zrI-mahAbhAratam tasya khila-bhAgo harivamzaH

harivamzam - the supplemental portion of mahAbhArata  

harivamzam is the khila-bhAga of mahAbhArata, where khila means supplemental text, according to the definition of Nilakantha:

zAkha antarastham zAkhAntare yad apekSA vazAt paThyate tat khilam iti vaidiikI prasiddhiH.

And unless a portion of this treatise harivamzam is not included, mahAbhArata will not get the verse count of one lakh - sa pAda lakSa; daza zloka sahasrANi.

Nilakantha says: daza zloka sahasrANi iti: harivamze bhaviSyAnta granthasya dvAdaza sahasronmitattvam - na tu kRtsnam harivamzasya. adhikasya granthasya darzanAt. tAvan mAtra vivakSAyAm ca lakSa pUrteH ayogAt. tathAhi - atra kaNThoktayA sankhyAya sankalane SaNNavati sahasrANi dve zate SoDaza ca zlokAH [96,216]. parizeSAt puSkara prAdurbhAvAd uparitana granthe kailAsa yAtrA sahite kimcit Unam sahasra catuSTayam jJneyam. tena "tato api artha zatam bhUyaH samkSepam kRtavAn RSi - anukramaNikA adhyAyam…" ityAdau " bhUya" zabdAt adhyartha zata adhikam lakSam paripUrNam jJeyam

If we generally count the number of verses said in index chapter - anukramaNika adhyAya - we get 96, 216 verses as total. The 12000 verses said to be in harivamzam are upto the end of bhaviSyat Parva of harivamzam. Not for the total harivamzam, because extra text is seen there. So the text upto puSkara prAdurbhAva, kailAsa yAtra comes somewhere upto 4000. So, 96216+4000 completes a little above one lakh. In that, the word bhUya said in foot 'adhyartha zatam bhUya saMkSepavAn RSi' indicates that vyAsa added some 150 verses again - bhUya.

So, vedavyAsa first rendered mahAbhArata in one lakh verses, condensed it to 24, 000 when substories are excluded, and again  bhUya - condensed it to 150 verses as in index parva. And all put together, this is called jaya - jayati anena samsAram iti jayo granthaH - zrIdharIyam.

In anukramaNika adhyAya of Nilakantha text there will be 275 verses. Of which, upto 'ekam zatasahasram tu mayA uktam…' verse that runs with Q&A of sauti and zaunaka, there are 109 verses. phala zruti from 'zradhAdhAna sadA… ' is in fifteen verses; 109+15= 124. Hence 151 verses, 275-124= 151, remain disputed. They are the summary of all parvas, sarva parva vRttAnta rUpa bhArata katha from AdhyAtmama zrUyate … They are the adhyartha zatam, 150 verses, bhUya samkSepita pATha.

And there is no necessity for the sages to have bespoken verses of 150, they may be around that figure. 

Something about this work. Though some usual problems are looming large, like:

- easy availability of basic text is a mirage; only two publications, Gita Press and Khemraj are still supplying printed book.

- unavailability of properly encoded text; the code presented here is per kindness of Shri Jagat - Jan Brzezinski, Gaudiya Grantha Mandira, but it does not always match with any available book. At times verses disappear. Code of verses is corrected as far as possible, but much remains to be done comparing with a perfect text.

Harivansa ou Histoire de la famille de Hari: Ouvrage formant un appendice du Mahabharata, 2 vols., tr. by M. A. Langlois, Paris 1834-35, made available thru The University of Zurich - is continuously consulted, though it is in understandable French, and its machine translation is understandably horrible.

- if bracketed Sanskrit is there please treat it as a small hermeneutic effort, done instead of leaving it altogether.

-  stuti pATha-s - praise songs aiming at various gods will not usually be translated from Sanskrit to other regional languags in India, in order not to ruin the beauty of their rhyme and rhythmicity. Further, when public at large are satisfied only with two devotional prayers namely - viShNu sahasranAmA-s, and laLitA sahasranAmA-s in these days, it will be redundant to translate the prayers contained in this text. They are obsolete with vedic gods.

- as the work progresses, the epithets will not be translated, if their importance is not explained by commentator.  

However, this is presented post-haste, without going on doing unending home work, only to present a prima facie view of harivamzam, and with a hope that someday someone will make this a perfect work.

pramAdo api dhImatAm

Desiraju Hanumanta Rao
            desirajuhrao @ yahoo.com                                                                      Back to the Contents of Harivamsa

February, 2007