Kernel of Vedic Truth

Bhagavata Purana and Bhakti Sutra

Non-Fiction - Religion/Philosophy
312 Pages
Reviewed on 02/21/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite

Kernel of Vedic Truth by Dev Bhattacharyya, as the title suggests, is a synopsis of some of the most revered and ancient Vedic texts from India. Kernel of Vedic Truth borrows from and explains the religious and spiritual contexts stated in the Bhagavata Purana and the Bhakti Sutra of Sandilya. Both of these texts are ancient Hindu Vedic texts that have tried to explain and answer many of the fundamental questions that we, as human beings, still ask ourselves today: Who are we? Where did we come from? Where do we go after this? What is the meaning of life? Kernel of Vedic Truth tries to capture the essence of these two great texts and convey the meaning in short, simple paragraphs that almost read like a beautiful poem. A glossary of Sanskrit words and their meanings is also provided at the end of the book.

Dev Bhattacharyya has done a wonderful job translating and, more importantly, conveying the original meaning and message of these two great texts. I absolutely loved taking my time and reading about the cosmos, the cycle of life and death, Karma and how good and bad deeds affect your life, the spiritual path to becoming Brahma or Enlightened, the practice of Yoga and meditation, and so much more. The book is written in a ballad style which is very easy to read and understand. Many of the verses tell a story within a story and some have layered meanings. This is definitely a book worth reading many times over, as I got a sense that the more times I read it, the more I will get out of it. Overall, I loved this book and would very highly recommend it.

Nandita Keshavan

Kernel of Vedic Truth by Dev Bhattacharyya is a translation and compilation of the Vedic knowledge from sacred Hindu texts, which are originally written in Sanskrit. The author has written the translation in verse format, making the piece very elegant and concise. I really valued being able to read this English translation, which is easy to follow, clear, and has useful chapter divisions.

Vedic literature contains important principles for spiritual enlightenment and these are related via stories and discourses. Dev Bhattacharyya attempts to make the works accessible to everyone. He explains the need to appreciate the spiritual content of the work without being preoccupied with secondary religious interpretations which do not always express the truth in a simple way.

The book comprises short verses and chapters, and the timeless knowledge in this book is applicable on a personal and spiritual level and also on a philosophical and cultural level. I hope that future generations utilise this book in order to question the nature of life according to Vedic philosophy and to understand and appreciate Hinduism more deeply.

The book features an extended discourse between Krishna and Uddhava towards the end, which contains several insightful concepts on spiritual progress. There is also a list of Sanskrit words which are from the original text and are useful for people interested in learning the meanings of Sanskrit words. I enjoyed this book and would definitely look forward to reading more translations by this author since I believe he has captured the essence of the original verses in an accessible way.

Mamta Madhavan

In his book Kernel of Vedic Truth, Dev Bhattacharya delves into the Vedic truths about human existence, and the history and philosophy of the Vedas that shed insights on the birth of the universe and the roles humans play in it. The author captures the essence of the Puranas and Sutras in the simplest manner possible so that it can be comprehended by all types of readers. They learn that everyday lives begin with the simple procedure of getting to know oneself. The quotes taken from the Bhagvad Gita and the Upanishads are interspersed along with the author's words; they complement what the author is trying to convey with lucidity.

Written in verse, the book is a wonderful spiritual experience that imparts knowledge about the Vedas, Bhagavata and many other spiritual topics, keeping the theme simple. The book describes the benefits of yoga in purifying the mind and removing material wants through constant practice. The glossary at the end is helpful in understanding many terms used by the author. I enjoyed this book. It captures the essence of Hinduism beautifully without highlighting the religious aspects too much, but in turn giving more prominence to the spiritual side. The concept of expressing thoughts in verse is good. It is the perfect book for those who want to know more about Hinduism, Vedas, spirituality and the Hindu gods.