Triveni Journal

1927 | 11,233,916 words

Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....

The Concept of Man in Rabindranath Tagore and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: By Narayanan Karan Reddi. I. B. H. Prakasan, Gandhinagar, Bangalore-4. Price: Re. 30.

Tagore and Radhakrishnan have both almost in the same way influenced philosophical minds, in spite of the fact that one is a widely acknowledged poet and the other a celebrated philosopher. The fact that Man is the only basis of study and research for ultimate knowledge of Truth make it all the more reasons for deep contemplation of his nature and his evolution reaching the Infinite. Hence the meaning of Man, his purpose and his future become closely linked together in a thorough investigation of the subject. In a country like ours, with a long tradition of thought, poetry and philosophy or poetry and religion have never been compartmentalized and dealt with separately. Our greatest sages and thinkers such as Valmlki, Vyasa and Kalidasa have invariably touched the highest peak of philosophy while dealing with the most human aspects of life. Indeed poetry and philosophy are one except for the purpose of analysis and ratiocination when philosophy would appear as dry and poetry as mere dreaming.

The concept of Man in these two contemporary thinkers is a very engaging subject for any student of their writings. If Dr Reddy has chosen these two eminent sources of fruitful investigation of the real nature of Man, it is praiseworthy indeed evrn as an effort. Doubtless in these pages, we find collected important thoughts given expression to in their writings. In many a passage of significant utterance, the poet has made it clear that Man has infinite possibilities of becoming greater than he is by dint of striving for perfection both as an individual and as an indivisible member of society. Dr Radhakrishnan equally bases his conclusions upon the divinity of Man. Each has reached his irreversible understanding of the true nature of Man as destined to become identifiable with God, provided he is led to this goal by chastening himself. The divinity of Man manifests itself according to the extent of his realisation of his humanity or in other words, his oneness with fellow beings. The universal aspect of Man is thus emphasised almost similarly, save in different languages of poetry and philosophy. In imagery and song the poet draws our attention to the superior designation of Man in this universe, while the philosopher does it through metaphysical approach.

Tagore’s invitation to us to follow him through the green meadow of poetry and not by the beaten path of logic and argumentation, has only been met with by Radhakrishnan’s assurance of his guidance to us along the secure road of epistemology and reason. We get discussions of the many systems of philosophy of our land as well as of the West during the engaging treatment here of the two world figures. The appendices containing comparitive notes of eminent thinkers of both the past and the present add to the value of a good book.

But one cannot refrain from observing that the printing could have avoided the many mistakes which certainly distract the reader from a smooth pursuit of his reading.

Nehru the Humanist: By Girija K. Mookerjee. Trimurti Publications Private Ltd., New Delhi-48. Price: Rs. 18.

It is a difficult job to prove that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was a systematic political thinker. Nehru’s mental make-up was such that he could never imprison himself into a water-tight political system. Besides, he was ever overwhelmed by things happening to him. Frequently, he had to act first and think later!

However, his aim for establishing an ideal society void of economic and social disparities is an ever-present theme in his works. His deep humanism and his whole-hearted concern for individual liberty and national development do call for a depth study of his views. Dr Girija Mookerjee’s book deals with four facets of Nehru’s intellectual make-up. Firstly, Nehru’s conception of social justice. Marxism gave him many guidelines though as a humanist he eschewed its method of compulsion, thus giving scope to Frank Moraes’ conclusion: “Nehru represents a type unique in the history of his time–a Marxist theorist wedded to democratic practices.” Dr Mookerjee wonders whether such an idea was not merely an utopian concept. At the same time, he is in no hurry to condemn Nehru as an idle dreamer.

As for the individual in the modern world, though himself a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru did not subscribe to Gandhi’s “simple peasant life.” Like the problem of social justice, here too he was caught in a dilemma. Should India be industrialised to give its mass a better deal? But then, how about the evils of industrialisation? He encouraged the Five-Year Plans and committed the country to an era of intense industrialisation. At the same time he resisted the supremacy of the state and wanted every individual to have “full opportunity to grow according to his worth and ability.” The same fate awaited his concept of
Panchsheel towards international harmony, which floundered on the rocks of the Chinese invasion of India.

