Set of 7 Books : 2055 pages
Vol 1 : Krishnavatara : The Magic Flute
This book begins with the marriage of Lord Krishna’s parents Devaki and Vasudeva, talks of his birth, his childhood and ends with the death of his maternal uncle wicked king Kamsa.
The Magic Flute brings Krishna live in the reader’s mind. Details of his birth, how he was taken to Mathura at midnight, how Nanda Yashoda brought him up, how the rasleela began, the introduction of Radha and other important incidents of Krishna’s childhood.
Vol 2 : Krishnavatara-II The wrath of an emperor
The second book of the Krishnavatara deals with the anger of Jarasandha, the father in law of Kamsa whom Krishna killed in Mathura. The Emperor tracks down Krishna and follows him with the sole intention of doing away with him.
‘The wrath of an emperor’ also talks about the love story of Rukmini and Shaibya and ends with the swayamvara and the marriage of Rukmini. The book tells in detail how much planning and plotting had to be done to bring about peace in the land, and how a princess who had set her heart on her lord, could manage to secure him.
Vol 3 : Krishnavatara-III The Five Brothers
As the title of the book suggests, the story revolves around Hastinapur, the Pandavas, Kauravas and Krishna. The banishment of the Pandavas by the Kauravas and their ‘deaths’, their travails in the forest, Draupadi’s swaymavara and the wining of Draupadi’s hand by Arjuna are included in this book.
The book begins with Dronacharya’s resolve to take revenge on King Drupad . As childhood friends Drupad had promised Drona that they would share each other’s fortune. When they grew up and Drupad became King, Drona went to redeem the pledge and was insulted by Drupad. The book goes on to tell how Drona groomed the Kuru princes, how he expected them to take revenge, how Krishna managed to stage Draupadi’s marriage and how he brought the Pandavas back to like. The book ends with Draupadi’s swayamvara.
Vol 4 : Krishnavatara-IV The book of Bhima
Bhima the third brother of the Pandavas was giant sized, full of pranks, naughty, and lovable. He is shown to pull Draupadi’s hair, teasing Jalandhara, Duryodhana’s sister in law, and always talking merrily. He makes Drupad ‘force’ the Pandavas to take a large dowry. When they return to Hastinapur, he heads the big bridal procession.
The book begins with Yudhisthir and Draupadi’s first night where Draupadi takes a pledge which Yudhisthir agrees. While on their procession to Hastinapur, Bhima comes across Jalandhara and likes her. To prevent her from going by boat since he wants her to travel by land with them, Bhima bores holes in the boat’s sides. However Krishna puts everything right. The book ends with the Pandavas again going away to Khandavaprastha to form a new settlement and start a new kingdom.
Vol 5 :Krishnavatara-V The book of Satyabhama
This book deals with the Syamantaka, the magic stone that turns everything to gold, and Satrajit, its owner. Satrajit is very rich and is against Krishna but his own daughter is on Krishna’s side and wants him for a husband. Satrajit hides the Syamantaka declaring that Krishna is the thief. Satya goes in search of it, faces death and strange happenings and Krishna rescues her.
The book deals with Satyaa’s adventure where she meets the Bear King and hides while her companion Satyaki is captured by the bears. Krishna rescues her, heals her and both of them are lured to the bear king’s kingdom by a singing young woman. The book ends with Krishna acquiring two more wives besides Rukmini and Shaibya- Satyabhama and Jambavati the bear king’s daughter.
Vol 6 : Krishnavatara VI The Book of Veda Vyaasa the Master
Veda Vyaasa also called Dwaipayana was the son of Sage Parashar and Satyavati, the fisher girl. He was born when the Muni was brought to her village in a sick condition. He would come to visit them every year on his son’s birthday. On one of his birthdays he takes Dwaipayana with him and teaches him all about WORD.
The childhood of Veda Vyasa is spent in the company of his father. This book talks of his brahmacharya, his thread ceremony, his initiation into the world of the twice born, his marriage, his meeting with Satyavati, his mother and his help to her. On growing up he performs niyoga on Satyavati’s childless daughters in law and begets blind Dhritharashtra and Pandava and through the maid servant Vidura.
Vol 7 : Krishnavatara VII The Book of Yudhisthira
The book includes the chapters from the Book of Yudhisthir as well as from the Book of Kuruskshetra. This book deals with the main episodes preceding the Kuruskshetra was and ends with the war being raged. The Kauravas ruled over Hastinapur while the Pandavas had to be content with Khadavaprastha, a wilderness. However they made it into a beautiful place and managed to invite kings to perform the Rajasuya. When Krishna is honoured there is a big fight. Then the Kauravas invite the Pandavas to the famous game of dice which eventually leads to their banishment again and the Mahabharat war.
The book under review gives more of the Mahabharat story than Krishnavatara though Krishna is invariably linked with the Pandavas. The main episodes of the game of dice, Draupadi vastraharan . The second part which is part of the VIIIth volume of Krishnavatara deals with the happenings in Dwarka, of Prabhavati’s marriage with Krishna’s son Pradyumna.
Vol-1:9788172764630 ; Vol-2:9788172764753; Vol-3:9788172764845; Vol-4:9788172764722
Vol-5:9788172764661 ; Vol-6:9788172764739; Vol-7:9788172764678
About The Author : K. M. Munshi :
Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, Kulapati and the main person behind the Bhavan’s books was a very versatile person. He was an eminent lawyer, one of the framer’s of the Indian Constitution, and a seasoned statesman. K M Munshi was influenced by Sri Aurobindo and was an ardent freedom fighter, working with Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Tilak, Annie Besant, Jinnah and others. He was the Home Minister of Bombay, India’s Food Minister, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, India’s Agent General at Hyderabad. Acknowledged as the foremost writer in Gujarati in his times, his contribution to literature is vast. He wrote novels, dramas, memoirs, history and historical novels in Gujarati and English.