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By A. N. D. Haksar

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One such writer, Ruth Vanita, in a recent issue of the well-known progressive women's journal Manushi offered a review of Professor R i c h m a n ' s collection. Many Rdmdyanas, mentioned above. Responding to several contributors to that volume who state their intention not to privilege certain Hindu versions of the epic story, Ms. Vanita remarks: In the process, however, they implicitly and explicitly privilege Buddhist and Jain over Hindu version s, oral over written versions, The Adikavya and the Legacy of Rsi Valmiki 15 and so-called ''people's" versions over texts attributable to an individual author.

But the definitions of t h e s e figures w e r e certainly l e s s known to the poet Vyasa. Mel res Tor the battlefields and in general, the m e t r e found in the Mahabharala is anustubli, the simplest m e t r e with a larger n u m b e r of structures. H o p k i n s fully analyzed this topic and his o b s e r v a t i o n s are a s follows: The m e t r e s found in the Mahabharata which c o r r e s p o n d to the Ramayana and the classical structure of m e t r e s a r e the upajdtis and their components; vaisvadevi, bhujangaprayata, rucira, praharsirii, vasantatilakd and maliiil The m e t r e s exclusively found in the Mahabharata a r e salini, drutavilambita, rathoddhald and sardulavikridita.

Also, it might be noted, the epic stories ind heroes arc common cultural property in South (not to mention Southeast) Asia so that numerous non-1 Undu versions of the tales appear in Buddhist and Jaina texts as well as in other sources where the notion of avatura-hood ma v be downplayed, ignored, or even ridiculed. Nonetheless, no manuscript of either epic is known to omit these sections while passages dealing centrally with the divinity of the heroes often demonstrate unusually consistent manuscript support.

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