Dashavatar - by Piyusha Vir - best book on Vishnu's avtars

Book Review: Dashavatar – Stories of Lord Vishnu by Piyusha Vir

Since my childhood, I am a huge fan of mythology. I grew up reading the Amar Chitra Katha comics, listening to bed-time stories from my grandparents. My mom used to read to me while I was little and as I grew, the fascination for reading stayed with me. During the lockdown, I binge-watched the BR Chopra’s Mahabharata on YouTube.

Our mythology and rich Indian culture has always left me enthralled. I came across Piyusha Vir’s book, Dashavatar when I was looking for a book to quench my thirst for learning more about Indian mythology.

Abhimanyu Amarkant (DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter)

I was impressed by three things:

  1. The narrative style of the stories I had not heard earlier
  2. A fresh perspective the book provided me on the stories I knew about
  3. The manner in which the author answered the questions about the stories I knew about

About the book:

Dashavatar is a book about the ten stories of the 10 main avatars of Lord Vishnu and how each of them saved the earth from the rule of evil in their own way and what challenges they faced while doing so. The 10 avatars are Matsya (fish), Kurma (turtle), Varaha (boar), Narasimha, Vamana (dwarf man), Parashurama, Ram, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki.

Arranged in chronological order, each story describes a situation in which the avatars were in a distressed, disturbed state, their heart in conflict with themselves and how they overcame these struggles to save the world from a rule of terror and malice.

Dashavatar is a book about the ten stories of the 10 main avatars of Lord Vishnu and how each of them saved the earth from the rule of evil in their own way and what challenges they faced while doing so.

Each story defines the avatar for who they were and describes it from a fresh, unbiased point of view where you can truly see the merits and flaws of each character, so the true hero of the story is left for the reader’s imagination to decide.

Abhimanyu Amarkant (DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter)

What I loved about the book:

I love how the author connected these stories with each other despite them being actual yugas apart. The book links the order of the avatars with Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. The ten avatars go from a simple fish, to a complex sea animal, to a mammal, to dwarf men, to humans. That shows the evolution of us as a species, showing how we evolved into humans. However, after the Vamana avatar, the avatars are all humans. They evolve, not into another species, but as humans in their ideology.

If I say anything more than this, it will lead to spoilers. I urge you, therefore to pick up the book and experience the magical story-telling by Piyusha Vir.

I feel Dashavatar belongs amongst the best sellers. It deserves to be recognized as one of the definitive books on the 10 main avatars of Lord Vishnu. I do hope that the marketers, distributers, publisher and all those concerned with the book’s publicity take my suggestions seriously.

Abhimanyu Amarkant (DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter)

Noteworthy mention:

A big applause to the author, Piyusha Vir for her thorough research. There are 24 avatars of Lord Vishnu, ten of which are the most revered. The author had to select the 10 avatars and make them factually and mythologically correct. Selecting the right avatar and getting the correct information about them was a tedious task as many scriptures say different things about the same icon.

In her prologue she shares how many people don’t regard Gautam Buddha as an avatar instead they believe that he is a concept and not a man. People also believe Krishna wasn’t an avatar of Lord Vishnu, but he was the Lord himself. Such religious thinkers call him the Poorna Avatar. Still others consider his elder brother, Balram as the ninth avatar.

To understand the perspective of the author, reading the prologue is necessary. Personally, I felt that the prologue is a total eye-opener.

Abhimanyu Amarkant (DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter)

Kalki, the last avatar of Vishnu, is not a story, but a prophecy that Lord Vishnu will descend on Earth when all hope for humanity is lost. I can only imagine how hard information gathering for Kalki would have been since there is hardly anything written about Kalki. On the other hand, a lot has been written about the popular avatars of Lord Vishnu. Sifting through the clutter and making an unique point while remaining factually correct is a knack that Piyusha has mastered.

I loved the way the author tackles all these problems and crafts this collection of stories. Her rivetting style makes the book universally acceptable but not diplomatic or biased.

The book makes these age-old stories relevant to today’s times. It doesn’t idealize the 10 avatars; it humanises them by showing their merits and flaws from a neutral perspective.

Abhimanyu Amarkant (DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter)

Downsides of the book: 

Honestly, there is no real downside in this book. The author could consider marketing the book in a better manner. The pacing of stories 6, 7 and 8 is slow for me, but that is purely subjective. The illustrations were amazing. I wish the author had included more of them. The author mentions the Samudra Manthan event a bit extensively in the book, but other than that I think the book is surely an excellent choice and makes a pleasant read.

