In the forest of insecurities, is it possible to discover humanity through pleasure? Can we stop seeing each other as predator, prey, rival or mate, and rediscover ourselves as lovers? Does the divine reside in sensual delight, in emotional intimacy and in aesthetic experience?
Yes, yes, yes. That is the promise of the Bhagavata.
The Bhagavata is the story of Krishna, known as Shyam to those who find beauty, wisdom and love in his dark complexion. It is the third great Hindu epic after the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. However, this narration was composed in fragments over thousands of years, first as the Harivamsa, then as the Bhagavata Purana, and finally as the passionate songs of poet-sages in various regional languages.
This book seamlessly weaves the story from Krishna’s birth to his death, or rather from his descent to the butter-smeared world of happy women to his ascent from the blood-soaked world of angry men.
In a world that seems spellbound by argument over dialogue, vivaad over samvaad, read about how Krishna nudges Arjuna to understand rather than judge his relationships. This becomes relevant today when we are increasingly indulging and isolating the self (selfimprovement, selfactualization, selfrealization–even selfies!).We forget that we live in an ecosystem of others, where we can nourish each other with food, love and meaning, even when we fight. So let My Gita inform your Gita.
It is significant that the stories of Vishnu rose to prominence after the rise of Buddhism. Prior to that, Hinduism was the religion of the elite-based complex rituals known as yagna and esoteric speculations captured in texts known as the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. These seemed very distant to the common man who focused on fertility rituals, worship of plants and animals and nature.
To help readers unravel the secrets of Vishnu, the chapters have been arranged as below :
The first chapter focuses on how gender is used to explain fundamental metaphysical concepts integral to Hinduism.
The second chapter discusses the difference between man and animal.
The third and fourth chapters focus on the Devas and the Asuras, both of whom are unhappy, as one struggles with insecurity and the other with ambition.
The fifth and sixth chapters revolve around the Ramayana and Mahabharata, as man srtuggles with his humanity.
The seventh chapter is about the wisdom of letting go,with faith in renewal.
Why are identity cards important, even for gods? * How can you tell a Deva from a Manava? * How would you find a particular god in a crowd of gods? One day, when Krishna wanted to board an aeroplane, he was not allowed to! All because he did not have an identity card. Then his friends Garuda and Sesha took him to meet Lata-kumari in Guwahati, who told him the story of Anasuya and the Ashwini twins, and why Rishi Chavan made a rule that all gods should carry a dhvaja a flag with each god’s very own symbol. Did Krishna get his identity card so he could ride the aeroplane finally?
Shyam, Our Little Krishna
Shyam, Our Little Krishna: Read and Colour.
An all-in-one storybook, picture book and colouring book from India’s most-loved mythologist
Devdutt Pattanaik introduces the story of Krishna, fondly known as Shyam, to a new generation of readers. Told simply in his inimitable style, Shyam, Our Little Krishna is perfect as a read-aloud to acquaint young readers with the beauty, wisdom and love that Krishna embodied.
Curated with fascinating bite-sized stories, myths and trivia about the young god, it features over forty playful artworks accompanied by pages dedicated for colouring.
One-of-a-kind, this book is a must-have for every curious mythology enthusiast and budding artist!