Showing posts from November, 2013

Book Review: The Pregnant King

Book: The Pregnant King

Author: Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9780143063476

Pages: 360

Hindu mythology holds many important events and stories which have often been handed down generation after generation as part of society's ways and norms. The story of King Yuvanashva and his unique story is validated in the Harivamsa and some of the Puranas. However, the Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana tell his extraordinary story about him.

The popular and just ruler of Vallabhi, King Yuvanashva, is an obedient son and an equally devoted husband to his wives. However, even the happiest of homes have secret tragedies hidden in their midst. Yuvanashva, a King who is denied his right to sitting on the throne by his own mother because he fails to produce an heir to the throne, even after having three wives. As a result, Shilavati, the king’s mother, refuses to give him permission to join the famous battle of Kurukshetra as the king is unable to sire a worthy heir for his throne despi…

Book Review: Mahabharata

Publisher: Penguin

Author: R.K. Narayan

Pages: 208

ISBN: 9780141185002 

The Mahabharata is some 3500 years old and is the longest epic poem in existence. As one of the founding epics of Indian culture, it is also a highly dramatic and enthralling story. Growing from an oral tradition of ballads based on historic events in India, the Mahabharata was passed down and extended through the centuries, thus becoming the longest poem ever written. One of the many narratives about the Mahabharata is by R.K. Narayan. His version provides a superb rendition in an abbreviated and elegant retelling of the greatest epic. 

The Mahabharata is Hinduism's great epic story. It may be the oldest written story in the world, and certainly the longest. It tells the tale of kings and queens, gods and demons. It goes off on tangents lasting hundreds of pages, yet always comes back to the one main story, the story of the Kauravas and the Pandavas, the two great warrior clans, and the men and women whose lives a…

Book Review: Vishnu Sahasranamam

Publisher: Central Chinmaya Mission Trust

Author: Swami Chinmayananda 

Pages: 266

ISBN: 9788175972452 

Every human being has some inner conception of God, which is formed or fuelled by selective interpretations depending on the environment, experiences and temperament an individual is associated with. The Vishnu Sahasranamam, is a stotra containing the 1000 names of Lord Vishnu. During the interaction between Yudhisthira and Bheeshma after the Mahabharata war, the Vishnu Sahasranamam was revealed by Bheeshma Pitamaha in the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata as he awaits his death on the bed of arrows. 

The Vishnu Sahasranamam summarises in 1000 names all the attributes and deduced facts about God. Students and scholars of Indian philosophy often start with the Vishnu Sahasranamam along with an incisive commentary of Adi Sankaracharya which enables a person to understand the concept of God in Hinduism in one go.

Broadly speaking, the Upanishads form the core principles of Vedanta, a branch of …