WHEREFORE “THE MANGO OF TRUTH”?

I am rephrasing a question a young researcher-participant at a Sarala Mahabharata conference asked me the other day: what purpose – narrative, philosophical, aesthetic, etc. – does the episode of “The Mango of Truth” serve in Sarala’s Mahabharata? It was heartening that he was thinking beyond the familiar enumeration of the differences between Vyasa’s Mahabharata …