Vakils, Feffer & Simons, the publishing house based in Mumbai is well known for their sumptuous titles. A new book that is out- and which was reviewed in the Times today, is Krishna: A Joyous Celebration of the Divine.
Chandrika, the author, is a traveller on the spiritual path. She has variously been a teacher, an educator and an editor. She has recently translated Atma Siddhi, Adi Sankara's Bhaja Govindam, and Krishna, a Joyous Celebration of the Divine, is her third book.
Krishna is the Blue God, infinite as space, deep as the oceans. Criptures call him the Poorna Avatara, the complete manifestation of Godhead. But he is also the adorable imp of Vrindavan, the playmate of the gopas (cowherds), Radha's beloved, Draupadi's sakha (friend), the saviour of the Pandavas, the protector of righteousness. He is God. He is man. He is Krishna. The book weaves and melds stories and myths, legends and folklore, with devotion and passion, from sources like the Bhagavata Purana, the Harivamsa and the Mahabharata to piece together, in one whole, the awe-inspiring picture of Vishnu's avatara (manifestation) as the alluring One, Krishna.
The book is a celebration of Krishna, in many ways. It pays tribute to the long, varied and unbroken tradition of Krishna paintings, from the exquisite miniatures of north India to the extravagant Tanjore paintings of the south, enlivening each page with their spiritual euphoria. The book does more. It brings a selection from the rich cornucopia of bhakti (devotional) poetry - verses of singers and saints, poets and philosophers, who have called out, in love and longing, to the incomparable Blue God. Together they make Krishna, a complete sensuous experience.
Written in lucid and lyrical language, one idea emerges through the book with clarity - Krishna is relevant, more relevant today, than even when he first walked the earth as man.
In our Religion and Culture sections, in hardcover, 388 pages, Rs 1500. ISBN: 9788184620382