute should publish a fairly comprehensive analytical Cultural Index to the Critical Edition. This latter too posed many problems, but the Institute duly overcame them. The work is now properly organized, and the first volume of the Cultural Index (506 pages, 1997) is hoped to be followed by subsequent volumes in quick and regular succession.

It may be incidentally pointed out that this reprint of the Adiparvan is also being issued in two Parts (Part I, pp. cXlv+360; Part II, pp. 361-996).

The illustrations in the original edition had to be regretfully omitted from the reprint.


In the spring of 1937 I received from my friend Dr. Sukthankar the suggestion that I should undertake for the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poena, the edition of Book 2 of the Mahabharata,' in place of the late lamented Professor Winterize, to whom it had originally been assigned. I could not decline this honourable offer, although it meant a serious interruption to other extensive studies in which I was then engaged.

I gave a good deal of time during the summer of 1937 to a preliminary study of the printed editions of the book. In the fall of that year, I received copies of the entire collation sheets for the book, which enabled me to study the readings of the MSS. thoroughly and to prepare from them a tentative text during the winter and spring of 1937-38. With this I sailed to India in June 1938, and spent nearly three months (July to September 1938) in the careful revision of the text, examining personally all the MSS. which were available in Poena, and benefiting from numerous conferences with Dr. Sukthankar himself.

After my return home (where I arrived in January 1939), I began to receive parts of the Critical Apparatus, which was prepared by the collators in the Mahabharata Department of the Institute. The last batch of this material arrived only in the early spring of 1940. The whole was carefully gone over and checked by me against the copies (in my possession) of the original collation sheets. The final checking of the statements of readings of the MSS. has been undertaken by Dr. Sukthankar himself, with reference to the original collation sheets, which have never left Poons.

Practical considerations seem to make it necessary that no proof sheets of the printed work shall be sent to me. While it is to me a new experience to allow work to be issued over my name without seeing the printers' proofs, I have such great confidence in Dr. Sukthankar's accuracy and reliability that this unusual procedure does not greatly disturb me. Dr. Sukthankar has undertaken to make himself responsible for all the proofreading, as he has done (I am informed) for other books of this edition, even though their editors resided in India.

, For this and for much evidence of friendly concern, as well. as for invaluable assistance in the editing, which only his unequalled learning and experience in this line could have given, I tender him my most heartfelt thanks.

Postscript. Dr. Sukthankar had supervised the proof-reading of pages 1-296 of the Text and Critical Apparatus, when his death on January 21, 1943, deprived me of an invaluable collaborator and friend, and the world of Indic scholarship of one of its leading ornaments. In a forthcoming issue of the Journal of the American Oriental Society, I shall try briefly to express my sentiments on this irreparable loss.

The new Editor, Professor S. K. Belvalkar, has most graciously and helpfully corresponded with me about the unfinished work of this book. The proofreading of the balance of the Text, and of all the Introduction, Appendices, and Addenda, has fallen to his lot. I am confident that his scrupulous and intelligent scholarship will come as near to replacing Sukthankar as is humanly possible. The distance between us, and the difficulties of war-time correspondence have made 'his labour more troublesome than it would be otherwise. Any unevenness which may appear will, I am sure, be due to these circumstances, and possibly in part to oversights or obscurities of which I may have been guilty, rather than to any deficiencies in his work. I hereby express to him my sincere gratitude.


THB: Critical Edition of the 5alyaparvan consists of 64 adhyayas, which are grouped into four sub-parvans, namely, 5alyavadha (adhys. 1-16), Hradapravesa (adhyas 17-28), Tirthayatra (adhys. 29-53), and Gadayuddha (adhys. 54-64). It must, how- ever, be pointed out the liout there had been in existence a tradition, mostly restricted to the Devanagar! MSS., according to which the 5alyaparvan ended with adhy. 28 while adhys, 9-64 of that parvan constituted an independent major Parvan, called the Gada parvan. Of course, in view of the almost complete unanimity of the 5, K, and B versions of the Recession and all the versions of the recession against that tradition, it has not been accepted for the purpose of the Critical Edition. Most of the MSS. belong to that tradition, which has been used for the constitution of the text of the first 28 adhys. could not be used for the constitution of the text of the remaining 36 adhys. for the simple reason that they did not contain those adhys. A different set of MSS., which contained adhys. 29-64, had? therefore, to be used for that purpose.

The total number of MSS. in this group, used in respect of all the 64 adhys. taken together, having thus become rather large, it was found convenient not to assign to the MSS. used for the constitution of the text of adhys. 29-64 numbers in continuation of the MSS. used for the constitution of the text of adhys. 1-28. This has, however, been done not only for the sake of convenience but also for the sake of greater accuracy.

For, the continuous numbering of those MSS. would not have served the purpose which such numbers are normally expected to serve, namely, to indicate the position of the different " . MSS. within a particular version vis-a-vis the constituted text. Moreover, continuous numbering ( or complementary numbering, such as 1'", 2'", etc.) would have given the wrong impression that those MSS. were, in one way or another, related to the MSS. 

used for the constitution of the text of adhys. 1-28. As a matter of fact, 80 far as the MSS. belonging to the tradition referred to above were concerned, adhys, 1-28 and adhys, 29-64 had to be treated as two distinct units. It was, of course, fully realized that to make one siglum represent two different MSS. within a single Parvan was not quite the proper thing to do. But under the circumstances and for the reasons stated above that could not be avoided. On the other hand, in the case of the MSS., which regards all the 64 adhys. as constituting the Salyaparvan, the numbers assigned are the same for the entire text of the Parvan, except in four cases where the numbers had to be changed in the light of the reallocation of those MSS.


Vol-1, Part-I: 9788193964200
Vol-1, Part-II: 9788193964217
Vol-2: 9788193964224
Vol-3: 9788193964293
Vol-4: 9788193964231
Vol-5: 9788193964248
Vol-6: 9788193964255
Vol-7: 9788193964262
Vol-8: 9788193964279
Vol-9: 9788193964286
Vol-10: 9788193980804
Vol-11: 9788193980811
Vol-12: 9788193980828
Vol-13: 9788193980835
Vol-14: 9788193980842
Vol-15: 9788193980859 Vol-16, Part-I: 9788193980873
Vol-16, Part-II: 9788193980866
Vol-17, Part-I: 9788193980880
Vol-17, Part-II: 9788193980897
Vol-18: 9788194020004
Vol-19: 9788194020011

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