INDIA-born, TT Professor Hari Shanker Adesh has released a 1,500 page book, whch is described as being "equivalent and comparable only to the Hindus’ religious text, The Ramayana."
Described as "a super-epic," (because pages surpass other epics), the 1,800 song-verses book titled Raghuvansh Shiromani Shri Raam was launched by Professor Dr Naresh Mishra of India. The launch took place at the Shri Adesh Ashram, Aranjuez, on October 13, the birth anniversary of Sage Valmiki, the Sanskrit poet who wrote the first Hindu epic Ramayana in the fifth century BCE, said a media release.
Mishra described Adesh’s text as "superlative literature, published in 18 volumes to serve as a guide for the masses in this modern age." Mishra is dean of Faculty of Humanity at the Maharshi Dayanand University and at the Central University of Haryana, India, the release said.
Mishra said the author has put to rest unanswered questions that were raised in other copies of the Ramayanas. “He has tried to find a solution to all those controversies and has proved ‘just’ in its approach,” he said.
Adesh, who arrived in Trinidad with his family in 1966, worked at the Indian High Commission. However, in response to the calls of the local community involved in Hindi and music, he adopted Trinidad as his home and founded the Bharatiya Vidya Sansthhaan (BVS) (Institute of Indian Knowledge) in November 1966.
He began offering free classes in Hindi, music, religious knowledge, dance, drama, and later organised an annual cultural camp, which still exists, the release said. For over five decades here, he produced books, songs, poems, dramas and seven epics. In 2001 he was awarded the National Humming Bird (Gold) Medal for dedicated service to TT.
At the launch Adesh said, with the blessings of his parents, his life had been "immersed in Shri Raam and Ramayana" from childhood, even when he did not understand its meaning. He said some 35 years ago, he received the "darshan" (vision) of Hanuman who inspired him to write this new super-epic, “to present the cleanest picture of Shri Raam and all other characters” of the Ramayana.
In retrospect, he said when he first arrived in Trinidad he was amazed at the love the people had for music and the Ramayana and the Hanuman Chaalisa (40-verse praises to Hanuman). He was inspired to see “in Trinidad, there was no discrimination, where even Muslims used to sing Ramayana…”
Encouraged by this, Adesh started giving discourses on the Ramayana. “This process of musical discourses inspired me to compose various songs related to topics in the Ramayana,” he said. It also resulted in his first epic, Lalit Geet Ramayan, written in various songs, ragas and taals (musical modes and metres).
He has also written other epics, including Shankuntala, Maharani Damyanti, Nirvan, Devi Savitri, the release said. The Raghuvansh Shiromani Shri Raam, he stressed, “is not for one sect or religion, but is meant for the upliftment of all human beings in the world.”
Guests at the launch inlcuded, Dr Savitri Devi (Inida), vascular surgeon Prof Vijay Naraynsingh, Hindu activist Raviji of Hindu Prachaar Kendra and Hans Hanoomansingh.