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Category: Mythology

Mythology

Showing 1–20 of 83 results

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    An Indian woman with a China craze retraces the footsteps of a Chinese monk with an Indian obsession
    In the seventh century AD, the Chinese monk Xuanzang (earlier spelt as Hiuen Tsang or Hsuan Tsang) set off on an epic journey to India to study Buddhist philosophy from the Indian masters. Travelling along the Silk Road, through the desolate wastes of the Gobi desert and the icy passes of Central Asia, braving brigands and blizzards, Xuanzang finally reached India, where his spiritual quest took him to Buddhist holy places and monasteries throughout the subcontinent. By the time he returned to China eighteen years later, carrying with him nearly 600 scriptures which he translated from Sanskrit into Chinese, Xuanzang had covered an astonishing 10,000 miles. He also left a detailed record of his journey, which remains a valuable source of historical information on the regions he traversed. Fourteen hundred years later, Mishi Saran follows in Xuanzang’s footsteps to the fabled oasis cities of China and Central Asia, and the Buddhist sites and now-vanished kingdoms in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan that Xuanzang wrote about. Travelling seamlessly back and forth in time between the seventh century and the twenty-first, Saran uncovers the past with consummate skill even as she brings alive the present through her vivid and engaging descriptions of people and places. Her gripping chronicle includes an extraordinary eyewitness account of Kabul under the Taliban regime, just one month before 9/11. Running parallel to the account of her travels is the moving story of the author’s inner journey towards a new understanding of her roots and her identity. With its riveting mix of lively reportage, high adventure, historical inquiry and personal memoir, this delightfully written book is a path-breaking travelogue.

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  • In Search of Oneness : The Bhagavd Gita and the Quran Through Sufi Eyes

    In this authoritative and comprehensive survey of the challenges a changing global security environment poses to India, former deputy national security advisor Arvind Gupta outlines the important aspects of the country’s security apparatus and how they interface to confront internal and external conflicts. We have today a turbulent Middle East to the west; a rising and assertive China to the north; Pakistan in the grip of the military and the militants across our border and an increasingly militarizing Indian Ocean region surrounding us. Additionally, climate change, cyber security and the vulnerability of our space assets are major areas of concern. Anything that weakens a nation weakens its security, which makes the issues of food, water, health, economics and governance critically significant. Arvind Gupta draws on his long experience in these areas to argue that instead of tactical remedies, a strategic, coherent, institutional approach is needed to deal with these challenges. Strengthening the National Security Council, for instance, could be one way forward.
    How India Manages Its National Security explains with great clarity and thoroughness the concept and operation of India’s national security apparatus. This book will be of great interest to practitioners, analysts and laymen alike and offer an important voice in the discussion on how national security challenges should be resolved in the decades to come.

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  • Life's Mysteries

    An accessible yet thorough introduction to Indian civilizations
    Sources of Indian Traditions is an indispensable and essential selection of primary readings on the social, intellectual, and religious history of India from the decline of Mughal rule in the eighteenth century to today. It details the advent of the East India Company, British colonization, the struggle for liberation, the partition of 1947, and the creation of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and contemporary India.

    Divided thematically, it begins with a chapter on eighteenth-century intellectual and religious trends that set the stage for India’s modern development. Nineteenth-century debates over social reform, featuring the leaders of reform and revival movements, follow. Chapters on Gandhi and his reception both nationally and abroad, and different perspectives on and approaches to partition, precede a section devoted to the drafting of the Indian constitution, the rise of nationalism, the influence of Western thought, the conflict in Kashmir, nuclear proliferation, minority religions, secularism, and the role of the Indian political left. The last two sections portray Pakistan and its struggle for national identity, and Bangladesh and the controversies over the fruits of freedom.

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  • Mad and Divine

    Getting India Back on Track brings together some of India’s most accomplished analysts to spur a public debate about the reform agenda the new government should pursue in order to return the country to a path of high growth. It explores the challenges and opportunities faced by one of the most important–yet least understood–nations on earth and convenes some of India’s most leading policymakers to recommend policies in every major sector of the Indian economy.
    These seventeen focused and concise memoranda offer the next generation of leaders and the general public alike a clear blueprint for India’s future.

