Amish Tripati's Shiva Trilogy

Shiva Trilogy of Amish Tripathi has emerged as India's number one best seller. It is a collection of three novels with a continuing story-line centered around the heroism of Lord Shiva. The first novel is titled 'The Immortals of Meluha'. The second book is titled, 'The Secret of the Nagas' and the last and final book is titled, 'The Oath of the Vayuputras'.

Introductory Note

At the outset, I have to say that Amish has created three excellent books. It is hard to put down these books once you start reading them! I have found myself reading Amish's book in the midst of the crowd in Mumbai local trains and in the midst of traffic blocks! He has maintained the thread of suspense till the end and engaged the reader to unravel one secret after the other. I also consider that these books serve as an attractive gateway for the latest smart-phone wielding generation of India into their rich ancient tradition, which they have almost forgotten in their busy lives.

In critically reviewing and analyzing Amish's books, I will focus mainly on ancient geography, culture, traditions and a few other aspects.

Conformance with Ancient Indian Geography

Location of Panchavati

Amish has done a good research about the locations of ancient kingdoms and tribes. He mentions about Kailasa mountain and Manasa lake which even today is identifiable as the Kailas range and the Manasarovar lake in Tibet. He describes Ayodhya on the banks of Sarayu where it is traditionally located. The location of Panchavati, however needs a rethink. There is a strong tradition of locating Panchavati in Nashik. I myself have used this location in some of the ancient maps I have produced. But based on better evidence and strictly following the narration in Ramayana, Panchavati is best identified as Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh. There is an equally strong tradition in Bhadrachalam which identify Panchavati with that place. There is a Raama temple there bigger than the Raama temple in Nashik. Bhadrachalam too lies on the banks of Godavari. Even if we discount tradition, we cannot discount the directions of Raama's journey mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana which indicates that Raama traversed in a "direct southerly route" without turning westward after leaving Chitrakuta. From Panchavati Raama had to travel "south-westward" to reach Kishkindha (Hampi) in Karnataka, after killing a Rakshasa named Kabandha as per the narration in Ramayana. If Pachavati were located in Nashik Raama would need to travel "south eastward" to reach Kishkindha.

The densest portion of Dandakaranya lied in modern day southern Chattisgad to the north of Bhadrachalam. The southern district of Chattisgad, viz. Dantewada is the remnant of the name Dandakaranya. Besides, Panchavati at Bhadrachalam is navigable from Bay of Bengal through Godavari in ships, while no ship can navigate from Bay of Bengal through Godavari up to a Panchavati in Nashik! Ravana from Lanka reached Panchavati to abduct Sita and easily returned to Lanka after abducting her. One explanation for this is that Ravana came to Panchavati in a fast moving ship (described in Ramayana as Pushpaka Vimana, through poetic imagination) which navigated through Bay of Bengal from Lanka to Godavari and then traveled along Godavari to reach Panchavati at Bhadrachalam. Ravana's empire essentially lied on the eastern coast of India up to the confluence of Godavari with its stronghold in the island of Lanka. Ravana's governors Khara and Duhsana ruled the territories that lied along the confluence of Godavari in a city called Jana-sthana (literally meaning a populated locality, probably in contrast to the sparingly populated Dandaka forest) to the east of Panchavati. Neither Ravana nor some of the characters mentioned in Amish's second book can navigate their ships from the mouth of Godavari to Panchavati at Nashik through Godavari while this is feasible if Panchavati is located at Bhadrachalam.

Raama's journey as described in Valmiki Ramayana does not mention Vidarbha (Eastern Maharashtra) and its capital Kundina (Gondia) a kingdom Raama must cross if he has to reach Panchavati at Nashik from Chitrakuta (Chitrakut) in southern Uttarpradesh after halting at the hermitage of Sharabhanga (in Jabalpur). Another route to reach Nashik is the rugged route which require passing through Mahishmati (Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh), the capital of Haihaya kingdom, then the crossing of highest peaks of Vindhya and then the crossing of Narmada river. The Valmiki narration does not mention any of these places. Thus it is clear that Raama went to Dantewada and then to Panchavati of Bhadrachalam after his stay in Chitrakuta and Sharabhanga hermitage (Jabalpur) in a "straight southerly route" without turning westward. It is also known that northern Chittisgad was then part of Dakshina Kosala, the ancestral kingdom of Raama's mother Kausalya. Thus Rama never left familiar territory until he entered Dandakaranya.


