Dharma, Disorder and the Political in Ancient India

The Āpaddharmaparvan of the Mahābhārata

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Author: Adam Bowles
The Āpaddharmaparvan, 'the book on conduct in times of distress', is an important section of the great Sanskrit epic the Mahābhārata which, despite its significance for Mahābhārata studies and for the history of Indian social and political thought, has received little attention in scholarly literature. This book places the Āpaddharmaparvan within its literary and ideological contexts. In so doing it explores the development of a conception of brahmanic kingship morally justifiable within the terms of a debate largely set by various alternative social movements of the period. This book further explores the implications for our understanding of the Mahābhārata that follow from the Āpaddharmaparvan's presentation as a poetically cohesive unit within itself and within the wider parameters of the Mahābhārata.

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Adam J. Bowles, Ph.D. (2004) in Asian Studies, La Trobe University, is a Principal with the Clay Sanskrit Library, Researcher at Monash University and an Honorary Associate at La Trobe University. His most recent publication is Mahabharata Book Eight, Karna I (New York, 2007).
"This very good book is for research scholars and libraries."
Frederick M. Smith (University of Iowa), Religious Studies Review, 35:3 (2009)
Anyone interested in Indian literature, especially the Sanskrit Mahabharata, the history of Indian political and social thought, the history of the concept dharma, and anyone who has a general interest in didactic literature.