Samskara A Rite For A Dead Man Essay

Made into a powerful, award-winning film in 1970, this important Kannada novel of the sixties has received widespread acclaim from both critics and general readers since its first publication in 1965. As a religious novel about a decaying brahmin colony in the south Indian village of Karnataka, "Samskara" serves as an allegory rich in realistic detail, a contemporary reworMade into a powerful, award-winning film in 1970, this important Kannada novel of the sixties has received widespread acclaim from both critics and general readers since its first publication in 1965. As a religious novel about a decaying brahmin colony in the south Indian village of Karnataka, "Samskara" serves as an allegory rich in realistic detail, a contemporary reworking of ancient Hindu themes and myths, and a serious, poetic study of a religious man living in a community of priests gone to seed. A death, which stands as the central event in the plot, brings in its wake a plague, many more deaths, live questions with only dead answers, moral chaos, and the rebirth of one man. The volume provides a useful glossary of Hindu myths, customs, Indian names, flora, and other terms. Notes and an afterword enhance the self-contained, faithful, and yet readable translation....more

Paperback, 176 pages

Published June 1st 1979 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1965)

Examining the caste system, culture, religious rules, and traditions, as well as the ambivalent relationship between handed-down cultural values and the new values of a changing world, Samskara looks at deeper moral and philosophical issues like how to lead a righteous life, the validity of customs, and the concept of brahminism in a contemporary world. A classic of modern Indian literature, it is both a religious novel and a contemporary reworking of ancient Hindu themes and myths. Probing multiple meanings of the word 'Samskara', which means rite of passage, ritual, preparation, transformation, as well as death rites, this novel is an engrossing tale of the personal transformation of a man living in a community that refuses to change with the times. This Oxford India Perennials edition includes detailed notes that explain Hindu myths, customs, Indian names, flora, and other terms, an afterword that explores the various dimensions of the novel's substance and meaning, and an essay by Susheela Punitha based on an interview with the author.

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