Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Overview: Divakaruni. Palace of Illusions.



Title: The Palace of Illusions: A Novel
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (follow her at Twitter!)
Year: 2008

Comments: This is a brilliant retelling of the whole Mahabharata story by Draupadi herself, the wife of the five Pandava brothers — and, as this book asks, what if Draupadi loved Karna too...? From this beautiful book you will get new perspectives on Draupadi, Karna, and also on Krishna, with whom Draupadi, also known as Krishnā, has an abiding friendship. Bhishma and Shikhandin are also very powerful characters in this version of the story.

Bizzell Stacks: In addition, there is a copy available for checkout from the regular Bizzell stacks: PS 3554 .I86 P35 2009 (click to see if it is checked out or not).

Kindle: You can buy your own Kindle copy from Amazon for $11.99 (checked price January 2019); more about Kindles.

Audible: You can buy an audiobook version of this book from Audible for $7.49 (checked price January 2019).

Length: four weeks. I've divided the reading into eight parts: Part A - Part B (one week of reading), Part C - Part D (another week of reading), Part E - Part F (a third week), and Part G - Part H (final week of reading).

(first week)
Reading A
1 Fire
2 Blue
3 Milk
4 Cosmology
5 Smoke
Reading B
6 Incarnations
7 Fish
8 Sorceress
9 Portrait
10 Births
11 Scorpion
12 Song

(second week)
Reading C
13 Scar
14 Brinjal
15 Lac
16 Boon
17 Grandfather
18 River
Reading D
19 Palace
20 Wives
21 Afterlife
22 Discus
23 Lake

(third week)
Reading E
24 Games
25 Sari
26 Rice
27 Tales
28 Lotus
29 Visitations
Reading F
30 Disguise
31 Preparation
32 Field
33 Sight

(fourth week)
Reading G
34 Secrets
35 Avanlanche
36 Wheel
37 Owl
38 Pyre
Reading H
39 Ash
40 Snake
41 Reed
42 Snow
43 Fire





Thursday, February 7, 2019

Vilas. Chronicles of Hanuman


Title: The Chronicles of Hanuman
Author: Shubha Vilas
Year: 2016

Comment: This is a wonderful collection of Hanuman stories which includes the events from Valmiki's Ramayana along with other Hanuman stories and legends beyond what you will find in Valmiki.

Kindle: You can buy your own Kindle copy from Amazon for $5 (checked price February 2019); more about Kindles.

Length: two weeks. I've divided the reading into six parts: Part A - Part B (one week of reading), Part C - Part D (another week), and Part D - Part E (third week). Of course you don't have to read the whole book; you could zoom in and read the parts which contain stories of special interest to you.


WEEK 1:
Reading A:
The Stolen Pie
A Divine Birth
An Attempt to Abort
When Hanuman Swallowed the Sun
A Monkey's Restlessness
An Inter-Universal Flying School
A Flying Kick
The Perfectionist Beggar
A Friend's Betrayal
A Forgotten Commitment
A Trustworthy Hero
The Lost Brother
The Making of a Superhero
Reading B:
Hanuman Can Fly!
A Punching Entry
Is This Sita?
The Dead End
Mother Sita Found
What is Your Real Size?
Havoc in the Golden City
Rain in Lanka

WEEK 2:
Reading C:
Found Sita I!
When the Impossible Becomes Possible
The Great Story
A Firefighter
The Real Diamond
The Permanent Resident
Lord Rama's Pet
A Stone-Melting Musical Tale
The Liquor Lake
The Greatest Blessing
Puzzle of the Floating Stones
Mountainous Devotion
Reading D:
The Bhasmalochana Scare
Victory with Alphabets
Silencing the Kidnapper
A Crocodile Speaks
Outwitting the Sun God
The Treasure Hunt
A Delayed Flight

WEEK 3:
Reading E:
A Motherly Anguish
The Private Diaries of Lord Rama
The Red Monkey
What a Deal!
Chained to Liberate
An Enlightening Kick
The Frozen Horse
Lord Rama's Powerless Arrows
A Quarrel with Shani
The Divine Monkey Missile
Reading F:
The Bridge of Arrows
A Power-Packed Meeting
A Hairy Tale
Monkeys on a Rampage
Hanuman Temples
Hanuman Prayers




Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Overview: Dharma. Ramayana.


Title: Ramayana: India's Immortal Tale of Adventure, Love and Wisdom
Author: Krishna Dharma
Year: 2008

Comments. This is a contemporary translation of Valmiki's Ramayana, and you can find out more about the author here: Krishna Dharma.

Free Online. Although it is not in the public domain, thanks to the generosity of the author and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, the book is available for you to read for free. Find out more at the Freebookapalooza. There are also links, section by section, below.

Bizzell Stacks. There is also a copy available for checkout from the regular Bizzell stacks: BL 1139.25 .E54 2003 (click to see if it is checked out or not).

