Other R─ma, The: Matricide and Genocide in the Mythology of Para?ur─ma

Other R─ma, The: Matricide and Genocide in the Mythology of Para?ur─ma

English | ISBN: 1438480393 | 2020 | 333 Pages | PDF | 2 MB

A systematic analysis of the myth cycle of Para?ur─ma ("R─ma with the Axe"), an avat│ra of Vi??u with a much darker reputation.

The Other R─ma presents a systematic analysis of the myth cycle of Para?ur─ma ("R─ma with the Axe"), an avat│ra of Vi??u best known for decapitating his own mother and annihilating twenty-onegenerations of the K?atriya warrior caste in an extermination campaign frequently referred to as "genocide" by modern scholars. Compared to R─ma and K???a, the other human forms of Vi??u, Para?ur─ma has a much darker reputation, with few temples devoted to him and scant worshippers. He has also attracted far less scholarly attention. But dozens of important castes and clans across the subcontinent claim Para?ur─ma as the originator of their bloodline, and his mother, Re?uk─, is worshipped in the form of a severed head throughout South India.

Using the tools of comparative mythology and psychoanalysis, Brian Collins identifies three major motifs in the mythology of Para?ur─ma: his hybrid status as a Brahmin warrior, his act of matricide, and his bloody one-man war to cleanse the earth of K?atriyas. Collins considers a wide variety of representations of the myth, from its origins in the Mah─bh─rata to contemporary debates online. He also examines Para?ur─ma alongside the Wandering Jew of European legend and Psycho's matricidal serial killer Norman Bates. He examines why mythmakers once elevated this transgressive and antisocial figure to the level of an avat─ra and why he still holds such fascination for a world that continues to grapple with mass killings and violence against women.

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