The forest of Dandaka was the biggest forest in ancient India. It stretched from Vindhya ranges in central Indian to the banks of river Krishnavenna (now known as river Krishna) and Tunghabhadra in the south. Surparaka (southern Gujarat) probably formed its western boundary. Mahendra Mountains in Orissa formed its eastern boundary. The rivers Godavari, and Krishnavenna run through this forest. the river or lake Payoshni is mentioned at the northern entrance of this forest. In epic Ramayana no kingdom except the Dandaka kingdom and Kishkindha Kingdom is mentioned as lying within this forest. During epic Mahabharata many regions that was formerly Dandaka forest were found to be habitable kingdoms.

Though this forest stretched thus, its densest parts were in modern day Chattisgad state in what is now Bastar and Dantewada districts. Amish's portrayal of Dandakaranya as equally dense from Mahendra mountain in the east to the western Maharashtra in the west may be not correct.


Amish extensively use the name "Meluha" to describe the materially advanced western India that lied along the banks of Sarasvati and Sindhu. He identifies it with the Indus Sarasvati civilization. While I agree with this identification, I find it difficult to accept the name Meluha applied to this region. This name is coined only in modern times by Indologists. However Amish indiscriminately use both modern and ancient terminologies to give names to the places mentioned in his book such as the name 'India' (modern term) for the whole of Bharata-varsha while use ancient names such as Mrittikavati (name of the capital of the Salva kingdom that lied on the banks of Sarasvati) for a 'Meluhan' city. India, Meluha etc are modern terms while Mrttikavati is an ancient name.

Meluha is a corruption of the Sanskrit term 'Mlechcha'. This term is used to denote people who failed to follow Vedic civilization in its proper form usually due to constant contact with foreign culture. Such people existed in the mouth of Sindhu and Ganga rivers where existed port-cities which were in constant contact with foreign traders from Mesopotamia and Egypt (and probably Greece). Mahabharata thus mentions about Mlechhas living both in the east (in and around the mouth of Ganga) and in the west (in and around the mouths of Sindhu). The term Mlechcha and its derivative Meluha, thus cannot be applied to the whole of Sindhu Sarasvati Civilization area which was spread from the Arabian Sea shore in the south to the Himalayas in the north along the Sindhu and Sarasvati river systems. This term Mlechcha can only be applied to a localized area in near the sea-shore (approximately the area containing modern day Karachi), which contains the sea-ports of Sindhu Sarasvati culture. Western Mlechcha regions in the mouth of Sindhu lied adjacent to or as part of the Sindhu-Sauvira kingdoms.

The empire that Amish mentions as Meluha in his books roughly is equivalent to the following kingdoms:- Sinhdu, Sauvira, Shivi, Sudra, Abhira, Matsya, Salva, Madra, Kekaya, Gandhara, Bahlika and Kashmira. He could have used these names in his novels to bring in more accuracy. Probably he used the name Meluha to make use of its popularity amongst the Indologists who are generally allergic to using these Sanskrit names in their academic literature. These kingdoms are described in Ramayana as well. So if Amish has excluded these names thinking that these are post-Raama developments which are found in Mahabharata then it is not correct.

Amish also mentions that Meluha was founded by Raama. It was not Raama but the sons of Raama's brother Bharata (Taksha and Pushkala) who fought with Gandhara to the west of Bharata's maternal kingdom Kekaya and established two cities viz. Takshasila (Taxila) and Puskhalavati (Charsadda) there. This is mentioned in Uttarakanda of Raamayana. Other than this I find no connection of Raama with Indus-Sarasvati region (Meluha).

Most of the Meluhan cities, as found in the Indus valley excavations, are post-Kurukshetra War and subsequent to the submergence of Dvaraka of Krishna. It is Krishna who have more connection with Indus-Sarasvati cities rather than Raama. Krishna's Dvaraka is one of the many Indus-Sarasvati / Meluhan cities. Mohan-jo-Daro is named after Mohan, who is none other than Krishna. The research of many analysts including mine lead to the conclusion that the Vishvakarmas (universal engineers) who created Krishna's Dvaraka city and the architects who built the buildings of Indus Sarasvati cities (described in Amish's book as the Meluhan cities) were all same people. The submergence of Dvaraka lead an exodus of architects from Dvaraka to spread into Indus Sarasvati regions. These architects created the well planned Indus Sarasvati cities which stood the test of time so that they were found in good condition even after they are excavated during modern times.

