Is the expansion of the Mahabharata from its short Jaya version a contamination?

by Chaitanya Charan dasJuly 29, 2014

Answer Podcast

Trahscribed by:  Geetanjali Nath

Question: Is the expansion of the Mahabharata from its short Jaya version a contamination?

Answer:  That is mentioned in the Mahabharata itself. Look we don’t necessarily have to think of scriptures as…….., how can scripture expand ? There is a basic chronological narrative of the events of pandavas lives , that is the Mahabharata. Mahabharata is the story of the Bharat vanshees , that is , the pandavas are Bharat vanshees. Now their story itself can be explained in different level …………., so, for example the Draupadi vastra haran past time, can be described in five minutes, It can be described in one hour, it can be described in five hours. depending on which all characters are we talking about, how much are you going to tell. Not only that, now ” the pandavas go to forest ” at that time, the even in the forest  , it can be said that they met Markandya rishi, it can be mentioned in one line, or they can go into all the conversation with Markandya Rishi and that can become expansion; So if we see the big parts of the |Mahabharata, which are really lengthy, are the conversation parts, the shanti parva, the anushashan parva, and in the aranya parva there is Yaksha and Yudhister samvaad, they are very long. So the traditional understanding is that the in the  jaya version , the events were primarily discussed and as the Mahabharata expands then, it means that the essential stages also added the spiritual discussions, and that’s how it became expanded. So whether that expansion , involves corruption ? I would say that is something which the acharayas do not talk of it like that. It is understood from the path itself, neelkantha, is also one of the commentators in the mahabharata, and he says a very long mahabharata and he comments in full mahabharata. He does not say that this is the commentary and this is the interpolation and that is not the interpolation, and that is the original mahabharat. So the original expansion from a short version to a large version is mostly in terms of elaboration, that is not the contamination. We were talking about contamination and interpolation , which was subsequent, which not all of it unintentional. It can also happen intentionally, because of people with their agendas. |Let us say people want to promote certain characters, they want to promote certain schools of thought. so they can put certain things in it. So again the point comes then essential message is preserved, but the original expansion which is done from Jaya to the 100000 verses that is basically a elaboration of the conversations and the events, it is not contamination.

Thank you

Hare Krishna.

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Chaitanya Charan das

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