Myth Fiction Giveaway: Leave a Comment and Win A Bundle of Five Great Novels

Book Bundle Giveaway

India is a land of deep cultural memory. Perhaps nowhere else in the world do people have active conversations and shape their lives around stories that have been written thousands of years ago. Mythology, for us, is not just mythology; it’s a way of life.

So we’ve put together five great books that not only retell the stories of yore but also bring them alive. You can win a bundle of all five books for free if you participate in this giveaway.

Scroll down to the bottom of this post to learn how.

Book 1: Govinda by Krishna Udayasankar

Govinda

Krishna Udayasankar is a graduate of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, and holds a PhD in Strategic Management from the Nanyang Business School, Singapore, where she presently works as a lecturer. Krishna’s bestselling debut series of mytho-historical novels, The Aryavarta Chronicles (Govinda, Kaurava and Kurukshetra) (Hachette India, 2012, 2013, 2014) have received critical acclaim.

She lives in Singapore with her family, which includes three bookish canine-children, Boozo, Zana and Maya, who are sometimes to be found at her laptop, trying in vain to make her writing better.

Book 2: The Thirteenth Day by Aditya Iyengar

13th Day Cover

Aditya Iyengar is a writer based in Mumbai. He’s spent a greater part of his writing career in advertising and television winning awards and critical acclaim (mostly from his mother and brother who unfortunately still encourage him). Though not accustomed to writing about himself in the third-person, he has discovered a sudden liking for it. In fact, he will begin to address himself as…oh, word limi

Book 3: Shakti: The Divine Feminine

shakti cover

Anuja Chandramouli is a bestselling Indian author and New Age Indian Classicist. Her highly acclaimed debut novel, Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince, was named in a poll conducted by Amazon India as one of the top 5 books in the Indian Writing category for the year 2013. Her third book, Shakti: The Divine Feminine is the definitive work on the Mother Goddess and is gracing best – seller lists everywhere.

Currently she is working on her next awesome book and waiting expectantly for that big fat royalty cheque that will allow her to fill her swimming pool with pink champagne after she builds it with her Booker Prize money.

Book 4: Pradyumna: Son of Krishna

Pradyumna_Son of Krishna_web

A gold-medallist in English, Usha Narayanan blitzed through a career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a bestselling author. Her second novel is the chartbuster ‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’ (Penguin Books), with the sequel scheduled for a mid-2016 release. Her third book, ‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’ (Harlequin HarperCollins) is a lighthearted office romance that hit the shelves in Oct 2015.

When she’s not juggling writing, editing and interviews, Usha reads everything from thrillers to romances, provided her cat isn’t fast asleep on her Kindle. She loves travel, movies, Jack Reacher, Game of Thrones and taking mad leaps of faith.

Book 5: The Rise of Hastinapur by Sharath Komarraju

The Rise Of Hastinapur_Front

Sharath Komarraju is an author of fiction and nonfiction based in Bangalore, India. Once a software engineer, now he writes professionally, and on lazy days he watches cricket and talks to his wife (often at the same time). His most well-known work is the ‘Hastinapur’ series, in which he tells the story of the Mahabharata from the point of view of the epic’s lesser known female characters.

How does the giveaway work?

Quite simple:

  • There are five book bundles up for grabs. Each bundle contains each of the above five books.
  • In order to throw your name into the hat, leave a comment under this post.
  • In your comment, EITHER tell us about your favourite mythology-related memory (favourite character, story etc), OR you can ask any of our featured authors a question about their works.
  • We will randomly select five out of all the comments that we get and announce them as winners.
  • You can leave a maximum of two comments. We will count both comments as entries, meaning that your chances of winning will increase if you leave two comments instead of one.
  • When you click on ‘Leave a comment’ below, you will be prompted in a separate field to enter your email address. Please enter a valid email address here, because all winners will be contacted on the email address they leave behind. Note: Please don’t enter your email address as part of your comment, because then it will be publicly visible to everyone.

When does the giveaway end?

