[INDOLOGY] Draupadii and polyandry
karp at uw.edu.pl
Sat Oct 27 17:41:39 UTC 2018
In his letter (the first *re*) Jan E.M. Houben writes: "Then in the
Mahabharata there is suddenly the major character of Draupadii/Krsnaa
marrying all five Pandava brothers."
Suddenly. The unexpected appearance of the motif.
Unexpected – and seen as such in the Mbh. (I, CLXLVIII); the two
mythological precedents given there seem to be unknown to those who
participate in the exchange of opinions on the project.
The creation of the epic is in itself a political act. Why, then, shouldn't
we treat the acts of its heroes as mirroring the political ethos of the era?
The question arises – why? Why would the epic makers want Draupadi to marry
'all five Pandava brothers'? To my mind – a signal, directed to the
prospective audiences of the epic, confirming their *belonging to*.
You were kind enough to kill my supposition – using the
philological/logical arsenal of counter-arguments.
The Mahabharatian stratigraphy. A difficult subject, in itself.
But – to my mind (again) – what is unexpected, devoid of precedents, might
be rightly treated as belonging to the epic's later stratum. As something
disturbing, a novelty, unsettling in its very unexpectedness. Demanding
explanations – and given them, but – unconvincing and weak. Opening the
space for the appearance of successive, ever new concepts of feminine
power. And freedom. Vide the popularity of the motif of the Draupadi's
*svayamvara* – in its modern film-and-theatrical versions.
[About 108,000 results !!!!]
A bit more on *unexpectedness* – no one called my way of thinking on the
nature of Indian cultural processes (with their search for the ways of
intercommunication) as *racist*. Not so far.
2018-10-27 1:30 GMT+02:00 Joydeep via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
> Dear Andrew,
> I agree that Oliver has done some careful and interesting work. But in
> “Stratifying the Mahābhārata,” he makes no claims about the MBh’s dates.
> Cf. the remark: “I would like to emphasize that these findings do not imply
> any statement about the sequence of events that led to the composition of
> the BhīP or of the Mbh. They can be reconciled [both] with theories that
> postulate a relatively short duration of composition [and] with temporally
> more extended models […], because the algorithm does not contain a temporal
> component” (ibid., 134). Oliver explicitly emphasized this point in our
> conversation in Vienna. See *Philology and Criticism*, 100, n. 81. I
> haven’t examined the other articles yet, but now that you have drawn my
> attention to them I will. A quick perusal reveals that “A Chronometric
> Approach to Indian Alchemical Literature” doesn’t mention the MBh at all,
> whereas “Etymological Trends in the Sanskrit Vocabulary” only places the
> MBh as a whole within a broad period (500 BCE–300 CE) and doesn’t make any
> claims about strata *within*the MBh. Oliver’s work is valuable precisely
> because it avoids speculation as to “redactors,” their motives, assumed
> sequence and rationale for interpolation, *Besitzwechsel*, etc.
> All best,
> Dr. Joydeep Bagchee
> Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
> Academia.edu Homepage <https://fu-berlin.academia.edu/JoydeepBagchee>
> The Nay Science
> Argument and Design
> Reading the Fifth Veda <http://www.brill.com/reading-fifth-veda>
> When the Goddess Was a Woman <http://www.brill.com/when-goddess-was-woman>
> Transcultural Encounters between Germany and India
> German Indology on OBO Hinduism
> What, then, is Philosophy?
> Philosophy is the supremely precious.
> Plotinus, Enneads I.III.5
> On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 6:20 PM Andrew Ollett via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>> Oliver Hellwig has written some very interesting articles on applying
>> various statistical techniques to Sanskrit texts (including the
>> Mahābhārata) in order to determine "authorial structures" and hence
>> relative dating:
>> The last article presents a technique for distinguishing sections of a
>> text based on several features (lexical, syntactic, metrical, etc.) while
>> controlling for differences introduced by changing topics.
>> On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 5:25 PM Harry Spier via INDOLOGY <
>> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>>> On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 12:18 PM Joydeep via INDOLOGY
>>>> How are you identifying the “earlier strata” of the epic?
>>> 1) I'd be interested if someone could point out the scholarly articles
>>> on relative dating of different parts of the Mahabharata.?
>>> 2) Could the techniques Michael Witzel pointed out years ago in this
>>> posting to relatively date the books or the Ramayana be used. I.e
>>> relative occurance of vai or similar words in vedic position 2 versus
>>> elsewhere. ?
>>> 3) Could a similar technique be used with other linguistic
>>> characteristics.I.e. relative occurance of linguistic characteristics that
>>> are uncommon in vedic but common in classical sanskrit. Whitney noted use
>>> of passive constructions, participles instead of verbs, substitution of
>>> compounds for sentences as characteristic of the change from vedic to the
>>> classical language.
>>> Harry Spier
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