The description of the port city of Dvaraka in Mahabharata as a well planned city with drainage systems created by drawing drainage-canals from the nearby Gomati river, fortifications, identification signs and seals, buildings arranged in rectangular blocks, well paved roads etc matches well with the excavated Indus-Sarasvati / Meluhan cities.


Amish uses the term Swadeep, (the island of the individuals who give importance to individual freedom instead of conformance to some uniform standards) to describe the Indo-Gangatic plain which is not part of his Meluha and which lied to the east of Meluha. This territory, as per his books, spanned what is now Haryana upto Bangal along Ganga and Sarayu rivers. While it is perfectly fine to use such a terminology for his story, the readers should take note that such a region or empire historically did not exist.

Conformance with pre-historic times and events

1900 BCE

Amish locates his story of Shiva, an emigrant from the Manasarovar lake in Tibet, at 1900 BCE. This is mentioned in the first sentence in the first chapter of his first book. He has carefully avoided using any other time-stamps in his three novels because he is not very sure of the chosen time period.

The anchor point of Indian prehistory is the date of Kurukshetra War and the start of Kali Yuga. Ignoring the distortions brought fourth by flawed Aryan Invasion Theory and the propaganda of some vested interest groups among the Indologists and Christian evangelists (who due to various reasons want to prove that Mahabharata War occurred in 1450 BCE, 900 BCE, 500 BCE or even in 100 CE after the emergence of Christianity!) the start of Kali Yuga is traditionally dated at 3102 BCE and the Kurukshetra war at 3138 BCE. The simulations of ancient skies using planetarium software, corroborating it with the narration of planetary positions mentioned in Mahabharata it is found that the date of Kurukshetra War is 3067 BCE, only 71 years later than the traditional date. In other words, the scientific date arrived at using modern archaeo-astronomical analysis and the traditional date passed on through the works of great mathematicians like Aryabhata is only 71 years. This 71 years of difference is a reasonable error considering the fact that we are talking about an event that occurred 5000 years ago. It is also interesting to note that this error of 71 years is also close to the time it take for the axis of Earth to rotate 1 degree due to the axial-precession. Full revolution, 360 degree, is completed in 25772 years.

Using the same archeo-astronomical analysis combining the simulation of ancient sky and the narration of planetary positions during the birth of Raama in Raamayana, it is concluded that Raama was born in 5114 BCE. Thus Raama lived approximately 2000 years before Krishna. This 2000 years is also the duration of Dvapara Yuga. This corroborate well with the information in the epics and Puranas that Rama lived towards the end of Treta Yuga and Krishna lived towards the end of Dvapara Yuga. This also goes well with the information in Mahabharata provided by Sanjaya, the minister of Dhritarashtra, which indicates that Kali Yuga is 1000 years long, Dvapara 2000 years, Treta 3000 years and Rta Yuga (Satya Yuga) 4000 years long.

Thus, Amish's choice of 1900 BCE for Shiva make him more than 1000 years later than Krishna and more than 3000 years later than Raama. This also conflict with Amish's third book which mentions Mahabharata events as later to his hero Shiva and Shiva's son Ganesh.

Bhagavat Gita, before Krishna

Amish make his characters quote Bhagavat Gita even though he had set the time period of his story as before Kurukshetra War of Mahabharata and after the reign of Rama of Ramayana. It is plainly known to everybody that Bhagavat Gita is attributed to Krishna who spoke those wonderful words to Arjuna at the start of Kurukshetra War. There are many scholars who propose that that Bhagavat Gita got expanded with more verses post-Kurukshetra War during the period of emergence of Upanishads and other Vedantic literature. Most of the scholars consider Bhagavat Gita as the beginning of Upanishads and as the foremost of Upanishads. Some consider it as the summary of Upanishads and hence a post-Upanishadic literature. But no scholar would dare to say that Bhagavat Gita is a literature that existed before Krishna!