The last date for your comment is Monday, 11th January, 2015. Any comment that we receive after that will not be counted toward the giveaway.

When are the winners announced?

Winners will be announced on Monday, 18th January, 2015. They will be announced as a comment to this blog post, so please keep a tab on it. Winners will also be contacted via the email they leave behind when they enter the comment. So please make sure it is an email that you check regularly.

What is the purpose of the giveaway?

The main purpose of the giveaway is to allow authors and readers a platform to converse about the topic they like: in this case, mythology. So whether you leave a comment about your favourite mythological character or whether you ask a direct question, expect one (or more) of our featured authors to respond. We hope this will be a great way to bridge the gap between us and you.

Tell your friends

If you have friends who enjoy myth fiction and reading, tell them about this. Sharing is caring, don’t you know? See you all in the comments section!

Comments

  1. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity to know about various books and authors.
    My all time favorite mythological character is vaayu putra Hanuman who is the one and only superman of all times.

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  2. It is difficult to classify Shakti by Anuja as just another novel on mythology. It seems more like an analogy of our life in the garb of mythology. Loved the book though. A very different take indeed and is definitely among my current favorites.

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  3. Mala Ashok says:

    Usha, I read “Pradyumna,” with bated breath and loved it; yet my favourite line was the one which said, “end of book 1” at the end. No, my joy was not that the book had ended – rather, I was delighted that it was only ‘book 1’ which had ended. Yes, now I’m waiting with bated breath for the sequel. Usha this genre is your forte. Keep them coming!

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  4. I love Finnish Kalevala 😛

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  5. Sati’s body was charred beyond recognition, and though her physical shell was destroyed, the anger that she had felt at the humiliation of her soul mate, still coursed through her mind, through her essence. She wouldn’t be destroyed and she wouldn’t let anyone else destroy or humiliate a creation of nature. She wasn’t a mere woman. She was Shakti, the beginning, the middle and the end. She was Devi, the indomitable power that if called upon, could cause absolute destruction if there existed any injustice. She was Shiva’s and yet, she was Shiva. She was the one who made the world, and she was the one within whose womb the world thrived. It was and will be She, when the time for new blood arrives.

    My all time favorite mythological character has been Shakti for her fiery avatar, for her magnanimity that can so easily be undermined by those with closed minds. I would love to read of her Divine form with Anuja Chandramouli’s book. 🙂

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  6. I would like to ask Usha Narayanan Mam as her first book was a suspense thriller, did she face any difficulty while writing her second mythological book ” PRADYUMNA ” , Son of Krishna.. ?

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    • Actually, ‘Pradyumna’ is also a thriller, Dancing with Words! Lots of action, fights and a plot that keeps you turning the pages. So the suspense thriller made it easier to write ‘Pradyumna’. However, you are right in that the language, the characters, the milieu, the spiritual dimension – these were completely different and I had to immerse myself in an ancient world of infinite possibilities in order to make my myth come alive!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I like Krishna’s character very much. The story that is told is very much interesting.

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  8. Hope ‘The Thirteenth Day’ n ‘Rise if Hastinapur’ keep me engrossed. I read books of ANAND NEELKANTHAN n DEVDUTT PATTNAIK… Right now im reading Kamadev by Anuja C. NEXT will be the two books of Mr. SHARATH.

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  9. N Narayanan says:

    From cradle to grave, we are connected with mythology. Our life has become more fascinating because of mythology. The recent books on it by young authors have made it more compulsive.

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  10. Abhinav kumar koli says:

    I liked the fabulous story of my ideal hero my god lord krishna…. firstly the title is very interesting because govinda is a common name in india or in villages that i told my femily memvers about govinda described in this book…. and according to the language of this book it pick my full of attention… it seems that author pick my lovely nurve of love towards krishna … and lastly thnx for such an excellent epic….. 🙂

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  11. Abhinav Kumar koli says:

    i want to ask krishna sir that why u chose the character of krishna? and if you interested in the character of kali and sati also??

