Immortals of Meluha: A Novel by Amish Tripathi

Credits: Wikipedia.org
Credits: Wikipedia.org’

My Rating:

♣♣♣♣

The Immortals of Meluha is the first book of the Shiva Trilogy written by Amish Tripathi, which portrays a fictional story of the revolution led by Lord Shiva. The author has done a great job in accurately incorporating the characters such as Nandi into the story which provides a sense of realism of reading an actual novel on Lord Shiva. In fact, many traditional customs and terms used, such the caste system, adds to the authenticity of the book. It was an enjoyable read, particularly due to the touches of ancient Indian traditions which we still can relate to.

The book has frequent references to the old 4-type caste system.

In this book, it follows the character of Shiva, a Tibetan tribal leader through his destiny. Shiva’s best friend is Veerbhadra. Shiva is the so-called warrior that everyone in a city called Meluha awaits to save them from the troubles they face. For one, the much sacred Saraswati river‘s water flow is dwindling. Shiva moves to Meluha with his tribe, where he thinks his tribe will be able to enjoy a better life and a stop from the frequent battles between his tribe and another. The services rendered to their tribe at Meluha simply overwhelms all of them.

On the first night of stay, everyone from Shiva’s tribe start to experience weird symptoms like profuse sweating and high fever. Soon, the Chief of Medicine, Ayurvati, begins the healing process for all the tribe members. However, unexpectedly, Shiva is completely lacks these symptoms that others are showing and in turn, shows that his throat has turned blue. Upon this shocking news, Ayurvati brings it to the attention of the King of Meluha, Daksha, who declares Shiva as the Neelkanth, the exact warrior’s arrival the city has awaited for decades and even centuries.

Throughout these, Shiva meets Nandi, a Captain, who he becomes very close to. Shiva also meets Princess Sati (aka Parvati), with whom he is attracted to. Shiva realises that Meluhans are the Suryavanshis and their enemies are the Chandravanshis. He is told of the brutal attacks carried out by the Chandravanshis on the innocent people of Meluha, especially the Brahmins, whom refuse to fight back as they practise non-violence. Shiva is also constantly exposed to the scenes of threats, many of which, he strives to save Princess Sati. The violence angers Shiva, who decides to accept the destiny of being the Neelkanth and seeks to take revenge on the Chandravanshis to put a stop to the battles and attacks.

Meanwhile, Shiva is also introduced to the sacred elixir of life, Somras, through which all Meluhans attain lifelong immunity to any diseases, keeping them alive for many years. Their aging stops when they take the exilir, hence, most Meluhans are very youthful. Shiva comes across Brahaspati, the Chief Scientist working at Mount Mandar. They form a close brother-like relationship. Shiva also meet Parvateshwar, the Chief of the Meluhan Army.

Sati slowly begins to reciprocate Shiva’s love and soon they get married. This is after initial hesitations of Sati and the others due to Sati being a vikarma (describes people who are considered to be sinful due to the sins committed in their earlier life). The Vikarma law, considered to be unfair to all becomes abolished by Shiva who is considered above the King in Meluha. Soonafter, Brahaspati is killed in a brutal attack by the Nagas at Mount Mandar, committed by the Nagas who were believed to be affliated with the Chandravanshis. This angers Shiva badly, leading to the declaration of war against Chandravanshis.

The war occurs and the Suryavanshis eventually win the Chandravanshis through their smart techniques, collaboratively formed by Shiva and Parvateshwar, though outnumber more than a ratio of 1:10 to the Chandravanshis. The Chandravanshi King is captured and brought before Shiva. The king then leaves, profoundly shocked by the sight of Shiva and his blue throat. It is then revealed by the King’s daughter that, they too believed earnestly in the legend of the Neelkanth, who will be the saviours of Chandravanshis. Upon hearing this, Shiva is crestfallen and unable to fathom his own actions.

In a distressed state, he then visits the temple dedicated to Lord Ram in Ayodhya, where the Pandit (the priest) counsels him and advises him of the actions he chose and his destiny. The book ends with Shiva rushing to save Princess Sati, waiting outside the temple, from the Naga, who is hidden among the tress behind Sati.

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4 thoughts on “Immortals of Meluha: A Novel by Amish Tripathi”

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  2. A love Story… a depiction of an ideal society … a quest for discovering your true potential staying righteous… all mythologicially rolled into one!!! Yes that’s #TheImmortalsOfMeluha – Part I of the Shiva Trilogy!!!

    One of my favorite text [one of the pandits to Neelkanth]:
    “What any successful society needs, O Neelkanth, is flexibility with stability. Why would you need flexibility? Because every single person has different dreams and capabilities. The birth son of a warrior could have the talent to be a great businessman. Then society needs to be flexible enough to allow this son to change his vocation from his father’s profession. Flexibility in a society allows change, so that all its members have the space to discover their true selves and grow to their potential. And if every person in a society achieves his true potential, society as a whole also achieves his true potential. … Stability allows a person the freedom of choice, my friend . People can pursue their dreams only when they are living in a society where survival is not a daily threat. In a society without security and stability, there are no intelllectuals or businessmen or artists or geniuses. Man is constantly in fight or flight mode. Nothing better than an animal. Where is the luxury then to allow ideas to be nurtured or dreams to be pursued? That is the way all humans were before we formed societies. Civilisation is very fragile. All it takes is a few decades of chaos for us to forget humanity and turn into animals. Our base natures can take over very fast. We can forget that we are sentient beings, with laws and codes and ethics.”

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