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Purity And Auspiciousness In The Sanskrit Epics

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Chapter Summary

The two Indian epics, the Mahabharata and Ramayana, are thoroughly familiar with the two different domains of classification: purity-impurity and auspiciousness-inauspiciousness. Although the terms suddha and subha are taken as corresponding to basic purity and auspiciousness respectively, attention must be devoted to larger term-clusters and conceptual frameworks for each of the two domains. In focusing primarily on the domains of purity and auspiciousness, this chapter draws in part from the results of these other studies. The examination of the domains of purity and auspiciousness in the two epics allows us to discuss important areas in which the two narratives show significant thematic rapports. The chapter deals with the women, Draupadi and Sita. The discussion of these two heroines' representation of themes connected with purity and auspiciousness can be designed around their portrayal through three symbols: their garments, their hair, and in Sita's case her jewels.

Keywords: auspiciousness; Mahabharata; Purity; Ramayana; Subha; Sudha



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