‘Mahethihasam’ and ‘Charvakam’ – Samvit Prakashan’s Book Launch Event in Bhagyanagar

Samvit Prakashan organized the books launch event of two important books published by it – Mahethihasam written by Sri Khandavalli Satyadev Prasad and Charvakam – Naati Nunchi Netiki, by Sri Arindama, on the evening of 2nd December 2023, at Sai Nagar colony, Nagole, Hyderabad. The two books were launched by the chief guests Sri Khandavalli Satyadev Prasad, Sri K. Venkatachala Phani and Sri B. Vidyadhara from Samvit Prakashan.

The chief guest, Sri K Venkatachala Phani in his opening address stated that Telugu people have a rich history of the traditions of Itihaasas, especially Mahabharata. The original Sanskrit text of Mahabharata has been translated into Mahakavyas in Telugu. Probably no other language has such rich and varied literary traditions as Telugu; Mahabharata is written as Plays, Padya kavyas, Prose, novels etc. Avadhanis’ Tirupathi Venkata Kavis’ Mahabharata Padya Natakas have always remained inspirational and popular.  From stage plays, the epic Mahabharata has been transferred onto the screen in Telugu movies. Certain deviations in representing negative characters like Duryodhana and Karna took place; in some movies, they were depicted as heroic characters. If we read the texts, we will come to know that they are in fact part of ‘Dushta Chatushtaya’ or the ‘Infamous Gang of Four’.

Sri Krishna, the main hero of Mahabharata makes his entry halfway through the text and teaches the Dharma Sookshmaas (Dharmic Principles). The epic gives the rich teachings of Dharmam, Samskaram and Vignyanam. In Bhagavad Geeta which forms an important part of Mahabharata, Bhagwan Sri Krishna teaches us that when we follow dharma, it uplifts us. It teaches that we alone are the Kartas of our destiny, and we need to make efforts to tread on the path of Dharma. He congratulated Samvit Prakashan for bringing out such great texts as Mahethihasam and Charvakam.

Reputed researcher, scholar and author of more than 10 books including Mahethihasam,  Sri Khandavalli Satyadev Prasad in his main address stated that both books being launched, are poles opposites to each other. The Maha Itihasam or Mahethihasam, that is Maharshi Veda Vyasa’s Mahabharata is the grandest work of compilation of one lakh shlokas, it teaches us to follow Dharma. In the four Purusharthas, Dharma is predominant and guides the other Purusharthas such as Artha and Kama, kama means all desires. If we understand the present societal problems, it is evident that we have neglected to follow Dharma. It is imperative for us to understand Mahabharata and its teachings of Dharma.

Our texts and the great authors who were Rishis, described the ‘daivi gunas’ – Daya, dharma etc. As per Yuga dharmas, times have transformed and the Arishadvargas – Kaama, Krodha, Moha, Lobha, Madha, Maatscharya have started becoming dominant in the human psyche and society. Bhagawan Sri Krishna teaches us how to overcome these malevolent qualities.

The other book launched in the event, Charvakam is diametrically opposite to Dharma, it professes unlimited enjoyment of pleasures. The ancient Bharatiya society knew how to balance human enjoyment without breaking social norms and moral values. Hence, in a natural process, the society discarded Chaarvakam, though Chaarvaka was considered an important ideologue of Charvaka darshan or philosophy. It is counted among the Nastika Darshanas. The Arishadvargas – the six malevolent qualities, have dominated the Charvaka ideologies, and the foreign Abrahamic religions also propound similar ideologies. Like Charvakam, they too believe that there’s only one life, and this life is meant to extract pleasures, which are in fact based on Arishadvargas only. We refuse to recognise the threats of foreign religious ideologies and act like an ostrich which buries its head in the sand. We should recognise the threat perception as valid, these foreign ideologies are being imposed on our nation and society. Sri Krishna advises us to destroy and eliminate the antisocial characteristics, ‘Aatatayi’,  which were spelt out in Sukra Neeti.  We need to confront these with our Buddhi and Vivek. If we engage in this intellectual battle, we will be able to prevent the onset of actual physical and social battles. Unfortunately, Telugu cinemas have portrayed negative adharmic characters as ‘Dana Veera Soora Karna’ etc. However the glorification of Adharmic characters too always existed in society. In the Kannada language’s Pampa Mahabharata Kavya, Duryodhana and Karna were glorified in the past.

Ms Shailaja representing Samvit Prakashan presented a brief overview of Samvit’s publications in the last three years. Sri Kalyan Chakravarty representing the Dakshinapatha Studies spoke about the activities of the organisation. The meeting was attended by large numbers of participants including. Sai Nagar Sr Citizens forum felicitated Prasad ji, Phani ji and Samvit Prakashan directors for their initiative in publishing such important books.

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