Tag Archives: asura

BOOK REVIEW: ASURA–Tale of the Vanquished- The Story of Ravana and his people narrated by Anand Neelakantan

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    A mythic fiction. This book was published in the year 2012 by Platinum Press and the page count of this book is 504.

    Asura broke into the top seller charts within a week of its launch. It became the number one bestseller of 2012 as per Crossword list and CNN IBN. It was also nominated for Crossword’s Popular Award in 2013. The book has since been published in many Indian languages.

    Says Ravana: “For thousands of years, I have been vilified and my death is celebrated year after year in every corner of India. Why? Was it because I challenged the Gods for the sake of my daughter? Was it because I freed a race from the yoke of caste-based Deva rule? You have heard the victor’s tale, the Ramayana. Now hear the Ravanayana, for I am the Asura.”

    ‘Juxtaposed between the view point of the defeated Asura emperor and a common citizen of the Asura Empire, this novel gives an entirely fresh and new perspective to our age-old epic. It is the tale of the defeated and silenced. A different view point—says Deccan Chronicle.

    The book attempts to highlight the voice of the vanquished as opposed to the victor’s version of Ramayana that is commonly read and known. It explores the struggle of Ravana and his life that made him what he was, and attempts, to create a link between the social construct, as it may have existed, and varied, at the time, and the well-known instances described in the legend of Ramayana as it is known today.

    It is quite a marathon novel running over some sixty five chapters. We all, in our lives consider Ravana to be one of the biggest villains on earth. The novel gives a counter viewpoint on that. It tells us the hidden aspect of Ravana. The author has used freely creative liberties considering the era it covers.

    The story of the Ramayana has been told innumerable times that covers the enthralling story of Rama, the incarnation of God, who slew Ravana, the evil demon of darkness, and is well known to every Indian. And in the pages of history, as always, it is the version told by the victors that goes on to live. The voice of the vanquished remains lost in silence. But what if Ravana and his people had a different story to tell?

    The story of the Ravanayana has never been told. Asura is the epic tale of the vanquished Asura people, a story that has been cherished by the oppressed outcastes of India for 3000 years. Until now, no Asura has dared to tell the tale. But perhaps the time has come for the dead and the defeated to speak.

    Says Ravana, “I am a non-entity—invisible, powerless and negligible. No epics will ever be written about me. I have suffered both Ravana and Rama—the hero and the villain or the villain and the hero. When the stories of great men are told, my voice maybe too feeble to be heard. Yet, spare me a moment and hear my story, for I am Bhadra, the Asura, and my life is the tale of the loser.”

    The ancient Asura Empire lay shattered into many warring petty kingdoms reeling under the heel of the Devas. In desperation, the Asuras look up to a young saviour—Ravana. Believing that a better world awaits them under Ravana, common men like Bhadra decide to follow the young leader. With will of iron and a fiery ambition to succeed, Ravana leads his people from victory to victory and carves out a vast empire from the Devas. But even when Ravana succeeds spectacularly, the poor Asuras find that nothing much has changed for them. It is then that Ravana, by one action, changes the history of the world.

    The author has used his creativity to the hilt. He has given a modern perspective to the geography of those times and how wars were fought, how a race lived and fought for survival. The language is by and large lucid. A broad spine book of over five hundred pages. The author had much to say I guess. I would give the book five stars a must read.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our Publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India. Shoolini University, Yogananda Knowledge Center, Himachal Pradesh. Azim Premzi University, Bangalore).  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; Indica, 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; Happy Days, November 15, 2020; The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 15,2020; Power Vs Influence, January 31, 2021; Three Refugees, March 15, 2021; Rise and Fall of Ajatashatru, March 31, 2021;

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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SHORT STORY: LESSON FROM BHASMASURA

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    Once an asura with his marathon tapasya and devotion was able to please Lord Shiva and in return obtain from him the powerful ‘vardan’ to burn anyone to ashes the moment he placed his hand on his head. He therefore came to be known as Bhasmasur that is Bhasma-asura, for he could reduce anyone to ashes by his touch.

