Author: Anant Pai
Publisher: India Book House
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
This set of 4 picture books includes following titles:
Vol. 13: The Inimitable Birbal : ISBN 81-7508-037-X
Though popularly known as Birbal, his real name was Maheshdas. He was a good administrator, a good soldier, and perhaps what pleased Akbar the most - a good jester. Less known is the fact that he was also a good poet. He wrote under the pen name, Brahma and a collection of his poems is preserved in the Bharatpur Museum.
Vol. 14: Jataka Tales - Bird Stories : ISBN 81-7508-128-7
All living creatures die to be born - so the Hindus believe. Siddhartha whobecame the Buddha was no exception. It is believed that several lifetimes aBodhisattva 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 bird stories will keep children amused, while never failing to point out the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
Vol. 15: Tansen : ISBN 81-7508-055-8
Tansen, who was a contemporary of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, is the symbol of the supreme achievements of Indian music. He was not only a great performer but he was also a great composer and musicologist.
The legends about Tansen's ability to start a fire with his singing of the Raga Deepak or bring down rains with the Raga Megh Malhar may not bear the scrutiny of science. But they certainly contain the seed of truth about the immense potentialities of music if evoked by one like Tansen.
Vol 15a: Mirabai: There is no dearth of mystics in India. But among them Mirabai is unique. She was born a princess and in marriage became a queen. But the kingdom she chose was the one of Krishna. Not for a moment did she swerve from her purpose. Hers was the immutable faith in Krishna. Uncharitable relatives and uncomprehending friends were no hindrance in her devotion. She had given herself up to Krishna.
The lyrics that poured out of her, sing the priases of Krishna. The sincerity and sweetness of the songs made them popular al over the land and they remain in rich heritage of mystic poetry in India. The story of Mira, as narrated in this book, is based on legends about her.
Vol 16: Ayyappan - The legend of Shabari Malai: ISBN 81-7508-198-8
A strange and fascinating series of divine events led to the birth of Manikanthan. Manikanthan had a glorious destiny. At the end of life full of dramatic events, Lord Parashurama himself sculpted and installed an idol of him in the hill temple of Shabari. There, as Lord Ayyappan, he is worshipped as the presiding deity of the whole range.
It is said that the Lord comes down to the Shabari Hills on Maskara Sankranti in the form of light to give Darshan to his innumerable devotees and he lights the temple lamp. Then in a moving and beautiful ritual the pilgrims partake of the prasad and walk backward down the eighteen steps, their faces turned towards the Lord shining with devotion and ecstasy.