Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book Review: The Oath of the Vayuputras

The Oath of the Vayuputras
Common sense personified

I belong to the cult of Indians who think that every tradition, myth and culture in India holds within it's pith a profound philosophy of life. I never accept any tradition/practice at it's face value and always try to decipher the philosophical code within it. Amish Tripathi seems to have put the saga of a great God in terms of simplistic thinking and logical deductions. The story of Lord Shiva has unfolded in the most natural form of human occurrences. The last book of his trilogy 'The Oath of the Vayuputras' draws a culmination to Shiva's journey in destroying the evil.

The second book in the series, 'The secret of the Nags' ended with Shiva meeting his supposedly dead friend Bruhaspathi in the Naga capital of Panchavati. The third book takes off from the same scene and opens the readers to a frenzy of secrets, explorations, betrayals and wars. All the previous open ended questions find answers here and Lord Shiva will decide what is the evil that is scathing the human race in India. Those who stand by Shiva's proclamation are saved from his wrath and those who do not, face a brutal end by his hands. Shiva mobilizes the armies of Nagas, Brangas, Suryavanshis, Chandravanshis and Vasudevs to wage war against the evil. Will the Vayuputras aid Neelkanth in his holy mission? What is king Daksha's role in the war? Why wasn't the evil unearthed till the Neelkanth came? What is the oath of Vayuputras? - all these mysteries are revealed in the book. 

What is appealing about Amish's third book and the entire series is that the beliefs, traditions and rituals we follow in India are explained in the light of philosophy involved during their origin. The way of life among the characters of the book is nearly utopian and highly logical. The reader cannot help but agree with the simplicity of life. There is only dharma of a person that is the ultimate truth which is true in every sense in that it is what you think of your duties that dictates your actions. There are no superstitions but logic, no magic but scientific knowledge, no treachery but only warriors. The mythological characters which appear in the book are truly justified for their character and behavior. Amish has assumed Shiva to exist around 3000 B.C and hence has put in a dash of middle Asian history into the plot with effortless ease. There are Egyptians and worshipers of Ahura Mazda (early history of Zoroastrianism depicts this) central to the story of this book. The symbolism and science of the Indian mythological beliefs find a new dimension in Amish's simple narration. The war descriptions are especially Amish's forte of excellence. The fierce princess Sati and her son Kartik show the shadow of death to their enemies in every combat. 

The book seems a drag initially until the plot gains a substantial hold on the readers. The emphasis on Meluhan customs, mannerisms is completely lacking from this book. The playfullness of many characters such as Anandamayi, Bhadra hardly surface. The ending is a bit dull and somewhere Shiva becomes far too lenient in forgiving few of the conspirators. Apart from these minor detours from perfection, this third installment of the trilogy provides a successful finish to the Shiva trilogy.

My most favorite part of the book:
The engineering behind many complex instruments, warfare strategies, dams, bridges, construction.

I recommend this trilogy to every Indian for it gives a new perspective in looking at the ancient mythology.

1 comment:

  1. The secrets, mysteries and conspiracies were what made the first two books a real page-turner! Glad to know that the third book is promising.