The very fact that the HarivarrJa is regarded as a supplement to the Mahiibhiirata is itself a sign of discontinuity. For centuries new material had been added to the Epic, simply by being incorporated into the main text. A new story could be told by some T$i in the forest, or additional teaching could be put into the mouth of BhI\lma on his battlefield deathbed. It is conceivable that KJ;\ll).a's story could have been inserted into the main body of the Epic at some such suitable point, just as the story of Rama has been included in Book 3.3 But whereas other material had left the Mahiibhiirata's core in its central position, this story was too

important for those who told it, too attractive for those who heard it and too close to the core narrative to be incorporated into any existing framework, even one so seemingly all-encompassing as that of the Mahabharata. If KnlI).a's story was to be told it must be heard in its own right, not as a subsidiary episode in the story of the Pal)9avas. Yet it must be connected with their story, because Kn;l)a was so firmly linked with them. Thus it was logical for it to be presented as a supplement, new and self-contained but closely connected with the Epic.4