A fiction always carries a slice of reality. Life bestows us with various circumstances and we respond as per our perceived views towards life. This book is a beautiful effort to analyze various aspects of Bhagvad Gita through a fictionalized chain of events. As many scholars already said; Gita is not about religious views, but a way of life. The same is expressed through this book where the main protagonists who are not staunch followers of any religion but indulge into deciphering the various facets of Bhagvad Gita verses.
Christina is a student of interreligious studies and has come down to Sri Venkateswara Vedic University on a student exchange program from Florida University. She meets Haripriya in Gita study group who appears to be an emblem of a true seeker rather than a blind believer. Author Hribakth creates the storyline through a controversial setting where a debate crops up over which version of Gita is real or true. The foundation of this book rests on the author’s narrative skill in the form of a conversation between a truth seeker and an orthodox group whom he named as Dharma Rakshak.
The book starts with a press meet where journalists bombard Christina with a series of intriguing questions which jab on her views over religion and God. There is a wonderful statement where Christina mentions Gita as a proper noun and her own published book is a mere adjective for Gita. Every character has his/her own version of interpreting the preaching of Gita. Parthasarathy’s letter to his daughter is much like a gist of what all Bhagvad Gita can teach us. He explains how Gita is a reference book, consulting manual and a medium to ultimate knowledge. Bhagvad Gita is about what God said, what God didn’t say and what others said. This book wraps our daily life incidents inside the verses of Gita. It takes an interesting turn when a jury is set up to put up a lens over certain issues; whether Gita could defend itself, whether it exists or overrides everything else.
Earth is a prison of miseries; what a wonderful subject has been looked upon? Many such issues are put forth to discuss. The narrative runs to and fro in a time frame where several incidents work out, discussions happen that bring both the protagonist closer to Bhagvad Gita. The chapter of Navratri conversation reveals the conflict of ideation yet cohesion of thoughts between a father and daughter. The only off-putting thing, what I felt is, the way bullet points or tables are used in the book. Contextually, this book is academic, but as the framework is crafted like fiction, narratives in bullet points look out of the order. Anyway, the pacing of the book is good as the consecutive chapters move on to the actual debate topics about God being the supreme, the big picture of equity and equality, how sacrifices are made in Gita and how faith becomes the only parameter.
The debate appears to be educative, evolutionary and enunciating new principles and substantiation. The chapter of final verdict gains momentum as Judge Parthasarathy falls prey to a conflict with his own faith. Which version of Gita is actual? Which one is correct? Are they different in just the outlook or they differ in their basic foundation also? The various chapters of debate have been named as Kurukshetra. Isn’t that wonderful? Lord Krishna preached the nitty-gritty of human life to Arjuna in the battle field of Kurukshetra. Apparently, the plethora of knowledge that resides within Gita is analyzed in the Kurukshetra chapter.
This book is built up on a different and distinct approach and is a wonderful read; educative, constructive and interesting. It subsumes all the existing phenomena and their commentaries. It is a cosmopolitan interpretive paradigm to interpret scriptures of every religion, ideology or philosophy.
AUTHOR NAME: Haribakth
BOOK TITTLE: Aksara Bhagvad Gita
PUBLISHER: Mark My Book LLP; First Edition (24 December 2020)
REVIEWED BY : Atrayee Bhattacharya at Criticspace Journals
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