Kindle: You can buy your own Kindle copy from Amazon for $7.99 (checked price January 2019); more about Kindles.

Length: up to four weeks. You are already familiar with the basic plot of the Ramayana from the first half of the semester, and this novelized version fills in lots of detail. I've divided the reading into eight parts, so you could use this for all the reading during the second half of the semester if you want, or you can select whatever specific part(s) are of interest to you.

WEEK 1:
Reading A 
Prologue
RKD: 1.1: King Daśaratha’s Longing
RKD: 1.2: The Birth of Rāma
RKD: 1.3: With the Sage Viśvāmitra
RKD: 1.4: The Trial of Strength
Reading B 
RKD: 1.5: Crooked Advice for Queen Kaikeyi
RKD: 1.6: The King’s Heartbreak
RKD: 1.7: Rāma Agrees to Depart
RKD: 1.8: Grief and Fury
RKD: 1.9: Sītā’s Plea
RKD: 1.10: Sad Farewells

WEEK 2:
Reading C 
RKD: 2.1: Into the Forest
RKD: 2.2: Devastation in Ayodhya
RKD: 2.3: Bharata’s Return
RKD: 2.4: ‘We Shall Bring Rāma Back’
Reading D 
RKD: 2.5: Rāma Remains Firm
RKD: 2.6: The Forest Sages
RKD: 2.7: The Rākṣasī Shurpanakha
RKD: 2.8: Rāvaṇa’s Lust is Incited
RKD: 2.9: The Kidnapping of Sītā


WEEK 3:
Reading E 
RKD: 2.10: Rāma’s Terrible Discovery
RKD: 2.11: Rāma Meets the Monkeys
RKD: 2.12: The Search Begins
RKD: 2.13: Hanumān Leaps to Lanka
RKD: 2.14: Sītā is Found
Reading F 
RKD: 3.1: The Army Sets Off
RKD: 3.2: Panic in Lanka
RKD: 3.3: Rāma Confronts the Ocean
RKD: 3.4: Rāvaṇa’s Evil Trickery
RKD: 3.5: The War Begins


WEEK 4:
Reading G 
RKD: 3.6: Garuḍa to the Rescue
RKD: 3.7: Rāvaṇa Enters the Fray
RKD: 3.8: The Colossal Demon
RKD: 3.9: Carnage Among the Rākṣasas
RKD: 3.10: Rāma and Lakṣman Laid Low
Reading H 
RKD: 3.11: Lakṣman Battles Indrajit
RKD: 3.12: Rāvaṇa Exhibits His Prowess
RKD: 3.13: The Final Battle
RKD: 3.14: Sītā’s Ordeal
RKD: 3.15: Back to Ayodhya
Epilogue


The following are appendices to the book; they are not part of any weekly reading option but you might find them useful for your research or just for your own reading pleasure!

Appendix 1: The Story of the River Ganges
Appendix 2: The History of Viśvāmitra
Appendix 3: The Birth and History of Hanumān
Appendix 4: The Benefits of Reading Rāmayana
Glossary
Author’s Note






Overview: Pattanaik. Pashu.


Title: Pashu: Animal Tales from Hindu Mythology
Author: Devdutt Pattanaik
Year: 2014

Comment: This is a wonderful book, with illustrations by the author, that is full of mythological animal stories, organized by species.

Bizzell Stacks. There is also a copy available for checkout from the regular Bizzell stacks: BL 1216 .P38 2014 (click to see if it is checked out or not).

Kindle: You can buy your own Kindle copy from Amazon for $14 (checked price January 2019); more about Kindles.

Length: two weeks. I've divided the reading into four parts: Part A - Part B (one week of reading), and then Part C - Part D (another week of reading).


WEEK 1:
Reading A:
Pashu
Initially, the Birth of Animals
Brahma and Shatarupa
Yogasanas
Avatars
Rashi
Yoni
Timi's Children, Who Swim
Manu
Panchajanya
Parikshit's Wife
Churning of the Ocean
Adrika
Akupara's Memory
Reading B:
Vinata's Children, Who Fly
Garuda's Liberation
Gunakeshi
Kama and Kamakshi
Jaimini
Shibi
Jatayu Tries to Save Sita
The One-Eyed Crow
Kadru's Children, Who Creep and Crawl
Uttanka's Earrings
Vasuki's Sister
Nahusha
Nrga
Arjuna and the Crocodiles
Rescuing Bhima

WEEK 2:
Reading C:
Surabhi's Children with Hooves
Urvashi's Goats
Raising of the Earth
Fight Over a Boar
Ekavira Heheya
The Ashwini Twins
Ucchaishrava's Tail
Golden Deer
Kamadhenu
Sarama's Children with Paws
Sarama
No Dogs in Heaven
Riksha
Jambavan
Manikantha
Dilip
Gajendra
Rama's Squirrel
The Golden Mongoose
Reading D:
Surasa's Children, Who are Different
Navagunjara
Makaradhvaja
Purushamriga
Sharabha and Gandaberunda
Ganapati
Suka
Tumburu
Hayagriva
Narasimha
Finally, Humans versus Animals
Agastya
Adventures of KRishna-Balarama
Sita
Yudhishthira
Prithu
Khandavaprastha
Takshaka
Bharata
Mandavya
Vadavagni



Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Overview: Pattanaik. Seven Secrets of Shiva.


