This chapter shows that the verbal and visual narrative, or text, of Devnārāyan can be understood, or rather imagined, by placing it within a framework of interrelating texts. It is the intertextual field that determines the mixing of verbal and visual imagery, particularly in the religious context. While certain motifs give the impression of being “fragmentary”, elements inserted into the text to support a specific purpose, others occupy a much more central position by giving the overall ideology of the text. This is distinctively true for the idea of the avatāra, which, rather than having the peripheral status of a “late” “strata”, lies at the core of the text, serving to provide its intrinsic literary and religious constitution. The idea of the avatāra is thus the “code” through which the text receives shape and is made meaningful.
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