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Asura:Tale of the Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People

Asura:Tale of the Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People

Product Specifications
Language English
Binding Paperback
Publisher Leadstart Publishing Private Limited
About the Book: ASURA: Tale of the Vanquished The epic tale of victory and defeat? The story of the Ramayana had been told innumerable times. The enthralling story of Rama, the incarnation of God, who slew Ramana, the evil demon of darkness, is known to every Indian. And in the pages of history, as always, it is the version told by the victors, that lives on. The voice of the vanquished remains lost in silence. But what if Ravana and his people had a different story to tell? The story of the Ravanayana had never been told. Asura is the epic tale of vanquished Asura people, a story that has been cherished by the oppressed outcastes of India for 3000 years. Until now, no Asura has dared to tell the tale. But perhaps the time has come for the dead and the defeated to speak. "For thousands of years, I have been vilified and my death is celebrated year after year in every corner of India. Why? Was it because I challenged the Gods for the sake of my daughter? Was it because I freed a race fr ... See more
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Customer Reviews on Asura:Tale of the Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People

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  1. 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
     A must read! 2 April, 2013 On
    If one is fan of Ramayana and Hindu mythlogy, Asura is a must read. Its written exceptionally well form the point of view of the other side. The plot device of using ravana as well as a common man (bhadra but mishmash of every man). The theme of one man's good is another's evil is quite well used. I don't think author intends for it to be seen as pre-history but more as making the reader realise that there are always multiple points of view
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  2.  Engrossing, Enthralling and Enlightening 17 October, 2013 On

    Book Review: ASURA: Tale Of The Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People: Engrossing, Enthralling and Enlightening

    This is something entirely different from what we have read, heard and seen so far based on epic mythology Ramayana. This is story of Ravana from Ravana's perspective written by Anand Neelakantan. Everything is seen from the angle of Ravana and not Ram. This 500 odd pages excellently and engrossing fiction based on epic characters and titled as ASURA Tale Of The Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People. It used to be really painful to leave in between this tightly woven story for day to day chores and then steal out some more time to get back into it.

    The story goes in bi-narrative style in parallel chapters - total 65. It is by turn Ravana and Bhadra narrating the events happening. Anand Neelakantan must have done lot of homework and research before writing ASURA Tale Of The Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People. Ravana, his kingdom - Lanka; his brothers - Kumbhakaran and Vibhishan; his son Meghnad (or Indrajit); his half brother Kuber; his sister Surupnakha; his wife Mandodari; his life; his thoughts; his childhood - everything about Ravana is prominent in this interesting book. It might have lot of fiction embedded into it but everything that happened in Ravana's life has been shown, depicted and presented from Ravana's angle. A lot is learnt about Asuras, their life pattern, their strengths and their weaknesses in this book. A lot unknown about Devas - Indra, Brahma, Varun and specially Rama is told in this book that was unknown so far. All various forms of living beings - Vanaras, Devas, Asuras, Yakshas and Gandharvas; were part of this earth and had their portions of land to rule upon.

    This mammoth marathon read ASURA Tale Of The Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People by Anand Neelkantan might choke your energy when Ravana is in pain and energize you when Ravana is in gain. All mood swings go along with Ravana's in this story. There are many secrets revealed in the story. Ajinkaya is step brother of Meghnad and is as brave as his father or step brother. Ravana, though is away from normal behavior of Asuras of polygamy, but one day, after fighting with his wife Mandodri, rapes a young and beautiful housekeeping staff, who gives birth to Ajinkaya. Ajinkaya is tall and well built like his father. Bhadra is one of the prominent characters in Ravana's life and is involved in most of the important incidents in Ravana's life - with or without his knowledge or consent. Bhadra is one person who lives under the mastery or Ravana throughout his life just for two goals - one to take revenge from Devas who killed his wife and daughter when attacked on his village, and second to serve Ravana by helping him in achieving his targets so that he would take revenge from Devas for him.

    Though Ravana had mixed feelings for Bhadra from time to time and vice versa, but overall Bhadra does a lot for Ravana during his whole life and even after the death of Ravana. Bhadra helps Ravana to acquire Lanka from Kuber. He also helps him to win over many of his enemies. He becomes the step father of Ajinkaya.

    Ravana has been shown as a man of principle during his lifetime, with elements of being daring and brave. He was first termed as Rakshasa by his mother when she gets hurt once and leaves his empire forever. Ravana hated the dubious style of Rama of killing a brave Vanara King Bali from behind a tree while engaging him fight with his brother Sugreeva. Rama and Lakshman have been shown as normal height, dark colored young men. Ravana is over two decaded older than Rama. Ravana also hated Deva's custom of leaving their wife to please their citizens, in case the wife has been taken away (kidnapped) by any Asura. Ayodhaya is shown as a very small kingdom and in a quite shabby/ poor condition as compared to hugely developed and rich Lanka kingdom.