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  • Hymns of The Gurus

    The Indian subcontinent was the scene of dramatic upheavals a few thousand years ago. The Northwest region entered an arid phase, and erosion coupled with tectonic events played havoc with river courses. One of them disappeared. Celebrated as -Sarasvati’ in the Rig Veda and the Mahabharata, this river was rediscovered in the early nineteenth century through topographic explorations by British officials. Recently, geological and climatological studies have probed its evolution and disappearance, while satellite imagery has traced the river’s buried courses and isotope analyses have dated ancient waters still stored under the Thar Desert. In the same Northwest, the subcontinent’s first urban society”the Indus civilization”flourished and declined. But it was not watered by the Indus alone: since Aurel Stein’s expedition in the 1940s, hundreds of Harappan sites have been identified in the now dry Sarasvati’s basin. The rich Harappan legacy in technologies, arts and culture sowed the seeds of Indian civilization as we know it now. Drawing from recent research in a wide range of disciplines, this book discusses differing viewpoints and proposes a harmonious synthesis”a fascinating tale of exploration that brings to life the vital role the -lost river of the Indian desert’ played before its waters gurgled to a stop.

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  • Sacred Animals of India

    This inspirational and heartwarming book details the profound impact that Mother Teresa’s life, mission and principles have had on the world. With many a moving anecdote, from her talk with heads-of-state for world peace to her poignant prayers for a dying child, this definitive biography gives an inimitable insight into the life of one of the most admired women in the world.

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  • Valmiki Ramayana (Vol. 2)

    “Five-year-old Saroo fell asleep in a train one evening as he waited for his elder brother to fetch him. When he awoke, he found himself amidst unknown faces, lost in faraway Calcutta. Poor, unable to read or write, Saroo struggled to survive alone on the streets of the crowded metropolis, before he was adopted by an Australian couple.
    Years later, Saroo met students from India at his college in Canberra and embarked on what appeared an impossible search for his childhood town. He began to piece together the bits he had carefully memorized, poring over satellite images in Google Earth. Eventually, twenty-five years after he had got lost, Saroo was able to trace his home town to Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, where he set off to look for his mother.
    Lion is an inspiring true story of the power of hope and what the human will can achieve in the face of insurmountable odds.”

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    ‘History matters in contemporary debates on nationalism,’ Sugata Bose contends in The Nation as Mother. In this interconnected set of deeply researched and powerfully argued essays and speeches Bose explores the relationship between nation, reason and religion in Indian political thought and practice. Offering a subtle interpretation of the ways of imagining the nation as mother, the book illuminates different visions of India as a free and flexible federal union that have acquired renewed salience today.
    Breaking out of the false dichotomy between secular nationalism and religious communalism, the author provides incisive analyses of the political legacies of Tagore and Gandhi, Nehru and Bose, Aurobindo and Jinnah, and a range of other thinkers and leaders of the anti-colonial movement. The essays question assumptions about any necessary contradiction between cosmopolitanism and patriotism and the tendency among religious majoritarians and secularists alike to confuse uniformity with unity. The speeches in Parliament draw on a rich historical repertoire to offer valuable lessons in political ethics.
    In arguing against the dangers of an intolerant religious majoritarianism, this book makes a case for concepts of layered and shared sovereignty that might enable an overarching sense of Indian nationhood to coexist with multiple identities of the country’s diverse populace. The Nation as Mother delves into history on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of freedom to evoke an alternative future of a new India based on cultural intimacy among its different communities.

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  • Mahabharata, The : Vol 10

    This brilliant work of reportage on the Mumbai slum called Annawadi, and the true-life stories of some of its inhabitants, is a powerful and unforgettable account of the impact of corruption, inequality, globalization and religion in an Indian megacity. It is written in luminous prose, with a narrative pace that grips the reader from beginning to end.

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  • Mahabharata, The : Vol 7

    On 12 June 1975, for the first time in independent India’s history, the election of a prime minister was set aside by a high court judgment. The watershed case, Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narain, acted as the catalyst for the imposition of the Emergency. Based on detailed notes of the court proceedings, The Case That Shook India is both a significant legal and a historical document.

    The author, advocate Prashant Bhushan, provides a blow-by-blow account of the goings-on inside the courtroom as well as the manoeuvrings outside it, including threats, bribes and deceit. As the case goes to the Supreme Court, we see how a ruling government can misuse legislative power to save the PM’s election.

