At home, amid rituals, and in the company of Gurus, Hindu teachings are largely conveyed through stories. Storytellers, Saints, and Scoundrels focuses on the folk narratives related with zest and humor by one old Swamiji to the varie groups that gather during the darshan hours. Kirin Narayan brings the tools of anthropology, folklore and literary criticism to bear on these tales and asks: them such a compelling vehicle for religious teachings? The stories reproduced here reveal the varied faces of the ascetic in the Hindu imagination: potentially a wise saint, he may well be a scoundrel intent on duping disciples.
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