Aksadyuta in The Mahabharata

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This lecture will talk about the game that was played in the sabhā by Yudhiṣṭhira and Śakuni.  As told in the Mahābhārata, this games was not a game of chess, pachisi, dice etc. but the old game of chance or luck called akṣa-dyūta, which is mentioned already in the Ṛgveda. In the Śrautasūtras, an integral part of the rāja-sūya-yajña, the king’s inauguration or consecration ceremony, described mainly in the Taittirīya tradition of the Black Yajurveda.

About the Speaker

Dr. Phil. Dr. Habil. Renata Syed is Privatdozentin at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Department of Asian Studies, Institute of Indology and Iranian Studies. She completed her PhD in 1982 and habilitation in 1994 from Munich. She has studied Indology, Sinology, Indian Art History and Oriental Studies, as well as several semesters of Judaism in Munich and Berlin. She had a one-year residency as scholarship holder of the DAAD in India at the Jawaharlal-Nehru University in Delhi and at the Hindu University in Benares, studying Sanskrit and Hindi. She also studied Urdu at Jinnah University in Islamabad. She has headed over 25 trips to India and Pakistan for the study tour organizers Studiosus and Klingenstein, both based in Munich. From 1994 to 1998 she held a C3 professorship in Munich, and from 1998-1999 she was at the Department of Indology and Iranian Studies in Munich. Since 1999 she has been private lecturer with a focus on Indian Philosophy and Cultural History, Yoga, Samkhya and Upanisads, in addition to gender studies and India’s “Third Gender”. She gives individual and group lessons in the topic of “Intercultural communication and competence” for Germans who work for German companies in India and Pakistan, and private lessons in Sanskrit, Hindi and Urdu. She has innumerable publications in various subjects including Indian philosophy and religion, Indian history and archaeology, the history of games, the third gender, femininity and masculinity.


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Enrolled: 34 students
Duration: 1.5 hours
Video: 1.5 hours
Level: Advanced


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