UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Kātyāyanī myth in the Vāmana Purāna (18.39-21.52) Dunlap, William Devereux


This thesis is the translation, annotation, and commentary of that section of the Vāmana Purāna in which the story of Kātyāyanī is narrated (18.39-21.52). I have translated the story literally, recounted it in a simpler manner, analyzed it and tried to include as much information as possible about the characters, customs, religious beliefs, etc. The aim is to understand the story accurately, fully, and critically and to enable a critical reader to do the same. Thus, the major purpose of the thesis is philological: it is an exercise in acquiring a more precise knowledge of puranic Sanskrit, myths, characters, beliefs. The secondary purpose is to study the mythological motifs appearing in the story, as well as the gods and demons who play a role in the story. Briefly, this passage of the Vāmana Purāna is the story of the defeat of the gods by the demons, and how the gods in turn defeated the demons by joining their powers together. The goddess Kātyāyanī, who is the central figure of the story, is an integration of all the gods strength. The structure of the thesis is as follows: a) an Introduction that concentrates on analysis and interpretation of the story and on the language used in the story; b) the Sanskrit text of the story, literal translation and critical as well as explanatory annotations; c) a Glossary of proper names of individuals and classes of beings mentioned in the selected segment.

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