The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow


Sanjay Patel - 2006
    The Little Book of Hindu Deities is chock-full of monsters, demons, noble warriors, and divine divas. Find out why Ganesha has an elephant’s head (his father cut his off!); why Kali, the goddess of time, is known as the “Black One” (she’s a bit goth); and what “Hare Krishna” really means.“Throw another ingredient in the American spirituality blender. Pop culture is veering into Hinduism.”—USA Today

Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana


Devdutt Pattanaik - 2013
    This seems a deliberate souring of an uplifting narrative. Rams refusal to remarry to produce a royal heir adds to the complexity. The intention seems to be to provoke thought on notions of fidelity, property and self-image.And so the mythologist and illustrator Devdutt Pattanaik retells the Ramayana, drawing attention to the many oral, visual and written retellings composed in different times, in different places, by different poets, each one trying to solve the puzzle in its own unique way. This book approaches Ram by speculating on Sita: her childhood with her father, Janaka, who hosted sages mentioned in the Upanishads; her stay in the forest with her husband, who had to be a celibate ascetic while she was in the prime of her youth; her interactions with the women of Lanka, recipes she exchanged, emotions they shared; her connection with the earth, her mother, and with the trees, her sisters; her role as the Goddess, the untamed Kali as well as the demure Gauri, in transforming the stoic prince of Ayodhya into God.

The Magic Flute


K.M. Munshi - 1966
    He was an eminent lawyer, one of the framers of India's Constitution and a seasoned statesman. Coming under the inspiring influence of Sri Aurobindo during his student days, Munshi had been an ardent fighter for India's freedom, working at different stages in close association with Jinnah, Tilak, Besant, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Rajagopalachari and Pandit Nehru. His achievements as Home Minister of Bombay in 1937, as India's Agent-General in Hyderabad before the Police action, as India's Food Minister and as Governor of Uttar Pradesh had been characterised by rare courage and decisive energy. Acknowledged as the foremost writer in modern Gujarati literature, he has to his credit a vast and varied literature including novels, dramas, memoirs and history in Gujarati, as also several historical and other works in English, notably Gujarat and Its Literature, Imperial Gurjaras, Creative Art of Life, To Badrinath, The End of an Era, Krishnavatara, Bhagavad Gita and Modern Life, Saga of Indian Sculpture, Bhagawan Parashurama, Tapasvini, Prithvi Vallabh, The Master of Gujarat and Lomaharshini.

Dasha Avatar: The Ten Incarnations of Lord Vishnu


Kamala Chandrakant - 1978
    The Dasha Avatar is the Puranic story of the ten incarnations of Vishnu who descends to the terrestrial world to establish stability and order, time and again. The avatars occur in a sequence – the first was matsya or fish representing life in water, followed by kurma or turtle signifying life in water and on land, then varaha or boar alluding to terrestrial life and so on. The sequence of the avatars could be taken to symbolise various stages in the evolution of life culminating in the advent of the perfect being.

Rise of the Sun Prince


Shubha Vilas - 2013
    Epics like the Ramayana have been recounted infinite times. Is there a need for another chronicle in the presence of so many? How is this one different? And is it relevant to our ever-changing modern lives? Yes, there is a need, yes this is different and yes, it is relevant. This new series of books, each following one khand of the Ramayana, decodes the eternal wisdom of that poetic scripture through gripping narrative and thought-provoking instruction. In the time-honored custom of spreading wisdom through tales, every fascinating story in the epic is retold here and every character unfolded to captivate your heart and open your mind to life's deepest questions.The narrative closely follows Valmiki's Ramayana, gently weaving in folk tales as well as the beautiful analogies of the Kamba Ramayana. The first of this six-volume series, Rise of the Sun Prince, takes you through the divine story of Lord Rama from His birth up to His marriage. Through these pages are revealed the tales of Dasaratha's leadership, Vishwamitra's quest for power and the intriguing story of a little-known stone maiden. Ramayana: The Game of Life has all of this and much more - food for contemporary thought drawn from an enduring masterpiece.

मृत्युंजय


Shivaji Sawant - 1967
    Shivaji Sawant's Mrityunjaya is an outstanding instance of such a literary masterpiece in which a contemporary Marathi novelist investigates the meaning of the bewildering skein that is life through the personae of the Mahabharata protagonists. For over two decades since its first publication the vast non- Marathi and non-Hindi readership remained deprived of this remarkable exploration of the human psyche till the publication of this English translation by the Writers workshop – a contribution for which there is much to be grateful for. Mrityunjaya is the autobiography of Karna, and yet it is not just that. With deceptive case, Sawant brings into play an exceptional stylistic innovation by combining six "dramatic soliloquies" to form the nine books of this novel of epic dimensions. Four books are spoken by Karna. These are interspersed with a book each from the lips of his unwed mother Kunti, Duryodhana (who considers Karna his mainstay), Shon (Shatruntapa, his foster-brother, who here-worships him), his wife Vrishali to whom he is like a god and, last of all, Krishna. Sawant depicts an uncanny similarity between Krishna and Karna and hints at a mystic link between them, investing his protagonist with a more-than-human aura to offset the un-heroic and even unmanly acts which mar this tremendously complex and utterly fascinating creating of Vyasa.