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  12. This is an awesome giveaway! Some of the best books in this genre in a single giveaway!

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  13. Rituparna Basu says:

    Mythology is a huge part of my life. I love reading books that have mythology as its base, especially Indian mythology. Presently, I am reading all books that are re-writing classic mythologies like the Ramayana and Mahabharata, giving the characters more human and humane characteristics that make it easier to identify with them. I especially loved Krishna Udaysankar’s series on Mahabharata. It was amazing

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  14. chandan kumar singh says:

    I have read GOVINDA by Krishna Udayshankar and of course i have to read the sequels (KOURAVA AND KURUKSHETRA) as there was not any option left since the GOVINDA was so mesmerizing.
    I would love to read the other title mentioned in your blog and if i get it free that would be icing on the cake. ;-P

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  15. Just started reading Love, Lies and Layoffs – Usha Narayanan – am sure it would be 5-star rating by the time I complete reading.

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  16. My favorite memory from the Mahabharata mythology by Krishna Udayasankar is reading the chapters of the Draupadi cheerharan episode. It was amazing to read the entire incident from Panchali’s perspective. The most affecting part was when Bhishma justifies the monstrous act. The narration was spellbinding, and all of the characters were beautifully described in the first book, which eventually lead to this heart-wrenching juncture.

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    • Thanks, Vikram! 😀 Yeah, I was pretty stunned (and pissed off) by Bhisma’s behaviour too! But would you believe, his behaviour in that scene is not my invention, but based on his reactions as given in the Critical Edition of the epic!

      Like

  17. This is a great offer! While I’ve already read Govinda, I look forward to reading the rest. I’ve read Road to Palem by Sharath and really loved it. So waiting in anticipation!

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  18. Maunik Chenchugarla says:

    hi all i loved krishna udayashankar’s view on mahabharata i have read a lot and seen a lot of movies which are based on mahabharata and in that all of them i loved aryavarta chronicles which was krishna udayshakar’s and looking forward to read the rest

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  19. Radhika jethmalani says:

    My favourite mythology memory is of the last scene of karna! Even though he was at his end he didn’t leave his roots! His roots of being the greatest man on the face of earth after Lord Krishna himself! When he was dying and Lord Krishna came in the form of a bhramin to ask karna for something! Even then the man had so much humility that in that pain he removed his golden teeth and happily gave it to the Lord hence becoming the 2nd and last person in the Mahabharata to see the Poorna avatar of Vishnu! I think in all of the Mahabharata karna was the most just and the most deserved person.

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  20. Radhika jethmalani says:

    I wanted to ask the authors ‘when Ram is leaving for his 14 years of exile and Seeta insists on coming when Ram says no Seeta says that I have come in all your previous exiles then why not this one. I had read this in an article written by an author. So does sitas comment mean that all the epics occur time and again? And have the same lessons? I would love an answer to this!

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    • Hi Radhika,

      That statement is based on the ‘avatar’ concept of Vishnu, which believes also that Lakshmi/Shri accompanies Vishnu on each of his earthly adventures. So Sita’s comment refers to their previous adventures during previous avatars. But I could be wrong!

      Like

  21. I have always wanted to ask this. How much research goes into writing mytho-fiction, and are you ever worried that someone will take offense if you deviate from the traditional stories? Question for all authors. 🙂

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    • Hi Ritesh,

      Frankly, I’d be more worried if I didn’t offend anyone, because it would mean I have neither challenged existing (sometimes oppressive) beliefs nor have I contributed anything new!

      Liked by 1 person

    • We deviate from accepted narratives to make a point or change the viewpoint or make the story relevant to our times. I always treat the subject with respect. Despite that, if some people object – then so be it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ritesh, Thanks for the question, and sorry for the late reply. Was out of town, far away from technology. To answer your question, for ‘The Thirteenth Day’, I read multiple versions of the epic, but referred to CRR’s version along with KM Ganguli’s translation of the epic. Since my book assumes the great war to have been fought around 1000 BC I also read about how war was waged in those times. Not all the research found its way in the book but hopefully enough to give the reader a sense of the spirit of the times.

