Snake and Ladder (A Few Drops From the Nectar of Bhagavad Gita)

Item Code: NAE903
Author: Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari
Publisher: Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan Trust
Language: English
Edition: 1994
Pages: 144
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.0 inch X 5.0 inch
Weight 100 gm
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Book Description
About The Author

The author of the book, Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari, the President of Vivekananda Kendra, hails from a renowned family in Trichur, Kerala. Her father, the Late Shri Puthezhath Rama Menon, was a much respected High Court Judge, a versatile writer, orator and a leader of various Hindu movements in Kerala.

A Post- Graduate and a Doctrine in Botany, Dr. Lakshmi Kumari served as Professor of Botany in Sri padmavathi Women’s College, Tirupathi. Later, she specialised in microbiology at the Ukranian Academy of Sciences, KIEV, USSR, before joining as Agricultural Microbiologist at the IARI, New Delhi.

Devoted from childhood to swami Vivekananda and nurturing an innate urge for a totally service- oriented life, in 1975 she came close to Vivekananda Kendra and became actively associated with its Branch at New Delhi, as its Vice- Chairman. Later, under the persuasion of the Late Maananeeya Eknathji Ranade, she took over first as the Kendra’s Joint General Secretary and then as its Working President. Subsequently, after the passing away of Shri Eknathji, she was unanimously elected in 1984 as the president of the organization.

Dr. Lakshmi Kumari effectively employs her twin art of writing and public speaking for spreading the man-making and nation-building message of Swami Vivekananda. She wields a facile pen for bringing out very impressively the loftiest ideas contained in the life and Works of Swami Vivekananda. Her Editorials in the Kendra’s monthly, ’Yuva Bharati’, have won her much appreciation from the readers.

Dr. Lakshmiji is widely travelled. She visited South Africa and Mauritius in 1986. In 1992, she spearheaded the Vivekananda Bharat Parikrama, marking the centenary of Swami Vivekananda’s wanderings in India as a Parivrajaka and was a part of the Vivekananda Bharat Parikrama for all the 347 days. In 1993, she represented Vivekananda Kendra at the three major Parliaments of World Religions at Washington, Chicago and Calcutta.

The present book - Snake and Ladder – is a compilation of Dr. Lakshmi Kumari’s Editorials published in ‘Yuva Bharati’ during 1985-87. Practical wisdom takes the better of philosophical abstractions in this book which has the Bhagavad Gita as the main source of inspiration. The book fulfills a long cherished desire of many a reader of our publications.



Though reading the Bhagavad Gita had become a part of my life from early childhood, the beauty and glory of this ‘Song Celestial’ began to unfold itself only when I started attending the Gita Gnana Yagna of late His Holiness Swami Chinmayanandaji. The visions he brought before us were truly unlimited in their grandeur. The best part of it, however, was the internalisation of the actual drama of the Bhagavad Gita, as the never ceasing internal conflict between the positive and negative forces within the human mind .Because of this, the Gita’s message remains ever-fresh, ever-pertinent, ever-personal, and at the same time, eternal and universal.

The present compilation carrying the curious title of “Snake and Ladder”, is a collection of my random meditations on the first, second and third chapters of the Bhagavad Gita. ‘Snake and Ladder’ is one of the commonest games played by our children, specially in India. Isn’t our whole life comparable to this simple game? On the one side evil temptations as snake are ever ready to devour us, and on the other, there are any number of ladders of opportunity to escape from these snakes and climb to success, fulfilment and freedom. It is up to us to develop our inner strength so that we can run away from these snakes and climb on to the ladders.

This is not a scholarly treatise or commentary on the Immortal Poem, but just a beckoning gesture to our youth to peep through a small window on the vast panorama of beauty the Bhagavad Gita offers.

Sri Krishna as Parthasarathi was one of the swami Vivekananda’s favourite ideals. I hope and pray that our youth would be inspired by the ideal of Parthasarathi through this little book and learn the lesson how to avoid the pitfalls in their lives and move along the ladder of opportunities to greater freedom, happiness and fulfillment.

I thank the Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan Trust for compiling these articles in a book form.




1 Mother,Upon Thee I Meditate 1
2 The Battlefield 8
3 As It Happened 12
4 Sorrow and Delusion 17
5 The 'One' Before the Zero 25
6 E = mc 32
7 Unto Realms Unknown 37
8 Svadharma 44
9 Svakarma 52
10 Svabhava 58
11 Pairs of Opposites 63
12 Work As Worship 68
13 The Secret of Work 72
14 Karma and Its Aroma 77
15 Magna Carta of Freewill Or the Law of Karma 83
16 The Need for a Swiss Account 89
17 Work Vs Character Efficiency 95
18 Freedom In Action 101
19 Whom to Imitate ? 107
20 A Lesson from the Tortoise 111
21 Snake and Ladder 116
22 Asantasya Kutah Sukham ? 122
23 At-One-Ment 128

Sample Pages

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