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Violence and peace in the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa

Brodbeck, Simon ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8517-8665 2023. Violence and peace in the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa. Paynter, Helen and Power, Maria, eds. Violence and Peace in Sacred Texts: Interreligious Perspectives, Translated from the original by Power, Maria and Paynter, Helen. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 9-28. (10.1007/978-3-031-17804-7_2)

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Abstract

This chapter introduces the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa in the contexts of South Asian culture and Sanskrit literary history. Both texts narrate great battles, and they attempt to explain and justify the violence in terms of the profession of the necessary exercise of power (a profession inherited by birth in a certain class) and in terms of the actions of gods who had taken human forms to achieve certain divine purposes. The chapter discusses these explanations in light of the sufferings of kings Yudhiṣṭhira and Rāma in the peace that follows war, and in light of the story of King Janamejaya, who is led to call off his own war by hearing about Yudhiṣṭhira’s. Attention is paid to gendered aspects of royal mythology, which implicate the relationship between the king and his wife. In this context, Janamejaya’s reconciliation with his wife is contrasted with Rāma’s failure to reconcile with Sı̄tā.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
P Language and Literature > PK Indo-Iranian
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 978-3-031-17803-0
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 February 2023
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2023 09:15
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/156495

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