The Shiva Trilogy is a novel series by Amish Tripathi. The first book set the most robust foundation for an already popular and supreme God in the Hindu religion. Part fiction and part history, Amish’s envisioning of Shiva’s identity, his life’s important phases transition from a warrior to a widely worshipped deity, his impeccable spirit and resolve along with the well crafted characters and elements that surround him throughout the whole story-line come together brilliantly to occupy a place in your mind, which will not be easily forgotten.
This is a three part post of the most valuable insights of life and its philosophical aspects reflected in the books, especially the third part of The Shiva Trilogy, The Oath Of The Vayuputras. As critical and large scale were the issues faced by mankind then, they are as relevant and contemporary to the situation at present. Once you go through the following excerpt from the book you will know how the prevailing human nature, both good and bad, has persisted throughout these innumerous centuries, and how the same thing which is inherently human, is a source of both, good and evil, that plagues our society even now.
[amidst, the battle of good and evil, choosing a side and knowing that it is the good side, Shiva is faced with a predicament. somras- the drink of Gods, known for its anti-oxidizing properties and granting prolonged life of over 200 years to the citizens of the then Bharatvarsh is also the cause for much evil. as it extends the life of the ever increasing populace who consume it day by day, it becomes the root cause of destruction of the environment and several different water sources such as rivers. it is next to impossible to convince people to let go of their selfish needs of extended life and other desires for the greater good. this is a conversation between the now, God, Shiva, the great Neelkanth and the Vasudev Gopal]
Shiva turned to the chief Vasudev, ” I was thinking that the primary source of Evil is human greed. It’s our greed to extract more and more from Good that turns it into Evil. Wouldn’t it be better if this was controlled at the source itself? Can we really expect humans to not be greedy? How many of us would be willing to control our desire to live for two hundred years? The dominance of the Somras over many thousands of years has admittedly done both Good and Evil, but it will soon perish for all practical purposes. Isn’t it fair to say then that it has served no purpose in the larger scheme of things? Perhaps it would have been better had the Somras not been invented. Why embark on a journey when you know that the destination takes you back to exactly where you began?”
“Are there any journeys which do not take you back to where you began?”
Shiva frowned. “Of course there are.”
Gopal shook his head. “If you aren’t back to where you began, all it means is that the journey isn’t over. Maybe it will take one lifetime. Maybe many. But you will end your journey exactly where you began. That is the nature of life. Even the universe will end its journey exactly where it began – in an infinitesimal black hole of absolute death. And on the other side of that death, life will begin once again in a massive big bang. And so it will continue in a never-ending cycle.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“But that is the biggest folly, great Neelkanth; to think that we are on this path in order to get somewhere.”
“No. The purpose is not the destination but the journey itself. Only those who understand this simple truth can experience true happiness.”
“Rather than the destination it is the journey that lends meaning to our lives, great Neelkanth. Being faithful to our path will lead to consequences, both good as well as evil. For that is the way of the universe.”
“For instance, my journey may have a positive effect on the future of India. But it will certainly be negative for those who are addicted to the Somras. Perhaps that is my purpose.”
“Exactly. Lord Vasudev had held we should be under no illusion that we are in control of our own breathing.
We should realise the simple truth that we are ‘being breathed’; we are being kept alive because our journey serves a purpose.
When our purpose is served, our breathing will stop and the universe will change our form to something else, so that we may serve another purpose.”
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We will complete this three part post, following each with in-depth analysis and insights on how this can be related to the present world scenario and also few more intriguing excerpts from Amish’s third book, The Oath Of The Vayuputras.