In any case Bhagavat Gita is Vedanta (the end of Vedas). It cannot pre-date the Vedas and we know that Vedas were compiled into its current form by Vyasa who lived during the Kurukshetra War period. Thus Amish's characters (in his third book) cannot be portrayed as quoting Bhagavat Gita if he thinks his story happened before the life time of Krishna and Vyasa.

Other Issues

Har Har Mahadev

Amish gives the explanation that the expression:- "Har Har Mahadev" means, "each and everybody is a Mahadev". This is not supported by Sanskrit etymology. 'Hara' is an epithet of Shiva, like 'Hari' is an epithet for Vishnu. The expression "Hara Hara Mahadev", when rendered in Hindi becomes shortened as "Har Har Mahadev". The Sanskrit term "Hara" can be vaguely translated when used as a noun as 'the one who steals, consumes or attracts'. Shiva is the one who attracts or steals or consumes the whole cosmos into himself at the time of the universal dissolution.

Ayushman Bhava

There is one instance where Shiva's wife Sati is blessed 'Ayushman Bhava' The correct expression would be 'Ayushmati Bhava' since Sati is a female.

Branga river

Amish mentions that the name 'Branga' applied to the confluence of Brahmaputra and Ganga river was the result of the combination of 'Bra' from Brahmaputra and 'nga' from the Ganga and that the name Branga corrupted into Banga! I have not found any support for this etymology. The ancient name of Brahmaputra mentioned in Mahabharata and most of the Puranas is Lauhitya. The name Brahmaputra is a much recent name.

The correct name of the river and regions seems to be Vanga, which the Bangali pronunciation change to Banga, by changing, 'B:' to 'V:' This transformation is evident in other names such as Vrihaspati (Brihaspati), Vaishakhi (Baishakhi), Vishnu (Bishnu), Vasu (Basu) and so on.


Amish portrays in his novels a tradition of spiritual heads who are called "Vasudevs" spanning many generations, probably even before the time of Raama. The actual usage of the name Vasudev, is found in Mahabharata as the name of the father of Krishna. It is plausible to think of many Vasudevs emerging after the life of Krishna due to the immense popularity of Krishna Vaasudev. But there is no reason for such a tradition to exist before Krishna and his father (Who was a Yadava by the name of Vasudev), nor are there any support from Sanskrit and Pali literature to suggest any such tradition existed before Krishna.

There however existed an ascetic tradition among the Yadavas, whose seat of power was Ujjayani. Sage Kapila who was a Yadava and who was Krishna's philosophical source from whom Krishna inherited the Samkhya philosophy which he explained in the second chapter of Bhagavat Gita was such an ascetic. Krishna's own Guru, Saandepani who lived in Ujjayani and taught Krishna all these philosophies too was such an ascetic. However they must be rightly called Yadava-ascetics rather than calling them Vasudevs.

Vayuputras and Zoroastrians

Amish portrays Zoroastrians who migrated from western banks of Sarasvati and Sindhu to Iran as Vayuputras (sons of Vayu, the wind-god). He is probably referring to the Maruts (who can be roughly considered to be Vayuputras, since Marut, like Vayu, means storm or wind.) described in the Vedas and confusing them with the Zoroastrians. The Maruts were associated with Rudra their leader. Some scholars say that the seven Maruts (Sapta-Maruts) are included in the list of eleven Rudras, while others consider the seven Maruts as different from the eleven Rudras.

The tribes of Devas were as considered as composed of distinct tribes such as the Vasus, Rudras, Maruts, Adityas and Ashvins. The 12 Adityas, 8 Vasus, 11 Rudras and the 2 Ashvins together form the 33 Devas described in the Veda-Puranas, if we count the 7 Maruts as being part of the 11 Rudras. Another counting goes like this:- 7 Adityas, 8 Vasus, 11 Rudras and 7 Maruts forming the 33 Devas. Among the 7 Adityas counted thus are included Varuna, Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Ansa, Dhatri and Indra. The 8th one Martanda (the one who emerges from a dead-egg) was rejected by their mother Aditi. The number of Adityas expanded in later texts to 8 (Yajur Veda) by including Martanda (same as Vivasvan, the father of Manu) and to 12 (in Brahmanas, Puranas and Vedantic texts). While Adityas were born of Aditi, the Maruts were born of Diti, the sister of Aditi and were the most ancient Daityas (considered as one among the Asura tribes along with the Danavas, or the sons of Danu).

