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Nominated | Book Awards 2021 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)


Full Title: Mahavir: Conqueror of the Self

Author: Arvind Bhandari
Publisher: Hachette India

Award Category: Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
About the Book: 

Why do we suffer? What is the way out of suffering? What is the purpose of life? And what is the ultimate truth?

Vardhamaan Mahavir, the last Jain Tirthankara, did not begin his life as a saint. A prince and a householder, he renounced the world as a youth, seeking to realize himself.

Why would a man leave his kingdom and family to wander naked across impossible terrain for twelve long years, exposing himself to hard penance and the harshest circumstances? Was his journey worth the pain he suffered and perhaps inflicted on those closest to him?

Such questions plague the mind of Priyadarshini, Mahavir's young daughter, as she journeys with her mother, Queen Yashoda, to meet the man the world knows as the enlightened one, but in whom she sees only the father who abandoned her. Yet, as the girl grapples with her contempt for him, she is drawn into a deeper spiritual inquiry. In visions her mother shares with her, Priyadarshini traverses Mahavir's past lives, and eventually arrives at a profound understanding of the true essence of the man who conquered the world by conquering himself.

Drawing on rarely accessed Jain texts, Mahavir is an inspirational tale of the making of a spiritual master that raises age-old questions as relevant to the modern reader as they were in Mahavir's time.

About the Author: 

Arvind Bhandari is Executive Vice President/Director, Nestlé Nutrition, South Asia. He is the author of a business book, Pragmarketism: Pragmatic Insights for Winning Indian Consumers, and a self-help book, Inverted: Unobvious Reflections towards a Better Life. He writes regularly on business issues in Brand Equity, a supplement of the Economic Times. The author holds a masters in liberal science and has keen interest in philosophy.

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