Finally, how does Nehru’s humanism differ from Gandhi’s? Gandhi’s concept of non-violence itself carried seeds of revolutionary violence. Nehru’s humanism abhorred any type of violence and he was not favourable to Gandhi’s views. But he compromised his ideals for the sake of national unity, as Gandhi’s leadership was indispensable to the national effort. Dr Mookerjee’s essay on this subject turns out to be a triangular view of Gandhi, Subhas Bose and Nehru. Gandhi and Bose had many bonds to unite them and many characteristics in common. Nehru, by his up-bringing and intellectual make-up was somewhat of an ‘outsider’.
But his “intellectual integrity” and “human excellence” made him a natural heir to Gandhi. Today Nehru continues to shine as one of the few great men produced by the twentieth century.

Papers on Social WorkAn Indian Perspective: By Dr G. R. Banerjee. Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay. Price: Rs. 30.

Dr (Miss) G. R. Banerjee is one of the pioneers of social work, teaching and practice in India. After serving as a teacher in the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay, for about three decades, she retired in the year 1972. It is heartening to see that as a mark of respect for her and appreciation of her services to the profession of social work, the Institute has brought out this volume of collected papers written by her from time to time.

Dr (Miss) Banerjee has been responsible for starting the medical and psychiatric social work in this country. She taught and practised case work in a number of settings. It is therefore natural that most or the papers have a direct bearing on case work practice. The papers cover a wide range–from philosophy and practice of social work to the problems of the profession in India. Sanskrit scholar as she is, Dr (Miss) Banerjee tried to relate the philosophy and concepts of social work to the Indian tradition with special reference to the Gita. It is her conviction that Nishkama Karma, duty consciousness and love for humanity are the cardinal principles of social work. The social worker should have “as much power of detachment as of attachment.” She points out that “the concept of social conscience which is at the root of modern social work is related to the concept of social self and has been well developed in ancient Indian literature.” Discussing the theory of Karma, she says that the feeling among the case workers that the belief in Karma does not create a desire in the client to bring about a change in his social situation is erroneous.

Generally there is a misconception that professional social workers are least concerned with social action and structural changes. This misconception is derived from the social work as it is generally practised in the U. S. A. Dr (Miss) Banerjee, therefore, correctly says that “in most of the Asian countries where poverty, disease, illiteracy and low level of living are normal, it would seem that training for social case work should emphasise social forces acting upon the individual from without and the need for fundamental changes in the socio-economic structure ofthe society and the steps being taken or contemplated to bring about these changes. The idea is to prepare future social workers for social action and social change.”

Dr (Miss) Banerjee discusses the practice of social work in general and social case work in particular in the context of students, psychiatric patients, physically handicapped, working mothers, juvenile delinquents, prostitutes, etc. Herself being a teacher and an active field-work supervisor with rich experience in working with maladjusted individuals and groups she writes with authority as to the qualities required of a social work teacher and field-work supervisor. In a modern society where a professional has a major role to play, his character and role-model have definitely their impact on the student as well as on the client. The social worker as “a person who is at the service ofhuman beings in order to help them to self-realization and development” should internalise the needed qualities.

The book, thus, is highly welcome. It satisfies a long-felt need for a correct presentation of professional social work and its practice in the Indian context and perspective.

Pillars of Vedanta: By Acharya R. V. Dhulekar. Published by Siddheswar Vedanta Peeth, Jhansi. Price: Rs. 20.

Acharya Dhulekar spent a major part of his life in active politics. But he could find time to study Vedas, Upanishads, all philosophical works and Puranas, digest the essence thereof, and present the results of his study in 189 discourses arranged systematically, and divided into 48 chapters, in a non-polemical and easily assimmilable manner, in this volume of about 1100 pages. Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita, according to the author, are the three pillars of Vedanta. Vedas contain all knowledge including that of modern sciences. Vedanta which kills the fear of death is a science which can be tested, experimented upon, studied and practised in the spiritual laboratory of our living body. Bhagavad Gita is Vedanta in practice. In the first 168 discourses all the eighteen chapters of Bhagavad Gita are explained with the help of all the texts the author has studied and from which he has profusely quoted. Jeeva Jagat and Brahman are one. Re-birth and cow protection are two of the fundamentals of Hinduism. Cow is considered as mother earth. There is no sanction for animal killing in Yagnas. Image worship is accepted in Hinduism. The last few discourses deal with subjects like Yagna, Bondage and Liberation, Jivanmukti and Dahara Vidya. These discourses vibrating with verve and vigour and containing about 2000 textual quotations are really a mine of information and serve as a master guide to the study of Vedanta.

