Reading the Fifth Veda: Studies on the Mahābhārata - Essays by Alf Hiltebeitel
Often spoken of as the 'Fifth Veda', i.e., as a text in continuity with the four Vedas and outweighing them all in size and import, the Mah bh rata presents a complex mythological and narrative landscape, incorporating fundamental ethical, social, philosophic, and pedagogic issues. In a series of position pieces and essays written over a span of 30 years, Alf Hiltebeitel, Columbian Professor of Religion, History, and Human Sciences at The George Washington University, articulates a compelling new approach to the epic: as a literary work of fundamental theological and philosophical significance rich in metaphor and meaning. In this three-part volume, the editors gather some of Hiltebeitel s seminal writings on the epic along with new pieces written especially for the volume. This two volume edition collects nearly three decades of Alf Hiltebeitel s researches into the Indian epic and religious tradition. The two volumes document Hiltebeitel s longstanding fascination with the Sanskrit epics: volume 1 presents a series of appreciative readings of the Mah bh rata (and to a lesser extent, the R m ya a), while volume 2 focuses on what Hiltebeitel has called the underground Mah bh rata, i.e., the Mah bh rata as it is still alive in folk and vernacular traditions. Recently re-edited and with a new set of articles completing a trajectory Hiltebeitel established over 30 years ago, this work constitutes a definitive statement from this major scholar. Comprehensive indices, cross-referencing, and an exhaustive bibliography make it an essential reference work. For more information on the second volume please click here.
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II Major Position Pieces
III RecentEarly Companion Pieces
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