Art. XXV.—Notes on the Mahābhārata, with special reference to Dahlmann's "Mahābhārata."

M. Winternitz
1897 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland  
In his important "Contributions to the History of the Mahābhārata," Dr. Bühler has proved that in Kumārila's time, i.e. in the first half of the eighth century, there existed a Mahābhārata, attributed to the sage Vyāsa, which was not merely an epic poem, but was looked upon as a Smṛti, or sacred tradition; and that it contained not only the Çānti and Anuçāsana Parvans, but also many other portions found in our editions of the Mahābhārata, which have been repeatedly declared to be "late
more » ... o be "late additions." Dr. Bühler has further shown that inscriptions of about A.D. 500 quote the Mahābhārata as an authority on sacred law, and describe it as a bulky work, containing 100,000 verses. And as we must allow some time, say a century or two, for the gradual development of this sacred character, he concludes "that the Mahābhārata certainly was a Smṛti or Dharmaçāstra from A.D. 300, and that about A.D. 500 it certainly did not differ essentially in size and in character from the present text." Dr. Bühler adds that further researches "will in all probability enable us to push back the lower limits, which have been thus established provisionally, by four to five centuries and perhaps even further."
doi:10.1017/s0035869x00024990 fatcat:mjjj3pwfi5futmf7jramcorsm4