Reviving Ancient Symbols

The mythological-thriller ‘Scion of Ikshvaku’ by Amish Tripathi, traces the story of Ram Chandra, the founder of Ram Rajya, the perfect empire. Talking to City Express, Amish reveals, “The series will be a fictional interpretation, a fast-paced adventure based on the many versions of the Ramayan.”

Published: 31st March 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2015 11:26 PM   |  A+A-

Amish Tripathi

The cover of ‘Scion of Ikshvaku’, the first book of the Ram Chandra series from literary popstar Amish was released recently by actor Akshay Kumar.

Cover with ancient symbols

The cover of the book depicts a distraught Ram shooting at Ravaan’s Pushpak Vimaan as it speeds away into the clouds, carrying his beloved Sita. As with his earlier book covers for the ‘Shiva Trilogy’, Amish has embellished the cover of ‘Scion of Ikshvaku’ with a few ancient symbols that act as clues for his millions of readers to embark on a hunt to decipher his symbolic codes and discover the rich folklore of Indian mythology. Use of symbology has been inherent in all his covers in the ‘Shiva Trilogy’ as well.

“The cover has many symbolic elements seamlessly integrated into its core, with the intent to maintain the high standards of visual appeal that we have set with my earlier book covers. Many of these symbols on the cover and through the books are clues to my stories for those well-versed with Indian scriptures. Of course, the cover has to look good as well. I am very lucky that a fantastic team worked hard to make this cover design to a very high quality standard,” Amish remarks.

Is the symbology real, or is it made up?

Some parts are real. Some parts are completely my imagination, for example, the structure of the Pushpak Vimaan.

Define ‘symbols’

Symbols are essentially words, designs or any structure which convey a complex meaning very easily and quickly. It is one of the core basis on which cultures are based. The design itself does not matter as much as the meaning associated with the design. For example, we have the Swastika in India. Nobody in India needs to be explained what this means because it is a millennia old symbol which conveys good fortune or that which is associated with well-being. So it is a positive symbol in India. Unfortunately, the Germans misused an adapted symbol of the Swastika and therefore the symbol came to have negative associations in the West, which is very sad. We must reclaim the Swastika worldwide as our own Indian heritage which has nothing to do with the Germans.

Symbology research

I don’t do symbology research specifically. But a large part of myths does revolve around symbology. And since I am a lover of mythology and spirituality, I end up learning a bit about symbology as well.

Symbols’ impact

Symbol’s impact much more deeply than we imagine. It’s a part of our daily routine.

Symbols recycle

This happens because as cultures change, meanings associated with the symbols can also change. And as ancient cultures revive, many of the ancient symbols revive as well. The ebb and flow of cultures is reflected in symbols that the culture holds important.

From your illustrations to “Symbology”

Actually, the core of my work is the writing of the books. The symbology is only an addition to that.

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