      Regarding the second part of your question, I don’t think any writer sets out to offend people intentionally though some times, the writer’s best intentions could go haywire. Personally, I try not thinking about it when I’m working on a book.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ritesh,

      Research is a personal question. Some authors love to do it, some can’t stand it. I fall into the latter category; I’m generally itching to get on with telling the story. So I try and get by with as little research I can do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t do any. Research doesn’t make or break a book, but readers do appreciate a bit of effort on part of the writer that suggests that he is not just waffling around and that he takes the subject seriously.

      Worrying about offense – well, you always worry about offending someone, and you try and not do it, but the tricky bit is figuring out what offends whom. You’d be surprised at how people take offense at something that you thought was quite innocuous, and then not even notice what you thought would ruffle a few feathers.

      That is the most difficult part of offense – you just don’t know what will offend whom. So you just hope nothing offends someone to the point of wanting to take your life, and you move on.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I grew up on Hindu mythologies, like many others mention here, that mainly acted to play upon a conflict (usually a family dispute, or good vs evil forces) where ultimaltely good always won. Thus inking in gold the parameters of good character & humanity.
    But, the mythologies I know not much of, mythologies that question prevailing realities-like environment conservation, wildlife, biodiversity, conflicted past of communities such as tribes- which continue to be sidelined in popular imagination are the ones that I am deeply curious about. For e.g. I would like to know how a hungry dog chew up the written script of Ao Naga Tribe forcing the tribe to turn to oral traditions to preserve its historical, conflicted past. I would like to know more of the rhino who was originally a migrant, accompanying Krishna on a battle assignment, came to love Manas/Kaziranga forests and won not just permanent citizenship but also the coveted status to be called the glory of Assam. I am hoping that some of these authors would also take up such stories from India’s hinterland and provide explanations/motivations to work on contemporary problems of survival.

    Like

  23. I grew up on Hindu mythologies, like many others mention here, that mainly acted to play upon a conflict (usually a family dispute, or good vs evil forces) where ultimaltely good always won. Thus inking in gold the parameters of good character & humanity.
    But, the mythologies I know not much of, mythologies that question prevailing realities-like environment conservation, wildlife, biodiversity, conflicted past of communities such as tribes- which continue to be sidelined in popular imagination are the ones that I am deeply curious about. For e.g. I would like to know how a hungry dog chew up the written script of Ao Naga Tribe forcing the tribe to turn to oral traditions to preserve its historical, conflicted past. I would like to know more of the rhino who was originally a migrant, accompanying Krishna on a battle assignment, came to love Manas/Kaziranga forests and won not just permanent citizenship but also the coveted status to be called the glory of Assam. I am hoping that some of these authors would also take up such stories from India’s hinterland and provide explanations/motivations to work on contemporary problems of survival.

    Like

  24. Draupadi remains as an eternal character that influence my belief of conviction. Bought up as royal princess, her journey till she identified herself as sairandri is beyond expressions. The birth fire within kept her soul ignited. But the same fire consumed her sons. Poet kuvempu describes Mahabharata as the story from unwrapping of hair to wrapping it up and draupadi as the only potential behind. She is my spirit.

    Like

  25. Loved the Rise of Hastinapur! The central and supporting female characters felt so powerful and real. It was easy to appreciate their trials, tribulations and victories.

    I would also love to explore the books Pradyumna and Shakti the divine feminine, as well as The Thirteenth Day and Govinda as I haven’t yet read them.

    Thanks for initiating yet another generous giveaway!
    I am very excited to see where all this leads me in my quest to explore various takes on the rich mythological heritage we have.

    Like

  26. Amritha Vijayan says:

    My interest in mythology was aroused when just a toddler thanks to my mother and her cousin. While aunt used to narrate stories from the great epics, my mother made it a point to buy me picture books and Amar Chitra Katha right from the time I was two. But of all those the ones I liked best was those that had Lord Ganesha as the central character. He’s been my all-time favourite. My mother has an awesome collection of his figurines.

