In the translation of Anusasana Parva in Mahabharata by (Late) Sri K. M. Ganguli, we see a paragraph note in the page which states:

The Anusasana Parva, like the Santi Parva before it, is a long hiatus in the narrative of the Mahabharata. Set on the deathbed of Bhishma, the Anusasana Parva is a huge treasure-trove of Brahmanic lore which is obviously a later interpolation in the epic.

Why did (Late) Sri K. M. Ganguli state so?

Edit 2-8-2020

My question is different from another question , as in this question I am interested in knowing the view of the original translator in considering Anushasana Parva to be an interpolation.


2 Answers 2


Mahabharata contains 100 parvas which are further grouped into 18 major parvas

Adi Parva gives list of 100 parvas which includes Anusasana as well:

Then comes 'Santi', then 'Rajadharmanusasana', then 'Apaddharma', then 'Mokshadharma'. Those that follow are called respectively 'Suka-prasna-abhigamana', 'Brahma-prasnanusana', the origin of 'Durvasa', the disputations with Maya. The next is to be known as 'Anusasanika'. Then the ascension of Bhishma to heaven. Then the horse-sacrifice, which when read purgeth all sins away.


The high-souled Vyasa composed these hundred parvas ...

As you can see above that these 100 parvas including Anusasana were composed by Vayasa.

The same Adi Parva chapter describes Anusasana Parva:

Next in order is the excellent Anusasana Parva. In it is described how Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, was reconciled to himself on hearing the exposition of duties by Bhishma, the son of Bhagirathi. This Parva treats of rules in detail and of Dharma and Artha; then the rules of charity and its merits; then the qualifications of donees, and the supreme ride-regarding gifts. This Parva also describes the ceremonials of individual duty, the rules of conduct and the matchless merit of truth. This Parva showeth the great merit of Brahmanas and kine, and unraveleth the mysteries of duties in relation to time and place. These are embodied in the excellent Parva called Anusasana of varied incidents. In this hath been described the ascension of Bhishma to Heaven. This is the thirteenth Parva which hath laid down accurately the various duties of men. The number of sections, in this is one hundred and forty-six. The number of slokas is eight thousand.

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    Your answer does not answer my question,please. Aug 1, 2020 at 7:35
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    "Is Anusasana Parva an interpolation in the Mahabharata?" --this is ur Q and I quoted from Mahabharata itself which denies possibility of interpolation..so why it doesn't answer ur question? U ll get answers for supporting interpolation and few denying interpolation but all answer the Q.. it's upto u or the community which one they think is right..
    – YDS
    Aug 1, 2020 at 8:45
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    You should have taken the content in the question also into consideration, before answering. I had queried in the question content - Why did (Late) Sri K. M. Ganguli state so? @YDS . By the way, the community that you have mentioned does not exist in true sense. A community will discuss or argue at length but finally reach a healthy consensus. In this site there is no community sense, as far as I understood. Here, we can find groupism. Aug 1, 2020 at 9:07
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    @SrimannarayanaKV, of course there is groupism. every sect will try to enforce their values. what i'm saying is that you are using the groupism-blame to cover up your lack of providing evidence and your unacceptance of provided evidence.
    – ram
    Sep 14, 2020 at 4:31
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    @Pandya, SrimannarayanaKV is of the opinion that Sri Rama is NOT an avatar of Vishnu. If he posts an answer tomorrow saying that Sri Rama is avatara of Brahma, are you saying that we should categorize that under a 'different doctrinal point of view', and not downvote it ? I hope users continue to have the common sense to downvote obviously nonsensical answers.
    – ram
    Sep 15, 2020 at 17:21

In one of the Shodhganga articles, it was stated that

It has been mentioned earlier that the Mahabharata was in the custody of the Brahmins of the Bhrgu race. The epic got its vast size even before the rise and development of the Gupta reign. The tendency to enlarge the Mahabharata text was still continued by these Brahmins.

In their own interest, these Brahmins wrote the Puranas and rearranged them.

It is a notable fact that Lord Krishna had not a prominent role to play even in the first connected epic narrative.

The studies of Sri V.S. Sukthankar reveal the fact that the very first stanza 'नारायणं नमस्कृत्य" etc. is a later interpolation to the Mahabharata, a pure Vaishnava composition.

We have to remember that Sri V.S. Sukthankar belongs to the next generation to (Late) Sri K. M. Ganguli, and thus might have read the articles of the latter.

We should revisit the words of (Late) Sri K. M. Ganguli on Anusasana Parva:

The Anusasana Parva, like the Santi Parva before it, is a long hiatus in the narrative of the Mahabharata. Set on the deathbed of Bhishma, the Anusasana Parva is a huge treasure-trove of Brahmanic lore.

Why should there be a long hiatus in the narrative of the Mahabharata, unless it was made so by later day scholars?

Further, the Vishnu Sahasranama is a part of Anusasana Parva.

If we remember the observations of Sri V.S. Sukthankar - the very first stanza 'नारायणं नमस्कृत्य" etc. is a later interpolation to the Mahabharata, a pure Vaishnava composition - we can infer that the Anusasana Parva was included at a later date just to include Brahmanic lore and Vishnu Sahasranāma and to project Vishnu as SUPREME GOD.

Thus, Anusasana Parva is an interpolation, as observed by (Late) Sri K. M. Ganguli.

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    Lol. Did Sukthankar find a written document penned by KMG where the latter gave his reasons ? If not then the above answer is just your opinion without substance. Aug 2, 2020 at 7:25
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    Nothing offensive in this answer. Just amused by you and your motivated Questions and Answers. And despite best efforts your answer does not really answer your question - "Why KMG said so n so". Might as well have said , KMG was under pressure from "modern hindus who are against any aspect of divinity" and thus he mentioned it Aug 2, 2020 at 7:44
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. Sep 12, 2020 at 15:25
  • it is well known that the makers of BORI edition (vs sukthankar being the main editor) have a leftist bias, based on their reasoning, education and lifestyle.
    – ram
    Sep 13, 2020 at 10:11
  • Is their leaning towards Leftism only reason (or) is it due to unable to digest the fact that if Anusashana Parva is accepted as Interpolation, then Vishnu Sahasranamam will lost its ground? @ram Sep 14, 2020 at 9:43

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