Samskara by U. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review 's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. The complete review 's Review :. Samskara is set in Durvasapura, an agrahara , a closed-off brahmin community that lives according to tightly -- and ultimately suffocatingly -- circumscribed rules and norms, the weight of tradition now crushing a community that is unable to adapt.

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Look Inside. The question of whether he should be buried as a Brahmin divides the other Brahmins in the village. For an answer they turn to Praneshacharyah, the most devout and respected member of their community, an ascetic who also tends religiously to his invalid wife. Praneshacharyah finds himself unable to provide the answer, though an answer is urgently needed since as he wonders and the villagers wait and the body festers, more and more people are falling sick and dying.

But when Praneshacharyah goes to the temple to seek a sign from God, he discovers something else entirely—unless that something else is also God. Samskara is a tale of existential suspense, a life-and-death encounter between the sacred and the profane, the pure and the impure, the ascetic and the erotic. Ananthamurthy offers fine portraits of a variety of characters as they struggle between natural urges and societal expectations, and has crafted an impressive story here.

Ananthamurthy, in A. Throughout the novel, Ananthamurthy builds extraordinary tension and atmosphere. It is an India that is instantly recognizable to its Indian readers. Ananthamurthy Translated by A. Ramanujan By U. Ramanujan Best Seller. Add to Cart. Also available from:. Available from:. Paperback —. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Related Articles. Looking for More Great Reads?

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Samskara : A Rite for a Dead Man

Since then, it had created a lot of controversy in academic and non-academic circles. The theme of the novel is the story of a decaying brahmin agrahara in the old Konkan region. According to A. Ramanujan, who translated the novel into English, the title refers to a concept central to Hinduism. The central theme of the novel is the death of Naranappa and the complications connected with the issue of his cremation. Naranappa was an anti-Brahminical Brahmin who spent all his life in defying Brahmin beliefs and lifestyles. He brought a lower-caste prostitute to the agarahara and lived with her in his house.


Samskara is a fine, precise novel of the psychological kind that New York Review of Books can be proud of. They can sincerely discuss Samskara' s literary merit, how the characters journeys parallel or mimic each other. There are sweeping themes, played out on small, intimate stages of a person's mind or a cluster of brahmins though I read it as a critique of religious persons generally looking for an excuse to derelict their religious duty. No one's clean, but no one's too dirty, either. Ananthamurthy avoids many traps. A prostitute is one of the only characters who diligently avoids selfishness. There are all types of religious men, one of whom goes through an apocalyptic spiritual crisis in order to answer an unanswerable question.


The word Samskara or Sanskara is from Sanskrit and is a central concept to many of the ideas embodied in Hinduism. He cares for and baths his wife on a daily basis and views the denial of his physical needs as a form of penance that will garner him blessings in this life and the next. But when Praneschacharya has his first sexual encounter, a whole new world of pleasure causes him to question his orthodox beliefs. Like Liked by 1 person.


Asif he had become a stranger to himself, the Acharya opened his eyes and asked himself: Where am I? Ananthamurthy, in A. Samskara begins with one of the central cleansing and purification rituals in the rites of Hindu worship. Praneshacharya, the most respected Brahmin in his traditional and conservative agrahara , begins each day by bathing the sickly and desiccated body of his infirm wife. Praneschacharya has faithfully carried out this ritual for more than twenty years. He views sexless marriage as a penance and a sacrifice that will deliver salvation in this life and in the next.

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