Through the ascetic’s dialogue with the Municipal Chairman, Narayan reaffirms the traditional Indian belief regarding life and death.
The ascetic in A Tiger for Malgudi repeatedly admonishes the people for disgracing the tiger by calling it a ‘beast’. The exhortation of the sanyasi seems only a simplification of the following passage from the Trihadaranyaka Upanishad:
The Atman in Man is the very same as the vital force in the elephant, the gnat, the ant, the four quarters of the world, in short, the Atman in Man is part and parcel of the whole universe.
The Indian tradition, enshrined in the Upanishads, teaches the inter-dependence of man and the world including birds, beasts and vegetables. A Tiger for Malgudi, by evoking sympathy of human beings for a barbaric and ferocious animal like tiger, expresses Narayan’s affirmation of the Hindu belief that he, who sees all beings in his ownself and his ownself in all beings, has nothing to fear. Treating the tiger at par with human beings, the ascetic expects “the same response from a tiger as from any normal human