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On Hinduism$
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Wendy Doniger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199360079

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.001.0001

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Women in the Mahabharata 1

Women in the Mahabharata 1

Chapter:
(p.537) Women in the Mahabharata 1
Source:
On Hinduism
Author(s):

Wendy Doniger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.003.0038

This chapter focuses on the women of the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic written by Vyasa. The new attention paid to women in the epic can be attributed to the stories of the births of both Vyasa and its heroes. The Mahabharata is about the dynastic struggle and civil war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas in the kingdom of Kurukshetra. It tells of the confusion over the throne that sparked the war and ultimately led to the destruction of almost all the descendants of Pandu and Dhritarashtra. The chapter looks at seduction and rape in the Mahabharata, along with polyandry. It also considers women who are fiery and display remarkable courage and intelligence.

Keywords:   women, Mahabharata, Vyasa, heroes, civil war, Pandavas, Kauravas, seduction, rape, polyandry

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