KāṠamarāju Kathi

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This medieval epic of southern India exists in a written version attributed to the fifteenth-century poet Śrīnātha. The epic is concerned with a cattle-herding caste claiming descendancy from Lord Kṛṣṇa (see Kṛṣṇa). A cattleman hero, Kāṭamarāju, makes an agreement with a king regarding grazing rights. An argument develops and leads to a war between the cattlemen and the king's army. One of the cattlemen becomes afraid and deserts his comrades in battle. He is derided by his wife and mother for his cowardice and returns to battle only to be killed. When he is brought home for the ritual cremation, his wife proves her devotion by joining him on the pyre.

Subjects: Religion.

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