On the Early History of the Pañcaratra Tradition: The Narayaniya (Mahabharata 12.321-339)

142250 SE 2024S

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Nächster Termin

Mittwoch, 26.06.2024 16:30-18:00 Seminarraum 5 ISTB UniCampus Hof 4 2C-O1-34


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

The Nārāyaṇīya is the earliest literary text of the Pāñcarātra, a Hindu tradition that worships Viṣṇu as the supreme god. It is found embedded as a section within the twelfth book of the Sanskrit epic Mahābhārata (Mbh 12.321-339). Its first part (Mbh 12.321-326) came into its present form probably in the third century CE, while the second part (Mbh 12.327-339) likely dates to the time of the Mahābhārata’s final redaction in the fourth-fifth centuries CE.
The Nārāyaṇīya contains both narrative and didactic components, providing insights into the early mythology of the Pāñcarātra, as well as the early characteristic theological teachings of the tradition.
Reading this passage can thus serve as an introduction to the early phase of one of the most important Vaiṣṇava traditions. Additionally, the course also aims to acquaint students with the genre of the Sanskrit epics.


Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

Prerequisites for obtaining a positive grade are attendance (three absences are tolerated if compensation tasks are completed), careful preparation and follow-up, active participation, the completion of homework on time and a written paper at the end of the semester.



A bibliography and the text passages to be read will be provided online in Moodle.


Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Basic knowledge of Sanskrit is prerequisite for participation in the course as it consists mainly of Sanskrit readings. The course will be held in English, unless all participants prefer it to be held in German.
The grade is based 50% on the oral and 50% on the written contributions.