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Katha Sagar, Ocean of Stories

Katha Sagar, Ocean of Stories

Hindu Wisdom for Every Age

Sarah Conover and Abhi Janamanchi have created a captivating collection full of the sights and sounds of India, with stories selected from Hindu epics and folk tales. Additional resources provide information on Hinduism.

Authors: Sarah Conover, Abhi Janamanchi   Illustrator: Shanthi Chandrasekar

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Thousands of years in their telling and retelling, these stories invite readers of all ages to explore one of the world's most ancient and varied religious traditions. Vivid dramas—featuring gods, goddesses, kings, sages, and fools—have been selected from ancient Hindu epics, myths, and folk traditions across India. Sarah Conover, Abhi Janamanchi, and illustrator Shanthi Chandrasekar bring to life the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the land and people of Southern India, creating a captivating collection. The stories themselves convey key values, such as honesty, generosity, and justice but also introduce readers to unique religious and cultural observances. Additional resources provide further information on Hinduism.

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Contents

Preface

The Pauranika
The Miracle of the Banyan Tree
Brahma and Vishnu
The Egg of the Universe
The Dhoti
Heaven and Hell
Yudhishthira's Wisdom
Lord Kamadeva, the God of Love
The Barking Dog
Shankara and the Outcaste
The Birth of Ganesha
The Wise Girl
Chaitra and Maitra
Indra and the Ants
The Wise Minister
The Story of Goddess Durga
Ganesha and the Mango
Churning the Ocean of Milk
The Well-Digger
Krishna and the Serpent Kaliya
Maya
God Is in Everything

On Hinduism
Story Notes and Sources
Glossary
About the Authors

"At last, the relentless monsoon rains of summer end. Rivers, swollen and furious, race from the mountains to the sea. The rays of the long-missed sun wedge through the tangled jungles bordering every village, waking all of creation with light. Claiming small kingdoms, the koels, cuckoos, sing one over another while the last drops of water on their feathers vanish with the dawn. The lowing of cows, oxen, and buffalo fills out the bass notes of the chorus.

Giddy children spill out of the doorways and run into the sunshine. On this first day of clear-blue skies, they know to seek out their pauranika, their village storyteller, Lakshmi, for she will have some special tales to celebrate the day. And maybe tonight, they hope, she will begin a days-long story from one of the holy epics—the Ramayana or the Mahabharata, the Vishnu Purana or the Shiva Purana."
—from "The Pauranika

The gift of reading Katha Sagar, Ocean of Stories is that you find yourself not merely observing the ocean of stories, but swimming in it. Sarah Conover and Rev. Abhi Janamanchi bring us into the world of Hindu wisdom and thought with great skill, attention, and respect. Like Conover's other books on world religions, this collection is a must for all those wanting to know more about this ancient faith. As a collector of children's books, I can say that this one of the best books for all ages about Hinduism that I have ever read. Whether you want an introduction or a collection with greater depth, Conover and Janamanchi will take you into the presence of Hinduism in a way that is unmatched in the world of children's literature.
—Rev. Keith Kron, co-editor, Coming Out in Faith : Voices of LGBTQ Unitarian Universalists

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