Book Review : Rise of the Sun Prince

20320779It’s not easy to tell a story, an epic one, to readers. Because you already are aware of the fact that the plot is somewhat known to your readers and that maintaining all the authenticity you have to serve it in a quaint manner, makes the task all the more cumbersome for the author. Shubha Vilas has retold the story of one of the revered literary masterpieces of India, the epic, Ramayana, for modern readers with great finesse.

 Rise of the Sun Prince  by Vilas is primarily based on Rishi Valmiki’s Ramayana  ,though the author also has gathered his inspiration from the Tamil Ramavataram or Kamba Ramayana. This book is the very first of  the series of six books, Ramayana : The Game Of Life, which the author is intended to write to encompass the whole of the Ramayana. To my opinion this is a wise decision on his part for it’s not possible to frame the whole of the epic in one or two books and that would only put volume to the book and pressure to the readers. ( original Ramayana has seven ‘kandas’ or parts ). The first part, known as the Bala Kanda is the basis of the narration of the Rise Of the Sun prince.

Epics like The Ramayana and The Mahabharata, are not only books. They are deep philosophy and wisdom cocooned in the narration of royal dynasties. So it becomes the crux when Vilas describes this book as ” a way of life “. The story covers the birth of Lord Rama to his marriage. But it has not only focussed on the childhood and puberty of Rama, it portrays several mythological characters, of sages, demigods, demons and gandharbas who have, in some way or another, touched his life.

The striking feature of the book which appealed me most is that by ” Bala Kanda “ most of the versions of Ramayana refers to the childhood of Lord Rama and his brothers. Vilas has thrown a different light on it. He has made Rishi ( sage) Vishwamitra the hero of this book. Why him ?

The answer lies in Vishwamitra’s journey of devotion or bhakti toward Lord Rama – from childhood and naivete to adulthood and maturity. “

Vishwamitra, though a great sage, was still to comprehend the true meaning of devotion. It’s through his close association with Lord Rama, who he knew to be one of the incarnations of Vishnu, he attained that maturity to understand the true process of bhakti.

It thus becomes Vishwamitra’s story too, as Rishi Satananda narrates Vishwamitra’s life to Rama and Laxmana during their stay in Mithila. Vilas also has strung several pearls to the garland by adding popular mythological stories, folk-lore and anecdotes. The story of Ahalya and her seduction by  Indra, story of Maharshi Bhrigu and his wife, Khyati to that of the ancestral trails of Ravana and his siblings, all have been described in a simple and precise manner.

The foot-notes given by the author on almost all pages provide a great insight on each and every action of the characters. The book is thus, not a penetrating and meditative study of The Ramayana, it’s the epic re-told in a candid way with some occasional introspection, tailor-made for modern readers.

I like the multi-coloured, gorgeous cover of the book depicting the scene where Rama and his brother Lakshmana are fighting against the demons to save the sacrificial rituals of Rishi Vishwamitra and his disciples.

The only thing which left me unsatisfied is that there are certain incidents which simply have been described as celestial happenings or heavenly phenomena. A logical and modern mind demands some explanations for those happenings. And as myriad of symbolism have been used in the original epic, it would have really been appreciable on the part of the readers.

As a passionate reader of our great epics, I enjoyed the book and recommend it for all; though I think only readers who are interested in this genre of writing, will be able to appreciate it most.

From my side it’s 3.5/5

About The Author

7705105A spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker.
Academics: 1] B.E in Electronics and Telecommunications
2] L.L.B Specializing in Intellectual Property Law : Patent Law.

Leadership Seminars: Focus on relevant and vital themes: ‘Secrets of Lasting Relationships’, ‘Soul Curry to Stop Worry’ and ‘Work–Life Balance’
Believes: A good teacher sees learning and teaching as integral twin aspects of personal and spiritual growth.
Social interaction:
A} Youth: Periodically interact with them in premier institutes like IISC, Bangalore, BITS Pilani, Goa, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Sydnem College. he aims to inspire them to live a life based on deeper human values.
B} Children: Guide towards teaching foundational values through masterful storytelling.
C} Individuals: Practical applications of the Bhagavad Gita; the Ramayana and Vedas in today’s world.
D} Business leaders: as their lifestyle coach, conducting regular classes on Spirituality and Management to help them live a wholesome life.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!


By ManiparnaSenguptaMajumder

31 responses to “Book Review : Rise of the Sun Prince

  1. Many thanks for a brilliant Review, Mani.🙂 I am glad you enjoyed the book and it sounds pretty interesting to me as well. Guess, I will put this in my bucket list of books as well which has become really heavy, by the way.😀

  2. How many book reviews a week you are writing ? Give me some tips.😉🙂 I think I’m seeing one every 2nd day on IB home page.😛 The book looks better to me after your review. Nice work.🙂😀

    • Hehe Gaurab , I usually finish two books per week…😀 … even more if there is a holiday … three more this month coming up…😛

      Thanks for commenting…nice to know that you find the book appealing enough…🙂

  3. You are a pro at writing book reviews Mani. And this one is so complete to get to a decision to read or avoid. Rightly said epics like Ramayana, where readers feel they already know it all its a difficult task to draw them back at Reading but as per your review there are episodes that make it a new version and a must read. I liked the cover too, attractive. All in all a super review and a nice post.

  4. seeing our epics and other ancient literary works getting published with a modern outlook and that too with simple language (be it in Hindi or in English)… it gives immense pleasure .. you have given an insight about the book and still maintained the suspense .. well written piece.. the intro of author is quite impressive and so is the title of book.

  5. That’s a very insightful review Maniparna. As fascinated I am by the Ramayana, your review has further drawn me to the book. If the book is about ‘Bal Kand’ and the different perspective, from that of Vishwamitra, it would surely make it an enlightening read. Thank You for the review. Good to know that you like reading epics.

  6. Not really my genre, but I might be interested in this too😀 And I like to think of incidents as celestial happenings quite often😉
    I love that cover, btw🙂

  7. Great review Mnaiparna… it looks like a good book. I am also a buff of history-meets-mythology-meets-rational explanation-books. And though you have written ‘certain incidents being termed as celestial happenings ‘ guess i would love to read it…

    Your mention of the baal kanda as its foundation, re-called to my mind the movie – ‘From Gandhi to Mahatma’ ,story about Gandhi ji’s life but only up to the moment he took the first step towards ‘mahatamya’ or greatness.

    Am intrigued by you mentioning it as f Vishwamitra’s story and would love to read ‘his ‘point of view which is otherwise scarse … Truly enjoyed your review🙂

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