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Examining the caste system, culture, religious rules, and traditions, as well as the ambivalent relationship between handed-down cultural values and the new values of a changing world, Samskara looks at deeper moral and philosophical issues like how to lead a righteous life, the validity of customs, and the concept of brahminism in a contemporary world. A classic of modern Indian literature, it is both a religious novel and a contemporary reworking of ancient Hindu themes and myths. Probing multiple meanings of the word 'Samskara', which means rite of passage, ritual, preparation, transformation, as well as death rites, this novel is an engrossing tale of the personal transformation of a man living in a community that refuses to change with the times. This Oxford India Perennials edition includes detailed notes that explain Hindu myths, customs, Indian names, flora, and other terms, an afterword that explores the various dimensions of the novel's substance and meaning, and an essay by Susheela Punitha based on an interview with the author.