Doing Things With Our Bodies: The Pleasures of Being Alive in the Shantiparvan

Doing Things With Our Bodies: The Pleasures of Being Alive in the Shantiparvan

In Book Twelve – the longest in the Mahhabharata – everyone takes a break to talk out deeper truths behind the wild events that have taken place in the story. The conversation between Yudhisthira and the sages suddenly falls through to a rich collection of stories about ancient kings, magic, and fables full of wisdom. […]

By Lal Krishna | Uncategorised
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Was the Mahabharata a popular text in Early Historic India?

In contemporary India the Mahabharata remains an extremely popular text which has been reworked into Bollywood and Doordarshan versions as well as many popular retellings in literary forms.  But when did it become popular and what would popularity mean in this context? We find some awareness of its popularity in the clearly identifiable passages in Pali […]

By Lal Krishna | Uncategorised
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Lunch Break/OCHS Open House

Join this weekend’s convenor, Dr Raj Balkaran, and the Director of the OCHS Continuing Education Department, Dr Nick Sutton, for an informal Q&A session.

By Lal Krishna | Uncategorised
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Where are the Women?

Notwithstanding that the Mahabharata is an old text representing patriarchal values, it features some famously assertive women. In this discussion, we take note of where we find women in the Mahabharata, and how they occupy themselves. In what ways is the Mahabharata a story about women, and how do women shape the direction of the […]

By Lal Krishna | Uncategorised
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Yudhisthira’s Asvamedha in the Mahabharata

This talk will focus on the tale of the horse’s tour in Yudhisthira’s asvamedha (horse sacrifice) in book 14 of the Mahabharata, the first time such a literary project was attempted in Sanskrit literature. We look at how vedic ideas were reworked in the Mahabharata’s asvamedha. We also consider the actual journey the horse takes, which ultimately […]

By Lal Krishna | Uncategorised
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Dangerous to Auspicious: The Transformation of the Telugu Mahabharata

This talk focuses on the Telugu Mahabharata by the eleventh-century poet Nannaya, who is revered as the very first poet of Telugu literature. While the Sanskrit Mahabharata is a dangerous text associated with the conflicts of kingship, the Telugu Mahabharata is an auspicious retelling. We discuss how Nannaya’s innovative use of vernacular meter, style, and […]

By Lal Krishna | Uncategorised
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Exploring the Mahabharata

This talk will take up the structure, purpose and use of the Sanskrit Mahabharata in South Asia. It will explore aspects of the original Sanskrit texts, as well as related traditions from the deep past to the modern world. It will explore why people tell and re-tell religious stories across the generations. It will show […]

By Lal Krishna | Uncategorised
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The Mahabharata’s Harmful Arts: Creating Deadly Beauty at the War’s Margins

Among the most striking episodes of India’s great epic are incidents in which visual arts are used for no good. This talk treats three such occurrences – in the buildup to, at the brink of, and during the bereavement after the poem’s central war. Seen in light of preceding events, these harmful artistic instances are […]

By Lal Krishna | Uncategorised
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