Well known for turning centuries’ old mythological tales into work of fiction, renowned author Amish Tripathi took Lord Shiva and humanised him like never before with his Shiva Trilogy series. With his next series Ramchandra, he explores what makes an ideal society. This week on Off Centre, Anuradha SenGupta speaks to the well-known writer where he makes a case for why there’s a need to rediscover the wisdom of ancient Vedic times via stories.
Talking about the need to communicate Vedic philosophies he says that perhaps the wisdom that was there in our ancient Vedic scriptures has perhaps been lost. “All I am trying to do in my own small way is to just put that back a little bit through stories because satsangs can be boring for most people. Like for example if we speak of women's rights and I put it across as saying that by fighting for women's rights we are not being Western, we are actually being truly Indian because that is what our ancestors said. Then the chances of having an impact are higher”, he adds.
According to Amish, his narratives are not just stories. They carry deep compelling philosophies. He says that while most of modern Bollywood or Persian storytelling is driven by the story of various perspectives around love, the heart of Vedic storytelling was always an answer to a question- What is Dharma? He says, “Exploring this gives you lessons which you can apply in your life, that's the beauty of Vedic way. The Vedic stories treat their listeners as mature individuals who are capable of making their own choices and present the archetypes in front of you and you make your call. They are not prescriptive.”
Commenting on the Indian society, he says, “In India what we are seeing right now is a battle between old elite and the new elite. Rest of us are perhaps watching the circus and the old elite and the new elite will use whatever tools necessary to hold or gain their power. When you are looking at the country the size of 1.25 billion people, sometimes you forget the scale of our country. When you are looking at the country of this scale you should judge things on data, not on a few incidents. Every single vigilante attack whichever community they came from those guys meet to feel the full force of the law, they need to be punished seriously but when you are judging a country of India’s scale you look at data and the data is actually minuscule.”