Contents: Preface/Sachchidanand Joshi. Introduction/Molly Kaushal. Section I: Poetics and Ethics: 1. Poetic vision in the Mahabharata/Radhavallabh Tripathi. 2. Ethical dilemmas in the Mahabharata/Kavita A. Sharma. 3. Mahabharata and modern dilemmas a search for a living tradition beyond metaphysical trappings/Sehdev Kumar. Section II: Translations, Adaptations and Variations: 4. Ashvamedha Parva of Vyasa and Jaimini -A Comparison/Shekhar Sen. 5. Variations on Vyasa: The First Bengali Mahabharata/Pradip Bhattacharya. 6. Mahabharata: A Symbol of Composite Culture during the Mediaeval Period/Mansura Haidar. 7. The Mahabharata through the Eyes of Two Jaina Poets of Karnataka/H.S. Shiva Prakash. 8. Mahabharata and Regional Variations: Sarala Mahabharata in the Folklore of Odisha/Mahendra K. Mishra. 9. Mahabharata in the Literature and Lore of Kashmir/S.S. Toshkhani. Section III: Folk and Tribal Traditions: 10. Folk Adaptations of the Mahabharata: The Parallel Journey of Rajasthani Literature/Chandra Prakash Deval. 11. Bhilo nu Bharath in the Sociocultural and Religious Life of the Bhils/Bhagwandas Patel. 12. The Mahabharata in Adivasi Narrative, Creation, Myth, and Folk Theatre: Bhima’s Persona in the Folklore of Gondwana-Chhattisgarh Region/N.K. Das. 13. Gond Pandavani: A Narration by Pardhans/Vasant Nirgune. 14. Mahabharata: Tangibility of the Intangible/A.K. Das. Section IV: The Himalayan Complex: 15. Sacred Landscape of the Pandavas in Garhwal/D.R. Purohit. 16. Multiple Realities, Realpolitik, and Anti-heroes Duryodhana and Karna of the Himalaya in a Secularizing India/Lokesh Ohri. 17. Worship of Heroes and Anti-heroes of the Mahabharata in Western Uttarakhand: Changing Self-perceptions and the Intimate Divine/Neeru Nanda. 18. The Mahabharata Lore: Temples and Legends in the Beas-Yamuna Region/O.C. Handa. Section V: Performance Traditions. 19. Thoda Dance-Drama Tradition in Himachal Pradesh/Tulsi Raman. 20. Pandavayana: Pandava Gatha Singing/Lalita Kaushal. 21. Lord Krishna in Jatra: The Popular Theatre of Bengal/Soumen Sen. 22. The Mahabharata, A Voyage into Celestial Space and Time: A Study of the Cult Tradition in South India/Pulikonda Subbachary. 23. “Making That Young Bride a Widow, Whoever She May Be”: Aravan-Kuttantavar, From Kuvakkam to Coimbatore/Alf Hiltebeitel. 24. Mahabharata in Kutiyattam/G. Venu. 25. Fight between Narakasura and Satyabhama in Harivamsa and Southern Performance Tradition/A. Purushothaman and A. Harindranath. 26. From Nehru to Benegal: An Alternative Mahabharata/Bodh Prakash. Index.
The fascinating world of multiple Bharatas that this book introduces its readers with is that of a perennial tale discovered and created afresh at each juncture of time; at each moment of self-doubt and self-exploration; at each rejoicing of self-discovery and self-recovery. If one does not come across a seamless continuity here, one does not encounter apparent ruptures either. The Bharatas, as narrated here, present us with amazing diversity with palpable consubstantiality expressed in myriad forms and multiple hues; tradition belonging as much to its contemporaneity as to its past; belonging as much to the spokes as to the axle; centrifugal and centripetal at once; a tradition old and new at the same moment of time.
The book is based on the proceedings of a seven-day international conference organized by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) on the living traditions of the Mahabharata in the year 2011. The conference explored the multiple tellings and retellings of the Mahabharata story as sung, danced, and celebrated in festivals, inscribed on to geographic landscapes, committed to memory as sacred genealogy, embodied in rituals, and sculpted in shrines and temples. The presentations ranged from issues of poetics and ethics to translations, adaptations, and variations to folk and tribal traditions as sung, recited, and performed. Rather than exploring the Mahabharata as a book or a singular narrative, these papers focus on the multi-tradition of the Mahabharata in all its multidimensionality, multiplicity, and above all, in its fluidity. The book would certainly interest the scholars engaged in the study of the living heritage of Indian epics, folklorists, indologists and anthropologists.