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  27. Amritha Vijayan says:

    My question to the authors participating in the giveaway-

    How according to you is mythology relevant in the present day context?

    Like

    • Amritha, we realise when we read myths that there is only a thin line separating gods and humans. The stories are relevant even today and set us thinking on deeper truths that are lost in the trivialities of everyday life.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Amritha, Thanks for the question, and sorry for the late reply. Was out of town, far away from technology. I think mythology is an excellent way of taking us out of our times. It transports us to unfamiliar lands and times in a most pleasant way. While it is also an entertaining way of presenting universal ethical dilemmas, I think mythology is the most wonderful form of escapism, and I mean it in a very positive way.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Amritha,

      If you take mythology to be true in the literal sense – i.e. you think that every word written in the Mahabharata / Ramayana is literally true – then the relevance to our present day is minimal. The society that our myths speak of is far removed from ours, and it can be dangerous trying to fit our lives according to the social norms of that day.

      However, all stories – including myths – contain universal themes that apply to all ages, epochs and races. So the trick, I think, is to go beyond the story and find the themes. That will help us enjoy these stories at a deeper level. Whether the Pushpak really flew is not as important a question as the loyalty that Jatayu shows in trying to rescue Sita from being abducted. Whether it was right or wrong for Draupadi to be disrobed in open court is perhaps not as important an issue as understanding the fire of vengeance that burned in Duryodhana’s heart. All of us are as capable of Jatayu’s loyalty as we are of Duryodhana’s rage.

      Sometimes, we get so enamoured by the ethical and social questions, we’re so eager to judge right from wrong, that we miss out on these emotional connections that – I think – bridges this vast chasm of centuries.

      This comment became longer than I intended. Hope it answers your question 🙂

      Like

  28. My favourite mythological character is Sati.My question is is Sati the original divine feminine married to Shiva and Parvati a later invention and addition to the mythological cycle of Shiva?

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  29. Mythology…my cup of tea, when it comes to reading a book.
    My question : Is govinda primarily a name of krishna? Or Balaji of Tirupati? Of course ultimately both of them are the dasavataras of lord vishnu but still if u consider them as separate incarnations of the same lord…I wonder who Govinda really is!

    Like

  30. OMG. Just made it in time. Such an abso awesome giveaway.

    Is there a person alive who does not love mythology. Each and every story finds relevance in some or the other aspect of our lives.

    Personally, I’ve always adored Krishna (Lord Krishna?) and devour any story connected to Him. I’m totally fascinated by the story where Krishna reveals his Vishwaroopa to Arjuna. 🙂

    Like

  31. A question to all the authors: Is anyone working on a story based on Kalki Avatar?

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    • Personal answer, Sonia. No. For me the story of Kalki avatar is too good versus bad to appeal to my taste. So until I can think of an angle which greys the matter a little, I’m unlikely to take it up. But then, there are so many good writers out there. I’m sure someone will put on the old story a readable twist. Now that I think about it, why not you? 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I loved the twist that Gore Vidal gave to this concept 😀 And I am much honoured at your words…that you even considered me capable of tackling this story and making it my own. So, thank you, Sharath 🙂

        Btw, am devastated to not have won this giveaway. Really.

        Like

  32. Sudeep Aradhya says:

    This genre, is eventually becoming my favorite.

    Like

  33. Hi guys!

    Thanks for a lovely response to our very first bundle giveaway. This does encourage us to do more events of this sort where you not only get books but also interact with the authors. The winners for this giveaway are (selected randomly from the comments received):

    1. Archana Sarat
    2. Vaishnavi Nagaraj
    3. Avinash Matta
    4. Divya Sarma
    5. Dhruv DC

    I will make a new post announcing these winners, and I will contact them through the emails they left behind when entering their comments.

