What are some symbols in A River Sutra?

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A River Sutra by Gita Mehta uses a great deal of symbolism that represents both love and life.

The river Narmada is the main symbol. All rivers symbolize life because, like life, a river does not stop. Like a river, life is constantly moving.

The river also symbolizes the different obstacles that someone may face in life. No matter what twists and turns or narrow paths pop up, the water will make its way down the river through any obstacle.

Finally, the river connects heaven and earth. The rains come down from the heavens and fall to the earth, making it across the earth through the riverway. This theme of heaven and earth is prominent in Mehta's stories as well as in Hindu culture and religion.

The beauty and passion of the river also symbolize love.

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Gita Mehta situates her novel on the banks of the river Narmada, a symbol of diverse religious faiths and beliefs. The principal narrator, a bureaucrat on the verge of retirement, undertakes a spiritual journey that does not end where he wishes.

The six stories are symbolic of a quest for love. The narrative is made up of disparate tales of passion, enchantment, love, and loss. Each tale depicts the tragic realities of life and the struggle of imperfect humans to rise above themselves.

The river Narmada, the central character, is symbolic of life and creation. She also symbolizes impermanence, change, renunciation, purity, and sacrifice. She highlights the fact that life moves on, and we are alive when we go with the flow of our passions and ambitions.

Mehta uses mythology as a tool to connect the past with the present. The novel demonstrates that science and mysticism, discipline and passion, and desire and renunciation are not opposites. They are different dimensions of life.

A River Sutra symbolizes the Hindu reverence for nature. The tribes worship the river as a goddess and have deep faith in her cleansing and healing powers. The novel includes the theme of ecofeminism by demonstrating the intrinsic relationship between the exploitation of nature and the exploitation of women.

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One of the most important symbols in this collection of stories is of course the Narmada River. This is shown to stand for love in this text, and highlights the emphasis that is placed on love in each of the stories that is told. Consider the way that the Narmada River is described as a lover who is flowing out to be united with her bridegroom, the Lord of the Oceans. Each story focuses on this symbol in a different way, exploring the theme of love through many different kinds of relationships such as the monk's love for the natural world or Master Mohan's purity of love towards the boy who sings so beautifully. 

In all stories the symbol of the river as refering to love is echoed and taken up again and again, and this clearly establishes the river as this text's most important symbol because of the way it focuses the reader on the most important theme. 

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