Existentialism And Creativity: By Mitchel Bedford. PhilosophicaL Library, New York –10016. Price: Rs. 12-50.

The profound study under review is a comprehensive account, of the new philosophic movement in the West that goes under the name of Existentialism. It is a powerful challenge to Marxism and all the forms of totalitaranism and authority. Its stress is on existence than on essence, on the concrete individual, and not the abstract universal concept Man. It is anti-speculative and is interested in the problems of man’s existence, particularly his inner life. The movement stands for the individual’s freedom, and is opposed to all the forms of collectivist ethics. The Existentialists do not regard that reason can know all things.

Our learned author compares the writings of several existentialists, e.g., Soren Kirekegaard, Jean Paul Sartre, Martin Buber and Karl Jaspar, some of them atheists and others theists. What is common to the thinkers is sifted and what is useful, to fashion the authentic individual’s is stated.

The implication of the existentialist position for education is worked out. They seek to create an authentic person, who will grow up into a creative being. The educational theories of the thinkers are worked out in full and analyzed and the material is collected. The object is to produce a plan of life to make men lead a meaningful life. The services of the existentialist philosophy towards this goal is admirably brought out by the author. Existentialist Philosophy is a powerful democratic alternative, in a world that is half communist already. Reading the book is both spiritual and liberal education.

Mahapurana of pushpadantaA critical study: By Dr Smt. Ratna Nagesha Shriyan. L. D. Bharatiya Samskriti Vidyamandira, Ahmadabad–9 . Price: Rs. 30.

A thesis approved for the degree of Doctorate of Philosophy by the Bombay University, this is a critical study of the Desya and rare material contained in the three Apabhramsa works of pushpadanta, a major Apabhramsa poet of the Ninth Century A. D.

The first part mainly deals with the nature and character of Desya element and the role of Desya element in Prakrit and Apabhramsa in general and Pushpadanta’s works in particular. The authoress pointed out that the term Desi has been used in the earlier Sanskrit and Prakrit literature mainly in three different senses, viz., (1) a local spoken dialect (2) a type of Prakrit, (3) and as equivalent to Apabhramsa. The interpretations of the word Desi as given by Hemachandra and modern scholars are also given in detail. The authoress comes to the conclusion that most of the modern scholars agree that “Desya or Desi is a very loose label applied by early grammarians and lexicographers to a section of Middle Indo-Aryan laxical material of a heterogeneous character.

In part II, the more important one, the learned Doctor has collected 1430 words and divided them into seven categories– (1) items only derivable from Samskrit (2) Tadbhavas with specialized or changed meaning (3) items partly derivable from Samskrit (4) items that have correspondents only in late Samskrit (5) onometopoetic words (6) foreign loans and (7) pure Desi words. Critical and comparative notes on their meanings and interpretations, with corroborating passages from original texts are also given here and they evidence the high scholarly labours of the authoress. We cannot, but respect the words of Dr H. C. Bhayani of the Gujarat University in whose opinion the present study paves “the way forinvestigating the bases and authenticity of Hemachandra’s Desinamamala and provides highly valuable material for middle and Modern Indo-Aryan lexicography.”

We commend this valuable study to all linguists that are interested in Prakrit and Apabhramsa languages in particular.
–B. K. R.

Upanishads (Five Verses): By K. P. Bahadur. New Light Publishers, Salwan School Marg, Old Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi. Price: Rs. 29-50.

