The Complete Life of Krishna: Based on the Earliest Oral Traditions and the Sacred Scriptures by Vanamali: A Review

What Can I say? As with many others who were fortunate enough to read it, I agree this to be one of the best books I have ever read. Before reading, I was only expecting it to contain many of the numerous stories about Krishna, of his adventures, exploits, pranks, love, his words, deeds, of his part in the great epic Mahabharata, till his final ascension to his own abode at the end of his worldly sojourn.  In other words, I was expecting to read many of the stories which we already know and few others which form a part of Indian tradition and as a part of Hindu spiritual life, in which I happen to born.

The book nevertheless contain all these but it goes a step further in describing many of the essential points of Hindu philosophy and ways of life as a part of the wisdom  which makes the book much more important as a source of the essence of Hindu religion. The book begins with the author trying to establish the validity of Hindu religion and factual accuracy of the major events described in the principal Hindu scriptures. She has made an effort in the book to make the word “mythology” associated with the religion and mostly given by Western historians, irrelevant, and to establish the religion as a philosophy based on factual grounds. There is much more to learn from the book than simply written and oral traditions of Krishna, which itself are a great source of joy and devotion.

Lord Krishna was born nearly 5,000 years ago in a small place called Mathura, located approximately 145 kilometre south-east of India’s modern capital Delhi. Being one of the most recognizable and beloved gods of the Hindu pantheon, Lord Krishna is widely perceived in most traditions as the very incarnation of the Supreme God, who, according to Hindu philosophy takes birth in the human form for the spiritual benefit and salvation of His devotees.

The vivid details with which the various traditions are described and the associated purports and their significance glues one to the book. I will highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the subtleties of Hindu philosophy along with enjoying the wonderful literary, sacred and tender rendition to the Supreme Lord.