Tag Archives: rama

BOOK REVIEW: SUDHA MURTHY … The Upside Down King

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    This book is about—‘Unusual tales of Rama and Krishna.’ But before that let me give you a brief introduction of Sudha Murthy.

    Sudha Murthy was born in 1950 in Shiggaon, north Karnataka. She did her M-Tech in computer science, and is now the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. A prolific writer both in English and Kannada, she has written novels, technical books, travelogues, collections of short stories and non-fictional pieces. She has also written eight bestselling books for children. Her books have been translated into, all major Indian languages. Sudha Murthy is the recipient of the R.K. Narayan Award for Literature (2006), the Padma Shri (2006), the Attimabbe Award from the Government of Karnataka for excellence in Kannada literature (2011) and, most recently the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Crossword Book Awards.

    Mythology is an appropriate means to connect the past with the present, and it also keeps the future in focus.  Talking of mythology did you know there was a time when bears spoke, the moon laughed and babies were found inside the fish? And have you ever seen a man with a thousand arms?

    The tales in this collection of short stories revolve around the two most popular avatars of Lord Vishnu—Rama and Krishna—and their lineages. There are countless stories on the two, yet most are simply disappearing from the hearts and minds of the present generation. So there is a great need to connect the youth of today with these stories. This is what the book does.

    Bestselling author Sudha Murthy, takes you on a whirlwind tour, where she narrates about the days, when demons and deities walked alongside humans, where animals could talk and gods granted the most glorious boons to common people.

    The book is a publication of Puffin Books. The content has some twenty three short stories out of Hindu mythology. All very interesting. Written in lucid English. The power of such short stories is immense as it often reveals what you don’t know and therefore comes to you as a surprise. It gives you a very precise moral lesson most of the times.

    The book brings to you unusual tales of Lord Rama and Krishna. It brings to you, life lessons, of various kinds, where you learn about the lineages of so many Devtas and Asuras. Most of these stories are available in our mythological texts such as Ramayana, Gita, Vedas and Puranas. Sudha Murthy as an author has put them in a logical sequence. To give you a flavour of the book I will briefly narrate one such story that the author has incorporated in this book from the ilk of mythology. It goes as follows …

    The kingdom of Kishkindha was ruled by the monkey king Bali along with his brother Sugriva. Kishkinda lies on the banks of river Tungabhadra and is surrounded by mountains.

    One day, Mayavi, a demon, approached the gates of the kingdom and challenged Bali to take up a fight with him, which Bali couldn’t have refused. He accepted the challenge and agreed to fight with him. Soon, the battle began. Sugriva became a witness to the fight. As the fight progressed, Mayavi entered a nearby cave and Bali in his haste followed suit. But before entering the cave, Bali asked Sugriva to wait for him and went inside alone.

    Six months passed but Bali did not emerge from the cave. Finally, Sugriva heard screams and saw blood flowing out of the cave. He concluded that his brother had been killed. So, with a heavy heart, and great effort Sugriva rolled a bolder to seal the cave’s mouth to contain the demon within.

    The kingdom of Kishkindha was now without a king. Sugriva took over, and became the acting ruler. But one day, Bali walked into the kingdom unexpected—hale and hearty. When he saw Sugriva, he got upset with him and said. ‘How dare you rule my kingdom? And why did you seal the mouth of the cave, when I, only told you, to wait for me.’

    Sugriva folded his hands and replied earnestly, ‘my dear brother, I heard terrible screams and saw a lot of blood on the ground near the cave. I mistakenly assumed that the demon perhaps had killed you, and in the interest of, wanting to save the subjects of the kingdom, I blocked the mouth of the cave. I am only the acting ruler and took over in your absence. Kindly forgive me and take back your kingdom.’

    Bali, however, was in no mood to listen and forgive. ‘Do you think I can die so easily at the hands of a mere demon? Aren’t you aware of my boons and my strength? Sugriva, your actions stink of deceit. You never intended to let me out. On the contrary, you did your best to ensure, that I remain trapped. And you have always had your lustful eyes on my beautiful wife Tara. Come on, admit, all of this is true.’

    Sugriva’s response in return did not satisfy Bali. He yelled at his brother, ‘Leave my kingdom now. If you enter my kingdom again I will kill you. And as an act of revenge I will detain your wife Ruma. She will not be accompanying you.’

