A born leader, a fearless warrior and a shrewd military strategist, Shivaji resorted to guerilla warfare techniques to outmanoeuvre his formidable adversaries-the Mughal masters of the North and he Bahmani sultans of the South. His exploits hastened the decline of Mughal power and gave rise to a new power in India-the Marathas. His love for freedom has made him a national icon in India.
She was only a child of five and he a mere image of the Lord Krishna, but little Mira loved him with all her heart. So strong was her devotion that it rendered even irate kings and murderous relatives powerless. Mirabai became a queen, but she continued to serenade her Lord through the ups and downs of her eventful life. Her hymns to Krishna, which are sung to this day, left even the great Mughal emperor, Akbar, spellbound.
Throwing his aged father into prison, kamsa occupied the throne of Mathura. Commanding a formidable army he thought he was unstoppable. The threat to his power came from an unexpected quarter-from a cowherd boy who was rumoured to be his cousin Devaki’s eighth child, Krishna. Moreover there was a divine prophecy that kamsa would meet his end at the hands of the eighth child of Devaki.
Birbal The Wise
Every ruler needs a friends like Birbal-faithful, intelligent and blessed with a wonderful sense of humour. Birbal dealt with every tricky situation, every palace intrigue, and every demand of his petulant queen with characteristic aplomb. His gentle tact gave him a unique advantage he became the all-powerful Akbar’s alter ego. With wisdom to match his wit, he soon had both friend and foe under his spell.
Ganesha revered in India as the remover of obstacles is first and foremost an obedient son. Standing guard at his mother’s door, this son of Parvati refuses to let anyone through. Even Lord Shiva is denied entry! This confrontation between father and son has one beneficial outcome-the emergence of Ganesha, the elephant headed god of wisdom.
The Brahmin And The Goat
A collection of tale compiled by Vishnu Sharma, for his young students some 2,200 years ago, the Panchatantra is still correcting common human weaknesses with its wry humour.
When king Dushyanta first saw Shakuntala, he was struck by her incomparable beauty and gentle character. He made her his wife and vowed to take her back to his palace. But a curse from the sage Durvasa erased her memory so completely from his mind that he failed to recognize her. Much later, when the curse was broken he realized his mistake but it was too late.. Or so it seemed to be. The story of Shakuntala first appeared in the Mahabharata. It was later adapted into a play by the Sanskrit dramatist and poet, kalidasa.
Jaichand was furious! His daughter Samyogita had eloped with Prithviraj Chauhan, the warrior king of Delhi. She, like many others, was smitten by tales of his daring, his nobility and his sense of honour. Though the young couple’s happiness was doomed, even in his dying hour, it was the brave Prithviraj who chose how his life should end.
Rani Of Jhansi
She ruled over a small kingdom, but dreamt of freedom for the whole country. In the Great Revolt of 1857, Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi, matched wits and force with the best of British generals. The image of the brave Rani of Jhansi charging her steed through enemy lines, her sword raised for the next thrust, is forever imprinted in Indian hearts.
Ramayana is the story of Rama, the prince of Ayodhya. Poet valmiki describes Rama as a dutiful son, loving brother, devoted husband, fierce warrior and wise statesman, of pleasant manners and speech. Rama is above all an upholder of Dharma so it is no wonder that he is hailed as an avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
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