Monday, January 14, 2019

So whats the big deal about the Vedas and Upanishads?

As we step into another year, anticipating new experiences and opportunities, making new promises or renewing old promises, readying to face new challenges and hoping to learn more and grow wiser, I couldn't have asked for a better start to the year 2019 on Onestoryaday!  Well....ever since its release late last year, Bangalorean Roopa Pai's "The Vedas and Upanishads for children" has been doing the rounds of Bookaroo and  many such events all over India....except Bangalore!!! In fact going by the author's face book posts .... I saw the book in the hands of practically everyone in India, other than the readers in Bangalore! In fact, the run up to the book release  in Bangalore had stirred up so much excitement that that we didn't need to think twice about driving past the dreaded Silk Board get to one of the most chaotic places in South Bangalore, these days - Koramangala...(thanks to all the Metro construction work.). But what relief it was to find the drive to Koramangala easy going a breeze as the author had put in her forwarded invites! Truly, it felt like all the elements of the cosmic world did come together to enable us to walk into Hippocampus on a beautiful Sunday morning at 11 AM....where the one of the most awaited books by Hachette India was all set for its Bangalore launch! 

Of course, we've only just begun reading the book, so this is not a review yet in a strict sense  ( in fact, none of my posts are a review in the strictest sense but a write up about our experience reading the book!) , but the author Roopa Pai in a thought provoking session about the book, took us through what the book is about and what it seeks to deal with. Written in her characteristic style (which we saw in the Geetha for children released a three years ago)  "The Vedas and Upanishads for children" seeks to break down one of the oldest texts known to mankind into making it more comprehensible, more accessible and more relatable. While the first section deals with Vedas, delving into its history, purpose, the structure of each Veda, the construct of its hymns, and most importantly the lessons we can draw from the Vedas, all packed with fun facts, pop quizzes, and catchy phrases! The next section beginning with "So what's the big deal about the Upanishads"  opens with a broad view of the Upanishads to zeroing in on ten greatest  Upanishads from Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittriya, Aitareya, Chandogya to Brihadaranyaka, with their respective back-stories, prominent shlokas  and valuable lessons weaved into after-stories, their various interpretations and deductions these Upanishads lend themselves to, wherein lies the true value, power, beauty and wisdom of the sacred texts. Needless to say, this book is meant not only for children...though I can't help feeling jealous of today's children who have such wonderful books to draw inspiration. Brilliantly written so as to engage the readers of all ages above nine years, V and U seeks to contemporize  the ancient texts and compositions, with a narrative filled with tongue-in-cheek one-liners and punch-lines,  stories inter-twined with the Upanishadic messages (If I can say that!), empowering the reader to question, and seek out answers mindfully while trusting oneself and feeling thankful for the world around him or her! A must-have book  in your library......along with its pre-written sequel "Gita for children".:-) 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this lovely and heartfelt post, Divya! Although you haven't finished reading the book, you have brought out, in such a succinct manner, all the different subjects it covers. So glad you enjoyed yesterday's session and are enjoying the book. 💕