    Sugriva was now choice less, so he left the kingdom immediately.

    Gradually, Bali became very powerful and a cause of concern for sage Matanga who lived close by, on Rishyamukha Mountain. Bali’s arrogance grew by leaps and bounds. This was when he was noticed by sage Matanga, who then cursed and commanded him to leave the kingdom of Kishkindha or he would die, and that, he shall also die instantly, the moment he re-enters the kingdom of Kishkindha.

        Bali, therefore, stayed away from Kishkindha. Sugriva took advantage of this situation and came back to the kingdom to rule it. But he was aware that he must not cross the kingdom’s boundaries at any cost for he’ll get killed by Bali.

    But in spite of all odds, Bali remained extremely powerful. He had the ability to travel in all directions and offer his daily prayers to Lord Surya, who moved from east to west. He even had a special boon that allowed him to gain half of his opponent’s energy whenever he fought anyone in a solo combat. It made him virtually indestructible, but he remained unhappy at the loss of his kingdom.

    Kishkindha is recognised today as the heritage site of the Hampi in northern Karnataka. It is this kingdom that gave rise to the great empire of Vijayanagara.

    This was just a sample. The stories indeed are interesting, but the book lacks proper editing. I would give it seven out of ten.

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

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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)

(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)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES AND QUOTES–EPISODE 26

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  1. Silicon Valley lives in a bubble and its gods are oblivious of the havoc they have caused. Their technology is wonderful but is subverting elections and you are accessories to it. Liberal democracy is broken and you (Silicon Valley) broke it—says Carole Cadwalladr, the Welsh journalist who had exposed Cambridge Analytica and Facebook’s messing with the Brexit referendum.
  2. Shiva alone is usually not represented by a deity, and instead, is depicted by the lingam. Hindu mythology speaks of Krishna and Rama as avatars, they were born and they died. They are said to have worshipped Shiva. Other Gods also take physical birth, but Shiva neither takes birth, nor dies. Shiva incarnates himself in a human body, an occurrence that is celebrated during Shivratri.
  3. The British pound is the world’s oldest currency still in use. It is 1,200 years old. Dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, the pound has gone through many changes before evolving into the currency we recognise today.
  4. Egypt is considered one of the oldest countries of the world and was first settled around 6000 BC. The first dynasty was believed to be founded around 3100 BC. India and China are the other two world’s oldest countries.
  5. Damascus the present day capital of Syria is widely believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city of the world, with evidence of habitation dating back at least 11,000 years. Its location and persistence have made the city a nexus for civilizations that have come and gone.
  6. Let me remind you about the great mystic Kabir Das the legendary poet and saint who celebrated the breaking of his earthern pot. For him it meant emancipation from the daily drill of trudging far for filling water. Where, he further alludes to the joy of renouncing the false sense of self-pride.
  7. Kesaria is a place in Bihar about a 90 minute detour enroute to Patna from Motihari. This was where according to the legend, Buddha performed his ‘bal mundan’ and assumed his kesaria (saffron) robe.
  8. Buddha spent his last night in Kesaria en route from Vaishali to Kushinagar where Buddha believed, he attained Pari-nirvana, forseeing his end. When he asked his Lichhavi disciples to disperse and return to Vaishali. He gave them his alms bowl, to still the chorus of dissent. After his death, they built a mud stupa to house the bowl.
  9. The Ordnance Factory Board that supplies ammunition to the Indian army has 41 factories.
  10. Writer Somerset Maugham, a medico who never practiced, learned to play violin to tide over his loneliness in his old age. Bertrand Russel would regularly listen to Beethoven’s ethereal symphonies to fight his sporadic schizophrenic bouts. Victorian English poet Alfred Tennyson started playing the piano at 70 when he felt that his poetic prowess was waning.
  11. Contrary to the general belief that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb abhorred music, some accounts say that the Mughal court chronicler Khafif Khan mentioned in his court despatches written in Persian that Aurangzeb’s chronic insomnia at the age of 78 was cured by the court musician Ahmad Rasool Khan.
  12. In any merger the biggest challenge is always integration of human resources–Arundhati Bhattacharya, Ex-Chairman, SBI.
  13. The direction in which education sets a man will determine his future life–Plato Athenian philosopher.
  14. The Greek tragedian, Aeschylus was right when he said, ‘the first casualty of war is truth.’
  15. John Dryden, English poet wrote, ‘beware of the fury of the patient man.’
  16. If you have surrounded yourself with assholes, you’re going to be more of an asshole.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

