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"I highly recommend this book written by two school-going sisters on their year-long exploration of the Puranas. … It's excellent and great fun - every child in India should read it." - Hindol Sengupta, journalist and author of nine books, including winner of the Wilbur Award for his book "Being Hindu".
"A Year With The Mahapuranas - Anvita & Anika Agarwal (aged 12 & 10) start to read abridged translations of the Puranas one year ago. This book results. Fantastic. Part reviews, part retelling." - Bibek Debroy, economist, author. Translator of the unabridged Mahabharata, Padma Shri awardee.
- Why did Lord Shiva, at the instigation of Brahma, tease Parvati?
- Why do we not use the champak flower to worship Lord Shiva?
- In which purana would you learn about a prayer for Lord Vishnu to protect you in all four directions with his sudarshana chakra, koumodaki gada, sounanda hala, and shatana mushala?
- Why did Sita mata curse fire, the river Phalgu, the ketaki flower and the cow?
- Which Purana tells us the story of the lake that turned four black swans to white, and why?
- Why did Draupadi have five husbands?
What does it mean to read abridged translations of all nineteen Puranas in one year?
This is the book of questions and answers, of those nineteen books, thirty-eight reviews, and the year that went by. Anvita and Anika, sisters, read abridged translations of the nineteen maha-Puranas over the course of a year.
In addition to thirty-eight reviews, there are also several anecdotes of their experiences through the year as they read and wrote, and how school, studies, exams, and a maniacal father drove them to ever greater depths of despair. In the book you will find over a hundred stories, factoids, and nuggets from the Puranas. How Parvati became Gouri, stories about Kurukshetra, the punya that accumulates from reading the Puranas, the types of fasts to observe and their benefits, the types of donations one can give, episodes from the Mahabharata, and more...
Anvita and Anika are sisters, separated in age by two-and-a-half years and in temperament by several yugas. They were twelve and ten, respectively, when they started reading the abridged translations of the Puranas. When not reading the Puranas, they were busy attending school, reading other books, writing reviews of these books, publishing monthly book newsletters, learning painting, programming, and perfecting the art of driving their mother up the wall in the time that remained.