Somadeva. "The Red Lotus of Chastity". Reading questions

  1. Who/What are:
    1. brahmin
    2. Veda
    3. Shiva
  2. Names to remember:
    1. Guhasena
    2. Devasmita
  3. What is a folktale?
  4. Note the nested tale (story-within-a-story) device.
  5. Picture of Indian society in the classical period.
  6. Importance of sacrifices.
  7. How did Guhasena and Devasmita meet and marry?
  8. Importance of fidelity and chastity. Jealousy in conflict with merchant business. How to deal with it?
  9. How is the character of the nun contrary to her calling?
  10. Story of the nun: second nested story.
  11. Who are the "tricksters" in the story and what is their reputation?
  12. The nun says she doesn't want any money from the merchants. Then why is she doing them this favor, do you think?
  13. Note the belief in and function of dreams in the story.
  14. Previus lives and remembering past existences.
  15. The good trickster. Tricking by pretending.
  16. Note all the examples of disguises. What function do they play?
  17. What finally happens to the nun and her pupil? How is it appropriate?
  18. What do you think is the point of Devasmita's "nested" story as told to her mother-in-law?
  19. What do you notice about the character of religious figures (nuns, priests) in the story?
  20. What are some adjectives that you can use to describe Devasmita? Provide examples.