By Adheesh A. Sathaye

What does it suggest to be a Brahmin, and what may well it suggest to develop into one? through the years, intellectuals and dogmatists have provided lots of solutions to the 1st query, however the latter offers a cultural puzzle, for the reason that normative Brahminical ideology deems it most unlikely for a regular person to alter caste with no first present process dying and rebirth.

There is, even though, one striking determine within the Hindu mythological culture who's stated to have reworked himself from a king right into a Brahmin by way of accumulating nice ascetic strength, or tapas: the ornery sage Visvamitra. via texts composed in Sanskrit and vernacular languages, oral performances, and visible media, Crossing the traces of Caste examines the wealthy mosaic of legends approximately Visvamitra discovered around the Hindu mythological culture. It deals a complete historic research of the way the "storyworlds" conjured up via those a number of tellings have served to conform, improve, and make stronger the social identification of real-world Brahmin groups, from the traditional Vedic earlier as much as the hypermodern present.

Using a performance-centered method of situate the construction of the Visvamitra legends inside of particular old contexts, Crossing the strains of Caste finds how and why mythological tradition has performed an energetic, dialogical position within the building of Brahmin social energy over the past 3 thousand years.

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