Parkhill, Thomas

Forest Setting in Hindu Epics Princes, Sages, Demons
1995 0-7734-2213-7
This study of the forest, the people who pass through it and their activities there, gives a new perspective on Hindu epic narrative. The central thesis is that the tripartite process of transformation, first observed in rites of passage, operates in the forest-related sections of the Mahabharata and Ramayana, with the middle phase centering in the forest. The forest acts as a threshold across which the epic heroes and heroines pass as they move from one life-stage to another, or as is more often the case, from one state of existence to another.