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The Oldest Extant Parvan-List of the Mahābhārata

Dieter Schlingloff
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 89, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1969), pp. 334-338
DOI: 10.2307/596517
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/596517
Page Count: 5
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The Oldest Extant Parvan-List of the Mahābhārata
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Abstract

The Berlin collection of Sanskrit mss. from Qizil (Chinese Turkistan) comprises numerous fragments of an unpublished palmleaf-manuscript in Kushāṇa characters, comprehending at least two philosophical texts of the Sarvāstivādin School. In the present paper, the fragments of two successive leaves are edited and discussed, which consist of a list of Mahābhārata-parvans. The juxtaposition of this parvan-list with the current lists of the 100 sub- and 18 major parvan proves that this list represents an earlier stage of development of the Mahābhārata. It verifies the statement of Winternitz and other scholars, which have argued that the virāṭaparvan and the anuśāsanaparvan do not belong to the original Mbh., but are later interpolations into the great Epos.

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