Theses (South Asia Studies)

Author

Linda Wiig

Date of Award

1981

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

South Asia Studies

First Advisor

Ludo Rocher

Abstract

From the introduction:

Māhātmyas are collections of legends and myths which for the most part relate to pilgrimage practice and to local "histories" of holy places throughout India. They are associated with Purānas, a more widely known branch of Sanskrit literature, in two ways: (1) in a general way, i.e., Purānic legends were often used or adapted to a local environment in the compiling of the "history" of that place, and (2) in a specific way, i.e., Māhātmyas as texts often assert to be a part of a particular Purāna. Some Purānas consist almost entirely of Māhātmyas, others have but one or two attached to them. The connection between these two branches of literature is very close; so close that Māhātmyas for the most part have not been regarded or treated as a separate genre.

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