Observations · Religion

My Journey in reading Shrimad Bhagavatam

I finished reading Shrimad Bhagavatam this year in January. It took me one year to complete it. I finally finished it and it was an awesome experience. The interesting thing is that at the end of the book in Section 12, it is said:
  • A Sattvic reader will finish the book in 30 days
  • A Rajasic reader will finish the book in 7 days
  • A Tamasic reader will finish the book in 1 year
I wanted to read this book since 4 years. I was contemplating whether I should read in English or Hindi. I decided to read it in Hindi as I already had Sukh Sagar by Gitapress Gorakhpur. Gitapress prints Shrimad Bhagavatam under the name Sukh Sagar.
I had heard that there are many rituals and rules to follow to read this book. I couldn’t follow all those rules to complete the book. One thing I would definitely observe is to keep the book at a clean place with a red cloth underneath and read it with clean hands. Good intention and devotion to Lord Vishnu is the most important thing required to read this book. And of course, God’s grace and blessings.
Initially I thought I could complete this book in 2 months but my father passed away after I started reading it.  I did not read the book for around 5-6 months. I then started reading it again, especially on Ekadashi days (twice a month). Slowly I picked momentum and could complete the book in January 2018.
I am not going to write a review of the book here. That will need a another post. The book has amazing stories around Bhakti. It chronicles the era of Gods, Devatas, Asuras, Rishis, Rajarshis. Then the era of Lord Krishna arrives where Dharma is all mixed up. The stories of Lord Krishna takes almost 25% of the book and keeps you engaged. The 11th section has Uddhava Geeta which contains chapters on how a householder should live in the society and simultaneously worship God. Uddhava Geeta was like an elaboration on Bhagavad Geeta.
This is one of my favourite books, other being Shrimad Bhagavad Geeta. Mahabharata is also good but its very long at 100,000 verses. This book contains around 18,000 verses. I wish you luck and blessings from God if you want to read this book. I am providing the link to purchase the Amazon Kindle edition of Shrimad Bhagavatam by Gitapress Gorakhpur. They publish it under the title name of Shri Shuka Sudha Sagar. 
Shrimad Bhagavatam or Shri Shuka Sudha Sagar – https://amzn.to/2P4IBFj


Bhagavad Gita · Religion

Bhagavad Gita on Amazon Kindle – Gitapress Gorakhpur and other Hindu scriptures

Gitapress Gorakhpur is a very old organization in Uttar Pradesh India that aims to spread the ancient wisdom and knowledge of Hindu tradition by providing all scriptures and books at a reasonable price to everyone. Now they have launched their books on Amazon Kindle in Hindi language. This is very good especially for people living abroad and who have limited access to the paperback version of Hindu scriptures.

I have read many translations and commentaries on Bhagavad Gita and I still recommend the Bhagavad Gita by Gitapress Gorakhpur to any beginner who wants to read Bhagavad Gita for the first time. Bhagavad Gita contains only 700 shlokas in 18 chapters and can be read in 3-4 hours. 
I recommend this version of Bhagavad Gita as it contains the original Sanskrit shloka and it’s Hindi translation.

Bhagavad Gita in Hindi – https://amzn.to/2MisG8z

Also check out other Hindu scripture titles on Amazon Kindle here – Gitapress Gorakhpur Kindle ebooks
Mahabharat · Observations · Religion

Survival of Art

If you have read my previous blogs, you would know that my favourite book (and movie) till now is The Lord of The Rings. I read the book recently and loved it (more than the movie itself). The 3-volume novel was launched in 1954 and is still one of the most read books today. What could be the reason behind this ?

The answer lies in the fact that the book is truly a great piece of story-telling. It’s a fantasy novel, and there are many more, but the reason this book excels is because people have something to learn from this book. Be it 1960, 1970, or even 2010, whenever you read this book, you can relate to any character, their actions and the surroundings they are in which led them to their action. And the best part is, if you read this book after a gap of 10 years, you will infer the book in a different manner, according to the situation you are in. Kids and adults of this generation read the book and love it as they can relate to the book.

I finished watching the great epic Mahabharat (1988) made by Late. Mr. B.R. Chopra and his son Mr. Ravi Chopra. I will write a detailed review on it later, but in brief, it was amazing. Its the best Indian TV series to date, and I think the same can be said even later. People have told me that back then in 1988, when the series used to air at morning 9 AM on Sundays, roads were deserted, people post-poned their gatherings and literally everyone were glued to their TV for 1 hour. And now I quite believe them.

I found the same thing in the series. I have not read the epic-book ‘Mahabharat’, but I am sure it will also be amazing in the art of story-telling. With its variety of characters and their actions, you are compelled to take a leaf out of the book and compare yourself to it, in some manner, at any point of time.

Some work of art lives through ages. It survives because people of any age at any time are able to deduct something from it for themselves. They can feel that the art speaks for them. Maybe thats why there are many old songs which are heard by this generation too. Even though the piece of art belonged to an era, it survives the passage of time as the newer generation is ready to accept it in their lives.

If you know of any other work like these, please let me know. I would love to try it.