Our Heritage Revisited by Anju Saha
Our Heritage Revisited by Anju Saha intends to give the reader a glimpse into the ancient Indian texts. The author is a corporate executive and has ventured into the world of ancient Indian scriptures. She is trying to make sense of them, I think mostly for herself and in the process for her readers.
A whole new generation of new age Indians are trying to interpret the ancient India in their own way. I do it on my travel blog. Many others do it on various social media channels. And some of this work is taking the shape of books. Our Heritage Revisited by Anju Saha, is an attempt by the author to understand the vast world of Indian scriptures starting from Vedas to Puranas to Itihaas and the later texts.
What this book does give you is a bullet point introduction to each text that you may have ever heard about from Ancient India. It gives you quick snapshot and you can decide if you would like to explore the texts further or not. However, the author also mentions Wikipedia as one of her main sources of research for this book. So you need to take it with a pinch of salt. For the content may have undergone a change since the time. She mentions few books and translations that she read, but I would say that is not even a drop in the world of available resources on these ancient texts.
What I did not like in the book was that after a while the text got repetitive. I understand it is not easy to bring out the differentiation between these texts unless you have done a deep study of the subject. I have myself read only a book or so. And I know the amount of mental effort it takes. And the role of the teacher in understanding these texts in a context. While I appreciate the effort taken by Anju Saha to study the scriptures on her own and even have the courage to write about them – believe me not many dare to write about these complex texts that were written in a different time and space.
I would have wanted her to deep dive a bit more before attempting to write a book for others. She has tried to put a structure in the scriptures which to my limited knowledge does not exist. For these scriptures are not a result of planning or any strategy in mind. And they happened at different points in time to cater to different needs. Author’s structure is quite representative of the times we live in – where we need to understand everything logically and analytically.
Our Heritage Revisited by Anju Saha can definitely be used as a ready reference for the list of Indian scriptures and sacred texts. You can even read what is there in the text to decide what to read and what to skip.
I see this book as author’s personal journey to explore her own roots in ancient texts. I wish a deeper dive into that ocean. And I hope her next book will introduce us to some of the scriptures in a way that we would be able to use them well.
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