Shakuntala Gawde, "Narrative Analysis of Bhagavata Purana: Selected Episodes from the Tenth Skandha" (Dev Publishers, 2023)


Shakuntala Gawde's book Narrative Analysis of Bhagavata Purana: Selected Episodes from the Tenth Skandha (Dev Publishers, 2023) presents an analytical study of selected narratives of the tenth skandha of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa with the framework of Narratology. It checks the possibilities of interpretation of some popular narratives from Kṛṣṇa saga. Book gives an exhaustive introduction dealing with Purāṇas, the growth of Vaiṣṇnavism and Narratology with special reference to Bhāgavata Purāṇa which sets precursor to the further analysis. It undertakes hermeneutic interpretation of episodes – Lord Kṛṣṇa’s birth story, Lifting of Govardhana Mountain, Syamantaka jewel, exploits of Pūtanā and other demons, uprooting of Arjuna trees, the expulsion of Kāliya, Gopīcīraharaṇam, Rāsapaῆcādhyāyī, story of Kubjā, story of Śrīdāman and Rukmiṇī Svayaṁvara. 

All these narratives are categorised into three themes – 1) Assimilation and acculturation 2) Exploits of demons and 3) Bhakti Narratives. The Narrative structure of each episode is analysed to derive the meaning from it. Theoretical frameworks developed by K. Ayyappa Paniker, Genette and Roland Barthes are applied to the selected narratives of the tenth skandha of Bhāg. P. to understand the deeper meaning of the narratives. The toolbox approach is taken into consideration while doing textual exegesis and hermeneutic interpretation. It explores socio-historical, psychological and philosophical aspects of the above narratives through textual analysis of the tenth skandha of Bhāgavata Purāṇa using the tools like intertextuality and intratextuality.

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Raj Balkaran

Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see

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