By Buitenen, Johannes Adrianus Bernardus van
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Additional info for The Mahabharata, Volume 1: Book 1: The Book of the Beginning
The second four parsed. The scheme by and large is like this. /x X X x ,-,_v':=!. / x x x x '-' - - ':=!. / X X X X '-' - v I,d. II As in the Classical meters. the variation of short and long syllables provides the scheme. arrr namaskrtya Nararrr caiva narottamam/. DevII1J. Sarasvatil1J. caiva tato Jayam udlrayet/ / This meter renders quite effortlessly into prose. but. in a way. a predictable prose. Normally. the length of a statement runs the length of a sIoka of 32 syllables. This effect is unavoidably duplicated in the English.
Hampering rather than helping comprehension. 44. After writing this I learned that Mary Carroll Smith. a student of Daniel H. H. Ingalls at Harvard University. had been struck by the same idea and is devoting a dissertation to the question. entitled "The Core of the Great Epic of India" (thesis. Harvard. 1972). " Verse syntax in Sanskrit is quite free, and an easy-onthe-ear-and-attention adjective qualifying a subject at the beginning may comfortably appear at the end of the couplet. The English translation had no choice but to mass such adjectives together.
This pouring on of hatred for the snakes through Pau$ya, Puloman, and AstIka is extremely effective in helping us to accept the historical reality ofJanamejaya's Snake Sacrifice ; and effective it had to be made, for to the ancient Indians, among whom the non-Aryans must be counted, such a sacrifice must have been an abomination. The Beginning of the Beginning The place has been set, and the fact of Janamejaya's Snake Sacrifice and its causes have been established. a Dvaipayana Vyasa visits King Janamejaya at his religious site in the company of his pupils.