    Congrats to all the winners, and a big thank you to EVERYONE who participated! Whether you won or not, we hope it has been worth your time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  34. It’s been awesome to interact with readers and authors here. Thanks for putting this together, Sharath!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. My fav mythological character is Parshuram.. His story is so tragic and also the fact that he is immortal and vishnu incarnation makes it even more thrilling and i guess the only character who has got anger management issues and the violence itch attached to it. Also the fact we belong to his lineage spice up things a lot.

    If i am selected to get this bundle of books, may i suggest that i will like it to be in ebook/kindle format. This is my own way of going green though i miss the feel of papyrus smell and fee but if i want my generations to experience as well then i have to leave it and move to digital world

    Like

  36. Many thanks for the great efforts of all the authors to unearth our culture and present it in an interesting perspectives.
    One question to the authors is the source of these hidden facets. Is it due to limited access to the writings or lack of our comprehension or imagination of what is in the know that we missed these nuggets?

    Like

  37. Hi Sharath, I read the ‘The Rise…’ Very well written book. Good research work. What didn’t go well with me was that a young Durvasa, who later turns out to be Surya shows desirous motive towards Kunti, and Kunti reciprocating wholeheartedly. That besides, your story of Kunti trying to rescue Vasudev is innovative and interesting. I liked the idea of Gandhari slowly going dim on her eyesight. Amba’s plight, shuttling between her lover, father and Bhishma, is touching.

    I wanted to read more about Karna, my favourite character.

    Like

  38. Pankaj Shah says:

    Thank you for information. I will like to read these mythology books with different perspective then the conventional reading.

    Like

  39. Dhiraj gehi says:

    I love to hear abt d mythological characters, specially those who r unheard till now. Would love to recieve d books.

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  40. Niranjan N B says:

    Hey I guess im late in filling up for the give-away but lemme still try.

    my favorite memory or the story would be tat of Gangavataran.
    This story is about how Bhagirat gets Akash Ganga the heavenly river to earth to liberate the cursed souls of his ancestors. The story starts with the introduction of Raghu vamsh one of the finest aryan tribe.
    Mythical story exaggerates about the effort of bhagirat to get ganga to earth. His prayer to Lord Brahma and then to Lord shiv, the conversation of Lord shiv and ganga, the expression of ego of ganga, a simple marvel of mythologists. Later aspects of ganga entering the earth and her journey through the land of bharat. The division of Ganga into 7 rivers and their journey. the story of ganga renamed to be Jhanavi, Bhagirathi and various other names. Later entering the caves where the bhagirat’s ancestors were burnt and liberating them thus putting an end to ” bhagirat’s effort”.

    This story intrigues me about the change of a complete occupational system of ancient Arya vrat.
    As many authors and thinkers suggest that Aryan tribes were originally nomads or precisely hunters.
    later came the pastoral occupation or the Yadav s the pastoral kings. This particular story as I Think suggests the efforts of migrating from pastoral to agrarian occupation. This migration of occupation was the sole reason for nomadic tribes of Aryan tribe to settle in India and establish many powerful kingdoms in India contributing to the rich colorful heritage of India.

    Ganga, the water source for agriculture which enabled this transformation plays an important role in any mythological or historical story. Ganga, liberated the burnt and cursed souls of ancestors of Bhagirat which gives a notion of severe famine which almost killed its tribe. Finding Ganga liberated the tribe and found a new occupation.

    This particular mythological event is my favourite because Ganga is the life line of aryan system the start of the Indian rich culture. the folk or the myth behind finding or bringing Ganga to earth from heavens is even more fascinating.

    Like

  41. My fav mytho is the super grand epic Mahabharata … i dont think there is any other tale in the world which is sooooo complex. Literally hundreds of key characters with their lives inter-connected in a complex mesh with the added complexity of curses, boons and re-births. Someone even remarked that it is difficult to find a ‘normal’ birth in the Mahabharata … where every birth is either a result of boon/curse or is unnnatural in some or the other way (Vyasa, Pandavas, Kauravas and so on).

    with the scores of characters, the ‘popular’ compact versions of the tale leave out many of the interesting characters. be it Ghatotkach or Babruvahana or many others like them; who have very interesting and phenomenal stories around them. Hope this motley bunch of 5 authors can pick some of these ‘orphaned’ characters and give them life.

