Friday, May 28, 2010

Bhagavad Gita; Literary Classic






I have always been drawn to classic literature. I’m always intrigued with stories foretold and passed from one generation to the next, stories that will never cease and will live on forever. How these stories defy time is a mystery, a mystery that I want to know and learn its secrets.

Aside from Greek classic stories the Indian literary classic stories is one indulgence I love to feast my mind into. Like the Greeks the Indians and their classic literary stories involve man and his relationship with their gods and goddesses. I have read quite a few Indian classical stories one of them is the Ramayana and my recent read is the “Bhagavad Gita” (The Song of God) translated by Swami Probhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, introduction by Aldous Huxley.

A poem which is written approximately 500-200 BCE is something that readers like me is intrigued about. What is in the poem that lasted for these centuries and became one of the fundamental teachings of Hinduism and is relatively similar to Buddhism and Christianity? This is not only a poem between Lord Krishna and Arjuna before he sets off to battle his enemies. The poem itself is wrapped with pure mysticism on how human beings then, now and in the future can find everlasting bliss or as the Hindus and Buddhists call it Nirvana for Christians it is called heaven. A thin pocketbook filled with so much insight, a poem which became a foundation for great minds like Mahatma Gandhi.

Just a brief description “Bhagavad Gita” revolves around the philosophy that all being in this world carries in him/her a piece of God and it is within himself/herself to tap into the inner God and therefore finding Nirvana/Heaven in this world. I was amazed to know that some books that I have read like “A New Earth” by Tolle, and “The Witch of Portobello” by Coelho have very similar thoughts and philosophies of this aged story. I never realized that such philosophies are not new and recent. What is going on at present is the rebirth of this old aged Philosophy.

I advice anyone who would want to read the book to get a good translation of the Bhagavad Gita because the poem itself has depth that author(s) need to translate well. The translated version that I have read is highly recommended.

Reading classic literature like Bhagavad Gita always leaves me a sense of humility since I am given the priveledge to read a scripture that is as old as time.

A five out of five.

M.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

River God; A Book Review


The warm wind this summer has brought me another precious jewel from the pages of a book based upon a slave and eunuch “River God” by Wilbur Smith is pure summer delight.

Taita slave and eunuch with his story will make you turn each page with shrill excitement loosing yourself in the depth of the river Nile to the unforgiving deserts of Africa. Each page filled with the lives of ancient Egypt where a weak Pharaoh is in turmoil of losing a dynasty and he needs a lowly slave like Taita to change his destiny. Will Taita deliver or not? With plotting and deceit around the palace how will a slave make way for a dynasty to continue? To what extent will this eunuch do to preserve Pharaoh’s dynasty?

This summer is a good time for anyone to be enthralled with a book based on the people who once worshiped the sun god Amon-Re a book about ancient Egypt. I have been waiting for a substantial book based on warm Egypt and then I found this book and like the river Nile I was swept away with it. “River God” is a rich book that will take readers to the lives and customs of Ancient Egypt. The pages will bring you to the gorgeous palace of Thebes with colourful murals. Festivals and wars will make you leap with excitement. Love, intrigue, deceit, passion are a few reasons why this book is a page turner. I believe this is a true classic. A MUST READ!

Brilliant...simply brilliant!

FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS.

M.