Shiva - Ultimate Outlaw


Sadhguru - 2014
    Encounter Shiva like never before!

The Odyssey


Gillian Cross - 2012
    While Odysseus struggles to make it home, his wife, Penelope, fights a different kind of battle as her palace is invaded by forceful, greedy men who tell her that Odysseus is dead and she must choose a new husband. Will Odysseus reach her in time? Homer’s epic, age-old story is powerfully told by Carnegie Medalist Gillian Cross and stunningly illustrated by rising talent Neil Packer.

Treasury of Norse Mythology: Stories of Intrigue, Trickery, Love, and Revenge


Donna Jo Napoli - 2015
    The lyrical storytelling of award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli dramatizes the timeless tales of ancient Scandinavia. This book is the third in the trilogy that includes the popular National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology and National Geographic Treasury of Egyptian Mythology.

The Mahabharata: A Modern Rendering, Vol. 1


Ramesh Menon - 2006
    First composed by the Maharishi Vyasa in verse, it has come down the centuries in the timeless oral tradition of guru and sishya, profoundly influencing the history, culture, and art of not only the Indian subcontinent but most of south-east Asia. At 100,000 couplets, it is seven times as long as the Iliad and the Odyssey combined: far and away the greatest recorded epic known to man.The Mahabharata is the very Book of Life: in its variety, majesty and, also, in its violence and tragedy. It has been said that nothing exists that cannot be found within the pages of this awesome legend. The epic describes a great war of some 5000 years ago, and the events that led to it. The war on Kurukshetra sees ten million warriors slain, brings the dwapara yuga to an end, and ushers in a new and sinister age: this present kali yuga, modern times.At the heart of the Mahabharata nestles the Bhagavad Gita, the Song of God. Senayor ubhayor madhye, between two teeming armies, Krishna expounds the eternal dharma to his warrior of light, Arjuna. At one level, all the restless action of the Mahabharata is a quest for the Gita and its sacred stillness. After the carnage, it is the Gita that survives, immortal lotus floating upon the dark waters of desolation: the final secret!With its magnificent cast of characters, human, demonic, and divine, and its riveting narrative, the Mahabharata continues to enchant readers and scholars the world over. This new rendering brings the epic to the contemporary reader in sparkling modern prose. It brings alive all the excitement, magic, and grandeur of the original - for our times.

Birbal The Clever


Meera Ugra - 1980
    He dispensed justice, dealt diplomatically with other rulers, led military expeditions and composed poetry. In addition, he also rescued Akbar from the dangers of arrogance and unfettered power. Most importantly, he made the Great Mughal laugh. Birbal, a real person with the name 'Maheshdas', was one of the 'nine gems' of court advisers of Akbar the Great. He also composed poetry by the pen name 'Brahma'. He led an expedition into faraway Afghanistan and managed to subdue the turbulence there. Hearing the news of his death there, Akbar burst forth: "Birbal, you always gave the helpless whatever you had. I am helpless now and yet you have left nothng for me!" Birbal's name however does not rest on these achievements. He is turned into a legend by the innumerable stories of his wit and wisdom, sense of justice and fairplay, and above all, his uncanny skill in turning the tables on his detractors including the king himself. In the stories here, Birbal proposes the punishment of a kiss for the offense of pulling a hair from the king's moustache; shows how one's own child is the most beautiful; proves that the whims of a child can beat the king; makes the king realize that inauspiciousness can be mutual; guesses the mother-tongue of a linguist with a spray of water.

In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World


Virginia Hamilton - 1988
    With commentary by the author. “A must for mythology shelves.”--Booklist

Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods and Heroes Pop-Up


Matthew Reinhart - 2010
    Only gods, of course, could push the sun across the sky,forge entire continents, and impel mountains to touch the clouds. In this stunning volume, the incomparable team of Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda take us to Ra-Atum’s land in Ancient Egypt; above the Grecian clouds to Zeus’s Mount Olympus; up to Norse god Odin’s frozen north; to the Far East, where the Jade Emperor sits in the heavens; into the wilds of Oceania, where Pele’s volcanic rage simmers below the earth; and to many more lands and times, all rich with sacred myths and legends.

Panchatantra


Pandit Vishnusharma
    It is written around 200BC by the great Hindu Scholar Pandit Vishnu Sharma. Panchatantra means "the five books". It is a "Nitishastra" which means book of wise conduct in life. The book is written in the form of simple stories and each story has a moral and philosophical theme which has stood the test of time in modern age of atomic fear and madness. It guides us to attain success in life by understanding human nature. Panchatantra is commonly available in an abridged form written for children. Here is the complete translation of the book as written by Vishnu Sharma.

Favorite Norse Myths


Mary Pope Osborne - 1996
    Young readers will be fascinated by characters like Odin, the greatest of gods, and the mighty Thor, who is able to take down vicious monsters much larger than himself. The powerful, beautifully written stories are graced by Troy Howell's arresting, dramatic paintings.