Interview with Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan

Interview with Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan

Soudia Parveen:- A heartfelt congratulation for the publication of your book “Shiva Puranas”. How has been the responses towards the book till now?

Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan:- Thank you very much. The response has been very good. I can see that many people are trying to delve into the roots of their spirituality and books like this one help them to accomplish that.

Soudia Parveen:- You have taken a great step in writing such a book to guide one’s life! What in real inspired you to do so and how has been the outcome?

Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan:- The Shiva Purana is a voluminous text and is difficult to read it completely in today’s fast paced life. The younger generation in particular,is unaware of the greatness of such ancient texts.  I wanted to give a glimpse of this great purana in a short or condensed form that can be read by the younger generation in a couple of days. That was the idea and inspiration. The outcome looks good, seeing the response it is getting. I had a colleague doctor’s school going daughter who read the book by herself in one day ! Such feedback gladdens us and makes the effort worthwhile.

Soudia Parveen:- Was it difficult or easy to frame and conceptualise the minute details of the fundamentals of the texts? How did you manage to put the critical key concepts in a story format?

Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan:- Fortunately The Shiva Purana is full of stories extolling the divine leelas of Lord Shiva. The advantages of a story format is that it is easy to understand even for children. The idea was to narrate the stories in a simple way so that either the parents read it and narrate it to their children / grandchildren or the children read it themselves. What I have done in this book is to retell the stories in a modern or practical way without changing the core story keeping in mind the changed social and cultural mileu of today.

Soudia Parveen:- The book is all about our gods and main characters with great powers, what would you like to say about these characters in reference to the realms of life?

Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan:- A Common mistake done by our people while reading such books is to get too involved with the nitty gritty of the story and totally miss the message hidden within it. A superficial reading of the story with gods, goddesses and their enormous powers will lull you into thinking it is just another mythological story. What we have to keep in mind is to understand the message of the story which is often hidden to the reader. I have taken particular care to highlight the hidden message of each story, so that the reader does not lose the message while reading an engrossing story with great characters like gods, sages, asuras featuring in it. . Otherwise, it will be then a classic case of missing the tree when focusing on the forest. The actual intention of the writers of these puranas ( sages of ancient times) was to transmit an important concept or message in a story form. In reference to the realms of life, we should take care that we get the essence of the message inside the story, because that is what we should imbibe rather than remembering the whole story and its details.

Soudia Parveen :- For the reader it will be very helpful to develop a better perception and make fruitful utilisation of time in reading such books for a better life. What more do you want to add to this context?

Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan:- The change I hope to happen in each reader after reading this book  is a transformation. A transformation to become a better human being. That is the first step in everyone’s life – to become a better human being.

Soudia Parveen:-Do you feel the holy book ‘Gita’ is an ultimatum guide and everyone should follow it and would reach to the heights if practised properly?

Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan:- The Gita is a profound lesson for any troubled person faced with the difficulties and ordeals of daily life. It is beyond religion. It is a teaching of the way of life. It teaches us to undertake positive action in a principled way rather than choosing Inaction. If read in such a frame of mind, it could be valuable for any person in our country.

Soudia Parveen:- Do you think people around us are losing touch with our religious texts and concepts?

Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan:- I agree. Yes. But I would like to also drive home a subtle point that rather than becoming more religious, we should become more spiritual.The final aim of any individual should be to become a better human being and religion is one of the methods available to him / her to achieve that. Religion without spirituality is like a human being without a soul.  

Soudia Parveen:- What kind of strategy do you personally suggest to the beings in accordance with the shiva puranas, specially for those who feel like quitting and underestimating their inner self?

Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan:- Why should we quit ?. Each one of us whosoever he / she is has originated from God. We have God’s presence within us. The biggest tragedy is that we do not realise it. Once we know that we are on the right path and follow the right principles of life, there is nothing to fear. We should strive hard channelling our inner power which comes from God. We should move ahead in life with the faith that obstacles are also a part of life and with God’s help, we will be able to face them and overcome them. .

Soudia Parveen:- In conclusion to the book, what message do you want to leave for the reader as well as the budding writers? In future, will you come up with more such books, containing relevant knowledge?

Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan:- Please spend atleast half an hour a day in reading. It could be a book of any genre. But please read. Reading improves your knowledge, widens your perspectives and results in growth of the entire civilisation. A message to the general public is to encourage budding writers. Writers are the custodians of society. Please encourage them by buying and reading their books.

Yes, definitely there is a plan to write more books in this genre by showcasing our puranas in a modern way which the present generation will understand.

Soudia Parveen:- I value and respect your opinion so far and I really appreciate your words and very thankful to you for sparing your precious time in sharing your humble words.

More power to your pen. All the best.

Dr. A.V. Subrahmanyan:- Thank you very much. It was a pleasure answering your insightful questions.

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