Preface by J.W. de Jong
The so-called Kumbhakonam edition of the Mahabharata is according to the title page, "mainly based on the South Indian texts". However, it has been pointed out that this edition represents not the Southern recension but a composite version and includes many passages proper to the Northern recension. In his Prolegomena to the critical edition of the Mahabharata, V.S. Sukthankar remarked that it is a fine representative of the composite Telugu version; and that it had been of immense help to him in the study of what may be called "conflate" readings. In the margin of the critical edition the correspondences of the stanzas and the chapters of the Calcutta, Bombay and Kumbhakonam editions have been indicated.
In recent years scholars have manifested an increasing interest in the study of the different versions of the Mahabharata, and undoubtedly this reprint of the Kumbhakonam edition will be very useful to them.