The Adityas can be equated to what Indologists of today calls Indo-Aryan; similarly the Daityas can be equated to Indo-Iranaians and the Danavas to the Indo-Europeans, assuming a migration from Western India outwards into Iran and then into Europe, not the other way around. The Vasus and Rudras probably belongs to an ancestral group that gave rise to these three divergent groups. The Vasus are attested in eastern India.

Varuna, Mitra and Aryaman were claimed by both the Adityas and Daityas as belonging to their group. Thus Amish's identification of Mitra as the main leader of Vayuputras or Maruts is ambiguous. However the Maruts though being Daityas later allied with Indra and defended Amrita, the secret of the power of the Devas. Amish's portrayal of the Vayuputras as the protectors of Amrita (Somras) goes will with this information.

The religion of Zaratushtra (with his camel - Ushtra) evolved much later long after the Daityas migrated to Iran. Thus his usage of Zoroastrian symbols like Fravashi, terms like Amesha Spend and the location of the Vayuputras in Iran etc does not match well. Most scholars consider Zoroastrian texts to be post Rig Vedic or contemporary to the latest books of Rig Veda. This make them contemporary or later to the Kurukshetra War, and certainly long after the death of Raama. Since Amish places his story between Raama's life and Kurukshetra War, the Daityas would still be close to the western boarders of the Sindhu delta in western Pakistan, or probably in Afghanistan.

The identity of Ahura Mazda (an Avesten corruption of the Sanskrit term Asura Medha, which could mean the intellectual head of the Asuras) is not very certain. Some identify him with Hiranya Kashipu while some with Varuna. Here Varuna is strongly identified as the son of Aditi while Hiranya Kashipu is the son of Diti and thus a Daitya. Hence I consider Ahura Mazda to be the same as Hiranya Kashipu. Then Amish's depiction of Mitra, the head of the Vayuputras, paying reverence to both Ahura Mazda and Varuna is not correct.

The Nagas

Amish defines the Nagas as people with deformities and those with extra appendages such as four hands, many heads, long elephant like nose, large ears etc. Because of this he portrays Ravana and many Hindu gods and goddesses such as Ganapati and Kaali as Nagas! Such a definition of considering people with deformities or extra appendages as Nagas is not found in the Vedas, epics or Puranas.

The epics mentions several Nagas like Nahusha who even earned the title of Indra, and others like Vasuki, Airavata, Takshaka and Karkotaka, none of them mentioned as having any deformities. Arjuna married the Naga princesses named Ulupi of unraveled beauty. Nagas of today are spread every where in India, not just in Nagaland. A group of Nagas from Ahichatra (Panchala, Uttarpradesh) has come to Kerala and formed the Naga kingdom of Kolwa. The Airavata Nagas spread along the river Airavati (Raavi) in Punjab. Of-course none of them are having any deformities.

Shiva and Marijuana

Amish often portrays Shiva as smoking marijuana to get inspiration. I have not seen any support for this behavior of Shiva in any of the ancient texts describing Shiva.

Analysis of the plot

I, in the role of a reviewer, do not really believe in criticizing an author on the plot or story line he or she uses. It is strictly the freedom of an author. Yet, as a layman reader, I feel the climax could have been better developed. The role of Maika system is not elaborated in the first book and its significance became evident only in the subsequent books. This made me re-read the portion describing the Maika system in the first book while reading the second book. Similarly Shivas extraordinary friendship with Brihaspati, in the first book needed more elaboration. One often wonders why Shiva needs to give importance to Brihaspati, perhaps even more than his wife Sati. Sati's suicidal defense of Nandi knowing that Shiva is out of danger is difficult to digest. Shiva's use of the divine weapon knowing that it will cause destruction of many innocent people is similarly an enigma. Perhaps Amish's urge to connect the Tripura-Dahana episode with the episode of Daksha and Sati and his predetermined cover design of the third book forced him to create such a climax?

Amish portrayal of Sati as a brave, principled woman is admirable. She will be a role model of today's young woman.

