Kosambi and numerical analysis of the mahAbhArata

Various kinds of numerical analysis on the mahAbhArata need to be carried out. The pioneers in this were the two unlikeable characters DD Kosambi and E Kulkarni. The former was definitely a very learned man, with whom I share intellectual and some what ascetic inclinations. Ironically, his father was the mahA-nAstIka who had converted to the bauddha heresy and studied none other than the archaic parama-pAShaNDa buddhaghoSha at great length. buddhaghoSha had called upon bauddha-s to not to attend narrations or recitals of the AkhyAna-s like the mahAbhArata and the rAmAyaNa. DD Kosambi had inherited many of the tendencies of his father like being a Marxist who saw Indian history through the delusions of the red-book, in addition to the bauddha heresy. Yet as an intellectual and Sanskrit scholar he was way ahead of the rest. We went to the same college, though I was not born when he died. He was thrown out of that college, where he was a mathematics lecturer, because his intellectual leanings did not go well with the plebeians around him (I can fully well appreciate that given the kind of students who attend this well-known college). I recall sitting in the lecture hall where he used to teach, when I was reading his statistical analysis of the mahAbhArata. It was a pioneering work for its time, using distribution of upa-parvan length and syllable statistics to study the concordance between the critical edition initiated by Sukthankar and the parvasaMgraha section. The implications of this study, and a more modern overview, need to be narrated at some point. In several ways Damodar Kosambi was like Rahul Sankrityayan another Marxist historian– both were genuine scholars whose intellectual breadth should be appreciated. Both were however deluded simultaneously by the bauddha heresy and the red-book of the bearded German. Thus, all their scholarship took grotesque final shapes, though there is a lot of useful primary data in their works. In this they differ from the empty pots like Thapar and the other allied communist historians, including the degraded brahmin Subrahmanyan.

~ by mAnasa-taraMgiNI on May 6, 2006.

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