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)

(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)

*****

Significance of Maha Shivratri

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Shivratri as we all know is linked to Lord God Shiva. Shiva has a unique place in Hindu religion. Being incorporeal, or you could say intangible. Shiva alone, is usually not represented by a deity, instead is projected by a lingam. The names of ‘Shiva Temples’ in India bear the suffix of, ‘nath’ or ‘ishwar’ only to indicate that he is the teacher of all beings. One of the many names of Shiva is Sarveshwar, meaning lord of all. Images of Shiva often show him meditating in front of a Shivalingam.

     Hindu mythology talks of Krishna and Rama as avatars. They were born and they died. They are said to have worshipped Shiva. Other Gods also take physical birth, but Shiva neither takes birth, nor, he dies.

    Shiva incarnates himself in a human body. An occurrence that is celebrated during Shivratri. Shiva’s incarnation is associated with ‘ratri’ or night because he manifests in this world when it is enveloped in darkness of ignorance and evil. Omniscient Shiva dispels the darkness by giving humans the light of knowledge. The three parallel lines on the Shivaling are symbolic of Shiva’s knowledge of three aspects of time. The eye in the middle of the lines indicate the eye of wisdom that he gives to human souls.

    The Mahabharata refers to the regenerative role of Shiva, saying that when the world had plunged into darkness, and vicious proliferation. ‘An egg-like form of light descended and established a new order.’ In the ‘Dharma Sam-hita’ which is part of Shiva Purana, it is said that at the end of Kaliyug, during the time of destruction, a magnificent light revealed itself that was piercingly luminous, radiant and eternal. The world was created through this light.

    Shivratri is the commemoration of the arrival of divinity in this world to salvage humanity. In the Bhagwad Gita Krishna says that whenever righteousness declines and unrighteousness arises, he manifests for the protection of the good, and destruction of the wicked, and re-establishment of a holy order.

    According to a few God realized Yogis, Maha Shivaratri was the day when Shiva drank poisonous negativity to protect the world. The Maha Shivaratri is mentioned in several Puranas, particularly the Skanda PuranaLinga Purana and Padma Purana. These medieval era Shaiva texts present different mythologies associated with this festival, but all mention fasting and reverence for icons of Shiva such as the Lingam.

    Different legends describe the significance of Maha Shivaratri. According to one legend in Shaivism tradition, this is the night when Shiva performs the heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction.  The chanting of hymns, the reading of Shiva scriptures and the chorus of devotees, joins this cosmic dance and remembers Shiva’s presence, everywhere. According to another legend, this is the night when Shiva and Parvati got married. 

    A different legend states that the offering to Shiva icons such as the linga is an annual occasion to get over past sins if any, and to restart on a virtuous path and thereby reach Mount Kailash and liberation.

    The Gita insinuates at this role of Shiva when Krishna says: “I am the ‘mahakal’ (The God of Death). Death can never approach me.” Such an assertion can be made only by Shiva, the Supreme Parmatma. A soul that never takes birth, is Mrityunjaya, immortal.

    There is no room for confusion about the roles of Shiva and Krishna, because there is but one God, though deities may be many. The Supreme of all souls, across different faith traditions, is understood as being incorporeal and omnipotent. The Ocean of Peace, the Saviour, and the Almighty, is forever beyond the limitations of a physical existence.

    He performs his tasks by giving power to his spiritual children. These Gods and Goddesses, are the slayers or the killers of demons who are also embodiments of purity, love and wisdom. They are not supernatural beings, but humans with divine quality. They foster these qualities in their fellow humans, nurturing a new, elevated consciousness, and thus serve as divine instruments. In the task of creating a righteous world order.

    This is the secret of Maha Shivratri, which will be observed today, the night of the Supreme, comes to liberate his children from suffering and sorrow, as promised in the Gita.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

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)

(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)

*****