Herein we have a free rendering of five principal Upanishads–Eesa, Kena, Katha, Mundaka and Swetaswatara in English verse. In an exhaustive introduction the author deals with topics like Pre-Upanishadic thought, Brahman, Atman, creation of the world, the ethics of the Upanishads, Bondage and Liberation and Karma and Rebirth, and sheds much light on the Upanishadic thought in general. A separate introduction to each Upanishad gives a gist of that Upanishad. Text is given both in Devanagari and Roman scripts. Then follows a free verse to verse rendering in English. In some places, however, the author goes into poetic raptures and explanatory moods, as is seen particularly in the Eesa Upanishad. The second verse of this Upanishad is for instance rendered as follows:

“Through moon-kissed nights and sun-swept days,
Through bitter grief and fragrant joys,
The sands of time do ever run
From birth to death, from youth to age–
And what is man if taking not
The plough he doth not sow the field,
And smiling in his hundred years
Of life, find what he long hath sought!
When acting yet doth actions curse
Cling not; as in the muddy lake
The lotus bears her lovely head
Though in its waters found immersed.”

A glossary of Vedantic terms is added at the end. The author’s attempt is laudable. We commend the book to all Upanishad lovers.
–K R.

The Miracle Plays of Mathura: By Norvin Hein. Delhi Oxford University Press. Price: Rs. 30.

The book is a thorough-going account of Miracle Plays, as found by the author, surviving in Mathura, Brindavan and their environs, at the time of his visit in 1949. Mathura, widely known for its Vaishnavaite cult, is the home of religious drama with its accessories of dance and song.

It will be appropriate to have, in passing, a cursory glance at its provincial variants: Bhagavathamela of Madras, Yakshaganas of Mysore, Veethinatakas of Andhra, Svang of Punjab, Yatras of Bengal, Bhavai of Gujarat and Lalita of Maharashtra.

In sectarian affiliation Mathura is purely Vaishnava, with its theatre too, to add. The Braj ‘Sampradayas’ (sects) are anti-Advaitic and Bhakti-marg moulded and shaped their mundane lives. The exuberance of their faith in the Divine Pair–Krishna and his ‘hladinisakti’ Radha–burst into stage productions of ‘Lilas’ enriched with the Vatsalya and Madhurya Rasas. Boys within the age of puberty were selected to play the lead and supporting roles with visible action and music. Contextually, an enumeration of the types of opera-cum-ballet will be in place.

(1) Jhanki takes after a Tableauvivant. The ‘svarups’ (impersonators of deities) are worshipped, as in a temple. Devotional songs are sung. And ‘updes’ (instruction) is given by incarnate gods to the audience. As usual, ‘arati’ begins and ends the exhibition. (2) Kathak is an action plus song affair. First, there will be a fifteen-minute pure dance–an engaging mosaic of motion–with orchestral support. Mimetic elements like the lifting of Govardhana or playing the flute are thrown in between. Next ‘nritya’ is followed by one-act play which employs pantomimes in illumination of the words of a song. (3) Bhaktimal Nataks deal with the lives of Vaishnava saints. The language and techniques are adapted mostly to the tastes and capacities of the illiterate commoners. Though music is not considered an organic part of the plays, devotes, take occasion to stir up congregational singing. (4) Ramlila is both staged and mimed. The season for its enactment is Dasara. The incidents narrated, acted, danced and sung are lifted from Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas. (5) Raslila is a circular dance performed by Krishna with Gopis on full-moon autumnal nights followed by enactment of a play covering the childhood exploits of Divine Krishna.

These dance dramas ingrained with a religious tinge are the factors for the continuum of Hindu traditions and stability of Hindu society. They are the non-institutionalised institutions, designed to preach ancient Dharmas to the commonalty and stay unaffected by revolutions in taste of generations to come. Because, they enshrine fundamental values of life that suit any age or clime.

Norwin Hein has brought into clearer light the creative ferment working in Hindu religious life of the 16th century. The book takes the cake for its painstaking documentation and will be a valuable addition to Vaishnava literature of the day.

India and Her Future: By Sisirkumar Mitra. Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherrry. Price: Rs 5.

The compiler of this excellent little book is Sisirkumar Mitra of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It is a praise-worthy effort, for the book comprises “a cross-section of the words of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother that have a direct bearing on India’s past, present and–her glorious future…with which is indissolubly bound up the future of the whole world, of all humanity.” In other words, the book is a compilation of immortal truths of perennial value. The excerpts decipher the spiritual power of India, which is relevant to “the reconstruction of India’s national life for its larger fulfilment in the future.”