Title: Seven Secrets of Shiva
Author: Devdutt Pattanaik
Year: 2011

Comments: This is a fascinating study of Shiva arranged in the form of seven "secrets" along with abundant artwork. You can listen to an audio book in Bizzell for free, and to enjoy the artwork also, I would recommend purchasing the Kindle book, which is just $3.

Kindle: You can buy your own Kindle copy from Amazon for $2.99 (checked price January 2019); more about Kindles.

Audiobook: You can buy your own Audible copy from Amazon for $12.71 (checked price January 2019).

Length: two weeks. I've divided the reading into four parts: Part A - Part B (one week of reading), and then Part C - Part D (another week of reading).


Part A
1. Lingheswara's Secret
2. Bhairava's Secret (start)

Part B
2. Bhairava's Secret (finish)
3. Shankara's Secret

Part C
4. Bholenath's Secret
5. Ganesha's Secret

Part D
6. Murugan's Secret
7. Nataraja's Secret



Monday, January 28, 2019

Overview: Kotru-Zutshi. Karna


Title: Karna The Unsung Hero of the Mahabharata
Author: Umesh Kotru and Ashutosh Zutshi
Year: 2015

Comments: This is a novelistic retelling of the Mahabharata focused on the hero Karna, secret brother to the Pandavas.

Kindle: You can buy your own Kindle copy from Amazon for $3.99 (checked price January 2019); more about Kindles.

Length: three weeks. I've divided the reading into six parts: Part A - Part B (one week of reading), then Part C - Part D (another week of reading), and then Part E - Part F (third week of reading).

Reading Part A
Prologue
Chapter-1: Birth of Karna
Chapter-2: Kunti’s Dilemma
Chapter-3: The Castaway

Reading Part B
Chapter-4: Early Life
Chapter-5: The Hero Emerges
Chapter-6: Quest for Excellence
Chapter-7: The Outpouring of Inner Conflict

Reading Part C
Chapter-8: The Svayamvara
Chapter-9: The Game of Dice
Chapter-10: Arjuna seeks Divine Weapons
Chapter-11: Association with Evil

Reading Part D
Chapter-12: Daanaveera
Chapter-13: The Great Sacrifice
Chapter-14: War Becomes Inevitable
Chapter-15: The Revelation

Reading Part E
Chapter-16: A Mother Reveals her Secret
Chapter-17: Focus Shifts to Kurukshetra
Chapter-18: Bhishma Finally Blesses Karna
Chapter-19: Inner Turmoil Resolved

Reading Part F
Chapter-20: Scorching the Battlefield
Chapter-21: Karna in Command
Chapter-22: The Curtain Falls Epilogue


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Overview: Menon. Singh. Breaking the Bow


Title: Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana
Editors: Anil Menon, Vandana Singh
Year: 2014

Comment. This is a a brilliant anthology of very creative stories inspired in some way by the Ramayana.

Bizzell Stacks. There is also a copy available for checkout from the regular Bizzell stacks: PR 9492.2 .B74 2012 (click to see if it is checked out or not).

Kindle: You can buy your own Kindle copy from Amazon for $6.49 (checked price January 2019); more about Kindles.

Length: four weeks. I've divided the reading into eight parts: Part A - Part B (one week of reading), Part C - Part D (another week of reading), Part E - Part F (a third week), and Part G - Part H (final week of reading). You do not need to read this in order, and you can use it just for a half-week of reading or one or two or three or four weeks of reading; it's up to you based on what part(s) you are most interested in.

WEEK 1:
Reading A
Menon - Introduction
Singh - Introduction
Manickavel - Ramayana as an American Reality TV Show
Banerjee - Exile
Reading B
Subramanian - Making
Dawesar - The Good King
Rosenthal - The Mango Grove

WEEK 2:
Reading C
Srilata - Game of Asylum Seekers
Karthik - Day of the Deer
Khair - Weak Heart
Das - Sita's Descent
Reading D
Velliangiri - Great Disobedience
Saket - Test of Fire
Padmanabhan - The Other Woman

WEEK 3:
Reading E
Tidhar - This, Other World
Chabria - Fragments from the Book of Beauty
Ambastha - Kalyug Amended
Dutta-Asane - Sita to Vaidehi
Manivannam - Petrichor
Reading F
Mohanraj - The Princess in the Forest
Unnikrishnan - Sarama
Kishore - Regressions

WEEK 4:
Reading G
Truslow - Machanu Visits the Underworld
Singh - Oblivion
Reading H
Reddy - Vaidehi and Her Earth Mother
Narayan - Falling into the Earth