Justice A.S.P. Ayyar, M.A., I.C.S., F.R.S.L., Bar-at law, was born at Aiylam village in
Palghat, Kerala state, on January 26th, 1899. He passed B.A. examination with double first
class and a first in Madras University. He joined the Law College, Madras, in 1918, and
proceeded to England for the coveted I.C.S. examination under Tata scholarship. He passed
I.C.S. with a high rank and also took his M.A. degree in Oxford.
On his return to India he started his career as Sub-divisional officer but soon quit the
executive for the Judiciary because he did not wish to be privy to the lathi charging of fellow
Indians during the Civil disobedience movement. After Independence he became a judge of the
Madras High court when Shri Rajagopalachari was the Chief Minister. He was known for his
impeccable style in delivering his judgments which were often interspersed with a high sense of
humour. He was noted for his acumen, absolute integrity and strong nationalistic views.
An amiable personality and a charming conversationalist, quick at repartee, Ayyar was also
known for his literary eminence rare among the service class.
He had a number of publications to his credit, which include fiction, drama, travelogue,
biography, autobiography, literary criticism, religious writing and jurisprudence.
Verily, Sri Krishna is the Darling of Humanity. His life abounds in marvelous exploits so much
so that men, women and children are all fascinated by His life and teachings and thrilling
stories of depth and beauty have grown around him. The present book which is a companion volume
to the author's A Layman's Bhagavad-Gita Gita, so generously welcomed by the public, recounts
the life, teachings and stories of the lord culled from the Bhagavata, Mahabharata,
Vishnupurana and various folklores. The author has also added quotations from other teachers
and poets in order to make the instructive.
Bhavan's first edition of this book and A Layman's Bhagavad-Gita Gita in two volumes
were brought out at the request of his daughter Smt. Asokam S. Easwar.
Ayyar died on 11th April 1963.
Introduction to the second edition
When I was engaged in writing this book, as a popular companion to my "Layman's Bhagavad Gita",
a friend asked me whether books on religion will be in demand in this age of scientific
advancement and of growing agnosticism, atheism and scepticism. Another friend, who was also
present, remarked, "Oh, yes. Few people are interested in religion nowadays, but those few
count." His opinion turned out to be correct. The first edition was sold out in a short time.
Friends from England, Germany, U.S.A., Russia, Burma, China, Ceylon and Persia, Christians,
Buddhists, Jews and Muslims, have written to me appreciative letters, showing the great
interest existing in the world to-day regarding Krishna and the Gita. I am grateful to them
My main idea in writing this book is to give the Hindus a clear conception of their
scriptures and teachings, and to foreigners an idea of the true nature of Hinduism, one of the
oldest religions of the world and a religion having a place for every human being, whatever his
cultural or intellectual level, with a chance to climb up to the highest, confident that God is
his friend and that no one who has faith in him and is willing to act up to his teachings need
despair, however dark his past and however black his sin. God is Love and Bliss, and the
all-Holly can lead the worst man to salvation if he will only follow him. The Gita teachers
about the lower self and the higher self, the lower nature and the higher nature, the lower
sprit and (Purushothama). It shows us that two views are possible, the worldly and the divine.
As a well-known verse says :-
Two men looked out of prison bars,
One saw mud, the other saw stars.
The lord wants us to hitch our wagon to the stars and to him, culminating in the clarion call
in XVIII. 66, of the Gita, the Divine order under S. 144: "Leave everything and follow me! I
shall free thee from all sin. Fear not!"
I hope that a reading of his book will dispel the wrong theories on Hindu religion and
philosophy found in a recent book, Vedanta philosophy or Christian Gospel by Dr. Soper, and
other books by Christian Missionaries and others greater understanding and sympathy between the
followers of all the great religions of the world.
In this edition, I have added three stories in part III (stories XII to XIV) and have also made
some other additions and revisions. I place this book as a humble offering at the lotus feet of
the lord in the service of my brothers and sisters.
My thanks are due to my daughters Srimati Asokam S. Easwar, M.A., and Kumari Savitri for
helping me to correct the proofs.
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