The book is punctuated into two parts. The different chapters of part one expose the spiritual heritage of India, her all-round achievements, Sri Aurobindo’s vision of the Future and the role of the youth to be fulfilled in building up the glorious future of the world. Mother Indi i “a Power, a Godhead”: the hope of the New World.

In part two, Sisirkumar Mitra gives brief biographies of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother of Pondicherry. The reconstruction of a new world, initiated by the Master, continues under the divine guidance of the Mother. The Mother hopes and reiterates that India is “a land of light and spiritual knowledge” and that she will wake up to her true mission in the world and show the way to union and harmony, “progress and transformation of Mankind.” These dreams and aspirations of the Master and the Mother will be fulfilled through the prosperity of Auroville (inaugurated in the border of Madras and Pondicherry on 28 February 1968), the city of the dawn of the new Light of Heaven, of Sri Aurobindo whose divine ideals are to be its base. It is conceived as the city of World Unity and Truth, free from vested interests and destructive schism.

The book affords an enlightening reading. It ought to be read by one and all, especially the uncorrupted youth who alone are capable of re-creating, based on the divine ideals of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, a “Brave New World.”

(1) Yoga Sadhana (2) Yogavasishtha: By Ma Yogashakti Saraswati. Yogashakti Mission, Nepean Sea Road, Bombay-6.

Based upon a deep study of the Yoga-sutras of Patanjali and allied Yoga literature and on her own experience, these talks on the various processes of Yoga are enlightening. Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Tratak, Japa, Pranayama, etc., are dealt with in detail. Much attention is paid to Ajapa Sadhana. Necessarily these are in the nature or notes introducing the subject.

The second book is a happy selection of stories from Yoga-vasishtha rendered into English. The writer’s comments at the end of each chapter underlining the central philosophical message of the narrative are valuable.

Wings of Love and Random Thoughts: By Acharya Rajaneesh. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi –7. Price: Rs. 3-50.

Acharya Rajaneesh is well-known for his unorthodox methods in unsettling the settled poise of ignorance and superstition. Here are a number of extracts from his discourses puncturing many a dogma and unthinking custom. He speaks of three links between man and god–self-love, love of others, love of God. The point is that one must be first capable of love before one can at all love the Divine.

A spirit of happy benevolence pervades the entire book.

Yoga For Busy People: By Howard Murphet. Published by Orient Longman, Madras-2. Price: Rs. 4.

A handy guide book to health of mind and body through Yogaasanas and simple Pranayama. The author selects a few of the postures in Hatha Yoga and describes them with illustrations, anecdotes, etc., in a manner that catches on the reader. This approach is scientific and more appealing for that reason.

The Tales of India–Part Three: By Daulat Panday. Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. Price: Re. 5.

This is a delightful collection of tales for the young and the old. The language is chaste and elegant and the stories are drawn mostly from everyday life. “Sonali playing her instrument to the birds and animals in an enchanted wood, spangled with wild flowers”, “Arul finding his simple home uncomparable where each hour seems a golden tread of a hidden goddess and life, a honeycomb of sweetness amid these dreaming fields”, “The flower turning to admire its reflection once again in the lake”–all make enchanting reading.

Symposium on Poetry India: Edited by Dr Krishna Srinivas, Madras-17. Price: Rs. 5.

This Publication gathers in a single volume the papers and poems read at the All-India Poets Meet on the 16th and 17th June 1973 in Madras. Dr Srinivas who was chiefly responsible for organising this event states in his welcome address with his usual poetic verve: “When chaos is in the air everywhere, the poet cannot stay out of this turbulence. The poet’s part in this universal drama is mighty magnificent, monumental.” Eight papers review the state of the art of poetry in eight Indian languages, from Konkani to Urdu. Rabindranath Meson and Satya Dev Jaggi, two practising poets, speak from the experience of composing poetry. Sathya Babu analyse, Menon’s poetry while P. B. Sreenivas adds a note on poetry in films. Over twenty short poems from well-known Indo-English poets such as V. K. Gokak, Shiv K. Kumar, Gopal Honnalgere, M. P. Bhaskaran and Kamala Das are included.