Here’s a book that deserves to be a bestseller.

This book is for anyone looking to explore Indian mythology but doesn’t know where to start.

DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter

Verdict: 5/5

Quick Snapshot:

  • Book Name: Dashavatar.
  • Author: Piyusha Vir
  • Reviewed By: Abhimanyu Amarkant (DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter)
  • Publisher: Readomania (25 December 2019)
  • Pages and format: 216 pages, anthology
  • Price: INR 230
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Myths, Legends & Sagas
  • Rating: 5/5

Check out the book, read it and share your views in the comment section below. 

Penned by:

Abhimanyu Amarkant

©MayuraAmarkant. This article is the property of DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter. Any unauthorized use or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and article’s author (Abhimanyu Amarkant Jain) is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mayura Amarkant (DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter). With the right and specific direction to the original content.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter takes no responsibility of the content quality, endorsements or information put out by Piyusha Vir, Readomania or its associates. We have published the above review because we bought the book, read it and loved the writing. DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter urges readers to take their buying/ reading decision independently after doing their own due-diligence. 

33 comments

  1. I loved reading Indian mythology too. I remember discussing dashavtar with my dad and how he drew parallels between the theory of evolution and the 10 avatars.
    Really enjoyed reading this review and abhimanyu has done an exceptional job in analysing the book. Great going and look forward to more reviews from him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Must say your son Abhimanyu has a critic’s eye to catch every minute detail. All the pointers in the book review are well crafted. One point that can be included is from which age group child can understand these books. As it is reviewed by child then I also wish to know about the age bracket. It is always good to know about the stories of Lord and such books definitely help kids to know more about the Gods and their responsibilities for the humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. While I’ve always judged a book by the publisher, I must also confess that the cover plays a role too. This one looks fab. And the fact that your not-so-little one has reviewed the book takes me by a pleasant surprise. Well done and to you too for raising a reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Abhimanyu is already brilliant at book reviews! He has picked and shared the right points to highlight and has definitely given the book a thorough read. The book cover is vibrant and brilliantly done. I’m sure my son would love to read this too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Incredible way of an honest Book review by your son Mayura. I am amazed to see the professionalism in his narration. I have heard a lot of good things about Piyusha Vir’s book Dashavatar, would love to gift it to my son this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow this is too sweet. Son writing for the mother’s website. i also asked my daughter to do this a few months ago but I guess I need to wait for another 2 or 3 years until shes a tween. Good review Abhimanyu!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mythology and Dashavatara has always made me wonder how deep Indian culture is. The first time I saw Dashavatara was in the form of a Dance drama here in Houston and I found Gautam Buddha the most serene in all the avatars. Reading Abhimanyu’s review made me recollect that dance drama. He is correct, getting information on Kalki is bit hard. Let me see if I can get this book. Great job Abhimanyu.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a nicely done detailed review, where once can easily get an idea of what the book is all about? I liked the connection between Charles Darwin theory of evolution and Vishun’s Dashavatar.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mythology is always fascinating and the ten avatars of Vishnu are the very basis of Indian culture and ethos. The book by Piyusha Vir seems to look at these avatars of Vishnu with a fresh perspective, and also the book is welcome in that it presents the avatars in a new perspective to younger generations.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I would surely try this book for myself because I always feel that Lord Krishna’s stories give us a moral. From His every avatar, we got to learn something good.. Furthermore, His words are applicable to this Yug also..Whenever He came to this earth, He has done magical and restored the balance between good and evil…

    My best wishes to the author for her amazing work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a great book review. I love reading about Indian epics and puranas. There is so much to learn everytime. The history has been distorted to the extent that, we have to read multiple books to understand the entire avatars of Vishnu. But it seems here with this book, you can read about them all. I am checking this book at amazon

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great and detailed review done by Abhimanyu. Mu mythology sucks mainly coz I can never remember so many names and I get lost in who was who. Now this book will really help me understand n know more about our mythology. This is one genre in reading I am planning to tap and explore now.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That was an amazing review and in no way i could tell, that the one reviewing it was a kid. Great going Abhimanyu for the crisp, detailed review of this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow you know dear..no one can tell that this review is written by a 15 year old..even first I had thought that you had written this. You son has got same amazing potential and caliber like you. Wishing him all the best for all future projects. I really love the way he had reviewed this book with so much honesty and precision.

    Liked by 1 person

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