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A Hindu Primer: Yaksha Prashna - Third Edition

 
9780978544355: A Hindu Primer: Yaksha Prashna - Third Edition
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Retelling of the Mahabharata episode of the Questions of the Yaksha in the Aranya Parva. Translation and transliteration into English from the original Sanskrit; includes Sanskrit script - 86 pages. Foreword by Peter M. Scharf. All riddles included in this enlarged edition. India epic literature. ISBN: 978-0-9785443-5-5

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Mahabharata, the  Indian epic,  has  received universal acclaim for its poetic finesse, wealth of wisdom, abundance of ethical  and moral values that transcend time in  their  relevance.  BhagavadGita,  forming part of this  epic, is not a mere religious discourse; 'not meant merely to give  peace  of mind...'  as Swami Ranganathananda said. The question/answer mode is often the means for  imparting knowledge, secular or spiritual, in scriptures/epics including the Gita.

Yaksha Prashna found in Mahabharata is a typical example.Yudhishtira demonstrates patience and  forbearance in answering numerous tough questions by his spiritual father disguised as a yaksha while his brothers dismissed the yaksha's warnings and  suffered. The questions posed to Yudhistira number over a hundred (listed  in  the Appendix) some of which sound like aphorisms. Therefore brevity of the questions as also the answers requires interpretation. A.V. Srinivasan has explained in detail.  Apart from rendering the Sanskrit text,transliteration and translation, the commentary by  the  author will help  readers to follow the dialogue.

The queries seek responses on spiritual, ethical, moral values, etc.from Yudhistira.  Oneof them  is the oft quoted wisdom of the king  that people fail to realize the certainty of their  eath even when they are  exposed to this inevitability.

'What  is  the  right   time  for  a shraaddha?'  The answer: 'A learned brahmin's time'.  Rather  than the day (tithi), the availability of a qualified purohit is decisive! Dharma is a complex concept that  the author elaborates in one of thequestions (page 57).
Again, the meaning of 'egoism' as 'Total ignorance' is a riddle (page  60). Atheist, says Yudhistira, 'is said to be a fool'. Swamiji,  it may be recalled, defined it as one who does not believe in himself.  And  so perhaps, a fool! A thought provoking answer of Yudhistira is that one's mother is 'weightier than the earth'--a  truth to be remembered by all.
Even in choosing boons offered  by the Lord of Dharma disguised as yaksha, Yudhistira reveals his fairness uninfluenced by emotions or attachments. The 'Epilogue'  in the book gives details of the post question/answer session.

Having lived abroad Srinivasan observes that the next  generation should be exposed to ancient Indian wisdom. This small book should help in this endeavor.

P.S. Sundaram for Vedanta Kesari, Chennai, Vol. 84, February 2016

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Srinivasan, A.V.
Published by Periplus Line LLC, E. Glastonbury CT (2014)
ISBN 10: 0978544358 ISBN 13: 9780978544355
New Soft cover Quantity: > 20
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PERIPLUS LINE LLC
(Glastonbury, CT, U.S.A.)

Book Description Soft cover. Condition: New. 3rd Edition. E. Glastonbury CT, Periplus Line LLC/Parijata Publication, 2014 - Third Edition, revised, enlarged, of 1968 publication subtitled A Hindu Primer - NEW paperback (no hardcover issued); 8.5 inches tall; b/w ills. Translation and transliteration into English from the original Sanskrit; includes Sanskrit text. 86 pages. Foreword by Peter M. Scharf. All riddles included in this enlarged edition. Retelling of the Mahabharata episode of the Questions of the Yaksha in the Aranya Parva. Printed and ships from the U.S. Enquire about quantities. Availability: in stock in the U.S. Seller Inventory # YP040117

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