    Also, one day i would like to read the Mahabharata through the eyes of the one characters without whom the story is nothing … Bhishma Pitamaha … Gangaputra Devavrata … it would be a complex and daunting task to write from his perpective bcos he was the ‘neutral’ guy and there is no hero or villain to the story.

    Like

  42. Not sure if the giveaway is closed. But still I would like to take this opportunity and say that my favorite mythological character is hanuman. I belong to a small city in kerala called Tirur that has a big hanuman temple. When I was a kid, my mom used to always tell me to pray to hanuman and tell him to ward off bad dreams. That prayer stayed with me to this day and even now on days when I see a bad dream, I recite the prayer and go back to sleep. I just know that at some unknown divine level it works for me.

    Like

  43. Yesh Khanna says:

    Hi guys, my favorite one is the shiva trilogy. Its also my first mytho-fiction book.
    Just Loved It

    Like

  44. Aravinda M says:

    Going for this one even though i see the date is past due. My earliest memory of mythology is Ramayana (everyone in India grows listening to either of the two epics). The best part of the great epic is that it still applies to this modern era/world. I for one was brought up listening to them and it has influenced my moral frame work. The stories of Visvamitra/Vasishta rivalry, The swyamvara and wedding of Goddess Sita and Lord Rama and the valiant stories of the Vanaras (The army of monkeys) led by Lord Rama. These stories not only has influenced me , but has changed the course of my life quite a few times by following their morals, reminding us how it still resounds with all of its wisdom and advice to lead our life in a meaningful way.

    Like

  45. Aravinda M says:

    Since there are two comments allowed- here is my review for books on Rise of Hastinapur by Sharath (previous giveaway) and Govinda by Krishna Udayashankar (borrowed from my cousin) after reading the blurb.. Both were equally exciting. The other books have captured my interest and I want to get my hands on them ASAP… LOL..

    Rise of Hastinapur- I would suggest this book to any one who is a ardent reader on myth stories, This is a fine read and the tone of the book has your attention from chapter 1. Sharath’s debut in the series, ‘Winds of Hastinapur’ fascinates you how it all began, but this one is more dark and subtle in its story line and many of them think that Mahabharatha was a feud between two families. Amba’s heart wrenching position in the society when all of them abandoned her, or the sordid affairs of vichitra virya are not told in all the retellings. Gandharl’s wanton disregard for her brother or how the Gandhara kingdom was mowed out of existence was all the finer things told in this book.
    Every retelling of Mahabharatha titillates me in a way where there are several instances which could have led to the war.
    1) It starts off with the beginning where Vasishata’s cow is stolen and all the Vasus get cursed. Is this the beginning.
    2) Shantanu’s desire to marry Satyavati wherein he could have dropped the idea and exercised his kingly duties. Was this an attempt by Sage vysaa to deliberately start the proceedings for the war.
    3) Bhisma’s terrible oath where he could have still under various pretenses made his life not miserable.
    4) Gandhari and her not so loyal husband Dhritarastra could have envisioned( No pun intended) the events leading to the war.

    All this and more fascinates and makes the reader to think ‘what if’ this hasnt occurred, would the outcome be different?
    I have enjoyed all readings of Mahabharatha and this one as well has led me to understand few underlying themes and still raise questions which are not asked earlier.. Go for this book without any inkling where this ride will take you.

