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The Mahābhārata and the Yugas

India's Great Epic Poem and the Hindu System of World Ages

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Luis A. González-Reimann

This book questions the conventional wisdom that a fully matured theory of the yugas – Hinduism’s ages of the world – is integral to the Mahābhārata, and it illustrates how traditional commentators and modern scholars have read the later Purāṇic yuga theory into the Mahābhārata, in particular when it comes to placing the action at the beginning of the current terrible Kali Yuga. Luis González-Reiman discusses the meaning of key terms in the epic by examining the text and early Buddhist sources. This book also traces the sectarian appropriation of the yuga system in later literature and documents how modern religious movements have used the system to proclaim the arrival of a new, prosperous Kṛta Yuga, a phenomenon that coincides with New Age expectations.