HEMAKANTA – A prince

While Brahmanical ideology taught that killing a brahmin (brahmahatya) was the worst of sins and required loss of caste, Puranic mythology told of those who had killed a brahmin and escaped becoming outcaste (candala). This alternative view shifted the focus to devotion (bhakti) and its outward signs in gifts of comĀ­passion (dana) and grace (prasada) from the Supreme. So the story in the Skanda Purana about Hemakanta, a prince, had real importance. Hemakanta, the son of the King Kusaketu, committed brahmahatya, the sin of killing a brahmin, on a victim named Satarcas. He was absolved of that sin when he gave a brahmin named Trita some water to drink.

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