Satyarth Nayak’s Mahagatha: 100 Tales from the Puranas, is a well-researched collection of some of the principal stories from the sacred Puranas. Indic-minded readers and followers of Sanatana Dharma would be able to appreciate the fine nuances this book brings. For those who haven’t read much about the Puranas or wish to learn more about them, this book is a good starting point.
Narrating the stories chronologically from Sat Yuga to Kal Yuga, Nayak ensures the reader is not just reading a story. Rather, gets a deeper insight into the reason, motivations and reasoning behind the actions. His rendition empowers the readers. Every chapter in Puranas is linked, and the author has delved further into this connection.
Reading this book reminded me of the Amar Chitra Katha books I used to devour in my childhood days. There were a lot of known stories; stories I had read or heard from my mother. But there were an equal number of stories I wasn’t aware of. To name a few… the story behind the creation of Earth, and the name Prithvi, importance of Swaha chanted during yagnas, why Brahma is not worshipped, Trishanku, the unique and divine principle of Parabrahman, and the battle between Saraswati and Vishnu.
There’s a fine visual quality in writing. It is uncomplicated and yet enchanting at the same time.
The cover picture, an illustration of Ardhnareshwa, is as captivating and stunning as the rest of the illustrations that accompany the text. The yantras and mandalas drawn at the beginning of every chapter are detailed and impressive.
Though the author has taken certain creative liberties in the narration, the soul of the stories is untampered, and the essence remains undiluted.
It is best to read this book chronologically, else it is impossible to establish the connection between the various characters, information, and tales and avoid confusion.
The book is fairly long, 436 pages, but the chapters are short and well-written. The chapter length works both in favour and against the book. While the short length ensures the reader’s interest, a few chapters ended abruptly and required more detailed writing to give it depth.
I found the titles a little bland, too direct, and lacking intrigue. Only if they were as interesting and immersive as the stories!
Sharing a few of my favourite quotes –
“A boon is never evil or good. It is simply an opportunity that empowers. How the seeker chooses to use it makes the difference.”
“My only concern was that a contest often stirs up the darkest of emotions. Fractures relationships. One sometimes loses oneself in order to win.”
“An answer is nothing but another question. It struts around in disguise, but those with the truest eyes can see through it.”
“It is never about deva or devi. It is forever about counteracting any poison that threatens the cosmos. And poison has no gender.”
Mahagatha: 100 Tales from the Puranas is not just a book. It’s a journey that helps one understand various aspects of Hinduism. Highly recommended to readers who are fond of Hindu mythology or wish to learn about it.
Wordsopedia Rating 4.45
This review is powered by the Blogchatter Book Review Program
|Title: Mahagatha: 100 Tales from the Puranas||Author: Satyarth Nayak|
|Publisher: HarperCollins India||Publication date: December 8, 2022|
|Genre: Non-Fiction–Mythology||Format: Paperback|
|ISBN: 9789356294493||No. of Pages: 436|
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About the author
Satyarth Nayak is an Indian author and screenwriter, known for his bestselling novel The Emperor’s Riddles, authoring the biography of Sridevi and for scripting Sony’s historical television epic Porus.
Get in touch with the author on Twitter
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