Bina Saksena, more commonly known to her friends as Twinkie, was born in New Delhi in 1935. She saw little of her city of birth, however, for when she was two years old, her father took the family abroad on his first diplomatic posting to Kobe, Japan. When war broke out three years later, the Saksenas sailed home, only to leave after six months for Sydney, Australia. Here, Bina underwent her first seven years of schooling. Then in 1947, the Saksenas returned to India in time to witness partition and independence, soon after which they once again took to the high seas. Bina spent the next eight years on the American continent, attending high school, and later Barnard College in New York City, while her father served first as India's Consul General in New York, and afterwards as India's High Commissioner in Ottawa. Finally at the age of twenty-one, Bina returned to India for good. With her American husband, she settled in Shimla, and spent thirteen years in an idyllic cottage facing the snow ranges. There, while raising three lively children, she found time to work at her writing and pursue her two other passions, ice skating and horseback riding. In 1969, she moved to Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. Her output over the last twenty years includes poems, two plays, one of which was performed by the Ashram school students, and several novels which have been published serially in the Ashram publication, Mother India. Writers Workshop, Calcutta, has published a play by her, A Tale of Two Princes; a novel, Seven Lives and the Aryaman epic trilogy novel.
With The Blood of Aryaman, I embark upon a long journey into time-physical time certainly, but more than that, into what can best be described as consciousness time. Recorded history I have set aside on this voyage of discovery, for it is a thing too hemmed in by material fact, and too rigidly locked inside our scholarly and scientific understanding of the ureal".
There is a freer past to which the human awareness has access. One catches glimpses of it in the tales of ancient epic poets, balladeers, and raconteurs. They offer it to us as a persistent, ever-repeating dream of our origins. It s is a dream based on a time when gods and men had not yet severed the bonds that joined them, when one could still speak of a Satya Yuga, or an age before the fall of man. It is the age when many races claimed divine descent, and would, in fact, have been ashamed if they could not have done so. It was important then for men to feel they had originated from the god and not the beast, a matter, indeed, of a fundamental generic pride.
Can one consider such presumed memories and claims of the extraordinary as reality? Many today would deny it out of hand. To our present-day mind, it is obvious that life has little relationship to divine descent, legendary fantasy, or any of the other awareness’s of the dawn ages and their seemingly simplistic spiritual ideas. It is accepted that we must fall prey to our mortality and the decay that it entails. Psychologically too, our thoughts and motivations must constantly be open to question, doubt and misinterpretation. There can be no divine certitudes, of virtue or perfection. Having learnt that truth is not white but of an indeterminate colour, we are impelled to scoff at any suggestion of a less mortal supra-physical past of divine origins. Science assures us that the ancients were wrong, and that we have, in fact, arisen from the beast and not the god.
There is no denying scientifically proven reality. Material evolution from lower to higher ones must be accepted as established. But I would maintain that somewhere in the soul of mankind, the enigmatic memory of the earlier assertion also lives. I would suggest that it is neither entirely poetic fancy, a primitive ego-building exercise, nor a laboured allegory. The voices that speak of the inter-relationships of gods and men come from an ancient, other- dimensional world that is a fore-image of our own. It is still umbilical connected to our material world and begs to be experienced and accepted in its own right and through its own perception of reality.
In the formulation of existence to which The Blood of Aryaman belongs, darkness and in conscience can still be perceived as forces outside oneself. The Kings of Vimalapuram whose lives I recount still recognize themselves as the children of Aryaman, the Sun God. They cling to the belief that the scion of deity must be free of all corruption, that he rules his followers by right of a merit that is manifest. They know that man is not born intrinsically degenerate, but has the ability, even duty, to grow into the wisdom of a rishi, a Shukratma, a supra-physical being.
If we are prepared to pause, step back, and live awhile, as I have done, with such a world, we may be surprised to find that its experiences' and consciousness arc not only the roots from which we have sprung, but the base upon which, even today, our humanity stands.
|Book One: The Bool of Aryaman|
|Twenty-One||The Lump of clay||110|
|Twenty Two||The goddess||113|
|Thirty- Four||The Season of the Empty Pot||176|
|Thirty- Five||The Birth||180|
|Thirty-Seven||The Falcon and the Sword||187|
|Thirty- Eight||The Cobra||192|
|Thirty- Nine||The Night of the Rakshasa||196|
|Fifty-One||The Queens and the Commoner||272|
|Fifty-Two||Chandraketu and Hara||275|
|Book Two: Agnibhrata|
|The Reluctant God|
|Thirty- Four||The Visitor||418|
|Fifty-Three||The Banyan Tree||497|
|Book Three: The Face In the Pool|
|Twelve||The Challenge ofParva||582|
|Sixteen||The Last Dawn||620|
|Twenty-Eight||The Living Stream||709|
|Thirty-One||Kali Yuga's Children||738|
|Thirty-Two||The Edge ofKali Yuga||747|
|Thirty- Five||Mandakini's Naga||766|
|Thirty-Seven||The Heart of Aryaman||778|
|List of illustrations:|
|Note from Subash||794|
|Note on the Front Cove||807|
Item Code: NAN712 Author: Bina Saksena Cover: Paperback Edition: 2010 Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry ISBN: 9781450055994 Language: English Size: 10.0 inch X 7.5 inch Pages: 806 (2 Color and 7 B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 1.4 kg
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