    Through his forceful and gripping narrative, Bhushan vividly recreates the legal drama that decisively shaped India’s political destiny.

    ‘Not just of historical interest . . . many of these issues are back in focus today’ Mint

    ‘An invaluable historical document . . . being re-issued when new questions are being asked about the independence of the judiciary from the PMO’ Caravan

    ‘Of general interest [with] contemporary resonances’ India Today

    ‘Bhushan reminds the public about how a democracy can go wrong, so that we remain vigilant’ Hans India

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  • Book of Buddha

    “As the urban, nuclear family is becoming the norm, replacing the traditional joint family, what happens to the children who grow up with a single support system? In The Modern Gurukul, Sonali Bendre Behl shares her three principles of parenting that will help you find a
    balance between tradition and modernity, and show you how to raise your child in the digital age. Personal, anecdotal and honest, it highlights the need for a return to our roots to raise a healthy, curious, and, importantly, a compassionate child.”

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  • Great Indian Epics, The: Retold by Devdut Pattabaik

    Kathmandu is the greatest city of the Himalayas-a unique survival of cultural practices that died out in India 1000 years ago. It is a carnival of sexual licence and hypocrisy, a jewel of world art, a hotbed of communist revolution, a paradigm of failed democracy, a case study in bungled Western intervention and an environmental catastrophe.
    Closed to the outside world until 1951 and trapped in a medieval time warp, Kathmandu’s rapid modernization is an extreme version of what is happening elsewhere in many traditional societies. The many layers of the city’s developments are reflected in the successive generations of its gods and goddesses, witches and ghosts, the comforts of caste, the ethos of aristocracy and kingship and, of late, the destabilizing spirits of consumer aspiration, individuality, egalitarianism, communism and democracy.
    Kathmandu follows the author’s story over a decade in the city and unravels the city’s history through successive reinventions of itself. Erudite, entertaining and accessible, this is the distinctive chronicle of a fascinating city.

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  • Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana

    When The Accidental Prime Minister was published in 2014, it created a storm and became the publishing sensation of the year. The Prime Minister’s Office called the book a work of ‘fiction’, the press hailed it as a revelatory account of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s first term in the UPA. Written by Singh’s media adviser and trusted aide, the book describes Singh’s often troubled relations with his ministers, his cautious equation with Sonia Gandhi and how he handled the big crises from managing the Left to pushing through the nuclear deal. Insightful, acute and packed with political anecdotes, The Accidental Prime Minister is one of the great insider accounts of Indian political life.

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  • Short History of Myth

    Is India ready to emerge as a world leader?

    Our times are characterized not by estranged Superpowers building formidable arsenals but by engaged societies building a robust global economy. Emerging countries are redefining the geo-economic (and geopolitical) dynamic. The twenty-first century will be led, says Raghav Bahl, by a handful of SuperEconomies—large, prosperous countries with a high growth rate, ranking among the world’s top trading partners, commanding 15 to 20 per cent of global GDP, having nuclear arms but using economic leadership to effect significant change.
    With its demographic advantage, a surplus of skilled labour, a potentially rising GDP, a strategic geographic location and a new, decisive political leadership, India has every chance of becoming the third SuperEconomy after the USA and China. Drawing on history, current affairs and political and economic analyses, SuperEconomies projects how India can soon become a world leader and help secure a future of peace and prosperity for all.

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    On some days, you are no less than Sherlock Holmes. But on others, you are just a regular policeman on bundobast duty.
    Me against the Mumbai Underworld is the story of Isaque Bagwan, three-time recipient of the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry and a small-town boy who pursued his big-city dreams and ambitions as an upright police officer. Bagwan, who is credited with carrying out the first encounter in the history of Mumbai Police, was witness to several of the city’s defining moments-the 1980s when smuggling was at an all-time high, the blasts that tore through Bombay in the ’90s, the gang wars that marked the city, and the devastating 26/11 terror attack. His life, which has captured the imagination of many writers and filmmakers, is presented here with all its gut-wrenching details.

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  • Book of Devi

    The Army major who led the legendary September 2016 surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC; a soldier who killed 11 terrorists in 10 days; a Navy officer who sailed into a treacherous port to rescue hundreds from an exploding war; a bleeding Air Force pilot who found himself flying a jet that had become a screaming fireball . . .
    Their own accounts, or of those who were with them in their final moments.
    India’s Most Fearless covers fourteen true stories of extraordinary courage and fearlessness, providing a glimpse into the kind of heroism our soldiers display in unthinkably hostile conditions and under grave provocation.

