The Mahabharata is at once an archive and a living text, a sourcebook complete by itself and an open text perennially under construction. Driving home this striking contemporary relevance of the famous Indian epic, Mahabharata Now focuses on the issues of narration, aesthetics and ethics, as also their interlinkages. The cross-disciplinary essays in the volume imaginatively re-interpret the ‘timeless’ classic in the light of the pre-modern Indian narrative styles, poetics, aesthetic codes, and moral puzzles; the Western theories on modern ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, psychoanalysis, and philosophy of science; and the contemporary social, ethical and political concerns. The essays are all united in their effort to situate the Mahabharata in the context of here and now without violating the sanctity of the ‘written text’ as we have it today. The book will be of interest to scholars and students of Indian and comparative philosophy, Indian and comparative literature, cultural studies, and history.
Table of Contents
Foreword Peter Ronald deSouza. Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part I: Narration 1. Of Gambling: A Few Lessons from the Mahābhārata Sibaji Bandyopadhyay 2. Methodology of the Critical Edition of the Mahābhārata Saroja Bhate 3. Significance of the Early Parvans: Modes of Narration, Birth Stories and Seeds of Conflict Sibesh Bhattacharya 4. Understanding Yudhiştòhira’s Actions: Recasting Karma-Yoga in a Wittgensteinian Mould Enakshi Mitra Part II: Aesthetics 5. Aesthetics of the Mahābhārata: Traditional Interpretations Radhavallabh Tripathi 6. Karnòa in and out of the Mahābhārata Nrisinha Prasad Bhaduri Part III: Ethics 7. Care Ethics and Epistemic Justice: Some Insights from the Mahābhārata Vrinda Dalmiya 8. Who Speaks for Whom? The Queen, the Dāsī and Sexual Politics in the Sabhāparvan Uma Chakravarti 9. Moral Doubts, Moral Dilemmas and Situational Ethics in the Mahābhārata Prabal Kumar Sen 10. Of Sleep and Violence: Reading the Sauptikaparvan in Times of Terror Anirban Das 11. Himòsā–Ahimòsā in the Mahābhārata: The Lonely Position of Yudhiştòhira Gangeya Mukherji 12. Just Words: An Ethics of Conversation in the Mahābhārata Arindam Chakrabarti
Arindam Chakrabarti is Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA.
Sibaji Bandyopadhyay is Professor of Cultural Studies, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC), Kolkata, India.