Kambanil Ivargalum Irundanar – Solomon Paappaiah – Viswas Kalai Panpattu Arakkattalai (for Madurai Kamban Kazhagam), Sri Meenakshi Nilayam, Vasudara Valagam, TPK Road, Andalpuram, Madurai 625003 – Rs. 120.

The Madurai Kamban Kazhagam has been doing yeoman service by organising annual meets at which the poet’s epic is analysed by stalwarts. Solomon Paappaiah has compiled lectures delivered at the 2011 congregation. The speakers, including himself, discuss the epic from various angles. It is amazing how scholars manage to find fresh themes every time they meet! Such is the greatness of Kamban’s work and the depth of the Ramayana. Dr. M.B. Srinivasan compares Kamban and Sithalaisathanar while Dr. M. Arunagiri talks of the role played by boons and curses citing examples and Dr. Rama Soundaravalli takes a look at feminism. Prof. K. Ramamurti presents a brilliant cameo of Meganathan, more famously known as Indrajit. His comparison of Ravana-Indrajit relationship to Hitler-Rommel is interesting. The title essay (one wonders why the learned author uses past tense, the epic poem being immortal) is by Solomon Paappaiah, who reminds the readers that there are other characters such as rulers, able ministers, soldiers, lieutenants, musicians, weavers, potters and dancers that enrich the epic.

Exalting Elucidations of His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha Mahaswamigal – published by Sri Vidyatheertha Foundation, G-B, Sai Karuna Apartments, 49, Five Furlong Road, Guindy, Chennai 600032, phone: 044-22552334, srividyatheertha@gmail.com - Rs. 120.

The greatness of seer Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha Swami, 35 pontiff of Sringeri Sharada Peetam, predecessor of Sri Bharati Tirtha Swami, now observing Chatur Masya Vrata in Chennai, comes through in this compendium. Extracts from his discourses, parables he conceived to drive home a point, devotees’ experiences and narrations make the volume highly worthy. Most valuable, however, are the question and answer segments, where the reader finds the senior Acharya giving views in a lucid style. The subjects range from dharma to devotion and religion to rebirth. It is with awe and affection that those who were fortunate to be touched by his benevolence record those precious moments. Compassion coupled with childlike simplicity endeared the Acharya to thousands of followers, his divine attributes making a subtle background.

Other titles on Sri Abhinava Vidya Teertha Swamigal from the Foundation: ‘Didactic Treatises,’ Yoga, Enlightenment and Perfection,’ ‘Enlightening Expositions,’ ‘Divine Discourses.’

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