Ugrasrava Sauti

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Ugrashravas narrating Mahābhārata before the sages gathered in Naimisha Forest.

Ugrashravas (Devanagari: उग्रश्रवस, also Ugrasravas, Sauti, Suta, Sri Suta, Suta Goswami) was the narrator of several Puranas, including Mahābhārata,[1] Bhagavata Purana,[2][3] Harivamsa,[4] and Padma Purana,[5] with the narrations typically taking place before the sages gathered in Naimisha Forest. He was the son of Lomaharshana (or Romaharshana),[4] and a disciple of Vyasa, the author of Mahābhārata. Ugrasrava belonged to the Suta caste, who were typically the bards of Puranic literature.[6]

The entire Mahābhārata epic was structured as a dialogue between Ugrasrava Sauti (the narrator) and sage Saunaka (the listener). The narration (Bharata) of the history of Bharata kings by sage Vaisampayana to Kuru king Janamejaya was embedded within this narration of Ugrasrava Sauti. Vaisampayana's narration (Jaya) in turn contains the narration of Kurukshetra War by Sanjaya, to Kuru king Dhritarashtra. Thus Mahābhārata has as a Story within a story structure.

The Mahābhārata begins by introducing Ugrasrava:

"Ugrasrava, the son of Lomaharshana, surnamed Sauti, well-versed in the Puranas, bending with humility, one day approached the great sages of rigid vows, sitting at their ease, who had attended the twelve year sacrifice of Saunaka, surnamed Kulapati, in the forest of Naimisha." (Mahabharata 1:1)[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Winternitz, Moriz; V. Srinivasa Sarma (1996). A History of Indian Literature, Volume 1. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 303. ISBN 978-81-208-0264-3. 
  2. ^ Hiltebeitel, Alf (2001). Rethinking the Mahābhārata: a reader's guide to the education of the dharma king. University of Chicago Press. p. 282. ISBN 978-0-226-34054-8. 
  3. ^ Hudson, D. Dennis; Margaret H. Case (2008). The body of God: an emperor's palace for Krishna in eighth-century Kanchipuram. Oxford University Press. p. 609. ISBN 978-0-19-536922-9. 
  4. ^ a b Matchett, Freda (2001). Krishna, Lord or Avatara?: the relationship between Krishna and Vishnu. Routledge. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-7007-1281-6. 
  5. ^ Winterlitz, p. 513.
  6. ^ Jarow, Rick (2003). Tales for the dying: the death narrative of the Bhāgavata-Purāṇa. SUNY Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-7914-5609-5. 
  7. ^ Ganguli, Kisari Mohan (1884). The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa. Calcutta : Bharata press. 

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