The Mahabharata is an Itihasa which holds fascination for scholars of different disciplines. There is material here, in this vast text, for anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers, scholars of religious studies, astrophysicists and many more. While earlier scholarship has mainly been in the fields of religion and philosophy and in the dating of the Itihasa, since the publication of the critical edition, scholars have been engaged in researching its contents both critically and comparatively in very many areas and in novel ways.
This book, which is a collection of essays by scholars reputed in the area of Mahabharata studies, belongs to this new genre. There are chapters, here, that explore the hermeneutics of dharma, others which try to analyze different characters from many perspectives, one which revistis the dating of the Kuruksetra war using latest computer technology, another one which discusses the birth of the Pandavas and the Kauravas in modern bioethical terms, and many other topics as well.
This book is thus an addition to the ongoing scholarship in understanding the inexhaustible material available to us in this unique Mahabharata text that represents in many ways, the cultural history of India. Though ancient, the Mahabharata is modern in the challenges it presents to scholars of all ages. It is a book which also caters to the general reader interested in the Itihasa tradition.
About the Author:
Dr. T.S. Rukmani is currently Professor and Chair in Hindu Studies at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Before joining the present assignment she had the distinction of being the first Chair in Hindu Studies and Indian Philosophy at the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa. She had a distinguished academic career at the University of Delhi, where her last assignment was Principal, Miranda House. She is the author of ten books which also includes the Yogavarttika of Vijnanabhiksu, translated into English, 4 vols. (New Delhi, 1981-89). She has innumerable papers to her credit and publishes regularly in academic journals both in India and abroad.