BOOK EXCERPT

Take two: Amruta Patil goes graphic with Shiv and Sati in her version of 'The Mahabharata'

The writer-artist follows her 'Adi Parva' with 'Sauptik', the tenth of the 18 books of the Mahabharata.

In the Sauptik universe, “brahmin” is not a genetically transmitted state. Brahmin is one whose life has this purpose: to keep senses in check, to learn, to be a reservoir of collective wisdom, to share knowledge selflessly and without hope of profit. Brahmin is as brahmin does.

“Rajanya” is not a genetically transmitted state either. Rajanya is one whose life has this purpose: to administer to the land with integrity, to overcome fear of pain and death, to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Rajanya is as rajanya does.

Hopeless kings have been served by exemplary men. Children of sages reveal themselves to be fools; children of cowards prove to be warriors. There’s simply no saying who will birth what.

You determine your varna. The buck stops with you. It is as easy and as excruciatingly hard as that.

The Outliers

Excerpted with permission from Sauptik: Blood and Flowers, Amruta Patil, HarperCollins India.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Mutual Funds Sahi Hai and not by the Scroll editorial team.