10 Jan Samskara is one of the acknowledged masterpieces of modern world literature, a book to set beside Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and. 14 Dec U.R. Ananthamurthy, in A.K Ramanujan’s translation from the Kannada, tries to Samskara—the compulsory rite given to Brahmins at their. 20 Mar With sympathy and ruthlessness, U.R. Ananthamurthy’s novel Samskara gives shape to the mutinies that raged within mid-century India.

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Who will perform his last rites? His extreme asceticism has blinded him to the physical enjoyments of the world outside of his rigid rituals and cleansing baths. A death, which stands as the central event in the plot, brings in its wake a plague, many more deaths, live questions with only dead answers, moral chaos, and the rebirth of one man.

Finally she went to the Muslim section and pleaded to Ahmed Bari Ananthamurthy might have crafted in the original version. He believed that Lord Krishna wanted to test him on his way to salvation. Therefore he decides to leave the matter to the Gods.

Samskaar such small span of time we have largely overcome centuries long customs, prejudices and superstitions which were once considered imperative to live a good life but are rightly discarded now for being regressive and parochial.

Oct 07, Stuti rated it liked it.

Naranappa, while he lived did many things which went against the standard pious Brahmin life and it was enough to outrage his fellow Brahmins and now that he is dead, nobody wants to take the responsibility to lit fire to his funeral pyre else the very act will malign the purity of their caste but he must be cremated because despite his anti- brahminical acts, he died a Brahmin. The Archaya, young head of the brahmin village, agonized over what to do, but without explicit instruction from the books he didn’t know wh This book tells the story of a decaying brahmin village that is pulled into a quandary of what to do about a brahmin who died.


It was during this aimless wandering in the forest that he met Putta. Moreover, they cannot take food as long as the dead body is not disposed of. K, who is well versed with the land, culture, lifestyle there is a gap the translation can’t bridge – that every translation can’t bridge.

Seldom do we find such freedom.

Samskara (film) – Wikipedia

Should he go back to the agrahara and confess all of his misdeeds to his fellow Brahmins? The Brahmins were worried because if they performed his last rites, their rich patrons may boycott them from their feasts. This coming undone of the epitome of a Hindu Brahmin was particularly interesting to follow because the author chose to not dwell into the conclusion of whether it was right or wrong. Ananthamurthy’s works ananthamudthy been translated into several Indian and European languages and have been awarded with ansnthamurthy literary prizes.

Other than that, the psychological realism in the novel is quite commendable.

It pays however to understand the importance of tradition, culture and a way of living that has had the weight of years of practice. Every morning and evening he gave a recital of vedic stories to the people of the agrahara.

Very soon his wife Bhagirathi died. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Ssamskara book talks about the process of change, of unlearning and relearning and leaves szmskara curious and contemplative by the end of it. He felt that he no longer had any moral right to continue as the spiritual leader of the agrahara.

Love how the characters are allegorical and set up to define vivid contrasts. In men of ‘Darkness’ there’s no desire of salvation in the first place.

He is in his late thirties. He attends orgies, he drinks and eats meat. Praneshacharya has to deal with the consequences of his actions, actions that aannthamurthy believes were not made through a conscious choice.

Remembering U. R. Ananthamurthy : Samskara | Ramlal Agarwal

You see because in India, time hasn’t really tick-tocked normally in the past years, it has actually raced through the whole societal landscape as far as its belief system is concerned. Problem is not with the book, translator is not entirely at fault here either, it is just that I am not part of the targeted audience. But very soon he falls in our esteem because he is not able to take any decision regarding the barial of Naranappa.


The agent of change is the concubine Chandri who occupies the space equidistant between the devout living and the profane dead. The mai I tried to read this a few years back and got stuck on cultural confusion not knowing what the basic plot elements are about, can really make a novel tough going and gave up a third of the way through. This incident revealed the weaknesses in the personality of Praneshacharya. A Rite for a Dead Man.

When he sees the Bombay Box, he peeps into it. For a “modern”, “rational”, “logical” person all this can seem meaningless. He walked out of the temple into the dark forest outside. Neither does it compels the reader to go in that direction.

He believed in doing his duty which, he expected, would lead him to salvation. Finally sxmskara left the issue to Paneshchaarya who was the head of the village. He did not pretend to be very spiritual or high headed. But Praneshcharya didnot have the capacity to appreciate and honour the friendship of this helpful human being.

But even this unpleasent sight was an anantbamurthy experience to Putta. One can totally empathise with him when one is caught between two choices and doesn’t which one to take, particularly when the choices will make all the difference. There are no easy answers here, and while the hypocrisies of the Brahmin colony are cruelly skewered, still Praneshacharyah is a fundamentally sympathetic character, struggling to find clarity in a world which refuses it, seeking after righteousness without success.

You, charmed by him to begin with in a very subtle and unobvious manner, are shaken when he’s shaken.