The Mahābhārata’s Supporting Texts in Literary Culture and History
“The Mahābhārata’s Supporting Texts in Literary Culture and History” is a three-year research project at the University of Oxford. It is funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant (RPG-2021-177), with support from the John Fell Fund.
The project seeks to understand the purposes and effects of the Sanskrit Mahābhārata’s commentaries and ancillary literature: versified summaries, indices, and other elements of its textual ‘permaculture.’ Sanskrit commentaries on the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa were produced in the same cultural moment, in late medieval and early modern India. The project seeks to understand how they became a vehicle for central debates over Hindu cultural value, and to delineate the implications for the Mahābhārata’s literary and reception history disclosed by its indigenous custodial, philological, and interpretative treatment.
One output of the project will be a database, mounted on the PANDiT website, of information about the Mahābhārata’s ancillary texts and commentaries, and about the authors of these works and their sites of production, together with modern scholarly studies. More details about the project can be found on the website.