The author has carefully reconstructed the diverse versions of the ancient tales with his research efforts over the last 15 years. He seeks to present what they meant to Indians two or three thousand years ago. They are now clearly and concisely integrated with inspired insight, and presented in an attractive, highly readable style with modern flourishes. These classic stories deal with valour, romance, mystery, magic, duty; by reading them we may find out how much they have shaped our minds about the deepest moral issues over thousands of years, spanning national boundaries.
The eternal conflicts between the principled Gods and the opportunistic Demons form the main interest. In this book, they effectively come out of our minds and take shapes and desires of their own!
The demon-hero Andhak, is the protagonist in the main story. Born blind and ugly, out of his mother's impulse and father's pain, he is discarded by them for adoption by Hiranyaksh, the demon-king. Andhak is horribly treated by his cousins after his adoptive father's death in battle against the Gods. With great effort he overcomes his limitations, and fights the Gods, seeking vengeance...
An excerpt follows:
Hiranyaksh, the Asura king, was doing severe penances to propitiate Shiva. Such was his prayer:
"O Shiva, greatest of Devas, do hear my prayer and grant me this boon! I have no wish for immortality; I do not wish to be any Deva, eternally bound to principles and ideals. I am happy to be just what I am: an Asura, a demon driven by passion and ego, delighting in opulence and fame and revelries. By Your grace, I already possess vast might, large armies, incredible wealth - so much that we are now about to challenge the Devas.
"O Shiva, there is no one higher among us Asuras to pray to, than myself. Only to You, the very greatest Deva, the most principled, indeed the very best among Them, most certainly the most powerful - only to You can I pray, for You are the most superior among all entities. From You I beseech a boon.
"Shiva, do cast Your favourable eye upon me. Be kind to me. You know that although I am an Asura I am still accessible to Your grace. Forget the squabbles we have to have with the lesser Devas. Those selfish and uncaring hypocrites, aloof and joyless; those moral snobs, pursuing cold and lonely habits; are a natural affront to our senses of equality and gregarious living. They deserve chastisement from time to time.
"O Shiva, we Asuras are nothing without passion. Most passionately, I want a son. My brother Hiranyakshap, he has four strong sons. I don't want any of them to inherit my kingdom. I want my own son to rule the Asuras. Of all the Asuras, he must be the bravest and the strongest - he must dominate all. All must be in fear and awe of him.
"Shiva, give me such a son."
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.22(d)|
About the Author
After completing a Bachelor's (Hons.) degree from IIT Kharagpur, Arindam started his professional career in radiation engineering, and computer science. He served for 12 years in Bharat Electronics, India's largest electronics company. During this time he completed his Master's degree from IIT Delhi. His paper "A New Method for Partial Match Retrieval" published in 1987 in USA anticipated modern Internet search engines. Emigrating to Australia, he worked for 17 years in Telstra, in various research and development departments.
Arindam has always had diverse interests - in both the sciences and the arts. Since his boyhood he has been something of a backyard inventor. After discovering a new formula relating matter and energy, which when verified with experiment will revolutionise Physics, he conceived the idea of the "Internal Force Engine", which will be capable of providing unlimited acceleration, and take us to the stars! That sounds like fantasy, but he also has his feet firmly on the ground, as any professional engineer should. He has got a patent for a Hydrogen Transmission Network, which will provide clean energy for all on a constant, reliable basis everywhere using the lossless piping of hydrogen generated from all sorts of renewable and non-renewable energy sources, irrespective of distances. With cheaper energy from renewable sources, there will be increasingly less need for fossil fuels in the world and ultimately no more pollution in the world which Arindam envisions.
He has tried, in both India and Australia, for government grants for his project, which would help people in under-developed countries enormously, but to no avail. Hence this book is being written and published - to raise money so that Arindam can build prototypes of his inventions. The stories of legendary heroes, now retold in his poetic prose, have always inspired and exhilarated Arindam; he hopes his readers will share his enthusiasm.
Arindam is a voracious reader and takes part in amateur dramatics. He has been married for over thirty years and has two grown up daughters. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and dog, both of whom provide him with light hearted encouragement and help to make him laugh when he becomes too serious about the troubles of the world.