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    For more than twenty years Mark Tully was the BBC Chief of Bureau in Delhi and his name and his voice became synonymous with the country he had made his home. For years he sent back dispatches interpreting the subcontinent to the outside world, but the ‘truth’ of India is remarkably resistant to reportage. Imbued with his love for the country and informed by his vast experience, Mark Tully has woven together a series of extraordinary stories. All the stories are set in Uttar Pradesh and tell of very different lives. Of a barren wife who visits a holy man and subsequently conceives-but is it a miracle or something more worldly? Of a son’s carefully laid plot to take revenge against his father’s murderer, with a surprising twist when his case comes to court. Of a daughter, persuaded by her friends to spurn an arranged marriage, whose romance ends in blackmail. Of a man’s inability to overcome the conventions of caste and go into business, which leads to his wife breaking purdah and taking control of the family. In these and in other stories, Mark Tully delicately probes the nuances of life in India.

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  • Vedas, The

    India’s Westernized elite, cut off from local traditions, ‘want to write a full stop in a land where there are no full stops’. From that striking insight Mark Tully has woven a superb series of ‘stories’ which explore Calcutta, from the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad (probably the biggest religious festival in the world) to the televising of a Hindu epic. Throughout, he combines analysis of major issues with a feel for the fine texture and human realities of Indian life. The result is a revelation.
    ‘The ten essays, written with clarity, warmth of feeling and critical balance and understanding, provide as lively a view as one can hope for of the panorama of India.’ K. Natwar-Singh in the Financial Times

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  • Kartikeya: Battle with the Soul-Stealer

    “In a coastline as long and diverse as India’s, fish inhabit the heart of many worlds — food of course, but also culture, commerce, sport, history and society. Journeying along the edge of the peninsula, Samanth Subramanian reports upon a kaleidoscope of extraordinary stories.

    In nine essays, Following Fish conducts rich journalistic investigations: among others, of the famed fish treatment for asthmatics in Hyderabad; of the preparation and the process of eating West Bengal’s prized hilsa; of the ancient art of building fishing boats in Gujarat; of the fiery cuisine and the singular spirit of Kerala’s toddy shops; of the food and the lives of Mumbai’s first peoples; of the history of an old Catholic fishing community in Tamil Nadu; of the hunt for the world’s fastest fish near Goa.

    Throughout his travels, Subramanian observes the cosmopolitanism and diverse influences absorbed by India’s coastal societies, the withdrawing of traditional fishermen from their craft, the corresponding growth of fishing as pure and voluminous commerce, and the degradation of waters and beaches from over-fishing.

    Pulsating with pleasure, adventure and discovery, and tempered by nostalgia and loss, Following Fish speaks as eloquently to the armchair traveler as to lovers of the sea and its lore.”

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  • Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik 2

    “‘I was born in India. Your grandparents were born in what is now Pakistan. But they live in India and I in Pakistan. Strange, isn’t it?’
    Beyond the Border, based on two journeys to Pakistan, is a strikingly unconventional account of what life is like for ‘ordinary’ Pakistanis. Yoginder Sikand discovers a country that only remotely resembles
    the stereotype of the hostile Muslim neighbour all too common in the Indian imagination. From Shiela, the daughter of a feudal landlord, named after her mother’s Indian best friend, to the owner of a rundown local eatery who refused to take any money as Sikand was the first Indian to visit his stall, the author’s encounters with Pakistanis from all walks of life in Lahore, Multan, Hyderabad (Sind), Moenjo Daro, Bhit Bhah, Islamabad—among other places—reveal a country that is unexpected, paradoxical and rich in diverse narratives.
    Departing from the fi ercely polemical rhetoric common in Indian and Pakistani accounts of each other, Yoginder Sikand not only goes beyond the strategist’s view of the India–Pakistan divide, but dispels the myths about Pakistan as the terrible ‘other’ that have fi ltered into the Indian psyche.
    This brilliantly perceptive and quirky travelogue illuminates the Pakistani side of the story while telling Sikand’s own tale of exploration and self-discovery.”

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