Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies


Purāna Leǵends and the Prakrit Tradition in New Indo-Aryan

Suniti Kumar Chatterji

It is now generally admitted that a great deal of the ancient and medieval myth and legend enshrined in the Sanskrit epics and Purānas is of non-Aryan origin, and that even in Vedic mythology certain pre-Aryan elements are present. Puranic myths of the godsand legends of kings, heroes, and sages, in the form in which we find them in the Sanskrit works, represent undoubtedly a considerable amount of modification from their original forms, whether Aryan or non-Aryan: witness, e.g., the treatment of what would appear to bea genuine Aryan (? Indo-European) saga-that of Purūravas and Urvaśī, as we find it in the Rigveda and the Śatapatha Brāhmana, in the Visnu Purāna and in the subsequent Puranas.