While the poems are enjoyable, the essays give an idea of the development of poetry in different regions in our country. The anthology is a useful introduction to the general reader.

The Secret Path: By Dr Paul Brunton. B. I. Publications, New Delhi. Price: Rs. 5-50.

This is a very neatly printed and produced Indian edition of a work, first published in 1934. The author is well-known and lived in India and elsewhere among Yogis, sages, mystics and wise men and written several books based on his wide ex­periences, wanderings and studies. This is one such and deals with “A Technique of Spiritual Self-Discovery for the Modern World.” The vision and the message, the author had from the Wise One of the East (when he was about to start on one more of his numerous journeys) was “Forget not the fellows in distress.” He sought to fulfil this expressed wish of one of his spiritual Guides by first setting down what life has taught him, putting into words the wisdom learnt from dearly-bought experience. This is the genesis of this book.

Nishkamya Karma, what the author terms “inspired action.”

The “Kingdom ofGod is within” is the message of the ages. Intellect transmuted into intuition, then on to illumination and inspiration, and finally to the silent voice of the Overself. The author is clear that the crying need of the world today is not for a change of head but a change of heart. “There is no lack of ideas among us–rather the reverse–but there is a lack of goodwill. The feeling of goodwill will be the best insurance of universal peace” the Maitribhava which is so cardinal to Indian culture and heritage.

This book seeks to be a practical manual for men of business, men of practical affairs and responsibilities, concerned with the many riddles and strains of modern life.

Tender Hearts of India: By Jane Richardson. Vikas Publicatians, New Delhi. Price: Rs. 35.

Mrs. Richardson has made a commendable effort to gain a sympathetic understanding of the Indian way of life. She visited India in 1969 as a guest of the Indian Government. She did not rest content with visiting the big cities. She established close contacts with people from different walks of life. She visited and lived in ordinary homes prompted by her keen desire to study the culture and multitudinous customs and habits prevailing in India. The author made an earnest attempt to grasp the vital secrets of the religious creeds of the Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Parsis. Behind the baffling spectacle of diversity she was able to discern the underlying unity of the human heart that throbs with the same emotions. She could discover a keen zest for life on the one hand and a fatalistic resignation on the other among the teeming millions ofIndia. She came to India and looked at this fascinating land with the zeal of a seeker after truth rather than a casual tourist. The tender hearts of India impressed her so much that she felt at the time of leaving this land that only her physical body was departing but her spirit would forever linger over the famous spots and humble homes she had visited during her short but significant stay.    

The Mather’s Call and Other Stories: By R. Parthasarathy. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay-7. Price: Rs. 3.

This is a collection of stories by a writer of renown in both Tamil and English. As the author had been actively involved in the independence movement, most of the stories bear that stamp. They are all written in lucid, attractive style. Stories like the “Ghost of Mahabalipur” reveal his acquaintance with psychology. “The Flower Queen” which unfolds the rustic romance of a guileless couple and their untimely tragic end reveals the author’s acquaintance with medicine. The story “Pandits of Parameswar” is a beautiful satire advocating removal of untouchability. “Saitan Mansion Mystery” is a delightful thriller. “Melting Sarees” is a study in humour. “Hallucination” depicts the communal riots after the independence. Everywhere we see the author’s profound reverence for Gandhiji and his principles. As the author himself in his personal life had followed Gandhiji truly his stories do not smack of mere propaganda, they have a true authentic ring about them. The book has been nicely got up. 

Temples and Legends of Nepal: By P. C. Roy Chaudhury. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay-7. Price: Rs. 3.

Sri P. C. Roy Chaudhuri who has written previously “Temples and Legends of Bengal” and “Temples and Legends of Bihar” is on familiar grounds. He takes into account the sociological, historical and climatic environmental factors while studying the evolution of temples. He describes vividly the temples at Kathmandu, Patan, Bharatpur and Naskatipur. That Nepal has its own individualitythough profoundly influenced by India, China and Tibet has been fullyrealised. The similarities between Bihar, Uttar Pradesh Bengal and Nepal are explained. The reason for the striking nature of the sculptures is also given. The legends which have arisen from the religious, historic and social elements are also described. Bihar, Kashmir and Assam have contributed to the growth of folk tales. The book is written in a lucid absorbing style. At the end are appended illustrations which arouse further enthusiasm. The treatment reveals a profound understanding of the religious and social implications of the subject. Altogether, this is an essential book which helps us to learn more about our immediate neighbouring country and its culture.


