Look Inside

Who is Who in Hindu Mythology: A Comprehensive Collection of Stories from the Puranas (Set of 2 Volumes)

FREE Delivery
Express Shipping
Express Shipping: Guaranteed Dispatch in 24 hours
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: BAF249
Publisher: Notion Press
Author: Surya N. Maruvada
Language: English
Edition: 2020
ISBN: Vol.-1-9781648056857
Pages: 606
Other Details 11.00 X 8.50 inch
Weight 1.40 kg
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
About The Book

It is hard enough for anyone other than a dedicated scholar to read all 18 cantos of the great epic Mahabharata let alone the Ramayana, Bhagavata and the many Purands as well. In view of this and particularly today's fast-paced life, this book presents the stories of characters from all the books of Hindu Mythology in a compact English version.

While reading a Telugu book titled 'Purva Gätha Lahan, the author was surprised to discover many fascinating stories and substories even in books with which he was quite familiar. He was so impressed that he decided to make the stories accessible to a wider audience of Indians as well as the Indian diaspora by writing an English version based on the Telugu book. A few examples of surprising details will illustrate the point:

Several great warriors on the Kaurava side in the Mahabharata war were known to be invincible to anyone in the Pandava forces. The means of making the greatest of them, Bhishma disarm himself was devised several lifetimes earlier in Brahma's court.

The wife of Sage Atri was able to turn the Trimurtis into infants, and another ordinary woman was able to stop the dawn of a new day due to the spiritual power from being Pativratas.

Even Vishnu was not immune from accountability for His actions, facing hardships in one incarnation from Sapas given to Him in a previous incarnation.

Whether one is inclined to read the whole book as a nonfiction narrative or use it as a reference to check particular stories, there is much here to savour,

About the Author

One of the primary benefits of being raised in a household with a grandfather who was not only a professor of English Literature but a Sanskrit scholar as well was that the walls were decked with great works of literature. Making good use of this benefit, Surya Maruvada had read and loved the major books from which the stories in this book were extracted including the Mahabharata, Bhagavata, Ramaya?a and Devi Bhagavata in poetic versions during his teen years.

After emigrating to the USA and raising his children there, he wished there was something he could do because his children and their contemporaries could not enjoy the same access to these classic literary works that he had. Retiring from an engineering career at age 74, he found himself with a lot of time on his hands. With encouragement from his family, Surya set out to translate into English a book in Telugu titled Purva Gatha Lahari, which had been a useful reference for him for decades. This book is the end product of his effort, aided and abetted by his children and two nephews.

Surya lives in Maryland, USA with his wife and daughter.


Sanatana Dharma (popularly known as the Hindu philosophy) has a rich repertoire of sacred texts which have been transmitted from generation to generation by oral tradition. The corpus comprises Srutis, Smrtis, Puránás and Itihasas. While the Srutis are the original fonts of revealed wisdom, the other three are highly interlinked or hyperlinked with allusions to concepts, definitions and events from others providing the context. Quite often, in order to understand the concepts and contexts of the events described in one or the other of them, it is necessary to follow the hyperlinks to other sources including the Srutis.

The rendition of the Vedas requires not only rigid conformity to the texts but specified musical intonation of the hymns. It is for this reason that they survive till date in their original form without any variation. On the other hand the Itihasas-literally recorded happenings-and celebrated in popular culture in prose and poetry, songs and ballads have been subjected to many improvisations and interpolations to suit various modes and literary forms. The improvisations and interpolations reflect the creative genius of their writers and the changing cultural mores of the epochs in which they were written. They also underscore the tolerance of freedom of expression that Sandtana Dharma accorded its practitioners. There are two original narratives of the Itihasa, Ramayana, the one written by Sage Valmiki and the Adhyatma Ramayana written by Sage Veda Visa. Additionally there are about three hundred versions of the great Itihasa written in many Indian languages, in each of which their composers may be said to have exercised poetic licence. The Itihasa, Mahabharata has been told and retold in many Indian languages. Similarly the commentaries and translations of the Puranas into Indian languages vary in their details. In the resultant melee the ordinary student is lost, being unable to understand whether a narrative is from the original source or an interpolation.

It is in this context the present Encyclopaedia assumes significance. The author Surya N. Maruvada used the Telugu translations of the Puranas as the basis to write it. His intimate knowledge of Samskrtam and the original texts stands him in good stead in nuancing the commentary. One hopes that the Encyclopaedia will be useful not only for the world-wide Indian diaspora to obtain gleanings from their spiritual heritage but other scholars desirous of understanding the rich spiritual and philosophical underpinnings of Sanatana Dharma Naravanadas.


The purpose of this book is to make available all the stories and personalities in the Hindu Puranas in a compact package to those with an interest but no access to the Puraçãs in the original Sanskrit or in Telugu translations. Also, even if one had access to the original books, there are so many that finding all the stories about, say, Lord Siva would require reading parts of almost a dozen Purapas. Video series on the Puranäs had become available in recent decades of such classics as the Ramaya?a, Mahi Bharata, Om Namah Sivaya etc. By the nature of television series, much material that was not in the original Puranas was added to increase the number of episodes and to create greater interest. Having read the major ones in Sanskrit or in translations by great Telugu pocts in my student days, I was aware of the inflation of the content. Sometimes though, it was not obvious whether a particular sub-story was original or a creative addition for TV. As it happened, I had a Telugu book titled "Purva Gatha Lahari" by Mr. Vemuri Srinivasa Rao (1952) which contained reasonably detailed stories about almost every character in the Purinas and stories about a specific place of pilgrimage or a temple, as well as a selection of Upanishads. I would look up a story in this book and tell my wife and children whether the story was in the original or was a TV writer's addition. My daughter, whom we brought to the US when she was about 2 years old, was very interested in the stories but never learned to read our mother tongue. She planted the idea in my head that an English book with the same content as Purva Gatha Lahari would be useful, not only for Indians growing up outside India but even many in India who for various reasons including lack of time, could not read these masterpieces in Sanskrit or their mother tongue.

Looking around in 2011, I found a monumental work of over 900 large size pages, appropriately titled "Puranic Encyclopedia" by Mr. Vettam Mani, primarily intended for use as a Reference work by scholars. After writing to the publisher of Purva Gatha Lahari and not receiving a response, I decided to write the present book, not as a word-for-word translation but as a rendering into contemporary idiomatic English. The Puranas, especially translations into other Indian languages, vary in the details. For this work, the stories as they appear in the Telugu versions are used.

Sanskrit and Telugu, similar to most other major Indian languages, are phonetic, meaning each character whether a single letter or a combination of letters, is a syllable. Also, there are many sounds in these two languages that are not available in English, I have listed in the Table of Alphabet Comparison below the 52 letters of the Telugu 'alphabet' and 48 letters in Sanskrit. There are a handful of letters in both languages that have not been in usage for some time that I chose not to include. During the last three or four centuries, scholars writing Sanskrit names in English have adopted 'Diacritical Marks' found under Latin Extended fonts (such as $ and n) to represent some sounds not used in English. In the present work, the Diacritical marks are used as shown in the Table.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at help@exoticindia.com
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through help@exoticindia.com.
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Book Categories