Aryaa: An Anthology of Vedic Women | Shivakumar GV | Book Review

Aryaa An Anthology of Vedic Women by Shivakumar GV
SUBJECT: 4.5/5
WRITINGS: 4.5/5
RELEVANCE: 5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

The exploration of mythology, or Itihaasa as it is more authentically and preferentially called, can often be a daunting task. One must scour through countless books and resources to find those rare gems that present these ancient tales in their unadulterated form, preserving the narrative without discounting its essence. 

A true literary marvel is a book that allows readers to indulge in the simplicity of language, one that enables the reader to unravel the mysteries of Itihaasa while staying true to the texts themselves. For this reason, the search for authentic Itihaasa is a worthy endeavor, as it offers an opportunity to experience the richness of the past, while also learning valuable lessons for the present and the future.

What is the essence of the book?

Aryaa: An Anthology of Vedic Women is a masterpiece of literary creation, an exercise in its own right that seeks to shed light on the many facets of our civilization, through retellings of our beloved Epics. This book, carefully curated and crafted, is a tribute to the great women of our past, whose stories are brought to life through the masterful writings of ten talented authors. 

In these pages, we are treated to the valiant and virtuous tales of our Sheroes, each narrated with an unparalleled level of detail and sensitivity that captures their essence without adulteration. Indeed, Aryaa is a wonderful treat, a remarkable work of art that breathes new life into the glorious stories of our past.

Aryaa An Anthology of Vedic Women Curated by Shivakumar GV Book Review

The purpose it strives to achieve 

These stories transcend their mere purpose of imparting knowledge or providing entertainment. They are an inexhaustible source of inspiration, compelling readers to strive towards the ultimate goal of Saatatya.

The term Saatatya encapsulates the aspiration of achieving continuity with our civilization, preserving our heritage, and developing an all-encompassing comprehension of the past, present, and future.

By immersing oneself in these stories, one can embark on a journey towards understanding the intricate interplay between the bygone era and the present, thereby gaining insights into the trajectory that the future holds. The pursuit of Saatatya is a lifelong endeavour, but these stories act as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path towards achieving it.

The curator 

Shri Shivakumar GV is a luminary in the IT industry, with a profound expertise in Learning and Development. Beyond his corporate achievements, he is a devout student of Itihaasas and Puranas, with an unwavering sense of devotion towards the timeless wisdom of Bhartiya Sanskriti. As a consulting editor at IndicA Today, he shares his erudite insights on the profound subjects of Mahabharata, Puranas, and civilizational thought. Moreover, he is the driving force behind the curation of Kannada content, ensuring that the rich cultural heritage of this ancient language is preserved and presented in all its glory.

The Women of Aryaa: An Anthology of Vedic Women

The book features many well-known and also relatively lesser-known women from our ancient past. 

While some of their stories have been distorted beyond recognition, others have hitherto remained behind the screen, their stories often fading into oblivion, far away from the reach of common readers like you and me.

While on one hand, you will come across familiar names such as Shakuntala, Damayanti, Gargi, and Subhadra, on the other hand, you will become familiar with the stories of Ulupi, Shandilyaduhita, Madhavi, etc.

Aryaa An Anthology of Vedic Women Curated by Shivakumar GV Book Review

The different characters and the stories that stayed with me

Within this exceptional collection of stories, each one beautifully crafted and imbued with its own unique significance, there are certain tales that particularly captivate and resonate with the reader in me. These personal favorites may be attributed to the artistry of their narration, the novelty of their subject matter, or the indomitable spirit of their protagonists.

For instance, the story of Subhadra stands out for its stunning portrayal of a woman whose magnanimity and self-sacrifice are truly awe-inspiring. Through a fresh and innovative lens, the story presents a new perspective on the life of this remarkable woman, challenging the reader to imagine the depth of her strength and courage.

Similarly, the story of Madhavi invites the reader to delve deep into the fascinating interplay of social acceptability and dharmic norms, drawing the reader into a world of conflicting emotions and ideas. The conversations that take place between the narrator and the Yogini are particularly captivating, highlighting the power of storytelling to provoke thought and inspire reflection.

Satyavati’s tale is another standout, offering a powerful portrayal of a strong and often misunderstood character. The story brilliantly showcases the immense determination and courage of a single woman, who manages to keep together an entire kingdom. Its clever use of flashback lends an added layer of depth to the narrative, making it a tale that deserves to be celebrated and shared widely.

Maitreyi’s story is similarly thought-provoking, challenging readers to question their own belief systems and preconceived notions. Through her immense sacrifice, Maitreyi offers a powerful example of the transformative power of love and the strength of the human spirit.

Finally, the story of Shandilyaduhita is a rare gem, masterfully crafted in exceptional poetry. It’s artful narration and unique subject matter make it a story that stands out, a testament to the power of storytelling to illuminate the human experience in all its richness and complexity.

To sum it up

Through the deft efforts of 10 distinct writers, Aryaa: An Anthology of Vedic Women illuminates the lives of 10 remarkable women. Each author brings their unique perspective and expertise to the fore, adding to the richness and diversity of the tapestry of stories that the book presents. As a result, the work is a testament to the power of collaboration as well as a celebration of the many inspiring women who have left an indelible mark on the annals of history.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of the book using the link below.

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