This paper sketches a view of how the analytic and synthetic approaches to the Mahābhārata are affected by the completion of the
Poona critical edition (see also Brodbeck in press). I suggest that since the completion of the Poona edition forty years ago, both the analytic and the synthetic approaches are more appropriate than they were previously, but that they are appropriate with respect to different portions of the critical edition. I then argue that the synthetic approach must also reckon with the Harivaṃśa, and I discuss various ramifications of the two lists of contents in the Mahābhārata’s second chapter.
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