Amish's novel will also help in erasing the stigma associated with the name Sati with the evil practice followed in India where Hindu widows were forced to jump into the pyre of her dead husband. This evil practice originated after the arrival of Islamic armies, which after killing Hindu warriors, forcibly abducted their wives and made them their concubines. This was known as Jauhar and not as the practice of Sati. Both in Amish's Shiva Trilogy and in the original Puranic story of Sati, there is no indication that Sati went into the funeral pyre of her husband! In the original story Sati jumped into fire because she could not tolerate the humiliation of her husband Shiva by her father Daksha. This in no way related to the practice of widows jumping to the funeral pyre of her dead husband either by her own will or due to force from her parents or due to fear of abduction by the husband's enemies. More investigation is needed how Sati's name got attached to such practice.

The positive aspect of the Shiva Trilogy

A good gateway to the ancient Indian culture

As I mentioned earlier, these books serve as an invitation for the modern Indian who lost their culture and tradition to experience it once again. Because of this, I forgive Amish for portraying Shiva as a frequent smoker of marijuana. Perhaps such a portrayal was necessary to lure some of the modern youths who are addicted to drugs, drinks, smoking and all such vices. This also has helped to lure many Hindu haters, who started reading the books thinking that the Shiva Trilogy is a book that make fun of Hindu culture. Most of the reviewers of the book has given publicity to this aspect of the books (including Arnab Goswami in his interview of Amish Tripathi in Times Now). Frankly, it is this kind of publicity that has prevented me from reading these books for a long time, until a few friends of mine informed me of its positive portrayal of Sanatana Dharma.

However the reader should know that reading these books of Amish will constitute only the initial step in their journey towards the ancient world of Bhaarata. Amish uses many themes familiar to a 21st century inhabitant and juxtaposes those themes onto ancient Bhaarata, He uses ancient place names and modern place names indiscriminately. Understanding the ancient geography of the subcontinent in the ancient Sanskrit names, understanding of the ancient cultural elements, without the aid of modern cultural elements - these require a deeper inquiry into the ancient world. This require reading of the original Sanskrit scriptures. Amish books probably helps the reader to get prepared to venture into such a stage, if she or he is interested in such a venture.

National Integration

Amish has used plots in his book to enhance the cause of national integration by not basing his story on the divisive Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT). This AIT is an ideological weapon of mass destruction. It is similar to an Astra and can be rightfully termed as a 'Sammohana Astra' that delude people by causing internal conflicts resulting in their utter self destruction. For more than a hundred years Indian psyche is pierced by this poisonous Astra called AIT which has created a north-south divide in India, which has pitted south Indians against North Indian inventing non-existent bipolar races viz. the Aryan and the Dravidian.

Amish uses the recent research of Graham Hancock which is endorsed by many Indian scholars which speculate that the emergence of civilization in the north western India in Merhgarh in 7000 BCE and beyond in the past was the result of the people migrated from the submerged lands in the eastern and western shores of the southern Indian peninsula. This extended eastern and western sea shores of India (broader in the western side) united at the southern tip of Indian peninsula and extended further southwards. Many scholars has identified this submerged lands as the Kumari Kandam described in Tamil texts. Manu's ancient Dravida country probably lied in this submerged lands, probably in the western shore to the south of Dvaraka in Gujarat. Vedic, epic and Puranic literature describes that it was this Manu who escaped the deluge that caused the submergence of Kumari Kandam and re-established civilization at the foothills of the Himalayas. Mehrgarh is one among those centers of civilization established by Manu and the ascetics (Saptarshis) who followed him. History tells us that urban culture of Indus Sarasvati civilization emerged from this village culture existed in Mehrgarh.

Amish has used this information in his plot, thus de-linking Tamils from their Dravidian chauvinism and the north Indians from any remnant of Aryan supremacy, enhancing the thought processes leading to national integration and harmony.

Order and Chaos

India is the land of unity in diversity. India upholds Oneness but not at the expence of destroying plurality but by celebrating and acknowledging all the diversity. It has produced monistic phlilosophis like Advaita but has not tried to denigrate the multiple ways of conceiving and experiencing the divine. This is what separates Indian thought from the Western or Abrahamic thought. India considers oneness and plurality as inseparable, as the two sides of the same coin.

