By Adheesh A. Sathaye

What does it suggest to be a Brahmin, and what may well it suggest to turn into one? through the years, intellectuals and dogmatists have provided lots of solutions to the 1st query, however the latter provides a cultural puzzle, because normative Brahminical ideology deems it very unlikely for a normal person to alter caste with no first present process loss of life and rebirth.

There is, despite the fact that, one extraordinary determine within the Hindu mythological culture who's acknowledged to have reworked himself from a king right into a Brahmin by means of gathering nice ascetic energy, or tapas: the ornery sage Visvamitra. via texts composed in Sanskrit and vernacular languages, oral performances, and visible media, Crossing the strains of Caste examines the wealthy mosaic of legends approximately Visvamitra chanced on around the Hindu mythological culture. It bargains a entire ancient research of the way the "storyworlds" conjured up via those a number of tellings have served to evolve, improve, and strengthen the social identification of real-world Brahmin groups, from the traditional Vedic previous as much as the hypermodern present.

Using a performance-centered method of situate the construction of the Visvamitra legends inside of particular historic contexts, Crossing the strains of Caste unearths how and why mythological tradition has performed an lively, dialogical function within the development of Brahmin social energy during the last 3 thousand years.

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