    Now for ‘Govinda’ by Krishna- I wouldnt mind telling the whole review, but this one , i will keep it short since this is a book which keeps me thinking all the time. Did it really happen as narrated by the author. I love the way where Balarama is prominently brought to the fore in this book. All the other retellings have him as a sideshow or not told about him at all. Now on the main character, the name ‘Govind’ is derived as a name for Vishnu in Vishnu Sahasranama denotes one of the names for Krishna avatar. The Bhaja govindam by Adi Shankaracharya praises lord Krishna, here the etymology Govindam also refers to Krishna. So I believe Krishna Udayashankar went for this name for the book from these meanings related to Lord Krishna. Now for the book, the epic story is told in a fashion so alluringly similar to those told in other fantasy novels where the rivalry is between the Firstborns and the Firewrights but there ends the similarities. The book is riveting right from the gecko.
    The only thing which I wouldnt want to see or read about is how the ungodly/not divine Krishna is. Sage Veda Vyasa told Lord Ganesha to write down the epic in a way conceived by him in a way that dotes Lord Krishna as the manifestation of that supreme being which we all are trying to understand. Lord Ganesha in Hindu scriptures is the one of the most learned exponents of all vedas. Sage Vysaa did not ask Saraswathi – Goddess of Knowledge to write it down but Lord Ganesha as his scribe in this venture to ensure that the exponent of vedas is explained properly (Mahabharata is considered the panchama veda). Also this is the reason why we invoke Lord Ganesha before all the new beginnings.
    The books twists and turns like a long serpentine path but eventually ends all gasping for the next . I would recommend this to all readers irrespective of Religion,age,creed,sex or personality as this will make you want more , Make you think as you have never done before. Some may feel incomplete or some others exhilarated and some disappointed. But the whole journey is enriching to say the least.

    Now here is one question which I would like to ask all 5 authors (Krishna, Aditya, Anuja, Usha and Sharath) who can introspect and answer this as candidly as they can.

    What passage/episode/event would you like to verify/learn the truth about in the whole two epics (Ramayana and Mahabharatha ) (And all those associated stories with them) if given a time machine…

    Please do reply to this as I would like to have your perspective of the two epics.

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    • Hi Aravinda, I’ll be honest, I’m not convinced about the historicity of the events of the Mahabharata or Ramayana. I feel the events could have happened but in a less fantastic manner and I’ve used this as the premise for my book ‘The Thirteenth Day’.

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  46. Thank you so much for your contribution and in making available the mythological books and study of these wonderful characters. A chance to be a part of this group is truly blessed. I appreciate and will be very happy to be a part of this group.

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  47. Ghanashyam says:

    What an awesome giveaway I missed!

    However, I think we should keep the interesting conversation going…

    I have this question related to a character Mayasura who appears in Mahabharat and Ramayan.

    Now, according to our mythology Patal is below Our ground, then one of my friend Dhananjay wonders wether present day America would be the Patal we refer to.

    So this lead me think about Mayasura. If I take forward the theory of my friend about America, can Mayasura (being an Asur and Asur being dipicted as beings from Patal) be connected to Mayans from America?

    Note:
    Well, many believe Mayasura ruled from what modern day Meerut, Gujrat is.
    However, my doubt grew stronger after learning that Mayan and Hindu Mythology have lot on common.
    Refer – https://thegr8wall.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/similarities-between-the-hindu-the-maya-culture/

    Like

    • Hi Ghanashyam. Speaking of similarities, there are quite a few between Classical myths and Hindu myths as well. I wrote a post about it in this very blog:

      https://sharathkomarraju.com/2014/07/03/7-parallels-between-hindu-and-greek-mythology/

      Not sure why these similarities exist. Are they mere coincidences? Or could it be that both mythologies descended from a common ancestor which is now extinct? Not sure. Maybe a historian would answer better.

      I’ve always believed Patal to be the underworld. So it’s under the Earth. Also remember that the storytellers of those days used to think of Earth as a flat, carpet-shaped thing. So they imagined Patal to be another flat carpet situated under the Earth, with Heaven being above the Earth. So three carpets/mats, situated below each other. So I don’t think – even allowing for the assumption that our myths contain literal truth – that we can consider America to be Patal. It’s a bit of a stretch.

      But then, that’s my view. I concede it’s a subjective matter. You can think whatever you wish, as long as the motive is academic 🙂

      Like

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