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Mapping Bhakti In The Sanskrit Epics: Friendship, Hospitality, And Separation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains the author's effort to be more specific under the rubric of "Mapping Bhakti in the Sanskrit Epics". With the subtitle "Friendship, Hospitality, and Separation," it indicates three stepping stones that the mapping project has located. First, regarding hospitality, atithi is the main old word for guest, and ātithyam for hospitality, while there is no consistent term for host, that concept being more contextual. Friendship, meanwhile, is more multi-toned. The chapter concentrates on passages where their voices are strongest-not only in what their words recall but what they anticipate in the fuller narratives. It chooses episodes where the heroine's very embodiment of the cultural ideal of the faithful wife is first strained to the limit. Each episode marks the point where the heroine first speaks out after she has suffered the deepest outrage she experiences as a devoted wife and queen.

Keywords: bhakti; Sanskrit epics



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