Authorship of the great Sanskrit language epic poem of India, the Mahabharata, is attributed to the sage Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa. This study focuses on the depiction of Vyasa in the Mahabharata, where he is an important character in the tale he is credited with composing.
Other scholars have interpreted Vyasa as an incarnation of Narayana Visnu. This study, however, demonstrates that he is so depicted only very rarely in the epic, and that elsewhere the Mahabharata portrays Vyasa as corresponding meaningfully with Brahma. Vyasa is, in fact, the earthly counterpart to Brahma in the Mahabharata, as Krsna is of Visnu, etc. The interpretation of Vyasa is enriched by the different perspectives provided by other literature, including dramas, Jataka tales, Arthasastra, and Puranas.
About the Author:
BRUCE M.SULLIVAN is a professor of Religious Studies in the Dept. of Humanities, Arts and Religion, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, USA. He did his M.A. (1975) in Religion, concentration in Asian Religious. He further got Ph. D degree (1984) in the History of Religious Discipline from the Dept. of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, the University of Chicago. His other works include: Historical Dictionary of Hinduism and The Sun God's Daughter and King Samvarana, and a number of articles.
It is with pleasure that I thank those who have encouraged me to reprint this book originally published as Krsna dvapayana vyasa and the Mahabharata: A new interpretation (leiden the Netherlands E.J. Brill. 1990) the title for this second edition is the one I originally proposed to Brill but their suggestion prevailed. I would especially like to take note for the persistence over several years of Mr. N.P. Jain of Motilal Banarasidass who repeatedly asked to publish this work. I considered extensively revising it for publication as so much excellent work has been done on the Mahabharata in the past decade since this work went to press originally but decided instead to reprint the book with only a few corrections. I am hopeful that this reprinted edition of my work will be of use to others interested in the Mahabharata.
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