Friday, August 8, 2025

ACK Guides for Indian Epics (MLLL-4993)

Welcome to the Amar Chitra Katha blog for my Indian Epics course at the University of Oklahoma (MLLL-4993-995); all the comic books are at the Reserve Desk in Bizzell Library. I hope you will enjoy them! Use the tabs across the top to see the titles: Ramayana - Mahabharata - Krishna - Deva/Devi (Gods and Goddesses) - Heroes and Heroines - Tales.

Some comic books have detailed reading guides, some have a brief summary, and each comic book has a blog post of its own. If you let me know which comic books most interest you by leaving a comment on that post, it will help me know which ones to focus on as I add more summaries and reading guides this semester.

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Click refresh page for a random comic book, and click on the title to see the blog post for the comic book that grabs your attention.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Guide: Indra and Shachi

This is a guide to Indra and Shachi: The Lord of Heaven and his Devoted Wife (Volume 567). You can find it at Amazon.

Bizzell Reserves call number: PN 6790 .I443 A437 v.567

Summary: The three-headed Trishiras, son of Tvashta, is a sworn enemy of Indra. Indra defeats Trishiras, but must do penance for his crime. Tvashta creates the asura Vritra to avenge his son's death. Indra pretends to make peace with Vritra and then kills him; ashamed of his deceit, he runs away, which causes chaos on earth. The gods invite the mortal Nahusha to take Indra's place, but they are not happy under his rule. Indra's queen, Shachi, flees Nahusha's advances. The gods seek out Indra and ask him to expel Nahusha from heaven. Upashruti, the night goddess, escorts Shachi to Indra and they come up with a plan to defeat Nahusha when he is being carried in a palanquin by the seven sages. One of the sages, Agastya, curses Nahusha to turn into a snake, and Indra again becomes king of heaven.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Guide: Tales of Shiva

This is a guide to Tales of Shiva: The Mighty Lord of Kailasa (Volume 549). You can find it at Amazon.

Bizzell Reserves call number: PN 6790 .I443 A437 v.549

Summary: The first story, Shiva and Arjuna, is about Arjuna worshiping Shiva in the Himalayas; Shiva disguises himself as a kirata (hunter) to test Arjuna, and they both hunt Mukasura, a boar-demon. After they fight over the boar, Shiva is impressed and grants Arjuna one of his divine weapons: the Pashupata. The second story, Shiva the Fisherman, Shiva curses Parvati to be born as a fisherwoman. Shiva then takes the form of a fisherman in order to win Parvati's hand in marriage by defeating the shark (Nandi in disguise) who is terrorizing the village. The final story, Shiva and Markandeya, tells about the birth of the sage Markandeya and how Shiva saved him from Yama, the god of death.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Guide: Garuda

This is a guide to Garuda: Vishnu's Divine Mount (Volume 547). You can find it at Amazon.

Bizzell Reserves call number: PN 6790 .I443 A437 v.547

Summary: The sage Kashyapa's wives ask for sons: Kadru wants a thousand snakes (nagas), and Vinata asks for two sons as powerful as those snakes. Indra and the tiny Valakhilyas prepared the sacrificial fire, and to humble Indra the Valakhilyas pray that another Indra be born: he will be the lord of winged creatures, Garuda. Kadru's children hatch first, and the impatient Vinata cracks open one of her two eggs too early; her son Aruna, the sun's charioteer, is not fully formed. She waits until Garuda hatches and he then frees her from enslavement to her sister as a result of their bet about the color of the tail of Uchchaihshravas, the cosmic horse (Kadru cheated). To free his mother, Garuda must steal the heavenly amrita; he does so, but he also enables Indra to steal it back!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Guide: Tulsidas

This is a guide to Tulsidas: The Poet Who Wrote Ram-Charit-Manas (Volume 551). You can find it at Amazon.

Bizzell Reserves call number: PN 6790 .I443 A437 v.551

We also have an Amar Chitra Katha comic book version of Tulsidas' Ram-Charit Manas!

Summary: Tulsidas was a poet and saint (1532-1623), author of one of the most famous versions of the Ramayana. The comic book begins with the sinister omens surrounding Tulsidas's birth. Tulsidas devoted himself to Rama, and eventually left his family to preach the story of Rama in Hindi. He experienced visions of Hanuman, Rama and Lakshmana, and Shiva, and he was also involved in the politics of his time (you can read about Rana Pratap at Wikipedia). For more about Tulsidas, see Wikipedia: Tulsidas.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Guide: Tales of Durga

This is a guide to Tales of Durga: Tales of the Mother Goddess (Volume 514). You can find it at Amazon.

Bizzell Reserves call number: PN 6790 .I443 A437 v.514

Summary: The first story is Durga, The Slayer of Mahisha. Mahisha the asura, hoping to live forever, obtained the boon that he could only be killed by a woman. He confidently attacks Indra and occupies his throne. The angry gods conjure up Devi Durga, and they give her weapons. In his buffalo form, Mahisha (the name means "buffalo") attacks her, and then attacks her in many other forms, but Durga finally kills him. The next story is Chamundi. Shumbha, the Lord of the Asuras, with his generals Chanda and Munda, chases the gods from their heaven. The gods pray to Durga, and the goddess Ambika, a manifestation of Durga, springs forth from Parvati, and Shumbha desires to possess her, and she says she will only marry someone who can defeat her in battle. She is able to turn asuras to ashes with a single word. Ambika then generates Kali from her forehead, who crushes asuras by hurling an elephant at them. Because Kali slays both Chanda and Munda, she acquires the name Chamundi. The final story is How Durga Slew Shumbha. The gods manifest Brahmani, Vaishnavi and Maheshwari to do battle with Shumbha, and Ambika generates Chandika. Hundreds of Shakti manifestations do battle with Shumbha. The asura Raktabeeja scoffs at the women and attacks Indra's Shakti; she wounds him, and each drop of blood generates another Raktabeeja. Thousands of Raktabeejas face the Shaktis. They prevent the blood of the Raktabeejas from reaching the ground and finally they slay them all. They then kill Nishumbha, who is Shumbha's brother. All the Shaktis merge into Durga, and she slays Shumbha at last.