    Bhasmasur was indeed delighted by this vardan of Shiva. So he decided to try out, his newly acquired power, on Shiva himself. When Shiva learnt of this intention of Bhasmasur he fled in terror and sought the help of Lord Vishnu, who transformed himself into Mohini the apsara to distract Bhasmasur. Overwhelmed by lust, Bhasmasur begged Mohini to marry him. Mohini agreed but laid down a condition that only if Bhasmasur could dance like her. Bhasmasur agreed to her condition. During the course of the dance, Mohini touched her head. The deluded Bhasmasur, blinded by desire, copied her, and he put his hand on his head too, and was burnt to ashes, much to the delight of Shiva.

Moral of the Story: Think before you empower a person with something, whether the person will be able to handle the power or not. Use your brains if you need to copy something and often the wrong man teaches you the right lesson.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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SHORT STORY: HOPE OF BEING DESIRELESS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

narsimha prahalad 2 prahlad

When Hiranyakashipu himself got up to kill his son Prahlad, who was a great bhakta (devotee) of Lord Vishnu, and with intense anger he pointed to a nearby pillar and asked his son, in sarcasm if, ‘his Lord Vishnu was in it.’ The son replied ‘yes.’ King Hiranyakashipu then got up from his throne in a fury and hit the pillar with his mace. And to his surprise the pillar cracked with a thundering sound, and Lord Vishnu appeared there, in the form of ‘Narsingh’ avatar (incarnation). Where one half of his body was of a lion and the other half of a man. He had matted hair on his head, large moustaches on the face and sharp and long teeth in the mouth. His paws had terrible nails on them.

Narsingh caught hold Hiranyakashipu and with his nails he tore open his stomach. And on seeing the terrible sight where Hiranyakashipu was killed mercilessly by Narsingh, his asura followers fled from the scene.

And, then Narsingh made a garland of Hiranyakashipu’s intestines and wore it around his neck, and in extreme anger started flicking his tongue in and out of his mouth and then he mightily growled like a monstrous lion with intense rage, where his eyes were, as if filled with red hot cinders, is when he sat on the throne of daityaraj Hirayanakashipu. But still his anger did not subside.

And just then accompanying Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma all the devatas arrived. Everyone, prayed for Narsingh to calm down, but there was little effect. Lord Brahma felt a little weary about Narsingh’s continued anger which he thought could lead to cataclysm. He therefore sent Goddess Lakshmi; but she returned almost immediately, quite frightened after seeing the humungous and frightening form of Narsingh. And she commented, ‘I have never seen such a stupendous and scary incarnation of my respected before. And I can’t dare to go close to him, in his this embodiment.

Eventually, Lord Brahma told Prahlad—‘son you only go close to Narsingh to cool him down.’

Prahlad being a child had no scare. He reverentially went close to Narsingh and prostrated in front of him. Narsingh smiled at Prahlad and he himself picked him up and put him on his lap and started licking his forehead with his tongue. He said, ‘son! Pardon me for coming so late because of which you had to suffer such a lot.’

Prahlad got down from his lap and with folded hands he respectfully prayed to Narsingh. Narsingh said to him—‘Prahlad I am extremely happy with you. Ask for any vardan (blessing) that you want.’

Prahlad replied—‘God! What is this that you’re saying? A bhakta who serves his master for the sake of something in return, is actually not a bhakta. You are the supreme lord and I’m your most obedient bhakta. And, if you at all want to give me something give me a vardan that I’m never obsessed by any desire.’

But God is omnipresent and in the knowhow of everything. And so he reiterated, ‘ask for a vardan!’

Prahlad pondered for a moment, with a doubt in his mind—‘when God is repeatedly asking me for a vardan that could mean I surely have some hidden desire in me about which I’m unable to make out.’ And at last he prayed to Narsingh—‘Lord my father when he was alive, all his life was critical of you and I being your servant—he tortured me all his life. I desire he may be pardoned of all these sins.’

Narsingh started laughing—‘Prahlad a person who has a God fearing and devoted son like you is pardoned of all sins, anyway. And in dynasties that have devotees like you; in such families twenty one generations can attain moksha, just on the strength of your devotion.’

Even a person who tortured me all his life and was my father should not face a catastrophe, was the desire of son Prahlad. And, hats off to such a desire, as no desire of a real bhakta can ever remain unfulfilled.

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