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Yudhiṣṭhira And The Narrative Frame Of The Āpaddharmaparvan

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how the two conceptions: a conservative, brāhmaṇic conception of dharma developed from its inception to its crystallisation in the dharmasūtras, and the antithesis of such a conception developed in non brāhmaṇic traditions were debated in the Mahābhārata (Mbh) and, especially, their internalisation in the character of Yudhiṣṭhira. Both the diversity and ambivalence of the Mbh's presentations on dharma, and Yudhiṣṭhira's own prominent position in these presentations, are well acknowledged in studies of the Mbh. The chapter offers an exposition of the opening chapters of the ŚP, the post-war scene in which Yudhiṣṭhira expresses his profound regret at the outcome of the war, and his consequent desire to renounce the kingdom and adopt the violence-free life of an ascetic.

Keywords: brāhmaṇic conception; dharma; dharmasūtras; Mahābhārata (Mbh); Yudhiṣṭhira



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