ANUSHASANA PARVA (Sanskrit : अनुशासन पर्व, IAST
: Anuśāsanaparva) or the "Book of Instructions", is the thirteenth
of eighteen books of the Indian Epic
Mahabharata . It has 2 sub-books
and 168 chapters. Sometimes this parva is referred to as the "Book
Anushasana Parva continues the theme of
Shanti Parva , a discussion
of duties of a ruler, the rule of law, instructions on dharma for
those close to the leader. The dialogue is between
Bhishma and other sages. The book debates the duties, behaviors and
habits of individuals, with chapters dedicated to men and to women.
Various types of marriages are mentioned and their merits compared.
The parva also recites many symbolic tales and legends such as the
Nachiketa , as well as the death and last rites of Bhishma,
the eldest member of the Kuru family.
* 1 Structure and chapters
* 2 English translations
* 3 Critical reception
* 4 See also
* 5 References
* 6 External links
STRUCTURE AND CHAPTERS
Chapters 75 to 83 of Anushasana parva describe the value and
wealth cows represent, their upkeep and protection.
Anushasana Parva (book) has 2 sub-parvas (sub-books or little books)
and 168 adhyayas (sections, chapters). The 2 sub-books are: 1.
Dana dharma parva 2.
Bhishma svargarohana parva
The Parva starts with a visit to Bhishma, who is dying. He is
surrounded by sages and rishis including
Maitreya , Sanat
Narada . As with Shanti
Yudhishthira asks for counsel and
Bhishma replies. It includes
duties of the king, officials of a kingdom, men and women. The book
dedicates several chapters to cows, their importance to household's
food security, agriculture and wealth.
Chapter 149 of
Anushasana Parva recites
Vishnu sahasranama - a list
of 1,000 names (sahasranama ) of
Vishnu . Included in the list of
1000 names for
Vishnu are Shiva, Sharva, Sthanu, Ishana and Rudra.
This synonymous listing of
Vishnu as one, in Mahabharata,
has led to the theory that all gods mentioned in Vedic literature are
Anushasana Parva was composed in Sanskrit. Several translations of
the book in English are available. Two translations from 19th century,
now in public domain, are those by Kisari Mohan Ganguli and Manmatha
Nath Dutt. The translations vary with each translator's
Debroy, in 2011, notes that updated critical edition of Anushasana
Parva, after removing verses and chapters generally accepted so far as
spurious and inserted into the original, has 2 sub-books, 154 adhyayas
(chapters) and 6,493 shlokas (verses).
Scholars have questioned the chronology and content of many
chapters in Anushasana Parva, whether they represent wisdom from
ancient India, or were these chapters smuggled in to spread social and
moral theories during India's medieval or during second millennium AD.
Iyer, in 1923, compared different versions of Anushasana Parva
manuscripts found in east, west and south India, in Sanskrit and in
different Indian languages. The comparison showed that while some
chapters and verses on Dharma and ethical theories are found in all
manuscripts, there are major inconsistencies between many parts of the
manuscripts. Not only is the order of chapters different, large
numbers of verses were missing, entirely different or somewhat
inconsistent between the manuscripts. The most inconsistent sections
were those relating to women's rights and duties, discussion of social
customs, castes, and those highlighting praise of specific gods. Iyer
claims these chapters were smuggled into the Mahabharata, or the
answers to question of
Yudhishthira and other characters were entirely
rewritten to suit local agenda or views.
Alf Hiltebeitel similarly has
questioned the authenticity of numerous verses of Anushasana and
Shanti Parvas .
* Previous book of Mahabharata:
* Next book of Mahabharata:
* ^ A B C
Anushasana Parva Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback
Machine . The Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1905)
* ^ A B C D
Anushasana Parva The Mahabharata, Translated by Kisari
Mohan Ganguli, Published by P.C. Roy (1893)
* ^ A B C John Murdoch (1898), The
Mahabharata - An English
Abridgment, Christian Literature Society for India, London, pages
Anushasana Parva Archived 2014-02-22 at the
Wayback Machine .
The Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1905), Page 350
* ^ A B Bibek Debroy, The
Mahabharata : Volume 3, ISBN
978-0143100157 , Penguin Books, page xxiii - xxiv of Introduction
* ^ Steven J. Rosen, The Agni and the Ecstasy, p. 185, at Google
Books , ISBN 978-1907166792
* ^ E. Washburn Hopkins, Epic Chronology, Journal of the American
Oriental Society, Vol. 24 (1903), pages 7-56
* ^ V. V. Iyer (1922), Notes on a study of the preliminary chapters
Mahabharata - An attempt to separate genuine from spurious
matter, Ramaswami Sastrulu & Sons, Madras
* ^ VISHNU S. SUKTHANKAR (1933), The Mahabharata, Critically Edited
Version A history of the debate of various conflicting versions of the
Mahabharata, University of Goettingen Archives, Germany, Prologue
* ^ V.V. Iyer (1922), Notes on a study of the preliminary chapters
Mahabharata - An attempt to separate g