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GṛhasthaThe Householder in Ancient Indian Religious Culture$
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Patrick Olivelle

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190696153

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190696153.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 December 2019

Gṛhasthas Don’t Belong in the Rāmā̄yaṇa

Gṛhasthas Don’t Belong in the Rāmā̄yaṇa

Chapter:
(p.204) 11 Gṛhasthas Don’t Belong in the Rāmā̄yaṇa
Source:
Gṛhastha
Author(s):

Aaron Sherraden

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190696153.003.0011

This chapter explores the position of the gṛhastha in the Rāmāyaṇa primarily through its striking absence—the concept is not found in the text with the exception of one verse. It properly contextualizes this single reference and explore a number of other references to other “life-modes” to show where the Rāmāyaṇa sits ideologically in relation to the development of the āśrama system. Ultimately, it becomes clear that the Rāmāyaṇa has no narrative concern for a codified system of āśramas and the fluidity of the life-modes as depicted in the epic allowed the author of the Rāmāyaṇa to effectively ignore the gṛhastha, an institution we have come to accept as quintessential to the classical Hindu worldview.

Keywords:   Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, gṛhastha, āśrama system, interpolation, narrative

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