NRI NEWS: GITA: The Battle of the Worlds by Sonal Sachdev Patel at Kitaab Khana, Mumbai
A classic moment from the GITA, the battle between good and evil, becomes a modern and crucial reinvention for the youth of today regardless of religious background.
When eleven-year-old Dev’s father dies, he can’t stop lashing out at those he loves. Until he meets Sanjay, a sprite- like being who claims the incredible: that there is a battle raging inside Dev’s own body. But despite the mystery of the moment Dev feels his dark thoughts circling and his emotions and anguish once again rushing into his mind. Not to be put off Sanjay explains how he can help him control his emotions and with Dev’s agreement disappears inside his body to embark on a perilous journey beginning in the darkest realm at the bottom of Dev’s spine. As he searches for the noble warrior Prince Arjun, the only hope to defeat wicked Prince Ego, Sanjay encounters starving mobs, thieving gangs, water worlds and lands of fire, until at last he finds Arjun on the battlefield, ready to fight for Dev.
Based on Paramahansa Yogananda’s interpretation of the Gita, the book covers some of the key spiritual messages within a fictional adventure story for children. It is a modern day instructional manual that brings to life the precious nuggets that are contained in this sacred text, in a way that is relatable for them and connects Indian children with their heritage. With meditation at its core, the universal messaging in the book appeals to both children and adults who are drawn to the aspect of meditation to bring out empathy and calmness.
Communities across the world are facing a serious mental health crisis, with mental distress believed to be a key reason; statistics say around 1 in 10 children in the UK is being diagnosed with a mental health order, and a student commits suicide every hour in India. So it’s no surprise that as social philanthropists, writers and mothers, Sonal Sachdev Patel and Jemma Wayne-Kattan are passionate about working on improving mental health in young
children. By following the journey of the young boy, GITA: The Battle of the
Worlds raises important life lessons and equips young readers with accessible mental health tools drawn out of meditation. Sonal and Jemma hope that the story will not only inspire individual young readers but will give them tangible tools to cope with the struggles of modern day life.
Taken from Hinduism’s epic scripture the Mahabharata, Sonal and Jemma, who was born into a Jewish family, are keen to emphasise the universality of the GITA and hope that by transforming it into a story aimed at children aged 8 to 14 will help promote greater spiritual understanding and tolerance from an early age.
Complimented by beautiful and original illustrations which are a key part of the book and sketches by by Soumitra Ranade, GITA: The Battle of the World is a captivating and thought-provoking addition to the children’s book and educational genres.‘It’s time that the Gita is presented in its true context – not as a moralistic book, but as a book that is
relevant to everybody’s life’ - Sadhguru
‘Its moral dilemmas are sensitively framed within an individual story, simply told and elegantly illustrated’ -Dr Shashi Tharoor
‘Not just children, even adults will find it very relevant to make the importance of
Gita teaching’s felt in our personal lives.’ - Fabulous Mom Life