Author: Anant Pai
Publisher: India Book House
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
Vol. 5: Dasharatha
Ravana, an evil Rakshasa, had performed severe penances and obtained a boon from Brahma. No celestial being could kill him. Armed with this boon, he invaded Amarvati, the city of the Devas and played havoc among its inhabitants. Distressed, they appealed to Vishnu.
On earth at that time, Dasharatha, the prosperous, wise and just king of Ayodhya, bent on obtaining a son, was engaged in performing a series of sacrifices. To help the devas Vishnu decided to manifest himself on earth and destroy Ravana, since Brahma's boon did not protect Ravana from men. And he chooses to be born as four sons to the three queens of Dasharatha.
As Dasharatha delighted in his growing sons, particularly in Rama the eldest, little did he dream that the curse, hurled at him for a sin committed by him in ignorance when he was a mere lad, would materialize with an impact that would result in his death.
Vol. 6: Jataka Tales
All living creatures die to be born - so the Hindus believe. Siddhartha who became the Buddha was no exception. It is believed that several lifetimes as a Bodhisattva go into the making of the Buddha, the Enlightened one.
The Bodhisattva has come in many forms - man, monkey, deer, elephant and lion. Whatever his mortal body, he has spread the message of justice and wisdom, tempered with compassion. This wisdom of right thinking and right living is preserved in the Jataka tales.
These tales are based on the folklore, legends and ballads of ancient India. We cannot assign a definite date to the Jataka stories. Taking into account archaeological and literary evidence it appears that they were compiled in the period, the third century BC to the fifth century AD. They give us invaluable information about ancient Indian civilization, culture and philosophy.
This volume of deer stories will keep children amused, while never failing to point out the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
Vol. 7: Kannagi
Kannagi, a gem of a housewife, a 'paragon of chastity', has been immortalized in the pages of Silappadikaaram, the famous Tamil epic of Ilango, the Chera prince-turned-ascetic. It is the story of a clash between three anklets: the anklet of the home, the anklet of the stage and the anklet of the palace.
The epic is a rich record of a great civilization, vivid with descriptions of edifices, shrines, docks, market places, squares, of laws and rituals, of 'Natya Shastra', musicology and musical instruments of the day. Known for its high dramatic content, Silappadikaaram is a shining jewel in Tamil literature.
Vol. 7a: This narrative is an adaptation of the story of Angulimala from the Buddhist text, Paramatthadipini of Dhammapala. In the forest on the outskirts of Shravasti, lived Angulimala, the dreaded highway robber who plundered and killed travelling traders. Fearing him, people eventually gave up travelling by the road that passed through his haunts. Though evedrybody shunned Angulimala;, Buddha chose to cross his path. Then took place the historic meeting of the saint and the sinner. In that encounter between the forces of non violence and violence, the former prevailed. Angulimala became a disciple of Lord Buddha.
Vol. 8: Ashwanini Kumars: Tales from the Vedas
In the Rigveda there are several hymns addressed to the Ashwins who are the divine physicians. Judging from the number of these hymns, the twin deities seem to be next in importance only to Indra, Agni and Soma.
Most of the riks or hymns invoking the Ashwins are either an appeal to them for help or panegyrics for the help rendered to men in distress.
The two stories in this Chitra Katha are developed solely from Vedic literature.
Vol. 8a: The story of Dhruva is taken from the Bhagawat Purana. Dhurava was hardly five years old when he observed severe penance to win the favour of Lord Narayana. The Lord was pleased with the faith of the child. He appeared before the child and told him that he would rule the earth for 36,000 years and thereafter occupy a very important place in heaven. Even to this day, the Pole star is referred to as 'Dhruva Nakshatra' by tradition-loving Hindus. The story of Ashtavakra is taken from the Mahabharata. While in exile, the Pandavas visited a number of holy places. When they reached the hermitage of Shvetaketu, Sage Lomasha who was accompanying them told them the story of Ashtavakra, the nephew of Shvetaketu.