    Biggest secret is the relationship between Ravana and Sita and his purpose of kidnapping her during her exile in jungles with Rama and Lakshman. Ravana also had valid reasons of not killing Ram and Lakshman when he got easy chances to do the same. For all these reasons ASURA Tale Of The Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People by Anand Neelkantan becomes an interesting and a self-introspecting read.

    The downside in quite insignificant as compared to the significance of interesting story, excellent presentation and well woven script. There are some proof reading and spelling mistakes that I found on pages - 192, 245, 248, 262, 298, 311, 339, 376 and then after that I got engrossed so much in the story that it compelled me to ignore those minor errors. Overall it is a must read for readers interested epic mythology, fiction,
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  3.  Hail King Ravana 28 November, 2013 On
    My hearty congratulations to the author, for boldly re-framing the greatest Indian epic “Ramayana” very successfully through the voice of the vanquished, King Ravana and his accomplice Bhadra..
    This is one of the best books of epic fiction written off late and highly accepted by the masses for the author’s bold attempt to de-mystify the actual truth behind the great war between Lord Rama and King Ravana, for a woman called Sita.
    The words that can describe the book are “mesmerizing, ingenious, brilliant, poignant, impressive, striking and highly emotional”
    The world has been living with the Ramayana, which sanctions the God image to Sri Rama and his brother Lakshmana, ever since many centuries. The same Ramayana imposes, the Devil image to King Ravana from Lanka, who is said to have abducted the pious wife of Lord Rama, the lovely Sita. The epic ends with Sita being regained by Rama after terminating Ravana, the Rakshasa, in a great war with the help of the monkey warriors, the Vanaras.
    But very few could think of reading a totally different story of the so-called Devil King, the Ravana. The book personifies Ravana’s other side, as a great human being, also called as ‘Dasamukha’ (the man with ten faces) who had conquered the ten base emotions of life, namely - Anger, Pride, Jealousy, Happiness, Sadness, Fear, Selfishness, Passion, Ambition and Intellect. He was well-known among the Asura dynasty as a mighty and learned King who cared for his people, built a caste-less society, built great cities with gold, ruled a vast prosperous empire spanning from Lanka to almost the Himalayas in North India and always treaded the path of righteousness (Dharma) with no scope for treachery. He was a handsome, masculine, well-known and proven scholar of art, literature and medicine, a great warrior, a self-centered ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, a highly ethical ruler, a passionate lover, a responsible father and husband, a loving brother and a man of principles.
    A half Brahmin and half Asura, Ravana took the side of his maternal Asura clan, which was in doldrums, due to the ruthless invasions of the fearsome fair-skinned, Devas from the north, which destroyed almost the entire Asura clan.. He, along with his mother and three siblings were abandoned by his father (a Brahmin) at the time when he was young. This was the time when he developed a deadly attitude of conquering the Devas who treated them like dogs. He grew to learn all war tactics and strategic methodologies over a period of time and started plundering and conquering almost all the kingdoms of southern India and some of Northern India, thus declaring himself as the un-precedented emperor of the Asura kingdom with his luxurious capital at Trikota in Lanka.
    The most astonishing fact of the story is that Ravana abducts Sita from Rama due to his love towards her not as a lover but as a father. Sita, daughter of Ravana, was abandoned, when she was a baby in a forest, for she is said to bring death to Ravana, when she grows up. He, later realizes his mistake and wants her to stay with him in his luxurious Asura capital as a princess along with her husband. This fact is kept as a secret from Sita, who mistakes Ravana for being a devil who separated her from her husband Rama. The anguish suffered by Ravana in this context is really heart trending. Meanwhile, Rama takes the help of the deadly Vanaras and Vibhishana (younger brother of Ravana), to attack the later in a fierce battle which left Ravana, almost victorious but lost in the last minute, due to few technical mistakes of their un-trained and tired army.
    The Asuras, on the other hand, treat Rama as a not so handsome King, treacherous, cunning, morally weak, disloyal, caste-based, non-follower of Dharma, who always doubted the sanctity of his wife Sita ultimately being responsible for all her sufferings and death. The book ends with a sad note after Sita committing suicide, unhappy with Rama’s actions and Lakshmana put to death by Rama, for dis-obeying him. Rama himself ends his life after spending some time in solace for sacrificing his beloved love and wife. The last part also comes as a surprise, as it is depicted in a different way in the epic.
    The book brings out so many hard –hitting facts about the greatness of Ravana and his reign as a great emperor of the Asura kingdom, but was unfortunately symbolized as the villain and Rakshasa who met his fate in the hands of Lord Rama, an incarnation of God. The reader is taken through a series of events which makes him a great fan of Ravana after reading this book and would love to read and quest more about this great king who is mistaken for a Rakshasa, also known as the protector (Raksha-sa) in Asuran parlance
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  4.  Recommended 7 May, 2013 On
    "Asura - Tale of the Vanquished" is a modern interpretation of Ramayana.Told from the perspective of two protagonists, Ravana and his soldier, Bhadra, this book can rightly be called 'Ravanayana'. Read the complete review of this book here :
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