The king’s edition of a devotional chant

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Head of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma
Head of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After four years of research and dedication, the present head of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore, Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma, is all set to release his first book, an English commentary of the Vishnu Sahasranamam.

Titled Samarpanam, the book, published by Delhi-based Konark Publishers, includes a word-by-word translation and interpretation of Vishnu Sahasranamam. Visvesha Tirtha, head of Pejawar Math, Udupi, will release the book at Krishnavilasam Palace on Thursday.

“The Vishnu Sahasranamam was recited by Bheeshma Pitamah at the end of the Mahabharata war as he approached his hour of attaining peace, in response to the six questions asked by Yudhishtira. The concept of attempting an English commentary of Vishnu Sahasranamam came some years back at a programme in Salem where I quoted a few lines and followed it up with an explanation. Hearing this, [the then] Chief Justice of India K. Subba Rao, who was sharing the dais, asked me to prepare a commentary and that is how the idea of this book was first born,” Mr. Varma said at a press conference held here on Saturday.

Mr. Varma, who has learnt Sanskrit under the tutelage of Attur Krishna Pisharody during his schooling, said English translations and commentaries of Vishnu Sahasranamam had been compiled earlier by people such as Swami Chinmayananda. “However, there are only very few attempts on the commentary on Vishnu Sahasranamam. The first commentary was compiled by Adi Sankara,” he said.

Mr. Varma said that it was at the Pattom Palace that he did most of the work on the book.

“Since I have a small problem with my hand caused by a motor accident, I had to seek some assistance for writing,” he said.

Mr. Varma is planning to release his autobiography soon.

“The work on my autobiography has been completed. It will also be published by Konark Publishers. Another book, a collection of photographs taken by me, will also be published soon,” he said.




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