Mohanangi (Telugu Novel): By Konduri Vira Raghavacharyulu, Gandhinagar, Tenali. Price: Rs. 5.

Sri Vira Raghavacharya, a renowned Telugu writer, poet, critic, philosopher and a keen student of Indian art and sculpture has once again established Teluguliterature with this historical novel, the main theme of which revolves round Tirumalamba, otherwise known as Mohanangi, daughter of Srikrishna Devaraya and wife of Aliya Ramaraya. Tradition has it that she wrote a PrabandhaMarichi Parinayam” and dedicated it to her father. The former part of the novel is mainly devoted to that aspect of her life and her marriage with Aliya Ramarayalu disregarding the love overtures made to her by Salakam Timmaraju. The veracity of this tradition is now questioned. But it does in no way detract the novel from its merits. While Mohanangi with her poetic skill, filial affection, chastity and love for virtues captivates our hearts. Nagini, an invented character, trained in warfare and endowed with virtues of fidelity, chastity and devotion to duty in addition to righteous indignation and vengeance, enraptures and grips our hearts. Portrayal of other characters is also fair.

Picturesque description ofBhuvana Vijaya, an assembly of poets, beautiful quotes from Telugu Prabandhas, descriptions of sculpture in the Ahobila temple, discourses on Indian culture and philosophy, and references to the origin and development of the social system named “Basivi,” give us a deep insight into the culture and social set up of the times and add immense charm to the work. Written in a simple and sweet style the novel is informative, educative and pleasing.

Edi Nljam?: By Ekkirala Bharadwaja, N. B. K. R. Science and Arts College, Vidyanagar. Nellore Dt., A. P. Price: Re. 1-25.

Science and Religion (or Philosophy) are not antagonistic but complimentary to each other. Is there a God? This is a question oft asked. Students of Science with half-baked knowledge readily answer “No.” But some great scientists came to the conclusion that the existence of God can be proved and that the Upanishadic statement “I am the God” can be taken as an inviolable truth.

Matter according to modern science is nothing but radiation imprisoned in electrical bonds. Mass is but an expression of intense energy locked up in minutest particles. This energy for reasons explained clearly in this brochure is also consciousness. This Energy- consciousness is the substratum of all this Universe, and is known as God that is Sat, Chit and Anandam according to our Upanishads. Our ancient seers in their spiritual laboratories have long ago discovered and experienced this truth and proclaimed it to the world. This one God we call by innumerable names– “Ekam sat vipraa bahudhaa vadanti.”

This brochure small in size but great in its contents attempts to bring home the above truth to all its readers with the aid of scientific theories and illustrations, and reasoning and experiences. A very abstruse matter is presented in a crystal clear manner. The author has done immense service to Indian culture and philosophy by bringing out this book, a need of the hour, in lucid Telugu. How we wish our college students read it carefully and understand the contents.

Mana Desamu - Mana Samskriti: By E. Vedavyasa, I.A.S. Published by USCEFI - 3/57, Old Rajendra Nagar, New Delhi-60.

Exhibiting a comprchensive picture of real ancient India and revealing the glory of India’s ancient culture (so that we may not be misled by the false history handed over to us by the foreigners) are some of the noble objects with which the book under review has been written.

Sri Vedavyasa has very vividly explained the grave injustice done to our Shastras, culture and heritage by the western historians. He has proved that a close study of our Puranas would reveal the real history of India. Puranas are not mere volumes dealing with fictitious fables. They are accurate histories of India. There is a “Very Old Book”Purana Samhita–inIndia which is an encyclopedia of all subjects like Yoga, History Science, etc. It is older than the Vedas. Its last chapter dealt with the end of Krishnavatara.

Indeed the book is a valuable one written with great care and devotion. But the author’s observations regarding the present day historians–lecturers or professors–could have been less pungent.

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