Author: Anant Pai
Publisher: India Book House
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
This set of 4 picture books includes following titles:
Vol. 25: Ancestors of Rama : ISBN 81-7508-069-8
Tradition has it that Rama was the ideal king. Gandhiji was only reinforcing it when he named his ideal state 'Rama-Rajya'. Yet the predecessors of Rama, in his dynasty of the Ikshwakus, were as valiant and as benign as Rama himself. This story tells of their deeds.
The heroes of epics have their tragic flaws because epics always tell the whole truth. Like Rama, his ancestors also had flawed characters despite the glory of their personalities.
Inspired by the epic of Valmiki, Kalidasa wrote his classic poem 'Raghuvamsha'. While chronicling the lives of the ancestors of Rama, it noted the decline of the ruling house also.
Vol. 26: Birbal to the Rescue : ISBN 81-7508-026-4
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. 27: Dhruva and Ashtavakra: ISBN 81-7508-068-X
The story of Dhruva is taken from the Bhagawat Purana. Dhruva was hardly five years old when he observed severe penance to win the favor of Lord Narayana (Vishnu). 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 tradition-loving Hindus refer to the Pole star as 'Dhruva Nakshatra'.
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.
Vol. 28: Sudama : ISBN 81-7508-117-1
The tenth book of the Bhagavata Purana gives in detail the life story of Lord Krishna - his birth, early childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The many incidents narrated are full of adventure and romance and at the same time inspire, enlighten and guide human beings whose aim is to ennoble their lives and attain God.
The story of Sudama (a great devotee and childhood friend of Lord Krishna), which has retained its popularity with children down the ages occurs in the same tenth book. The love of Krishna for Sudama forms the theme of many a devotional song and this story has been a source of sustenance of faith to the poor in the land.