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Verily, the critical edition of the Adiparvan proved to be a distinct land-
mark in the scientific development of modern Sanskrit studies. The critical
edition of the eighteen par vans of the Mahabharata (extending over 13,000
demi quarto pages) was completed in 1966, and the historic event was
formally announced by Rashtrapati Dr. S. Radhakrishnan at a special
function held at the Institute on September 22, 1966.
It would seem that the Editorial Board and the Board of Referees for
the Critical Edition of the Mahabharata had visualized it as a multifaceted
project. Besides the critical edition of the 18 par vans, it was to have comprised also a critical edition of the Harivamsa, which is traditionally regarded as a Khilaparvan of the Mahabharata, (later published in two volumes
containing 1,711 pages, .1969-1971), the Pratika-Index (6 volumes containing
4,805 pages, 1967-1972), the Critically Constituted Text of the Great Epic
and the Harivamsa (5 'volumes containing 3,150 pages, 1971-1976), and
the Epilogue of the Critical Edition of the Mahabharata. This last item,
namely, the Epilogue, has had rather a chequered career. Even at an early
stage, it was thought that, as a prelude to the Epilogue, the Institute should
publish a fairly comprehensive analytical Cultural Index to the Critical
Edition. This latter too posed many problems, but the Institute duly over-
came them. The work is now properly organized, and it is hoped that the
first volume of the Cultural Index (506 pages, 1997) will be followed by
subsequent volumes in quick and regular succession.
It may be incidentally pointed out that this reprint of the Adiparvan
is also being issued in two Parts (Part I, pp. cXlv+360; Part II, pp. 361-996).
The illustrations in the original edition had to be regretfully omitted from
I gave a good deal of time during the summer of 1937 to a preliminary study
of the printed editions of the book. In the fall of that year I received copies of
the entire collation sheets for the book, which enabled me to study thoroughly
the readings of the MSS. and to prepare from them a tentative text during the
winter and spring of 1937-38. With this I sailed to India in June 1938, and spent
nearly three months (July to September, 1938) in careful revision of the text,
examining personally all the MSS. which were available in Poena, and benefiting
by numerous conferences with Dr. Sukthankar himself.
After my return home (where I arrived in January 1939), I began to
receive parts of the Critical Apparatus, which was prepared by the collators in the
Mahabharata Department of the Institute. The last batch of this material arrived
only in the early spring of 1940. The whole was carefully gone over and checked
by me against the copies (in my possession) of the original collation sheets. The final
checking of the statements of readings of the MSS. has been undertaken by
Dr. Sukthankar himself, with reference to the original collation sheets, which have
never left Poons.
Practical considerations seem to make it necessary that no proof-sheets of
the printed work shall be' sent to me. While it is to me a new experience to allow
work to be issued over my name without seeing the printers' proofs, I have such great
confidence in Dr. Sukthankar's accuracy and reliability that this unusual procedure
does not greatly disturb me. Dr. Sukthankar has undertaken to make himself
responsible for all the proof-reading, as he has done (I am informed) for other books
of this edition, even though their editors resided in India.
, For this and for many evidences of friendly concern, as well. as for invaluable
assistance in the editing, which only his unequalled learning and experience in this
line could have given, I tender him my most heartfelt thanks.
Postscript. Dr. Sukthankar had supervised the proof-reading of pages 1-296
of the Text and Critical Apparatus, when his death on January 21, 1943, deprived me
of an invaluable collaborator and friend, and the world of Indic scholarship of one of its
leading ornaments. In a forthcoming issue of the Journal of the American Oriental
Society I shall try briefly to express my sentiments on this irreparable loss.
The new Editor, Professor S. K. Belvalkar, has most graciously and helpfully
corresponded with me about the unfinished work of this book. The proof-reading
of the balance of the Text, and of all the Introduction, Appendices, and Addenda,
has fallen to his lot. I am confident that his scrupulous and intelligent scholarship
will come as near to replacing Sukthankar as is humanly possible. The distance
between us, and the difficulties of war-time correspondence have made 'his labor more
troublesome than it would be otherwise. Any unevenness’s which may appear will,
I am sure, be due to these circumstances, and possibly in part to oversights or obscurities of which I may have been guilty, rather than to any deficiencies in his work.
I hereby express to him my sincere gratitude.
The total number of MSS. in this group, used in respect of all the 64 adhys. taken
together, having thus become rather large, it was found convenient not to assign to the
MSS. used for the constitution of the text of adhys. 29-64 numbers in continuation
of the MSS. used for the constitution of the text of adhys. 1-28. This has, however,
been done not only for the sake of convenience but also for the sake of greater accuracy.
For, continuous numbering of those MSS. would not have served the purpose which such
numbers are normally expected to serve, namely, to indicate the position of the different
MSS. within a particular version vis-a-vis the constituted text. Moreover, continuous
numbering ( or complementary numbering, such as 1'", 2'", etc.) would have given the
wrong impression that those MSS. were, in one way or another, related to the MSS.
used for the constitution of the text of adhys. 1-28. As a matter of fact, 80 far as
the MSS. belonging to the tradition referred to above were concerned, adhys, 1-28 and
adhys, 29-64 had to be treated as two distinct units. It was, of course, fully realized
that to make one siglum represent two different MSS. within a single Parvan was not
quite the proper thing to do. But under the circumstances and for the reasons stated
above that could not be avoided. On the other hand, in the case of the MSS., which
regard all the 64 adhys. as constituting the Salyaparvan, the numbers assigned are the
same for the entire text of the Parvan, except in four cases where the numbers had to
be changed in the light of the reallocation of those MSS.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
Children’s Books (39)
Brahma Sutras (85)
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