The Tricky Tales
This chapter introduces the most controversial portion of the Dasam Granth, Charitropakhian, a series of stories about deceitful women embedded within a frame story about a king who imprisons his son, thinking that he has tried to seduce the king's new wife. The opening and closing sections of Charitropakhian detail lengthy battles between divine and demonic forces. The chapter summarizes the opening and closing sections, provides summaries and selected translations from the stories, and considers the controversies about the sexually explicit nature of some of the text. The chapter situates these stories in the broader context of Indian story literature, the concept of human aims, or the purusharthas, as well as literature produced at kings' courts, and argues for a new reading of the text as a whole.
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