Shyam An Illustrated Retelling of the Bhagavata by Devdutt Pattanaik

Review :

If one makes a list of top ten inventions that changed the fate of us humans, Gutenberg's printing press is sure to find a place on that list. In an age where books were very few in numbers and access to information was the privilege of rich and mighty, Gutenberg's press pushed the gates wide open, flooding the world with information. Even the most esoteric, restricted texts were made available to anyone with the intent and interest to read them.

Authors like Devdutt Pattanaik make an equal impact in the world of Hindu religious literature. While the great epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata have already been made accessible to all by various authors, there is still a vast portion of Hindu literature that is beyond the access and understanding of lesser mortals that can't relish these works in their original Sanskrit form. Authors like Devdutt present such texts in beautifully simplified forms, in their own inimitable style, so that even the uninitiated can partake in the bliss of divine texts. This book 'Shyam' is one more such feather in his glorious cap.

Krishna - the very name fills one's heart with bliss and piety. One of the most loved gods of the Hindu pantheon, Krishna is favorite across cultures, sects and ages. For children, he is a naughty playmate. For elderly women, he is a child that stirs up the motherly emotions in them. For women, he is the ultimate beloved. For men, well, can there be a better role-model! For the elderly, he is God Incarnate, capable of liberating them from endless cycles of birth and death.

Bhagavatha captures the glory of his life in its whole magnitude. In 'Shyam', Pattanaik presents that glory in short and sweet tales that make reading an experience of pleasure. The little nuggets of information the author provides all long, right from mentioning the places of pilgrimage to explaining the great philosophy behind the events in Krishna' life add to that pleasantness. If you love Krishna and can never have enough of reading about his life, then this book is for you. You can also gift this to your children to initiate them to the ways of Krishna. Bliss to read, pride to own!


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