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: For ten years, William Sax studied the inhabitants of the former kingdom of Garhwal in northern India. Sax attended and participated in performances of the pandav lila (a ritual reenactment of scenes from the Mahabharata in a dance) and observed its context in village life. Combining ethnographic fieldwork with sophisticated reflection on the larger meanings of these rituals and practices, this volume presents the information in a style accessible to the uninitiated reader. Sax opens a window on a fascinating (and threatened) aspect of rural Indian life and on Hinduism as a living religion, while providing an accessible introduction to the Mahabharata itself.