There were many attempts by various people of India to contain its diversity by planting some sort of uniformity obliterating all of its diversity. The propagators of monotheist religions are the prominent among them. These people are threatened by diversity so that their idea of bringing order is by obliterating all the plurality that is manifested in human society. At the same time, uncontrolled chaos too is harmful for progress. Amish portrays two categories of India one that strives for uniformity, viz. the Meluhans and the other that celebrate diversity and chaos, viz. the Swadeepans. While the terminologies he uses are not attested in historical contexts, he has made his point very clear in his plots by showing how an integration is possible between these two extreme ways of lives and how today's India is a mix of both. One is the antidote for the other when existing in its extremity.

However, he considers an order-oriented society craving for uniformity as Asuric and masculine while the chaotic society that loves diversity a feminine. He then consider that Raama established a masculine order-oriented society that strives for uniformity because that was the need of the time when there existed utter chaos.

Criticism of current political leadership

Amish has used some conversations in his book as a criticism for current Indian political leadership that often drag its feet while trying to solve problems needing immediate attention by forming various commitees and endless enquiry commissions. Such a pun is glimpsed in an interesting conversation between lord Bhrigu and Dilipa the emperor or Swadeep.

The Purpose of Good and Evil

Amish has succeeded in describing his core philosophy, through his characters and plots. He shows how today's good turns into evil of tomorrow. In my native language Malayalam there is a proverbial saying that "in excess even ambrosia becomes poison" (adhikam-aayal-amrtum-visham). Amish has explained this concept beautifully in his three books.

This is also a warning to the modern generation who are entrenched to the use of allopathic medicines which are termed as "modern medicine". These medicines are well known to suppress the symptoms of a disease rather than cure it. For example when a fever comes modern medicine not really cures fever but only suppress the high temperature. When a cough comes it suppress the cough by reducing the immune systems. The prolonged use of these modern medicine has resulted into the creation of drug-resistant viruses and bacteria which is creating even more diseases. It is also causing severe side effects in the human body generating ailments that were unheard of in the ancient times. Thus the good of today is slowly changing to become evil of tomorrow.

Similarly our generation has to keep a close tab on the electronic and wireless revolution happening all around us. Today it is all good and the evil associated them is very minimal. But the goodness generated from these electronic revolution could diminish and the evil resulted from it could exceed the overall goodness it provides to humanity.

We also needs to keep a watch on democracy which is fast turning into evil.

We also know our own previous history. The varna system of India established by our ancient forefathers for the good of the society turned evil after some time as it regressed into a repressive caste system when the definition of one's Varna became rigid as it came to become defined by birth. In such situations, people like Krishna and Yudhistira always emerged to correct the system. Krishna proclaimed that he endorse only Varna based once merit and actions (Chatur-Varnyam-Maya-srstam-guna-karma-vibhagashah). Yudhisthira declared that any one with the qualities of a Brahmana, be he born as a Sudra, he declare him as a Brahmana and any one with the qualities of a Sudra, be he born as a Brahmana, he declare him as a Sudra. Thus both Krishna and Yudhisthira rejected Varna by birth but promoted Varna based on ones merit and actions.

This principle, that good of yesterday can turn into evil of today or tomorrow, is not just limited to Hinduism. For whatever good intentions Christianity and Islam were formed in the past, today they have turned into evil with mindless evangelism and terrorism. Either they should be reformed by reformers from within or they needs to be annihilated, like Shiva destroyed the evil as portrayed by Amish in his trilogy.

Good and Evil are the result of a primordial imbalance in the Universe. This imbalance cannot be eliminated because it is this very imbalance that is the cause of the origin of the Universe. This philosophy is also supported by the cosmological models based on Quantum Theory. Thus it is inevitable that good and evil apparently appear as the two sides of the same coin with one gradually turning into the other. The difficult part for us is to see when good turns evil and when to prevent the expansion of evil.

It is possible for those who can shake the barrier of the duality of good and evil. Those are the ones who is also beyond the three modes of material nature, viz. Satva (goodness), Rajas (passion) and Tamas (inaction), who is equipoised in failure and success, who is neither happy in excesses nor unhappy in losses and who maintains balance in praise and ridicule.


  1. Dating of Mahabharata War
  2. Dating of Raama

satyameva jayate nānṛtaṁ, satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ, yenākramantyṛṣayo hyāptakāmā, yatra tat satyasya paramaṁ nidhānam - Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6

Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood. Through truth the divine path is spread out by which the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled, reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides.

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