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Re: durga & parvati

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Tue Nov 17 1998 - 10:44:31 PST

[I forwarded Ramakrishnan's note to Mr. Bharat.
 Here is his reply.]

Dear Mani

I also have the Southern Recension of the
Mahabharata.The Durga Stuti is there.So I
went to the library and looked up the Poona
Critical Edn quoted by your correspondent.
And it clears up the matter.

There  are these three chapters in Bhishma
Parva in the Southern Rec.:
Ch 22 - Yudhishtira sees his army
Ch 23 - Krishna asks Arjuna to pray to Durga
Ch 24 -(just 10 lines)between Dhritarashtra and

In the critical edn the intervening Chapter 23
is scrapped and 22 and 24 are made into one Ch.
And the following comment is given:
"The only purpose served by this chapter(23) is
to initiate the conversation between Krishna and
Arjuna which was the needful preliminary for the
interpolated Durgastuti chapter."

Actually in my view the strongest argument in
favour of the theory that Durga and Parvati were
merged much later is the following:
Kalidasa is accepted without question as the official
biographer of the Siva Family.In Kumarasambhava Ch 7
he describes Parvati's marriage.Vishnu is also present
- as a guest along with others.In Raghuvamsa Kalidasa
specifically mentions Krishna's play on the banks of
Kalindi.So at this time both stories were current.But
there is not even a mention in the Parvati Kalyanam
episode which goes into great detail re the ceremony
that Vishnu was ever related to Parvati(even though K
refers to Vishnu as Krishna more than once in RV); even
more so when in RV in a similar context while describing
Indumati's marriage(where many stanza's from Parvati's
marriage are used)Indumati's brother is given a major
part in looking after the guests etc
with best wishes